Harvard Westlake Debates
2022 — Los Angeles, CA, US
VLD Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Email is email@example.com. I will clear 3 times before I stop flowing. No clarification questions regarding what was/wasn't read before CX - start CX and ask any questions you need. Send marked doc after CX and take prep if you need time to mark it.
I'm Reyna (she/her) debated LD for 3 years and graduated from Northwood High School (Irvine, CA) in 2019. I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior year. I am transgender. This should not affect how you debate in front of me.
What I read in high school (aka the kinds of debates I enjoy seeing):
Aff - big stick, soft left
Neg - topic da+advantage cp, politics/elections+states, cap, topicality
- Will not vote anything that took place outside the debate that is unverifiable.
- You must ask questions relevant to the debate in CX. No "How's your day?"
- Anything evidence ethics related: clipping, reading falsified evidence, reading evidence not accessible publicly, anything inauthentic or deliberately intended to deceive. If someone makes an evidence ethics claim, the round will be decided on the claim, and I will stop the round if I am the only judge. Automatic L 25 to the loser of the claim, W 30 to the winner. If no claim is made but I notice it, the debate will still be decided on ethics, but I will let the debate continue because I think practicing speeches in a competitive setting is still valuable. In an elim, my decision will hinge on evidence ethics regardless of what happens in the rest of the debate.
- Nothing blatantly designed to attack or harm someone in the room. Nothing "_____ist" or "______phobic." Use the right pronouns or gender neutral pronouns if no pronoun is given. Automatic L 20 otherwise
- Competing interps for T
- Theory is a reason to reject the arg except condo. I also hate seeing aff teams go for condo
- Affs must advocate for a shift from the squo
- Counterplans must at least be functionally competitive
- Textual + functional vs functional alone
- Plantext in a vacuum
- Affs get the case against the K
- Sufficiency framing, judge kick, judge choice, auto-protect 2nr as best as possible
- Affs should defend a shift from the status quo as determined by words in the resolution. This typically entails government action but is up for debate.
- I like impact turns that aren't spark / wipeout
- Don't spread through blocks
- Explain the uniqueness counterplan competition stuff from this topic
- Explain what your interpretation of textual and functional competition is
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.
Please put me on the email chain.
I am excited to be your judge and I am here to listen to your arguments. As long as they not discriminate or exclude others, I will consider them whether you are reading a K-Aff or have 5 Disadvantages.
I am a former HS policy debater, I judged and coached before. I am familiar with the structure but not the current topic. Please explain your arguments well and remain respectful towards everyone.
For more specific questions, please email me or ask me before the round.
Framework is important to me. I would like to know through what lens I should evaluate your arguments. Why is your framework better than your opponent’s framework?
I did high school policy debate for three years debating as a performance and kritik debater. I have 4 years experience judging a range of debate styles and arguments. I prefer performance and kritik but i am open to judging anything.
I prefer you that you spend time on framing the arguments in the debate at the top of your speech. I'm not a line by line heavy judge and judge based on Big issues. First, I evaluate the framework for the debate to determine which impacts I should prioritize. Second, I evaluate Impacts and determine which are more important based on the Framework. Third, I evaluate the Status Quo, Plan, Counter-plan, Kritik Alternative, based on which best solves for in round impacts.
If you want my ballot, check all those boxes and I will most likely vote for you over your opponent if they are missing those parts.
LAMDL. Previous affiliations don't really matter as of now.
I do have a hearing problem in my right ear. If I've never heard you b4 or it's the first round of the day. PLEASE go about 80% of your normal spread for about 20 seconds so I can get acclimated to your voice. If you don't, I'm going to miss a good chunk of your first minute or so. I know people pref partly through speaker points. My default starts at 28.5 and goes up from there. If i think you get to an elim round, you'll prob get 29.0+
Evid sharing: use speechdrop or something of that nature. If you prefer to use the email chain and need my email, please ask me before the round.
What will I vote for? I'm mostly down for whatever you all wanna run. That being said no person is perfect and we all have our inherent biases. What are mine?
I think teams should be centered around the resolution. While I'll vote on completely non T aff's it's a much easier time for a neg to go for a middle of the road T/framework argument to get my ballot. I lean slightly neg on t/fw debates and that's it's mostly due to having to judge LD recently and the annoying 1ar time skew that makes it difficult to beat out a good t/fw shell.
As for K's you do you. the main one I have difficulty conceptualizing in round are pomo k vs pomo k. No one unpacks these rounds for me so all I usually have at the end of the round is word gibberish from both sides and me totally and utterly confused. If I can't give a team an rfd centered around a literature base I can process, I will likely not vote for it.
I lean neg on condo, go for whatever cp you want, and I love well articulated theory arguments. Key words Well Articulated.
If you're in LD, don't worry about 1ar theory and no rvis in your 1ac. That is a given for me. If it's in your 1ac, that tops your speaks at 29.2 because it means you didn't read my paradigm.
Now are there any arguments I won't vote for? Sure. I think saying ethically questionable statements that make the debate space unsafe is grounds for me to end a round. I don't see many of these but it has happened and I want students and their coaches to know that the safety of the individuals in my rounds will always be paramount to anything else that goes on. I also won't vote for spark, wipeout, nebel t, and death good stuff. ^_^ good luck and have fun debating
Dougherty Valley '21, Cal '25
Adults in debate need to stop involving children in their weird clout chaser politics and treat this activity like the educational space that it is.
be comprehensible/go slower - i dont judge as often as you compete
probably better for the K now than I was 2 years ago - I still require explanation and examples to the same extent though
Debated mostly in LD but went to policy camp and some policy tournaments. If you're a PF-er you shouldn't have counteradvocacies but other than that I will judge it like it’s a policy round - read cards
add me to the email chain (firstname.lastname@example.org).
if you're short on time, just read this top section:
don't overinvest, have fun
Tech>Truth, but it’s easier to win more truthful arguments.
arguments require a claim and a warrant and (eventually) an implication. i wont pretend you said something you didn't and have no problem voting on lack of explanation or not hearing something.
online: record speeches locally if online, flash analytics if possible
email chain should be set up at start time
- you don't need to adapt to novices if on the national circuit
- sending a marked copy does not constitute prep, requesting a doc where "unread cards are deleted" does
- tell me to judge kick or I won't: condo assumes 2NR collapse exists.
- circumvention and impact turns are nice
- you can insert rehighlights
- number/delineate your arguments
- will reward fun, high-risk strategies such as 1-off disad, a massive impact turn , 7 minutes of case turns or circumvention etc.
- "independent voting issues" are rarely ever independent or voting issues
- if you or your opponent might read theory or topicality as a viable out, read the "rant" under the theory section. everything else in the paradigm is extremely standard and you'll be fine even if you don't read it.
- disclosure is good, read theory
- happy to give the "i don't get it" rfd
- defaults: comparative worlds (LD), no judge kick, "competing interps", no rvi, drop the debater on T and condo and disclosure theory and drop the argument on all other theory, fairness and education are voters, everything other than fairness and education is not a voter
-clipping if you do catch clipping, do not make clipping an argument in the debate - stake the round and show me the recording.
- ev ethics - any misrepresentation of evidence (stopping in the middle of a paragraph, if the article concludes the opposite way after the card ends, mis-cited) is an automatic L even if not called out. if your link is dead but the article can be procured through a different method you won't lose.
- i expect evidence to have cites/qualifications and not be bracketed unless offensive language. read theory
- i read a lot of ev, the quality of the warrant is the quality of the argument.
- extend warrants, weigh, and answer warrants. implicate each argument, don't leave it to me to do the work for you
- you still need to answer the disadvantage
- this just shifts the burden of explanation, it doesn't magically make extinction not a problem anymore. that being said, you should still leave some time for the framing portion of the debate
- politics disads are cool
- do impact calc
- no new links/IL/impacts/uq arguments in the 2NR, but may use cards to answer (new) 1AR arguments
- 2NR/2AR impact calc isn't new
- love smart and creative counterplans
- start the solvency debate in the 1NC (card or analytic), not the 2AC. burden of proof on the negative!
- defining "sufficiency framing" isn't enough - make it contextual.
- read CP theory but don't speed through blocks. Counterplan theory is generally a question of research and predictability, having a specific advocate is important.
- i do not have a predisposition for/against condo/dispo bad in LD (they're good in policy)
- err neg/drop the argument on 1AR theory is persuasive in LD
- LD only: while i do think non-resolutional actor CPs in LD don't provide an opportunity cost to the plan insofar that the aff's obligation is to prove an actor's moral obligation, i will still evaluate them as they are read and debated unless that argument is made.
Kritiks (on the negative):
- good k debates are cool but rare - consequently good k debates with explanation and knowledge of your argument will get great speaks and bad k debates meant to take your opponent by surprise or rack up easy wins with blocks will get extremely deflated speaks.
- the more the negative wins their link the easier it is for them to win Framework
- filter alt solvency through Framework - and actually explain it please!
- please actually warrant your fairness arguments on Framework - 'moots the aff' absent an explanation of why consequences are specifically key is probably not enough
- LD only: Link walls must be in the 1NC. New 2NR links from the 1AC are new and will not be evaluated. New 2NR links based on the 1AR will be evaluated. In policy, new 2NC links are fine
- not relying on precluding the aff = higher speaks.
- extensions of 'ontology' and similar broad claims need to be much more robust than you think they do. you can't just say the buzzwords "natal alienation" or "gratuitous violence" or "metaphysics" without telling me 1) what they are and 2) how they implicate progress.
- i will vote for warranted K "tricks" but keep the overview shorter rather than longer please
- vagueness in cx bad
- particularity vs Ks is good and Ks should either link turn or impact turn this and overinvest time on this argument
Kritiks (on the affirmative):
- T-USFG/Framework - aff teams can easily out-tech neg teams but i usually went for T/Fwk. Don't care which internal link/impact you choose: fairness, skills, testing, etc. as long as they have an actual impact
- try to answer the case even if you go for T especially the parts that interact with the shell
- you get a perm
- go for presumption if the 1AC is just an impact turn to Framework
- i like T, went for it a lot.
- weighing is essential
- evidence comparison is underutilized
- Rant: Reasonability vs Competing Interps is much less important than you think it is. If the substance tradeoff DA or overpunishment DA by dropping the debater outweighs mitigated interp offense, I will vote against theory because of "reasonability". If neither of those arguments are introduced or leveraged successfully, I will not use reasonability (i.e. there must be some offense vs the interp to vote against theory). if both teams pretend like this part of my paradigm doesn't exist, I'll likely just use competing interps because it causes me less of a headache to evaluate
- RVIs are bad but don't drop them
- if a 1AC theory underview has more than yes/no theory, competing interps/reasonability, dtd/dta, voters you instantly lose 0.5 speaker points for making me flow all that :)
- Interpretations are models of debate, and definitions are the warrants for why those models are predictable - standards should be filtered through predictability
- "semantics first" is not persuasive, precision as an internal link is persuasive
LD Philosophy/Ethical Framework Debates:
- i am much better for literally any other argument
- if your cards and rebuttals do a good job of explaining the syllogism and reasons to prefer(they usually don't), you'll be fine.
- tricks: If there's a clear claim, warrant, and implication to an argument when it is first introduced, then I will flow and evaluate it like any other argument. Even if you go for terrible one-liners that are almost definitively false, you should still collapse and oversell the truth of your arguments.
- "we defend the aff as a general principle" is a topicality issue about implementation.
- general confidence vs modesty bores me - contextualize (with cards) !
CX matters, -0.1 speaks if you shift around your order multiple times when giving it or if you don't label your flows in the 1nc ("next off" is insufficient).
Credit to whoever I copped some lines of this paradigm from
Im a lay judge with some experience miniature tournament like James Logan . I will buy into logical argumentation, and speaker points aren't necessarily how you talk rather what you mean and how you present your case. Remember, give me the logic in your arguments and explain the links and make sure your arguments make sense. I will write down notes but not fully flow, to the best of my abilities.
It is your job as a debater to slow down and make sure I understand your points, plus you will be awarded speaker points if you do this.
Weighing is important: If you don't tell why an argument is better than another, then I am forced to decide and practically intervene in order to make a decision, and that's a risk which can be avoided. Take this a step further and weigh between different types of weighing to make sure the round is even more clear. In short, write the RFDS for me.
Lastly, as a brief note don't be intimidated if your opponent is vastly a better speaker than you are. Again, debate is distinct because it is about arguments. If you can tell me why your arguments 1. Make sense 2. Are comparatively better than your opponents you will win.
Have fun and enjoy!
If you have any more questions for me that I may have not answered on this page, please ask me before the round starts.
For email link chains: email@example.com
Current: Regional Coordinator for Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League (LAMDL)
Debated 4 years in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate league
Coach and Assistant Program Manager for Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League for 2 years
Currently attending CSULB (not actively debating)
- I don't appreciate being post rounded. If you don't agree with my RFD after multiple attempts of providing a sensible explanation, that's on you. I will tell you to be a better debater, gg. If you'd like, I'm open to exchanging emails so as to not stall future rounds.
- If you run a critical affirmative with multiple methods and theories that don't blend well together or create a performative contradiction, then expect some less than celebratory speaks.
- If neither the aff or neg have any clashing impacts in the round, then you're forcing me to vote aff because aff is a 'good idea'.
- If you're aff and you read multiple perms against a K and say "extend the perm/s" in the 2AC without further context, I'm going to be lost.
- I'm open to any argument so much as you can defend it and make a persuasive case to me. But really, just do what you do best. If you want to run a policy affirmative with heg good and nuclear war advantages, great! If you wanna run a critical affirmative that argues the topic is anti-black, heteronormative, colonialist, anthropoecentirc, capitalist, etc., that's cool too! Just have a fun debate!
- I'm pretty generous with speaker points, but that doesn't mean you don't have to earn them.
- If I feel I have to evaluate a piece of evidence, I'll call for it when the round ends.
- I don't count sending speech docs as prep time.
- I'm not typically persuaded by critical language critiques. Unless the neg has a very good impact analysis and comparison of what using certain phrases or words looks like compared to the aff's impacts, then it's not going to contribute to my decision calculus. However, I'll listen to your argument and flow it like I would any other.
For LD: I have a policy background, but these days I judge more LD rounds than I do policy. I'll pretty much treat your round as I would a policy round. The only thing I'll say is
1. Be clear - really slow your spreading down, especially your analytics
2. I don't like cheap tricks, but they do often win rounds if it is not contested by the opponent. However, just because I don't like it, this doesn't mean I won't vote for it.
I believe the case is important. That being said, if you don't have an impact, then why should i care about voting affirmative? Also, if you have nuclear scenarios in your affirmative, please don't just say "nuclear war is going to occur" and expect me to consider it as an argument. If you say exactly that, then you have a claim without a warrant. You have evidence, and you need to be able to explain those internal links. As for critical affirmatives, i believe the case should be able to respond to any or at least most off cases the negative presents which is to say it should have built-in answers. For example, if you have an affirmative that discusses anti-blackness, then your case should potentially be able to respond to many offs like FW, T, Cap, Anthro, Settlerism, or any other incantation of high theory, etc. Just make you use your case to its fullest is all i'm saying.
They're cool; the more specific of a link you have the better the round will go for you. Although, I might consider a DA that's obviously generic if the Aff doesn't respond properly. As for politics DA's, you better explain those internal links.
These are cool too; I've voted for CPs before and i'll probably vote on them again. I usually don't however, because they're used as a time skew and/or lack any substantive explanation.
Alright, so these arguments I'm not so thrilled about generally because when I see T being ran it's ran with generic blocks that don't really say anything, but just makes the neg sound like they're whining. So what if the aff is untopical? Why should I care if they explode the limits of the resolution? Why is this key to education? Why does that negatively impact the round? These are things that I hold a high threshold for and these are things that need to be explained in a way that will make me vote for you. But, I'm open to hearing it and considering it if you can run it persuasively. PLEASE slow down on your analytics a tiny bit.
Yeah, I'll consider it.
I'm down for a FW round. I like seeing a lot of clash between the typical standards offered by the neg vs those of critical affirmatives. So, do some comparison and impact analysis like what fairness means for the neg and what the terminal impact is for them and what fairness means for the affirmative and what the terminal impact might be for them. Compare impacts, weigh them against each other and convince me who has the better interpretation of debate. Also, if you're running FW don't just rely on overwhelming the affirmative with evidence. Remember, quality outweighs quantity and at the end of the round and that's what gets my ballot. Take the time to explain your evidence.
I love these arguments; I suppose my preference of style might favor you if you enjoy deploying Ks. My understanding of the philosophies and theories of authors read in debate travel beyond the bounds of this activity, but just make sure you are explaining your criticism coherently because I won't do the work for you, nor will I reward butchered arguments. So, to reiterate, if you read Baudrillard and you're talking about the seduction of the object or some other, explain it in a coherent manner. I don't care if you're running Bataille and you're trying to be unintelligible. Just remember, I have to understand what you're communicating to me (unless not knowing is a reason to vote you up lol) in order to evaluate your arguments. A good K debater will find killer links against the case and will use the case against itself to win the round.
*I personally shift back and forth on args focused on author indictments. For instance, I will agree on criticisms of high theory authors such as Heidegger, DnG, or Nietzsche. However, when I see these arguments deployed, it often sounds like the team that runs them is whining. SO, I will side with these ivory tower authors if you can convince me that even if Nietzsche is white and has never been oppressed, self-overcoming or whatever is probably a good idea and that not doing the aff is life affirming or whatever.
I love the creativity of these arguments, so if you run these go for it. However, don't just perform for the sake of performing or because 'it's cool'. Always use your performance as a way of turning your opponent's offensive arguments. Tell me how to evaluate the performance in contrast to the neg.
Let's have a good round.
I have coached LD at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx since 2009. I judge a lot and do a decent amount of topic research. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo@gmail.com.
I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. The best debaters will 1. Focus on argument explanation over argument quantity. 2. Provide clear judge instruction.
I do not flow off the doc.
- I rarely read evidence after debates.
- Evidence should be highlighted so it's grammatically coherent and makes a complete argument.
- Smart analytics can beat bad evidence
- Compare and talk about evidence, don't just read more cards
- I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types.
- I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness.
- Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments.
Non-T/Planless affs: I'm good with these. I'm most compelled by affirmatives that 1. Can explain what the role of the neg is 2. Explain why the ballot is key.
Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".
Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity. I do not disclose speaks.
Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. I will not vote on "evaluate after X speech" arguments.
Updated for TOC 2023
Email for chain – firstname.lastname@example.org
Conflicts: Harker, Harvard-Westlake
Tl;dr: good for: CPs, DAs, T, non-postmodern Ks. bad for: tricks, pomo, theory debates, phil.
1. I enjoy judging. TOC 2023 will likely be the last tournament I judge for a while. I know how much effort goes into preparing for debate tournaments, let alone a season end tournament like the TOC. I am excited to hear what you have to say.
2. Speed - you should not go your top speed, 80-90% is probably fine most of the time, maybe err on the slow side on (especially short) analytics.
***Theory is an entirely different ballgame - I don't know if theory arguments are just getting shorter or if I'm not catching as much because people go too fast, but people need to slow down a substantial amount. This is one of the most important parts of this paradigm, it is also the most ignored.
3. I care about evidence more than the average judge. I usually read the most important cards after the debate and compare what the evidence actually says against the debaters’ explanations. Evidence is almost never perfect – pointing out flaws in your opponents’ cards, comparing author qualifications, etc. will result in higher points.
4. I will only vote on arguments that I understand and can explain back to the other debater. I will never vote on arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, etc.
5. Arguments should be complete in the first constructive in which they are presented. CPs need to have competition and solvency arguments explicitly made in the NC. DAs must have uniqueness. ACs must include solvency arguments. Ks should have a semblance of a FW argument in the NC. Incomplete arguments can be dispatched by brief, smart analytics.
6. General argument preferences – I prefer quality arguments related to the topic. All things equal, I prefer to hear a core topic DA instead of politics, a K with a strong link to the aff over a consult CP, etc. Of course, if you execute a niche argument really well, go for it, just be aware that the less familiar I am with it, the less likely I am to fully understand it, and the more likely it is that you get a decision that you may not like.
A. Policy arguments (CPs, DAs, etc.)
–I am best for these types of arguments.
-Impact calc + turns case are underutilized/usually a game winner if you do them well.
-The Politics DA is the worst argument that I vote on routinely. Dunking on politics during CX (while still being respectful of course)/dismantling it in the 1ar will likely result in higher points. Unfortunately, affs rarely do this and instead just read 4 impact defense cards :(
-I do not default judge kick, but I am open to it.
-I am open to most CP theory (conditionality, PICs, agent CPs, etc.) but am a hard sell on LD nonsense (must spec status in speech, no neg fiat, etc.). One condo is generally ok, two is pushing it, three or more is no good. However, debates that come down to 1ar theory are among my least favorite to judge (unless it’s a slam dunk)
-That being said, most CP theory arguments other than condo are likely better as competition arguments rather than theory
-I've noticed a proliferation of really horrible process CPs. I don’t like them. Most of these are consult CPs that lack a reason why bindingness/consultation are key – these should easily be beaten by permutations. If you have qualified cards from the literature about the topic (or even close to being about the topic), though, I am good for these.
-I like well executed T debates.
-But I'm usually not thrilled to be judging Nebel over and over again. Nebel/can't spec should be viewed as a last resort (cases where the aff is very very small). I will probably vote aff on the “PICs argument” if both sides debate this argument equally.
-I find myself usually unpersuaded by “only semantics matter” claims on T. A well thought out limits claim is definitely the way to go in front of me.
-On T I’m probably 50-50 on the competing interps/reasonability debate.
-In theory debates, I am generally persuaded by reasonability + drop the argument. I do not like judging theory debates a whole lot.
-I would not read an RVI in front of me. I have a hard time understanding the warrants for these. It will be nearly impossible to get me to vote on one.
-I prefer not to judge debates with out of round violations (disclosure etc.) The exception is if your opponent does not disclose first 3 last 3 - include screenshots/evidence and this is a near slam dunk. Other disclosure violations (round reports, open source, etc.) can be easily beaten by reasonability in front of me. Things like "misdisclosure/opponent lied" are uncomfortable to judge/you must include screenshots/definitive evidence in your speech docs.
-Yes - Neolib, Afropessimism, Set Col, other "structural" identity Ks, Security
-No - pomo. It’s not that am not ideologically against these Ks, I am just very unfamiliar with them which will make it hard for you to win them in front of me. It's unlikely you get higher than a 28.5 unless you are very good at explaining your argument.
-I probably lean neg in FW/K aff debates. Negs should articulate an impact outside of "limits because limits" and affs should have counterinterpretations that solve most of neg offense
-When going for a K on the neg, if your only link is some fancy packaging of "fiat bad" I am not the judge for you.
-Links should be contextualized/turn the case. This does not mean that all your links need to be to the plan; rather, if you explain why your links turn the case under the aff FW, you are in a good spot.
-Ideally the 2NR does most if not all of their work on the line-by-line – I’m fine with a short overview to explain thesis/impact but I’m not a fan of the 4-minute overviews followed by the neg saying “this was in the overview” to answer every 1AR argument.
- Neg teams should frame their link not only against the plan alone but through the lens of the permutation. Likewise, affs should frame their link turns not through the lens of the status quo, but through the alternative.
- I’m most well-versed in consequentialism but I think I understand Kant and some political theory a decent amount. I’m at ELI5 level for almost every other type, so tread carefully. You do not need an explicit standard text.
-I’m pretty tired of every phil debate I judge coming down to induction fails/consequentialism impossible.
-“Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” – Trix kids
7. Evidence ethics – if a debater claims their opponent committed an evidence ethics violation, such as clipping, they will stake the debate on that claim. If there’s proof that the accused the debater clipped, they get an L and the lowest points I can give. If the opposing debater did not clip, the accusing party gets an L and the lowest points I can give.
I don’t read along in the speech doc…usually. Usually if you’re talking, I’m flowing. Sometimes, however, I look if I suspect clipping is occurring. If I catch you clipping, I will let the debate finish, but you will lose. I won’t catch everyone who clips, I don’t think it’s my job to constantly check everyone, so when I check/when I don’t may be somewhat arbitrary, but the easy way to not get caught is to not cheat.
If I call clear (multiple times) and you don't clear up/I cannot understand the words you are saying, it is clipping.
Things like bracketing, cutting an author who concludes the other way (as long as it’s not egregious), etc. aren’t round-stopping issues to me. However, I am extremely receptive to theory arguments about them, and doing those things will tank your speaks.
This is how I evaluate these issues, even if no ethics challenge is raised.
If I notice...
-Card from an article which concludes the other way - your speaks get tanked (25) if you don't go for the flow/it is not egregious; you lose if it is integral to your strategy/you would lose the debate without it
-Card with paragraphs missing - you lose
-Clipping - you lose
-Cards that are miscited - you lose
8. Ways to get good speaker points
-Demonstrating topic/content knowledge
-Debating about author quals
-High quality/not scarcely under-highlighted evidence
-Going for an impact turn well
9. Last housekeeping things
-You must share your speech docs with your opponent - email is preferable
- Each debate will have 1 winner and 1 loser. The speech times are set as is prep time. You can’t use CX as prep time. Asking for me to give you a 30 will result in you getting no higher than a 26.
-I like evidence a lot, but good analytics >>> bad cards. Even if your card is A+, you only get credit for how good you explain it in later speeches/when you extend it.
- Debate is a communicative activity, so I don't make my decision by reading through all the cards in the speech doc after the debate. I think I'm a pretty good flow, so I don't backflow unless I think it was my fault. If it's not on my flow, you don't get credit for it - emphasizing/slowing down on certain arguments will greatly enhance my ability to understand them. People need to slow wayyyyy down on theory.
-Please be nice to your opponent
Please put me on the chain - email@example.com
Harker 20' | BU 24'
I did LD at Harker (Go Eagles!), went for a lot of policy arguments with a little bit of K stuff. Now I study computers and philosophy at Boston University.
Biggest thing: I very rarely evaluate theory. See more thoughts below.
Guidelines that are set in stone
- Arguments that are blatantly sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. and clearly made in bad faith means an instant loss, 0 speaks, and an uncomfortable conversation with your coach. If it's clear the debate is being made violent the debate ends. If you have a question about an argument, ask before the round.
- if you feel uncomfortable participating in the debate (your opp. triggered you, accidentally misgendered you, etc) feel free to discretely email or talk to me if you're uncomfortable making it an issue in the debate and we'll all work to make the debate a more productive space
- If your opponent is speaking too quickly or unclearly for you to flow, you have a right to call clear.
- I won't flow arguments made after the timer ends.
-I'll evaluate evidence ethics and other cheating challenges per tournament rules.
- I care about good evidence. When left to my own devices, I will often look at evidence quality to evaluate an otherwise close debate. If you want me to not do this, do smart evidence resolution as soon as possible.
- please weigh arguments, always, as soon and as much as possible.
- I enjoy smart strategic decision making, both micro and macro,, including a willingness to be bold and make/go for innovative or exciting arguments within reason.
Things I do not enjoy
- Theory. Consider this by far the strongest opinion in the paradigm.
- Tricks. Do anything close to them and you will automatically lose
- I greatly enjoy good Kritik debate, which I believe means strong contextualization of your argument to the Affirmative and not abandoning good technical debating.
- It is difficult to convince me that your narrow structuralist Kritik can explain every complex dynamic the Aff discusses. I am more amenable to arguments about class or economics in this regard. Either way, strong evidence and examples of how you can explain the phenomena the Aff talks about will help greatly.
- Psychoanalysis is always a hard sell; this isn't an English class, you do have to base your arguments in real things.
- I try to not fill in my own knowledge of a position to help make your argument better in a way your opponent might be at a disadvantage to because of their own lack of knowledge of an argument.
- I Prefer K Affs that creatively reinterpret the resolution via predictable and robust counter-interpretation of words in the resolutions as opposed to ones that just impact turn limits. This usually includes defending links to and responding to topic disads, cps, and kritiks.
- You should treat me like the village idiot when explaining what your non-topical Aff does. I give a lot of decisions in debates where the Aff is no res, neg is framework, both sides drop lots of stuff, but I vote Neg because I understand the Framework argument more than whatever the Aff is trying to do. Please make it explicit what your Aff says, why that matters, and what the ballot can do about that. Related, it will be a very had sell to me that the mere reading of framework or the suggestion that some rules exist is violent or bad. Beat framework by telling me why the resolutional rule is so bad it outweighs a predictable deliberation point.
- I want to see more high-quality K v K debate: if that's something you're up for and if you have a good specific position against their Aff, go for it! Similarly, I hate it when non-topical affirmtives run away from these debates by trying to claim the link is not their thing. Don't be a coward, you had infinite flexibility when choosing what you wanted to say, defend it.
- Generally a fan as long as it's less tricksy and more substantive. You know what the difference is, don't test me on it (if you really don't just email me about it)
- Especially receptive when the Aff barely/doesn't defend a coherent framework in the 1AC which happens a lot especially on the West Coast these days. If the Neg does judge instruction about why 1AR framework restarts are bad this could be a devastating strategy for me.
- It would be cool if you didn't butcher what philosophers actually said but I know that's a pipe dream. Philosophy is really hard, mostly because philosophers are by and large atrocious writers. Give an honest interpretation your best shot and all will be well.
- I have very strong opinions about theory that you cannot change my mind about. I have and will give decisions that where I throw out a theory argument most people are fine with.
- T starts as drop the debater, but never an RVI, theory is always drop the argument, and never an RVI.
- Arguments I will evaluate: non-resolutional actor fiat (like I-Fiat or States), disclosure unless there has clearly been no good faith attempt to get it. Unlikely I vote on stuff like "must have complete round reports" or whatever, but if their disclosure practices are truly terrible and you can explain why this is probably ok. Topicality arguments that define words in the resolution, judge kick.
- Arguments I will never vote for: Any non-resolutional theory argument not listed above. This includes: "object fiat", solvency advocates, PICS bad, conditionality, no neg fiat, new affs bad, any form of spec argument without a card supporting it. I literally do not flow these, and will say as such as part of my RFD. Do not bother making them.
- Regarding re-highlighting - to point out flaws in evidence inserting is fine, to make an offensive argument read it.
- I spend a lot of my time studying the math behind how AI/machine learning works, and how that stuff works in general. I feel pretty confident saying that the version of AI/ML the debate community talks about and the real thing are basically completely disconnected (not just in high school, but college too. Not gonna call-out anyone, but there's some real lack of understanding of the fundamentals here). So part of me wants to tell you to call out people on their nonsense, but that would require a level of expertise that you probably just don't have the time to acquire. High school is very busy and you probably don't want to waste your time self-teaching yourself linear algebra and whatnot. I will just say this: people very frequently overestimate AI's capabilities in debate, and you should call them out when their evidence is not making as strong a claim as they are forwarding in their tags (both in terms of AI solving this or that, and about being an x-risk). I also pretty strongly think people PhDs in philosophy or comparative english are unqualfied to write about AI eating the planet or whatever.
It is currently particularly unsafe to post my beliefs and credentials here. If you don’t know who I am or my preferences, reach out to me (college) or have a coach reach out to me (HS) for my paradigm.
If you cannot spread, but are trying to, please don't. I'd much rather hear you be coherent as opposed to stumble and double breathe every 5 seconds to imitate spreading.
Space - If an aff defends the topic but doesn't defend "implementation" in the traditional sense because of the way the topic is worded, I still have a hard time conceptualizing why it doesn't link to disads.
HW 22 - I have not judged in over a year. I do not know anything about the topic, and I don't remember every opinion that I've ever had about debate. That being said, if some of the pet peeves I had before come up, odds are I will be even more irritated by it. Just look up my wiki for arguments that I generally liked.
Online debate is annoying, send out docs in a prompt manner. The 1AC/1NC I generally do not care how fast you go, just make sure that everyone is in agreement on what was read and what wasn't. Both of you should record for potential shenanigans. I don't care if your camera is on/off, but just make sure I can hear you. If I yell clear, sometimes it might not be your fault, but its your responsibility to just slow down. If I didn't hear it, then I didn't flow it. Just something we have to deal with in online debate.
San Marino HS 18
firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains
I debated on the circuit for 2 years at San Marino High School in CA. I received 5 career bids and made it to octos of the TOC. I did college debate for a year as a 2A. I've taught at VBI and TDI/SJDI. My primary argumentative preferences were for policy arguments, though I did read a fair share of affirmatives that did not defend the topic. These preferences have not really swayed anyone from reading arguments I don't like in front of me, despite my best efforts, so you do you and I'll do my best to adjudicate. I am not super active coaching or competing anymore so I do not know what core topic lit is nor do I understand the "hip" new K.
For a tl;dr of arguments that I read when I debated here is a link to my wiki with open-sourced docs: https://hsld17.debatecoaches.org/San%20Marino/Deng%20Neg disclaimer: I read a lot of arguments that I personally disliked or did not find persuasive, the frequency of arguments read usually indicates my like or dislike of those arguments.
I used to have a long spiel, but I think nobody cares because people still read bad arguments in front of me. Instead, I will just give some random thoughts on arguments:
Disclosure -- pretty much non-negotiable, I'll listen to arguments that are based on academic literature/philosophy but I will not listen to arguments relating to fairness and education against disclosure. e.g. disclosure = surveillance? weird/bad argument, but I'll listen. disclosure = worse for fairness and education? not a fan. new affs bad/round reports disclosure/must open source etc do not fall under this -- they're both true, but I'd much rather the debate be about anything else.
Nebel T/Plans bad/T-generics/T-bare plural -- whatever variation of no plans/plans bad that you are running, it's boring and demonstrates a lack of preparation and research. I will vote on this argument but I hate it and you should too.
theory -- frivolous theory arguments are not my strength, nor am I particularly found of them.,I'm not any good at judging these debates because they're way too messy and it is not something that can be resolved by excellent debating due to them being late-breaking and the plethora of new arguments that end up being made. if you're THE theory debater this year you're not gonna like me
K Affs/Non-topical affirmatives -- beat framework, have a defense of your model not just your aff; solvency based on wins/losses/ballots is highly questionable and I'm skeptical of these arguments. Those reading framework should have a defense of their model. Fairness is an impact, and attempting to solve the aff through a tva or education is not necessary but may be helpful. Those reading Ks against K affs will probably not like my decision both ways, as I am not the best judge for in-depth debates about philosophy/academic literature.
RoB/standards/ld philosophy -- saying any of these things does not mean its the only thing that matters (that's what debate and impact calc is for) -- I view these things as just buzzwords in order to substitute with real impact calc. I would prefer you not be lazy and actually explain instead of hiding behind these words.
truth vs tech -- this is arbitrary -- if your strategy is predicated on winning blatantly false/unwarranted arguments by spewing out a bunch of them, I am a) not going to be able to flow them, and b) the threshold for convincing me the opposite of your arguments is very low. Technical debating is made easier with truthful/well-researched arguments.
Plans/DAs/CPs/etc. -- evidence quality matters. You should want me to read your evidence to confirm the claims that you are making, otherwise your argument probably isn't as good as you say it is. I have a soft spot for advantage counterplans and the states counterplan, but find that many teams are not answering/reading these in the correct manner. I am not a fan of the "everything except this one instance of the topic" PIC as I find that these are mostly disads with a counterplan text attached and no real solvency advocate. PICs should exclude a meaningful part of the aff and have a solvency advocate. If your PIC falls under this category, I will most likely significantly lean aff on theory. Otherwise, I slightly lean neg on most counterplan theory questions. Conditionality is probably good, but its certainly winnable that its bad in LD.
misc -- If this is still a thing, I strongly dislike evidence made by debate coaches/meta-articles about debate. They're subjective and incentivizes people to write debate articles to make an argument in round. I will just treat it as an analytic.
speaks -- I give low speaks relative to people, but maybe other people are inflating? If you're trying to win top speaker, I'm probably not the best judge for you unless you're really good.
I am an assistant coach for Immaculate Heart High School. I debated for Immaculate Heart for four years. I am now a 4th year philosophy student at UC Berkeley.
Most important stuff:
I try my best to not let my argument preferences influence my decision in a debate; I have no problem voting for arguments that I disagree with. That said, I will only vote on arguments — that is, claims with warrants — and I have no problem not voting for an "argument" because it is not properly warranted.
I will not vote on arguments that I don't understand or didn't have flowed. I do not flow from the doc; I think the increasing tendency of judges to do this is abetting the issue of students being literally incomprehensible. I will occasionally say clear, but I think the onus is on you to be comprehensible.
You must send to your opponent whatever evidence you plan to read before you begin your speech; you do not need to send analytics. If you mark cards during a speech — that is, if you begin reading a card but do not finish reading that card — then you must indicate where in the card you stopped, and you should send a marked doc immediately after your speech. You do not need to send a document excluding cards that were not at all read.
If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, or what arguments were made on a certain page, you of course may, but you must do it in CX or prep. There is no flow clarification time slot in a debate!
The upshot of the last few comments is that I think flowing is a very important skill, and we should endorse practices that cultivate that skill.
You will auto-lose the debate if you clip cards. Prep ends once the speech doc has been sent. If you want to advance an evidence ethics violation, you must stake the debate on it.
Be respectful to your opponent. This is a community.
Above all, I like clash-heavy debates between well-researched positions.
My favorite negative strategies include impact turns, counterplans, and NCs. My favorite affirmative strategies are plans with “big-stick” or “soft-left” advantages.
I don't really like "tricks" of any genre because I think overwhelmingly they simply lack warrants.
I don't like strategies that depend entirely on framework or framing arguments to exclude your opponent's offense. You should always answer the case even if you are reading a framework/impact framing argument that explains why I should prioritize your offense over your opponent's.
As I said, I will never not vote on an argument simply because I disagree with it. I will, however, ignore arguments that are not warranted, and I think certain claims are very difficult, if not impossible, to provide a warrant for.
Here are some examples of claims that I think are very difficult to provide a warrant for:
It would be better if debates lacked a point of stasis.
The outcome of a given debate is capable of changing people's minds/preferences.
It would be better if the negative could not read advocacies conditionally.
I should win the debate solely because I, in fact, did not do anything that was unfair or uneducational.
There is a time skew between the aff and neg in a debate.
A 100% risk of extinction does not matter under my non-utilitarian/non-consequentialist framework.
My 1ar theory argument should come procedurally prior to the negative's topicality argument.
There is something paradoxical about our understanding of space/time, so you should vote for me.
Here are some claims that I will never vote on, whether you try to warrant them or not:
That which is morally repugnant
This debate should be about the moral character of my opponent
X is a voting issue simply because I labeled it as such.
I am the Director of Debate at Immaculate Heart High School. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list.
1. I will vote on nearly any argument that is well explained and compared to the arguments your opponent has made.
2. Accusing your opponent of an evidence ethics or clipping violation requires you to stake the debate on said allegation. If such an allegation is made, I will stop the debate, determine who I think is in the wrong, and vote against that person and give them the lowest speaker points allowed by the tournament.
3. I won’t vote on arguments that I don’t understand or that I don’t have flowed. I have been involved in circuit LD for almost ten years now and consider myself very good at flowing, so if I missed an argument it is likely because you were incomprehensible.
4. I am a strong proponent of disclosure, and I consider failing to disclose/incorrect disclosure a voting issue, though I am growing weary of nit-picky disclosure arguments that I don’t think are being read in good faith.
5. For online debate, please keep a local recording of your speech so that you can continue your speech and share it with your opponent and me in the event of a disconnect.
6. Weighing arguments are not new even if introduced in the final rebuttal speech. The Affirmative should not be expected to weigh their advantage against five DAs before the Negative has collapsed.
7. You need to use CX to ask which cards were read and which were skipped.
Some thoughts of mine:
1. I dislike arguments about individual debaters' personal identities. Though I have voted for these arguments plenty of times, I think I would vote against them the majority of the time in an evenly matched debate.
2. I am increasingly disinterested in voting for topicality arguments about bare plurals or theory arguments suggesting that either debater should take a stance on some random thing. No topic is infinitely large and voting for these arguments discourages topic research. I do however enjoy substantive topicality debates about meaningful interpretive disagreements regarding terms of art used in the resolution.
3. “Jurisdiction” and “resolvability” standards for theory arguments make little sense to me. Unless you can point out a debate from 2013 that is still in progress because somebody read a case that lacked an explicit weighing mechanism, I will have a very low threshold for responses to these arguments.
4. I dislike critiques that rely exclusively on framework arguments to make the Aff irrelevant. The critique alternative is one of the debate arguments I'm most skeptical of. I think it is best understood as a “counter-idea” that avoids the problematic assumptions identified by the link arguments, but this also means that “alt solves” the case arguments are misguided because the alternative is not something that the Negative typically claims is fiated. If the Negative does claim that the alternative is fiated, then I think they should lose to a theory argument. With that said, I still vote on critiques plenty and will evaluate these debates as per your instructions.
5. Despite what you may have heard, I enjoy philosophy arguments quite a bit and have grown nostalgic for them as LD increasingly becomes indistinct from policy. What I dislike is when debaters try to fashion non-normative philosophy arguments about epistemology, metaphysics, or aesthetics into NCs that purport to justify a prescriptive standard. I find philosophy heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing side’s contention or advantage to be unpersuasive.
6. “Negate” is not a word that has been used in any resolution to date so frameworks that rely on a definition of this word will have close to no impact on my assessment of the debate.
Graduated from CK McClatchy High School in 2020. Currently debate for UC Berkeley. Conflicts: CK McClatchy, West Campus, Harker.
yes email chain please -- email@example.com
I flow straight down on my laptop.
These things suck. Everybody lies and says they are agnostic but in my experience nobody but maybe 10 people really mean it. I am not going to pretend like I don't have preferences and won't internally eye-roll and react negatively to certain arguments, but I will try my absolute hardest to stick to my flow (with the exception of the arguments clearly identified in this paradigm as non-starters).
That in mind, here is my general approach to judging and some preferences:
I was largely a k debater in high school but I am exclusively a policy debater in college. I feel comfortable judging both sides of the spectrum. Regardless of the issue at hand, evidence quality matters a lot to me, and I will read every card mentioned by name in the final rebuttals before making my decision.
I think I care more than other judges about judge instruction. Telling me how to read/understand cards, how to frame warrants, etc. will be taken very seriously when the debate comes to an end. Smart, strategic judge instruction and framing will quickly earn speaker points (addendum: this does not mean I want you to give a 5 minute overview to "frame out" their offense - under no circumstances should judge instruction come before line by line.)
Most of my paradigm is about k debate because I have far less feelings about policy rounds. That is not to say I am not a good judge for them. My favorite debates to judge are big, in-depth policy rounds that are vertically oriented and have lots of good evidence. That being said, I have far less instruction to offer you because those rounds are more straight-forward to evaluate. I will reward smart turns case arguments and clever analytics above a wall of cards in these debates.
Non-resolutional debate -
I generally think that debates are better, more interesting, and more educational when the aff defends a topical plan based on the resolution.
I have been in many of these debates, mostly on the aff and always impact turning some part of T. I think that raises my threshold for the aff a bit because I have first hand experience with how easy it can be to beat framework with args that suck. If you are going for an impact turn to T without a counter-interpretation, you should probably win offense against model v model debates. If you do have a counter-interpretation, tell me why your offense doesn't link to that model and it resolves some predictability/limits/whatever.
- I like impact turns a lot. I am a good judge for heg/cap good, and a bad judge for affs that don't want to defend anything. In my opinion, if you have taken a radically leftist position and forwarded a structural kritik but are unwilling to debate the most surface level right-wing propaganda, you are both bastardizing the literature and being cowards. As someone that genuinely subscribes to a lot of leftist political ideals, I find this sort of revolting. I will not be convinced that your indictment of settler colonialism/some other superstructure is conviently okay with whatever the neg has impact turned. Inversely, if you are a k team that is ready to throw down on these questions, I will consider you strong-willed, brave, and smart.
- Skills/clash solve the case with a big external, a TVA, and a robust presumption push on case is the quickest way to my heart.
- Procedural fairness is not a silver bullet for aff offense. If this is your impact, a vague sentence about not weighing the aff is not sufficient for me to zero all of their stuff, especially if they have impact turns to your model. I have never heard the sentence "procedural fairness is the only impact your ballot can remedy," nor do I know what it means, please don't say it at me.
- Similarly, presumption pushes against affs that are just built to impact turn T are very persuasive.
- I don't like offense that hinges on the subject position of your opponent or me as a judge. I also very strongly prefer not to be in charge of your mental health, livelihood, or identity. EDIT 11/21: have received questions about this and would like to clarify -- args about value to life, ressentiment, etc. are totally fine. I don't want be in charge of you as an individual -- meaning your role in the community, your mental health, or your sense of self.
Neg - I consider myself fairly sufficient in most kritik literature and have researched extensively, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't explain your theory. I don't think its fair of me to just fill in gaps for you (for example, deciding in my own head what it means if you "win the ontology debate.") The best way to win in front of me is to have a unique link that turns the case and beats the aff without framework.
Aff - Impact turn things. Weigh the aff against the alt for more than just fairness -- see my framework thoughts for the neg above. If you are going soft left against the k that is also fine, but sounding nice and in the direction of whatever your opponents say doesn't tell me why the alt doesn't solve the aff.
Usually these debates are pretty bad to judge because people just spread through their blocks and don't do line by line. I tend to be lenient with all neg shenanigans. I will totally kick positions for you if you tell me to, but please remind me to do so -- I have no theoretical qualms with judge kick, but I sometimes forget to do it unless you tell me to in the 2NR.
I largely think if cps compete, they are legit. I can sometimes be convinced otherwise, but if your theory argument is just "this counterplan is bad," I am going to be convinced by neg arbitrariness arguments (with the exception of ConCon -- I think there is a case to be made that we should just arbitrarily exclude that counterplan because it is so clearly bad for debate.)
All of that being said, I also think most cheat-ey cps don't compete! So if you're aff, you're not tanked -- you are just better off going for the perm than, say, theory.
Please do not go for condo in front of me. I have no idea why the neg thinking they can kick a counterplan or an alternative is a voting issue -- simply saying conditionality is bad is not sufficient for me to nuke the other team from the debate. I have never participated in or seen a debate between competent opponents in which even the most egregious abuses of conditionality effected the decision. If the neg drops it twice, I guess you have to go for it. I can think of very few circumstances where it is a good idea otherwise. Slightly more sympathetic for LD because of 1AR time pressures, but still will lean heavily neg and will cap speaks at 29 for the aff.
If my camera is not on, please assume I am not ready for you to begin speaking.
I would very much appreciate if you could record your speeches in case there are internet issues while you are talking.
I am not comfortable evaluating arguments about debaters being in the same room together, "the COVID procedural," or anything else that has to do with out of round conduct. If you make the debate about this, I will be angry with you and likely vote you down.
Even the clearest debaters tend to be tougher to flow in an online format. I understand that this comes with some strategic cost, but I will reward you with speaks if you go a little slower than usual and make sure to be extra clear.
If you do not ask for a marked document in your debate, I will add .1 to your speaker points. Unless your opponent legitimately marked cards, your speaker points will be capped at 29 if you ask for one. Flow better. Asking about what was and wasn't read is CX time. Every time you ask "did you read x" that's minus .1 speaker points.
EDIT 4/10/22: adding this after judging ~120 LD debates:
1. There seem to be issues with clarity plaguing this activity. To try and discourage this, I will do the following things: a.) I will never open your documents during the debate. I will read cards after if you tell me too. b.) I will say clear 5 times, after that, I'm not flowing c.) If, on the other hand, you are clear, I will give way too high of speaks. Some of the best teams in this activity sound great -- its clearly possible to win without being unflowable.
As my record indicates, I overwhelmingly vote neg in LD debates. Usually, this is because the 1AR runs out of time and drops something important, and I feel like my hands are tied on new 2AR args. That in mind -- 1ARs that set up big framing issues, start doing impact calc, and cut out superfluous arguments in favor of barebones substance will be rewarded with speaker points and usually the ballot. Aff teams, the entire activity seems to be stacked against you -- so debate accordingly, and don't waste time on useless stuff like condo.
I am gettable on Nebel/whole rez, but don't usually find it particularly persuasive. Seems counter-intuitive.
Please go easy on the theory -- I get that its a big part of the activity, but if your plan going into the debate is to go for a theory arg, you shouldn't pref me. I am usually going to vote neg.
I am not 100% familiar with all of the LD nomenclature so I may need a little explanation of things like "upward entailment test" and other LD-specific vocab
No RVI's ever under any circumstances
- Consider me dead inside -- moralizing and tugging on my heart strings will only earn you negative speaks - debate is not about individual feelings, and I will not consider yours when deciding your round.
- I strongly believe that you should be allowed to insert rehighlightings of evidence that has already been read in the debate if you think it goes the other way/want to add context to an argument. Please do not abuse this by inserting a million rehighlightings, but I will be hard to convince that it is not okay to do so in moderation (especially in the 1AR.)
- There is nothing more off-putting to me than debaters who take themselves too seriously. Please stop acting like this is anything other than a silly game we all want to win at.
- In that same vein, being rude does not make you cool or interesting. Snarky CX comments, saying mean stuff in speeches, etc. will make me dislike you and actively hope that you lose the debate. If I think you are too rude, I will say something after the round and take pleasure in giving you bad speaks. If it gets to the point where I am saying something to you, you should assume I bombed your speaks. If you are a team that can't make your arguments without being mean to other debaters, strike me.
running list of arguments that are simply too bad to be evaluated:
new affs bad
no neg fiat
plan focus allows you to say the n word in debates
my opponent did something outside the round that they should lose for
Please do not ask me for high speaks -- you lose half a point every time you bring it up
I will only flow the person who's speech it is (edit: Feel less strongly about this during the 1AC/1NC)
email me if you have questions -- I kind of suck at responding to email sometimes but I will get around to answering your questions.
Last significant update - December 2022
Graduated in 2020. LD TOC qual 2x (cleared junior year) + 13 bids. Coaching actively in 2022-23 for the DebateDrills Club Team and familiar with topics/ arguments - here are incident reporting forms, roster, and MPJ/ conflict info.
I probably don't want to be judging. Speaks boost for taking less prep and sitting down early if you've clearly won.
I read policy args + T/theory (in LD). I am familiar with but don't particularly care for philosophy, tricks, or the K. I will limit the insertion of my preferences absent an annoying or poorly resolved debate.
Debate is a competitive game that imparts useful life skills, flow clarification is CX, CX isn't prep, speaks are my choice and not yours
You should disclose properly, and it doesn't take 30 minutes to "make changes" to the aff
Not voting on:
---Args that deny the badness of racism/ sexism/ homophobia/ etc (potential auto-loss given severity)
---Death/suffering good (spark and wipeout type stuff is fine)
---Ad-homs or args based on out of round actions or a debater's appearance/ location/ etc (except disclosure screenshots)
---Arguments that are "vote for me because I’m x" or "I get [to do] y because I'm x"
---Independent voters that are not labeled as such in the speech they are introduced with a reason why they are
Defaults: f/ e are voters, drop the debater, competing interps, no RVIs, comparative worlds, util, epistemic confidence, policy presumption
Tell me to read ev if you want me to
Judge kick requires winning an argument for it
Read rehighlightings if they make a new/ different argument - insert them if they show x thing is in y context, and explain any insertions
1ARs should probably read theory and 2NRs should probably answer it
Consequences probably matter but perhaps you can convince me otherwise
Tricks tend not to have warrants in the speech they're introduced or in the speech they're extended in
Ks need to prove that the aff is a bad idea, affs probably get to weigh case and extinction probably outweighs
I seem to vote for Ks far more vs phil affs than vs policy affs
K affs need to do something but usually do not
I do not want to adjudicate personal survival strategies or callouts
T framework - fairness and clash/ research > skills/ movements
Things I shouldn’t have to say
---All arguments need to be both originally made with and extended with a coherent warrant
---Won’t vote on arguments that I don’t understand the warrant for in the first speech they're introduced
---Delineate and explain arguments and their implications throughout the debate
Speaks probably getting tanked.
Clipping: Ending the debate if I catch it. If you have a recording, you can stake the round. Skipping at least 3-5+ words multiple times probably constitutes clipping.
Ev Ethics: If I catch a violation, speaks will plummet and the card will be ignored. These constitute a violation such that I'd act or you can stake the round/ make a challenge:
---Card starts/ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph
---Text has been added to or removed from the original text of the cited article within the start/end of the card
---Card has been cut/highlighted/bracketed to make a claim that the article does not warrant
You can read any of these or any other violation you want as theory. If another part of the article contradicts the argument made in the card, I'd prefer to see a recutting of the article read as an argument.
Update: if you are a clear spreader (i.e. if I can actually understand your spreading in the highlighted text of your cards) I will boost speaks by 0.1-0.3. People are way too unclear, debate is a communicative event.
Hi! I'm Andrew, but people also call me gongo. I did LD at Harvard-Westlake, got 18 career bids, and reached finals of the TOC. I graduated in 2021.
1. As a senior, I read only big-stick policy positions. This should tell you what types of debates I'm most comfortable judging, but it shouldn't dissuade you from reading your favorite args (exception: tricks).
2. Clarity is very important to me. No, I will not flow from the speech doc, so if I can't hear you, I'll stop flowing and yell clear until you slow down.
3. Online debate - keep a local recording in case you cut out. Keeping your camera on would be ideal, but it's not a requirement.
I'm probably 60/40 biased in favor of T framework against non-T affs. Arguments like truth testing make intuitive sense to me.
I like education more than fairness, but both are fine.
I went for the cap K against non-T affs a lot as well. It's also a good option.
I like these more than my argumentative history would imply. I think good K debates are a lot of fun to watch and judge. I've read a lot of Deleuze, a little bit of Baudrillard + settler colonial literature, and I have a good grasp of most other Ks.
Good 2NRs on the K will have specific links that implicate aff solvency, and contain lots of real-world examples on all parts of the flow. Good 2ARs on the K will either have lots of link defense and disads to the alt, or go for framework + extinction outweighs.
I really like impact turns against the K. Heg good and cap good are awesome, provided you go for them correctly.
Arguments couched entirely in terms of you or your opponent's personal identity/out-of-round actions are probably bad.
I'm sympathetic to 1AR theory and very lenient in competition debates against cheesy process counterplans. However, 1AR theory debates are generally late breaking and annoying - I'll hold the line against 2AR explosions of 1AR blips, especially when there's not much in-round abuse (1 condo/1 pic).
I read ev, good ev is important.
I'm not the best at evaluating either of these arguments - as a debater, I rarely went for either except as last-ditch efforts. This isn't to say that I don't want to vote on them, but I do prefer substantive debates.
I'm definitely better for T than theory. Nebel T is probably wrong, but I'll vote on it (reluctantly) if you win it.
I'll default competing interps, but I'm very persuaded by in-round abuse claims and reasonability. This also means I don't like nonsense theory arguments (e.g. non-resolutional spec shells, shoes theory).
Don't go for an RVI unless you have literally no other choice lol
Probably biased towards util. Permissibility and presumption triggers, including calculation/aggregation impossible, are ridiculous to me, but I'll vote on them if conceded.
If your opponent reads a nonsense contention, concede their framework and go for turns!
I went for the race/colorblindness K against phil a lot, and I like the argument.
I'll be very sad voting on conceded 1-line blips. The worse an argument is, the lower your bar for answering it. And if I don't understand your argument in the speech it was presented, I'll give your opponent leeway in terms of new answers in the final rebuttal speech.
Debated for Palos Verdes Peninsula High School all four years.
I usually ran very policy arguments, so I tend to lean towards topical Affirmatives.
I never ran K affs or just Ks in general, I dont really like. Always sympathetic to good stock util extinction impacts and cap good.
Disads and Counterplans are no different, I've been out of the high school policy loop for a little bit now so I am not familiar with the topic. Make sure you explain links, the plan text, impacts, all that good stuff clearly.
Impact calc is pretty important to me.
Make sure you extend arguments throughout the debate - I will evaluate how arguments are handled until the end of the round, so don't expect me to manually do all that work for you.
Theory is fine by me, but needs to sound convincing enough.
Theory should have all components in the shell, I tend to not like frivolous theory, unless its absolutely absurd maybe you'll catch me laugh at you. Make sure you make it clear what violating the interp means: for example dropping the debater or a specific argument. I'd vote on it.
I won't really vote on condo unless, of course, its dropped in its entirety.
Topicality is very important as well, with reasonable definitions. I like topicality when it's run well, I'd vote on it.
Also love good framework debates against critical affirmatives.
Anything not responded to is fair game for me to evaluate (as long as its extended).
Keep track of each other's time, I wont care if they use 15 minutes of prep time if you don't call them out on it.
Oh also prep time ends after the cards are sent out.
That means add me to the email chain please. Thank you
Assistant Director of Speech and Debate at Presentation High School and Public Admin phd student. I debated policy, traditional ld and pfd in high school (4 years) and in college at KU (5 years). Since 2015 I've been assistant coaching debate at KU. Before and during that time I've also been coaching high school (policy primarily) at local and nationally competitive programs.
Familiar with wide variety of critical literature and philosophy and public policy and political theory. Coached a swath of debaters centering critical argumentation and policy research. Judge a reasonable amount of debates in college/hs and usually worked at some camp/begun research on both topics in the summer. That said please don't assume I know your specific thing. Explain acronyms, nuance and important distinctions for your AFF and NEG arguments.
The flow matters. Tech and Truth matter. I obvi will read cards but your spin is way more important.
I think that affs should be topical. What "TOPICAL" means is determined by the debate. I think it's important for people to innovate and find new and creative ways to interpret the topic. I think that the topic is an important stasis that aff's should engage. I default to competing interpretations - meaning that you are better off reading some kind of counter interpretation (of terms, debate, whatever) than not.
I think Aff's should advocate doing something - like a plan or advocacy text is nice but not necessary - but I am of the mind that affirmative's should depart from the status quo.
Framework is fine. Please impact out your links though and please don't leave me to wade through the offense both teams are winning in that world.
I will vote on theory. I think severance is prolly bad. I typically think conditionality is good for the negative. K's are not cheating (hope noone says that anymore). PICS are good but also maybe not all kinds of PICS so that could be a thing.
I think competition is good. Plan plus debate sucks. I default that comparing two things of which is better depends on an opportunity cost. I am open to teams forwarding an alternative model of competition.
Disads are dope. Link spin can often be more important than the link cards. But
you need a link. I feel like that's agreed upon but you know I'm gone say it anyway.
Just a Kansas girl who loves a good case debate. but seriously, offensive and defensive case args can go a long way with me and generally boosters other parts of the off case strategy.
When extending the K please apply the links to the aff. State links are basic but for some reason really poorly answered a lot of the time so I mean I get it. Links to the mechanism and advantages are spicier. I think that if you're reading a K with an alternative that it should be clear what that alternative does or does not do, solves or turns by the end of the block. I'm sympathetic to predictable 1ar cross applications in a world of a poorly explained alternatives. External offense is nice, please have some.
I acknowledge debate is a public event. I also acknowledge the concerns and material implications of some folks in some spaces as well. I will not be enforcing any recording standards or policing teams to debate "x" way. I want debaters at in all divisions, of all argument proclivities to debate to their best ability, forward their best strategy and answers and do what you do.
Card clipping and cheating is not okay so please don't do it.
NEW YEAR NEW POINT SYSTEM (college) - 28.6-28.9 good, 28.9-29.4 really good, 29.4+ bestest.
This trend of paraphrasing cards in PFD as if you read the whole card = not okay and educationally suspect imo.
Middle/High Schoolers: You smart. You loyal. I appreciate you. And I appreciate you being reasonable to one another in the debate.
I wanna be on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
General description of how I evaluate debates.
1] I exclusively debated policy (including topicality) and K in high school. I evaluate all arguments, which has a claim warrant and an impact in the first speech presented but the further you are from how I debated, the less comfortable that I am. I am best for policy v. policy, clash debates, good for T vs. policy K v Ks, ok for phil, meh for everything else.
2] I view debate through a lens of relative risk (magnitude of impact * probability of impact). Weighing arguments bring up the magnitude of an impact and are usually not preclusive filters. If you win that X outweighs Y, I will not evaluate the round on who has a stronger link to X but consider X to have a higher risk. This means that weighing arguments (K vs. theory, warming vs. nuke war, predictability vs. limits) all still need to put defense on the other impact. The exceptions are non-consequential Ks and phil frameworks.
3] This means that I strongly value well-warranted arguments. Risk starts from 0 and goes to 100 with how well you warrant it. A well-warranted, dropped argument has near 100 risk. Good evidence or historical examples bolster empirical debates such as K and Policy (although good evidence alone without spin wont help you). Well thought out logical syllogisms will help in phil debates (don’t require cards as much because of the abstract nature of these debates).
Specifics: All of below can be changed with good debating.
Policy—Not much to add here. I am somewhat worse for convoluted politics disads than other judges. Agnostic on whether I think agent counterplans, process counterplans, states are competitive. Tend to think competing off certainty and immediacy are illegitimate. Near impossible to convince me that international fiat is legit. Any advantage counterplan that doesn’t fiat negative action (US should not go to war) is legitimate. Object fiat is not a real thing. Judge kick is a logical extension of conditionality and unless the aff contests conditionality, I will judge kick.
Ks—Strongly dislike overuse of buzzwords. Bad for framework arguments that make it impossible for the aff to win. Good for links indexed to the plan with root cause, links turn aff arguments. Fiatted alternatives should lose to permutation double bind. Good for alternatives that have a framework argument and establish competing values from the aff. Bad for utopian alts that say that people should be “nicer to each other.” Good for any aff offensive strategy (extinction outweighs, link turn perm, da to the alt). Affs should mercilessly attack the alt. Terrible for Ks that ripoff Afropess when your cards don’t make an ontology claim.
K aff vs. Fwk—Personally think debate has value which is why I spent so long doing it. Good for K affs that re-define words and have a coherent counter-model. Worse for affs that impact turn everything (although I get why it’s strategic with LD’s short 2ARs). Great for fairness and clash. Bad for skills. Hard to convince me that fairness and clash aren’t impacts; can convince me other things matter more. Terrible for five second arguments that debaters treat as TKOs (ci: your interp plus our aff, truth-testing).
Theory—strongly dislike frivolous shells. Hard to convince me that all theory is DTD. Very persuaded by DTA and reasonability. Unwarranted 1AR shells that blow up in the 2AR are unbelievably bad. Think counterplans should be resolved at competition, not theory. Need argumentation for why an argument makes it harder to answer other layers of the debate; otherwise it’s a reason to drop that individual argument.
Phil—I like good warranted phil debates. My understanding is quite bad in these debates admittedly which means that extra judge instruction, warranting, and weighing is needed than if you debated in front of average east coast judge. Agnostic on epistemic modesty vs. epistemic confidence. Personally think nuclear war matters more than lying.
Likes (will help speaker points)
Strong historical knowledge/examples
Tasteful snarkiness (see below)
2NRs off paper
Dislikes (will strongly hurt speaker points)
Scripted 2NRs and 2ARs
Unfunny/just rude snarkiness
Shadiness about disclosure
Being rude to novices (don’t think you have to debate down whatsoever but don’t be rude)
Throwing a water bottle because you lost a round
I debated in High school, a year in college, and worked as an assistant coach for a short time. That being said I have been out of the community for a good chunk of time and am still a bit rusty.
I am okay with speed but my rusty-ness means I am not going to be the fastest pen. If i dont hear your argument then it cant make it on my flow, if it cant make it on my flow it becomes harder to let that weigh in on my decision. If something is important, make sure you emphasize it. That doesnt mean saying the same thing over and over, it means saying it once in a clear and concise way. I am okay with you moving a bit faster through evidence, if its truly important there is a decent chance I will be asking to see it after the round anyway. I think speed can be a good tool, but if you are simply going to rely on it to outspread your opponent then I start to take issue with it.
I am pretty intentional about leaving my own feelings about anything at the door. You get to tell me whats important, you get to tell me why, and you get to tell me what matters in the debate. Absent any provided framework I default to policy maker, but only cause its the easiest way to evaluate for most debates.
I am okay with alternative frameworks for approaching debate, but it must be clear what the framework is, why it is valuable, and what makes that framework a preferable approach to our time in round. I have no issue with traditional policy making style debate, but I do think that we should be held to account for the positions we defend, and I am okay with the introduction of ethical or moral questions as a legitimate attack on a position. By and large I think you get to decide what the debate is about, You get to tell me what is important and why that is the case. I can vote on just about any impact given the right framing and the right arguments about the way we weigh impacts, but dont think I will vote just because you throw out some grand scale impact with no context or story connecting it to the debate.
I prefer depth to breadth as a general rule. I would rather see a well developed negative position with some built in flexibility to allow for some jetisoning of arguments rather than three or four different positions (counterplans, K's). You can win that having more positions is better in the theory debate, but it will be an uphill battle. Same goes for the affirmative, I would rather see 2-3 advantages with good development and strong links than 5-6 advantages that you just narrow down to 2-3 by the end of the round.
I do love a good K debate, emphasis being good. Dont read it if you arent comfortable with it, or if you feel like you cant defend it or the alternative framework necessary to evaluate it. But I am perfectly okay with bringing into the debate space the questions about how we as individuals need to relate to these larger questions of policy, action and consequence.
I hate shallow T debates. If you think you can win it I want to see extrapolation for why your definition provides the best potential debates and education, not just questions of potential abuse. My partner in high school won T 4 out of 5 rounds and it has given me an appreciation for well debated topicality.
I also place a high value on being civil to each other. You are gonna have to deal with people you dont like and disagree with for the rest of your life, learning how to do so without letting your tone of voice become all angry and confrontational is one of the most important things debate can teach us. There is a distinct difference between calling someone out for being morally or ethically problematic however, in these instances a bit of venom may be called for. But by and large in the debate space there is no reason for us not to be kind to each other, competition is good, being rude is not. I dont want to see people intentionally talking over each other to avoid real questions or conversation.
Also in my judge training they made a big deal about evidence violations. If you feel like there is a real violation occuring let me know, but by and large if evidence is truly important to the round I will be calling to see it afterwards any way. That being said if you feel like a particular bit of evidence is important to the round, whether in regards to impact calculus or framing or what have you, please flag it for me and be clear on the authors name and date so I know what to ask for after the round.
If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.
Im less experienced in this style of debate, but a lot of what I said above will apply here. I have no problem with alternative frameworks and I know that has become a lot more common since my time in the community. That being said you need to tell me what that alternate framework is, what it means for how I as a judge evaluate the debate and the topic and why it is preferable to the framework you opponent provides.
Again I don't have any real issues with speed, If i cant understand you I will let you know. But dont just turn it into a spewing contest, LD has less evidence and more argumentation then Policy and spewing through those arguments means I might lose some of the details that will be important in evaluating the debate.
Not much to add here. I have more respect now for PF then I did in high school since it seems to mirror the conversations we actually have about politics and the world. I flow it a bit different then the other styles of debate, so I am less worried about the line-by-line argumentation, and more about the cohesive narrative that you are defending.
I participated in debate for 4 years in high school, mostly LD with some Public Forum thrown in. I placed at State twice and qualified for nationals twice. I also competed at the University level for 4 years, both within the United States and Internationally. I taught in New York for 4 years and I am currently attending Law School.
As a judge, I weigh persuasion and reasoning heavily as long as it is backed up with logic and factual analysis. Communication and professionalism in the round is also important. I appreciate interesting arguments as long as they can be linked to the real world or the proposition of your topic. I am fine with speed as long as there are tag line and a clear impact analysis and the pace is understandable by your opponent. I also appreciate voters at the end of a round, weighing the arguments against each other.
New Note - I'm totally uninterested in adjudicating arguments that endorse self harm. I won't auto-vote against you but if someone you're debating asks me to stop the debate I will. If I end up voting for you, you will not like your points.
Things like wipeout/spark/other impact turns or like "death k" are a little different than this category for me and you can still read those types of hypothetical impact turns as they don't feel the same as [self harm good].
In person thing - its easier to flow your speeches if you face towards me when you give them - giving speeches with your back to me is :c
I am a coach at the University of Texas-Austin, Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy and The Harker School. Other conflicts: Westwood, St Vincent de Paul, Bakersfield High School
Email Chain: yes, email@example.com
Debate is an activity about persuasion and communication. If I can't understand what you are saying because you are unclear, haven't coherently explained it, or developed it into a full argument-claim, warrant, impact, it likely won't factor in my decision.
While there are some exceptions, most debaters I've judged the last few years are pretty unclear, so its likely I will miss some arguments. Zoom has magnified this issue for me (not necessarily the debaters fault). Final rebuttals offer you a space to retrace the part(s) of the debate you think are most relevant to the decision. This both makes it much more likely I will understand your argument and will likely improve your speaker points.
The winner will nearly always be the team able to identify the central question of the debate first and most clearly trace how the development of their argument means they're ahead on that central question.
Virtually nothing you can possibly say or do will offend me [with the new above caveat] if you can't beat a terrible argument you probably deserve to lose.
Another new thing - my favorite debates are ones where the affirmative defends a topical example of the resolution (how you interpret the words in the resolution are up to you, but in this scenario you would defend a change from the status quo and defend the implications of your change w/either a traditionally topical plan or a well thought out and carded counter-interpretation) - the negative then criticizes the representations, justifications, philosophy, ethics, or method of the plan and make arguments about whether I should weigh the plan or prioritize something else first. Obviously you shouldn't try to over-adapt and do this if its not your thing, but well executed policy v K debates with lots of research, examples, and high quality evidence will be rewarded with extremely high points for all four participants.
newer - I don't judge many non-framework debates anymore. I tend to vote neg when the neg wins clash is the biggest/most portable impact + explanation for how it improves over the year as a result of their interp and access aff offense via TVA or SSD. I tend to vote AFF when they win an impact turn to the end result of clash alongside robust answers to the NEG ballot can't access that offense args. I think 2NCs that lack an explanation of how 2nd and 3rd level testing occurs under their interp and changes over the year, with examples, lacks credibility when going for only clash matters (you can maybe win the debate on a different terminal impact, but lately I haven't really voted on other ones). Fairness is both an internal link and an impact. Debate is a game but its also so much more. You can persuade me to think one way or the other in any given debate and I've learned to love judging these debates because I often learn new things about the activity and its potential.
older - but not un-true
I find myself voting negative a lot on procedural fairness a lot, even though I don't think this is the most persuasive version of T. The reason is that K affs seem to have a lot of trouble deciding if they want to go for the middle ground or just impact turn--pick a strategy and stick to it 1AC-2AR and you're more likely to be in a good place. The block is almost always great on T, the 2NR almost always forgets to do terminal impact calculus. Testing arguments become much more persuasive to me when you give specific examples for how those would occur. What neg args would you be able to read against a potential TVA? Why is it good for the 2AC to research those positions, how would you researching answers to their answers be beneficial? A lot of this stuff just gets assumed and I think that a lot of repetitiveness from most framework 2NCs can be substituted for this kind of depth early in the debate. 2NRs sometimes seem to spend so much time on why they access AFF lit base/impacts that they don't end up extending a terminal impact or external offense at all. I think it's difficult to win a debate when you basically go for a CP w/o a net benefit.
-spamming permutations, particular ones that are intrinsic, without a text and with no explanation isn't a complete argument. [insert perm text fine, insert counter plan text is not fine]
-I'm becoming increasingly poor for conditionality bad as a reason to reject the team. This doesn't mean you shouldn't say in the 2ac why its bad but I've yet to see a speech where the 2AR convinced me the debate has been made irredeemably unfair or un-educational due to the status of counter plans. I think its possible I'd be more convinced by the argument that winning condo is bad means that the neg is stuck with all their counter plans and therefore responsible for answering any aff offense to those positions. This can be difficult to execute/annoying to do, but do with that what you will.
-affs usually lose these by forgetting about the case, negs usually lose these when they don't contextualize links to the 1ac. If you're reading a policy aff that clearly links, I'll be pretty confused if you don't go impact turns/case outweighs.
-link specificity is important - I don't think this is necessarily an evidence thing, but an explanation thing - lines from 1AC, examples, specific scenarios are all things that will go a long way
-they should be intrinsic to the plan, with enough time investment affs can potentially win that agenda politics disads are not a logical opportunity cost.
-uniqueness controls the direction of the link typically makes the most sense to me, but you can probably convince me otherwise
I have been judging LD for a year now. The policy section all applies here.
Tech over truth but, there's a limit - likely quite bad for tricks - arguments need a claim, warrant and impact to be complete. Dropped arguments are important if you explain how they implicate my decision. Dropped arguments are much less important when you fail to explain the impact/relevance of said argument.
RVIs - no, never, literally don't. 27 ceiling. Scenario: 1ar is 4 minutes of an RVI, nr drops the rvi, I will vote negative within seconds of the timer ending.
Policy/K - both great - see above for details.
Phil - haven't judged much of this yet, this seems interesting and fine, but again, arguments need a claim, warrant and impact to be complete arguments.
Arguments communicated and understood by the judge per minute>>>>words mumbled nearly incomprehensibly per minute.
Unlikely you'll convince me the aff doesn't get to read a plan for topicality reasons. K framework is a separate from this and open to debate, see policy section for details.
If you read cards they must be sent out via email chain with me attached or through file share prior to the speech. If you reference a piece of evidence that you haven't sent out prior to your speech, fine, but I won't count it as being evidence. You should never take time outside of your prep time to exchange evidence - it should already have been done.
"Paraphrasing" as a substitute for quotation or reading evidence is a bad norm. I won't vote on it as an ethics violation, but I will cap your speaker points at a 27.5.
I realize some of you have started going fast now, if everyone is doing that, fine. However, adapting to the norms of your opponents circuit - i.e. if they're debating slowly and traditionally and you do so as well, will be rewarded with much higher points then if you spread somebody out of the room, which will be awarded with very low points even if you win.
UPDATE FOR GREENHILL: I have not done any topic research so any arguments that rely on a deep understanding of the topic would most likely not work in front of me. That being said, if you explain the logical syllogism and properly articulate your arguments, I should be able to flow them as you would like.
Hi my name is Kartik and I debated for McNeil high school in Austin and competed in LD regularly on the TOC circuit from 2016-2020. I taught at TDC last summer.
I would like to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been coached by Dominic Henderson and Cameron McConway so a good amount of my opinions will be similar to theirs but that being said my 4 years of debating is nowhere near the amount of experience that they have so not everything you read or say will be understandable to me like it would to them
Conflicted for McNeil HS, Westwood AP, and Westwood PM
Short Version for Prefs:
My senior year I dabbled more into this style of debate and I really like Policy Aff v K debates and similar types.
I really like the idea of K-Affs even though I actually only went for one a couple of times but I typically think they're ok. If there is a T-debate, I think having an expectation of theoretically justifying your practice is not too high of a bar and I should see you doing that but that does not mean that things like impact turning theory are not going to be evaluated but I think coupled with a proper counter interp, it leads to a more fun debate.
All this being said, the ROB is one of the biggest parts of the debate, if I don't have a proper justification for why the K ROB comes before a different framing you make the debate shitty so don't do that.
Literature that I am familiar with: Deleuze, Saldanha, Warren, Wilderson, Set Col, Butler, Ableism, Yancy (a bit)
Literature that I am not familiar with: Foucault, Weheliye, Anthro, Bataille, Glissant
Literature that I will have a very hard time evaluating: Baudrillard, Psychoanalysis literature (my teammate has fully convinced me that psychoanalysis debates get very convoluted in LD debate and has interactions on the top-level rather than creating nuanced debate like it would in policy debate so trying to explain psychoanalysis to me during round will be an uphill battle but I will be open to it)
If what you plan on reading isn't here, then just ask me before round
I went for 1ar theory a lot as a sophomore and junior and probably collapsed to T in 75% of my 2nrs in those 2 years and went for T/FW quite a few times my senior year. There is a very clear and distinct line between frivolous theory and actual theory, I will obviously be as TAB as possible but I will be more lenient towards minimal responses and will probably err on the side of reasonability if the justifications for it are won.
I think disclosure theory is true and I will probably vote on it if it is read. There are a multitude of reasons for why disclosure are good that I think are true that the aff/neg could go for. I do expect that the person who is reading disclosure theory discloses to the level that they want the other debater to do as well i.e. if you're reading open-source disclosure then you should be open-sourcing all your docs. If the debater answering disclosure brings up the fact that you don't disclose but has no screenshots, I will look on the wiki.
This is the style of debate that I was taught by my policy-oriented coach so things like CPs, DAs, and Plan Affs are things that I am very familiar with and went for in most of my rounds so please feel free and don't hold back with these types of arguments.
Please explain the offense that the performance generates for you in round, i.e. why does things like playing a song matter in the round, are things that should be extrapolated if you are going to go for them as offensive reasons to vote for you. If you are reading a performative aff and I do not vote for you, please don't take it as me not caring about your experiences but rather that in the game of debate, your opponent did the better debating and that's just the reality of the activity.
Phil is fine, Rawls and Kant are the phil arguments that I'm the most familiar with and will have a better time evaluating. Regardless of what phil argument you go for, always err on the side of overexplaining just so you make the debate more clear and so I can properly understand what your intended articulation of the argument is.
Tricks are a different story completely, I don't think they're the worst but please make sure you're not just speeding through 15 different spikes with absolutely no warrants.
Things like clipping cards and misrepresenting the evidence are things that are probably problematic and would raise questions but these claims would not be a reason for me to stop the round but rather a reason for me to look at them after the round has finished to see if the way in which the cards were structured have a large implication on the round.
Speed is fine, please be clear and slow down on tags and cites
I default to competing interps, no RVIs, drop the debater, and comparative worlds
I debated LD/Pol for Dougherty Valley. bidround 2wice and choked 2wice. super washed. conflict for dv.
He/Him or They/Them or whatever you want to call me so long as I can tell you're talking to me.
prefer speechdrop instead of email but i dont really care that much
If you insist on an email chain: email@example.com
If you have questions for me after round: firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on facebook
Disclosure is mandatory and a true argument to an extent. if your interp is annoying ill be annoyed. full osource with highlighting makes the most sense. jv/novice disclose as your coach lets you. var should disclose. var vs novice do not read disclosure
if i say i won't flow an argument, i won't flow it.
Tech > Truth with some exceptions below.
I like: Policy > Theory/T = Topic/stock Kritiks = nont > other ks = Phil strike me for tricks
It has been a while since I debated and I am not familiar with a lot of critical literature anymore. If you still want to go for a more "entry level" kritik such as cap or security or a topic specific one, please explain the kritik with descriptors and not buzzwords. a lot of kritiks are probably true arguments though, so if u can explain it in a way that is easy for me to understand it im very comfortable voting off of it
topical k affs are great arguments. NonT vs fwk is repetitive but fun to evaluate. KvK can get messy but if you keep it clean and explain with descriptors rather than buzzwords i can evaluate them well.
NonT affs by nature are not good arguments. Clash and fairness are probably true arguments. The only reason id have fun evaluating these debates is because of fwk, but if fwk is gone for well, i dont usually vote aff.
if memorizing/reading a pre-prepared buzzword-filled 2nr is ur method for going for the k, dont read the k. preparation is important, but u need to actually know what youre debating. if you cant explain the k without an aid, youre better off not reading it
If the 1AR reads a framework interpretation to weigh the aff against the K, I will ALWAYS weigh the aff against the kritik.
I will not flow tricks (skep, logic, truth testing, indexicals, etc). I will not flow the RVI unless the initial shell is something like Nebel or shoes theory. friv theory is a trick -- i will only vote on it if it is conceded and i will never vote on it if reasonability is won.
explicit cheating or Bigotry is a L 20 for the offender and a W 30 for the other. if ur clipping or doing some other form of cheating in round and your opp wants to challenge, i need ev in the form of recordings or whatever fits best. if i notice it, i wont need ev and ill stop the round. ill mark on my copy of the doc where you clipped. if you have ev that counters my decision, ill apologize and we will resume round with no harm done. there is no argument if i come to the decision that a debater is displaying bigotry or overstepping boundaries in any way. immediate L 20, reported to tab, round is stopped
if u want to be funny during ur speech, be funny. your speaks will rise. just dont try too hard and know how to be funny in the first place
Favorite 2nrs are disad + case or cp + disad/nb + case.
your 1nc can be interesting without reading random skep triggers or fringe kritiks. try 1 off disad, or massive impact turns. your speaks will rise.
some other things that will increase speaks: bring me a protein shake (hard +1), make an outkast reference in ur speech/doc (+0.5 to +1), manage to 'style' on ur opp while still keeping it respectful.
I am not opposed to giving a 30 to excellent debating and adaptation. Similarly, if you fail to adapt and rebuttal speeches are messy, you will get below a 28. I will do my best to average speaks around a 28.5.
do not feel hesitant to ask me any questions at any point. i will answer it if it is appropriate.
most importantly, keep it respectful. ur opp is not your enemy. you are both trying to compete and learn. excessive disrespect will not be tolerated -- i will intervene.
Debated at Claremont, 2019-2021
Coaching for Peninsula, 2021-Present
Please have the email ready to send before start time.
I will evaluate debates according to the arguments made. Two important notes:
- Arguments need warrants in the speech they were introduced. I'll be willing to ignore new arguments entirely if something is said about it or if it is introduced in the 2AR.
- If debating is relatively equal, I will read cards to decide who has a better argument that is consistent with the explanations given in the final rebuttals. Sometimes I will read cards regardless, especially if instructed to do so.
I most enjoy policy arguments that are supported by recent, high-quality evidence. I think zero-risk is incredibly unlikely, unless a team makes an argument that is incoherent (e.g. bill passed).
The 1AR generally under-explains deficits. It's usually the only thing that matters, so explain them more instead of reading bad theory arguments.
Against process counterplans, I am more persuaded by perm do cp with reasons that interpretation of certainty/immediacy is good. I could be persuaded by limited intrinsicness if supported by an argument that counterplans must be textually and functionally competitive, but I can be persuaded that textual competition is bad. Textual alone is an obvious disaster.
The neg should talk about the case. The aff should too.
Shortest section b/c few opinions. Read lots of cards and do lots of evidence comparison, and you're in a pretty good spot.
If it's in the 1NC, or not about a counterplan, you should probably take it out.
Theory arguments against cheating counterplans are good and I appreciate well-crafted interpretations. Here are a couple of arguments that I could (not) be persuaded by.
- International fiat. The neg can fiat functionally infinite actors, and any combination of them, to do whatever the neg wants them to. This makes generating deficits essentially impossible and is magnified when the neg fiats multiple actors. The best aff interpretation would probably depend on the topic, given 'USFG' is not in every resolution.
- Process CPs. You would need a much better interpretation than 'process CPs bad' but most that are read are blatantly illegitimate. They also don't compete, and in my mind, it is easier to win going for a permutation with reasons your interpretation of certainty/immediacy is good than advancing a theory interpretation that likely loses to an arbitrariness argument.
- If the counterplan is vague and not supported by evidence, I would be more persuaded by a deficit (regardless of whether or not you have evidence) than a theory argument about solvency advocates.
Conditionality: neg-leaning, but not impossible. The 2NR needs to do impact calculus, and actually play defense to aff arguments. The aff should give reasons why they need straight turns against CPs. Time and strategy skew don't matter because every argument intentionally skews both. The number has never had any bearing on my decision, because I care far more about why the neg should be stuck with straight turns than the 1AR being difficult. Pointing out why the way the neg reading conditional advocacies in a contradictory manner made it impossible to generate straight turns against each is good.
I don't love judging topicality debates, but I judge them a lot. I tend to agree with the aff, but I probably vote neg more. The neg needs evidence that explicitly defines a word in the resolution. If the word the neg is defining, and claiming the plan violated, is in the plan text, the neg must present an alternative to plan text in a vacuum (in the 2NR). The aff needs to win that they meet that interpretation, or counter-define the words the neg defined.
I think predictability matters more than limits. I tend to think that trying to make the topic as small as possible usually results in an interpretation that no reasonable person could predict. I could also be persuaded by overlimiting arguments, and both sides should have a case-list to substantiate their limits arguments. Reasonability means that the aff can win if their interpretation solves a sufficient amount of neg offense for the substance lost to outweigh the marginal difference between the two interpretations. It does not mean anything if the 2AR is we meet.
Framework: The best interpretation is that the aff gets to compare the consequences of the plan against critiques of their assumptions. I will probably be persuaded by the interpretation that is closest to this. I find 'K's bad' and 'don't weigh the case' equally bad, but I will hear them out. Arguments must be complete and consistent throughout speeches. It's not as easy to explain why the aff's epistemology or representations are bad and what we should do instead, but it does increase your chances of winning tremendously.
Agreeing that the aff can weigh the case means the neg needs a turns case/alt solves the case argument, an existential impact, and/or substantial defense to the case. If the neg does have this, I will be confused if the affs only answer is extinction outweighs. The aff should focus on winning a permutation and alt fails argument, or impact turn the K.
I am bad for the fiat K in all instances.
aff: If you aren't reading a plan, you should be prepared to explain why topicality is bad. I find that hard to understand when the 1AR proliferates short, very similar DAs to topicality; identify the impacts or internal links that you're turning and play defense to the others. Counter interp is usually irrelevant because it's arbitrary and unlimiting, but if you're interpretation is grounded in evidence that defines words in the resolution, or explained as only providing uniqueness for your stuff, I can be convinced that it matters.
neg: I'm better for fairness than clash, but either is fine. Defense is important, and the 2NR should pick a couple arguments and explain them in the context of aff offense. I can be convinced that debate is broadly capable of producing some sort of subjectivity shift, but I can also be convinced that a single debate is not capable of changing subjectivities, or that the neg accesses it better. You do not want me in a K v. K debate.
I am not the biggest fan of philosophy arguments and I have done very little reading. If your philosophy isn't tricks and is supported by evidence and examples, I should be mediocre. However, if you do not treat me like I know nothing, you may be disappointed with the decision.
I follow traditional framework debates much better than dense philosophy being read on the national circuit because the framework is explained like I'm 3 and no one drops (dis)advantages.
I vote for extinction outweighs against philosophy positions often and I think it's a good argument, especially when supported by arguments about epistemic modesty or humility.
Epistemic confidence makes little sense to me---some risk that you are right about your framework does not mean I should ignore an existential risk. Ethical frameworks serve as impact calculus, and they are not resolved yes/no. This is true in all instances. For example, if a soft-left aff were to read a framing argument, even if the aff wins that high-probability, low-magnitude impacts are most important, so there may be a high risk of the impact framing argument, but it does not mean I will ignore the DA if it's dropped.
Please number arguments whenever possible. Referencing the number in subsequent speeches makes it much easier to flow.
Insert re-highlighting if it comes from the original card. If you're reading sections of the article that are not in the original card, read it.
A marked doc does not mean deleting the cards you didn't read. Please minimize dead time and start cross-ex immediately after the speech ends, even if you need a marked doc. There is no waiting until it's sent. Hurry up.
Ask questions or post-round if you'd like.
julian kuffour (any pronouns)
nothing i say has gotten me out of judging my commitment, so i have resigned myself to this brief list of formal preferences.
1. please. go slower than you are going. this is like a win-the-debate level thing in higher level debates. i hardly think about debate unless i'm at a tournament, let alone listen to speeches. i am sleep-deprived and have a short attention span. it's 8a and you've got 55 wiki-mined cards in the doc. for what? literally, have a lay debate for all i care. slower = transcription, faster = paraphrasing; the prior is preferable for both of us. just for transparency, i won't start actively flowing until the 1nc on case in almost every debate (will label the sheets and pay attention) and i won't clear you.
2. i have no problem admitting i have legitimately no idea what you said. this applies in the instance of clarity and what are you even saying. debate is a communicative activity, so if i can't explain your argument meaningfully after the debate, i won't consider it.
3. a silver bullet is a silver bullet. if the whole debate is one thing, that's the whole debate; there's no need to complicate things by extending your speech time or introducing more arguments than necessary. good examples are: your opponent was racist or dropped condo. this also applies to argument selection in debates broadly. in 90% of debates, i'll decide like the second the 2ar ends and wait until it's not rude to give my decision; the reason being that, in 90% of debates, like two or three things actually matter. you are best served identifying those two or three things and hashing it out than: 'they say g subpoint of pre-written extension of backfile impact defense, but YES impact, that was above'.
Hi. I did LD at Westwood High School for four years. Put me on the email chain - email@example.com
Affiliations: Westwood ('19-'22), DebateDrills Club Team ('21-'22)
I've shortened this paradigm because it was very lengthy, but the full one from the 2021-2022 season can be found here.
1] I am comfortable judging policy-style debates and T/theory debates, though the worse the shell gets, the more unhappy I am. I am comfortable judging phil and kritik debates if they don't get too advanced for my brain (pomo, Baudrillard, existentialism, etc.). I am not comfortable judging tricks debates, and though I will still evaluate those debates, I have great distaste in that debate and my threshold for answering those arguments is much lower than other arguments.
2] I agree with Rodrigo Paramo on evidence ethics and trigger warnings. Detailed specifics for ev ethics is below as well.
3] I think tricks args operate on a sliding scale; I think some tricks are worse than others. For example, calc indicts are fine whereas "evaluate the debate after the 1AC" is horrendous. Likewise I also think indexicals and tacit ballot conditional are horrendous arguments for debate. If you're not sure whether an argument is too tricky to read in front of me, err on the side of caution, or just email me pre-round.
4] I believe in open-source disclosure. I think most disclosure arguments that go beyond this are bad (contact info, round reports, actual tournament name, etc.).
5] I give speaks based on how far I believe your performance would get you at the tournament I'm judging at. I tend to average around a 28.5. Yes I will disclose speaks if requested.
6] I require much more explanation for arguments than you think I do. Many 2AR's that I've judged go for a 3-second argument in the 1AR that I did not catch/have an understanding for, and many 2NR's that I've judged blitz through overviews of the theory of power/philosophical position that I cannot keep up with. Either slow down or be clearer in explanations.
7] Slow down please, especially in online debates. You will not be happy with my RFD if I don't catch something because you're blitzing too fast.
8] I am extremely visually expressive. I know it's hard during online debate to see my face when you're reading through a doc, but you should almost always be able to tell if I like something/find something confusing.
9] I don't know anything about this topic. Err towards overexplaining and try not to use too many acronyms.
I perceive the following to be cheating (or check Rodrigo's paradigm):
- Cards starting or ending in the middle of a paragraph, or leaving paragraphs out (yes this includes the "they continue" stuff
- Miscutting evidence
- Misrepresenting the date of evidence
I would much prefer debaters stake the round on evidence ethics claims. I will notice clipping without debaters pointing it out, though you should still do so to make it easier for me. If there is an evidence ethics violation, it will result in the offending debater getting an L 25. If there is not a violation, the accusing debater will get an L 25.
Director of Forensics, Cal State Northridge
Email speech documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
Any other inquires should go to email@example.com
A. Judging/Coaching History
- Over 19 years of experience judging/coaching competitive debate events; less experience with speech and individual events (5 years)
- Worked with students of all ages: elementary (MSPDP), middle school (MSPDP), high school (policy, LD, public forum), and college (NDT/CEDA, NFA-LD, NPDA, IPDA, CPFL)
B. General Philosophy
1. Do you thing! This activity should center the stylistic proclivities of students, not judges. Full stop. My academic background has taught me reasonable arguments come in a variety of forms, styles, and mediums. I've coached and judged a wide range of styles from very traditional (e.g. topicality, disads, cps, and case), critical (e.g. post-structural/modern/colonial theory), to very non-traditional (e.g. performative/identity/method debate). There are things I like and dislike about every style I've encountered. Do what you do and I'll do my best to keep up.
2. "Inside Baseball" Sucks. These days I mostly judge college policy and high school LD. That means I am unlikely to know most of the acronyms, anecdotes, inside references about other levels of debate and you should probably explain them in MUCH more detail than you would for the average judge.
C. Pedagogical/Competitive Points of Emphasis
1. Importance of Formal Evidence (i.e. "cards"). I once heard a judge tell another competitor, “a card no matter how bad will always beat an analytic no matter how good.” For the sake of civility I will refrain from using this person’s name, but I could not disagree more with this statement. Arguments are claims backed by reasons with support. The nature of appropriate support will depend on the nature of the reason and on the nature of the claim. To the extent that cards are valuable as forms of support in debate it’s because they lend the authority and credibility of an expert to an argument. But there are some arguments where technical expertise is irrelevant. One example might be the field of morality and ethics. If a debater makes a claim about the morality of assisted suicide backed by sound reasoning there is no a priori reason to prefer a card from an ethicist who argues the contrary. People reason in many different ways and arguments that might seem formally or technically valid might be perfectly reasonable in other settings. I generally prefer debates with a good amount of cards because they tend to correlate with research and that is something I think is valuable in and of itself. But all too often teams uses cards as a crutch to supplement the lack of sound reasoning. The takeaway is … If you need to choose between fully explaining yourself and reading a card always choose the former.
2. Burden of Persuasion vs. Burden of Rejoinder One of things that makes policy and LD debate (and perhaps public forum) a fairly unique activity from a policy/legal perspective is our emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. If one competitor says something then the opponent needs to answer it, otherwise the judge treats the argument as gospel. Debaters might think their judges aren't as attentive to the flow as they would like, but ask any litigator if trial judges care in the least whether the other attorney answered their arguments effectively. Emphasizing the burden of rejoinder is a way of respecting the voice and arguments of the students who spend their valuable time competing in this activity. But like everything else in debate there are affordances as well as constraints in emphasizing the burden of rejoinder. Personally, I think our activity has placed so much emphasis on the burden of rejoinder that we have lost almost all emphasis on the burden of persuasion. I can’t count the number of rounds I have participated in (as a debater and as a judge) where the vast majority of the claims made in the debate were absolutely implausible. The average politics disad is so contrived that it's laughable. Teams string together dozens of improbable internal link chains and treat them as if they were a cohesive whole. Truth be told, the probability of the average “big stick” advantage/disad is less than 1% and that’s just real talk. This practice is so ubiquitous because we place such a heavy emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. Fast teams read a disad that was never very probable to begin with and because the 2AC is not fast enough to poke holes in every layer of the disad the judge treats those internal links as conceded (and thus 100% probable). Somehow, through no work of their own the neg’s disad went from being a steaming pile of non-sense to a more or less perfectly reasonable description of reality. I don't think this norm serves our students very well. But it is so ingrained in the training of most debates and coaches (more so the coaches than the debaters actually) that it’s sustained by inertia. The takeaway is… that when i judge, I try (imperfectly to be sure) to balance my expectations that students meet both the burden of rejoinder and the burden of persuasion. Does this require judge intervention? Perhaps, to some degree, but isn't that what it means to “allow ones self to be persuaded?” To be clear, I do not think it is my job to be the sole arbiter of whether a claim was true or false, probable or unlikely, significant or insignificant. I do think about these things constantly though and i think it is both impossible and undesirable for me to ignore those thoughts in the moment of decision. It would behoove anyone I judge to take this into account and actively argue in favor of a particular balance between the burdens or rejoinder and persuasion in a particular round.
3. The Role of the Ballot/Purpose of the Activity/Non-Traditional Debate. The first thing I want to say isn’t actually a part of my philosophy on judging debates as much as it is an observation about debates I have watched and judged. I can’t count the number of rounds I have watched where a debater says something akin to, “Debate is fundamentally X,” or “the role of the ballot is X.” This is not a criticism. These debaters are astute and clearly understand that defining the nature and purpose of the activity is an extremely useful (often essential)tool for winning debates. That said, in truth, debate is both everything and nothing and the role of the ballot is multiple. Asserting the "purpose of debate" or "the role of the ballot" is essentially a meaningless utterance in my opinion. Arguing in favor "a particular purpose of debate” or “a particular role of the ballot” in a given round requires reasons and support. Policy debate could be conceived as a training ground for concerned citizens to learn how to feel and think about particular policies that could be enacted by their government. Policy debate could also be conceived as a space students to voice their dissatisfaction with the actions or inactions of the governments that claim to represent them through various forms of performance. Excellent debaters understand policy debate is a cultural resource filled with potential and possibility. Rather than stubbornly clinging to dogmatic axioms, these debaters take a measured approach that recognizes the affordances and constraints contained within competing visions of "the purpose of debate" or the "role of the ballot” and debate the issue like they would any other. The problem is assessing the affordances and constraints of different visions requires a sober assessment of what it is we do here. Most debaters are content to assert, “the most educational model of debate is X,” or the “most competitive model of debate is Y.” Both of these approaches miss the boat because they willfully ignore other aspects of the activity. Debates should probably be educational. What we learn and why is (like everything else) up for debate, but it’s hard to argue we shouldn’t be learning something from the activity. Fairness in a vacuum is a coin-flip and that’s hardly worth our time. On the other hand, probably isn’t a purely educational enterprise. Debate isn’t school. If it were students wouldn’t be so excited about doing debate work that they ignore their school work. The competitive aspects of the activity are important and can’t be ignored or disregarded lightly. How fair things have to be and which arguments teams are entitled to make are up for debate, but I think we need to respect some constraints lest we confuse all discourse for argument. The phrase “debate is a game/the content is irrelevant” probably won’t get you very far, but that’s because games are silly and unimportant by definition. But there are lots of contests that are very important were fairness is paramount (e.g. elections, academic publishing, trials). Rather than assert the same banal lines from recycled framework blocks, excellent debaters will try to draw analogies between policy debate and other activities that matter and where fairness is non-negotiable. So the takeaway is … I generally think the topic exists for a reason and the aff has to tie their advocacy to the topic, although I am open to arguments to the contrary. I tend to think of things in terms of options and alternatives. So even if topicality is a necessarily flawed system that privileges some voices over others, I tend to ask myself what the alternative to reading topicality would be. Comparison of impacts, alternatives, options, is always preferable to blanket statements like “T = genocidal” or “non-traditional aff’s are impossible to research.”
4. Theory Debates (i.e. Debates about Debate Itself) I have a relatively high threshold for theory arguments, but I am not one of those judges that thinks the neg teams gets to do whatever they want. You can win theory debates with me in the back, but it probably isn’t your best shot. As a general rule (though not universal) I think that if you didn’t have to do research for an argument, you don’t learn anything by running it. I have VERY high threshold for negative theory arguments that are not called topicality. It doesn’t mean I wont vote on these arguments if the aff teams makes huge errors, but a person going for one of these argument would look so silly that it would be hard to give them anything about a 28.
Hi! I'm Emmiee (they/them) - firstname.lastname@example.org is the email
I did 4 years of debate in HS (3 policy, 1 LD) and 3 years of college policy for UC Berkeley. In both I started off reading very LARP/policy arguments and then branched out into more soft left and K territory. The arguments I've spent most of my time reading are queer pessimism, psychoanalysis, and Russian set-col. I've been coaching Harker LD for 6 years now and have taught at ~10 LD/policy camp sessions.
I try to stay as tab and non-interventionist as possible. There is literally not a single argument I have not voted for. All of my decisions are purely based off of how the flow lines up and I don't care if you're going for an RVI on Nebel, a PoMo FrankenK, indexicals, a heg DA, "surrender to ____", the Hobbes NC, etc. If I stopped voting for downright horrible arguments that were won on the flow, I would quickly end up having to give out double losses.
It's not my job to "preserve the sanctity of the activity" or whatever, especially given all of the things I pulled in my own debate career; it's my job to vote for whoever won and then roast any arguments I didn't personally like in the RFD. There are only three arguments I don't want to see: those that are blatantly oppressive (___icm good, etc), those that are unethically read (clipped, text of article altered, etc), or those that lack a claim/impact/warrant.
Other Important Info:
• In general, I judge a lot of clash debates, bubbles, bid rounds, etc and I get that stress is high, different schools/regions/circuits have different norms and habits, everyone's tired, etc but please do your part to make the round as un-painful as possible. Assume good intent, don't be purposefully sketchy or mean, etc.
• I am 100% cool with post-rounding - if you think I forgot to flow something important, gave a nonsense RFD, didn't address something you think should have decided the debate, etc by all means grill me over it, as long as you're not actively rude to me or your opponent.
• Some rounds I take a super long time to decide and have a lot of comments - it's usually because I'm typing all the comments out on my flow for a while. If I take forever or dump feedback on you, it's not a bad thing - I probably just have a lot of random thoughts, especially if it's a K debate. If it's too fast, too much, it's the end of the day and you want to go to bed, you need to run to another round or prep, etc just let me know I 100% get it.
• Incoherently rapid-spread a million blippy analytics and lose - if you want me to flow your giant analytic wall via online debate without missing anything important, you are going to need at least 3 of the following:  doc was sent out with the analytics in it,  you are at least somewhat clear and aren't going the same speed you go reading a random line in a card,  there's intonation/volume changes when you go from arg to arg and/or on the important terms, or  the arguments are numbered/labelled/separated somehow and you more-or-less stick to the flow when you extend them instead of dropping them in a bunch of random places.
• Don't over-accommodate but don't be mean to traditional/novice debaters - if you're in the top 50% of the pool I will boost speaks if you slow down somewhat (especially on tags), are polite and don't clown on your opponent for not understanding something basic, generally try to be helpful and CX and try to help them understand your arguments if they're confused, etc. Likewise, will drop speaks if your strategy for the W is very blatantly just to spread out a newer kid with a bunch of arguments they've never heard of while being rude to them the whole time.
• I also tend to get progressively stupider as the tournament goes on and I'm sorry if you catch me on the end of day 2 and I'm a little spacey. Tournaments tend to aggravate disability-related things and I burn out especially fast. I can still make coherent decisions, but will just take a little longer and give less concise RFDs. If you're going to break a DA with a super convoluted and nuanced I/L chain or get into a super ticky-tacky phil throw down in R6, please adjust your degree of hand-holding accordingly.
• LARP: This is the style of debate that I mainly coach and am most comfortable with (along with Ks). I'll vote for your totally contrived politics DA and for "heg good outweighs the K/soft left AFF" if you win it on the flow.
Various other things of use:
- I default to presuming NEG, unless the NEG reads a counter-advocacy.
- I also tend to rely on how people explain their arguments and don't do a lot of card reading unless I'm forced to or someone asks me to do it.
- If you're AFF and the NR dropped the AFF so the 2AR is clearly going to be impact v. offcase weighing and then all about the DA or CP or whatever please give me at least 1 sentence about the 1AC scenario somewhere so I know how we got to a certain impact outweighing something else or what the PERM on the CP would look like. If the NC totally drops the AFF and you go for 100% SOL we O/W whatever whatever in the 2AR please give me a sentence in the 1AR about the AFF because it's weird to have it disappear and then reappear and very confusing.
- I'm agnostic on a lot of things that the LARP community seems to be split on and will let it slide or let debaters debate it out in round. If you insert rehighlightings and say in your NC something to the extent of "their ____ scenario is horribly cut - we've inserted the rehighlightings" so I know it's something you meant to insert and not something you didn't read due to time constraints and the other team says nothing, I'll evaluate it. If they read theory, I guess we're having a theory debate now. Same with judge kick - I'll do it if I'm asked to, won't do it if you don't or you do and your opponent wins that I shouldn't for some reason. Multiplank CPs where you kick out of planks, "haha PERM do the CP this is normal means" reveals in the 1AR, etc are all very much in the same camp - I'll roll with it if it's not contested, will evaluate contestation and potentially roll with it anyways otherwise.
• K: I'm generally very down for weird/memey arguments but on god if you choose to pull a bunch of conflicting pomo ev into a doc just so you can spend the round yelling vague buzzwords without making any attempt to say anything specific about the AFF I will tank your speaks. If you're not familiar with whatever you're reading so your arguments or cards you end up cutting aren't phenomenal that's fine. If your K is about the need to sideline the AFF/topic and instead center your performance, community, something else, etc that's that's fine. If you have a genuine defense of why you need to sound like the PoMo generator or remain very nebulous and vague that's fine. I truly don't care what it is you do, but please don't just try to win by being too incoherent/confusing for your opponent.
Other fun things:
• If someone's reading a K vs. you and you're confused, at least 50% of the time in my experience the argument is just incoherent and you should make the common sense "the alt obviously doesn't solve because ___"/"nothing about their K vaguely makes sense"/"___ isn't a link and the card isn't even about the topic or the tag it's something else entirely" argument that's in your head. I keep having to vote for Ks that I know are poorly executed because the other side psychs itself out.
• I vote for K AFFs and I vote for FWK all the time - it usually comes down to which side actually engages the other as opposed to reading generic prewritten overviewy dumps because that's the side that doesn't drop a bunch of things in the 1AR/NR/2AR. I'm down to vote for the "debate is a game and only a game ergo procedural fairness" flavor of FWK as well if you win it, but I very quickly start getting turned off if part of that strategy involves being a jerk to the other side.
• White debaters doing the Race War disclosure stuff confuses me. I'm not opposed to voting on it at all but I simply have no idea what this does so if it's going to be part of your strategy I need you to articulate the I/L link between that and whatever you claim it solves or allows you to do. Strategy-wise, "I'm not ____ but I get to read arguments about ____ group because ____" is a lot more intuitive to me than whatever is going on here.
• If you're going to go for "____ thing that wasn't on-face morally abhorrent is a V/I" I need to hear:  a warrant in both speeches and  some articulation of why this comes before whatever other framing arguments/layers exist in every speech this argument is made in - you can obviously have a lot more extrapolation on #2 when you go for it, but I find it hard to be persuaded by a 5 word argument that only really gets explained at the end of the debate
• Phil: I'm pretty familiar with the literature at this point even though this really wasn't my corner as a debater. A lot of the stuff immediately below applies - phil debates tend to devolve into each side proliferating a bunch of one-liners and then going for three of them without much weighing/etc and that makes it very hard to parse through. When one side says "nuclear bomb kills everyone so we can't enjoy life or discuss values ergo util" and the other side says "adding a circle to a circle doesn't make it more circular ergo kant" it is two ships passing in the night that hurt my brain. Please for the love of God tell me what the implication of you winning something on your end is for the phil debate writ large, why your stuff comes first, how it interacts with what's going on on the other side, etc. If you extend your 3 hot takes on the NC and do 0 actual interaction with the AC FWK or vice-versa you will either lose or have to sit for an hour while I stare at the flow and try to make it make sense.
• T/Theory: I will vote for it; I'll vote for the RVI on it. I don't think my personal opinions on how many condo is ok or semantics matter because it shouldn't factor into how I judge. In the absence of clear warranting from either side, I will obviously be more swayed by nebulous abuse or reasonability claims depending on the context of that specific round. The bullet point about incoherent rapid-spreading analytics definitely applies here - I can't vote for what I can't flow and a few good arguments go so much farther than proliferating random impacts and links that'll just get everyone confused all over the place. It's hard to yell "clear" over Zoom because it cuts out the other person's audio for a second so if you're blitzing through huge walls of text I'm probably going to miss arguments.
If you write the RFD for me in the debate that explains how impacts and layers stack up and weigh, you are overwhelmingly likely to have that be the actual RFD. If you end up neck deep in a super messy and dense theory/T debate and manage to stay organized, clear, and pretty line by line, you will get a 29.5 minimum. My biggest issue with these debates by far is the messiness and lack of weighing on both sides. It is really hard for me to evaluate debates when no one explains why they have the stronger I/L to education, why phil education outweighs topic education, why their NC theory should come before 1AR theory, whether T or theory comes first, etc.
Only other relevant things is that I presume T/Theory > K unless told otherwise and am not the best with grammar so I can flow your upward entailment test argument and vote for you off it, but I don't have more than a surface level understanding of it outside of its strategic value in debate.
• Trix: I've voted for lots of tricks debaters, but think that tricks objectively are all silly and false and have adjusted my threshold for responding to them to a comparable level. My bar for responding is "this is nonsense and you shouldn't vote on it because ___". If there's three hidden words in an analytic wall that are dropped, the threshold changes to the above along with "you should allow this response even though it's new because ____" in the next speech. I'm very sympathetic to newer LDers or policy cross overs losing over mishandling some silly spike they didn't know about and personally took a lot of Ls that way, but if you decide to sit the entire round without making a single argument about why "evaluate the round after the 1AC" is a horrible idea, you will lose to it.
All of the stuff in the T/Theory section about spreading through analytics, the fact that no one weighs or implicates anything, etc all applies.
I co-sign McKenna Peterson's paradigm pasted below.
General: Debate is a game that is played to be won but it is also a game that can involve very personal components. So in round be respectful and inclusive. Tell me what weighing mechanism to use when evaluating who should win, debate which weighing mechanism is better, and tell me why you win within that weighing mechanism. Also, more structure and signposting is ALWAYS better. I default to evaluating the round through the technical components of the flow unless told to do otherwise.
Policy Debate: Run anything you want (politics, PICs, business confidence, anything). I prefer the contemporary debate structure (Advantages and Disadvantages) to the classical stock issues style. Solid impact weighing/framing can easily win you an otherwise close round.
Theory: I am good with anything. I prefer it when its used to actually check back for abuse in round and not just as a time suck but I am willing to vote on it regardless. I do not have a preference of the standards vs voters debate.
Speed / Speaker Points: I have no problem with speed, but be clear and maintain solid word economy. Don’t exclude other teams from the debate with your speed, it will cost you speaker points and I am open to theory/kritikal arguments against it. Otherwise, go as fast as you want. Speaker points are awarded by the quality and competitiveness of arguments made rather than persuasiveness.
Debaters I will be actively coaching at TOC: Mission San Jose SS, Westridge TW, Notre Dame San Jose AG
Debaters attending the TOC I have worked with over the course of season: St Agnes EH, Mountain House ES, Mercer Island KS, Millard North NL, Brophy TJ, Monta Vista KR, Saratoga AG, Charlotte Latin EL, Bergen County Academies AK
Hi! I'm Sam. Harvard Westlake '21, Vanderbilt '25. Email chain please: email@example.com. LD TOC qual 4x (octos soph year, skipped etoc junior year, quarters senior year), 20 bids, won some tournaments (Valley, Yale, Stanford, etc). I mostly read policy args, some basic T/theory, and some Ks/topical K affs (settler colonialism, fem IR, etc). I also coached this past year/am coaching this year, so I have some topic familiarity.
Everything in this paradigm (minus the hard and fast rules) is just a preference - my strongest belief about debate is that it should be a forum for ideological flexibility, creative thinking, and argumentative experimentation. I realized this paradigm was way too long so I tried to bold stuff for pre-round skimming.
Hard and Fast Rules--
Won't vote on any arg that makes debate unsafe. This includes any arg that denies the badness of racism/sexism/etc, or says death good (args like spark/wipeout = ok, cuz it doesn't deny the value of life, it's just fancy util maths that says extinction better preserves the value of life). If your opponent wins your argument is repugnant (absent any larger framing or judge instruction), I'll drop the argument, unless you presented your argument with the agreement that it was repugnant (ie, if you admit your position is racist, but attempt to say that doesn't matter), in which case I will consider your repugnance purposeful and drop you.
Ev ethics - stake the round on it (ie W30 to the person who is right and an L with the lowest possible speaks to the other) if evidence is misrepresented (an omitted section contradicts or meaningfully alters the meaning of the card). I think a good litmus test for misrepresentation is: does the article agree with the claims presented in the card? If it's missing a sentence or two at the beginning/end of a paragraph but it doesn't change the meaning of the card, you're better off reading it as theory. To make everyone's life easier, just cut ev well (this means full citations, full paragraphs, in alignment with the author's intent). TOC Specific - I will be using the threshold outlined in the TOC Procedures doc for ev ethics.
Clipping = an L with the lowest speaks I can give.
Speaks are my choice, not yours (put away 30 speaks theory).
For online debate, I expect that you record all your speeches in case you, your opponent, or I drops out.
Defaults: reasonability on theory, competing interps on t, drop the debater on t/theory, no RVIs, T>theory>everything else, comparative worlds, fairness + education are voters, policy presumption, epistemic confidence
^All those can be easily changed with a sentence.
K debate - Line by line >> long overviews. Winning overarching claims about the world is helpful, but you need to apply those claims to the specifics of your opponents arguments or else I will not do those interactions for you. Framework is important (honestly most of the times in K v policy debates, the person who wins fw wins the round). Links to the plan are preferred, but not necessary - the less specific your links, the more fw matters, and the more persuasive the permutation is. I also tend to think debate should be about arguments, not people, which means I'll likely be unpersuaded by personal attacks or "vote for me" arguments. I'm more persuaded by skills impacts on T Framework than fairness, and more persuaded by non topical affs that impact turn things than try to find a middle ground.
Policy - Yay! Zero risk not a thing but arguments still must be complete to be evaluated. Underdeveloping off in the 1nc = they get less weight in the 2nr. Rebuttal ev explanation > initial ev quality, but if your opponent's ev sucks and you point that out, that falls under the first category. Read your best evidence in the 1NC - I'll be persuaded by arguments that the 2NR doesn't get new evidence unless it's directly responsive to the 1AR.Big fan of creative counterplans <3.
Theory - PICs and condo are probably good. Cheating CPs (international fiat, agent, process etc) are a bit more suspicious. All of this is up for debate. Descriptions of side bias are not standards. The more frivolous the shell = the truer reasonability and DTA are, and the lower the bar for answers. On that note, reasonability and DTA are under-utilized.
Philosophy - Not the area i'm the most comfortable in, but I'll try my best. I'd love to see a well explained phil debate, but I will not enjoy a blippy phil round that borders closer to tricks debate. I'd rather you leverage your syllogism to exclude consequences rather than relying on calc indicts. Debaters should take advantage of nonsensical contention args.
Tricks - I don't think a model of debate predicated on the avoidance of clash (ie relying on concessions) is an educational model. My test for whether an argument falls under this model of debate is: ask yourself if you would be willing to go for an argument if it was responded to competently. The same idea also extends to the formatting of your argument (ie you should delineate + thoroughly explain all your arguments with clear implications). I won't purposefully insert my personal beliefs about the value of tricks debates into the round, but it does mean that I'll probably be more receptive to arguments that indict tricks debate as a model. Some arguments are truer than others, and it's easier to win true arguments in front of me than false ones. I also default comparative worlds, and have given more than one RFD that boils down to "X trick was won but there's no truth testing ROB under which it matters." Up-layering tricky affs with Ks or strategic theory is smart, and when leveraged correctly make claims of new 2NR responses more persuasive.
Lay - I have respect for good lay debaters since I know I could never be one. That said, I will definitely evaluate the debate on a technical level regardless of the style. Good lay debaters can beat circuit debaters by strategically isolating key arguments. Circuit debaters vs lay debaters don't need to modify their style of debate, but should do everything they can to be accessible (explain stuff in CX, send docs, etc) (same applies to debates where there is a large skill gap).
Misc - My threshold for independent voters is high. Emphasizing this after a couple rounds where it's been relevant.
Tech > truth, but separating the two is silly. The more counter-intuitive an argument, the higher the bar for winning it, and the lower the threshold for responses. Saying "nuclear war bad" probably requires less warranting than "nuclear war good" cuz the second one has the burden of proof to overcome the intuitive logical barrier to its truth value.
I'll deal with irresolvability using the "needs test" - the burden of proof falls on the side that "needs" to win the argument (ie the burden of proof is on the neg in the perm debate because the neg needs to beat the perm, but the aff doesn't need to win the perm).
I won't vote on arguments telling me to "evaluate the entire debate after X speech" that are introduced in X speech - it generates a contradiction. Also, as a wise man once said, the 2AR is after all the speeches before it - interpret this as you choose.
Likes: plans bad 2NR on semantics if you understand the grammar behind it and are not reading someone else's blocks, creative and non-offensive policy impact turns, creative process CPs (no this is not the ICJ CP or consult the WTO), plan affs (yes I realize this contradicts with my first like), multiple shells bad, Ks with links to the plan, presumption/case presses vs non T affs, topical K affs, reasonability/DTA on frivolous theory, collapsing, flashing analytics
Dislikes: the grammar DA, RVIs, plans bad 2NR on semantics when you don't understand the grammar behind it, plans bad 2NR that's just reading off someone else's doc with no topic specific analysis, standard spec, buffet 2NRs, hidden args, non T affs that are an FYI not an advocacy, combo shells that don't solve their offense, "strat skew", "this argument is bad" [then doesn't explain why the argument is bad], "that's an independent voting issue" [doesn't explain why it's a voting issue past just the label] (this also applies to 1AR arguments not labelled as voting issues that magically become voting issues in the 2AR), "what's a floating PIK" "what's an a priori", being rude or interrupting your opponent (especially if you're more experienced or in a position of power) (at best it adds nothing at worse it's unkind)
Add me to the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
tldr: My name is Jonathan Meza and I believe that at the end of the day the debate space is yours and you should debate however you want this paradigm is just for you to get an insight on how I view debate. One thing is I won't allow any defense of offensive -isms, if you have to ask yourself "is this okay to run in front of them ?" the answer is probably no. I reserve the right to end the debate where I see fit, also don't call me judge I feel weird about it, feel free to call me Meza or Jonathan.
truth ≥ tech
1 - Larp/K
2. K affs
4-5. tricks or Phil
about me: Assistant debate coach for Harvard Westlake (2022-). Debated policy since 2018 that is my main background even tho I almost only judge LD now. Always reppin LAMDL. I don't like calling myself a "K debater" but I stopped reading plan affs since 2019 I still coach them tho and low key (policy v k > K v K). went 7 off with Qi bin my senior year of high school but not gonna lie 1-5 quality off case positions better than 7+ random shells.
topicality: if you are going for topicality or any theory argument in the 2ar/2nr you need to extend interpretations, violations, and standards. Standards must have impacts fairness and education is not super persuasive and will probably lean to reasonability.
Plan Affirmatives: I am born to write quirky interesting affs but forced to 2n. I appreciate affirmatives with the strong internal link chains and having an actual solvency advocate as well as a aff key warrant. also some of you are not reading a different aff against K teams and I think you should, it puts you in a good place to beat the K otherwise you do you extinction probably outweighs ???? the match up is still winable.
K affirmatives: I love topic oriented K affs but non topical affirmatives are fine too just please please please tell me what I am voting on. against framework I really need you to provide a role of the negative. counter interps > straight impact turns. I do tend to lean framework in these debates but not in a "white judge tryna gatekeep out black debaters" way but in a "debate is a game and games need models or there needs to be an explanation why models are bad"
Framework: Explain why your model is a good one for access and competition fairness is probably not an impact but I can be convinced otherwise. I think framework into a K aff should be a 60/40 match up but you just need to focus up and answer their impact turns and counter interps best way to frame the argument is "we don't exclude them but they exclude us".
Kritiks: I am a big fan of one off K especially in a format such as LD that does not give you much time to explain things already reading other off case positions with the kritik is a disservice to yourself. My background is mainly in Afropess, Ableism, Setcol, and other PoMo literature but please do not assume I know what you are talking about. I like seeing reps kritiks but you need to go hard on framing and explain why reps come first or else the match up becomes borderline unwinnable when policy teams can go for extinction outweighs reps in the late game speeches. Generic links are fine but you need to contextualize in the NR/block.
Counterplans and Disadvantages: make sure that your counterplans are textually competitive some of them are already cheaty enough. Well explained net benefits to the CP is a must. I like interesting process counterplans. link contextualization is key. specific links are even better. I love good impact calc debates. please explain the internal link chain.
theory: go for it ! explanation of violation is vital need to know what is a voter and why I appreciate and will award with extra speaks for staking the debate on theory as oppose to having it be a short blippy extension in the 2ar/2nr/NR.
inspirations: DSRB, LaToya,Travis, CSUF debate, Jared, Long beach debate.
speaker points: some judges have really weird standards of giving them out. if I you are clear enough for me to understand and show that you care you will get high speaks from me. I do reward strategic spins tho. I will do my best to be equitable with my speak distribution.
quotes from GOATs:
- "debate is persuasive activity" - one of my debaters
- "debate is a game" - Vontrez
- "ew Debate" - Isaak
- "voted for heg good" - Jared
Debated for UWG ’15 – ’17; Coaching: Notre Dame – ’19 – Present; Baylor – ’17 – ’19
"Can I get a marked doc?" / "Can you list the cards you didn't read?" when one card was marked or just because some cards were skipped on case. Flow or take CX time for it.
I prefer K v K rounds, but I generally wind up in FW rounds.
K aff’s – 1) Generally have a high threshold for 1ar/2ar consistency. 2) Stop trying to solve stuff you could reasonably never affect. Often, teams want the entirety of X structure’s violence weighed yet resolve only a minimal portion of that violence. 3) v K’s, you are rarely always already a criticism of that same thing. Your articulation of the perm/link defense needs to demonstrate true interaction between literature bases. 4) Stop running from stuff. If you didn’t read the line/word in question, okay. But indicts of the author should be answered with more than “not our Baudrillard.”
K’s – 1) rarely win without substantial case debate. 2) ROJ arguments are generally underutilized. 3) I’m generally persuaded by aff answers that demonstrate certain people shouldn’t read certain lit bases, if warranted by that literature. 4) I have a higher threshold for generic “debate is bad, vote neg.” If debate is bad, how do you change those aspects of debate? 5) 2nr needs to make consistent choices re: FW + Link/Alt combinations. Find myself voting aff frequently, because the 2nr goes for two different strats/too much.
Special Note for Settler Colonialism: I simultaneously love these rounds and experience a lot of frustration when judging this argument. Often, debaters haven’t actually read the full text from which they are cutting cards and lack most of the historical knowledge to responsibly go for this argument. List of annoyances: there are 6 settler moves to innocence – you should know the differences/specifics rather than just reading pages 1-3 of Decol not a Metaphor; la paperson’s A Third University is Possible does not say “State reform good”; Reading “give back land” as an alt and then not defending against the impact turn is just lazy. Additionally, claiming “we don’t have to specify how this happens,” is only a viable answer for Indigenous debaters (the literature makes this fairly clear); Making a land acknowledgement in the first 5 seconds of the speech and then never mentioning it again is essentially worthless; Ethic of Incommensurability is not an alt, it’s an ideological frame for future alternative work (fight me JKS).
General: 1) Fairness is either an impact or an internal link 2) the TVA doesn’t have to solve the entirety of the aff. 3) Your Interp + our aff is just bad.
Aff v FW: 1) can win with just impact turns, though the threshold is higher than when winning a CI with viable NB’s. 2) More persuaded by defenses of education/advocacy skills/movement building. 3) Less random DA’s that are basically the same, and more internal links to fully developed DA’s. Most of the time your DA’s to the TVA are the same offense you’ve already read elsewhere.
Reading FW: 1) Respect teams that demonstrate why state engagement is better in terms of movement building. 2) “If we can’t test the aff, presume it’s false” – no 3) Have to answer case at some point (more than the 10 seconds after the timer has already gone off) 4) You almost never have time to fully develop the sabotage tva (UGA RS deserves more respect than that). 5) Impact turns to the CI are generally underutilized. You’ll almost always win the internal link to limits, so spending all your time here is a waste. 6) Should defend the TVA in 1nc cx if asked. You don’t have a right to hide it until the block.
Theory - 1) I generally lean neg on questions of Conditionality/Random CP theory. 2) No one ever explains why dispo solves their interp. 3) Won’t judge kick unless instructed to.
T – 1) I’m not your best judge. 2) Seems like no matter how much debating is done over CI v Reasonability, I still have to evaluate most of the offense based on CI’s.
DA/CP – 1) Prefer smart indicts of evidence as opposed to walls of cards (especially on ptx/agenda da's). Neg teams get away with murder re: "dropped ev" that says very little/creatively highlighted. 2) I'm probably more lenient with aff responses (solvency deficits/aff solves impact/intrinsic perm) to Process Cp's/Internal NB's that don't have solvency ev/any relation to aff.
Case - I miss in depth case debates. Re-highlightings don't have to be read. The worse your re-highlighting the lower the threshold for aff to ignore it.
All of my thoughts on policy apply, except for theory. More than 2 condo (or CP’s with different plank combinations) is probably abusive, but I can be convinced otherwise on a technical level.
Not voting on an RVI. I don’t care if it’s dropped.
Most LD theory is terrible Ex: Have to spec a ROB or I don’t know what I can read in the 1nc --- dumb argument.
Phil or Tricks (sp?) debating – I’m not your judge.
Online Debate : You should record your own speeches. Be prepared to send them if the wifi goes out mid-speech. No re-giving speeches.
Misc stuff :
Don't cheat. Disclose. Clipping = L25
"There is no "flow clarification" time slot in a debate. If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, you must do it in CX or prep -- better yet, flow!" - Danielle Dosch
I don’t care if an argument is a “voting issue." Tell me why that matters. Same goes for "terminal defense" and "zero risk" -- these words mean nothing to me.
Strong impact calculus wins debates
2AR and 2NR impact calculus arguments are not new (2AR turns case arguments are new though)
I'm flowing CX. Treat it like a speech, not prep.
Your 1NC should always answer the case.
I'll only vote for an argument if I heard it and can reasonably explain it.
Know your positions well; it will win you debates.
I'm of the belief that conditionality is good. More than 2 is pushing it. When answering condo, the 2NR needs to do impact calculus. “Cheaty” counterplans are smart and should be included in more 1NCs. Will judge kick if you tell me to! (so do)
Negating: Links must be tailored to the aff. A good kritik with disagrees with and disproves the affirmative. Ideally, your 1NC should include a link wall.
Affirming: Make the debate about your aff! The case outweighs. Answer -- and ask about -- the alternative. Impact turn when you can.
Affirming: Arguably most important to me is a coherent counter-interp. Explain your offense and make it super clear which affs would be allowed under your interpretation.
Negating: I think one-off framework is a smart strategy (especially if you have no idea how to give a 2NR on the other positions you're filling the 1NC with.) Fairness is an impact but you need to explain it as such.
If you're reading FW, answer the case. FW 2NRs must be thorough. Don't rely on your 5 minute overview to answer every 1AR argument -- it probably won't.
I believe that framework serves as impact calculus, not a preclusive impact filter. I can be persuaded otherwise.
Read NC's! But answer the case
I like reasonability. The more frivolous an argument is, the lower the threshold I have for responding to it.
he/him, appleton east ‘19, wisconsin ‘23
if you have any questions before i judge you, PLEASE just ask - i'm not picky, but i'm also not a robot, i would rather be transparent than leave you with concerns over your strategy
i view debate near identical to tej gedela, sam mcloughlin, jonathan jeong, ishan bhatt, and rex evans
1. tl;dr - not formally involved in debate anymore but judging is a privilege and i am plenty qualified to judge your round, i care about good debating and really nothing else, don't worry too much about tailoring towards my ideology from when i was a debater/coach
2. background - i did ld and dabbled in policy at appleton east in wisconsin, i broke at the toc in 2019, led 3 summer labs, and have coached on all types of circuits - my main experience is with policy debate and kritiks, but i have extensive experience coaching, debating, and judging every style of debate at national and local levels
3. hard and fast rules - strike me if you don't disclose/flash your evidence or i will rigorously tank speaks, an arguments risk starts at 0% and goes up based on the quality of it's warrant, evidence quality matters so i will read cards you reference in the 2nr/2ar, yes judge kicks but tell me to, won't vote for stuff i can't explain back to you which means winning arguments require a ballot implication, arguments that demonstrate your work put into debate are always better than tricks you grabbed from backfiles or had your coach explain to you pre-round
4. for high speaks - my avg range is 28.2-29.4, biggest boosts for ending the debate early/speeding things up and being casual/personable - have fun, make jokes, be technical, and write my rfd
I debated 2 years at Strath Haven High School (PA) and 4 years at the University of Rochester.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
As a debater and a coach, I lived pretty exclusively on the policy side of things. I don't think I am a good judge at all for the critique, but this reflects my research interests and my familiarity in judging more than deeply-held beliefs about debate.
I evaluate the round probabilistically -- comparing the risk that each team accesses their impacts, regardless of whether it is a DA, K or T debate. Good defense is often as important as offense in my decisions, but there is very infrequently "zero risk".
I very rarely dealt with theory and (non-framework) topicality as a debater. I think there are very few situations where negatives would be better served by going for topicality instead of a DA/CP strategy in front of me, and vice versa few situations where you are better off going for theory/condo to answer that nasty counterplan instead of just making solvency deficits or putting offense against the net benefits.
Judge kick makes intuitive sense to me and I'm happy to do it for you, but you need to tell me to do it in the 2NR.
Evidence quality is very important to me. I like to read a lot of evidence as the debate is going on NOT because I like to needlessly intervene but because I think that it makes my decisions more informed. You should use this to your favor by (a) reading good evidence and (b) comparing evidence to impact how I view the evidence that has been read. This also means I am hesitant to vote on, for example, disad stories that are contrived and supported mainly by "spin." If you don't have a single card that describes all of your disad story, I'm probably not interested (though I have a bit of a soft spot for the old school PC-style Agenda DA).
This (hopefully) should only apply to high school debates, but I have a very low tolerance for non-substantive, "trolly" arguments in policy rounds---things like ASPEC, frivolous T arguments, one card or backfile critiques, or even very generic impact turns (e.g. spark). My threshold for affs answering these is incredibly low.
My background is in college and high school policy. I judge LD occasionally but am not familiar with the intricacies of circuit LD. If you read plans/DAs, I'll be a good judge for you. If you are a more traditional/old school LD debater, I'll be able to keep up. Otherwise, you probably don't want me judging your LD round.
I don't think I would ever vote on a theory argument in LD. Generic impact framing arguments (e.g. 'the util debate') don't matter much to me.
I'm not going to look at any analytics you email out. I'll only check the document to look at your evidence. If you are going so fast that I don't hear your analytic arguments with my own ears, then those args aren't going to be on my flow. Sorry. Speed is good, but you need to be comprehensible.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please add me to the chain
TOC 2023 Update: I have only judged once this school year and not at all on this topic, so explain things well, slow down a bit etc
1. An argument is a claim, warrant, and impact. I will not vote on anything that does not meet this threshold and I will vote on basically anything that does. The fact you say the word "because" after your claim does not mean what follows is a warrant.
2. I won’t vote on any argument that I cannot explain back to your opponent after the round. I need to be able to explain it back based off your explanation, not my prior knowledge of the argument.
3. Assuming they meet the threshold set in #1 and #2, I’m willing to vote on “bad” arguments. However, the less intuitive/worse that I consider an argument to be, the lower the threshold I have for the response.
4. If something is conceded, I grant it the full weight of truth. If I did not realize that an argument was being made, then I will not consider it to be conceded.
5. I will attempt to err on the side of least intervention. I think it’s the job of whoever presents an argument to prove the argument is true. So, for example, if the NEG team says “X card is a link to our K because it’s gendered” and then the AFF team says “no link, X card is actually criticizing gender norms, not perpetuating them,” I would consider both these explanations to be lackluster and have no way of resolving the question, but instead of reading the card and coming to my own conclusion, I would err AFF and assume there’s no link because it is the job of the NEG to prove a link to the K, not the job of the AFF to disprove it.
6. **********Debaters have an obligation to flow. You should send a marked version of the doc indicating where cards were cut immediately after the speech, but you should not delete the cards that weren't read. If your opponent wants to know what was/wasn't read, they must take prep or CX time. I will deduct speaks for debaters who don't adhere to this.
7. **********Slow down on analytics. This is especially true now that I haven't judged in a while!
8. Theory defaults: drop the team for T (or other arguments about the plan), condo, disclosure; drop the argument for everything else; no RVIs; competing interps. These are admittedly very arbitrary and I only created them so that I would have a consistent way of evaluating rounds in which neither side establishes paradigm issues - these defaults can and will change as soon as one team makes an argument to justify their paradigm issues. In fact, I would almost always suggest making a reasonability argument (especially against 1ar theory if you have specific warrants!)
9. I think good evidence is important in so far as it allows debaters to make arguments about author qualifications, recency, the methodology of their studies, quality of warrants, etc... but the onus is on you to make these arguments. I don't decide rounds based on my own readings of evidence unless there is a specific dispute about what a card says.
10. I don’t flow author names
Online Debate Specific:
I’ll call slow or clear once, but if I don’t call it after that, it’s not necessarily because I can understand you - it may also be because when I speak, your audio gets muted and I don’t think it’s worth it to miss more of what you’re saying if you’re not going to slow down anyways.
Record all of your speeches on voice memos so that if there’s a problem, I can fast forward to the time of the cut-out and listen to that argument. This means that if you get kicked out of the meeting or there’s any type of glitch, you must keep speaking and recording and then you can deal with the technical issue after your speech. And if you forget to record it during a rebuttal, I won’t evaluate what was missed.
I will end rounds in which I witness clipping because to the best of my current knowledge not clipping cards is an NDCA “rule,” and doc speaks when I see miscut evidence because to the best of my current knowledge, properly cut evidence is a “norm” (although reading theory about miscut evidence or ending the round for an evidence ethics challenge are still fair-game).
This is the LD paradigm. Do a Ctrl+F search for “Policy Paradigm” or “PF Paradigm” if you’re looking for those. They’re toward the bottom.
I debated LD in high school and policy in college. I coach LD, so I'll be familiar with the resolution.
If there's an email chain, you can assume I want to be on it. No need to ask. My email is: email@example.com. For online debates, NSDA file share is equally fine.
Summary for Prefs
I've judged 1,000+ LD rounds from novice locals to TOC finals. I don't much care whether your approach to the topic is deeply philosophical, policy-oriented, or traditional. I do care that you debate the topic. Frivolous theory or kritiks that shift the debate to some other proposition are inadvisable.
Yale '21 Update
I've noticed an alarming uptick in cards that are borderline indecipherable based on the highlighted text alone. If the things you're saying aren't forming complete and coherent sentences, I am not going to go read the rest of the un-underlined text and piece it together for you.
Topicality is good. There's not too many other theory arguments I find plausible.
Most counterplan theory is bad and would be better resolved by a "Perm do the counterplan" challenge to competition. Agent "counterplans" are never competitive opportunity costs.
I don’t have strong opinions on most of the nuances of disclosure theory, but I do appreciate good disclosure practices. If you think your wiki exemplifies exceptional disclosure norms (open source, round reports, and cites), point it out before the round starts, and you might get +.1-.2 speaker points.
If the strategic value of your argument hinges almost entirely on your opponent missing it, misunderstanding it, or mis-allocating time to it, I would rather not hear it. I am quite willing to give an RFD of “I didn’t flow that,” “I didn’t understand that,” or “I don’t think these words in this order constitute a warranted argument.” I tend not to have the speech document open during the speech, so blitz through spikes at your own risk.
The above notwithstanding, I have no particular objection to voting for arguments with patently false conclusions. I’ve signed ballots for warming good, wipeout, moral skepticism, Pascal’s wager, and even agenda politics. What is important is that you have a well-developed and well-warranted defense of your claims. Rounds where a debater is willing to defend some idiosyncratic position against close scrutiny can be quite enjoyable. Be aware that presumption still lies with the debater on the side of common sense. I do not think tabula rasa judging requires I enter the round agnostic about whether the earth is round, the sky is blue, etc.
Warrant quality matters. Here is a non-exhaustive list of common claims I would not say I have heard a coherent warrant for: permissibility affirms an "ought" statement, the conditional logic spike, aff does not get perms, pretty much anything debaters say using the word “indexicals.”
The negative burden is to negate the topic, not whatever word, claim, assumption, or framework argument you feel like.
Calling something a “voting issue” does not make it a voting issue.
The texts of most alternatives are too vague to vote for. It is not your opponent's burden to spend their cross-ex clarifying your advocacy for you.
I am pretty well-read in analytic philosophy, but the burden is still on you to explain your argument in a way that someone without prior knowledge could follow.
I am not well-read in continental philosophy, but read what you want as long as you can explain it and its relevance to the topic.
You cannot “theoretically justify” specific factual claims that you would like to pretend are true. If you want to argue that it would be educational to make believe util is true rather than actually making arguments for util being true, then you are welcome to make believe that I voted for you. Most “Roles of the Ballot” are just theoretically justified frameworks in disguise.
CX matters. If you can't or won't explain your arguments, you can't win on those arguments.
Regarding flex prep, using prep time for additional questions is fine; using CX time to prep is not.
LD paradigm ends here.
I qualified to the NDT a few times at GSU. I now actively coach LD but judge only a handful of policy rounds per year and likely have minimal topic knowledge.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, I would like to be on the email chain. No, I don't need a compiled doc at end of round.
I have a high threshold for non-resolutional theory. Most cheaty-looking counterplans are questionably competitive, and you're better off challenging them at that level.
Extremely aff leaning versus agent counterplans. I have a hard time imagining what the neg could say to prove that actions by a different agent are ever a relevant opportunity cost.
I don't think there's any specific numerical threshold for how many opportunity costs the neg can introduce, but I'm not a fan of underdeveloped 1NC arguments, and counterplans are among the main culprits.
Not persuaded by 'intrinsicness bad' in any form. If your net benefit can't overcome that objection, it's not a germane opportunity cost. Perms should be fleshed out in the 2AC; please don't list off five perms with zero explanation.
I do find existential risk literature interesting, but I dislike the lazy strategy of reading a card that passingly references nuke war/terrorism/warming and tagging it as "extinction." Terminal impacts short of extinction are fine, but if your strategy relies on establishing an x-risk, you need to do the work to justify that.
Case debate is underrated.
Straight turns are great turns.
Topics DAs >> Politics.
I view inserting re-highlightings as basically a more guided version of "Judge, read that card more closely; it doesn't say what they want it to," rather than new cards in their own right. If the author just happens to also make other arguments that you think are more conducive to your side (e.g. an impact card that later on suggests a counterplan that could solve their impact), you should read that card, not merely insert it.
See section on framework. I'm not a very good judge for anything that could be properly called a kritik; the idea that the neg can win by doing something other than defending a preferable federal government policy is a very hard sell, at least until such time as the topics stop stipulating the United States as the actor.I would much rather hear a generic criticism of settler colonialism that forwards native land restoration as a competitive USFG advocacy than a security kritik with aff-specific links and an alternative that rethinks in-round discourse.
While I'm a fervent believer in plan-focus, I'm not wedded to util/extinction-first/scenario planning/etc as the only approach to policymaking. I'm happy to hear strategies that involve questioning those ethical and epistemological assumptions; they're just not win conditions in their own right.
CX is important and greatly influences my evaluation of arguments. Tag-team CX is fine in moderation.
9 November 2018 Update (Peach State Classic @ Carrollton):
While my background is primarily in LD/Policy, I do not have a general expectation that you conform to LD/Policy norms. If I happen to be judging PF, I'd rather see a PF debate.
I have zero tolerance for evidence fabrication. If I ask to see a source you have cited, and you cannot produce it or have not accurately represented it, you will lose the round with low speaker points.
If my camera is off, don't start your speech. If you want to email me questions about your round, please do so with haste because I have an awful memory.
Kapaun Mt. Carmel/Mount Carmel Independent '19. I did policy debate for four years.
University of Southern California '23. I do not actively debate anymore but am still involved with the policy debate team.
Be kind. I promise I'm not angry or upset, I'm just a very monotonous person with a perpetually aloof facial expression. However, I *will* be upset if you are disrespectful or rude to your opponent.
If you lose, it's because you failed to do your job as a debater to persuade me that you've won. I don't like telling people they've lost. But I do like providing constructive criticism and feedback. So don't be arrogant after the round and I will happily explain how to win next time.
Tech > Truth. Clash is good--if you take time out of your own prep to delete analytics from constructives, you're only hurting yourself.
I don't really have any firm and strong opinions on debate other than:
(1) be kind to your partner and opponents, and
(2) debate is a valuable activity and all argumentative styles that allow chances for contestation/clash are essential for that.
I try not to intervene or impose my beliefs onto debaters, but the things mentioned below are what I think you should know about my biases and preferences which can definitely be swayed.
Feel free to email me with any further questions.
Do whatever as long as it's not repugnant. If you're unsure if your argument falls under this category, then probably don't read it.
For what it's worth, I read mainly policy arguments in high school and am not super familiar with K's. If you read the latter, you're going to have to explain your args more--I'm better if your strategy engages the impact level. Non-USFG affs should have a debate and ballot key warrant. I always went for framework, a topic disad if it linked, or an impact turn against such affs.
Fairness is an impact. And it's the best one.
Affs should get to weigh their plan and it will be an uphill battle to persuade me otherwise.
I don't know much about the topic and I'm not as involved in debate as I used to be. Please explain things a bit more, especially when going for T (I dislike theory and T debates if I'm being honest, understand sometimes it's necessary to go for it though).
Online debate is bizarre--please, please slow down when you're reading analytics or theory blocks or whatever. I dislike when debaters read analytics/whatever at the same tone and speed as they would with the text of a card--you just sound super boring and it should be clear what you're reading and saying.
I like impact turns. That does not mean death good. That does not mean wipeout. Please.
There's a fine line between being funny, light-heartedly sarcastic and being distastefully snarky. The latter makes me feel so uncomfortable. Avoid.
*LD Note: I've only ever done policy debate, so I will judge an LD round as if it's a policy round, just obviously shorter. I really dislike RVIs.
Good luck! Have fun! Learn lots! Fight on!
Hiya! I’m Indu. A little about me... I debated for Harvard-Westlake for 4 years (graduated in 2018), qualified to the TOC 3 times, had 10 career bids, and won a couple of tournaments/cleared at the TOC. I previously coached at Harvard-Westlake for a few months and then coached at The Harker School for four years. I just graduated from Harvard in 2022 and now I work in non-profit. I take the she series (she/her/hers) and I don't mind if you use the they series to refer to me.
I want to be on the email chain. Your opponent should also be on it. **Email: email@example.com
Check out girlsdebate.org – it has free resources, like cards and videos, as well as blog articles about being a woman or other marginalized debater.
Update for Blake 2022: I (soft) retired from debate after the 21-22 season, but realistically I've only been out of the activity for three months so do with that what you will. I should be able to keep up with whatever is happening. All of my paradigm still applies.
Top Level (this is all you really need to know):
- Debate is about arguments/ideas and not individual people. You all are children and creating an actively hostile environment doesn’t really jive with me.
- I can’t vote on arguments that are immediately evident to me to be false. By that I mean, if you read a theory shell or make a competition arg and you are just objectively wrong about the violation, I cannot see myself being compelled to vote for you.
- I don’t really know how to classify myself on the weird “truth” vs “tech”/”flow”/”tab” spectrum – I just want people to be reasonable. That means I’ll lean heavily on the flow, but if you make arguments that are self-evidently ridiculous or underdeveloped it won’t float my boat.
- I love CX!!! Like, seriously. It’s my favorite part of debate. A good CX is killer, and I’ll give good speaks for it.
- Sexism, racism, etc are obviously nonstarters.
- I’ll try to give everyone in the round a fair shake even if you read arguments I never did in high school, I’ve never met you before, etc. Likewise, I expect everyone in the round to treat me with respect. Post-rounding is cool, and people have important questions to ask. Just take a deep breath and avoid insults, yelling, etc.
- I flow. Just wanted to throw that out there.
- WEIGH PLEASE. Most post-rounding is a result of a lack of weighing, and I don't feel particularly bad if I drop you because you didn't make a single comparative statement for 45 minutes.
- I'd prefer if you all regulate yourselves. By that I mean that you should hold each other accountable for speech times, CX, etc. If there's some clear age/experience/other factor that seems to prevent one party from having an equal opportunity to control the round, I will step in. This will likely be pretty uncommon.
- In the era of online debate, I ask that debaters maintain a "professional" environment. Please hold yourself like you would in a classroom setting and situate yourself in a neutral environment. It's important that all debaters, observers, and judges feel comfortable in the "room". (Sit up at a table if possible, remove things from your background you wouldn't want your teacher to see, wear tournament appropriate clothing (be fully dressed....)) This has not been an issue for me thus far, but I want to establish these boundaries in advance.
- Start at 60-70% speed and build up to max speed. I have trouble hearing people if they start at full speed online. Please also locally record your speeches (i.e. record your speech on your phone/computer). In the event the call drops, this is the only way for me to go back and listen to your speech.
More specific things below. Honestly, you can change my mind on most of this stuff, and I’ll really try my best to give you a fair shot at winning these arguments. I just know as a debater I appreciated when judges put their default views on things in their paradigm to ease pre-round anxiety.
Cards are cool------------X---------------------------------Tons of spin
Evidence comparison-X--------------------------------------------Make Indu flip a coin
Conditionality bad-----------------------------------------X----Conditionality good
States CP good (+ uniformity)----------X-----------------------------------States bad
Agent, process CPs, PICs -----------------X---------------------------Boooooooo
Impact Calc------------------------------------------X--IMPACT CALC!!!!
4 second competition arguments -------------------------------------------X-- Real competition arguments
Answering straight turns --X-----------------------------------------— Aggressive eye roll
Overviews so long my hand cramps --------------------------------X------------- Line by line
What does [INSERT CONFUSING K THING HERE] mean? ------X---------------------------------------Smoke bomb!
Specific links to the aff ------------X---------------------------------Generic links
Hashing out what it means to vote AFF/NEG -X-------------------------------------------- ???????
Starting from the assumption certain arguments are true ----------------------------------------X----- Argument humility
The aff does literally anything -X---------------------------------------- Nothingness for 6 minutes
Explain the perm -X---------------------------------- hehehe perm: do both, perm: double bind, perm: do the alt & make Indu mad
COLLAPSING TO A FEW CORE ARGS IN THE 2NR/AR -XXXXXXX---------------------------------------- ha ha no
Making framing args in the 1NC/1AR --X----------------------------------------------------- me arbitrarily weighing based on my ~vibes~
Mix-and-match buy-1-get-1-free kitchen sink theory interps -----------------------------------------X- Debating?
Defend the topic!--------------------X------------------------- Completely non-T
Fairness/Limits good---------------X------------------------------Nope nope nope
Slowing down on analytics & interps -XXXXXX--------------------------------------------------- LKDFGLJEOIKDFGLKJFDGL
Super structured LD froufrou shell -------------------------------------------------X---------- [Thingy] is a voting issue because ground blah blah
Shells that are actually just substantive -------------------------------------------X- make a substance arg?
Arbitrariness bad --X--------------------------------------------------------------------- hyper specific shells
Definition comparison in T debates --X-------------------------------------------------- weighing is overrated
Read a violation card in a T shell -X-------------------------------------------------------- assert a violation and hope for the best
Explain atypical framework ---X------------------------------------------ Assume Indu understands 400 WPM metaphysics at 8 AM
Straight up -X-------------------------------------------- Tricks and memery
Collapse to a few core arguments ----------X----------------------------------- Everything
Actually having offense under your FW -X----------------------------------------------- 1 sentence analytic... ???
- Please enunciate and be clear. If I clear you, it’s not because you’re going too fast, it’s because you are nearing or already are incomprehensible. Trust me – you can be fast while still making words come out of your mouth.
- Have some personality! I really enjoy people making some jokes, sarcasm, etc.
- I’m very expressive during round. I don’t really try to suppress in any way. Do with that what you will.
- Disclosure and being straight-up at the flip/disclosing cases pre-round/other related practices are good!
- Cheating accusations: you can stake the round on these. Tab could get involved. Have audio/video evidence of clipping. If a debater makes the clipping accusation, I will rely on the Tabroom provided clipping policy (if available) to make my decision and for guidance on how to proceed. Similarly, if a debater makes an evidence ethics challenge, I will rely on Tabroom's guidance when possible.
- Clipping: I've dropped a handful of people for clipping. I read along and feel comfortable dropping debaters regardless of if an accusation has been made by the other debater. If clipping happens once, I usually chalk it up to a mistake. When I do drop you, please be assured you were clipping egregiously (usually 3+ words) and consistently (usually 2+ cards). I've never dropped someone for clipping if they were super unclear, but I'm comfortable doing so if I've cleared multiple times, I'm ignored when I say clear multiple times, and the level of clarity is so poor such that a reasonable person could not discern which words were read and which weren't. Please don't cheat. I'm happy to have a conversation with debaters and their coaches during these difficult circumstances, but I ask for respect from all parties involved. It's incredibly frustrating for everyone when rounds end in this way, and I understand that these decisions may seem personal. Ending rounds because of clipping or other dishonest behavior does not reflect my personal evaluation of you as a debater or your team/coach. It's just in the spirit of academic integrity, and I hope everyone involved learns and grows from the experience. I take decisions to end a round very seriously.
- Evidence ethics: you can also stake the round on this. I take an accusation of this nature to mean they have substantially changed the work of an author such that it includes ideas not present in the original work or excludes critical portions of a piece of work, concludes differently than the author intended, or follows poor citation methods in a way that is academically dishonest. Here is a list of things I consider unethical (which is not exhaustive): cutting out part of a paragraph, adding your own (or that of another author) ideas to a card, skipping paragraphs in a single card, not noting when an author disagrees with the argument presented, and mis-citing (literally just incorrect cites).
- Like, I mentioned... I flow. That means, like you, I could miss arguments or not understand what you’re talking about. We all expect judges to be magic flow fairies, which isn’t true. Try your best to be clear, collapse to few arguments, and weigh. Little judging errors happen when there’s a million moving pieces, and I’ll feel less bad if I make a mistake and the round is like this.
- I read cards and like rewarding good evidence. My reading of evidence unless instructed or in extreme extraneous circumstances (ethics challenges, etc) does not affect my decision. I think debaters would do so much better if they read their opponent's cards because a lot of cards I've seen this season have had... sub-prime quality.
- As I went to Harvard-Westlake, I probably view debate in a similar way to my coaches and teammates. Some of them include: Travis Fife, Scott Phillips, Mike Bietz, Connor & Evan Engel, Cameron Cohen, Nick Steele.
- In light of recent events, I will wait to submit speaks until after the post-round is done. I think aggressive/rude/condescending post-rounds are bad sportsmanship and will be reflected in speaks. I'd like to think I have reasonably thick skin, so this is something that I don't think I'll have to use too often. Just wanted to give everyone a fair warning. This equally applies to your coach(es) & friend(s) who are rude to me after a round. If you can't control yourself, I will not be sympathetic.
- I sometimes (read: often) vote for a team even though I think their arguments aren't particularly good, they made contradictory arguments, or some other ridiculous thing occurs. It's incumbent upon the other debater to point this stuff out. Most of the time, they don't. If you don't, it'll just make everyone sad, including me. This scenario is where most post-rounding occurs. I generally won't just drop people because I don't vibe with their arguments.
- Please don't feel compelled to read arguments that you think I read in high school. I can tell when you read arguments to try to pander to me, and it's usually a worse quality debate than if you just read the position you actually wanted to. (No one believes this, but I read 50/50 K & policy args in high school and now judge 50/50 K & policy rounds... I actually don't have a preference. Seriously.) I don't need to hear decol fem and states every round -- don't worry about me. Do your own thing. (That being said, I judge a decent number of phil, theory, and clash rounds. I feel comfortable evaluating whatever you throw at me provided you do whatever you're doing well and straight up.)
- I vote relatively 50/50 in non-T aff vs FW rounds. You NEED to have offense and a defense of your vision of the topic/debate! Most of my decisions boil down to not being able to articulate what are big macro-level issues because people are overly caught in LBL. LBL is very important obviously, but that doesn't supplant the importance of explaining what model you're even defending.
- #stopsplittingthe2nr2k20 (Seriously, *who* taught you all to do this! I do not give above a 29 to people who split the 2NR even if you're in the finals of every tournament that year. There is 1/1000 instances where this is debate smart, and I bet you your round isn't that instance.)
- I'm uninterested in underviews. I don't think they add strategic utility, and they're boring. Read more arguments that defend the aff instead of reading infinitely regressive "evaluate the debate after X speech" and "we get 1AR theory" shenanigans. Theoretically, the best constructed affs are making a bunch of substantive arguments that pre-empt a variety of 1NC positions, which is why the best debaters win by reading--well--arguments. I've started to deduct speaks for this because it's getting pretty ridiculous and I just roll my eyes the whole time. Read at risk of your speaker points.
- I don't disclose speaks -- you don't need to ask after the round. Here's random things I enjoy and reward with higher speaker points (in no particular order): being passionate about your position, numbering of args, strategic collapse in every speech, not going for every argument, weighing(!), having a personality, using examples & stats effectively, anticipating your opponent's args, good CX, judge instruction, being respectful during the RFD & post-round. While I vote on args that I think are silly sometimes, people get low speaks for those rounds. If you, for example, go for some reasonable phil position and do it well/straight-up, that's fine -- high speaks. However, If you go for some ridiculous theory shell and bumble your way into a win, I will not be kind with speaks.
- I have chronic migraines that are sometimes triggered by excessive noise, which is sort of unfortunate given that debate... involves much yelling. I will occasionally ask debaters to speak softer if you yell-spread. I've only done this once or twice, but just wanted to give people a fair warning. (No, the migraine does not affect my ability to judge your round. It's just painful. Be a homie.)
i debated LD and policy in high school, graduating in '13. this is my 5th year coaching @ greenhill, and my first year as a full time debate teacher.
- i coached independent debaters from: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18);
- team coach for: westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now);
- program director for dallas urban debate alliance ('21-'22)]
i would like there to be an email chain and I would like to be on it: firstname.lastname@example.org. would love for the chain name to be specific and descriptive - perhaps something like "Tournament Name, Round # - __ vs __"
I have coached debaters whose interests ranged from util + policy args & dense critical literature (anthropocentrism, afropessimism, settler colonialism, psychoanalysis, irigaray, borderlands, the cap + security ks), to trickier args (i-law, polls, monism) & theory heavy strategies.
That said, I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, and thoroughly enjoy 6 minutes of topicality or framework 2nrs [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell.
I am a bad judge for highly evasive tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not think about analytic philosophy / tricks outside of debate tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace for me to process and understand all the moving parts. This is true for all styles of debates - the rounds i remember most fondly are one where a cap k or t-fwk were delivered conversationally and i got almost every word down and was able to really think through the arguments.
i think the word "unsafe" means something and I am uncomfortable when it is deployed cavalierly - it is a meaningful accusation to suggest that an opponent has made a space unsafe (vs uncomfortable), and i think students/coaches/judges should be mindful of that distinction. this applies to things like “evidence ethics,” “independent voters,” "psychological violence," etc., though in different ways for each. If you believe that the debate has become unsafe, we should likely pause the round and reach out to tournament officials, as the ballot is an insufficient mechanism with which to resolve issues of safety. similarly, it will take a lot for me to feel comfortable concluding that a round has been psychologically violent and thus decide the round on that conclusion, or to sign a ballot that accuses a student of cheating without robust, clear evidence to support that. i have judged a lot of debates, and it is very difficult for me to think of many that have been *unsafe* in any meaningful way.
7 things to know:
- Evidence Ethics: In previous years, I have seen a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence. My longer thoughts on that are available on the archived version of this paradigm, including what kinds of violations will trigger this, etc. If you are uncertain if your evidence is miscut, perhaps spend some time perusing those standards, or better yet, resolve the miscutting. Similarly, I will vote against debaters clipping if i notice it. If you would like me to vote on evidence ethics, i would prefer that you lay out the challenge, and then stake the round on it. i do not think accusations of evidence ethics should be risk-less for any team, and if you point out a mis-cutting but are not willing to stake the round on it, I am hesitant to entertain that argument in my decision-making process. if an ev ethics challenge occurs, it is drop the debater. do not make them lightly.
i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.
- I do not believe you can "insert" re-highlightings that you do not read verbally.
please do not split your 2nrs! you will be far likelier to win if you develop one flow for the 2nr, and will be served poorly by the attempt to go for every 1nc arg in the 2nr. In principle, this is also true for your 2ARs. if any of your 1nc positions are too short to sustain a 6 minute 2nr on it i think that likely means the 1nc arg is underdeveloped.
Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if a card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. I think you should highlight your evidence to make claims the author has made, and that those claims should make sense if read at conversational speed outside of the context of a high school debate round.
i do not enjoy being in the back of disclosure debates where the violation is difficult to verify or where a team has taken actions to help a team engage, even if that action does not take the form of open sourcing docs, nor do i enjoy watching disclosure theory be weaponized against less experienced debaters - i will likely not vote on it. if a team refuses to tell you what the aff will be, or is familiar with circuit norms but nothing on their wiki, I will be more receptive to disclosure, but again, verifiability is key.
topicality arguments will make interpretive claims about the meaning or proper interpretation of words or phrases in the resolution. interpretations that are not grounded in the text of the resolution are theoretical objections - the same is true for counter-interpretations.i will use this threshold for all topicality/theory arguments.
Finally, I am not particularly good for the following buckets of debates:
Warming good & other impact turn heavy strategies that play out as a dump on the case page
IR heavy debates - i encourage you to slow down and be very clear in the claims you want me to evaluate in these debates.
Bad theory arguments / theory debates w/ very marginal offense (it is unlikely i will vote for theory debates where i can not identify meaningful offense / where the abuse story is very difficult for me to comprehend)
Identity ks that appropriate the form and language of antiblackness literature
affs/nc's that have entirely analytic frameworks (even if it is util!) - i think this is often right on the line of plagiarism, and my brain simply cannot process / flow it at high speeds.
Online Debates: You should record the debate in case of technical issues. Do not clip or steal prep.
Please read the arguments you feel most comfortable with - I will listen to and vote on arguments with both claims and warrants regardless of my argumentative preferences.
I will not vote on arguments that I do not have on my flow - I don’t flow off of the doc and expect you to be clear.
As a debater, my favorite affirmatives were ones with plans and big-stick advantages. Being knowledgeable about your affirmative is invaluable perceptually and strategically.
I enjoy NCs that include counterplans and DAs. I think that case debate is important and should be utilized far more. I will kick the counterplan if you tell me to.
Smart impact calculus and turns case arguments win debates - don’t rely on your prewritten overview.
I don’t like tricks and believe that you must win truth testing for them to be a reason you win the debate.
I lean heavily neg on T-FW debates. I think that the aff should defend a plan and I find fairness impacts the most compelling.
I will default to reasonability, drop the argument, fairness and education but all of these preferences can be changed by debating.
Prob not an ideal judge for you if you will go for
a. high theory
b. theory debates
Currently a graduate student at USC
I will be able to adjudicate any type of round, as I've run all from an Ocean Energy aff/politics to a Lacan aff/anti-blackness; I know you've done the work to refine whatever argument you want to read, so I will respect that - just tell me what to do with my pen. Admittedly, I’m no longer debating. I’m still confident in my ability to make a coherent decision, but probably won’t know the topic literature. Ask me anything here before the round or if I can do anything to make the round/tournament better for you :) email@example.com.
TLDR: Debate whatever arg you want, don't be mean, put me on the email chain
LD Update: Everything below applies - a few comments specific to the format
1. Do I vote for RVIS? Yes and no? Yes, as in I'm open to voting for any argument. No, as in I've never voted for the argument because
a. teams don't give me reasons why I should vote for it.
b. The only justification is that "they dropped it!"; just because they don't specifically answer the RVI doesn't mean that the rest of the speech is probably a response already
c. given the nature of the argument, its probably difficult to win. Though I'd be conducive to hear a "drop the debater because they're ableist; here's why" - though that's probably theory
d. (UPDATE) Voted a team down because the other team clearly pointed out ways the other team made fun of black female scholarship and told me why that mattered.
2. Since AC's are short in time teams often have terrible internal link chains. Negs should point this out
3. I don't think I'll vote on a completely new AR argument (unless maybe hinted before or actually super abusive?).
General comments about me:
- Put me on the email chain
- I often close my eyes, put my head down, etc. Many people think that this is because I'm sleeping; nah, that's just my preference to avoid having my facial expressions influence the round. If that's something you're not comfortable with, just let me know
- I dislike the phrase "is anyone not ready". In the wise words of Richie Garner, "it is a linguistic abomination (see: bit.ly/yea-nay)."
- Please don’t read at a million wpm at the top of your rebuttals/theory args - its not very fun to flow in this situation.
- I guess I like the K? But please - read whatever argument you want to. I do my best to not let my biases affect my decision in relation to being more or less receptive to certain arguments. Rather, the only extent to which I let my kritikal background affect my process of adjudication is that I can provide more comments/feedback post-decision with kritikal arguments because of my background, rather than with arguments involving specific legal/political intricacies. In summation, the burden is on you - k or policy - to lead me through the ballot, but I'm more productive in discussions of k's after the round. Trust me, I probably won't be able to answer your super-specific resolutional question.
- I read mainly psycho, anti-blackness, Marx, and ableism in college debate.
Everything else is alphabetical:
CP: The following statement is probably my default lens for judging any argument: if the counterplan is your go-to I’m all for it. I expect the CP to solve the case or at least a portion of it, and is competitive to the plan. I’ve read a lot of abusive counterplans in the past like Consultation/Agent CP’s/PICs and don’t mind them. Obviously if the aff can effectively debate theories against these CP’s that’d be great.
DA: Contextualize the link. If the link’s warrants are in the context of the travel ban and the aff is entirely different and the aff points this out, I’ll probably err aff (unless the negative can effectively articulate that the aff is similar to what the link story says). I don’t find politics arguments too interesting, but if that’s your go-to let’s do it.
K-affs: I’ve run these affirmatives before. I’ll vote on your advocacy if you can explain to me why your model is valuable. I'll flow your performance or anything you do in your speech (make sure to extend them). Although I like critical arguments, be careful about tangential relationships to the topic because it makes me more sympathetic of TVA's, as I think that k-affs should still probably be topical. It doesn't need to include a hypothetical implementation of a policy, but you should still somehow reduce restrictions on immigration/affirm the resolution. Be creative with the definitions and explain why I should value your definition of immigration vs a legal one. Just criticizing and discussing the resolution will probably make you lose vs T a lot. If you don't affirm the resolution I'm still down for that, but be ready to impact turn everything and defend your model of debate.
- PS: If you know you’re hitting a school with historically less resources and you’re running some high theory Baudrillard aff, come on. Obviously I won’t vote you down based on your argument choice, but endorse an accessible reputation for debate. You can try to flash your blocks/analytics/full 1AC, don’t sidestep in CX, or maybe run a more intellectually accessible aff. If not, I can’t stop you but it’d be a really nice gesture - might help your speaks.
Kritiks: I’ve mainly been a kritik debater throughout my four years of debating. With that being said, don’t assume I’ll be hip with your postmodern theory and/or be more sympathetic of your psychoanalysis/antiblackness k. Just follow the same advice above and explain your k, tell me what to focus on, etc. Explain how the aff entrenches x and how that leads to a bad implication, how the link turns the aff or outweighs it, the productiveness of my ballot if I vote negative, how the alternative resolves something that outweighs the aff, and how the alt overcomes the UX of the link (although if worded correctly, I’ll vote for an alternative that is a leap of faith.) A good k debate to me will help your speaks! Also if there's a long OV or FW block let me know to put it on another flow.
T - USFG/FW: You shouldn't exclude their 1AC based on the premise that its "non-traditional"; you aren't reduced to just being able to say racism is good. Likewise, you shouldn’t read the same definition requiring the same USFG action. I say this not because I hate T (which is the contrary), but because your performance/substance probably won't be great with that strat. Be creative! My favorite FW debater is radical and explains why there is intrinsic value in having discussions rooted in the legal realm/reducing restrictions on immigration within the context of the aff’s impacts. If you can contextualize your education/fairness impacts against the 2AC and/or explain how you turn the aff, I’ll be loving your debate. I will be less sympathetic to generic FW blocks that just articulate fairness and education without reference to the aff.
Theory/Topicality: This is the area where I'm the least literate on, so please keep that in mind if your strategy involves a legitimate interest in theory. Just do meaningful comparison and tell me why I should be erring towards your model of debate over theirs. Obviously if theory is dropped by the opponents and that becomes what you go for, I’ll (probably?) vote for it. However, if the theory is otherwise read for just time skew and the other team sufficiently answers the argument I’ll generally disregard it. If you can articulate a substantive impact then it probably has a purpose and I’ll be more sympathetic – I’ll be less sympathetic to 20 second blippy blocks meant to outspread the 2AC. To be transparent, I haven’t judged many non-T theory debates. I’d be extremely interested if you can perform a well-articulated theory debate.
Otherwise, please have fun! This round is for you.
Do what you do best. I will listen to any arguments and vote on any argument as long as I understand them and why they matter. Don't be problematic (i.e. racist, sexist, ableist, etc.) My background is in policy but have experience in LD, PF, congress, and extemp (some more than others). Did mostly K/performance debate in college. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Don't spread in front of me, if I can't understand an argument it doesn't matter, and I can't understand spreading. Please don't call me judge, Hannah works great.
I've decided to crowdfund my paradigm, if you have other questions to be answered let me know and I will add them here.
I did Parli and PF in high school for 3 years. I am a Software Engineer and studied Software Engineering at San Jose State University.
Add me to the email chain before the round starts: email@example.com
Before I begin, I want to credit my friend and debate partner, Vishnu for a very articulate and concise paradigm.
Don't spread. That would be ideal.
It will serve you best to think of me as a deeply experienced flay judge rather than a circuit judge.
Preflow before the round. When you walk into the room you should be ready to start ASAP.
I will NOT entertain post-rounding from coaches. This is absolutely embarrassing and if it is egregious I will report you to tab. Postrounding from competitors must be respectful and brief.
I do not view debate as a game, I view it almost like math class or science class as it carries tremendous educational value. I generally dislike how gamified debate has become, especially LD. There are a lot of inequities in debate and treating it like a game deepens those inequities. Progressive argumentation is a practice that big schools utilize to extend the prep gap between them and small schools. Hence, I believe that traditional debate is the MOST educational way to go about this activity.
Your job as a competitor is to make my job AS EASY as possible. The easier you make it, the greater the likelihood of getting my ballot. The less truthful the argument, the more work you have to do to convince me that your argument is true. I am tech over truth generally but I cannot buy egregiously unreasonable arguments. Good warrants and link chains are key to convincing me that your arguments are indeed reasonable.
I'll accept theory on the condition that there's real demonstrated abuse in the round. Norms are fake and breaking norms in most cases is not abuse. I'll go by what is in the explicit CHSSA/NSDA rules. Besides, how do you expect a debater to know about these norms at their first invitational?
I generally dislike theory shells like Nebel or hyperspecific stuff. Like I said earlier, you have to do a lot of work to convince me in these shells that there was abuse so you're better off not going down that route. Not a big fan of disclosure either. I think performance Ks, K Affs, RVIs and tricks are a byproduct of debaters seeking to win this "game" of debate. You win not by utilizing ridiculous strategies but by genuinely convincing me of your argument. You're better off not even going down this route. If you are running a K, explain your author and phil thoroughly. You can't expect me to know your author and what your K is.
Thus, my threshold for progressive debate is high.
Generally in LD, the arguments in which you will have to do the least work to convince me are substance debate and policy debate. I also like how traditional debaters debate philosophy as well. Framework debate is good but I'm not a huge fan of value/VC debate.
In all events, I don't really care about cross since it's an opportunity for you to set up future arguments. I usually know who's won by the second to last speech (1NR in LD and negative summary) so unless the round is particularly close I don’t flow the last speech.
Hey I’m Jack! I went to and now coach at Northland in Houston, TX. Feel free to ask questions before or after the round. Add me to email chains at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATED for 2022/23 season
TLDR: I will vote on anything that has a claim, warrant, and impact. I most enjoy and am best at judging policy arguments. (P.S. I realized that I tend to give way higher speaks in substance debates. Take that as you wish)
Policy - 1
Theory/T - 1
K (security, cap, set col) - 2
K (anything else) - 3
Phil/Tricks – 4
- Tech > Truth
- Fairness > Education
- 1NC Theory/T > 1AR Theory
- T/Theory > K
- Comparative Worlds
- No RVIs, Competing Interps, DTD
- I'm cool with anything as long as it has a claim, warrant, and impact. None of my personal opinions or interests in arguments will factor into my decision.
- I want you to debate the way you debate best. I want debaters to read what they know and are invested in.
- No buffet 2nrs please
- Be nice to one another and don't take yourself too seriously
- If you are sexist/racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist or something similar
- Clipping/losing an ethics challenge OR a false accusation.
- Stealing prep
Things I'm not voting on
- Any argument concerning out of round practices (except disclosure).
- Any argument concerning the appearance/clothes/etc. of another debater.
- Any auto affirm/negate X identity argument
- "Evaluate the entire debate after X speech". However, I will evaluate "evaluate ___ layer after X speech".
- IVIs not flagged as IVIs in the 1NC/1AR (possibly a 2NR exception)
- My favorite type of debate to think about and judge.
- Likes: impact calc, ev comparison, plans with tight scenarios and big impacts, rehighlighting ev, cheaty CPs, reading theory against cheaty CPs, "the order is case"
- Dislikes: not weighing, old/no UQ, underhighlighted ev, plan flaw, other debater: asks you a cx question about your ev you: "where is it/that", literally extending your tags in the 2NR
- Somewhat familiar with most K lit at this point, but refuse to fill any substantive gaps in your explanation.
- Likes: robust line by line, root cause, link turns case, good fwk debates, pulling lines from the aff, actual alt solvency, set col vs phil, specific links to the plan
- Dislikes: massive overviews, "what's a floating PIK", the "state" link, the current standard for a sufficient explanation of ontology, no perms in a method debate
K Aff/T Framework
- Affs need solvency and a robust defense of their model of debate
- Negs need an answer to aff solvency and a robust defense of their model of debate
- Likes: testing, fairness, intuitive aff counterinterps, Non T aff vs one off Cap K, TVAs, actual solvency
- Dislikes: "T is violence/policing", 6 minutes of my coaches prewritten fwk 2NR, 3 minutes of my coaches prewritten A2 fwk 2AR, blitzing through the 1ACs theory of power, "we don't need solvency", 2NRs that ignore case
- Not good for dense phil v dense phil (good for util vs other phil)
- Don’t assume I have read your literature. BUT, I will still evaluate just like I would any other type of debate. I just need a very clear extension of why your framework comes first/is true.
- Likes: extinction first, fun calc indicts, Blum, TJFs, going for turns under their fwk
- Dislikes: not reading a fwk in the AC, not reading a fwk in the NC when the AC doesn't read one, the "pragmatism" aff, TT takes out theory, hidden triggers in the fwk
- I will evaluate them the same as any other argument as long as I hear a claim, warrant, and impact.
- Likes: warrants
- Dislikes: "what's an apriori?", condo logic, indexicals, if the negs response to your trick is that it negates just as much as it affirms - you probably shouldn't read it!
- Love it!
- The frivolous nature of some shells does not factor into my evaluation. Although, reasonability tends to become easier to justify and the answer becomes easier.
- Likes: robust weighing, caselists, infinite regress vs spec, combo shells with unique offense
- Dislikes: poor explanation of semantics, 5 second 1AR shells, 2NR theory that isn't severance
- Less prep and sitting down early will be rewarded with higher speaks.
- Clarity is VERY IMPORTANT. If you are unclear and I miss a “game changing” argument – that’s a you problem.
- Speaks will be awarded for good debating (strategy, technical ability, good CX, etc).
Hi, I’m Anish. I debated for Peninsula for four years and qualified to the TOC twice.
My email is email@example.com.
I was pretty bad at flowing, so please slow down and pause between your arguments.
I primarily read policy arguments, but I’d be more than happy to vote on philosophical and critical arguments as long as you explain them well and do comparative impact calc. I dislike most tricks and theory arguments because they’re underdeveloped and often lack warrants.
It’s the debater’s responsibility to flow — asking what was read must be done in prep or cross-x
Smart analytics can beat carded evidence
A lot of counterplan theory arguments are best settled as competition issues, not voting issues.
You can insert rehighlighting
Smith College ’23 (third year out)
my pronouns are they/them
pls add me to the email chain- firstname.lastname@example.org
BQ, Policy and PF at the end
I did LD debate for 4 years for Brentwood HS in Los Angeles, reaching two bid rounds and clearing at almost every tournament I attended my senior year, and at least 1/2 of all tournaments attended my junior year. I also was a quarterfinalist at CHSSA 2019 and 10th at NSDA Nationals 2019. As a coach, I've worked with multiple students who have gone to the TOC and recently coached a debater to round 11 of NSDA Nats 2020. I have also been judging for three years, and have experience judging policy, pf, and bq rounds!
This year I am studying International Relations with a concentration in humanitarianism abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, and I intern for the international campaign to ban landmines. I know a good amount about landmines as well as disarmament! This also means that I haven't been very active in judging/coaching for the past six months, so if there is a new arg or jargon that is all the rage these days, please take the time to explain it:)
I am also one of the co-founders of Speech & Debate Stories and I care a lot about making debate safe for everyone. I was also in that article abt sexual assault in debate. please do not read that article in a round im judging. it makes me very uncomfortable. thanks<3
When it comes to having cameras on, do whatever feels comfortable. Don't feel like you have to keep your camera on, especially if you are having tech issues. I will have my camera on!
Things to know about me/what I like to see
- if you can pls dont refer to me in round. saying judge is fine but saying "katie vote for this" in a speech makes me very uncomfy
- debate the way you debate best.
- please give a tw/cw for arguments about sexual assault, rape, and suicide.
- I have a soft spot for poststructuralism, esp Foucault and D&G.
- *Default no rvis, competing interps, and drop the argument
- Condo isn’t always bad
- I'm always down to see a lay debate
- BE NICE TO EACH OTHER (unless someone does something that 100% does NOT warrant being nice). I love sass, but I do NOT want to watch two teenagers scream at each other. It will make me very uncomfortable
- tricks are fine but be reasonable- if you like tricks read them, but don't read them just because you think I will like/automatically evaluate the round on them
- feel free to ask questions after the round to a reasonable degree. basically just don't aggressively postround me. please do not yell at me:) this applies to coaches too!!!!
*defaults are NOT absolute, this is just if nobody argues on the contrary
path to least resistance
the best way to win my ballot is to use the path to least resistance. This means going for the argument that is the easiest to win.
For circuit LD, I think it looks like this- If you read a K and a DA and your opp reads 9 perms but drops the DA, go for the dropped argument. This isn't to say that you should collapse to a one-sentence blip, but rather just go for what you think you can win the easiest. I really just want to be able to quote your 2nr and 2ar word for word, and that's much harder to do if there are 90 layers to the round and I have to sift through arguments with minimal clash. I know it seems cool to go for that K you cut with your friends, but sometimes you have to go for the dropped DA that you originally read to waste the aff's time.
truth vs. tech
I used to be strictly tech>truth, but these days I am starting to feel like I need arguments to be fully fleshed out and I won't just vote on a single dropped arg alone, esp if its a quick extension that hasn't been warranted well- this would mainly have to do with tricks and extending some type of contention/DA that didn't really provide warrants, just a few lines that all go back to they didn't respond.
When evaluating a round, I sort of come up with two decisions: one based on tech and one on truth. Most of the time, these are the same. However, there are times where one debater drops a quick blip-y argument but wins every other layer of the debate or just has a more cohesive and comprehensive argument that is well-argued.
If you are going to go all-in on a single line from the underview of the AC or something, you still need to argue it very well, especially why it matters that the aff dropped it. That's where my truth stuff starts to come in- when the argument extended is just so ridiculous and hinges on "my opponent dropped it so its true and I win automatically" i am not voting on face. You have to argue WHY the argument is true/warranted, and why it means that you win automatically/on face.
Here's an example situation: The neg dropping a single line about condo with no warrant from the aff's 7 point underview and reading two off cases and the neg spending the 1ar saying why they win on face without extending on the warrants of the argument? not enough. A good debater will structure the 1ar as 1min extending the AC and responding to case args, 1:30 min extending the AC underview and fleshing out the condo violaton and saying why it is the highest layer 1:30 min: responding to off cases. If the neg proves condo is good, I will look at that for my decision, and I won't immediately decide the round after the 1ar. However, the neg should argue that its okay that they missed that single line for some reason or prove why I should look at it reasonably.
BIG QUESTIONS SPECIFIC STUFF
My background in LD definitely impacts how I view Big Questions. When I judge BQ, I take into account presentation and persuasiveness, as well as who won on the argumentative level. When I say presentation and persuasiveness, I'm referring to the type of rhetoric you use, your attitude, and your ability to defend your case, especially during CX. I feel that BQ topics are somewhat polarizing, and I often see myself leaning one way or another, but I am VERY easily persuaded. I also really like unique arguments, as they break up the monotony of a lot of BQ rounds! However, I don't keep a heavy flow, so I wouldn't rely on trying to extend blippy/super short and unwarranted arguments.
path to least resistance is also important here- this could look like finding a dropped argument, focusing on it, and center your speech around it. This speech should also include some type of preemptive argument for what arguments you think are the best on your opponent's side (basically, close all the doors for the aff's last speech
HOWEVER, make sure to use your critical thinking skills-BQ topics are highly conceptual and abstract, which leads to it often being a battle of ivory tower theories. When you make arguments, especially about ethics, try to apply them to real life situations. If you argue something that defends atrocities, I won't want to vote for you. If you make an argument that is offensive, I won't want to vote for you. Your words have implications, and its necessary to evaluate them.
Otherwise, have fun!
POLICY SPECIFIC STUFF
Most of the LD stuff applies but I'm am much more sympathetic to Ks when it comes to Policy bc there is more time to get into the lit. However, you still gotta know what the K says.
I have a short attention span, so do something fun and ill be happy bc policy rounds are long
PF SPECIFIC STUFF
look at Nina Potichman's article abt theory in PF. I consider myself a pretty good theory judge in LD, but I just don't want to have to judge a pf theory round. unless its a genuine problem like somebody going over the speech time, reading a triggering arg without a warning, or something like that, its fine, but if you pull out a shell akin to 2015 LD i will be very sad!
- The main ways to get good speaks are to make strategic moves and to explain your arguments well. I love when I can quote the rebuttal speeches as my RFD. Thats a quick way to get at least a 29!
- do your debate and do it well. I give speaks based on how you debate.
- If you're debating someone who is obviously less experienced than you and you go 9 off, you will 1. just look like a bad person and 2. show that you are not confident enough in your debate abilities to just read an NC or slow down on a DA, which is not a good look. Both of these things are a recipe for bad speaks! Also if your opp doesn't spread you shouldn't either- feel free to go fast but if you're blitzing through you will get bad speaks. however, if you are nice, you will be rewarded with really high speaks!!!
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO GET REALLY BAD SPEAKS even though I don't think any of these things even need to be said:
Be racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc
Bank on speed over quality of arguments
Read a triggering arg without a trigger warning
Make your opponent cry for no reason
Do something that makes the other debater feel unsafe
IF YOU FEEL UNSAFE IN THE ROUND, please email me with what I can do to help you. It's hard online, especially bc there aren't a lot of systems in place to deal with this, but I will most likely stop the round, contact the equity officer (if there is one) and give you a W30 unless I'm instructed otherwise. If you would prefer me not to do this, let me know what I can do to help otherwise. I do feel that I need to let somebody know why I stopped the round, so if you would rather have me contact your coach or someone else from tab lmk.
Hi, I'm Tarun and I debated at Southlake Carroll for four years and qualified to the TOC my senior year.
Im tech over truth but I won't vote on your one sentence arg without a warrant.
Please do impact calculus, make it good, and make it comparative. This is how you will win a debate no matter what type of argument you read.
I've gone for and voted for multiple types of arguments and I'd be much happier to see debaters read what they want than try and "adapt" to a made up idea of what arguments I like.
I default to judge kick, but I'm open to args against judge kick.
Permutations that are not either some variation of perm do both or perm do the cp should have a written out perm text in the 1ar. Don't make me flow your functionally intrinsic but textually non-intrinsic perm shoved between condo bad and a solvency deficit.
The best DAs clash with the plan. Made up politics arguments usually aren't very persuasive against a well developed affirmative advantage.
Impact turns and "cheaty" counterplans are underutilized. It seems no one is ready to debate them.
You can’t just read generic cards about probability and concede a DA; I have no problem voting for a small impact against some extinction scenario, but I won't vote on probability first if you don't actually diminish the probability of the specific scenarios they read.
Stop reading terrible advantages. You need to win that the plan is uniquely key to resolve the internal links to your impact, otherwise you will lose to an advantage cp or alt causes.
Competition is better than theory against process things.
Zero risk is a thing.
I prefer and enjoy legit philosophy debates where you just win deontology or something is true rather than go for induction fails or a spike.
I'm comfortable with any of the common philosophy positions that are read in debate.
I don't enjoy when debates end with a 3 minute 2ar on a 15 second shell from the 1ar.
Drop the argument and reasonability are extremely underutilized. Theory is over-utilized in LD you will always have your links of omissions to generate violations.
I am not a fan of plans bad. Other T shells that qualitatively not quantitatively limit the topic are good and enjoyable.
Won't vote on death good.
I like the K a lot if it has a link to the aff, and it indicts the epistemology behind the aff. However Ks that rely on fiat illusory, or "pre-fiat" offense makes me like these arguments significantly less.
I enjoy actual debates, and get very upset when debaters read arguments that waste their opponents and my time. I also get even more annoyed when debaters are unable to flow said arguments.
I default comparative worlds. I also wont vote on a trick I don't understand or without a warrant.
Non T affs
Framework debates almost always require you to debate the case well. Don't just rely on truth testing to exclude aff arguments.
K Affs should impact turn the negative model of debate or be topical people who do a best of both worlds don't usually win against framework. However, I'm fine with affs counter defining words in the resolution to make a we meet on framework, but this shouldn't be your only strategy.
Fairness is an impact, but the 2nr feels like it's missing something without some defense on their model of how debate should be and why that is valuable.
katy taylor '17
yes, add me to the email chain: email@example.com
cal rr/tournament 2021 update: I have judged numerous rounds on this topic and I can confidently say that I don't like nebel t as an argument.
current 2020 conflicts: Rutgers-Newark AH and Northern Valley JL
previous conflicts: Evergreen Valley SS, Coppell DR, Houston EP, Alief Kerr EG, Guyer CM, Woodlands MR, Cy-Fair TW, and Katy Taylor.
background: I have been coaching high school CX and LD for the past three years. I was coached by Elijah Smith (Emporia SW) in high school and he taught me everything I know about debate. In the past, I've had my fair share of reading and/or coaching teams going for policy arguments and/or critical arguments. I debated nationally in high school and have coached debaters in both events to deep elims of tournaments, round robins, and accumulate bids to the TOC.
overall thoughts: I believe it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and extending some sort of impact framing in the debate because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is a place for you to do you. I will make my decisions based on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. This means I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about the content/style of an argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. It is up to the debaters to present and endorse whichever model of debate they want to invest in. Have fun and best of luck!
-- please record your speeches/debates.
-- please be kind to each other.
-- good quality evidence + in-depth analysis of the evidence is always appreciated.
-- i will not vote on an rvi on topicality.
-- do not intentionally clip cards. it will be an automatic L and 25 speaks if you do.
-- please start out clear, slow, and loud (very crucial for online debate).
-- ld theory tricks are bad and i refuse to vote for it.
-- speaks are determined by a combination of strategy choice, efficiency, weighing, and good cross-x skills.
-- some people who I agree with and/or have been heavily influenced by in debate: Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Daryl Burch, Amber Kelsie, Devane Murphy, Taylor Brough, Ignacio Evans, Chris Randall, Anthony Joseph, and Jon Sharp.
Specifics thoughts I've provided from my previous paradigm (2019-2020):
-- Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part of every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.
Policy affs vs. K
-- I am most familiar with these types of debates. With that being said, I think the affirmative needs to prioritize framing i.e. the consequences of the plan under a util framework. There need to be contestations between the aff framing versus the K's power of theory in order to disprove it, not desirable, or incoherent and why your impacts under the plan come first. Point of the flaws of the kritiks alternative and make solvency deficits. Aff teams need to answer the link arguments, read link defense, make perms, and provide reasons/examples of why the plan is preferable/resolve material conditions. Use cross-x to clarify jargon and get the other team to make concessions about their criticism.
-- CP(s) need to have a clear plan text and have an external net benefit, otherwise, I'm inclined to believe there is no reason why the cp would be better than the affirmative. There needs to be clear textual/function competition with the Aff or else the permutation becomes an easy way for me to vote. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better.
-- The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement the net benefit. The 1AR + 2AR needs to have some offense against the counterplan because a purely defensive strategy makes it very hard to beat the counterplan. I enjoy an advantage counterplan/impact turn strategy when it’s applicable. Generally, I think conditionality is good but I can be persuaded otherwise.
-- Please have good evidence and read specific DAs. If you have a good internal link and turns case analysis, your speaker points will be higher. For the aff, I think evidence comparison/callouts coupled with tricky strategies like impact turns or internal link turns to help you win these debates.
-- I don't really have a threshold on these arguments but lean towards competing interps over reasonability unless told otherwise.
-- When going for theory, please extend offense and weigh between interps/standards/implications.
-- When responding/going for theory, please slow down on the interps/i-meets.
-- Comparative analysis between pieces of interpretation evidence wins and loses these debates – as you can probably tell, I err towards competing interpretations in these debates, but I can be convinced that reasonability is a better metric for interpretations, not for an aff. Having well-explained internal links to your limits/ground offense in the 2NR/2AR makes these debates much easier to decide, as opposed to floating claims without warranted analysis. A case list is required. I will not vote on for an RVI on T.
-- I prefer framework debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in the constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more to competing interps than reasonability. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff teams are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. I am persuaded by standards like clash and topic education over fairness being an intrinsic good/better impact.
K affs vs. T-Framework
-- There are a couple of things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your fw of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear are buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote to neg on presumption.
-- You need a counter interp or counter model of debate and what debate looks like under this model and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.
-- I went for the Kritik in almost every 2NR my senior year. I have been exposed to many different types of scholarship, but I am more familiar with some critical race theory criticisms such as anti-Blackness, capitalism, psychoanalysis, and some critiques of humanism. This form of debate is what I am most comfortable evaluating. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism.
-- You should have specific links to affirmatives because without it you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact.
-- The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explain the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is an important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation for if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually winning an impact framing claim.
K vs. K
-- These debates are always intriguing.
-- Presumption is underutilized by the neg and permutations are allowed in a methods debate. However, it is up to the teams in front of me to do this. There needs to be an explanation of how your theory of power operates, why it can preclude your opponent’s, how your method or approach is preferable, and how you resolve x issues. Your rebuttals should include impact comparison, framing, link defense/offense, permutation(s), and solvency deficits.
History: Graduated from Hebron 2020, qual to the TOC in policy
email chain- Aashir.firstname.lastname@example.org
*If there are any other questions about how I would evaluate something more specifically feel free to ask
*Online Debate - not sharing your evidence in some capacity is an easy way to lose speaks in front of me
*Please type remaining prep in chat if possible- just makes keeping track of prep time easier
**Greenhill 2022 Edit
Please understand the capacity of debating online- microphones create echos and wifi cut-outs are regular- I guarantee if you're spreading your blocks/analytics at full speed I'm going to miss something, and no one is going to be happy about that- I say clear once per speech at most- if I can't cleary understand an articulation, its not making it to my flow
**PLEASE READ- I always preferred judges to be honest so here's my attempt to do so:
1. I was really only successful in policy, did LD at locals and some TOCs- This means I can flow, but I may not be familiar with LD's meta or LD lingo being thrown around- if you have any doubts feel free to ask me before round
2. please take your time to clearly articulate arguments and most importantly make clear implications- I feel judge instruction is severely underutilized by a majority of debaters- rather than being confused about why I viewed an argument a certain way, tell me how to view it and what it means for my decision making.
3. I will obviously try my best to get every argument I hear- but remember, everyone makes mistakes- it never hurts to repeat something you think is important- doing so only increases the chances that it makes it to your judges flow and subsequently into my decision
**EDIT for 2022 Season
1. Topic- keep in mind I haven't done any topic research- I'm confident you're familiar with the topic literature so please explain it thoroughly
2. Speed/Spreading- Please slow down for analytics- I've noticed some debaters literally spread analytics, and to be honest I don't flow fast enough to keep up with that- for me specifically I would say analytics should at a bare minimum be 20-25% slower than your top speed. if you want it on my flow I advise you to articulate it clearly
3. Interps- for your sake and mine, please slow down on the interp at the very least- It doesn't have to be a conversational speed, but should not be spreading either- Ive noticed I'm usually annoyed by casual transitions that are difficult to follow- what i mean is for example if your reading condo bad on the cp flow- make it very clear where you're transitioning to theory- this is easily solved by slowing down and giving clear articulation- if possible I would even a pause at the start of the transition or change your tone so its easier for me to identify a switch is occurring.
"If you want my ballot, this is a simple concept. Tell me 1) what argument you won; 2) why you won it, and 3) why that means you win the round. Repeat."
To be honest, most of my debate experience was with Ks, however, I will try to evaluate each argument to my best ability.
Ks - 1
Policy/Larp - 2-3
Phil - 4
Phil and Tricks- I never really debated these, but it's not like I won't vote for it- I just might require more explanation than a judge more familiar with the argument.
Defaults- all of these can be persuaded differently you just need to give me a reason why:
1. No RVI on Theory- IE theory is no risk (Same for T)
2. Competing Interps > Reasonability
3. Default Framing = Util
4. Tech > truth (in all instances except for things like racism good, sexism good, etc)
a) "are you okay with speed/spreading?" - yeah just try to be clear
b) please, do not spread analytics at 100%. I doubt I type faster than you speak
An ongoing list of things I've noticed I commonly say were insufficient (doing these things will likely make my decision easier) :
1. Judge Instruction- what I mean is beyond just telling me what you're winning (and why you're winning it) give me the implication to the argument (IE what that means for my decision)- doing so makes my judging experience much easier
2. Fleshed Out Extensions- beyond just a reiteration of the tagline
Background: I competed on national and local level LD for all of high school during which I achieved moderate success and qualified to the TOC. I judged consistently throughout college and coached for 3 years on the national level. I have only judged a few times in the past two years. My pronouns are he/him/his.
Email for chain: email@example.com
Warning: I haven't judged in a bit but find that I am still ok at keeping up in high speed rounds, though the Stanford 2021 tournament is my first virtual tournament so just check in throughout the round.
Speaking: I used to do and coach national circuit debate so I am fine with speed however my tolerance is diminished so I will probably be better at judging medium paced rounds. I will tell you to slow down. If I tell you to slow down I have probably already missed arguments you are making.
Substance: Ill judge any round (K, Theory, Substance, etc) I am probably more adapt at judging framework debates but I enjoy anything that is well explained and am happy to judge kritiks, theory, policy making etc.
***PLEASE, I BEG YOU, if nothing else, read my note about speed/clarity!!! This issue is paramount in online debate!***
"Accept that you're a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace - and maybe even glory." - Tom Robbins
Hello! I'm Skye. I graduated from Concordia College where I debated on their policy team for 4 years. I am a CEDA scholar and 2019 NDT participant. In high school, I moved around a lot and have, at some point, participated in every debate format. I have a degree in English Literature and Global Studies with a minor in Women and Gender Studies.
I have experience reading, coaching, & judging both trad policy arguments and Ks.
I have been coaching going on 3 years and judging for 6. I am currently the head policy coach at Wayzata HS in Wayzata, MN. I occasionally help out the Harker School in San Jose, CA and UMN debate in Minneapolis, MN. My full time job is at the Minnesota Urban Debate League, where I am serving my second Americorps VISTA service year as the Community Debate Liaison.
I love debate and I have loved taking on an educator role in the community. I take education very seriously, but I try to approach debates with compassion and mirth, because I think everyone benefits from it. I try to be as engaged and helpful as I can while judging, and I am excited and grateful to be part of your day!
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains. If you have more questions after round, feel free to reach out :)
Top 3 Notes!
1. I FLOW ON PAPER AND HAVE POOR HEARING. I am OK with spreading, I think speed makes for much more in depth and rigorous debates, but with great speed comes great responsibility…
- please use a microphone in a headset/headphones if you have the tech, the laptop mics also pick up echoes and it makes it way harder than it needs to be for my ears
- please send out analytics if you are at all willing
- please send out marked docs at the end of your speech
- please SIGN POST & give me 1 second to move onto the next flow
- please use different intonation and sign posting to indicate you are going onto the next argument on the flow to give me the cue to finish up and move along with you so I can keep an organized flow. Not all speeches will be organized the same way, but if I know where to put things so they line up, then we are all in a better place.
- In the 2A/NC & rebuttals, spreading your way through analytics at MAX SPEED will not help you, because I won't be able to write it all down, or even really process the very dense argumentation and smart things you are saying.
If it gets to the RFD, and I feel like my flow doesn’t incapsulate the debate well because you did not accommodate me, I am very sorry for all of us, and I just hate it. I am not afraid to tell you I did not get everything or missed something. To me, that is on the debater, not the judge. There are way too many people in this activity that like to pretend they can hear every word no matter what. I am not one of those people. This is still a communication activity, and I earnestly believe the debaters should keep that in mind.
2. When it is time for the RFD, I go to framework first. If any framework arguments were extended in the rebuttals, I will reach a conclusion about who wins what and use that to dictate my decision making. I will always do this, without fail, I promise you. If there aren'y any, or the debaters were unclear, I will default to a very classic policy debate style cost-benefit analysis.
3. I default to evaluating debates from the point of tech/line by line, but arguments that were articulated with a warrant, a reason you are winning them/comparison to your opponents’ answers, and why they matter for the debate will significantly outweigh those that don’t.
"tag teaming cross ex": sure, just know that if you don't answer any CX questions OR cut your partner off, it will likely affect your speaks.
Clash debates, K aff: Fairness is probably not your best option for terminal impact, but just fine if articulated as an internal link to education. Education is very significant to me, that is why I am here. I think limits are generally good. I think the best K affs debate from the “core” or “center” of the topic, and have a clear model of debate to answer framework with. So the side that best illustrates their model of debate and its educational value while disproving the merits of their opponents’ is the side that wins to me.
Clash debates, K on the neg: As I’ve mentioned previously,framework will really guide my decision, so I encourage debaters to invest time there. The links are really important to me, especially giving an impact to that link. I think case debate is slept on by K debaters. I have recently started thinking of K strat on the negative as determined by what generates uniqueness in any given debate: the links? The alt? Framework? Both/all?
K v. K: Framework, friends, framework. Without framework we are but scurvy-ridden sailors in a sea of K goo. It may be helpful to know that I think of perms as a test of the links/competition, and not so much as an advocacy.
Ks, general:I feel that it can be easy for debaters to lose their K and by the end of the debate, I’m not sure what critical analysis actually happened in the round.No alt needed if you're worried about that, as long as there is framework/framing that supports it. I also think situating your K in/to the context of debate clarifies things for me quite a bit.
Condo/Theory: I am not opposed to voting on condo bad, but please read it as a PROCEDURAL, with an interp, violation, and standards. Anything else just becomes a mess. The same applies to any theory argument. I approach it all thinking, “What do we want debates to be like? What norms do we want to set?”
T: Will vote on T, please see theory and clash v. K aff sections for more insight, I think of these things in much the same way.
Plans/policy v K: Although I am personally ideologically predisposed to critical arguments in the ~real world~, I increasingly do not feel this is the case in debate. I also think there is an artificial polarization of k vs. Policy ideologies in debate; these things are not so incompatible as we seem to believe. Policy and K arguments are all the same under the hood to me, I see things as links, impacts, etc.; these worlds are not so polarized to me. I do think it is a good idea to clue me into what all your acronyms, initialisms, and topic jargon means, though.
policy, general:I am a simple soul here. I like refutation, LBL, evidence analysis, and collapsing down in rebuttals. You know, good debate.
LD, random arguments about wearing shoes or whatever: Please don't read ridiculous things that benefit no one educationally, that is an uphill battle for you.
Read no cards-----------x------------------------Read all the cards
Conditionality good---------------x---------------Conditionality bad
States CP good-------------------------x---------States CP bad
Federalism DA good---------------------------x--Federalism DA bad
Politics DA good for education --------------------------x---Politics DA not good for education
Fairness is a thing----------------------------x--Delgado 92
Try or die------------------------------------x-----What's the opposite of try or die
Clarityxxx--------------------------------------------Srsly who doesn't like clarity
Presumption----------x----------------------------Never votes on presumption
Resting grumpy face-------------------------x----Grumpy face is your fault
CX about impacts----------------------------x----CX about links and solvency
AT: ------------------------------------------------------x-- A2:
Update MSTOC - no theory in MS PF, also be sure to extend case args as I will vote on presumption with no hesitation
I am a 2nd year college student, GSU policy debater, IBA coach, Sequoyah HS 21'. Paradigm shortened for ease, ask questions before round. I will explain why I didn't vote on each flow I didn't vote on which arg I voted on as well as explain what it would have taken to get my ballot/improve chances of future ballots after each round. I love debate which is why i am here, if deb8 gets too messy I may end up sounding PO'd.
I have sat on 6 of 41 panels, however almost every time I have sat it's due to a lack of warranting and comparative analysis which has forced intervention as the judge to decide which side is likely better. I won't draw extensions for you, I will weigh if both teams don't but these rounds are borderline unresolvable.
Quick prefs: 1 - K, Larp 2 - Tricks/Theory 3 - Topicality 4 - Phil (LD)
Speed - Lower speed spreading with a focus on clairity is ideal for me.
Influences: Chansey Agler, Matthew Bartula, Patrick Smith, Jared Croituro, The Western Washington University Team, Andrew Shaw, Luis Toro
DA's should be read in rebuttal, begin weighing by 2nd rebuttal/1st summary but don't say weighing in your off time roadmap, you are weighing ON the case flow, not as an off case. Low risk is not sufficient for a presumption ballot. I am a big fan of stock arguments ran well, not that a unique case is bad, but run it with confidence and knowledge of the scenarios.
Because I am an IBA coach I guess I spend most of my time researching the PF topics and coaching PF. However due to my policy and LD background I am really good for K's, theory and I am willing to vote on tricks with a warrant (ideally contextual to sides or speaking positions so as to not be non uq). I am likely the most progressive judge in a given PF pool. Likely also one of the most tech too.
I prefer line by line to overviews for 2nd rebuttal/summarys. If there are 5 arguments read against ur contention, respond to all 5. I hate embedded clash and will not draw the lines for you - make your implications yourself as I try to minimize interventions.
Analytics are sufficient to create warrants but if its a stat or not intuitive then plz have card. Nothing is sticky. Extend all warrants
The first line of your FF should be what you want my RFD to be. Collapse, please oh god collapse. I have never voted on two things at once.
Nothing is sticky besides defaults (ie fairness/CI/death bad). You can't sever reps, "dropping" is biting defense on something to then prove your own contention is zero risk - means you can't collapse out of turns and if you collapse turns, your impacts are fair game.
Presumption errs 1st, permissibility errs con. Fairness/education default matter in the round, it is your burden to weigh why they matter.
While I am very tech - I emphasize warrants/explanation in what I need. Voting for something I don't understand is ridiculus but I am a quick learner and read cards during CX/Prep so I specifically need more explanation in the synergy between cards and implications. I won't vote on something not said in round. I will auto drop cards/extensions if they are non starter d2 lack of warranting even if extended, however thats very rare and mostly happens in LD 2ar's/PF FF's where they shadow extend args.
I am best for plan v K debates. I likely am not read up on your topic. I am good at the technical aspects of voting on phil, likely am not read up on ur fw tho. I like K's, I am much more receptive to pre fiat and discourse impact/alts. Reps matter.
Most of my ballots boil down to 2 things: either 1. a sequencing questions where root cause/impact X precludes argument Y. or 2. magnitude weighing. Hence why I say I am best fro LARP or K because I love root cause weighing and also I like the framework 2ar going for magnitude ow.
I lean no way on any theory arguments (eg PICs, Condo, Agent, ASPEC etc). However theory is rewarded for better warrants and does worse when it has worse warrants. I default fairness/ed are voters. Counter interp/Counter Model. No RVI (super ez to win RVI good in front of me though, just default responses are defense). Which voter comes args 1st should be done by block/1ar in policy or 1ar/2nr in LD. This lead to a controversial decision in an elim which is why I specify because I think fairness always matters (unless said otherwise) and its a matter of weighing if it comes 1st. Imbedded clash must have implications. I also err spirit > text so keep that in mind. Actual warrants and abuse matter as its an accusation of being abusive. I call it a wash if there is 0 risk + no RVI or if neither team has risk of offense, I rarely do the ladder so especially if there is an RVI this better be both or ur whole speeches besides a 10 sec case extension. I prefer reading multiple shells and combining warrants through spirit to reading combo shells. Signpost shells and slow down, I flow along doc (not off) so if its not in doc then light signaling is good like slowing slightly down and emphasing the text and tags.
Not the best for adv or process CP's, am better for actor PIC's. If I don't understand your CP I will not vote for it. CP theory is strategic. Kicking shell doesn't kick reps. I err judge kick good. 50 states is lame but sure go for it. Innovation is rewarded here. I have never had a policy 2n on a CP and maybe 3 CP 2n's in LD.
DA's are cool. Specific links get rewarded. Timeframe/sequencing weighing is how you get me usually here. Quick tf + mag ow aff + a sequencing explanation is soooooo fun to watch. Ptx is cool, have ur updates within 2 weeks preferably and postdating ev is strategic here esp when all authors r p bad in these uq deb8's. I am a very large fan of the more niche impacts like dollarization and food stuff.
K's are probs best for me as I read/cut/think abt them the most. I think there needs to be a clear framework page in the 1NC if your A-strat is your K or if u plan to go for reps or pre fiat. I prefer K's to be explained in simpler terms past the 1AC/1NC, idk what a rhizome is nor will I remember what it is during the round so explain it. I am a massive fan of clash and engagement in K debates. Alt explanation is important to me especially if you go for alt solves aff or as a PIK. Floating PIK's r funny, explain why the PIK is uq and perm is not bc this gets muddy. I love antiblackness lit and cybernetics however I think explaining your version is key because there are like 500 dif ways to interpret some of this stuff. In the (CX)block /(LD) 2nr plz have an OV abt summarizing ur TOP on the K and contextualizing that to the round. Having events to show as examples in K's helps ie specific laws or acts of violence. I am more cool with generic links than most judges but I like when its contextualized to actions/args even if the card isn't specifically abt their aff/plan.
Speaker points: rewarding off speaking ability is kinda ableist so I reward off of strategy and cleanliness on the flow. Word economy and strategy goes much further. Some of my coolest rounds have been against teams speaking at conversational speed but with sufficient arguments to still go far.
1. Yes, include me on the doc chain – email@example.com
2. No, I am not ok with you just putting the card in the text of the email
3. Idk if the aff has to read a plan. I would obviously prefer it because I'm used to it, but I also would prefer if I were in for zero rounds, so…
4. No, you should not try to read Baudrillard or other post-modern theories against me. This is not a challenge. It's not a threat, it's a warning.
5. Yes, you should (please) slow down while debating if you are online. There are glitches in streaming and it’s hard enough to understand you. For a while, I tried following along with the docs when I missed something, but we all know that just leads to more errors. This is your warning: if you are not clear enough to flow I will not try to flow it. I will give two warnings to be clear (and one after your speech in case you didn’t hear me). If you choose to keep doing you, don’t expect to win or for me to know what you said. On the flip side, if you are actively slowing down to make the debate comprehensible, you will be rewarded with a speaker point bump.
6. JESUS CHRIST PLEASE stop trying to debate how you think I want you to. It's never a good look to over-adapt. The only exception isis you want to go for Baudrillard and somehow ended up with me as a judge. Then please over-adapt. I cannot stress enough the importance of adaptation if you are trying to tell me post-modern theory or that death is cool.
- I am chronically ill. If you pref me, there is a chance I have a flare up while judging you. This means I will finish the debate with my camera off but am still there. I just want some privacy while sick/you really don't want to see my face if I turn my camera off.
- I am a blunt judge. If you choose to pref me, that’s on you. Blow me up and I might say some harsh things. I wont call you out of your name, but I will be very clear about your skills (or lack thereof) in the debate.
- I also might cry...I'm clinically hypersensitive from PTSD. If I cry and you weren't being a total jerk, don't over-apologize and make the RFD about me, lets just plan on a written RFD in that case.
The longer version:
I've been told you need to average a 29.2 to clear nowadays. Because of that:
-a learning speech will be 28.4-28.7,
-an average speech will be 28.8-29.1,
-a clearing level speech will be 29.2-29.5,
-a top ten speaker will be 29.6-29.9.
I'm not giving 30s. Ya gotta be perfect to get a 30, and Hannah Montana taught me that nobody's perfect.
If you get below a 28.4 you probably severely annoyed me.
If you get below a 28, you were probably a problem in the debate, ethically.
-I’ve rarely judged a planless debate where the neg has not gone for framework. In instances where I have, the neg was policy style impact turning a concept of the aff, not going for a K based on a different theory of the world.
-I generally went for framework against planless affirmatives when I debated, and therefore am a bit deeper on the neg side of things. That being said, I also have a standard for what the neg needs to do to make a complete argument.
-I don’t think topicality, or adhering to a resolution, is analogous to rape, slavery, or other atrocities. That doesn't mean arguments about misogynoir, pornotroping, or other arguments of that nature don't work with me. I understand the logic of something being problematic. It's just the oversimplification of theory into false comparisons I take issue with.
-I don’t think that not being topical will cause everyone to quit, lose all ability to navigate existential crises, or other tedious internal link chains. That being said, I love an external impact to framework that defends the politics of government action.
-I would really prefer if people had reasonable arguments on topicality for why or why they don’t need to read a plan, rather than explaining to me their existential impact to voting aff or neg. In the same way that I'm not persuaded the neg will quit or extinction will happen if you don't read a plan, I also don't think extinction will happen if you lose to topicality. Focus instead on the real debate impacts at hand. Though, as said above, I love a good defense of your politics, and if that has a silly extinction impact that's fine.
-I find myself persuaded that the case can not outweigh topicality. Arguments from the case can be used to impact turn topicality, but that is distinct from “case outweighs limits” in my mind. T is a gateway issue. If the neg goes for T, that's what the debate is about. This is why I think many planless 1ACs are best when they have a built-in angle against framework.
Neg K v plans:
-Generally, the alt won’t solve when the aff does a serious push, but the aff will let the neg get away with murder on alt solvency.
-Generally, the alt doing the plan is a reason to reject the alt/team absent a framework debate, which is fine.
-Generally, contradictions justify severance
-Generally, the neg is allowed to read Ks
-I'm getting more and more persuaded the neg needs a big push on framework to beat the perm. If the alt is fiated and not mutually exclusive with the plan, there is almost no way to convince me that the perm won't solve.
-Framework debates are won by engaging the theory aspect and is pragmatism/action desirable, not just one. Typically the neg spends a bunch of time winning the aff is an unethical method, while the aff is talking about fairness and limits.
K v K debate:
I tend to find myself thinking of things in terms of causality, so if that’s not your jam you gotta tell me not to think in that way. I have *technically* judged a K v K debate, but I'm pretty sure it was a cap debate that was more impact turn-y than theory of power-y.
I'm interested in seeing debates like this despite my lack of experience.
K stuff in general:
-My degree is in math. While y’all were reading a lot of background lit, I was doing abstract algebra. You might have to break it down a bit. I'm reading a bit more of the stuff y'all debate from in grad school, but it's still safe to eli5.
-I am more persuaded by identity or constructivism than post-modernism.
-I DO NOT recommend reading Baudrillard, Bataille, etc. You might think "but I'm the one that will change her mind;" you aren't. I will be annoyed for having to judge the debate tbh. You have free will to read it if you want, but I have free will to tank your points with ZERO remorse. If this third warning doesn't do it for you, you are responsible for your speaker points.
General: I don't like to read cards as a default. If a card is called into question or my BS meter is going off, I will read the card. Absent that, I'm mostly about the flow and ethos. Tell me what warrants in your card you want me to know about. Point out the parts in the other team's evidence that are bad for them. That makes my judging job easier AND gives you a sick speaker point boost.
-Tell me if I can (or can’t!) kick it for you. I may or may not remember to if you don’t. I may or may not feel like you are allowed to if you don’t.
-Reading definitions of should means the perm or theory is in tough shape. It's not unwinnable, but I was a 2A… Tricky process counterplans that argue to result in the aff by means of solvency, but are *actually* competitive (more than just should and resolved definitions), game on. If that means you have to define some topic words in an interesting way, I'm fine with that. Also, despite being a classic 2A, I find myself holding the aff to a higher standard sometimes. Maybe it's because I went to MSU, but a lot of times I find myself thinking "this CP obviously doesn't solve. why doesn't the aff just say that or try to cut a card about it???"
-Make the intrinsic perm great again
-Links to the net benefit is usually a sliding scale. But sometimes links have a certain threshold where it doesn’t matter which links less. Please consider this nuance when debating.
-TBH – y’all blaze through theory blocks with no clarity and then get confused when I have no standards written down. These debates are bad. Be more clear. Speak at a flowable pace. Maybe make your own arguments. Idk.
-It is debatable whether an argument is a reason to reject the argument or team.
-2ACs that spend 15-plus seconds on the theory shell will see a lot more mileage and viability for the 2AR. One-sentence blips with no warrants and flow checks will be treated as such.
-impact comparison and turns case are lost arts in theory debates.
-Yes, there can be zero DA. No, it’s not as common as you think.
-answer turns case!!!
I debated LD for three years for Strake Jesuit (after a brief period in PF). I qualified for TFA State and TOC in LD, and I have instructed at TDC and NSD. I am conflicted with Strake Jesuit. Contact me/add me to docs at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can call me "JP." "James," "Mr. Stuckert" or "judge" are fine but weird to me.
For online rounds:
1. Keeping local recordings of speeches is good. You should do it.
2. If I or another judge call “clear” video chat systems often cut your audio for a second. This means (a) you should prioritize clarity to avoid this and (b) even repeat yourself when “clear” is called if it’s a particularly important argument.
3. I don’t like to read off docs, but if there's an audio problem in an online round, I will glance to make sure I at least know where you are. I would really prefer not to be asked to backflow from a doc if there's a tech issue, hence local recordings above.
4. You should probably be at like 70% of your normal speed while online.
· I aim to be a neutral party minimizing intervention while evaluating arguments made within the speech times/structure set by the tournament or activity to pick one winner and loser for myself. Some implications:
o The speech structure of LD includes CX. Don't take it as prep and don't go back on something you commit to in CX (unless it's a quick correction when you misspeak, or is something ambiguous). I generally flow cx and factor it into speaker points, but arguments must still be made in other speeches.
o The speech structure also precludes overt newness. Arguments which are new in later speeches should be implications, refutations, weighing or extensions of already existing arguments. Whether 2N or 2AR weighing is allowable is up for debate and probably contextual. Reversing a stance you have already taken is newness -- e.g. you can't kick out of weighing you made if your opponent didn't answer it. (Obviously you can kick condo advocacies unless you lose theory.)
o I won't listen to double-win or double-loss arguments or anything of the sort. You also can't argue that you should be allowed to go over your speech time.
o Being a neutral party means my decision shouldn't involve anything about you or your opponent that would render me a conflict. If I were involved in your prefs, I would consider myself to essentially be a coach, so I won't listen to pref/strike Ks. If other types of out-of-round conduct impact the round, I will evaluate it (e.g. disclosure).
o Judge instruction and standards of justification on the flow are very important, and if they are not explicit, I look to see if they are implicit before bringing to bear my out-of-round inclinations. If two debaters implicitly agree on some framing issue, I treat it as a given.
o Evidence ethics: I will allow a debater to ask to stake the round on an evidence ethics issue if it involves: (1) brackets/cutting that changes the meaning of a card; (2) outright miss-attribution including lying about an author's name, qualifications, or their actual position; (3) alterations to the text being quoted including ellipses, mid-paragraph cutting, and changing words without brackets. Besides these issues, you can challenge evidence with theory or to make a point on the line-by-line. For me, you should resolve the following on the flow: (1) brackets that don't change meaning; (2) taking an author's argument as a premise for a larger position they might not totally endorse; (3) cases where block quotes or odd formatting makes it unclear if something is a mid-paragraph cut; (4) not being able to produce a digital copy of a source in-round. If another judge on a panel has a broader view on what the round can be staked on, I'll just default to agreeing it is a round-staking issue.
· Despite my intention to avoid intervention, I am probably biased in the following ways:
o On things like T framework and disclosure I think there is an under-discussed gap between "voting on theory can set norms" to "your vote will promote no more and no less than the text of my interp in this activity."
o I will be strongly biased against overtly offensive things (arguments which directly contravene the basic humanity of a marginalized group). I don’t think it’s prima facie offensive to read moral philosophy that denies some acts are intrinsically evil (like skep or strict ends-based ethical theories) or which denies that consequences are morally relevant (like skep or strict means-based theories). I also don't think generic impact turns against big stick impacts are innately offensive. But I will certainly listen to Ks or independent voters indicting any of those things.
o Speaks: each speech counts, including CX. Strategy and well-warranted arguments are the two biggest factors. My range typically doesn't go outside 28 to 29.5. I adjust based on how competitive the tournament is. I don't disclose them.
o Be polite to novices, even if you can win a round in 20 seconds it’s not always kind to do so. Just be aware of how your actions might make them feel.
o I am usually unpersuaded by rhetorical appeals that take it for granted that some debate styles (K, LARP, phil, theory, tricks) are worse than others, but you can and should make warranted arguments comparing models of debate.
please add me on the email chain, email@example.com
I have 7 years of experience of debating in policy and I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2021 where I was primarily a 2N.
--- Top Level Notes ---
1. Make the space enjoyable, safe, and educational for everyone. Your language and actions do matter. I think often times, debaters get defensive when their behavior is called out rather than apologize, listen and be reflective of their actions.
2. Do what you do best and go for whatever you feel most comfortable in front of me. I don't have any argument preferences. I am more concerned about you articulating your arguments to me than what the arguments actually are.
3. In the last rebuttals, I am most persuaded by the team that goes for fewer arguments, spends time impacting them out, providing me judge direction, and telling me how it implicates the rest of the debate.
4. Do not expect me to read your evidence after the round unless it's completely necessary. It is your job to thoroughly explain your evidence and how it contributes to your argument in the debate.
5. While I more on the tech leaning side of the tech over truth debate, I will not grant you an argument that is dropped if you do not extend it properly and/or impacted it out. A dropped argument needs to be fleshed out before I consider it true.
--- POLICY ---
At a glance, here are some things that will go far in front of me:
1. Case engagement: I love case debating and am increasingly persuaded by teams that have a great strategy for case. I find that the block does not spend enough time on case, and it makes debates a lot closer than they should be. If you read the k and are going against a policy aff, I get very excited when ya'll read impact defense, solvency takeouts, and evidence indicts to these policy teams.
2. Impacts in the rebuttals: Impacts need to be fleshed out in the final speeches. I need to know how not doing the aff is going to trigger the impact, where some war is happening, why it's uniquely coming now, etc. I find myself voting for teams that spend a lot of time in the final rebuttal giving me specific details on their impacts, how they can be avoided, and doing impact comparison with the other team. Same goes for more structural impacts.
3. Evidence comparison and indicts: I feel like this is super underrated and a great way to discredit any argument. Why are we not calling out the written impacts from military blogs or written by war criminals? Also, as I stated above, pulling the warrants out of your evidence, doing analysis, and tying it to your argument is very compelling and the best part of policy debate.
4. Judge direction and weighing of arguments: This is more related to policy v. kritik debates on the framework page. I have a hard time evaluating this because I don't see a lot of clash. If you want me to vote on a role of the ballot/judge, there needs to be clear weighing and impact extension as to why this plays an important role in the debate.
5. If you want to have some fun with what you read, I am all for it. I read (and have won rounds) on the time K and nuclear war good. Do with that what you will.
--- Specific Arguments ---
I really enjoy these debates. I think they raise questions about our underlying assumptions about change on a social/political level and the topic itself. I always learn a lot and enjoy seeing debaters creativity!
That being said, I think K affs should be somewhat in the direction of the topic. I also find that solvency mechanism warrants are important for me to be persuaded by your argument. Like any aff, the 2ar should clearly extend the impact, how the aff resolves it, and why it's uniquely important.
Versus T or FW debates, I think even if you are impact turning it, I would like to know why your aff was a prior question to their TVA (if they have one).
Topicality/Framework (v. K affs)
There needs to be more clash, weighing, and comparison in these debates. I find policy teams repeating their blocks and not digging in deep as to why policy interpretations are necessary for educational value (or whatever else your impact is) is in debate. I am not really persuaded by fairness impacts, mainly because I do not think teams clash with their opponents arguments but that doesn't mean I won't vote for them.
I find topical versions of the aff very persuasive. If you have one, you need to explain to me why it solves the affirmatives offense on the page. Make sure you impact this argument out and explain why you couldn't engage with the aff (or rather why potential abuse is a voter). I'm down with the affirmative impact turning these arguments so long as there is impact comparison in the rebuttals.
I really enjoy these debates, especially versus policy affs. Link explanations go a really long way in front of me. I am most persuaded by teams that give extensive analysis of their evidence and provide specific examples to contextualize their link with the aff, rather than teams that dump a bunch of cards or shadow extend arguments.
Depending on how the debate is going, I also enjoy alternative solvency explanation and how/why the alternative can solve the impacts the 1AC isolates.
Please note that if you read psychoanalysis or other high theory, I am going to need a lot of explanation on some basic concepts so please keep this in mind.
Love it. If you read a counterplan with more than three planks, please take your speed down to 80% so I can catch what you are saying.
I default to judge kick unless told otherwise.
Make sure a clear link and impact story is established in the 2NC. This makes for better storytelling in the 2NR. I also think quality of evidence on disads are important.
Please slow down so I can catch these arguments. Theory can be an option in the 2AR so long as there is enough substance in the 1AR to grant you your 2ar arguments. Make sure comparison of arguments happens and that your theory arguments are impacted out.
Topicality (v. policy affs)
Give me a picture of what the topic should look like under your interpretation and what the affirmative has done to disrupt this.
I find that some teams forget to impact out their standards. Go further and tell me how your ground and limits arguments are key to fairness and education. Tell me why the affirmative's interpretation has made fairness and education worse and also why those impacts are important. These arguments should be present in the 2NR.
--- Online procedurals ---
1. Follow tournament procedurals for online debate.
2. Keep your camera on while you speak. If you have some internet issues and need to keep it off to maintain sound quality, that is totally fine, you just need to let me know so I won't dock your speaks. Otherwise, if you are keeping your camera off for the whole debate just to have it off, I will give you low speaker points.
3. Holy cow, do not start a speech without me indicating that I am ready. I will keep my camera off for prep but I will turn my camera on and throw a thumbs up/verbally confirm that I am ready. If my camera is not on and if you do not see me throw a thumbs up to indicate that I am ready, do not start your speech. It's not my fault if I don't catch something you say because you did not confirm everyone was ready.
--- LD ---
While I have not competed in LD, I have judged numerous varsity LD rounds from the local to national level. I do not have a preference to a style in which you debate the topic, i.e. philosophical, kritikal, traditional, etc., however, I do care that you debate the topic in some way.
Here are some thoughts that I have about particular arguments but also how I evaluate LD debates:
1. I view the value-criterion as the framing for the debate and typically go to that debate first so I can filter the rest of the debate through this framework. In some debates it matters, others it doesn't (especially if the teams agree on/have similar value-criterions).
2. I am going to take a bit from a former coach's paradigm because I believe this is something I encounter a lot in LD: "too many debaters do not do their evidence justice. You should not expect me to read your evidence after the round and realize it's awesome. You should make sure I know it's awesome while you read it...Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, [by thoroughly explaining their evidence and why it matters in the debate], will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot."
3. I do not like when debaters will read/extend a bunch of arguments that do not provide a good warrant or reason why the argument matters. I would rather the 1NC read 1 less off case position in favor of more developed case analysis, impact calc, or fully complete arguments. I would rather the 1ar make 1 less theory argument in favor of actually explaining what the words "perm do both" mean, why the case outweighs, and sinking time in where it matters.
4. Impacting out your arguments and doing impact/evidence comparison in the final rebuttals is very important to me. Tell me why your arguments matters, why they are a priority, and overall why you won the debate. Ships passing in the night or blippy extensions are not advantageous for you.
5. Conditionality is probably bad in LD, but it's not that hard to defend condo good and I think most of these counterplan issues are best resolved at the level of how competitive they are with the aff, not theory. Again, sink time into arguments where you feel confident in going for them and explaining thoroughly in your final rebuttal.
6. I do not discriminate against certain arguments but if you read Kant, I am probably not the judge for you. I have judge a few of these debates and they are pretty confusing to me. If you are a Kant person who gets me as a judge, I need a lot more explanation on some of these buzzwords. I am also convinced that many students who read Kant don't really go for an impact or tell me how it relates back to the resolution so please do these things.
Affiliation: Marlborough (CA), Apple Valley (MN)
Past: Peninsula (CA), Lexington (MA)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org — but I prefer to use speechdrop.net
I like substantive and engaging debates focused on the topic's core controversies. While I greatly appreciate creative strategy, I prefer deeply warranted arguments backed by solid evidence to absurd arguments made for purely tactical reasons.
I find the tech or truth construction to be reductive — both matter. I will try to evaluate claims through a more-or-less bayesian lens. This means my existing knowledge of the world establishes a baseline for the plausibility of claims, and those priors are updated by the arguments made in a debate. This doesn’t mean I’ll intervene based on my preexisting beliefs; rather, it will simply take much more to win that 2+2=5 than to prove that grass is green.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" — Carl Sagan
"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence" — Christopher Hitchens
I default to viewing resolutions as normative statements that divide ground, but I’m open to arguments in favor of alternative paradigms. In general, I believe the affirmative should defend a topical policy action that's a shift from the status quo. The negative burden is generally to defend the desirability of the status quo or competitive advocacy.
Affirmatives should advocate a clearly delineated plan or advocacy, which can be the resolution itself. The aff's advocacy text is the basis for negative competition and links, and as such, it must contain any information the aff feels is relevant to those discussions. Affs cannot refuse to specify or answer questions regarding elements of their advocacy and then later make permutations or no-link arguments that depend on those specific elements. "Normal means" claims can be an exception but require evidence that the feature in question is assumed. Proof that some possible version of the aff could include such a feature is insufficient. Refusal to answer direct questions about a particular element of the advocacy will likely take "normal means" claims off the table.
I prefer policy/stock arguments, but I’m certainly open to critical or philosophical positions and vote on them often.
If you refer to your arguments as “tricks,” it’s a good sign that I’m not the best judge for you. Debaters should, whenever possible, advance the best arguments at their disposal. Calling your argument a "trick" implies its value lies in surprise or deception, not quality.
Note: an odd topic construction could alter these priors, but I'll do my best to make that known here if that's the case.
Generally, affirmatives should be topical. I have and will vote for non-topical positions, but the burden is on the aff to justify why the topicality constraint shouldn't apply to them.
Topicality is a question of whether the features of the plan/advocacy itself being a good idea proves the resolution. This means I will look unfavorably on a position that is effects topical, extra-topical, or related to the topic but doesn't in and of itself prove the resolution.
In topicality debates, both semantics and pragmatic justifications are essential. However, interpretations must be "semantically eligible" before I evaluate pragmatic advantages. Pragmatic advantages are relevant in deciding between plausible interpretations of the words in the resolution; pragmatics can't make those words mean something they don't. I will err aff if topicality is a close call.
Affs nearly always must disclose 30 min before start time, and both debaters should disclose which AC they will read before elim flips.
Affirmatives should usually be topical.
Plans are good, but they need to be consistent with the wording of the topic.
Extra T is probably bad
Severance is bad
Intrinsicness is usually bad, but I'm open to intrinsic perms in response to process cps
Conditionality is OK
PICs are OK
Alt agent fiat is probably bad
Competing interpretations>reasonability, usually
Probably no RVIs
Almost certainly no RVIs on Topicality
I don't like arguments that place artificial constraints on paradigm issues based on the speech in which they are presented.
I am open to Ks and vote on them frequently. That said, I’m not intimately familiar with every critical literature base. So, clear explanation, framing, and argument interaction are essential. Likewise, the more material your impacts and alternative are, the better. Again, the more unlikely the claim, the higher the burden of proof. It will take more to convince me of the strongest claims of psychoanalysis than that capitalism results in exploitation.
Establishing clear links that generate offense is necessary. Too often, Ks try to turn fundamentally defensive claims into offense via jargon and obfuscation. A claim that the aff can’t or doesn't solve some impact is not necessarily a claim the aff is a bad idea.
It's essential that I understand the alternative and how it resolves the harms of the Kritik. I won't vote for an advocacy that I can't confidently articulate.
Arguments I will not vote for
An argument that has no normative implications, except in situations where the debater develops and wins an argument that changes my default assumptions.
A strategy that purposely attempts to wash the debate to trigger permissibility/presumption.
A contingent framework/advocacy that is "triggered" in a later speech.
Any argument that asks me to evaluate the debate after a speech that isn't the 2AR.
Arguments/Practices I will immediately drop you for
Any argument that concludes that every action is permissible.
Any argument that creates a hostile environment for either myself, the other debater, or anyone watching the debate.
Any argument that explicitly argues that something we all agree is awful (genocide, rape, etc.) is a good thing. This must be an argument THAT THE DEBATER AGREES implies horrible things are ok. If the other debater wins an argument that your framework justifies something terrible, but it is contested, then it may count as a reason not to accept your framework, but it will not be a reason to drop you on its own.
I only judge PF a few times a year, mostly at camp. Arguments are arguments regardless of the format, so most of my typical paradigm applies. The big caveat is that I strongly prefer teams read actual cards instead of paraphrasing evidence. I understand that there are differences of opinion, so I won't discount paraphrasing entirely, but I'll have a lower bar for indicts. Also, I'm not reading ten full articles at the end of the debate, so I'd appreciate it if you could prepare the paraphrased portions in advance.
I debated from 16-19 doing and coached a top 10 parli team in the 19-20 season. I now study computer science and economics co 2023.
Three absolute essentials from my friend Zaid's paradigm:
1. Add me to the email chain before the round starts: email@example.com. Make sure that the documents are .pdfs.
2. Preflow before the round. When you walk into the room you should be ready to start ASAP.
3. 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.
My paradigm is split into three: for the Tournament of Champions in Lexington KY, for all other tournaments, and aMUST READ GENERAL PARADIGM at the bottom.
For THE TOC:
My paradigm is exclusively directed towards limiting the insane prep gap between big schools and small schools - but for the TOC it doesn't really matter. Tech over truth. Still do explain everything you say and mean. I'm familiar with some of the common Ks on the TOC circuit in California but you need to explain literally everything to me. Assume that I am a computer program in the sense that you need to explain everything to me and I'll just simply output a decision on the argument.
I would really prefer the AFF to stay topical.
However, I'm still really uncomfortable with RVIs in most cases because I simply am not familiar with it on a higher level. So essentially, theory should only happen when there is real abuse in the round where this alleged abuse is the #1 voter in the round. Debaters should stake the round on this.
I still would prefer substance debate and that is what I am most familiar with judging.
Your job as a competitor is to make my job AS EASY as possible. The easier you make it, the greater the likelihood of getting my ballot. The less truthful the argument, the more work you have to do to convince me that your argument is true. I also am tech > truth but implicit link chains and poor warrants make my job much harder - it would be in your best interest to thus frame impacts as truthful as possible. It's a really hard buy for me to believe that overfishing in subsaharan Africa will need to inter-galactic war. But, it's a smarter argument and less work for me to understand that water wars in Africa will lead to global starvation and that will lead to war.
I would prefer if post-rounding is done via text messages/emails because I hate delaying tournaments and no one is trying to stay until 1 am. If I don't understand an argument, I will straight up tell you via RFD that I didn't understand it.
For Every Other Tournament:
I do not view debate as a game, I view it almost like math class or science class as it carries tremendous educational value. I generally dislike how gamified debate has become - especially LD. There are a lot of inequities in debate and treating it like a game deepens those inequities. Progressive argumentation is a practice which big schools utilize to extend the prep gap between them and small schools. Hence, I believe that traditional debate is the MOST educational way to go about this activity.
Your job as a competitor is to make my job AS EASY as possible. The easier you make it, the greater the likelihood of getting my ballot. The less truthful the argument, the more work you have to do to convince me that your argument is true. I am tech over truth generally but I cannot buy egregiously unreasonable arguments. Good warrants and link chains are key to convincing me that your arguments are indeed reasonable.
I'll accept theory on the condition that there's real demonstrated abuse in the round(going over time repeatedly, spreading when asked not to etc). Norms are fake and breaking norms in most cases is not abuse. I'll go by what is in the explicit CHSSA/NSDA rules. Besides, how do you expect a debater to know about these norms at their first invitational?
I generally dislike theory shells like Nebel or hyperspecific stuff. Like I said earlier, you have to do a lot of work to convince me in these shells that there was abuse so you're better off not going down that route. Not a big fan of disclosure either. I think performance Ks, K Affs, RVIs and tricks are a byproduct of debaters seeking to win this "game" of debate. You win not by utilizing ridiculous strategies but by genuinely convincing me of your argument. You're better off not even going down this route. Ks are fine, just explain your author and phil thoroughly. You can't expect me to know your author and what your K is.
Don't spread. That would be ideal.
Thus, my threshold for progressive debate is high.
In general, regardless of tournament:
Generally in LD, the arguments in which you will have to do the least work to convince me are substance debate and policy debate. I also like how traditional debaters debate philosophy as well. Framework debate is good but I'm not a huge fan of value/VC debate.
If I am judging PF and you run progressive nonsense, it's an automatic loss. PF is MEANT to be accessible to the public. My 90 year old grandpa should be able to judge a round and understand what is happening.
In all events, I don't really care about cross since it's an opportunity for you to set up future arguments. I usually know who's won by the second to last speech (1NR in LD and negative summary) so unless the round is particularly close I don’t flow the last speech.
It will serve you best to think of me as a deeply experienced flay judge rather than a circuit judge.
I will reward smart arguments with higher speaker points. Weigh effectively and weigh often. Provide warranting for your arguments. This is the path to my ballot! Just tell me how and why to vote for you, do not trust me to understand and extend your implicit arguments.
Other than this, have fun, crack jokes, reference anecdotes and be creative. I'll give you +1 speaker points if you use a computer science concept in an analogy.
she/they, lay-uh, not lee-uh
A) I've competed and coached high school and college policy debate since 2008.
B) I've taught new novice students and instructed K-12 teachers about Parli, PuFo, LD, and Policy
C) I am an educator and curriculum developer, so that is how I view my role as a judge and approach feedback in debate. I type my RFDs, please ask your coaches (if you have an experienced coach) to explain strategic concepts I referenced. Otherwise you can email me.
D) I am very aware of the differences in strategy and structure when comparing Policy Debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate.
d)) which means I can tell when evidence from one format of debate [ex: policy -> ld] is merely read in a different format of debate for strategic choices rather than educational engagement.
heads up: i can tell when you are (sp)reading policy cards at me, vs communicating persuasive and functionally strategic arguments. please read and write your speeches, don't just read blocks of evidence without doing the persuasive work of storytelling impacts.How I Evaluate & Structure Arguments:
Parts of an Argument:
Claim - your argument
Warrant - analytical reasoning or evidence
Impact - why the judge should care, why it's important
Probability - how likely is it the impact will happen
Magnitude - how large is the harm/who will be negatively affected
Timeframe - when this impact will occur
Reversibility - can the harms be undone[Online Debates]
prewritten analytics should be included in the doc. we are online. transparency, clarity, and communication is integral in debate. if you are unclear and i miss an argument, then i missed your argument because you were unclearpre-pandemic paradigm particularities
for policy and/or ld:
1) AFFs should present solutions, pass a Plan, or try to solve something
2) K AFFs that do not present a plan text must: 1. Be resolutional - 1ac should generally mention or talk about the topic even if you're not defending it, 2. Prove the 1AC/AFF is a prereq to policy, why does the AFF come before policy, why does policy fail without the aff? 3. Provide sufficient defense to TVAs - if NEG proves the AFF (or solvency for AFF's harms) can happen with a plan text, I am very persuaded by TVAs. K teams must have a strong defense to this.
3) Link to the squo/"Truth Claims" as an impact is not enough. These are generic and I am less persuaded by generic truth claims arguments without sufficient impacts
4) Critique of the resolution > Critique of the squo
5) NEG K alts do not have to solve the entirety of the AFF, but must prove a disadvantage or explain why a rejection of the AFF is better than the alt, or the squo solves.
6) Debate is a [policy or LD] game, if it is a survival strategy I need more warrants and impacts other than "the aff/alt is a survival strategy" with no explanation of how you are winning in-round impacts
7) Framing is FUNctional, the team that gives me the best guide on how/why I should vote for X typically wins the round. What's the ROB, ROJ, the purpose of this round, impact calc, how should I evaluate the debate?
8) Edu is important. Persuasive communication is part of edu. when the debate is messy or close I tend to evaluate the round in terms of 1. who did the better debating, 2. who best explained arguments and impacts and made me more clearly understand the debate, 3. who understood their evidence/case the most.
9) Dropped arguments are not always necessarily true - I will vote on dropped arguments if it was impacted out and explained why it's a voter, but not if the only warrant is "they conceded _____it so it's a voter"
10) I flow arguments, not authors. It will be helpful to clarify which authors are important by summarizing/impacting their arguments instead of name dropping them without context or explanation.
Online: In line with many other judges, here are guidelines for how I will deal with connection issues for online rounds.
- Both debaters should record their speeches on a separate device. If this isn't possible for some reason, contact me before the round and we'll work something out. Please don't delete any recordings until AFTER I make a decision.
- You should send this recording if either your opponent or I request it. If you don't have a recording for some reason and we haven't worked out something pre-round, then I will not (and cannot) evaluate any of those arguments.
- If I catch an argument but your opponent doesn't, AND you didn't make a recording, there's no good way of resolving this but I will operate on good faith and be lenient. You should not try to take advantage of this because you have no idea how good my internet connection is.
- In the case where either debater needs to listen to a recording after a speech, I will grant both debaters a total of 1 extra minute of prep time to listen. If this is never an issue then prep time stays as it is.
- Let's be flexible!!! I won't stand for post-rounding over how I handled connection issues.
Lynbrook '18 Columbia '22
I competed in LD for 4 years in high school and qualified to the TOC twice. I did parli for a year at Columbia.
Basic rule is that you should do whatever you want in front of me. In high school I changed styles all the time -- I've gone for heavy LARPing, framework, theory, phil, high theory, performance, you name it. That being said, I won't necessarily understand the particular argument you're reading, so just assume I don't have any background knowledge of anything.
- I will stop the round if either debater makes clear that they are uncomfortable
- I will not look at speech docs unless evidence is called into question, take that as you will
- prep time stops when the doc leaves your computer (send the email, flash drive, whatever)
- tech > truth generally, but I will not vote for something that is categorically false (racism good, 1+1=3, etc)
- I will not vote on an argument thats dropped if there is no warrant or if I didn't flow it
- I am not a fan of tricks because I usually miss them, but I will vote for it if it's on the flow and warranted
- card clipping and other evidence ethics violations (including: not indicating where/when you marked a card) are a loss-20; if you believe your opponent has violated evidence ethics, stop the round for an ethics challenge
Anything is fine, but you should probably lose if your aff doesn't include at least a short util framework. I am more persuaded by a fleshed out impact scenario than a very tenuous disad. The same comments I make below for the K apply here as well. I do not really understand why a "judge kick" makes sense but feel free to explain.
I would like to say I have a decent grasp on most analytic phil and would like to hear something interesting (something interesting ≠ your logical consequence aff with tricks). In general, I find that "moral repugnance" claims hold water, although I do not enjoy it when debaters make dozens of "independent voter" arguments with this idea (a few are okay).
Love good Ks but strongly dislike poorly written ones, although I will vote on it if you win. Know your literature. Give concrete examples of what your impact/alt looks like. If you read a ROB/ROJ, explain why it precludes a normal standard. I don't like it when the debate turns into two people claiming opposing things with no real comparison to back it up. I'm most familiar with Marxist, psychoanalytic, and queer/feminist literature.
I will vote on any theory interp, although your speaker points will suffer and I have a lower threshold for responses if your shell is really silly. Justify why competing interps implies I vote on a risk of offense. I will gut check against bad theory if you win reasonability and have some defense on the shell. Paragraph theory is fine, but you should explicitly state things like fairness/education, competing interps/reasonability, and drop the arg/drop the debater. If no arg is made, I default reasonability, drop the arg, no RVIs.
I will not vote for arguments of the form "Evaluate the round/theory/this argument after X speech." At best it's a weighing argument for why 2NR/2AR arguments should be given less leeway. Tricks in general are fine if they are real arguments and fully warranted as such, but I find most tricks to be fundamentally poor logic. I do not enjoy (but will still vote for) tricks-heavy strategies, especially ones that have been recycled many times over the last decade.
Hi Everyone! I'm Elmer, I debated in Policy in High School, coached Debate through College (first 2 in Policy, last 2 in LD) and just recently graduated with a Business degree from UT-Austin. I currently work at a FinTech firm as a Business Analyst and do part-time independent coaching. I do a decent amount of research so I can follow-on substantive topic jargon but don't be overly aggressive with acronyms.
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tldr - Won't intervene w/ the ballot but will w/ speaks. Good for Policy, K (probably slightly better for K v K than K v Policy), Topicality, K-Affs, Framework. Not great for Theory, Phil, Tricks. Kind of understand Phil but in an extraordinarily reductionist sense. Have fun/show enthusiasm - we all give up a LOT of time for an activity we love.
Shortened this paradigm just for readability.
How to get good Speaks - these are often far more important to me than content. While there are some debates I enjoy more than others, I value smart, strategic, clean debating more than anything else. You are definitely smarter than me so you need to make the debate as clean as possible.
1] The subjects of Debate I find most interesting are a] Oil/Peak Oil, b] Moten and Harney, c] Topicality, d] Settler Colonialism, and e] Pandas/Red Pandas/Koalas and their relevancy to Bio-diversity. If you engage or execute these debates well, I'll be happy to judge and will give you a speaks boost.
2] Debate should be interesting - use current events, show you know what's going on, and use examples.
3] Make me chuckle - no this doesn't mean throwing around Zingers that blur the line w/ Ad Homs. References to childhood cartoon shows like Scooby Doo/Arthur/Magic School Bus/Star Wars are things I enjoy and if I enjoy judging the round, I give better speaks. I also appreciate a good limerick/haiku that is relevant to the Topic at hand.
4] Tell me EXACTLY how you want me to vote. The cleaner the debate becomes, the easier it makes for me to vote. That means good speaks.
5] Showing good tactical awareness. Tactics refers to in-round moves (from the 1AR -> 2NR and 2NR -> 2AR or even from CX questioning) that you make on the fly in response to certain conditions. One good example is using concessions/argument choices by your opponent to flip the debate on its head (i.e. "Judo" flipping a strong U/Q push into U/Q overwhelms the Link or using an argument on one flow to take out arguments on another using flow awareness). Strategy is undoubtedly important in debate but there's also a lot of need for people to think on the fly and recognize the interactions of the moves as they play out in the debate.
6] Effective OVs that DO something = Good. Bad OVs that give a lecture on a subject = bad.
7] Win Conditions are something I value a lot when using to evaluate a round. When debaters isolate win conditions (FW filters the debate, winning U/Q implicates all of their turns, etc) it's super helpful to decide relevant layers. It's much easier when different sheets (Phil/Theory) operate naturally on different layers but isolating conditions when on the same layer (K v K or LARP) can be invaluable.
Policy - good across the board - any preferences here are just preferences. I highly prefer old school DA/Case throwdowns. I appreciate CPs and get competition. Impact Turns can get stale, case specific turns that "impact" turn internal links then use them to straight turn the external link to the Terminal are smart and I like writing/evaluating them.
K debates -Basic Understanding of all meta K lit. Don't assume I know exactly what books/authors you're referencing. Probably value FW the most, prefer a Link heavy push though.
Cool w/ K-Affs. Please do something whether epistemic/material. Don't care which FW standards you go for though I have recently been a convert to "Fairness is an impact". Debate bad cause Communication Bad is unpersuasive since you conveyed it using communication. Parts of debate can be (and definitively are) bad, Debate as an activity cannot be bad since you are also in debate.
T - love these debates. You NEED to define a word in the resolution, not apply grammar principles. Completely cool w/ subset denying T interps but use words in the Resolution like "Healthcare System" or "Ban" to do it. "Grammar Monster" interps are bad. Reasonability is chill - it's about your interp and you need to win substance crowd-out ows a marginal risk of Limits abuse. Use offensive/defensive case lists - T is about models for debate so you need to define a role/position for clash/engagement.
Theory - Not great for these. I'm not a great flow so slow down when you're getting there.
Phil - Fine mostly if you explain it. Not really sure what's going on so this is probably the most Tab part of my paradigm.