GOLDEN DESERT DEBATE TOURNAMENT AT UNLV
2022 — NSDA Campus, NV/US
VLD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
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.
I am currently coaching 3 teams at lamdl (POLAHS, BRAVO, LAKE BALBOA) and have picked up an ld student or 2. I am pretty familiar with the fiscal redistribution topic and not very with the federal lands topic.
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. The more I judge debates the less I am convinced that procedural fairness is anything but people whining about why the way they play the game is okay even if there are effects on the people involved within said activity. I'm more inclined to vote for affs and negs that tell me things that debate fairness and education (including access) does for people in the long term and why it's important. Yes, debate is a game. But who, why, and how said game is played is also an important thing to consider.
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. update: I'm noticing a lack of plan action centric links to critiques. I'm going to be honest, if I can't find a link to the plan and the link is to the general idea of the resolution, I'm probably going to err on the side of the perm especially if the aff has specific method arguments why doing the aff would be able to challenge notions of whatever it is they want to spill over into.
I lean neg on condo. Counterplans are fun. Disads are fun. Perms are fun. clear net benefit story is great.
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, trix, wipeout, nebel t, and death good stuff. ^_^ good luck and have fun debating
Please be slow and clear!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
• For chain, please use email@example.com
• For personal inquiries, contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Community Coach @Kelly College Prep (Chicago, IL)
• 4 years of High School Policy Debate experience
• Judging Nat Circuit & UDL Tournaments since '19
11/18: Poor neg ground :/
I'm experienced with both lay/circuit styles of policy debate. Nevertheless, I default towards a tech over truth style of judging unless said otherwise in-round. In terms of judging preferences, I have none. As evidenced by my judging record, I'm primarily prefed by k-oriented teams. I have judged k v k rounds. I have judged k v fw rounds. Judging these rounds have led me to think of debate in a broader capacity. Despite set preferences, I'm capable of being in back of the room judging stock issues debate.
Overall, I'll do my best to judge rounds fairly. I wholeheartedly appreciate the opportunity to judge. It allows me to better educate myself and teach my students on topic trends and/or strategy innovation.
What I enjoy:
Disadvantages-- Specific links to affirmatives recommended but generics are fine as long as it's still applicable.
Kritiks-- Always have specific links to the affirmative. Links predicated off the topic itself doesn't lead to any meaningful educational debate specific to the case being ran. However, that doesn't mean I won't vote for Links of omission if the opposing team fails to answer them.
Counterplans-- CP debate is pretty awesome. Multiplank Counterplans are good. Planks that are supported by 1AC authors are even better. I don't have a disdain towards process counterplans.
Topicality-- For the negative to win Topicality, they must  provide a model that best adheres to the topic,  exclaim why the affirmative fails to meet that model,  flesh out why the negative's model of debate is preferable,  evaluating the flow through competing interpretations is best. For the affirmative to beat Topicality, they must  explain why they meet the negative's model and/or  provide a counter-model that's better for the topic, which leads to  more educational and fair debates moving forward.  Frame the debate through reasonability.
T-USFG-- Prefer the debate to be framed similar to topicality (better model of debate). However, teams going for the impact turn(s) are welcome to do so. Affirmative teams running an advocacy statement tend to go for "the negative's model of debate is inherently worse, therefore by default the judge should vote for the affirmative's model". Definitely, the best approach when 1ACs are built to counter FW by embedding claims on the game of debate and how to best approach the topic. However, I have seen my fair share of critical affirmative's that.. could be read on any other topic. Negative teams, emphasize switch side debate. Provide TVA(s) under your model of debate. Explain the affirmative's burden and the negative's role in this game. Convince me that the negative should be the one reading all these different theory of powers against teams defending a policy. If they break structural rules such as going over speech time, call it out. Procedural fairness leads to better education. Don't rely too heavily on portable skills, I typically buy claims that people rarely become policymakers after this activity.. I'm a graphic designer for reference.
Note: Narratives/Poetry are good, please be consistent with it.
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.
Coach at Heights High School (TX)
Separately conflicted with: Archbishop Mitty SM, Carnegie Vanguard KF, Cypress Ranch KH, Woodlands SP
Set up the email chain before the round starts and add me. I would strongly prefer email over NSDA Classroom fileshare, and please title the chain as so: "Tournament Year + Name - Round # - _____ vs. _____ (Judge)"
If I'm judging you in Policy: email@example.com
If I'm judging you in LD: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated for Timothy Christian School in New Jersey for four years. I graduated from Rice University, am currently a teacher at Heights and predominately coach policy: my program competes through the Houston Urban Debate League and the Texas Forensic Association.
- Policy: 1
- T/Theory: 1-2
- Phil: 2
- Kritik (identity): 2
- Kritik (pomo): 3
- Tricks: Strike; I can and will cap your speaks at a 27 and if I'm on a panel I will be looking for a way to vote against you.
- Absent tricks or arguments that are morally objectionable, do what you are best at rather than over-adapting to my paradigm.
- Tech > Truth
- I will try to be tab and dislike intervening so please weigh arguments and compare evidence. It is in your advantage to write my ballot for me by explaining which layers come first and why you win those layers.
- I won't vote on anything that's not on my flow. I also won't vote on any arguments that I can't explain back to your opponent in the oral.
- It is unlikely that I will vote on a blip in the 2NR/2AR, even if it is conceded. If you want an argument to be instrumental to my ballot, you should commit to it. Split 2NR/2ARs are generally bad.
- I presume neg; in the absence of offense in either direction, I am compelled by the Change Disad to the plan. However, presumption flips if the 2NR goes for a counter-advocacy that is a greater change from the status quo than the aff. It is unlikely, however, that I will try to justify a ballot in this way; I almost always err towards voting on risk of offense rather than presumption in the absence of presumption arguments made by debaters.
- If you want to ask your opponent what was or was not read, you need to take prep or CX time for it.
- I'm colorblind so speech docs that are highlighted in light blue/gray are difficult for me to read; yellow would be ideal because it's easiest for me to see. Also, if you're re-highlighting your opponent's evidence and the two colors are in the same area of the color wheel, I probably won't be able to differentiate between them. Don't read a shell on your opponent if they don't follow these instructions though - it's not that serious.
- You don't get to insert rehighlighting; if you want me to evaluate it, you have to read it.
- Not fond of embedded clash; it's a recipe for judge intervention. I'll flow overviews and you should read them when you're extending a position, but long (0:30+) overviews that trade-off against substantive line-by-line work increase the probability that I'll either forget about an argument or misunderstand its implication.
- Given that I predominately coach policy debate, I am probably most comfortable adjudicating these rounds, but this is your space so you should make the arguments that you want to make in the style that you prefer.
- You should have be cutting updates and the more specific the counterplan and the links on the disad the happier I'll be. The size/probability of the impact is a function of the strength/specificity of the link.
- Terminal defense is possible and more common than people seem to think.
- I think impact turns (dedev, cap good/bad, heg good/bad, wipeout, etc.) are underutilized and can make for interesting strategies.
- If a conditional advocacy makes it into the 2NR and you want me to kick it, you have to tell me. Also, I will not judge kick unless the negative wins an argument for why I should, and it will not be difficult for the affirmative to convince me otherwise.
- I default to competing interpretations. I'll evaluate shells via reasonability if you ask me to but I'd prefer an explicit brightline for determining what constitutes a reasonable vs. unreasonable practice rather than drawing upon my intuitions for debate. If you just ask me to intuitively evaluate the shell without an explanation of what that constitutes, my aversion to intervention will likely lead me to gut check to competing interpretations.
- I default to no RVIs.
- You need to give me an impact/ballot story when you read a procedural, and the blippier/less-developed the argument is, the higher my threshold is for fleshing this out. Labeling something an "independent voter" or "is a voting issue" is rarely sufficient. These arguments generally implicate into an unjustified, background framework and don't magically operate at a higher layer absent an explicit warrant explaining why. You still have to answer these arguments if your opponent reads them - it's just that my threshold for voting for underdeveloped independent voters is higher.
- Because I am not a particularly good flower, theory rounds in my experience are challenging to follow because of the quantity of blippy analytical arguments. Please slow down for these debates, clearly label the shell, and number the arguments.
- Disclosure is good. However, I do coach both sides of this debate. Read it if you'd like, just don't be mean about it and be prepared to defend your performance if your opponent is clever.
- "If you read theory against someone who is obviously a novice or a traditional debater who doesn't know how to answer it, I will not evaluate it under competing interps."
- I will not evaluate the debate after any speech that is not the 2AR.
- I have a solid conceptual understanding of kritks, given that I teach the structure and introductory literature to novices every year, but don't presume that I'll recognize the vocabulary from your specific literature base. I am not especially well-read in kritikal literature.
- Pretty good for policy v k debates, or phil v k. Less good for k v k debates.
- I especially appreciate kritikal debates which are heavy on case-specific link analysis paired with a comprehensive explanation of the alternative. Good K debates typically include quotes from lines in your opponent's evidence/advocacy with an explanation of why those are additional links.
- I don't judge a terribly large number of clash debates, but I've also coached both non-T performative and pure policy teams and so do not have strong ideological leanings here. Pretty middle of the road here and could go either way depending on technical execution.
- I believe that impacts are relevant insofar as they implicate to a framework, preferably one which is syllogistically warranted. My typical decision calculus, then, goes through the steps of a. determining which layer is the highest/most significant, b. identifying the framework through which offense is funneled through on that layer, and c. adjudicating the pieces of legitimate offense to that framework.
- You should assume if you're reading a philosophically dense position that I do not have a deep familiarity with your topic literature; as such, you should probably moderate your speed and over-explain rather than under.
- Especially if your framework is complex or obscure, a brief summary of how it functions (i.e. how it sifts between legitimate and illegitimate offense) would be helpful.
- Default epistemic confidence.
- Speed is generally fine, so long as its clear. I'd place my threshold for speed at a 9 out of 10 where a 10 is the fastest debater on the circuit, although that varies (+/- 1) depending on the type of argument being read.
- Slow down for and enunciate short analytics, taglines, and card authors; it would be especially helpful if you say "and" or "next" as you switch from one card to the next. I am not a particularly good flower so take that into account if you're reading a lot of analytical arguments. If you're reading at top-speed through a dump of blippy uncarded arguments I'll likely miss some. I won't backflow for you, so spread through blips on different flows without pausing at your own risk.
- If you push me after the RFD with "but how did you evaluate THIS random analytic embedded in my 10-point dump?" I have no problem telling you that I a. forgot about it, b. missed it, or c. didn't have enough of an implication flowed/understood to draw lines to other flows for you.
- A 28.5 or above means I think you're good enough to clear. I generally won't give below a 27; lower means I think you did something offensive, although depending on my general level of annoyance, it's possible I'll go under if the round is so bad it makes me want to go home.
- I award speaks based on quality of argumentation and strategic decision-making.
- I don't disclose speaks.
- I give out approximately one 30 a season, so it's probably not going to be you. If you're looking for a speaks fairy, pref someone else. Here are a few ways to get high speaks in front of me, however:
- I routinely make mental predictions during prep time about what the optimal 2NR/2AR is. Give a different version of the speech than my prediction and convince me that my original projection was strategically inferior. Or, seamlessly execute on my prediction.
- Read a case-specific CP/Disad/PIC that I haven't seen before.
- Teach me something new that doesn't make me want to go home.
- Be kind to an opponent that you are more experienced then.
- If you have a speech impediment, please feel free to tell me. I debated with a lisp and am very sympathetic to debaters who have challenges with clarity. In this context, I will do my best to avoid awarding speaks on the basis of clarity.
- As a teacher and coach, I am committed to the value of debate as an educational activity. Please don't be rude, particularly if you're clearly better than your opponent. I won't hack against you if you go 5-off against someone you're substantively better than, but I don't have any objections to tanking your speaks if you intentionally exclude your opponent in this way.
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.
I was a policy debater for about six years (For Lauderdale High School and WVU). While competing in college, I made it to elims at a few national/regional tournaments before I stopped debating in 2018 and found joy coaching teams to NDT and TOC. I have a BA in Latin American Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, and Geography from WVU.
Outside of judging debates, I work full-time at The Center for Popular Democracy as the National Organizer for Education and Justice Transformation.
I'd say I'm a pretty flex judge. I want you to do what you're good at and be a decent human while you're doing it. I keep to a tight flow which means I can keep up with plan-debate but I found more competitive success with kritikal/performance. I've been in debate for over a decade sooo you do you, and I'll keep up.
here are some things worth noting tho :)
- I center my debate on the flow and make a decision from it
- An argument has a claim, warrant, and impact.
- I'm ok with flex speeches and cross-ex.
- I'm pretty immersed in debate's kritikal lit and can understand most of it, but I'm in the movement and legislative world, so I witness what policy and organizing tactics can do and not do. :')
- I love an impact debate.
- I prefer that aff's have a mechanism that does something whether that's hypothetical implementation, a material action, mindset shift. I want to know at the end of the debate "what do we do or not do?", and why is that good.
- performance is a-okay with me :) -- I want to know what arguments are embedded in your performance during the 2AC and in later speeches.
- if you're reading high-theory (bauldriard type ppl) give me examples to ground what you're saying. I can read your evidence, but oftentimes in these debates, I ask myself "what does adopting this theory of power lead to?" or "what?" in general, so having examples and full warrants that apply and explain your theory is helpful.
- Impacts are important to me. Tell me the story of the impacts and how they outweigh.
- Case Debates are a lost art. Bring it back.
- I need you to go to the case page in the block or be very clear when you're cross applying arguments to the case flow. The 2NR and 2AR must also go to the case page and isolate what key arguments you're winning. For affs, I want impact work here. I am very persuaded by negative case turns.
- ill vote on it if you win it, this goes both ways! vs K affs, Im a better judge for plan = policy advocacy skills fw versus traditional must defend a plan because debate is a game, but can be persuaded if you're winning tech.
- Impact turns <3
- My decision normally gravitates to whose model of debate is best for Education with any/all DAs or offense you have against the Aff or FW.
- ROBS and ROJs are a good way to help me funnel offense and frame my ballot.
- I'm not really persuaded by fairness as a terminal impact
- I'd often give 6 min 1NRs on T if that's helpful at all.
- I like T debate with competing interps.
- I'm good with these
- I love a ptx DA throwdown
- I need clear links and internal link story on how the aff triggers the impact of the DA
- Tell me how the CP solves, what the NB is, and why the perm isn't an option
- Please don't read condo if there's 1-2 conditional advocacies
online judging tech/accessibility
- will most likely keep camera off while speeches are going to focus better and get best connection, will give verbal affirmation Im there and try to be on during CX.
- I’m a quick thinker, but sometimes I need more time to pause and think through my thoughts, this is especially true for RFD and questions
If you have specific questions, feel free to ask me before the round or send me an email at email@example.com. My only request is that you put me on the email chain, be open to learning/growing together, and give me enough pen time to flow everything (start speeches slow then speed up, take a second to breathe before switching flows, etc.). Debate is supposed to be a fun and educational activity, so show me what ya got and I'll do my best to keep up! :)
The preferences below are a reflection of the way I debated in high school and the way I coach students, not the way I evaluate debates 100% of the time. Most of them can be changed through persuasive argumentation. I’m just going to vote for whoever wins the round.
Debate should be fun and I want to see you have fun and excel at what you do best. Please don't adjust your debating too much to me. I regularly vote for arguments and strategies I passionately disagree with and vice versa. No matter what strategy you defend, act as if my prior knowledge of it is close to 0. Even if you're right, I will judge and hold you accountable for warranting your arguments as if my knowledge was in fact 0. I treat judging as a serious obligation and no matter what you do, I'll give you my full attention and effort!
1) Disclose. Full text is a bare minimum to win in front of me.
2) I will not vote on any argument about events outside the debate (I consider disclosure pertinent to the debate). Death good, arguments about your opponents appearance/clothing, and facially offensive actions end the round. I am not comfortable using my ballot as a moral judgement on students.
3) Fair Play. Miscut evidence, clipping, reading ahead, outside communication, evidence fabrication, etc are cheating. Accusations without proof mean you lose. “Evidence ethics” ends the round.
4) I won't vote on arguments I can't understand in the speech they're first made.
5) Show up to round on time. Prep ends when the doc is sent. Flow clarification is prep/CX. Marked docs should be sent immediately after the speech. If your opponent did not mark any cards in their speech, but did not read certain portions of the speech doc (i.e., skipped certain cards entirely), you must start prep before receiving a marked doc. If, however, your opponent marked cards, you may wait until you receive a marked doc to begin prep. The reason I have different policies for these circumstances is that the former is just flow clarification, whereas the latter actually affects the way you answer arguments.
1) I don't want to judge rounds about heinous tricks. I enjoy judging Phil debates but think they benefit from more explanation and less tricks.
2) In general, I lean neg on CP theory. Creative counterplans are underutilized. Creative perms are too. Judge kick makes sense to me, but is not my default. I'm not opposed to voting on condo, but err heavily neg, and I don't find hail-mary condo 2ARs fun to judge. To make it a viable 2AR, condo should be more than a sentence in the 1AR.
3) "Not defending implementation" doesn't make sense to me.
4) I err neg in K Aff vs. T debates, but my judging record in these debates is fairly even. Thoughts:
Aff: I think affirmatives have a burden of "affirming" something - I’m easily persuaded that pure pessimism is neg ground and presumption is winnable if the aff doesn't do anything (I don't know why this is almost never the 2nr). When answering T, counter-define words and have a debatable counterinterp ("discussion of the topic", "only our aff", etc. don't count - they wouldn't make sense in any other T debate). An effective strategy against framework should explain what your model of debate looks like, not just why your aff is important.
Neg: Listen to the 1AR - when I vote aff, it’s usually because of technical drops. Neg usually under-develop the TVA, but I find having one less important than a lot of judges do.
5) A kritik should disagree with and disprove the aff - you should be able to point out specific lines in the aff the K disagrees with. “Pre-fiat” does not mean anything. Answering the case is important. Weighing is important. The K should turn and outweigh the case, even if it’s an indictment of the representations the aff uses rather than the consequences of the plan. The 2NR should incorporate K tricks - they are smart and underutilized.
6) Independent voters don't exist. All arguments need to be tied to a specific framing argument.
7) Tired of hearing the same topicality debates over and over again. If it's just a dressed up version of plans bad (Nebel/T-a/etc) I'm probably not the best judge for it (although I vote for these arguments all the time). I don't think complex grammar debates are the best way to set the limits of the topic.
8) Random paradigmatic things:
- 1AR doesn't get add ons. 2NR doesn't get new uniqueness, links, etc.
- Insert re-highlighting: sure
- "You didn't read a fairness voter" isn't super compelling to me w.r.t. paragraph theory. It seems obvious to me that both sides should have a roughly equal shot at winning, all things equal.
- I will disregard any argument about my "jurisdiction" as a judge.
Head Coach @ Jordan HS
Wake Forest University – 2022
Jack C Hays High School – 2019
speed is good, pls slow down a little on analytics
if harm has occurred in the round, i will generally let the debater that has been harmed decide whether they would like the debate to continue or not. in egregious instances, i reserve the right to end the debate with 0 speaks and contact tab. violence in the debate space is never ok and i will hold the line. if you have safety concerns about being around your opponent for any reason, please tell me via email or in round.
in light of frequent instances of transphobia, i have no tolerance for it. everyone is learning, however, if you are struggling to adopt different pronouns etc, it is your responsibility to remove yourself from situations where you may cause harm. likewise, it is your responsibility to read pronouns on tabroom blasts, the wiki, etc and abide by them.
you can use any pronouns for me
For online debate: you should always be recording locally in case of a tech issue
please do not send me a google doc - if your case is on google docs, download it as a PDF and send it as a PDF. Word docs >
K/K affs: yes - you should err on the side of more alt/method explanation than less
I view fw as a debate about models of debate - I agree a lot with Roberto Fernandez's paradigm on this
I tend to lean aff on fw debates. The issue that I tend to find with k teams is that they rely too much on the top level arguments and neglect the line by line, so please be cognizant of both on the affirmative. impact turns have their place but i am becoming increasingly less persuaded by them the more i judge.
For the neg - the further from the resolution the aff is, the more persuaded i am by fw. your framework shell must interact with the aff in some meaningful way to be persuasive. the overarching theme here is interaction with the aff
To me, framework is a less persuasive option against k affs. Use your coaches, talk to your friends in the community, and learn how to engage in the specifics of k affs instead of only relying on framework to get the W.
I dont like friv theory (ex water bottle theory). absent a response, ill vote on it, but i have a very low threshold for answers.
I will vote on disclosure theory. disclosure is good.
Condo is fine, the amount of conditional off case positions/planks is directly related to how persuaded I am by condo as a 2ar option. it will be very difficult to win condo vs 1 condo off, but it will be very easy to win condo vs 6 condo off.
i am not persuaded by theory arguments that don't have an in round abuse story
Explain - If you understand it well enough to explain it to me I will understand it well enough to evaluate it fairly.
High school debate: Baltimore Urban Debate League ( Lake Clifton Eastern High School).
College debate: University of Louisville then Towson University.
Grad work: Cal State Fullerton.
Current: Director of Debate at Long Beach State (CSU Long Beach), former Director of Debate a Fresno State.
Email for chain: Devenc325@gmail.com
Speaker Point Scale
29.5-30: one of the best speakers I expect to see this year and has a high grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and Swag is on 100. This means expert explanation of arguments and most arguments are offensive.
29 - 29.5: very good speaker has a middle grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and mid-range swag. Explanation of arguments are of great quality and many of the arguments are offensive.
28.4 - 28.9: good speaker; may have some above average range/ parts of the Cha.Uni.Ner.Tal.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out. Explanation of arguments are of good quality and several of the arguments are offensive.
28 - 28.3: solid speaker; needs some work; probably has average range/ parts of the Cha.Uni.Ner.Tal.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out. Explanation of arguments are of okayish quality and very few of the arguments are offensive.
27.1 - 27.5: okay speaker; needs significant work on the Cha.Uni.Ner.Tal.S acronym. Not that good of explanation with no offensive arguments.
< 27: you have done something deeply problematic in this debate like clipping cards or linguistic violence, or rhetorically performed an ism without apology or remorse.
Please do not ask me to disclose points nor tell me as an argument to give you a 30. I wont. For some reason people think you are entitled to high points, I am not that person. So, you have to earn the points you get.
I am more than willing to listen to ANY arguments that are well explained and impacted and relate to how your strategy is going to produce scholarship, policy action, performance, movement, or whatever political stance or program. I will refer to an educator framework unless told otherwise...This means I will evaluate the round based on how you tell me you want it to be framed and I will offer comments on how you could make your argument better after the round. Comparison, Framing, OFFENSE is key for me. Please indict each other's framework or role of the ballot/role of the judge for evaluation and make clear offense to how that may make a bad model of debate. OR I am down with saying the debate should not be a reflection about the over all model of debate/ no model.
I DO NOT privilege certain teams or styles over others because that makes debate more unfair, un-educational, cliquey, and makes people not feel valued or wanted in this community, on that note I don't really jive to well with arguments about how certain folks should be excluded for the sake of playing the "game". NOR do I feel that there are particular kinds of debate related to ones personal identity. I think people are just making arguments attached to who they are, which is awesome, but I will not privilege a kind of debate because some asserts its a thing.
I judge debates according to the systematic connection of arguments rather than solely line by line…BUT doesn’t mean if the other team drops turns or other arguments that I won’t evaluate that first. They must be impacted and explained. PLEASE always point out reason why the opposing team is BAD and have contextualized reasons for why they have created a bad impact or make one worse. I DO vote on framework and theory arguments….I’ve been known to vote on Condo quite a bit, but make the interp, abuse story, and contradictions clear. If the debate devolves into a theory debate, I still think the AFF should extend a brief summary of the case.
Don’t try to adapt to how I used to debate if you genuinely don’t believe in doing so or just want to win a ballot. If you are doing a performance I will hold you to the level that it is practiced, you have a reason for doing so, and relates to the overall argument you are making…Don’t think “oh! I did a performance in front of Deven, I win.” You are sadly mistaken if so. It should be practiced, timed well, contain arguments, and just overall have a purpose. It should be extended with full explanation and utility.
Overall I would like to see a good debate where people are confident in their arguments and feel comfortable being themselves and arguing how they feel is best. I am not here to exclude you or make you feel worthless or that you are a "lazy" intellectual as some debaters may call others, but I do like to see you defend your side to the best of your ability.
GET OFF THEM BLOCKS SOME! I get it coaches like to block out args for their students, even so far as to script them out. I think this is a practice that is only focused on WINNING and not the intellectual development of debaters. A bit of advice that I give to any debater I come across is to tell them to READ, READ, READ. It is indeed fundamental and allows for the expansion of example use and fluency of your arguments.
A few issues that should be clarified:
Decorum: I DO NOT LIKE when teams think they can DISRESPECT, BULLY, talk RUDE to, or SCREAM at other teams for intimidation purposes in order to win or throw the other team off. Your points will be effected because this is very unbecoming and does not allow this space to be one of dialogue and reciprocity. If someone disrespects you, I am NOT saying turn the other cheek, but have some tact and utility of how you engage these folks. And being hyper evasive to me is a hard sell. Do not get me wrong, I do love the sassiness, sarcasm, curtness, and shade of it all but there is a way to do it with tact. I am also NOT persuaded that you should be able to be rude or do whatever you want because you are a certain race, class, gender, sex, sexuality, or any other intersection under the sun. That to me is a problematic excuse that intensifies the illegit and often rigid criticism that is unlashed upon "identity politics."
Road maps: STICK TO IT. I am a tight flower and I have a method. However, I need to know where things go so there is no dispute in the RFD that something was answered or not. If you are a one off team, please have a designed place for the PERM. I can listen well and know that there are places things should go, but I HATE to do that work for a team. PLEASE FLOW and not just follow the doc. If you answer an arg that was in the doc, but not read, I will take it as you note flowing nor paying attention to what is going on.
Framework and Theory: I love smart arguments in this area. I am not inclined to just vote on debate will be destroyed or traditional framework will lead to genocide unless explained very well and impacted based on some spill over claims. There must be a concrete connection to the impacts articulated on these and most be weighed. I am persuaded by the deliberation arguments, institutional engagement/building, limits, and topical versions of the Aff. Fairness is an interesting concept for me here. I think you must prove how their model of debate directly creates unfairness and provide links to the way their model of debate does such. I don't think just saying structural fairness comes first is the best without clarification about what that means in the context of the debate space and your model of debate.
Some of you K/Performance folks may think I am a FW hack, thas cute or whatever. Instead of looking at the judge as the reason why you weren't adequate at defending your business, you should do a redo, innovate, or invest in how to strategize. If it seems as though you aren't winning FW in front of me that means you are not focusing how offense and your model produces some level of "good." Or you could defend why the model approach is problematic or several reasons. I firmly believe if someone has a model of debate or how they want to engage the res or this space, you MUST defend it and prove why that is productive and provides some level of ground or debatability.
Winning Framework for me includes some level of case turn or reason why the aff produces something bad/ blocks something good/ there's a PIC/PIK of some kind (explained). This should be coupled with a proficient explanation of either the TVA or SSD strategy with the voter components (limits, predictability, clash, deliberation, research burden, education, fairness, ground etc.) that solidify your model of debate.
Performance: It must be linked to an argument that is able to defend the performance and be able to explain the overall impact on debate or the world/politics itself. Please don’t do a performance to just do it…you MUST have a purpose and connect it to arguments. Plus debate is a place of politics and args about debate are not absent politics sometimes they are even a pre-req to “real” politics, but I can be persuaded otherwise. You must have a role of the ballot or framework to defend yourself, or on the other side say why the role of the ballot is bad. I also think those critics who believe this style of debate is anti-intellectual or not political are oversimplifying the nuance of each team that does performance. Take your role as an educator and stop being an intellectual coward or ideology driven hack.
Do not be afraid to PIK/PIC out of a performance or give reasons why it was BAD. Often people want to get in their feelings when you do this. I am NOT sympathetic to that because you made a choice to bring it to this space and that means it can be negated, problematized, and subject to verbal criticism.
Topic/Resolution: I will vote on reasons why or why not to go by the topic...unlike some closed minded judges who are detached from the reality that the topics chosen may not allow for one to embrace their subjectivity or social location in ways that are productive. This doesn’t mean I think talking about puppies and candy should win, for those who dumb down debate in their framework args in that way. You should have a concrete and material basis why you chose not to engage the topic and linked to some affirmation against racism/sexism/homophobia/classism/elitism/white supremacy and produces politics that are progressive and debatable. There would have to be some metric of evaluation though. BUT, I can be persuaded by the plan focus and topic education model is better middle ground to what they want to discuss.
Hella High Theory K: i.e Hiediggar, Baudrillard, Zizek, D&G, Butler, Arant, and their colleagues…this MUST be explained to me in a way that can make some material sense to me as in a clear link to what the aff has done or an explanation of the resolution…I feel that a lot of times teams that do these types of arguments assume a world of abstraction that doesn’t relate fully to how to address the needs of the oppressed that isn’t a privileged one. However, I do enjoy Nietzsche args that are well explained and contextualized. Offense is key with running these args and answering them.
Disadvantages: I’m cool with them just be well explained and have a link/link wall that can paint the story…you can get away with a generic link with me if you run politics/econ/tradeoff disads. But, it would be great to provide a good story. In the 2NC/1NR retell the story of the disad with more context and OFFENSE and compartmentalize the parts. ALWAYS tell me why it turns and outweighs case. Disads on case should be impacted and have a clear link to what the aff has done to create/perpetuate the disad. If you are a K team and you kick the alt that solves for the disads…that is problematic for me. Affs need to be winning impact framing and some level of offense. No link is not enough for me.
Perms: I HATE when people have more than 3 perms. Perm theory is good here for me, do it and not just GROUP them. For a Method v Method debate, you do not get to just say you dont get a perm. Enumerate reasons why they do not get a perm. BUT, if an Aff team in this debate does make a perm, it is not just a test of competition, it is an advocacy that must be argued as solving/challenging what is the issue in the debate.
Additionally, you can kick the perms and no longer have to be burden with that solvency. BUT you must have offensive against their C/P, ALT, or advocacy.
Counterplans/Advocacies: They have to solve at least part of the case and address some of the fundamental issues dealing with the aff’s advantages especially if it’s a performance or critical aff…I’m cool with perm theory with a voter attached. I am cool with any kind of these arguments, but an internal net benefit is not enough for me in a policy counterplan setting. If you are running a counter advocacy, there must be enumerated reasons why it is competitive, net beneficial, and is the option that should be prioritized. I do love me a PIK/PIC or two, but please do it effectively with specific evidence that is a criticism of the phrase or term the aff used. But, know the difference between piking out of something and just criticizing the aff on some trivial level. I think you need to do very good analysis in order to win a PIC/PIK. I do not judge kick things...that is your job.
Affs in the case of PIK/PICs, you must have disads to the solvency (if any), perm, theory, defend the part that is questionable to the NEG.
Race/ Identity arguments: LOVE these especially from the Black/Latinx/Asian/Indigenous/Trans/Sexuality perspective (most familiar with) , but this doesn’t mean you will win just because you run them like that. I like to see the linkage between what the aff does wrong or what the aff/neg has perpetuated. I’m NOT likely to vote on a link of omission unless some structural claim has risen the burden. I am not familiar with ALL of these types of args, so do not assume that I know all you literature or that I am a true believer of your arguments about Blackness. I do not believe that Blackness based arguments are wedded to an ontology focus or that one needs to win or defeat ontology to win.
I am def what some of you folks would call a "humanist and I am okay with that. Does not mean you can't win any other versions of that debate in front of me.
Case Args: Only go for case turns and if REALLY needed for your K, case defense.…they are the best and are offensive , however case defense may work on impacts if you are going for a K. If you run a K or performance you need to have some interaction with the aff to say why it is bad. Please don't sandbag these args so late in the debate.
CONGRESSIONAL DEBATE --------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am of the strong belief that Congressional debate is a DEBATE event first and foremost. I do not have an I.E or speech background. However, I do teach college public speaking and argumentation. The comments I leave will talk about some speech or style components. I am not a judge that heavily favors delivery over the argumentation and evidence use.
I am a judge that enjoys RECENT evidence use, refutation, and clash with the topics you have been assigned.
STRUCTURE OF SPEECHES
I really like organization. With that said, I do prefer debaters have a introduction with a short attention getter, and a short preview statement of their arguments. In the body of the speech, I would like some level of impacting/ weighing of your arguments and their arguments ( if applicable), point out flaws in your opponents argumentation (lack of solvency, fallacies, Alternative causes), cite evidence and how it applies, and other clash based refutation. If you want to have a conclusion, make sure it has a short summary and a declarative reason to pass or fail.
After the first 2 speeches of the debate, I put heavy emphasis on the idea that these speeches should have a refutation component outside of you extending a previous argument from your side, establish a new argument/evidence, or having some kind of summary. I LOVE OFFENSE based arguments that will turn the previous arguments state by the opposition. Defensive arguments are fine, but please explain why they mean the opposition cannot solve or why your criticism of their evidence or reason raises to the level of rejecting their stance. Please do not list more than 2 or 3 senators or reps that you are refuting because in some cases it looks like students are more concerned with the appearance of refutation than actually doing it. I do LOVE sassy, assertive or sarcastic moments but still be polite.
I think evidence use is very important to the way I view this type of debate. You should draw evidence from quality sources whether that is stats/figures/academic journals/narrative from ordinary people. Please remember to cite where you got your information and the year. I am a hack for recency of your evidence because it helps to illuminate the current issues on your topic. Old evidence is a bit interesting and should be rethought in front of me. Evidence that doesn't at some level assume the ongoing/aftermath of COVID-19 is a bit of a stretch. Evidence comparison/analysis of your opponent is great as well.
I LOVE impact calculus where you tell me why the advantages of doing or not doing a bill outweighs the costs. This can be done in several ways, but it should be clear, concise, and usually happen in the later speeches. At a basic level, doing timeframe, magnitude, probability, proximity, or any other standard for making arguments based on impact are great. I DISLIKE rehash....If you are not expanding or changing the way someone has articulated an argument or at least acknowledge it, I do not find rehash innovative nor high rank worthy. This goes back to preparation and if you have done work on both sides of a bill. You should prepare multiple arguments on a given side just in case someone does the argument before you. There is nothin worse to me than an unprepared set of debaters that must take a bunch of recesses/breaks to prepare to switch.
Mariel Cruz - Updated 9/20/2022
Schools I've coached/judged for: Santa Clara Univerisity, Cal Lutheran University, Gunn High School, Polytechnic School, Saratoga High School, and Notre Dame High School
I judge mostly Parliamentary debate, but occasionally PF and LD. I used to judge policy pretty regularly when I was a policy debater in college. I judge all events pretty similarly, but I do have a few specific notes about Parli debate listed below.
Background: I was a policy debater for Santa Clara University for 5 years. I also helped run/coach the SCU parliamentary team, so I know a lot about both styles of debate. I've been coaching and judging on the high school and college circuit since 2012, so I have seen a lot of rounds. I teach/coach pretty much every event, including LD and PF, but I have primarily coached parli the last few years.
Policy topic: I haven’t done much research on either the college or high school policy topic, so be sure to explain everything pretty clearly.
Speed: I’m good with speed, but be clear. I don't love speed, but I tolerate it. If you are going to be fast, I need a speech doc for every speech with every argument, including analytics or non-carded arguments. If I'm not actively flowing, ie typing or writing notes, you're probably too fast.
As I've started coaching events that don't utilize speed, I've come to appreciate rounds that are a bit slower. I used to judge and debate in fast rounds in policy, but fast rounds in other debate events are very different, so fast debaters should be careful, especially when running theory and reading plan/cp texts. If you’re running theory, try to slow down a bit so I can flow everything really well. Or give me a copy of your alt text/Cp text. Also, be sure to sign-post, especially if you're going fast, otherwise it gets too hard to flow. I actually think parli (and all events other than policy) is better when it's not super fast. Without the evidence and length of speeches of policy, speed is not always useful or productive for other debate formats. If I'm judging you, it's ok be fast, but I'd prefer if you took it down a notch, and just didn't go at your highest or fastest speed.
K: I like all types of arguments, disads, kritiks, theory, whatever you like. I like Ks but I’m not an avid reader of literature, so you’ll have to make clear explanations, especially when it comes to the alt. Even though the politics DA was my favorite, I did run quite a few Ks when I was a debater. However, I don't work with Ks as much as I used to (I coach many students who debate at local tournaments only where Ks are not as common), so I'm not super familiar with every K, but I've seen enough Ks that I have probably seen something similar to what you're running. Just make sure everything is explained well enough. If you run a K I haven't seen before, I'll compare it to something I have seen. I am not a huge fan of Ks like Nietzche, and I'm skeptical of alternatives that only reject the aff. I don't like voting for Ks that have shakey alt solvency or unclear frameworks or roles of the ballot.
Framework and Theory: I tend to think that the aff should defend a plan and the resolution and affirm something (since they are called the affirmative team), but if you think otherwise, be sure to explain why you it’s necessary not to. I’ll side with you if necessary. I usually side with reasonability for T, and condo good, but there are many exceptions to this (especially for parli - see below). I'll vote on theory and T if I have to. However, I'm very skeptical of theory arguments that seem frivolous and unhelpful (ie Funding spec, aspec, etc). Also, I'm not a fan of disclosure theory. Many of my students compete in circuits where disclosure is not a common practice, so it's hard for me to evaluate disclosure theory.
Basically, I prefer theory arguments that can point to actual in round abuse, versus theory args that just try to establish community norms. Since all tournaments are different regionally and by circuit, using theory args to establish norms feels too punitive to me. However, I know some theory is important, so if you can point to in round abuse, I'll still consider your argument.
Parli specific: Since the structure for parli is a little different, I don't have as a high of a threshold for theory and T as I do when I judge policy or LD, which means I am more likely to vote on theory and T in parli rounds than in policy rounds. This doesn't mean I'll vote on it every time, but I think these types of arguments are a little more important in parli, especially for topics that are kinda vague and open to interpretation. I also think Condo is more abusive in parli than other events, so I'm more sympathetic to Condo bad args in parli than in other events I judge.
Policy/LD/PF prep:I don’t time exchanging evidence, but don’t abuse that time. Please be courteous and as timely as possible.
General debate stuff: I was a bigger fan of CPs and disads, but my debate partner loved theory and Ks, so I'm familiar with pretty much everything. I like looking at the big picture as much as the line by line. Frankly, I think the big picture is more important, so things like impact analysis and comparative analysis are important.
Extensions need to include warrants - simply saying extend Smith '20 isn't enough, you need to be warranting your arguments in every speech. This is the biggest and easiest thing you can do to win my ballot. Rounds constantly end with "extended" offense on both sides that are essentially absent any warrants in the back half and I end up having to decide who has the closest thing to a warrant which means I have to intervene. Please don't make me intervene - if you actually extend warrants for the offense that you're winning you probably will get my ballot.
Make my job as easy as possible by clearly articulating why you've won the round - write the ballot for me in summary and final focus. Even though I'm flowing and doing my best to pay attention, I'm not infallible and so if the summaries and final focus are just going over a bunch of arguments without clear contextualization of how they relate to the ballot, I'm going to struggle to decide the winner.
Don't do debater math.
You should give content warnings if you're reading any sensitive content in order to make the round as safe a place as possible for all participants.
Don't steal prep or do anything else that makes the round last longer than it needs to be (not pre-flowing beforehand, taking forever to pull up evidence).
Don't go too fast in front of me.
Defense isn't sticky anymore with the 3-minute summary
Second rebuttal needs to frontline.
If you want to concede defense to get out of a turn it needs to be done the speech after the turn is read.
No new weighing in 2nd FF, unless you're responding to weighing from 1st FF.
tl;dr is in bold
I have 4 years of HS policy debate experience debating semi-regularly on the national circuit, and sporadic college parli experience. I have been judging HS policy debate on and off since 2012 and have been judging national circuit LD frequently since 2019. I have generally found that my experience with CX translates to judging the national circuit style of LD without much in the way of skipping-a-beat.
As a debater I ran primarily kritiks during my most competitive seasons. As such I'm familiar with most K lit bases, theory args, etc, and I'm comfortable with speed. I do ask that you please vary speed and/or tone between your tags, theory shells and analytics versus the text of your cards, especially if you're reading a lot of blippy theory args. Being comfortable with speed doesn't mean I appreciate flowing all 8 of your 5-word standards in 10 seconds with no 'nexts' in between.
I generally consider myself fairly tab, with that being said I have some opinions:
Plan Texts/DAs/CPs: Don't be discouraged by the fact that I was a K hack as a debater. I don't find that I enjoy K heavy debates any more than policy oriented ones as a judge, I just enjoy good debates. I specifically enjoy well executed small/janky plans and CPs. I don't have much else specific to say about these args.
Kritiks: As above, I'm very down with whatever K you want to run, even the weird ones. I don't necessarily believe Ks require an alt, if you can make clear why the aff is entirely self defeating or detestable on face, I think you can win, but you're probably better off with an alt. I do try to counterbalance against a bit of commonplace anti-K bias in terms of the degree of explanation I require from Ks. If debaters are expected to understand the intricacies of what's happening in the South China Sea, I think it's reasonable to expect them to know the definition of Biopower. However, I do expect a robust explanation of how your K interacts with the Aff specifically and the unique wrinkles of your kritik. I think this specificity tends to become more important in the more postmodern lit bases, as well as with args like Cap which can be run in near infinite flavors.
'Nontopical' K affs/Project Affs/Performance Affs/Rejecting the resolution/Whatever: I am probably more down with these types of affirmatives than the average judge. You should articulate either in the 1AC or near the top of the framing/framework flow A. your interpretation of what debate is, what it's for and your Aff's relationship to the resolution (are you claiming to be topical somehow? shouldn't have to be?) and B. why doing whatever your Aff is doing is good in light of that interp.
Speaker Points: I believe these are arbitrary and I wish we had better ways to break ties. I tend to give high-ish speaks with the winner of the debate getting an extra half-point. Being that I think they are arbitrary, I may tank your speaks, no matter your speech quality, if you anger me by being needlessly rude or obnoxious.
Theory Generalities: I believe that competing interpretations is the only truly appropriate way to evaluate debates about debate. I am more likely to evaluate reasonability type arguments as a standard or defense against voters on theory than as a proper response to competing interps because top level reasonability arguments are themselves a competing interpretation -- lending the argument a weird performative incoherency on-top of, in my experience, never being clearly defined.
I generally take it for granted that fairness is an internal link to education unless told otherwise.
I will generally vote on any theory argument that I'm instructed to vote on if the offense is clearly won. That being said if you pick up on one of the arguments I am about to say I do not like, or something you and I both know is an awful argument, I may drop your speaks.
RVIs: I see these being read a lot in LD. I do not recommend reading these in front of me. I don't generally believe that it is unfair to debate about any aspects of debate, and I don't think I've ever seen an RVI run convincingly. If you insist on going for an RVI, I'd be far more compelled by arguments about theory bloat harming the educational value of debate than the args I typically see along the lines of 'they read too many theory args/I disagree with their theory args and that's not fair.' But probably just don't.
I am much more willing to consider Ks of framework/theory (which I've always viewed as distinct from RVIs, though I've seen them used interchangeably in LD) as voters. If you go for this, you should have a clear story about what is so rhetorically/structurally harmful about their theory arguments that your opponent ought to lose outright.
Floating PIKs: Don't do them. If your kritik doesn't solve some aspect of the aff you're probably doing it wrong, but if your alt actually enacts nonprecluded parts of the affirmative plan, you need to be forthcoming about that in the 1NC. I'm probably more lenient than most on floating PIKs when judging policy, but the structure of LD definitely raises my expectations in terms of specificity from the 1N. I won't reject the argument out of hand but I'll allow new "floating piks bad" in the 2AR which will obviously sink your PIK.
Aff/Neg Choice: I hate these args. In line with the rest of my opinions here, I believe things in debate should be up for debate. Reading interps that state terms of the round should be chosen by either party, or that an opponent should not be allowed to respond to a particular argument, fundamentally does not sit well with me. I think winning these args requires winning with essential certainty that whatever "choice" it is you're making (e.g. aff chooses util good) be the best choice, in which case you should just win that interp in the first place.
Perf Con: I probably take perf con arguments more seriously than the average judge. If there is a significant rhetorical/performative/in-round component to enacting your alt or advocacy, I think performative contradiction can be articulated as a turn that is not resolved by conditionality. I think it makes more sense articulated as a solvency turn than a theory interp though.
Those are all the specific things I can think to comment on at the moment. If you have questions, certainly ask.
I debated for 2 years at Brophy College Preparatory in LD. I did NPDA at Berkeley.
- I’ll vote on any argument that’s warranted
- Speed is fine, just be clear.
- If you’re going to do an analytics dump just slow down so I can catch them and if you are reading multiple responses to an arg please number how many points there are before you spread through them (i.e. 4 points…)
- Speaks boost if you flash analytics and disclose open source.
Flows the doc ----------------------------------------X--Flow what I hear
Fairness/clash/research impacts on T --------X----------------------------------Movements?
Offense/defense on T -------------------------X-----------------Impact turns
Extinction outweighs vs K ---------------------------------------X---- Link level args/perm
Conditionality bad -------------------------X--------------------Infinite and good
Aff-leaning on T vs Policy Affs --------------------X----------------------Neg-leaning on T vs Policy Affs
Internal Link Answers ----X--------------------------------------Impact Defense
Actually extending arguments ----X--------------------------------------- Shadow Extensions
Policy: Love these. Please know the evidence and the internal link story well and extend arguments not just authors during cross applications. As always, weighing is ultra-important. Affs should have inherency and weighing should start in the 1AR. For CP’s you should say "condo -> judge kick" if you want me to judge kick. For DA’s quality over quantity- a couple well-cut cards with warrants that says what you want it to say > seven one-liners
Phil: I know a lot of phil as it was actually written by the author and I’m very comfortable judging these types of debates. Be sure to make comparative fw answers as well as line by line their framework. In debate I think phil gets used as a cop-out in favor of hiding tricks which I’m not a fan of. I’m fine with independent voters justified by the fw just be clear about them. If you must read tricks then be upfront about them and they should be grouped at the top or the bottom of the doc
Theory/T: Great. I think that line-by-line is especially important in these kinds of debates and value as many specific ties to the topic as possible. Weighing between standards is also a must that is too often overlooked. I default competing interps, DTA, no RVI, and fairness as a voter; however, I can be easily persuaded otherwise. Semantic heavy shells like nebel can be ok if it's cut right. I have a low tolerance for friv theory shells. Also, if you have a saucy justification or explanation of a standard that is unique from what most people would read SLOW DOWN so I can flow that independent of the stock stuff.
K: While I didn't run many kritikal positions in high school, I do it much more now and enjoy these types of debates. I’m comfortable with Baudrillard, Warren, Deleuze, Bataille and stock Ks, anything else I approach through how you explain the thesis of the K so be sure to describe what exactly your K is/does and why that means I should vote for you (clear overviews that explain the framing > extending obscure terminology) . I tend to buy “non-falsifiable” evidence versus most psychoanalytic theories, provided they’re warranted. I don’t like Floating PIKs and think the K needs to win its thesis of the world to win the round. I always appreciate a good link wall. For K affs v Topicality you need to explain how the process of debate functions under your model and should do more than just impact turn the voters. I think most K ROB don’t make much sense and the analysis of why certain impacts come first should just be included in the framing.
Graduated from CK McClatchy High School in 2020. Currently debate for UC Berkeley. Conflicts: CK McClatchy, West Campus, Harker.
yes email chain please -- firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Public Forum (copied from Greg Achten)
Pretty much everything in the above paradigm is applicable here but there are two key additions. First, I strongly oppose the practice of paraphrasing evidence. If I am your judge I would strongly suggest reading only direct quotations in your speeches. My above stated opposition to the insertion of brackets is also relevant here. Words should never be inserted into or deleted from evidence.
Second, there is far too much untimed evidence exchange happening in debates. I will want all teams to set up an email chain to exchange cases in their entirety to forego the lost time of asking for specific pieces of evidence. You can add me to the email chain as well and that way after the debate I will not need to ask for evidence. This is not negotiable if I'm your judge - you should not fear your opponents having your evidence. Under no circumstances will there be untimed exchange of evidence during the debate. Any exchange of evidence that is not part of the email chain will come out of the prep time of the team asking for the evidence. The only exception to this is if one team chooses not to participate in the email thread and the other team does then all time used for evidence exchanges will be taken from the prep time of the team who does NOT email their cases.
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.
send the email chain to email@example.com
Hi, I'm Jonah (he/him). I regularly competed in both LD and policy at Advanced Technologies Academy and now attend Rutgers University. My guiding philosophy when judging is that I will evaluate any argument, as long as it is properly warranted and does not make the round unsafe for anyone involved.
These are the rounds I am the most comfortable judging. I like 1NCs that spend a good bit of time on case and really engage with the aff (rehighlightings, smart analytics, things like that). I think impact turns are cool too. I think impact weighing is extremely important, and robust disad turns case explanations make me happy. I enjoy hearing smart advantage CPs. Nebel T is boring but if you read it I think going for limits offense is much smarter than semantics.
I am probably the least comfortable judging these debates. I think policy vs. K debates can be cool, but they often feel overly confusing. I get really annoyed by super long 2NR overviews that don't make things any clearer. If I can understand what the K's thesis is, why the aff links, and why that's bad coming out of the debate - that's perfect. But I find that does not happen often. I have the most experience with cap, security, setcol, and queerpess, but anything beyond that might require more explanation than you're used to. For K affs, if I come out of the 2AR clearly understanding what your model of debate is and why that’s good, I will be very inclined to vote for you. Framework is probably the best strategy to go for in front of me, because K vs. K debates get very confusing quick.
I'm all for it. I only ask for two things: make sure that your arguments are warranted and that you do weighing!! I notice 1AR theory debates become super hard to resolve when standards aren't responded to or weighed. Also it would be great if you go just a bit slower than usual because I am bad at flowing. I recently found out that I think phil debate is pretty cool. Feel free to read any philosopher you are comfortable with as long as you can explain it. I guess I'm fine with whatever tricky arguments you want to read BUT the sillier these args get the lower speaks you will get.
I did a lot of traditional debate in high school am fine with judging it. I think that the value criterion is very important and should be very prevalent in every speech when it comes to weighing. Circuit competitors should be inclusive as possible to traditional debaters.
Adding this here because I occasionally judge this. Hopefully knowing that I have a policy background should be enough for you, but the two most important things to consider is that I evaluate rounds very technically and I won't listen to paraphrased evidence. Disclosure is also not really a norm yet in this event so I'm not very persuaded by related arguments.
Update for TOC Digital (12/2-12/4): I don't believe in sticky defense. Extend your arguments in every speech.
I used to have a somewhat in-depth system here but I realize I really don't follow it. I think most rounds I judge I give speaks from 28.5 to 29. If I think you collapsed well and liked your strategy you'll get 29-29.5. If you are a super duper awesome debater you'll get above that, but it's somewhat rare for me.
- Prep time ends when the doc is sent.
- I'll disclose speaks if you ask.
- I really really really don't like evaluating death good arguments.
- Misgendering is obviously very bad and if you do it repeatedly your speaks (and potentially my decision) will reflect that.
- It would be very cool if you slowed down on analytics, because I can't vote on something I didn't hear. This is compounded by my slightly below average flowing skills.
- If you couldn’t already tell, I lean tech over truth.
- If you are annoying in CX I will get annoyed.
- Accessibility is really important to me. Don’t bully novices and don’t be elitist toward traditional debaters.
- Accusations of clipping/violating ev ethics will stop the round. I think evidence is miscut if it is plagiarized, incorrectly cited (author/date), skips paragraphs, or starts or ends in the middle of a paragraph (where the skipped part of the text changes the meaning). I require a recording to verify clipping. If the accuser is correct, the other team loses with minimum speaks. If the accuser is wrong, they lose with minimum speaks.
Background: Debated LD in Colorado during high school; coach since graduation also in Colorado, MA in International Studies (Governance, Human Rights, and Civil Society). 2021 - 2022 season: I've watched equal amounts PF and LD, only a few CX rounds.
I have judged at Stanford and Berkeley tournaments for several years, plus numerous out rounds in LD and CX at NSDA Nationals.
Apparently I haven't updated this in a while...since that last update I've come to believe that paradigms are even more useless. I write it. You read it. We probably both ignore it.
- Please impact your extensions. I won't simply flow through a card author.
- Give me voters! Probably with some weighing and clash...
- I dislike it when individuals run arguments that they don't understand: 1) quality over quantity; 2) don't waste my time. (I am seeing SO much power tagging. I can pull up your evidence very quickly and do a keyword search.)
- I think the best debate rounds are those in which the debaters agree what is being debated and don't try to play games--don't try to confuse your opponent, don't try to tell me you addressed something when you didn't, etc. Just be clear and engage with the issues of the round.
- If you want to ask me additional questions before a round, please be specific. Otherwise you prepped for a round and my paradigm is just some words on a screen.
I've never really thought about having a PF specific paradigm... My overall thought is that PF is meant to focus on the topic. I want substantive debate and not theory. I'm normally pretty tab at debate, but I find it so uninspiring to hear a whole round on theory.
Nothing special for LD. Be smart on time use.
My debaters have called me out and said I seem anti-CX here. Truth is, I think really good CX debate is better than anything else, and I've come to really appreciate CX. The problem is that it is rare to see a good round of CX. There's never clash. People read arguments they don't understand. People ignore evidence at a whim. There's a tension between just reading a bunch of cards and wanting the judge to do the work of analysis and then complaining about judges not understanding arguments. And more. And it's not unique to CX.
So, long-story short: I try to be pretty tab in CX -- because I wasn't a competitor I have very few preconceived ideas of what I want to see in a round. Take some extra time and explain any CX theory to me. I'm not going to love a lot of "education is better" or "truthiness is better" either. Do some work if it comes down to theory.
Speed: I have no preference and a pretty high threshold for an LD judge from backwards Colorado. I try to keep a rigorous flow so if you get too fast I will clearly stop typing or writing. If you also don't slow down a bit on taglines, arguments and cards probably won't get flowed where you want them.
Arguments: I tend to be more interested in philosophical debates and "traditional" LD (for CX this means I probably enjoy a good K debate, but I also appreciate a clear policy framework), but I will listen to, and flow anything. Start with a clear framework, provide clash, and make it clear for me where I vote. I have a pretty solid background in political theory and an interest in German philosophy broadly (Kant to Habermas).
I would love to be included on the email chain please firstname.lastname@example.org
Countless rounds on previous years topics. I have helped research and cut many arguments for the inequality topic and have judged practice rounds but this will be the first tournament I judge economic inequality this year.
4 years hs circuit policy/ 4 years college policy / lots of coaching and some breaks in between
He/Him Don't care to be called judge a whole lot. Please feel free to call me Bobby. I prefer cameras on especially during speech time.
I believe first that ya'll should have the debate ya'll want to have. I do not believe the round is about the judge rather the judge is there to evaluate who was more persuasive in the round everyone decided to have. I will reward your technical debate ability unless however your framework arguments are urging me to reject that ability in some way. I do believe though that over time people develop their own preferences, and it's unavoidable to not lean into those preferences unless educated as to why I shouldn't. So I will share some brief thoughts on debate and where I generally stand on a few things, keeping in mind that what I said first here is most important. I come from a Policy Debate oriented background so if I am judging you in a progressive LD or parli round you may want to keep this in mind. In LD I evaluate value criterion as an impact value for framing not an impact itself. However like I said I will evaluate the type of round you want to have just explain the judging framework you are putting me in.
I have developed some auditory issues in my left ear. You should not have to sacrifice speed because of this. I can hear just fine, but sometimes there is a little echo so I appreciate good sign posting and clear tags. And while speed is great, disorganization is not.
K debate - Over time I find that I tend to evaluate from a policy making standpoint. This doesn't mean you should strike me if you are a K debater. I have been helping cut and dive into more of these arguments as of late. Keep in mind I may not be immersed in the same literature though. This is going to make your Link wall extremely important and might warrant slowing down a touch. I'm not sure where we are at in 2023 on judge kicking the alt, however I would like this to present itself as an option in the debate rather than making my own decision. This is also reserved for a strong link story and DA's embedded into the links that will serve as a turn to the aff.
Theory - Win the tech and impact out. I see many doing the former but forgetting that second step. I would guess my history as a judge puts me closer in line with condo good, unless out of control. However everything is debatable.
T - You do you. Would love to see a high quality T debate at the HS level.
CP/DA - Lets do it.
Aff - Pretty straight forward if you are a policy aff or soft left. Updated this part on Kritikal affirmatives.... I like to think I am open to the debate arguments you want to run. The disclaimer on K affs is that I don't have any experience running them myself. I have seen many of these rounds and feel comfortable in my ability to evaluate these now, however remember that I am probably not deep into your literature so lots of judge instruction and clear distinction.
One of my more important preferences however would be courtesy. I believe everyone should be respectful toward one another and I highly value kindness. I will award speaker points based on how well you performed your speaker position role, but I will dock these points if I believe rudeness has gotten out of hand. Don't confuse that with passion, confidence, and competition because I love all three of those things. I think most of us know when it crosses a line.
Have a fun Debate!
Name: Andrew Halverson
School: Currently, I am not actively coaching, but in recent years I was the Assistant Director of Speech & Debate at Kapaun Mount Carmel High School & Wichita East High School (Wichita, KS). I have moved to work in the real world full-time, but I still keep involved with debate as a Board Member of a local non-profit that promotes debate in the Wichita area - Ad Astra Debate.
Experience: 20+ years. As a competitor, 4 years in high school and 3 years in college @ Fort Hays and Wichita State in the mid-late 90's and early 2000's.
Up to March, I have judged 88 rounds this season - mostly LD and Policy. I only have judged PF at the UK Opener.
**ONLINE DEBATING ADDENDUM - updated 3/4/2022**
In my experience, most tournaments are more than gracious with their prep and tech time leading up the start of a round. Please make sure that all of your tech stuff is sorted before beginning AND that you use pre-round prep for disclosure as well. I'm pretty chill about most things, but these two things are my biggest online debating pet peeves.
ALL Online tournament have pre-round tech time built in. Please be in the room for it. It doesn't take long. If it's something that's no fault of your own that is preventing you from tech time, fair. However, if one of the members of your team isn't in the room during pre-round tech time, it's a 0.5-1 speaker point deduction.
Public Forum Section - Updated as of 3/1/2022
As an FYI, I've coached PFD, but by and large, I'm a Policy and Congress coach. If there is anything that isn't answered in this short section, I advise that you take a look the Policy section of my paradigm or ask questions.
I'm going to assume that I don't know the in and outs of your current topic. Please make sure that you explain concepts that I might not know. I've coached a lot of different debate topics over the years. I know a lot, but I don't know everything.
The typical PF norms for evidence/speech docs sharing are terrible. You must put your evidence/speech docs in the Speech Drop, email chain, or whatever BEFORE your speech starts. Don't do it after your speech or in the chat. Also, don't just put a cite in the chat and tell someone to CTRL+F what they are looking for. This is non-negotiable. Other PFD norms, I'm honestly unfamiliar with. I assume there is disclosure and other things, but I don't know for sure.
I'm probably going to evaluate most debates like I would a Policy debate - without all of the mumbo-jumbo that is usually associated with that activity. In brief, that will probably be an offense/defense paradigm with a heavy dose of policymaking sprinkled in. I like good, smart arguments. Make them and clash with your opponents and you will be at a good place at the end of the day.
Policy/LD Debate Section - Changed as of 6/30/2022
++Since most LD has a policy tilt nowadays, this is a pretty accurate representation on how I would view an LD round. Actual value debate and my thoughts on RVI's, you probably should ask me.
++I do want to add something about the penchant to go for RVI's and other random theory cheap shots in front of me in LD. Just saying something is an RVI or that you get one isn't an argument - it's just describing a thing that you might get access to as an argument. There has to be a reason behind your theory gripe or whatever it is. FYI, usually I have a high threshold for voting on these arguments - unless it's a complete drop (which it won't be the case all of the time). Refer to where I talk about blippy theory debates down below if you want any other insight.
This is the first time in a long time that I have engaged in rewriting my judging paradigm. I thought it was warranted – given that debates and performances will be all done virtually in the immediate future. My last iteration of one of these might have been too long, so I will attempt to be as brief as possible.
**If you send a PDF as a speech doc, I instantly start docking speaker points. Send a Google doc or nearly anything else but no PDFs.
**I want to be on the email chain (halverson.andrew [at] gmail.com). Don’t send your speech doc after your speech. Do it before (unless there are extra cards read, etc.). There are a few reasons I would like this to happen: a) I'm checking as you are going along if you are clipping; b) since I am reading along, I'm making note of what is said in your evidence to see if it becomes an issue in the debate OR a part of my decision – most tournaments put a heavy premium on quick decisions, so having that to look at before just makes the trains run on-time and that makes the powers that be happy; c) because I'm checking your scholarship, it allows for me to make more specific comments about your evidence and how you are deploying it within a particular debate. If you refuse to email or flash before your speech for me, there will probably be consequences in terms of speaker points and anything else I determine to be relevant - since I'm the ultimate arbiter of my ballot in the debate which I'm judging.
**Send your analytics as much as possible. This platform for debate can sometimes be problematic with technical issues that can or can’t be controlled. I’ve judged some debate where the 2nc is in the middle of giving their speech and then their feed becomes frozen. Of course, we pause the debate until we can resolve the technical issues, but it’s helpful for everyone involved to have a doc to know where the debate stopped so we can pick up at that point once we resume.
**Don’t go super-duper, mega, ultra full speed (unless you are crystal bell clear). Slowing down a bit in this format is more beneficial to you and everyone else involved.
**For all of those Kansas traditional teams, yes to a off-time road map. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.
**Be nice & have fun. If you don’t be nice, then you probably won’t like how I remedy if you aren’t nice. Racist and sexist language/behavior will not be tolerated. Debate is supposed to be a space where we get to get to test ideas in a safe environment.
**Stealing prep time. Don’t do it. After you send out the doc, you should have an idea of a speech order and be getting set to speak. Don't be super unorganized and take another 2-3 minutes to just stand up there getting stuff together. I don't mind taking a bit to get yourself together, but I find that debaters are abusing that now. When I judge by myself, I'm usually laid back about using the restroom, but I strongly suggest that you consider the other people in a paneled debate - not doing things like stopping prep and then going to the bathroom before you start to speak. I get emergencies, but this practice is really shady. Bottom-line: if you're stealing prep, I'll call you on it out loud and start the timer.
**Disclosure is something I can't stand when it's done wrong. If proper disclosure doesn't happen before a round, I'm way more likely to vote on a disclosure argument in this setting. If you have questions about my views on disclosure, please ask them before the debate occurs - so you know where you stand. Otherwise, I can easily vote on a disclosure argument. This whole “gotcha” thing with arguments that you have already read is so dumb.
**New in the 2nc is bad. What I mean by that is whole new DA's read - old school style - in the 2nc does not foster good debate OR only read off-case in the 1nc and then decide to read all new case arguments in the 2nc. I'm willing to listen to theory arguments on the matter (and have probably become way more AFF leaning on the theory justification of why new in the 2nc is bad), BUT they have to be impacted out. However, that's not the best answer to a NEG attempting this strategy. The best answer is for the 1ar to quickly straight turn whatever that argument is and then move on. Debaters that straight turn will be rewarded. Debaters that do new in the 2nc will either lose because of a theory argument or have their speaks tanked by me.
Now that’s out of the way, here are some insights on how I evaluate debates:
**What kind of argument and general preferences do I have? I will listen to everything and anything from either side of the debate. You can be a critical team or a straight-up team. It doesn’t matter to me. An argument is an argument. Answering arguments with good arguments is probably a good idea, if the competitive aspect of policy debate is important to you at all. If you need some examples: Wipeout? Sure, did it myself. Affirmatives without a plan? Did that too. Spark? You bet. Specific links are great, obviously. Of course, I prefer offense over defense too. I don’t believe that tabula rasa exists, but I do try to not have preconceived notions about arguments. Yet we all know this isn’t possible. If I ultimately have to do so, I will default to policymaker to make my decision easier for me.
**Don't debate off a script. Yes, blocks are nice. I like when debaters have blocks. They make answering arguments easier. HOWEVER, if you just read off your script going for whatever argument, I'm not going to be happy. Typically, this style of debate involves some clash and large portions of just being unresponsive to the other team's claims. More than likely, you are reading some prepared oration at a million miles per hour and expect me to write down every word. Guess what? I can't. In fact, there is not a judge in the world that can accomplish that feat. So use blocks, but be responsive to what's going on in the debate.
**Blippy theory debates really irk me. To paraphrase Mike Harris: if you are going as fast as possible on a theory debate at the end of a page and then start the next page with more theory, I'm going to inevitably miss some of it. Whether I flow on paper or on my computer, it takes a second for me to switch pages and get to the place you want me to be on the flow. Slow down a little bit when you want to go for theory - especially if you think it can be a round-winner. I promise you it'll be worth it for you in the end.
**I’m a decent flow, but I wouldn’t go completely crazy. That being said, I’m one of those critics (and I was the same way as a debater) that will attempt to write down almost everything you say as long as you make a valiant attempt to be clear. Super long overviews that aren't flowable make no sense to me. In other words, make what you say translate into what you want me to write down. I will not say or yell if you aren’t clear. You probably can figure it out – from my non-verbals – if you aren’t clear and if I’m not getting it. I will not say/yell "clear" and the debate will most definitely be impacted adversely for you. If I don’t “get it,” it’s probably your job to articulate/explain it to me.
**I want to make this abundantly clear. I won't do work for you unless the debate is completely messed up and I have to do some things to clean up the debate and write a ballot. So, if you drop a Perm, but have answers elsewhere that would answer it, unless you have made that cross-application I won't apply that for you. The debater answering said Perm needs to make the cross-application/answer(s) on their own.
Contact me if you have any questions. Hope this finds you well and healthy - have a great season!!
Debated Freshman-Junior year doing Policy debate and Senior year switched to LD, this shapes lots of my views on debate. After graduating I have been coaching for the past few years, coaching over a dozen bids and multiple deep TOC runs primarily coaching Policy and K.
email chain: Jacksonh428@gmail.com
Last update- Bronx 2022
This paradigm primarily applies to high level debates and Elims. if you are a younger debater don’t change your strategy for me I am here to provide feedback on whatever your style of debate. If you are in an Elim or frequently Make it to elims this paradigm should outline my full thoughts on debate for your prefing needs.
Important notes about my philosophy regarding debate you should read before having me as a judge
- If your strat relies on highly contextualized clash debate I am the correct judge for you, Whether you debate critical or policy I will be able to evaluate the debate from a very neutral and knowledge stance. If your strat relies on spreading out your opponent or going for small blips on flows I am not the judge for you.
- I will be more impressed by students that demonstrate topic knowledge, line-by-line organization skills (supported by careful flowing), and intelligent cross-examinations than by those that rely on superfast speaking, obfuscation, jargon, backfile recycling, and/or tricks.- Bill Batterman
- I have become a lot more ideological open to philosophy style arguments in the past year that being said, I have not worked within any of the literature bases for a substantive amount of time. Philosophy that is purely read to integrate trix will never win my ballot in a round. But I am open to well developed philosophy strategies. Because I have not judged these styles of debate for any amount of time you will need to make sure explanations are very clear and robust regarding how to evaluate your arguments. I am going to be more biased towards util which means it is going to require vast more explanation to overcome than the inverse.
- It is really hard for me to vote on terminal defense, I will almost always vote on risk of offense.
- I strongly Dislike Nebel and versus core affs that have been read a lot am very very hesitant to vote on it, this largely comes from the majority of my debate career being in policy but is a bias I hold.
- I Will not vote on evaluate the debate at any point but after the 2AR.
- If you are asking for a marked doc you need to run prep, I dont know why people are not flowing by ear anymore
- My standard for critical debate is college policy which entirely skews what a good K round is and lowers the argumentative burden to beat LD K affs. If you are reading affs that are innovative in some sense that shows you have really engaged within the literature I will be a great judge for this. I am starting to get upset at the level of recycling that is occurring within the LD K aff world. An additional point of gripe I am starting to have is combining theories of power that are entirely distinct into one affirmative or kritik, The most absolutely frustrating part about this is that when you do this versus a debater who is unaware of this contradiction justifiably given it not being a required aspect of the topic it becomes impossible for me to evaluate given there not being an arguement I will likely dock .5-1 speaks for theory of power contradictions. All of this being said if you read a K aff you have to understand that you should show extreme levels of mastery.
- T Framework falls under this discussion point. This is one of my favorite types of debate to watch and even as someone who read tons of K affs, Against K affs T was always my number one strategy. I think that most shells that are being read now days are very bad and generic. Good Framework debates need to have clash starting in the 1NC, Pulling lines from cards and referencing the 1AC is crucial to avoiding large 2AR spins. I believe that Fairness is a terminal impact but can be convinced otherwise, and believe that Going for fairness is probably a better strat versus Pomo and non Id-Pol K's and In round skills are better versus Id-pol. Teams that go for one standard in the 2NR with lots of impact weighing and comparison are going to win my ballot. I will shield the 2NR from more 2AR spin that most judges I believe. I really dislike the K aff meta of going for Impact turns or one dropped arg on framework in the 2AR and believe strongly that if you can beat back the framework flow you can also beat back the cap flow.
- All of this holds true reading a K on the negative with a few specific points to be had. First is that I believe that links should be contextual to the aff. This does not mean the links need to be predicated on the action of the plan, but if you are going to read reps links based on extinction or nuclear war I expect to see lines that are pulled from evidence and past speeches to build every link. If you are reading the same blocks every round when you read a Kritik I am not the judge for you but If you engage at a substantive level truly clashing with the aff whether that be on plan action or representations you will not only likely win more debates in front of me but you will definitely get higher speaker points. I also think in LD specifically framework is extremely underutilized by the negative, you can make lots of strategic decisions on the framework debate that implicate the rest of the debate and 2NRs that centralize around framework are usually my favorite, and should be a staple for any K debater given the current debate meta of every K 2AR being extinction o/w framework. Why does framework only need to be area you have to hedge back upon and not make that shift early in the 2NR given you anticipate a 2AR on Extinction o/w.
- I am a very good for any type of policy debate given you have read the important notes about my overall debate philosophy. Reading bad arguments is always going to lead to a major loss of speaks for me. Da's with no substantive internal links are my biggest pet peeve right now within policy debate. The first point of research past the link should be internal link. I find a lot of value in politics da debates, the college meta of uniqueness dumping is really enjoyable for some reason to me, the hyper contextualization required for evidence contextualization is unmatched in this style of debate. I feel that in most types of debate evidence comparison is really declining but politics requires you to put thought into evidence comparison.
- Counterplans that have robust solvency mechanisms will gain you a lot of speaks process counterplans that don't just consult are amazing, counterplans that have thought put into them are always going to be better than a counterplan that is used over and over. A counterplan that solves all of case such as a process counterplan should be its own 2nr, I don't think its smart to go for anything on case, if you choose to go for defense, a 2ar can spend like 10 seconds making superficial responses and then make the arg, we win the cp risk of aff means you vote aff. Obviously if you are reading an advantage counterplan that doesn't solve the whole aff you should have offense on the advantage not solved.
- Theory should only be used as a last resort, If a team is reading 2 or less condo It will be nearly impossible for me to vote on condo bad. I am fine for debates such as Pics Bad, Process Cps bad, Consult Bad. Do not plan on blowing up a 5-10 second shell in the 2ar for this, It should be a flushed out shell as I will draw lines from the 1ar to the 2ar. Theory that I am extremely unlikely to vote on include; Spec shells, Nebel. Theory that I will not vote on; Any clothes or clothing related theory, Friv theory.(The gut check for this is would you read this argument in from of a college policy judge if you wouldn't don't read it In front of me)
- Topicality that is grounded in actual literature based definitions are good. Shells such as Nebel, Leslie, and other extremely semantic based interps are not going to win in front of me. Examples of T arguments I am absolutely willing to vote on with 0 bias; T Medical Necessary(SepOct 22),T Lethal Autonomous Weapons(JF 2021), Most policy style interps if you look at the college wiki minus T SUBSTANTIAL. While I am harsh towards Theory in LD debate I think T is a great avenue for the negative to contest the aff and utilize time tradeoffs. I do not think that this should be done with generics or things such as Nebel.
- OPEN SOURCE IS AMAZING- I read it two off versus K teams my senior year with Cap or impact turns. I Think its just a very good model for debate and for that reason I am Extremely likely to vote on open source. The burden though is full open source, I don't really care if you have round reports of cites. I am only good for full open source or open source after 30 minutes for missed rounds or missed tournaments.
Policy/K with clash-1
Policy/k with no clash-4
Speaks- I rarely give below 28 speaks but rarely give higher than 29.2. Very good strategy execution and a very well thought out strategy combined will lead to the highest speaks.
Thoughts I’ve had about debate in 22 season- read if bored or want to know more about my judging style
- The person I have learned and look up to the most in regards to judging is Bill Batterman if for some reason you do want to read his paradigm I agree with every aspect of it. The only note I would add is I am 10000% more charitable to critical arguments and hold the same threshold as policy arguments to them and my thoughts on Critical debate are outlined above.
- Pessimism K’s have gone rampant, college policy only reads afropess, set col, and to a much smaller extent queer pess. Your job is to find out why college policy only reads a select few.
- Speaker points are super inflated right now, teams getting 30s every other round.
LD: Claremont, Peninsula
Add: gordondkrauss [at] gmail [dot] com
Most Important: If you go for counter-solvency-advocate theory, linguistic skepticism, truth testing, permissibility, or something similar and find yourself upset with my decision, I will happily debate you/coach and I will win. Make a real argument next time.
I evaluate debates technically, based primarily on what I've written down. I try my hardest not to intervene and will vote for nearly all arguments that are complete (threshold is maybe higher than average LD individual). I have to be able to understand your argument. This matters both in terms of clarity and argumentative coherence.
Nearly all arguments are evaluated probabilistically, so I won't vote on presumption. Offense/defense for everything that is not "we meet" or "perm do the counterplan."
I will read evidence, especially when I'm told to, but would prefer that you debate about and through evidence instead of pointing to a bunch of cards and expecting me to read all of them. I don't look at the documents after the 1NC unless I need to read cards after the debate.
There are certain arguments you're best off avoiding. For instance, I have never voted on an RVI.
The aff should read a topical plan. Failure to do so is likely a voting issue for fairness reasons.
- conditionality: The neg should be able to read as many counterplans as they want. Dispo is absurd. Number doesn't matter. Aff wins by explaining why they need to straight turn counterplans and how the neg strategy made that impossible. I will judge kick unless the 1AR has a reason I should not.
- other: Any counterplan that results in the whole plan is probably not legitimate. I'm also aff-leaning on multi-actor and international fiat. Neg-leaning elsewhere. Going for theory is fine and usually better than an intrinsic perm.
- Links less makes more sense than evaluating links to the net benefit as yes/no.
- Generally speaking, larger but more predictable topic is better than tiny, unpredictable topic.
- Both sides should have a caselist instead of general arguments about why it's harder to be aff/neg.
- Plan in a vacuum is winnable. The neg needs a counter-interpretation or I will be persuaded by the affs arbitrariness offense.
- Reasonability is winnable. The neg needs to win why limits or precision is more important than the substance debate that would have otherwise occurred. The aff needs to win that substance crowdout matters more than limits or precision, generally by winning that their interpretation sufficiently captures neg offense.
- Ideally, the link to the kritik also disproves the case. If it doesn't, I would prefer to hear arguments about why the alternative could solve the case than an exclusive framework interpretation.
- It should be impossible to win that psychoanalysis is true, death is good, fiat is bad/relevant, we should embrace the end of the world, and anything about signs and signifiers. If this is what you think the K is all about, you know what to do.
- That said, I have a deep appreciation for lots of critical literature. I'm very interested in hearing the stuff you find that is topic/aff-specific. I'm far less interested in critiques that don't change from one topic to the next.
- If the aff has no offense external to 'case outweighs' the neg will almost always win. Link turn vs. impact turn depends on the aff that was read. The alternative rarely solves the link argument or the case, but the aff usually refuses to talk about it.
- Weigh the case makes more sense than no plan/Ks bad. I won't insert this 'middle ground' into the debate (obviously), but it will be far more persuasive than any alternative.
- I'm kind of a fan of theory arguments against alternatives. That said, most of the time the perm double bind is sufficient if you have any game on link turn / DA to the alt. Not worth saying: vague alts, mindset shift, utopian fiat. Sometimes worth saying: private actor, international, PIKs.
- I would rather hear anything else. Sorry.
- If you phil anyway: cards, examples, don't drop DA/Case, modesty and comparative worlds.
- See the counterplan section. If you can't find your theory argument there, it's a sign from the universe that you should not read it.
- If it were up to me, everyone would disclose within minutes of the pairing coming out (regardless of "flights"). If you don't do this, don't read "round reports theory" or really anything else. If your disclosure practices are perfect and the other team refuses to disclose at all, do what you have to. I would always prefer to judge a debate about the substance.
Add me to the chain. My email is email@example.com
Assistant Coach at Homestead 2020-2021
Head Coach at Homestead 2021-2022
Assistant Coach at Lake Highland 2023-Present
College Policy at West Georgia 2022-2023, NDT Doubles, CEDA Quarters
College Policy at Kansas starting Spring 2024
If you're interested in college debate, please reach out, I'd love to chat about it.
I've judged too many debates to care what you read. I've coached and judged every style, and feel comfortable evaluating anything read in your average LD debate, with the most experience in phil, k, and policy, and the least experience in tricks and theory. DON'T OVERADAPT, do what you do best, make complete, smart arguments, and we'll be fine. All things equal, the debates I most enjoy are phil, k, and topicality debates. I'm studying philosophy and economics at Kansas.
An argument has a claim, a warrant, and an implication. Less than that and you have not made an argument and I will not evaluate it. Don't test my limits - I don't care if words you've said were not answered by your opponent, they have not "dropped an argument" until you have MADE one. I will not vote on an argument I cannot explain via claim, warrant, and implication back to your opponent in the RFD. If you can't explain something like a paradox or condo logic coherently, don't go for it.
Evidence quality matters a lot, I'll probably read evidence in close debates, and I won't fill in the blanks for your incomplete highlighting. I would prefer well-warranted analytics to bad, under-highlighted cards.
I enjoy in-depth clash and don't enjoy under-warranted blipstorms, so I will likely enjoy your debates more and consequently give you better speaker points if your strategies include specific, complex, and vertical debating as opposed to shallow horizontal debating. I've historically been the best for debaters who understand their arguments very well and are prepared to defend them, whether they be afropessimism, heg good, kant, or process counterplans, and historically been the worst for debaters who rely on cheap shots to dodge clash. Do with that what you will.
Debate is supposed to be fun and educational, but it also means a lot to a lot of us, so it's okay if debates get heated and passionate, don't pretend like this doesn't mean something to you if it does.
Random Argument Thoughts:
Topicality should include case lists, preferably both an offensive and defensive one.
I default to counterplan theory as a reason to reject the argument, not the team.
Neutral in framework debates, equally good for impact turn as counterinterp strategies, skew slightly towards clash but totally fine with fairness.
Arguments I don't like but will vote on: epistemic modesty (this just does not make sense to me as a philosophy student), RVIs, frivolous theory, Mollow
Arguments I don't like and won't vote on: racist/sexist/transphobic/homophobic/ableist positions, evaluate the debate after x speech, theory based on debaters' appearance or dress
Happy to answer other questions pre round or by email.
Blake update 2023 - I have zero topic knowledge and havent done policy since 2021. please explain things more and dont use policy jargon that isnt used in ld, thanks!
Please have the email chain set up before round –firstname.lastname@example.org
1- policy/ks/k affs
~treat me like a policy judge who will buy almost if not all ld positions~
I do disclose speaks
Please send analytics that are being spread
--------- GENERAL ---------
I felt like my original paradigm was too convoluted and drawn out, so I decided on moving it to a google docs that is linked at the end. Otherwise the tldr should be enough if you're just doing preround prep or prefs (if you are preffing, consider preffing me lower because I have been out of commission for so long). feel free to look at my essay of a paradigm if you desire, it just elaborates on my stances above. If you have any questions feel free to email me.
I am pretty generous with speaks as well as just general debater nonsense in round. With that being said, please be a kind person, I have very little patience for people who are rude without reason.
[FOR K DEBATERS SPECIFICALLY] Please do not use jargon while explaining your theory of power, you should be able to tell me the story of your k, either in cx or in your overview without using words that only a PhD candidate would understand. I've been googling what words mean in round and that shouldn't happen so please dumb down your speech at least 20% for me, thx!
I come from a Policy Debate background. You can spread...or not, but if I can't flow it, I can't know it.
I probably won't be impressed with arguments that attempt to circumvent discussion on the actual resolution, so you may be better served scrapping your K affs (or negs) or topicality negs (unless, of course, you are responding to a K aff with a topicality neg). If you choose to run one or more highly philosophical and/or theoretical argument(s) and proceed to read cards that say things like: "Having one’s experiences obscured and rendered unintelligible due to herme-neutical injustice is an infringement upon the epistemic agency...," or "Particularly the Cartesian dualism between the extended physical world and the nonphysical world of thought was seen as the definitive completion of the pre-Socratic turn from mythos to logos, when myth finally became synonymous with the subjective and the irrational. From this point onward, myths could neither serve as cosmological narratives of the universe, nor as valid allegories of nature, for they were now fully associated with the inner realm of subjective experience and not with the outer realm of the objective physical world," you should know that I will NOT understand them. I am a highly educated former debater, but I cannot possibly digest any of this in the few minutes of time I get to do so. I, unlike you, do not have the benefit of being able to think through these types of arguments in advance of the round. Frankly, even if I did, I am quite certain I still would not understand them standing alone let alone in the context of the debate. In fairness to you, you should know that.
I think that debate on matters unrelated to the resolution fundamentally stifle fairness for several reasons. In the first instance, they impede a competitor's ability to adequately prepare by creating a universe where one side dictates the narrative of the debate, or, alternatively, the debate consists of two people talking past each other. This strategy creates a world where there is absolutely no point in even having a resolution. The rules tell me that the competitors are to debate a particular resolution, and the debater tells me I can't until we first talk about ageism or ableism or the relative value of dogs over cats or whether french fries are proof of a higher being (they are). Secondly, they heavily favor schools and students with copious economic resources who have the privilege and luxury of being able to expand their preparation into this infinite universe of argument. Let's level the playing field a bit better (maybe we should debate that instead?).
On that note, I value responsiveness to your opponent's arguments, and I love a good common-sense position. However, if you are going to rely on factual/empirical arguments, please make sure they are supported by evidence. Most importantly, I do not tolerate unsportsmanlike conduct. I was a litigator for many years and stared down many an adversary, but I was always respectful, polite, and kind. Since I am judge and jury in this debate, I will not be impressed by the debater that yells louder or whose tone is more indignant. Rather, the debater that makes the more compelling arguments will win the round.
Other things: I don't love pics or piks. If you run one anyway (which is completely fine) do not extend disads that your pic/k would equally trigger AND the pic/k into your rebuttal. If you give me contradictory arguments, I won't know which to vote on, and they will likely cancel each other out in my decision calculus.
If I cannot hear or understand what you are reading during the allotted time you are given, I will not consider it in my analysis of the round. Sharing your constructive should not be an end-run around time limits by emboldening you to speak so incoherently that the content is indiscernible based on your belief that I can simply read the case on my own.
Also, a note about tech troubles. I think the best debater should win and not the one who had a better WiFi connection (unless, of course, they are one and the same). I understand that technology is not infallible, and I will NOT punish you if your connection is lost or you cut out. I believe that an important tenet of fairness and sportsmanship is the right to be heard. That means that I will show you grace and patience if you have tech troubles. I will ask you to repeat things and add time as necessary.
Good luck everyone!
i have a 20.21% sit rate -- not a good judge!
add [email@example.com] to the email chain.
bad for straight policy rounds. mediocre for k and clash rounds.
Slow down; pause between flows; label everything clearly; be aware that I am less familiar with policy norms, so over-explain. Otherwise I try to be more-or-less tab.
I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.
I coach students on both the local and national circuits.
I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.
You can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing impacts back to whatever decision mechanism(s) have been presented.
I prefer that you not swear in round.
Add me to the chain: speechdrop[at]gmail.com
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.
debate style tier list:
S Tier - Policy v k, Policy v Policy, Debates about Debate
A tier - K aff v Policy, K aff v Framework, Performance debate (either side)
B tier - K v K, Theory,
C tier - Phil
D tier - Trix
F tier - Meme/troll
about me: Assistant debate coach for Harvard Westlake (2022-). Debated policy since 2018 that is my main background even tho I almost only judge/coach 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.
inspirations: DSRB, LaToya,Travis, CSUF debate, Jared, Vontrez, Curtis, Diego, lamdl homies, Scott Philips.
theory: Theory page is the highest layer unless explained otherwise. Aff probably gets 1ar theory. Rvis are "real" arguments I guess. Warrant out reasonability. I am a good judge for theory, I am a bad judge for silly theory. Explain norm setting how it happens, why your norms create a net better model of debate. explain impacts, don't just be like "they didn't do XYZ voter for fairness because not doing XYZ is unfair." Why is it unfair, why does fairness matter I view theory a lot like framework, each theory shell is a model of debate you are defending why is not orientating towards your model a bad thing. Oh and if you go for theory, actually go for it do not just be like "they dropped xyz gg lol" and go on substance extend warrants and the story of abuse.
Topicality: The vibes are the same as above in the theory section. I think T is a good strategy, especially if the aff is blatantly not topical. If the aff seems topical, I will probably err aff on reasonability. Both sides should explain and compare interpretations and standards. Standards should be impacted out, basically explain why it's important that they aren't topical. The Aff needs a counter interpretation, without one I vote neg on T (unless it's kicked).
Larp: I appreciate creative internal link chains but prefer solid ones. Default util, I usually don't buy zero risk. For plan affirmative some of you are not reading a different affs against K teams and I think you should, it puts you in a good place to beat the K. as per disads specific disads are better than generics ones but poltics disads are lowkey broken if you can provide a good analysis of the scenario within the context of the affirmative. Uniqueness controls the link but I also believe that uniqueness can overwhelm the link. straight turning disads are a vibe especially when they read multiple offs.
K affirmatives: I appreciate affirmatives that are in the direction of the topic but feel free to do what you want with your 1ac speech, This does mean that their should be defense and/or offense on why you chose to engage in debate the way that you did. I think that at a minimum affirmatives must do something, "move from the status quo" (unless warranted for otherwise). Affirmatives must be written with purpose if you have music, pictures, poem, etc. in your 1ac use them as offense, what do they get you ? why are they there ? if not you are just opening yourself to a bunch of random piks. If you do have an audio performance I would appreciate captions/subtitles/transcript but it is at your discretion (won't frame my ballot unless warranted for otherwise). In Kvk debates I need clear judge instruction and link explanation perm debate I lean aff.
Framework: I lean framework in K aff v framework debates. These debate become about debate and models defend your models accordingly. I think that the aff in these debates always needs to have a role of the negative, because a lot of you K affs out their solve all of these things and its written really well but you say something most times that is non-controversal and that gets you in trouble which means its tough for you to win a fw debate when there is no role for the negative. In terms of like counter interp vs impact turn style of 2AC vs fw I dont really have a preference but i think you at some point need to have a decent counter interp to solve your impact turns to fw. If you go for the like w/m kind of business i think you can def win this but i think fw teams are prepared for this debate more than the impact turn debate. I think fairness is not an impact but you can go for it as one. Fairness is an internal link to bigger impacts to debate.
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. 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. Lowkey in LD it is a waste of time to go for State links, the ontology debate is already making state bad claims and the affirmative is already ahead on a reason why their specific use of the state is good. Link contextualization is not just about explaining how the affirmatives use of the state is bad but how the underlining assumptions of the affirmative uniquely make the world worst this paired up with case take outs make for a real good NR Strategy.
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. at the end of the day im a speaker point fairy.
Conflicts (ghill, memorial, Marlborough, )
Memorial '19 SMU '23 (don’t know why you’d care but some people do)
Yeah, I want the docs --Misrap354@gmail.com I’ll say clear once.
TLDR: Twice as good as your average local judge, half as good as your favorite circuit judge (prove me other wise and you get a cookie)
Judged wayyy to much in college 1year post college now. Take that as u will; no I haven’t kept up with the topic lit or what this years new fad is in debate.
If you have any questions about what’ I like to see: look at my past judging, but please don’t read dense phil. I do not care for it and will not make an effort to understand it.
Any memorial debater, Acadmey of classical Christian Studies JM, or any debater that larps or pretends to larp with hidden tricks describe the style of debate im okay w judging w/ zero topic knowledge
Pretty hard to get below a 28.9 infront of me, esp if u ask for high speaks.
i did ld for two years at westlake high school
she/her pronouns; abide by your opponent's pronouns
add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
i'm more of a flow judge and i don't like doing work so i prob won't evaluate an argument unless it's clearly extended
probably most familiar with larp and theory debate but any args are fine as long as you flush them out properly (i hate phil debates tho and am really bad at evaluating them)
layer ur args and warrant why you're winning in the top layer. give me a big picture analysis at the end and explain to me why you're winning; essentially write my ballot for me
fine w/ speed but if i say clear twice and u don't slow down or speak clearly then i will stop flowing; im usually pretty generous with speaks but i have a really low threshold for debaters being rude and/or aggressive to me or their opponent and i WILL give u low speaks if you say anything problematic
please give trigger warnings; also i don't do well with any extremely graphic depictions of rape and sexual violence
- DAs: pretty much fine with anything as long as you have a proper link story and clear impact calculus
- plans/cps/pics: pls do comparative worlds weighing; i think these are strategic and mainly what i ran in hs so i'm fine with really anything
- fine with anything as long as they are well warranted; explain why voting for the k actually matters
- PIKs: open to PIKs good/bad debate, i don't have a default on this
- pls do work with the alt and explain the methodology; i have a low threshold when alt isn't warranted
- k affs are cool just explain to me why it's relevant to vote aff and why your topic or method is better
- i think performances are really cool and meaningful in the debate space; just explain why i should endorse the performance and also pls have good warrants
- really low threshold for friv theory
- don't spread your interps and have a strong warrant on your abuse story
- i think t debate is valid but i definitely will buy an abuse story off the neg if it is warranted
- pls pls pls explain why your fw matters more and what my role is as the judge; i think framework debates get really messy and i don't like doing work so please weigh
- sorry i don't like phil debate and i'm pretty bad at evaluating these types of rounds
- if you're reading dense phil please slow down and explain to me the argument like im 5 lol
- i don't like them and idk how to evaluate them
good luck everyone! i know debate can be a toxic and negative space sometimes so if you ever need to leave the round please just let me know; mental health comes first
With a cumulative 13+ years of experience across multiple formats (CX, LD, PF, WSDC, Congress, BP, AP, etc) and across multiple circuits (5 continents), I like to think that I've seen it all, so I'll keep it simple.
I value and reward consistency in logic. The less logical leaps in your argument, the better.
Analyze everything, don't make assumptions.
Rebuttals should be thorough.
Don't make up evidence, I wouldn't hesitate to call for cards if something doesn't add up.
Cross (or POI in WSDC/BP) is also part of the debate, take it very seriously.
Be kind and respect your opponents.
Notre Dame '21, NYU '25
Scroll to the bottom for LD specific things.
Very short version
- Ok for Ks
- Better for planless affs now that I don't have to debate them
- Impact turns make me happy
- Organization is good, line-by-line is better, both is best
- Condo good, yes judgekick are defaults
Truth is tech, and vice versa, given that a true argument is much easier to win technically, and technically debating meta-level framing issues is important to convince me of the truth of the arguments you are going for.
Debate is not about the arguments themselves, but rather the execution of those arguments. This does not mean arguments don’t matter; arguments have different burden of proofs, but every argument is valid until proven otherwise.
Presumption goes to the team that advocates less change. If teams don't debate what that means, and if the 2NR includes a competitive alternative, presumption flips aff.
Clipping and other ethics violations/accusations will result in an automatic zero and loss for the team that does it or falsely accuses the other team. These need an audio recording or I need to hear it. I won't intervene if it's not egregious or there isn't a significant difference in the quality of debaters.
I will not vote on things that occur before the 1AC starts.
The following is a list of predispositions I have — they go out the window if you make an argument otherwise (or at least I try).
For the aff:
Have a connection to the resolution. Convince me your advocacy is good, better than the (competitive) alternative, and actually resolves your impacts. On that note, actually have an advocacy. If the voting for the advocacy is only an in-round affirmation, I am a lot more sympathetic to negative “burden of rejoinder” T arguments.
I think debate is a game, but it might be more. Explain why the "more" part outweighs the "game" part. I don’t think debate is not a game.
Please do actual line-by-line, counter-define words in the resolution, don't go for counterinterps like "direction of the resolution," don't just read [Spanos, Lundberg, Antonio, other silly authors] but have aff specific impact turns to fairness, pedagogy, etc.
The perm is a convincing argument especially if your aff doesn’t defend anything.
For the aff and neg:
Disads can link! Planless affs must be ready to defend against all possible disadvantages to their advocacy, physical or metaphysical. The argument “no link - aff is not fiated” is nonresponsive because all affirmatives, by the nature of the thought experiment of debate, are “fiated”. If neg teams can out debate aff teams on the DA then I will vote for it.
For the neg:
T-USfg is a possible 2NR. Defend only what you have to. Impacts that are more persuasive to me: procedural fairness, clash. Less persuasive: advocacy skills, fun, movements. Fairness is probably an impact but you need to do work telling me why that is the case.
The argument that K affs don’t get a perm doesn’t make sense. Be sure you have a very, very good link to their theory of power or the way they actualize their advocacy.
Word PICs are ROFL.
Solvency takeouts/presumption are very convincing and underutilized.
Precision frames debatability: big but precise limits probably outweighs good but imprecise limits. That being said, more precision comes with diminishing marginal returns.
Competing interps > Reasonability. You have to invest some time explaining how to determine what is reasonable.
”T - Embodiment” is absurd. Broadly, any neg nonresolutional theory argument has a higher burden of rejoinder.
A prerequisite to voting for you is if I can explain the link and alt mechanism to the other team by the end of the debate.
Links to the plan are probably good, and most of the time the aff gets to weigh their aff, and the neg gets their links. Neg teams need to invest heavily to convince me to disregard the aff entirely, and aff teams similarly need to invest heavily to convince me to disregard the K entirely.
You can probably read whatever you want to in front of me, granted you understand and can explain it well.
Zero risk exists when you prove the chance of the impact scenario is indistinguishable from statistical noise. For you, this means yes, there is always a risk, and yes, sometimes it is worth rounding the risk down to zero.
Make good arguments, even when you don’t have evidence to support your claims. Smart analytics are convincing.
Turns case is important but matters insofar as you win a relatively higher risk of the DA. 2NR/2AR impact calc is not a new argument.
The politics disad, done well, is a fun debate to watch. Most of the time the neg wins, it's because they sheer out-evidenced the aff. Keep in mind how insanely unlikely the disad is, and use that to your advantage.
Case-specific disads are best, but are never read.
I’ve grown more tired with teams that have framing pages with “probability first” type arguments that use them to completely dismiss the DA. You still need to answer it. I’m more fond of offensive framing arguments, i.e. critiques of DAs. If you’ve mostly ceded the evidence debate to the neg and you’re really in a tough spot cardwise, analytics are still convincing arguments! Use that to your advantage.
Evidence which says the counterplan solves the aff is best and can be used to justify its theoretical legitimacy.
If the status quo is a logical option, then a 2NR which goes for a counterplan is not forever bound to the counterplan. I will compare the aff to both the status quo and the counterplan. I can be convinced otherwise.
Textual and functional > Functional only > Textual only.
Condo is most likely good, is definitely good when there's a new aff, and is questionable if there are performative contradictions and those are used to the negative's advantage in round. Qualitative > quantitative interps, but I can be convinced of a number if there’s a good reason behind it.
Probably good — PICs, 50 state fiat, agent CPs, politics DAs, counterplans without a specific solvency advocate. Arguments about the presence of a solvency argument are more convincing as a solvency push than a theory push.
Might be good — International fiat, counterplans which compete off immediacy and certainty, 2NC CPs in response to new 2AC offense (impact turns, straight turns, add-ons)
Probably bad — Counterplans which are not policies (against policy affs), floating PIKs, affs/alternatives which fiat entire structures out of existence
I default to reject the argument and not the team for most theory except condo, but can be convinced otherwise.
I can see myself voting on procedural arguments such as spec/vagueness, given it's not like 2 seconds and there's substantial time invested in the debate, or it's dropped. New affs bad is :/
Stolen from Aron Berger’s paradigm — "Ethically repugnant arguments will not make me want to vote for you. At the same time, however, if you cannot defeat ostensibly “bad” arguments, then you are a bad advocate and you should lose."
If you have impact turns, run them. In the words of KHirn, “Impact turns have a special place in my heart. There are few venues in academia or life here you will be as encouraged to challenge conventional wisdom as you are in policy debate, so please take this rare opportunity to persuasively defend the most counter-intuitive positions conceivable.”
Speaks have been, are, and always will be arbitrary. I will inflate or deflate speaks according to the tournament and division of that tournament that I am at. This means a varsity debater’s 27.8 could be a novices’ 29.2.
Make me laugh for better speaks.
No, you may not have a 30. The ballot is yours to take, but speaks are mine to give.
27.5 or more --- U probably get this
26 or less --- You clipped, were violent in some way, etc.
LD Version for UNLV
- If you exclusively go for skep and tricks or whatever you call them nowadays, strike me. I want to see good, quality, substantive debate that somehow resolves around the resolution.
- Conditionality is very much a voting issue in LD. Debate your interps; I can't tell you the amount of times teams just justify their own interp but never do comparative or framing work. Everything else is default reject the argument not the team, but I can be convinced otherwise. Theory is a voting issue and never a reverse voting issue. Don't even try to convince me otherwise. Neg theory is farce, and I'll give the aff a lot of leeway on dropped ASPEC spikes.
- Phil arguments are interesting, but never used in policy. I'd require more explanation than other judges to vote on these arguments, but please don't discount them just for that reason. Go for what you go for best.
Please feel free to email with questions!
A bit about me: I'm a PhD student in History. I have degrees in International Studies and PoliSci. DId PF in high school.
I will always do my best to minimize intervention within the round — this is your time to be creative with your arguments and to have fun with developing your own style of debate.
I am generally open to any arguments, but especially love to see how far left you can go with each argument.
If you treat novices/obviously less-experienced debaters with anything but the same respect you'd want in a round, you will not pick up my ballot. Debate is an educational activity. I really value debaters who try their best to interpret the debate in the most humane and just way possible. I will not tolerate homophobic, sexist, racist, etc. arguments in debate.
Please refer to Charles Karcher's paradigm!
I don't encourage you to speak quickly if it's a virtual tournament - hardly anyone speaks clearly enough for it to translate well over a Zoom/Jitsi call. However, speaking quickly is different than spreading. If you spread (which if fine with me), send over the doc first or else I won't be able to flow.
If you don't contextualize the argument, I will do it myself and you don't want that. also please engage with the framework debate as soon as it's brought up in round.
YOU CANNOT AND WILL NOT WILL EVERY ARGUMENT. Collapse, collapse, collapse.
The earlier you start weighing, the better the round will be for you. I won't weigh anything in FF if it's not in summary (please condense and weigh impacts in these two speeches rather than going line-by-line.)
Please answer defense.
If you bring theory/spreading into a PF round, I will automatically drop you and your speaks will be a 25.
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 did not compete but was still involved with the policy debate team.
Please be kind. I promise I'm not angry or upset, my face is just like that.
Again, I haven't competed since high school and I'm not as involved as I once was: this means I've forgotten lots of jargon and you will need to slow down a bit. The technical nuances of debate aren't as intuitive to me anymore so please explain the implications of your arguments more.
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. If you take time out of your own prep to delete analytics from constructives, you're only hurting yourself.
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 critical arguments. If you read the latter, you're going to have to explain your arguments more. Such debates are easier for me to follow 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.
I think fairness is the best impact.
I think affs should get to weigh their plan and it will be an uphill battle to persuade me otherwise.
I know very little about the topic. Please keep this in mind if going for T.
I like impact turns. That does not mean death good. That does not mean wipeout. Please.
*LD note: I dislike RVIs.
Good luck! Have fun! Learn lots! Fight on!
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
yes, add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I've worked/taught at camps such as utnif, stanford, gds, and nsd.
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 on 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!
-- 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, as not desirable, or incoherent, and why your impacts under the plan come first. Point out 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 turn 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 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 toward 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 framework 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. 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 them 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 explaining the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is an important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation 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.
-- I am not the best at evaluating these types of arguments. It is important to extend the claim, warrant, and impact of your argument and WEIGH. Please slow down on analytics that are important, especially in theory debates.
Please add me to the chain, my email is email@example.com
Policy from 2014-2021 for Downtown Magnets High School/LAMDL and Cal State Fullerton.
general: I will listen to anything you have to say. I need you to control how I think about what is going on in the round. Framing weighing and comparing impacts is important. Extending and debating warrants as thoroughly as the debate allows is so important to me especially in the rebuttals . Also because I feel like tech and truth determine each other. You should be able to do a lot more with less. I flow on paper so I will miss quick, short, and intricate arguments. Tell me what it is I need to be voting on and why I should vote on that thing. I am very receptive to an rfd that is straight up given to me. My rfds are broad and I don't ever really get into specifics unless asked and rarely vote on a single argument.
specifics: I like k v k and k v policy debates the most. I have the most experience with arguments about the state, racial capitalism, and the intersection of race/gender/queerness/class. I need to feel like you are politically and/or socially motivated by the world to run the k you are running for me to really be persuaded by it. I need Ks to have a strong explanation of either the world or debate. Ks on the aff need a clear method and solvency. I don't mind if this isn't as strong on the neg unless the aff makes it a thing. In k v fw rounds I need both sides to have models of debate and comparison work being done on the offense. I lean towards skills, clash, tva for the neg. Generally I need links to be as specific as possible for any kind of offense or argument. I will consider any theory argument. But if you are going for them, be as contextual to the round as possible. Frankly, 4+ off is irritating to me no shade but I live for drama so go ahead but that raises the bar for you and lowers it for the aff.
other: sorry if I get sleepy, it's probably not because of the round
Valley HS '14, University of Chicago BA '18, JD '21
I was a national circuit debater and later a coach at West Des Moines Valley. Since 2018, my involvement in debate has been limited to semi-regular judging. I am now a lawyer practicing in Des Moines.
I am fine with almost any warranted argument, run what you want to run. However, I won't vote for an argument that I don't understand. I don't pretend to understand stuff that doesn't make sense. You should thus think hard before reading "high theory" or bad tricks. In general, I probably judge like a rustier version of my former students and colleagues at Valley.
If you are one of the faster (or less clear) debaters on the national circuit, it is probably a good idea to be a touch slower than your top speed, especially online. Slow down a lot on theory interps and plan texts. I'll let you know if I can't understand you. I don't flow off speech docs, and I don't vote on arguments that I don't understand, so clarity is in your self-interest and hiding gimmicks is not.
I like: (1) Analytic philosophy. (2) Creative arguments of any style. Read your weird stuff. (3) NC-AC and straight ref 1NCs. (4) Weighing on all layers, including framework. (5) Good traditional rounds.
I don't like: (1) Reading for a full rebuttal, especially a late one. Your speaks are inversely correlated to your time spent reading. (2) Being mean, rude or exclusionary. Don't frivolously uplayer or spread versus inexperienced or traditional debaters. Generally be the sort of person in round that you want to be out of round. (3) Blippy, purportedly game over arguments, including most tricks and independent voters. I need to actually understand the arg, why it means you win, and the warrants for both. (4) Unreasonable disclosure theory. If you think your interp might be unreasonable, either because of your opponent or the violation (no new affs bad please), read something else.
Affil: Baylor, Georgetown University, American Heritage and Walt Whitman High School.
If you think it matters, err on the side of sending a relevant card doc immediately after your 2nr/2ar.
**New things for College 2023-24(Harvard):
Weird relevant insight: Irrespective of the resolution- I am somewhat of a weapons enthusiast and national security nerd.
Yes, I am one of those weirdos that find pleasure in studying weapon systems, war/combat strategy and nuclear posture absent debate. Feel free to flex your topic knowledge, call out logical inconsistencies, break wild and nuanced positions etc. THESE WILL MAKE ME HAPPY(and generous with speaks).
In an equally debated round, the art of persuasion becomes increasingly important. I hate judge intervention and actively try to avoid it, but if you fail to shore up the debate in the 2nr/2ar its inevitable.
Please understand, you will not actually change my mind on things like Cap, Israel, Heg, and the necessity of national security or military resolve in the real world...and its NOT YOUR JOB TO; your job is to convince me that you have sufficiently met the burden set forth to win the round.
Internal link debates and 2nr scenario explanation on DAs have gotten more and more sparse...please do better. I personally dont study China-Taiwan and various other Asian ptx scenarios so I will be less familiar with the litany of acronyms and jargon.
Tech>Truth (default). I judge the debate in front of me. Debate is a game so learn to play it better or bring an emotional support blanket.
Yes, I will likely understand whatever K you're reading.
Framing, judge instruction and impact work are essential, do it or risk losing to an opponent that does.
There should be an audible transition cue/signal when going from end of card to next argument and/or tag. e.g. "next", "and", or even just a fractional millisecond pause. **Aside from this point, honestly, you can comfortably ignore everything else below. As long as I can flow you, I will follow the debate on your terms.
-My first cx question as a 2N/debater has now become my first question when deciding debates--Why vote aff?
-My ballot is nothing more than a referendum on the AFF and will go to whichever team did the better debating. You decide what that means.
-Your ego should not exceed your skill but cowardice and beta energy are just as cringe.
-Topicality is a question of definitions, Framework is a question of models.
-If I don't have a reason why specifically the aff is net bad at the end of the debate, I will vote aff.
-CASE DEBATE, it's a thing...you should do it...it will make me happy and if done correctly, you will be rewarded heavily with speaks.
-Too many people (affs mainly) get away with blindly asserting cap is bad. Negatives that can take up this debate and do it well can expect favorable speaks.
More category specific stuff below, if you care.
From low theory to high theory I don't have any negative predispositions.
I do enjoy postmodernism, existentialism and psychoanalysis for casual reading so my familiarity with that literature will be deeper than other works.
1. You don't necessarily need to win an alt. Just make it clear you're going for presumption and/or linear disad.
2. Tell me why I care. Framing is uber important.
My major qualm with K debates, as of late, mainly centers around the link debate.
1. I would obvi prefer unique and hyper-spec links in the 1nc but block contextualization is sufficient.
2. Links to the status quo are links to the status quo and do not prove why the aff is net bad. Put differently, if your criticism makes claims about the current state of affairs/the world you need to win why the aff uniquely does something to change or exacerbate said claim or state of the world. Otherwise, I become extremely sympathetic to "Their links are to the status quo not the aff".
Security Ks are underrated. If you're reading a Cap K and cant articulate basic tenets or how your "party" deals with dissent...you can trust I will be annoyed.
- vs policy affs I like "sneaky" CPs and process CPs if you can defend them.
- I think CPs are underrated against K affs and should be pursued more.
- Solvency comparison is rather important.
Good Topicality debates around policy affs are underappreciated.
Reasonability claims need a brightline
Perhaps contrary to popular assumption, I'm rather even on this front.
I think debate is a game...cause it is. So either learn to play it better or learn to accept disappointment.
Framework debates, imo, are a question of models and impact relevance.
Just because I personally like something or think its true, doesn't mean you have done the necessary work to win the argument in a debate.
Neg teams, you lose these debates when your opponent is able to exploit a substantial disconnect between your interp and your standards.
Aff teams, you should answer FW in a way most consistent with the story of your aff. If your aff straight up impact turns FW or topicality norms in debate, a 2AC that is mainly definitions and fairness based would certainly raise an eyebrow.
Overall speech/ interpret I look for clear ideas that can be well expressed and elaborated on. Also play into emotions. Engage with the audiences
LD - speed reading is fine, I Dont need to be included in email chains.
Have a strong and detailed rebuttals.
Old paradigm, I will no longer give extra speaks for anything listed as extra speaks, but I think this paradigm is a classic: https://tinyurl.com/yyhknlsn
[Updated 3/3/2021] In fact, here is a list of things I dislike that I will probably not be giving good speaks for: https://tinyurl.com/55u4juwp
To clarify: I like K's and LARP the LEAST (as in, you should rate me a 4 if you like Ks and LARP a lot) and I like Tricks, Framework, and Theory the MOST (you should rate me a 1 if you like Tricks, Framework, and Theory a lot).
Overall I am willing to vote on anything that isn't an instance of explicit isms (racism, sexism, etc.).
Other than that, here's a bunch of small things in a list. I add to this list as I encounter new stuff that warrants being added to the list based on having difficulty of decision in a particular round:
1. Part in parcel of me not being a great judge for LARP due to my low understanding of complex util scenarios is that I am not going to be doing a lot of work for y'all. I also will NOT be reading through a ton of cards for you after the round unless you specifically point out to me cards that I should be reading to evaluate the round properly.
2. I know it's nice to get to hide tricks in the walls of text but if you want to maximize the chances that I notice something extra special you should like slightly change the tone or speed of delivery on it or something.
3. If you have something extremely important for me to pay attention to in CX please say "Yo judge this is important" or something because I'm probably prepping or playing some dumbass game.
4. I will evaluate all speeches in a debate round.
"Evaluate after" arguments: If there are arguments that in order for me to evaluate after a certain speech I must intervene, I will do so. For example, if there is a 1N shell and a 1AR I-meet, I will have to intervene to see if the I-meet actually meets the shell. Update: In order for me to evaluate "evaluate after" arguments, I will have to take the round at face value at the point that the speeches have stopped. However, as an extension of the paradigm item above, the issue is that many times in order for me to determine who has won at a particular point of speeches being over, I need to have some explanation of how the debaters thing those speeches play out. If either debater makes an argument for why, if the round were to stop at X speech, they would win the round (even if this argument is after X speech) I will treat it as a valid argument for clarifying how I make my decision. Assuming that the "evaluate after" argument is conceded/true, I won't allow debaters to insert arguments back in time but if they point out something like "judge, if you look at your flow for the round, if you only evaluate (for example) the AC and the NC, then the aff would win because X," then I will treat it as an argument.
Update P.S.: "Evaluate after" arguments are silly. I
of course won't on face not vote on them , but please reconsider reading them.
Update P.S. 2: "Evaluate after" causes a grandfather paradox. Example: If "Evaluate after the 1NC" is read in the 1NC, it must be extended in the 2NR in order for me as the judge to recognize it as a won argument that changes the paradigmatic evaluation of the round. However, the moment that paradigmatic shift occurs, I no longer consider the 2NR to have happened or been evaluated for the purposes of the round, and thus the "Evaluate after the 1NC" argument was never extended and the paradigmatic evaluation shift never occurred.
5. "Independent voters" are not independent - they are dependent entirely on what is almost always a new framework that involves some impact that is presumed to be preclusive. I expect independent voter arguments to have strong warrants as to why their micro-frameworks actually come first. Just saying "this is morally repugnant so it's an independent voter" is not a sufficient warrant.
Also - independent voters that come in the form of construing a framework to an implication requires that you actually demonstrate that it is correct that that implication is true. For example, if you say "Kant justifies racism" and your opponent warrants why their reading of the Kantian ethical theory doesn't justify racism, then you can't win the independent voter just because it is independent.
6. I will no longer field arguments that attempt to increase speaker points. I think they are enjoyable and fun but they likely are not good long term for the activity, given that when taken to their logical conclusion, each debater could allocate a small amount of time to a warranted argument for giving them a 30, and then simply concede each others argument to guarantee they both get maximal speaks (and at that point speaker points no longer serve a purpose).
7. My understanding of unconditional advocacies is that once you claim to defend an advocacy unconditionally you are bound to defending any disadvantages or turns to that advocacy. It does not mean you are bound to spend time extending the advocacy in the 2NR, but if the aff goes for offense in the 2AR that links to this unconditional advocacy and the neg never went for that advocacy, the aff's offense on that flow still stands.
Update: Role of the Ballots are frameworks and do not have a conditionality.
8. Don't like new 2AR theory arguments.
9. I don't time! Please time yourselves and time each other. I highly recommend that you personally use a TIMER as opposed to a STOPWATCH. This will prevent you from accidentally going over time! If your opponent is going over time, interrupt them! If your opponent goes over time and you don't interrupt them, then there's not much I can do. If you are certain they went over time and your opponent agrees to some other way to reconcile the fact that they went over time, like giving you more time as well, then go ahead. I do not have a pre-determined solution to this possibility. I only have this blurb here because it just happened in a round so this is for all of the future rounds where this may happen again.
10. If you do something really inventive and interesting and I find it genuinely funny or enjoyable to listen to and give good speaks for it, don't run around and tell any teammate or friend who has me as a judge to make the same arguments. If I see the exact same arguments I will probably consider the joke to be stale or re-used. Particularly funny things MIGHT fly but like, if I can tell it's just a ploy for speaks I will be sadge.
11. In general, for online events, say "Is anyone not ready" instead of "Is everyone ready" solely because my speaking is gated by pressing unmute, which is annoying when I have my excel sheet pulled up. I'll stop you if I'm not ready, and you can assume I'm ready otherwise. (However, for in person events, say "Is everyone ready" because I'm right there!)
12. I will not vote for you if you read "The neg may not make arguments" and the neg so much as sneezes a theory shell at you.
For traditional rounds: speak and argue however you want (bar racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other ism or phobia)
*WHEN YOU READ TRICKS: I PREFER BEING UP FRONT ABOUT THEM. Pretending you don't know what an a priori is is annoying. Honestly, just highlight every a priori and tell your opponent: "here are all the a prioris"**.
**Seriously, I have yet to see anyone do this. Do it, it would be funny, I think.
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org for the email chain.
NEW for TOCs (4/19/2022)
I did not judge much during 2021-22; I have 10 rounds on the Jan/Feb topic and three are from outrounds. In those rounds, I voted Aff 5 times (50%), and in out-rounds I voted Aff once (33%). I sat once (Octos @ Golden Desert). I've been through this paradigm recently and it reflects my current judging preferences.
I judged 60 rounds at last year at 13 different TOC bid-distributing tournaments. In prelims, I voted Aff 24 of 53 rounds (45.2%). In out-rounds I voted Aff 1/7 (14%) (Oof.) I did not sit out on a panel last year (Stanford, Emory, Big Lex, College Prep, Glenbrooks, Grapevine outrounds).
How To Pref Me:
LARP 1 - I'm a LARP hack. I want good, specific topic lit. Longer cards >>>>> more cards.
Ks - 2/3 - treat me like a college policy judge on these; I want a thorough explanation of what the world of the neg looks like in the 1N. You're solid running Cap, Fem, Set Col, Securitization, most post-fiat stuff. Specific links to the 1AC are key. Update: If you want me to vote pre-fiat, the K needs an alt; I will buy a floating PIK as essentially a DA but I'm highly likely to allow new 2AR weighing.
Theory - 2/3 - My threshold for voting is genuine abuse, and I'd prefer to see that in terms of models of debate. I will listen to even frivolous theory arguments but my threshold for answers is very, very low. I vote on RVIs more than most judges. I will vote on Nebel T.
Phil - 2/3 - Happy to evaluate your NCs. The status of most LD phil debate right now is not great - it tends to be a lot of blippy spikes, and I'm definitely on team "give me new 2AR responses on anything extended into the 2N," see tricks below.
Performance/Non-T Affs: 3 - I'm open, and I've enjoyed some of these cases but you probably don't want to pref me high if this is your jam. If you run T/Framework on the neg, I'm likely a very good judge for you.
Lay - 4 - I really love lay debate and can appreciate when it's done well, but I'm tab enough that you're almost certainly better off taking some random parent judge. Note: if you're a circuit debater hitting a lay debater and you adapt to them (i.e., no spreading, no theory args, just run your larp case) and win, I will reward you with a 30. Note: if you're an insecure circuit debater worried you're going to lose to a lay debater and you don't adapt to them, I'll just judge the round normally. If you're the lay debater, be smart in the round.
Tricks - 5 - The most I can say is that I will listen. I voted for Nate Krueger all the time, but he was kind of amazing at trix. My threshold for answers here is very, very low.
Stuff I don't like
Tricks and blippy one-line extensions that foreclose on your opponent's offense.
I'm sticking with 2020's "don't be squirrelly." That means: don't pretend you don't know what an a priori is in CX, don't hide spikes, don't lie about stuff you didn't extend, don't "explain" your crazy-ass Baudrilliard K with 3 minutes of nonsense in CX and then all of a sudden tell a straightforward story in the 2N, don't lie about your super-vague "I'm whole rez!" methods to exclude all clash in the 1AR, etc. Don't be squirrelly!
Longer stuff if you've got time:
UPDATED - Particularly online, I can no longer handle your top, top speed; it just becomes a kind of hazy whine in my headphones. Call me a 6 or 7 out of 10. Slow WAY down for tags and analyticals, particularly in rebuttals and especially if it's not on your speech doc. If you're spreading prewritten analyticals, send those with your speech doc to me and to your opponent. I'll clear you if I have to.
Like I said, long cards >>>> more cards. Don't power-tag. I love love love when debaters re-cut their opponent's evidence in the next speech to show that it was power/mistagged - that has to be read, not inserted.
I think Nebel is correct, but this winds up being a lot more nuanced in the context of an LD round. Yes, semantics outweigh pragmatics on interpretation, but pragmatics control when we're talking voters/remedy. Here's a real-world example of how that played out. So, I agree with Nebel in the abstract that it's kind of silly that on a topic like "RT: States ought to ban their nuclear arsenals," the most common 1AC was Indo-Pak because that's literally not at all what the topic committee wanted you to debate. That being said, I don't think I ever voted for T on the nukes topic against spec affs because the 1AR answer of "come on, there are only 7 nuclear nations, if you're not prepared for Indo-Pak, you haven't done enough research" was probably sufficient. On the other hand, if your plan was to ban landmines in Myanmar as a spec for "states ought to ban lethal autonomous weapons," then yes I voted for Nebel T every time. The Niemi "indict" is crap and we all know it.
On Embedded Clash
I find that I'm evaluating a lot of embedded clash, especially in late outrounds. Here are my thoughts on that: (a) the best thing you can do is give me a real OV that explains the layers; (b) in the absence of strong ink on the flow, I'm open to applying arguments from one sheet to another, even if the overall sheet is a kick; (c) I'm not likely to credit a single-line blip extension as decisive when there are 130 lines on my flow; (d) you can weigh new in the 2N, but don't make new substantive arguments; and (e) I'm strongly disinclined against 1AR theory that basically forces new 2N/2AR responses unless you have a very strong abuse story.
I'm open, but from a practical perspective, I think you really need to be winning your abuse story since 1AR theory pretty much requires judge intervention since the 2N CIs will be new and the 2AR will be asking me subjectively to evaluate whether they're "good enough." IOW, my threshold for 2N answers is pretty low.
In terms of my familiarity and preferences: give me post-fiat, topic-specific Ks like cap and set col over incomprehensible generics like Weheliye, Baudrilliard, D&G, etc.. That being said, you do you -- for example, I think the fem killjoy K is 100% true.
Also: chances are virtually 100% that I'm not at all familiar with your literature, and it seems (to me, anyway) that a lot of judges are giving K debaters waaaaaay too much credit for warrants in the underlying lit that are not read/explained in round. I'm not going to do that. This means that if you're exclusively a K-debater, you probably want to pref me lower, to be honest. Be explicit about whether your K is pre- or post-fiat. K vs. K rounds need to be clear about uplayering and internal links if on the same layer.
Update - particularly at TOCs, I think it is important to have good disclosure practices; you all are the debaters that the rest of the community is trying to emulate. Open-sourcing with highlighted cards is the minimum of what I consider "good." I am not a fan of running friv disclo theory against a debater whose practices are, at minimum, "good." I will happily pull the trigger on an RVI on disclo if you've run something appallingly stupid like "must disclose the precise tournament name" against a debater with "good" disclosure practices.
"Don't be shady" applies here, too - don't misdisclose, don't waste your opponent's time before the round and then drop a doc 4 minutes before the round begins, etc.
I will listen to "new 1ACs bad" theory.
I will never use a default if an argument is made on the issue, but in the absence of argumentation:
- T > K
- T and Theory are on the same layer; Metatheory uplayers
- Reasonability over competing interps if not specified
- No RVIs (my threshold for warranting this is low, 'I get RVIs' suffices)
- Drop the arg on theory, drop the debater on topicality
- Presume NEG
- Affirming is harder because duh, 1AR
- Neg gets 1 Condo advocacy
- PICs must be uncondo
- Weigh case against K
I default to a 28.7-ish. I give 30s whenever the debater a) doesn't make any obvious technical or analytical mistakes and b) does at least one really cool/clever analytical thing, so, you know, reasonably often. Oh, I also give 30s when a tech-heavy debater adapts out of courtesy to a lay opponent. The only thing that will get me to tank your speaks is if you're bullying/obnoxious/abusive in the round.
IF YOU STILL DON'T KNOW, ASK! I'm happy to answer any questions about my paradigm before the round. I love LD, and I try to make it so that debaters enjoy debating in front of me.
I've judged LD and PFD earlier and had been a debater myself in a different format.
I'm open to the various formats and delivery of speeches. Content matters more to me, the speaker has to maintain dignity about other speaker, any type of Abuse to any person, religion or culture is absolutely unacceptable.
I understand lay the most but larp is also fine.
I prefer speech delivery at a rate which has words clear to understand. Fast pace is ok, as long as words are clear.
Hey I'm Calvin ( email@example.com ),
I debated 3 years, 2 on the national circuit, at Brophy College Preparatory. Qualifications: I debated both traditional and circuit, qualifying to the TOC my senior year and breaking at a decent amount of nat circs.
I will try to be as tech > truth as possible, but everyone has their biases and areas of expertise. I was mainly a larp debater but branched out into theory and some critical literature my senior year. I am increasingly finding myself persuaded by all forms of arguments as long as they are well warranted and won on the flow.
I AM NOT A GOOD FLOWER - so be clear and slower when extpemping analytics if you want me to flow them.
I will vote on tricks(and anything with a warrant), but if the argument is silly, I will also have a low threshold for responding to it.
Most of all: be nice, debate is supposed to be a safe and supportive environment.
I debated from 16-19 doing PF and LD and coached a top 10 parli team in the 19-20 season. Davis CS '23. This is my fifth year judging and eighth year in the debate-space.
Three absolute essentials from my friend Zaid's paradigm:
1. Add me to the email chain before the round starts: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure that the documents are .pdfs (so that I can open it directly within the browser).
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 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 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 truthbut it's a lot of work to prove factually untrue arguments. It's in your best interest to make sure your arguments are truthful because then you do a lot less work to convince me which makes the round easier for you to win.
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). You should be willing to stake the round on theory - meaning that it should be the only argument that matters in the round. Running shells and dropping them is dumb. Breaking "norms" are not indicative of abuse - you cannot expect someone new to debate to be familiar with every norm on the national circuit.
I generally dislike theory shells like Nebel or hyperspecific/friv shells. You have to do a ton of work to convince me that bare plurals is actually abuse and not just an article written by some random guy at VBI - and there's a variety of other shells that this applies to.
Disclosure theory created by big schools to trick smaller schools into giving up their prep advantage on the wiki because it's "more equitable". A fundamental part of debate is developing the ability to think and interact with your opponents' case, not reading off pre-written responses that coaches write for you (which is really easy to tell when you're doing it and irks me).
Performance Ks, K Affs, RVIs and tricks are a byproduct of debaters seeking to win this "game" of debate so needless to say I don't really enjoy listening to them.
Ks are fine. If it's something unique, you need to explain it thoroughly. If I don't understand the K, I can't vote for it.
Spreading is silly. Slow and good >>> fast and bad. I don’t think being unintelligible on purpose is a very good strategy to winning debates in real life either.
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. Phil is enjoyable as well. But you need explain explain explain explain.
I don’t think off-time roadmaps are a real concept. When you speak, outside of introductions and niceties, it should be running on someone's time.
Framework debate is good but I'm not a huge fan of value/VC debate (because the analysis is really shallow - "they don't support my VC so they auto lose". If its not that then I really enjoy it. )
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 (2AR or FF).
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 and provide warrants 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.
I am a parent judge with no children. Pref accordingly.
Just kidding - I debated LD for 4 years at McNeil High School.
Contact Info -
Email - email@example.com
Speed - I don't mind. Please be articulate. Please don't use speed as a tool against people who don't want it.
Framework - I think it's a fun debate and I'm very comfortable judging it. I prefer it used to weigh impacts in the round, rather than the only thing being discussed.
Theory - Please don't read intentionally frivolous arguments to take away from substantive debate. It's difficult to get my vote if the interpretation is unreasonable or lacks a significant abuse story - for instance, this applies to interpretations which force debaters to specify minutia, such as "brackets for clarity". Please go slower on your interpretations and standards, especially when weighing - I don't want to miss anything important. I (personally) don't like disclosure theory but I will vote on it. I will not vote on absent some egregious violation however. I tend to discount actions taken outside of the round if the abuse story is reliant on that kind of evidence. I am partial to violations which marginalize/constrain debaters' capacity to respond to a substantive argument made in the round.
T - same views as theory. I default to no RVIs, but I'm sure you can convince me.
Policy Debate - I am comfortable judging this form of debate. I enjoy hearing articulate weighing debates about real-world issues.
Critiques - I am not particularly familiar with identity-based philosophy. Please articulate your positions clearly and weigh critiques against the 1ac/1nc properly.
I will reward debaters who demonstrate an understanding of the literature in its intended (academic) context, as opposed to a surface-level utilization of critical literature for debate purposes. I will penalize debaters who did not do their due diligence before constructing their argument or twist the intended meaning of the text for a cheap win.
Tricks - I will judge them, but do not expect me to be exceptionally liberal with speaker points.
I usually give good speaks. My range is 28-30 with comparatively more 30s than 27s.