GOLDEN DESERT DEBATE TOURNAMENT AT UNLV
2022 — NSDA Campus, NV/US
VPF Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
- Be confident in round
- Be respectful of your opponents
- Please speak slow and clear
Add me to the ev share doc: email@example.com (do not use an email chain it's tedious)
- I debated PF for three years at Pine View School and was ranked 193 out of 2889 on the nat circuit (lol). I currently major in Electrical Engineering at the University of Florida. I qualed for nats every year I competed, but that isn't saying much. I'm voting off the flow so put any offense you want in final focus in summary. First summary only needs to extend defense on arguments that were frontlined in second rebuttal. Second rebuttal should answer all offense on the flow if you want me to vote for you.
- Truth > tech, the point of debate is trying to convince someone; you have a higher burden of proof the longer the link chain and thus a higher threshold for my vote. I will still evaluate complex arguments obv
- Tabula rasa, don't expect me to know topic-specific terminology especially if it's the first round of the tourney
- Warrants and impacts need to be extended for an argument to be voted off of
- Don’t just read author names and expect me to remember what they say, contextualize each piece of evidence as the round goes on
- The earlier you start the better (rebuttal is great)
- If you weigh in summary (which you should) final focus should mirror the mechanisms used
- good teams always craft a narrative
- Include author name and year published if you want me to evaluate it (postdating is good).
- I will call for evidence if it's contested and key to my decision.
- Tell me if you want me to read a card, but don’t start showing me random ones to try and argue the round after is over.
- My threshold for dropping teams for misconstruing evidence is very low, BUT you need to run T saying why it makes the round unfair if you want it as a voter (this includes the interpretation, the violation, standards, and the voter(s)).
- prep stealing is bad but again I won’t vote off an unfairness claim unless a full theory arg is fleshed out by the opponents.
- if you can’t pull up a piece of evidence within a minute, I’m dropping the ev off the flow.
- if you don’t cut cards shame on you.
- 300 wpm is probably my higher comfortability range, anything greater and you risk cards not getting on the flow.
- If you can’t speak fast, don’t.
- I am comfortable evaluating theory and have taken philo coursework. Understand that prog arguments often don't fit into the PF speech timing and I will frown on you if you do try it against an opponent who isn't comfortable
- I don't evaluate 30 speaks theory and I have a high threshold for disclosure theory (often teams will just use it as a cheap way to the ballot)
- Don’t just run T as an easy way to pick up against inexperienced teams, ask your opponents if they’re comfortable arguing it (if they aren’t and you go ahead and do I’ll be sad).
- Reading cards > paraphrasing, but paraphrasing is fine
- Preflow before the round
Speaker Points Scale
30 - you're one of if not the best debater I have seen.
29 - 29.9 - You're one of the best debaters at the tournament
28 - 28.9 - You're good, you’ll probably break (hopefully).
27 - 27.9 - You're an okay debater, you need some work, you didn't drop anything major.
26 - 26.9 - You dropped at least one or more important arguments that lost you the round.
25 - 25.9 – You did something very wrong.
At the end of the day, debate is an educational event. If you’re not having fun, there’s no reason to be doing it. Above all, try your best, and be civil.
Update: If you love to run theory in LD, you probably should strike me.
I've never particularly liked theory, but over the last couple years theory in LD has turned into a profoundly uneducational whine-off that devolves into students running baseless accusations of "abuse". Especially in a time where debaters are starting to call out real life abuse they may face from the debate community, it's becoming harder and harder for me to stomach rewarding "their definition is abusive because now I have to run theory and that's a time skew" (which is self-fulfilling) type theory arguments with a ballot. I firmly believe that the discourse we use in rounds can shape our worldviews and community norms. "Abuse", a term that should carry significance, is subconsciously rendered meaningless because it's flippantly tossed around to win a ballot. It develops connotations of self-serving technicalities that I firmly believe seep into how we view people speaking out about real abuse.
(It occurred to me that some debaters may want to borrow the above paragraph, so if you do, please keep the cutting I've bolded to avoid accidentally misrepresenting the argument.)
Short version: I’m a flow judge down with most K’s, spreading, CPs (condo or uncondo) narratives, performance, and projects. If you bite into your own K, you're screwed. For the love of coffee, SIGNPOST. Don’t run bad science. I love IR and current events. I hate Eurocentric perspectives. Theory debate is meh at the best of times when it’s done well and downright painful when it’s done poorly or unnecessarily. (update: just don't run theory in front of me) I really don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other on RVI’s. Topicality: ¯\_(ãƒ„)_/¯ . Weigh impacts. I will listen to whatever you have to say as long as it is well supported, do not just assume certain things are good or bad. Case debate is fun. Framework debate is interesting, whoever wins framework controls how I will view the round and usually gets my ballot. I’m incredibly non-interventionist (unless someone’s winning the “the judge should be a critical intellectual” arg, then be prepared for what intellect you have unleashed.) and rarely vote on presumption, unless something egregious happens in round. Don’t be a jackass - at this point, and especially given how misogynistic debatespace can be, if you're excessively rude to your opponent I am not going to reward that type of behavior with a ballot if it's an otherwise close round. Like, it's not that hard to not be a jerk, it usually saves you time.
Last thing - lots of teams have been running Indigenous something or other in front of me. I guess they inherently assume this is good judge adaptation. It frequently is not. If you are planning on doing this, please scroll down to the bottom and read my opinions on this instead of telling me how to think about my own identity.
(Also, I like a lot of different things. I'm super nerdy. Please don't feel constrained in the breadth of arguments you can run in front of me; there's more to me than my race. *cries single tear*)
^you’ll probably be fine with just that, the rest is provided for kicks and giggles.
Launching the Logorrhea
Use your head! Analysis: I want to see critical engagement with the literature. Don’t just say that something is true or desirable because some author said so. Explain what you are arguing in your own words, tell me why it matters and why it is important to be heard in this round. Blippy arguments aren’t going to have much punch. When you extend, restate the analysis; I dislike extending points for the sake of just having stuff on the flow, tell me why it’s important in the round.
Disads: I want a clear link/internal link story. This is often lacking in politics disads, which are interesting when done well and awful when they’re like “voting for this bill drains the president’s political capital”. Be specific and intrinsic. Impact calc is important as is reminding me why I should be weighing all this under your framework. I’m not tied to Probability >Magnitude or Manitude>Probability – you convince me which one I should prioritize. Timeframe can be a good tie-breaker for this.
Theory: See update at the top. If you run it, please make sure it's warranted. I have voted on it and will if it isn't responded to, but it’s not exactly my favorite type of debate. Clarify what you mean by “reasonability” and why you are being more reasonable.
Non-topical Affs: Go for it. Extra-topical plans: If you’re all debating the resolution straight up, being extra-T isn’t very fair.
Let's be clear on the need for speed: I can handle pretty fast spread, just make sure to enunciate. I will yell clear if needed, but after 2 or 3 "clears" you will start losing speaks if you don’t listen. Please don’t spread out teams that can’t spread; it’s mean and I will be mean back to you on the ballot.
Speak up! I award speaker points for content, strategy, and structure more than talking pretty.Let's all play nice. Watch your rhetoric; anything racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, abelist, or transphobic will nuke your speaks. My speaks are generally higher than 26. 27-27.5 is average-proficient, 28 is awesome, 29 is " I really wanted to give you 30, but there was (blank) tiny issue". 29.5-30 means the round was pure beauty in motion.
RVI's: Ok, for whatever reason, this is like cilantro for most people in the debate community; they either think they're the best, most clever thing ever or that they're a horrible abomination. I really, seriously, don't have a strong opinion either way, I think it is very much a case by case situation.
K's: Feel more than free to be creative and unique, just make sure it makes sense. What I mean is that you should thoroughly understand what you are running, stay consistent with your framework, be able to handle the obvious questions it will incur. Back it up with analysis and justify why this is significant. It is always really obvious when somebody is running a case that was just handed to them by a coach or more senior competitor. I’m decently familiar with critical literature/arguments regarding Anthropocentrism, Ecofem, Indigeneity/Settler Colonialism, and Racial Positionality. I know little bits and pieces of other areas (like Disability Politics or Queer Theory – and a bunch of random stuff written by Marxist doctors on healthcare and neoliberalism; I had a weird summer in 2016.) and am more than happy to listen to whatever you want to run, I just might not be terribly familiar with the lit so make sure to clearly explain the thesis. Please feel free to ask me before the round if you want a clarification on my knowledge base. Furthermore, if you are critiquing somebody's rhetoric within the round and tell me that the role of the judge is to be a critical intellectual, don't bite into that rhetoric. It will end badly for you.
There are a few specific K's that I have more strict criteria for.
Nietzsche: Please for the love of all that is good in the world, don't run a Nietzsche K in front of me unless you have actually read some Nietzsche. All the bastardized embrace suffering stuff I hear all the time is not Nietzsche.
Give Back the Land/Decolonization: This can either be done really well or really poorly. A lot of the time, running this is pretty much just commodifying the suffering and exploitation and genocide of hundreds of Peoples for the ballot in a round. Please don't be one of those teams or I will drop you. Read “Decolonization is not a Metaphor” if you disagree with this and then think about what I said again. If you are running this case without any cards from Native authors, that is a serious paternalistic problem. It's also hard when the "plans" proposed don't leave room for biracial Native Americans, especially considering we have the highest "out-marriage" rates of any ethnicity. I don't wanna hear any "Noble Savage" type garbage. If you argue that we need to increase Indigenous knowledge production and all the stuff happening to Natives is really bad and oppressive and stuff, but you don't have a goddamn plan for tangibly reducing harm to people like me, stop talking. Things like rates of substance abuse, suicide, domestic violence, poverty,and cultural erasure have affected my life and my family and friends. THIS IS NOT A GAME TO ME. These are not arguments for your academic curiosity. These are real things that affect real people. I do not have the luxury to play with these concepts in academic abstraction, and I won't tolerate you doing so. If you want to argue in-round solutions, they better actually be solutions. None of this "we need to imagine a different government" BS. We have been imagining for a long time. If you are running this case to help rhetorically overthrow colonialist power structures and are actually representing Native voices, then you belong on the other half of the equation are running this case for the right reasons.
Speed K's: Just have solid reasons for why your opponent spreading is abelist or exclusionary. If you have a disability that makes spreading either impossible for you to perform yourself or listen to/flow, if you have asked your opponent not to spread before the round, and your opponent still spreads, then yes absolutely run a speed K.
Quick thing on poetry- a lot of arguments I’ve heard against poetry being used in round are really classist and racist. I do not believe that poetry is only a tool of the elite and educated or that marginalized individuals who use it are traitor pawns of the ivory tower. Arguments that essentially boil down to “poetry is exclusionary because it’s bourgeoisie” are not going to work for me. Arguments that say poetry only embodies White ideals of beauty and that PoC poetry will inevitably be co-opted are viscerally offensive to me.
I won't drop you in the round if you run this, but I will drop the argument.
Narratives: Hell. Yes. I strongly believe narrative debate has an important role in asserting the voices of marginalized groups in academia. These are experiences and perspectives that the overwhelmingly wealthy white able cis/het male institutions of academia have isolated. Other authors publishing nuanced work on these topics can be rare, which is part of where narrartives come in to fill that gap. Narratives are NOT whining- narrative debate is a way for the debater to become a producer of knowledge. Talking about structural violence with first person language does not make these topics any less academic; somebody else does not need to study you for your problems to be worthy of being heard and debated.
That being said, if you are running a narrative – do NOT make sweeping assumptions about your opponents or judges, particularly in regards to things that nobody should have to feel forced to disclose about themselves to a room full of strangers, like mental health status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or a history of experiencing abuse/domestic violence. Your job is to attack power structures, and I have no tolerance for teams who invalidate their opponents' identities and their rights to display them how/when they choose to.
Please don't let the round turn into the Oppression Olympics. Don't let your args against narratives devolve into "actually, I am more oppressed than you because X " - narratives are to highlight structural violence, it's not personal. It is not about you, the debater running a narrative is an empiric to a larger argument that highlights particular systems of power. We shouldn't have to pretend like these systems don't apply to us in some way when we run cases, and at the end of the day, nobody is attacking YOU, they are indicting particular systems of power. Engage with the power structures in the round.
Each round is different, so these are just guidelines and if you have a question that this didn't answer, feel free to ask.
Good luck, have fun!
I'm an assistant debate coach and competed in debate in all 4 years of high school, so I can keep up with quick talking & complex arguments, as long as you bring them back to real world implications & keep your speeches organized.
A winning team will tell me why their side/case makes the world a better place. I like when teams include weighing mechanisms in their cases, and when they prove why theirs is a more important weighing mechanism and/or how they win on both their weighing mechanism & their opponent's.
I'm not a huge fan of off-time roadmaps - all I need is a basic structure of your speech, and I prefer if you give that within your time. I try not to be incredibly picky about small things, but using politically correct & respectful terms is very important to me.
Add me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send constructives at a minimum
American Heritage School ‘19
Georgia Tech ‘22
Any offense in final focus needs to be in summary. First summary only needs to extend defense on arguments that were frontlined in second rebuttal. Second rebuttal should answer all offense on the flow.
Tech > truth
- If you want me to vote on presumption, please tell me, or else I'll probably try to find some very minimal offense on the flow that you may consider nonexistent.
- I will default neg on presumption, but you can make an argument suggesting otherwise.
- The warrant and impact of an offensive argument must be extended in summary and final focus in order for me to evaluate it.
- Your extensions can be very quick for parts of the debate that are clearly conceded.
- Good weighing will usually win you my ballot and give you a speaker point boost, but please avoid:
1. Weighing that is not comparative
2. Weighing instead of adequately answering the defense on your arguments
3. Strength of link weighing - this is just another word for probability and sometimes probability weighing is just defense that should've been read in rebuttal
4. New weighing in second final focus that isn't responding to new weighing analysis from the first ff.
- I will read any evidence that is contested or key to my decision at the end of the round.
- I won't drop a team on miscut evidence unless theory is read. I will drop speaks and probably drop the argument unless there's a very good reason not to.
- Go as fast as you want but I'd prefer it if you didn't spread.
- Don't sacrifice clarity for speed. If I can't understand it, it isn't on the flow.
- I have a good understanding of theory and have voted on less conventional shells albeit my threshold for a response and your speaks could go down. Please read theory as soon as the violation occurs.
- I wouldn't trust myself to correctly evaluate a K. Most of the time I find myself thinking they don't really do anything. Read at your own risk and I will try my best to properly evaluate.
- If there are multiple layers of prog. (ie theory vs K vs random IVI) do some sort of weighing between them.
- I don't evaluate 30 speaks theory. I tend to believe disclosure is good, but won't intervene.
- I think speaks are arbitrary, but humor helps, especially sarcasm.
- Paradigm issues not mentioned here are up for debate within the round
- Reading cards > paraphrasing, but paraphrasing is fine
- Postrounding is fine
- Preflow before the round start time
- I will not vote on explicitly oppressive arguments.
I am a parent judge for Dublin High School. My daughter is in her third year debating in PF. I expect the debaters to self-govern and adherence to time limits.
- Speak very clearly (enunciation) and slowly. Do not speak too fast and emphasize important words, use pauses effectively.
- Speak confidently. If something is important, make sure you make that very clear. Refer to me as judge if you want my attention especially during your speech.
- Give eye contact during every speech.
- I take your body language into consideration.
- Be polite and respectful to me, your opponents and your partner
- Stay on the topic. I will not vote for you if you go off topic.
- Make your arguments very clear to follow and understand, especially if you are advancing them. If your opponents do not respond, make sure to mention that in your next speech.
- Don't be disorganized. In rebuttal or summary, tell me if you're addressing their case or their refutations in crossfire. Also, give me an off time brief roadmap before the rebuttal, summary, and final focus speeches.
- In final focus, tell me the voter issues (main arguments in today's debate), why you won, why they lost, and why your impact outweighs theirs. The easier you make it for me to know why you won, the more likely you will win.
I am a parent judge who has little judging experience. I will vote for the team with the clearest argument. Have fun and respect each other.
I coach for the College Preparatory School. I debated for two years for Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS. In my senior year I won Glenbrooks, the Strake Round Robin, Blake, Durham, the Barkley Forum, Stanford, Harvard, the King Round Robin, and NDCAs.
Tech>truth. Weigh, give me good warranting, and speak as fast as you want. Defense is sticky; first FF may read some new weighing (NOT elaborate weighing… no overviews, prereq analysis, etc.). Extend your arguments with card names, warrants, links, and impacts in the back half. Weigh links and turns, defense, and pretty much everything else. Please read the evidence section of my paradigm and abide by those rules, they will be enforced.
DEBATE IS A GAME, PLAY TO WIN.
Tech>truth. I will vote for pretty much any argument as long as it's warranted well. have experience with traditional and progressive. I will vote on the flow.
How I Judge:
If my paradigm is unclear, my favorite judges were Will Sjostrom, Chad Meadows and Marcus Ellinas; anything PF-specific in their paradigms should give you a fairly good idea of how I hope to evaluate the round.
———PART I: SPEECHES———
This is essential; do it.
I might listen but I won't vote off or remember anything said here unless it's in a speech. Don't be rude. Feel free to skip GCX if everyone agrees—both teams get 1min of prep.
Read as much offense/DAs as you want, just please implicate them on the line-by-line and weigh them. Second rebuttal MUST frontline terminal defense and turns, probably some defense too, but blippy NLs from the first rebuttal don't all need to be answered here.
First summary only needs to extend turns but should also extend terminal defense if you have time. Defense is sticky, however, I’d prefer for the second summary to extend as much defense as possible. The only new turns or defense I’ll evaluate in summary are as responsive to new implications made by the other team.
First final can do new weighing but no new implications of turns, or anything else UNLESS responding to new implications or turns from the second summary. Second final cannot do new weighing or new implications. Final focus is a really good time to slow down, treat me like a flay judge in these speeches and my decision becomes a lot easier.
———PART II: TECHNICAL STUFF———
DO NOT SAY 'DELINK,' SAY 'NO LINK.'
I default to util. If there's no offense I presume to the first speaking team. I will always disclose after the round. I can also disclose speaks if you ask.
I will not accept paraphrased evidence. I treat paraphrased cards as equal in link strength to analytics. (You can make a theory argument as to why I shouldn't). If there are two pieces of competing evidence that will determine the round and both teams want me to look at it... I will almost always err on the side of the non-paraphrased evidence. Whether or not you paraphrase, YOU MUST have cut cards, if you don't I will cap your speaks at 27 and you should strike me (27 speaks cap does not apply for MSPF, NPF or JVPF).
When evidence is called for, take less than 1 minutes to pull up the cards or it comes out of your prep.
If you misconstrue evidence—you know who you are—and I find out, I will either drop you or give you the lowest possible speaks, depending on the severity of the misconstruction (I am more than willing to assign an L20 or below). If you catch your opponents misconstruing evidence, call it an independent voting issue (IVI) and I will treat this as a pre-fiat round-ending argument if the evidence is sufficiently misconstrued.
Please label email chains adequately. Ex. "TOC R1F1 Email Chain Bethesda-Chevy Chase GT v. AandM Consolidated DS."
Whether or not the tournament is online I will require an email chain for every round, evidence exchange is faster and more efficient. If you are spreading or reading any progressive argument you must send a doc before you begin; otherwise, sending a doc will not be required.
Don't steal prep or I will steal your speaks. Feel free to take prep whenever, flex prep is fine too.
These are non-negotiable. I stop flowing after the time ends, and I reserve the right to scream "TIME" if you begin to go over. Cross ends at 3 minutes sharp, if you’re in the middle of a sentence, finish it quickly.
I can follow speed (300wpm+) but be clear, if I can't understand what you're saying that means I can't flow it. I'd like a speech doc if you're going to go over 275 words per minute. Speed is good in the first half and bad in the second half, collapse strategically; don't go for everything. If you spread (300+ wpm) paraphrased cards there is no way you get above 27 speaks. If I miss something in summary or final focus because you're going too fast and I drop you it's your fault; slow down, don't go for everything, and be efficient.
If you've disclosed on the NDCA PF wiki properly I will give you +0.5 speaks, there's no punishment for not disclosing. Let me know if you are disclosed before the round so I can boost your speaks. (How to disclose.) Disclosure should include round reports and open source documents (I believe that disclosing highlights is bad, I will not increase speaks or look more favorably on highlights having been disclosed).
Clarity and strategy determine your speaks. I disclose speaks as well, just ask.
Postround as hard as you want, I think it's educational. Before you start make sure I've submitted your speaks.
I do not require trigger warnings. I will not reward including them, nor will I penalize the absence of them. This is informed by my personal views on trigger warnings (see J. Haidt and G. Lukianoff, The Coddling of the American Mind) This means that I will never opt out of an argument. I will not hack for trigger warning good theory; I am open to trigger warning bad arguments (though I will not hack for these either).
———PART III: PROGRESSIVE DEBATE———
I enjoy theory debate; I ran theory frequently. You do not need to ask your opponent if they are comfortable with theory; 'I don't know how to respond' is not a sufficient response. To quote my partner Roy Tiefer, "don't put your kids in varsity if they cannot handle varsity arguments" (saying that is terminal defense against any 'idk how to respond' argument and will result in a 30 for whoever says it).
Theory/T - 1
LARP - 1
Kritik - 3
Tricks - 3
High Theory - 4
Non-T Kritik - 5 (Strike)
Performance - 5 (Strike)
Yes, I think paraphrasing is bad and disclosure is good. No, I will not hack for either of these shells.
I really like theory. I think frivolous theory is bad. I'll evaluate it, but I have a lower threshold for responses the more frivolous the shell. Poorly executed theory will result in low speaks. If you've never run theory before, and feel inclined to do so, I'm happy to give comments and help as much as I can.
I default to competing interps and no RVIs. I believe that winning no RVIs applies to the entire theory layer unless your warrants are specific to a shell, C/I, etc. Non-friv theory should be a zero risk issue to check abuse, I will still vote for RVIs if you win them.
Unless I am evaluating the theory debate on reasonability you must read a counterinterp... if you do not all of your responses are inherently defensive because your opponents are the only team providing me with a 'good' model of debate.
Theory should be read immediately after the violation. Eg. if you're speaking first disclosure must be in your constructive for me to evaluate it. However, I am willing to vote off of paraphrasing theory read after rebuttal if your interpretation is that people shouldn't paraphrase in rebuttal. You MUST need to extend your own shell in rebuttal if it was read in 1st constructive; you must frontline your opponent's shell in the speech after it was read (unless there is a theoretical justification for not doing this).
I have run Ks a few times, however, I am not the best judge for these rounds. I'm more familiar with biopower, security, cap, and imperialism than anything else. You can run high theory Ks just explain them well, I've read some of the literature in school.
These are pretty stupid but go for them if you want to.
Framework, soft-left Ks, CPs, and DAs are fine.
If your opponent has no path to the ballot (conceded theory shell or them reading a counterinterp that they do not meet themselves) invoke a TKO and you win with 30 speaks (unless you have violated any previous clauses related to speaker points), if they did have a path to the ballot you lose with 21s.
Former Assistant Coach at Baton Rouge Magnet, now I mostly work with Millard West and BL debate
Honestly kind of a wildcard, I find myself voting in ways I never would’ve thought of quite often. At one point in time, I was a well-known policy debater, now I might as well be anyone they just picked up on the way to the tournament.
I’ve judged everything from the finals of CEDA Nationals to pf finals at NSDA. Debate and music pays my rent and puts food on my table, this is a job for me, so take that seriously when trying to make something relatable to me. I am a member of the Cherokee Nation, I grew up in a suburban Chicano/Filipino American Household… I say this because Debates that most capture my heart occur in a similar fashion to the arguments we make at the dinner table.
POLICY: There aren’t a lot of arguments I haven’t seen/heard/smelled… I like clear-cut offense in policy debates. It’s very rare that I vote for anything along the lines of “gotta have a plan” or Topicality in general. I’ve coached both high school and college teams on the explicit premise that the topic and or community engaging the topic is flawed in some way. Ideal debates for me will be more about performance and method, I’m more intrigued by what you did/do than the hypothetical. Even when doing fiat style debate, you need to defend it like it has benefits. If heg/cap is good you gotta sell me on a unique enough reason why in THIS instance I NEED/HAVE NO CHOICE OTHER THAN vote for you. Uniqueness absolutely determines the direction of the link for me in more traditional debates. Although I believe in my heart that conditionality is bad, it's hard for me to vote for condo bad when it is debated so nebulously, I generally believe that the negative should have access to everything under the sun to negate the affirmative.
LD: The best LD debates for me are not some mutant reproduction of old policy arguments and styles. I’m a great judge for you if you read a plan text and go multiple off, but in the back of my mind, I wish more LDers would push arguments against fiat, against this way of debating. My ideal form of debate is based on evaluating performance and method… I.e. I think what you do/did is more important than what could potentially happen if x hypothetical policy were passed. Also after judging a significant amount of y’all on the national circuit I’d like to know who is “we”…A lot of top-level LDers are getting away with regurgitating policy arguments to the point where they don’t even think or change up the blocks. I can’t be the only one slightly concerned at the implications of debaters mindlessly reading whatever is on the page right?
PF: I want a copy of your evidence so I can look at it for myself, preferably a speech doc too… other than that these debates are all about uniqueness and terminal impacts for me. I want a clear and cut disadvantage to your opponents' case… it can’t just be a “here’s our side, here’s their side” type of thing. Challenge sources, challenge privilege, and bias. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
Hi, I am a parent of an avid debater, and I am a scrupulous note taker. I always read up on the topic prior to judging, but explain things to me as if I am learning about it for the first time. I have an extensive history judging on the national circuit for PF. I like teams which have good evidence to support their claims. Try to tell me a story with your arguments about why your impacts matter in the first place. Links in your logical reasoning should be clearly explained, and I won't consider your impacts unless your links make sense. Also, if it is not in summary, then it shouldn't be in final focus. During Cross-X try be as respectful of your opponents as possible, and being respectful helps your speaker points. If you're going to turn your opponent's argument, make sure there is an impact. Also last but not least, weighing during summary and final focus definitely makes it easier for me to judge your round. Look forward to judging your round!
First year college student. Little debate experience. I value presentation and having logical arguments. If there is a problem with evidence, say it in your speech.
I'd prefer to be on the email chain. My email is email@example.com and I'd prefer if cases were sent right before the constructive since sometimes debaters can go too fast for me.
Have fun and be respectful.
Hi! I'm a sophomore at Stanford and competed on the PF national circuit as College Prep HO for 3 years. Add me to the email chain please:
tldr - I'm a pretty standard tech judge, w/ tech > truth, and simply put the more work you do for me, the less likely I am to make a decision that you disagree with!
Heads up, I know damn near nothing about the topic lol so please spell out acronyms the first time around and all that to make sure there aren't any leaps you're taking that I miss.
For non substance arguments (e.g. theory, Ks, etc) while I've seen a fair amount of rounds and find them super interesting, I don't have a lot of direct experience myself. Basically just a quick disclaimer to proceed with caution and make your advocacy very clear for me if that's the direction the debate is headed, and it should hopefully make for an interesting round!
Tech > Truth
Make sure you weigh your arguments vs your opponents'! It'll make things a lot easier for me and make it so I don't have to intervene with my own biases/opinions.
An argument has to be fully extended in both summary and final focus for me to vote on it. That means every step of the link chain along with the impact should be in the back half of the round! If you're speaking 2nd, you also have to frontline it in 2nd rebuttal (respond to their responses from 1st rebuttal).
To re-emphasize, extending warrants is critical. Don't just throw out card names and dates. In fact, I'd rather you have warrants than just naming the piece of evidence from earlier in the round. Final focuses should have both though.
(like I said above...) Frontline in 2nd rebuttal!!
I'll vote off the flow based on what's said in speeches (not in cross). If you get a concession in cross, point it out in speech.
Defense is sticky, you can still make my job easier by extending it anyways. If you do want to read it in rebuttal and bring up that it was dropped later, please point out that defense is sticky as you implicate it however you will.
I won't call for cards unless you specifically ask me to within speeches.
Once again (because this is particularly important), PLEASE WEIGH!! Not just the numbers and impacts, but also the warrants, links, etc. Tell me why your argument is more likely, more clear, affects more people, and/or needs to be prioritized for any other reason.
Time yourselves please.
I'm ok with mild speed but definitely rusty so I might miss some things on the flow (especially online considering technical difficulties)... aka proceed at your own risk.
Be respectful, don't say anything hateful or offensive, and fill your time; you'll at least get a 28 from me if you do those things.
Best of luck, and have fun! Feel free to ask me any questions before and after the round, and even reach out to my email way after if you want :)
Firstly, I learned most about debate from my coach Bryce Piotrowski. His opinions have shaped much of what I believe about debate and his paradigm can be found here.
Currently an assistant coach at Lakeville High School. I competed for them for 4 years and most competed in public forum on the national and local circuit.
Add me to the chain firstname.lastname@example.org
Update for the Golden Desert Tournament this weekend:
I would encourage the debaters to send full constructive and rebuttal documents because of the biggest waste of time I have found in pf comes from calling for evidence. This makes the round much more efficient and overall a better use of the debate space then waiting for evidence that could have been all sent at once. Moreover, I think that the rounds in which include full documents of shared evidence allows for more clash and more educational debates in general.
Tech> truth if you need to contact me for any accommodations(email@example.com)
** As long as national circuit tournaments continue to be online I expect that debaters are sending me at MINIMUM their constructives, but if you send all speech docs throughout the round that's completely acceptable too.
I will drop unethical evidence ethics. This is one of my biggest pet peeves are teams that read paraphrased evidence and think it's fine, then they either can't send a card or they will send me a link which I don't want to read. Just read cut evidence please!!
I can handle basically anything. If you plan on spreading just don't. However, if this is your only strategy then anything over 250 wpm send me your doc.
For second rebuttal please please please front line offensive arguments at least. I would prefer collapsing. Moreover, I would prefer if you do not read an entire offensive overview in your second or first rebuttal that is a contention long because it is not strategic and will make me sad.
Summary and final focus:
They should mirror each other. Anything that is extended from summary is expected to be in final focus. Also, please oh god please weigh in these speeches. PReferably in both of them because it makes my job as the judge much much easier.
My average will probs for most rounds be 29. I think that speaker points are honestly quite subjective and stupid. However, the more strategic your choices you make throughout the round the higher or lower it will go.
Theory/ Progressive arguments
I don't have that much experience with it at all. If you plan on running something that is not topical you should plan on not doing that.
I will not evaluate trix or any frivolous theory. I.E. I want the violation to actually be legitimate enough for me to actually want to vote off of. This would include disclosure(more info below) and paraphrase would def recommend to check back against abusive evidence ethics.
K's I think are really interesting to listen to, however, my experience with these arguments are very limited and don't have a ton of knowledge. This means that the more philo the arg is, the more likely I'm not going to know what is going on. As long as you explain the argument slowly, I should be fine.
Along with this I would encourage you to to disclose your cases on either the Wiki or email to your opponents. The reason why I enjoy it is because it seems as though the norm of PF is to run wack cases and have the opponents not have blocks to it. I think just overall disclosure makes for better debates and more educational ones.
Have fun. You can wear whatever I literally don't care. I will give you 20's and L for any arguments that are exclusive to anyone in the round or outside of it.
I think that flex prep is pretty groovy, so if everyone is OK with this than lets do it.
Most important items if you have limited reading time:
IN-PERSON POST-COVID: I live with people who are vulnerable to Covid-19. It is my strong preference that you keep your mask fully on for the duration of the round, other than as needed to drink water, even if the tournament allows otherwise. Please do not shake hands.
ONLINE DEBATE: My internet quality has trouble with spreading, so if I'm adjudicating you at an online tournament and you plan to spread, please make sure we work out a signal so I can let you know if you're cutting out.
Be good to each other (but you don't need to shake my hand or use speech time to thank me--I'm here because I want to be).
It's your round, you can do what you want to, but that doesn't mean there won't be consequences.
I will never, ever answer any variations on the question, "Do you have any preferences we should know about?" right before round, because I want the tournament to run on time, so be specific with what you want to know if something is missing here.
PREP THEFT: I hate it so much. If it takes you >30 sec to find a piece of evidence, I'm starting your prep timer. Reading someone's evidence AND any time you take to ask questions about it (not including time they use to answer) counts as prep. If you take more than your allotted prep time, I will decrease your speaks by one point for every 10 seconds until I get to the tournament points floor, after which you will get the L. No LD or PF round should take over 60 minutes.
I'm currently DOF for the MVLA school district (2015-present). My role at this point is predominantly administrative, and most of my direct coaching interactions are with novice, elementary, and middle school students, so it takes a few months for new metas and terminologies to get to me. PF/LD should assume I have limited contact with the topic even if it's late in the cycle. I have eight years of personal competition experience in parliamentary debate and impromptu speaking in high school and college, albeit for relatively casual/non-circuit teams. My own high school experience was at a small school, so I tend to be sympathetic to arguments about resource-based exclusion.
Approach to judging
-The framework and how it is leveraged to include/exclude impacts is absolutely the most important part of the round.
-It's impossible to be a true "blank slate" judge. I will never add arguments to the flow for you or throw out arguments that I don’t like, but I do have a low tolerance for buying into blatant falsehoods, and I fully acknowledge that everyone has different, somewhat arbitrary thresholds for "buying" certain arguments. My politics are farther left than average, although I tend to be skeptical of generic K solvency/nonunique Ks.
-I am emphatically NOT a games/tricks/whatever-we're-calling-it-these-days judge. Debate is an educational activity that takes place in a communal context, not a game that can be separated from sociocultural influences. Students who have public speaking abilities have unique responsibilities that constrain how they should and should not argue. I will not hesitate to penalize speaker points for rhetoric that upholds racist, sexist, or other oppressive ideologies.
Speaker point ranges
I will do my best to follow point floors and ceilings issued by each tournament. 30s are reserved for a speech that is literally the best one I have seen to date. Anything above a 29 is extremely rare. I will strongly advocate to tab to allow me to go below the tournament point floor in cases of overt racism/sexism/etc, physical aggression, or extremely disrespectful address toward anyone in the round.
Evaluation order/methods: These are my defaults. If I am presented with a different framework for assessment by either team, I will use that framework instead. In cases of a “tie” or total wash, I vote neg unless there is a CP flowed through, in which case I vote aff. I vote on prefiat before postfiat, with the order being K theory/framework questions, pre-fiat K implications, other theory (T, etc), post-fiat. I default to net benefits both prefiat and postfiat. I generally assume the judge is allowed to evaluate anything that happens in the round as part of the decision, which sometimes includes rhetorical artifacts about out-of-round behavior.
Impacts: Terminalize them. Weigh them. "Economy goes up" is meaningless to me without elaboration as to how it impacts actual people.
Counterplans: I consider a permutation the affirmative takes as their advocacy as severance out of the 1AC, which is fine, if you're going to defend severance. If you want to have a solid plan debate in LD or PF, far be it from me to stop you. Plan/CP debate is just a method of framing, and if we all agree to do it that way and understand the implications, it's fine.
Theory/Topicality: You need to format your theory shells in a manner that gives me a way to vote on them (ie, they possess some kind of pre- or post-fiat impact). I will listen to any kind of theory argument, but I genuinely don't enjoy theory as a strategic tool. I err neg on theory (or rather, I err toward voting to maintain fairness/education) in general and default to competing interpretations. I will vote on RVIs but usually only on genuine critical turns on theory where the PMR collapses to the turn or cases of clearly demonstrated time skew.
Kritiks/"Progressive" Argumentation: I have a lot of feelings, so here's the rapid-fire/bullet-point version: I am open to most Ks as long as they are clearly linked. Affirmatives have a higher burden for linking to the resolution, or clearly disclosing if not. If you're not in policy, you probably shouldn't just be reading policy files--write Ks that fit the norms of your event. If you want to read them in front of me, you shouldn’t just drop names of cards, as I am not conversant at a high level with most K literature (but I'm still waiting for a solid PhilSci K). Please don’t use your K to troll. Please do signpost your K. On framework, I err toward evaluating prefiat arguments first but am willing to weigh discursive implications of postfiat arguments against them. The framework debate is underrated. If you are facing a K in front of me, you need to put in a good-faith effort to engage with it, unless you’ve been spread out. I'm getting pretty exhausted of seeing kids run cap Ks and then become hedge fund managers eight years later. Ks that weaponize identities against each other are rough for you and also for me--don't feel compelled to out yourself to get my vote. Finally, I am pretty sure it's only possible for me to performatively embrace/reject something once, so if your alt is straight "vote to reject/embrace X," you're going to need some arguments about what repeatedly embracing/rejecting does for me. I have seen VERY few alts that don't boil down to "vote to reject/embrace X."
Trichotomy: In parli, prefer policy rounds since util/net benefits seems to be the framework most debaters best understand. I'm open to fact/value or other framing (e.g. criticism) as long as you have a rigorous understanding and articulation of framework.
"New" Arguments: Anything that could count as a block/position/contention, in addition to evidence (examples, analytics, analogies, cites) not previously articulated will be considered "new" if they come out in the last speech for either side UNLESS they are made in response to a clear line of clash that has continued throughout the round. I'll consider shadow extensions from the constructives that were not extended or contended in intervening speeches new as well. The only exception to this rule is for the 2N in LD, which I give substantial leeway to make points that would otherwise be considered "new." I will generally protect against new arguments to the best of my ability. Voters, crystallization, impact calculus and framing are fine.
Formatting: I will follow any method of formatting as long as it is signposted, but I am most conversant with advantage/disadvantage uniqueness/link/impact format. Paragraph theory is both confusing to your opponent AND to me. Please include some kind of framing or weighing mechanism in the first speech and impact calculus or some kind of crystallization/voters in the final speeches, as that is the cleanest way for me to make a decision on the flow.
Extensions: I do like for you to strategically extend points you want to go for that the opponent has dropped. Restating your original point is not a response to a rebuttal and won't be treated as an answer unless you explain how the extension specifically interacts with the opponent's response. The point will be considered dropped if you don't engage with the substance of the counterargument.
Tag-teaming: It's fine but I won’t flow anything your partner says during your speech. If it happens repeatedly, especially in a way that interrupts the flow of the speech, it may impact the speaker points of the current speaker.
Questions/Cross-ex: I will stop flowing, but CX is binding. I stop time for Points of Order in parli, and you must take them unless tournament rules explicitly forbid them. Don't let them take more than 30 seconds total.
Speed: I tolerate spreading but don't love it. If your opponent has a high level of difficulty with your speed and makes the impacted argument that you are excluding them, I will be open to voting on that. If I cannot follow your speed, I will stop writing and put my pen down (or stop typing) and stare at you really awkwardly. I drop off in my flowing functionality above the 300-350 wpm zone (in person--online, you should go slower to account for internet cutouts).
Speech Docs/Card Calling: Conceptually they make me tired, but I generally want to be on chains just because I think sharing docs increases the likelihood of debaters trying to leverage extremely specific case references. If I didn't hear something in the round/it confused me enough that I need to read the card, you probably didn't do a good enough job talking about it or selling it to me to deserve the win, but I'll call for cards if everyone collapses to main points that hinge on me reading them. If someone makes a claim of card misuse/misrepresentation, I'll ask for the card/speech doc as warranted by the situation and then escalate to the tournament officials if needed.
Miscellaneous: If your opponent asks for a written text of your plan/CP/K thesis/interp, you are expected to provide it.
I am a judge in PF for Dougherty Valley High School.
- Please do not speak fast, and try to be as clear as possible when you speak.
- You should be telling me how I should be weighing the round.
- Be polite to your opponent and be respectful.
TLDR; Debate well, run any and all arguments you believe in, be nice, respectful and have a good time. Debate is supposed to be a fun activity. People often forget that.
I did PF and LD throughout high school, and did Parliamentary and British Parliamentary in college.
I am fine with just about any argument you can run. Clearly explain links, impacts, and solvency. I think Theory, k's, topicality and just about anything else you can run is perfectly fine and can keep debates kind of fresh. If you like an argument, and run it well, chances are I'll like it too.
However, if you are running theory, K's, or topicality in PF you will have a harder time because every time I've seen these in a PF round they have been missing key parts mostly due to the short times of PF. I may still vote for it, but consider what types of arguments are best based on your time constraints.
More basic debates can also be great. Make sure you clash and address the other teams case. Find ways to create offense and don't spend all your time on defense.
Speed is fine, but try to be as clear as possible. In our unfortunate digital circumstances there are more ways to miss what you're saying than there used to be so I think erring on the side of clarity is always better.
I don't flow CX. If there is something important that happens in CX that you deem is massively important to your case please bring it up in your future speeches.
The things I want to see in a debate are typically very clear links, impacts and weighing. You need to tell me exactly how I should vote and why. Debate rounds are always clearer and have more clash when each side can very easily explain their link chain to the impacts, and why those are more important whether it be magnitude, timeframe, scope, or probability.
Finally, just be nice to each other. Debate is a game and I think it should be fun. Be funny, add jokes, do whatever you need to help your arguments but also have fun during the round.
If there is anything I didn't cover here feel free to ask me before our round starts!
I am a flay judge. I usually vote off of logical arguments with solid evidence and weighing.
I am a linguist by training so your language of debate matters to me. I like clear and comprehensible speeches, meaning you might have to slow down a bit (I'll give extra speaker points to those speakers)
I also care about being courteous and professional during your debate, meaning I would never vote for those who are too aggressive and rude.
I am a lay judge with only around 10 debates under my belt.
I am looking for how clearly/logically you present your case with special emphasis on how well you can counter your opponent's points.
All the best.
I'm a former PF competitor, but have been coaching all forms of debate for the last seven years. I also dabbled with parliamentary debate in college. I will vote down all Ks in PF.
In CX, I will typically vote on whatever debaters make important in the round. I'm fine with forms of typically "non-traditional" debate like K's, theory blocks, etc. I cannot flow at the fastest speeds people will spread, but typically can still follow all arguments presented.
In LD, I prefer traditional LD to progressive LD. The timings involved in the event make 1:1 CX debate really hard to watch, and require the judge to do a lot of work on behalf of the competitors. Core Value/Criterion clash is important for determining the framework of the round, but it only determines how we weigh the other arguments in the round, not who wins overall.
Coral Academy of Science '20 (PF 3 years, LAY LD 1 year)
UNLV '24 (first year doing c/x, so bear with me - was a 2A/1N, then life became infinitely harder when I became a 2N/1A)
I prefer to be on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to ask me questions whenever :)
I try to vote on anything, but I may understand certain types of arguments more, which may lead to potential bias - no one is tabula rasa, but I'll try my best
Tech > Truth unless the round gets real messy
T: I'm a sucker for competing interp debaters and get really into the weeds when it comes to definitions and such; unless your aff is like a staple of the topic, I don't find reasonability to be that persuasive of an argument and that you should actually engage with the impacts of the shell. Please don't put an RVI on T :(
CP: they're alright, explain how it's competitive (usually prefer functional over textual competition) either through mutual exclusivity or net benefits; I will only kick the CP if I'm told explicitly by the 2nr but may buy not doing so if the 1AR makes an argument about it
DA: these are okay too; having an impact overview where you compare the probability of internal links while also having a sophisticated case turn argument (for each advantage if applicable) is probably a good idea; UQ determines the direction of the link; if the DA is threshold/linear, affs need to go a good job with some thumpers, u/q overwhelms the link, or even a good link turn rather than just saying no link
K: I honestly wish I was more well-read in various philosophies and paradigms; however, I understand the basic structure. Make sure to articulate the links, alternative, and impact. A root cause or alt solvency explanation is often strategic for Ks. I think the 1AC should evaluate the plan's benefits, but don't let that prevent you from arguing framework. Don't perf con/read contradictory positions, will be sympathetic to a perm do the alt in every other instance arg if you do.
Theory: I'm fine with like 3 conditional CPs, if you have like 10 off, I'll roll my eyes, but you do you; other theory args are like reasons to reject the arg, not the team
Case: do not underestimate a good case debate; it is highly appreciated (ensure you attack each component - inherency, solvency, harms, etc.)
Performance Affs: they're fine; I'm not going to reject arguments just for the sake of it. However, please be really good with your explanations since I'm more versed in traditional debating; I often think framework args are good because they force us to talk about the purpose of debate. Clash of civs is often fun. I like seeing Ks interacting with planeless affs.
Speed is fine, but slow down on analytics - I will yell clear if I can't understand. Like honestly, if you treat your pre-written analytics like highlighted card texts, I'll get frustrated and will miss stuff on my flow. (I CAN'T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH, SLOW DOWN ON ANALYTICS!!!)
-Policy-centric, but you do you (if policy, the above applies)
-I'm somewhat fine with soft-left affs (deontology is kind of a hard sell, but probability first or the whole idea that we overprioritize extinction impacts over already existing structural violence is quite persuasive - though as always, the neg can argue otherwise)
-Please explain high-level philosophy/theory as succinctly and easily as possible
-I don't usually buy RVIs and AC theory spikes tbh
-If you have paragraph tags with 5 claims in each, don't get mad if I don't get everything on my flow; tip: separate them
-Please, please don't make new arguments in the NR - you'll get exploited by the 2AR!
-I like T, but Nebel T is something else...
-Vietnam flashback moments when I competed in this event
-Please don't be abusive with evidence! I will check the articles and will vote against you if there is a blatant evidence violation, even if the opponent doesn't call it out
-If yall setup email chains + read highlighted card text, you get extra speaks :) [WHAT THIS MEANS - SENDING FULL CASES AT THE BEGINNING OF ROUND, NOT JUST ASKING FOR INDIVIDUAL PIECES OF CARDS --- WHICH TAKES UP SO MUCH TIME!!!!!!!]
-Not debate; I would be surprised if you even read my paradigm
-Making complete arguments and maximizing your interaction with other speeches and opponents' content/attempting to model it like actual debate makes me give you the 6
-My speaker points don't indicate whether you break at a tournament, just how you performed that particular round based on my standards
-I honestly think they're an arbitrary measure and specific feedback on strategy/execution is 10x more useful for the debater
-I like a good c/x
-Please be nice and friendly - it's okay to be enthusiastic during the round, but never display toxic behavior (learning the line between the two is a skill in itself)
-I can understand if you would need your camera off and won't ask why; I'll have mine on to indicate that I'm putting my 100% in paying attention to your round
Don't be bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. Period.
hey! i'm nate. put me on the email chain. email@example.com facebook.com/nate.nyg
he/him! will boost speaks +.1 for debaters who ask before round :)
i did ld at hunter and qualled to the toc my senior year. I'm currently a 2n at wake forest where my partner and i reached quarters of ceda. i did pf my freshman year, so i'm familiar, but don't assume i know every single thing about the activity and its conventions.
i'm willing to vote on anything and am purely tab with the caveat of intervening against oppressive argumentation. if you're reading theory or k's in pf, i'd vote on it, but please make an effort to make your arguments accessible to your opponents -- pf has not entirely adapted to new norms and if you don't try to adapt your arguments to pf and instead just assume your opponents will know your exact format and everything i'll be annoyed and speaks will suffer. bad theory and k debates don't get my ballot, and frivolous theory in pf is probably the stupidest thing i can think of.
i think the way pf handles evidence is really silly -- i have no clue why people don't just send a doc with all the evidence in their case. for that matter, i also have no idea why people don't just send speech docs, but i understand that this is an activity with norms and i won't make you go against them. that being said, your speaks will be happier if you choose to engage in either of those practices.
in pf -- i love unique substance arguments that attack the topic in an interesting, new, yet substantive way
Dougherty Valley '19
The Ohio State University '23
Add me to the email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are comfortable, please email me a speech doc before each speech. It makes judging so much easier especially on zoom :)
haven't judged in lowkey a minute, be kind. Haven't judged on the topic either so i'm not too familiar with the literature, cards, etc. If there is a problem, make it clear, if an argument doesn't make sense, tell me why.
I competed nationally in PF and Extemp in HS, did a bit of Congress and LD as well.
I am tabula Rasa, and I'll vote on anything.
I try really hard to be non-interventional, but with more and more debaters reading scripts instead of cards, etc. I've grown the habit of calling for cards to confirm statements made by debaters.
I like warranted arguments. In fact, I would buy a strong Warranted and logical argument over an argument backed my evidence any day. Although I'll vote on anything, this is just how I evaluate it. I really enjoy impact calculus and would like to see that starting to be set up in Summary and maybe even in rebuttal. Just be really clear and extend your links cleanly.
I believe that 2nd Rebuttal should frontline, at least that's what I always did. I think it is a better competitive choice for 2nd Speaking team. At least touch the major offensive points of the case.
I am open to any critical argument and theory; however, I HATE frivolous theory. While I Think debate is a game, I do believe that public forum was an event made to be accessible to all as LD and policy became more progressive. That being said, go for it but proceed at your own caution.
Go as fast as you want, I'll tell you if you're going too fast. but for zoom, go slower.
Speaks depends on my mood. I won't ever go lower than a 27 for national rounds unless you give me a reason to tho.
Wear what you want, I just care about what you say (although I will include feedback for future lay rounds)
MY PARADIGM is also very similar to Saad Jamals:)
Don't be afraid to ask Questions before the round because I know this Paradigm is short, but don't overcomplicate it!
if you want to add me on the email chain at email@example.com
the UBER basics -
use humor, be bold, and have fun!!
Just explain links well, I am fine with wonky arguments as long as they're logical, & tabula rasa
if you use racist, ableist, sexist language I will be very upset
please don't interrupt your partner in cross, also let your opponents answer your questions lol
I did policy, pf, speech, oh and I do british parli and speech in college at the U of U
I go by she/her/hers
pretty basic right ...
policy/debate in depth -
the K debate, I am a huge fan of it. I enjoy a good K debate, just make sure you're prepped for fw and T. I am not a huge fan of voting for T against K, but will do it if ya know needed. I think that lots of the K's I have seen this year aren't linking to the motion very well, neg in specific hasn't been linking to the affirmative . SO like please just make it a clean debate for everyone in the room.Debate is supposed to be a safe space, mentally as well. I can follow most args, I do personally believe debate should be a space to have a voice and be advantageous of this unique space ie identity politics and what not. I do not like to see identity or traits of a case/person used or commodified to win the ballot.
oh if ur alt is rage pls give me a headsup but I am still 100% okay with running it. I just wanna know ahead of time lol
Topicality- I think t debates are good, although procedurals aren't my favorite form of debate. if youre going to read t, read it offensively not for a time suck. I won't vote on it if there aren't violations or voters/reasons to prefer. easy right. oh t is always an a priori issue
t- theory I think theory is always good, it brings a little fun to debate. once again there needs to be a reason its read, not just because you wanna
politics da, if your da is a year old its prolly too old. things are changing, so these da's need to be following what is going on or being relevant.
cp - for this topic specific I don't really like the parole cp, I think courts makes more sense, but once again you do you. I am fine with whatever. so perms in this topic are a little funky, bc its still something you should do going against one.
whatever other da. like cool, I get it, go for it. Gotta go for some basics right. OHH if you read a meme da and it makes me laugh, higher speaks to you, and if its good even more kudos. (this doesn't mean you should read it because you think ill like it more or whatever, I just have this because encase YOU want to run it, that's okay)
pls do voters/rob I do listen to those and heavily weigh it out. I am fine with tag team cross x, I love performances, and clash. clash. clash.
if case goes uncontested, I usually pay heavy attention to that. make sure youre clashing with the case, why its bad, why it won't work, at least something pls.
if you have more questions about pls ask.
ok ðŸ‘ still kinda simple paradigm lol I know
Hi, I am Frank, and I am a parent judge.
Here are some key points for my judgement:
1. My votes count on how thoroughly you persuade me.
2. Keep the flow organized.
3. Balance your speed and clarity, do not spread.
4. Act professionally.
5. I have zero tolerance for hate speech.
Other than that, have fun.
Graduated from the University of Iowa (19')
Debated for the New York City Urban Debate League 2008-2014
Email Chain: Geordano.Liriano196@gmail.com
Speed is fine just be flowable, new sheet for the overview is good just think about the argument being constructed as a whole. Go for the best argument, I vote for the team that did the better debating, the metric for deciding however is up for discussion and I hope you all problematize and decide what that metric should be.
I'm usually flowing cross examination. Explain your arguments well, ask good questions and above all, be respectful.
Debate it out. But…
- Potential abuse is ehhh
- Aff’s should prove how their somehow grounded in the resolution
- Make sure your interpretation makes sense
Know what you’re talking about and it’ll be good. Try not to rant because no one ever knows what to flow and it might not be an argument. So …Make arguments…
K vs K debates
Make for very good debates, I think there is a lot of potential in the community to create both new scholarship and solidify existing one. This takes a lot of work and I am willing to hear a high theory debate but juts remember to make comparisons between the things you’re saying and what their saying about you. These debates go a few ways but the most common is the high theory debater who doesn’t say “Link turn/Impact/Framing/alternative etc.”
Framework can win the ballot but answering offense is important, as opposed to other judges I think defense can be enough to answer specific arguments such as the role of a ballot or a standard. Its important for both teams to highlight their competing theories about debate/the world and win said theory for example a critique may explain the future as always already violent towards a particular group, the opposing team should win a counter-claim to this deterministic viewpoint because team A will use this theory to respond to reformism claims.
Some bullet point stuff:
- Ø I will always flow your speech, doesn’t matter if it’s a poem, song or non-verbal movement
- Ø Ethics violations are about ETHICS, not mistakes. This doesn’t mean I won’t vote on an ethics violation but that I will take into account how the action in question was done. With that said, please say “mark the card [last word]” or some variation.
i'm christina (she/her) and debated for wootton pf. ask me for clarification before the round starts.
VBIPHL: Do not read progressive arguments against teams that clearly cannot engage with them in order to win. My ballot/your speaks will be reflective of your poor decision and you will be upset with the result that I input.
1. i'll evaluate any argument you can think of, however, in the case where the safety of a debater is compromised in the room (be it any -ist argument or a lack of TW on a sensitive topic) i will intervene. tab has the option to specify pronouns for a reason, misgendering is not ok.
2. speed is ok but sacrificing clarity is not ok.
3. probably won't call for ev, imo a bit interventionist unless someone explicitly asks me to and the round is unresolvable.
4. i have a very bad poker face so if i dont/do like something you'll know.
5. i am most receptive to substance and i will do my best to judge as technically as i can.
1. second rebuttal must frontline turns - conceded turns/contentions in rebuttal have 100% strength of link.
2. DAs/ADVs/offensive OVs are fine in second rebuttal to an extent but i have a higher threshold for contextualization/warranting/weighing/etc.
3. DLs must be conceded in the following speech (either 2nd rebuttal or 1st summary) but also must be explained.
4. defense is not sticky 4 first summary.
5. i appreciate good extensions. i do not care about card names. extend warrants with case.
1. weighing ideally should start in rebuttal. i'm not evaluating new weighing in final focus, including first final.
2. probability impact weighing doesn't exist.
3. metaweigh/comparative weighing -- if there is none i'll probably prioritize pre-reqs/link-ins/co-ops -- if there is none of that i will just count how many weighing mechanisms there are.
i will do my best to judge to your standards. i dislike progressive debate so please only read it if there is justifiable abuse in the round (paraphrasing/disclosure dont count).
1. general defaults (no RVIs, CI > reasonability, drop arg over debater, only if teams don't tell me what to do).
2. do not read theory against teams who clearly cannot engage with it (novices) i can tell and my ballot/your speaks will reflect that >:(.
4. little to no exp w K's, therefore K lit needs to be accessible -- you should also be extending K's/shells more rigorously than case bc it may be harder for me/others to grasp initially (especially if they are not topical).
5. no tricks.
i'm most receptive to substance but i'll do my best to evaluate whatever you read.
debate in a way that makes you happy and comfortable, post-rounding is fine, good luck!
Tech savvy truth telling/testing debaters who crystallize with clarity, purpose persuasion & pathos will generally win my ballot.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated Paradigm for NDCA & TOC
My intent in doing this update is to simplify my paradigm to assist Public Forum debaters competing at the major competitions at the end of this season. COVID remote debating has had some silver linings, and this year I have uniquely had the opportunity to judge a prolific number of prestigious tournaments, so I am "in a groove" judging elite PF debates this season, having sat on at least half a dozen PF TOC bid rounds this year, and numerous Semis/Finals of tournaments like Glenbrooks, Apple Valley, Berkeley, among many others.
I am "progressive", "circuit style", "tabula rosa", "non-interventionist", completely comfortable with policy jargon and spreading, open to Kritiks/Theory/Topicality, and actively encourage Framework debates in PF. You can figure out what I mean by FW with a cursory reading of the basic wikipedia entry "policy debate: framework" -- I am encouraging, where applicable and appropriate, discussions of what types of arguments and debate positions support claims to a superior model of Public Forum debate, both in the particular round at hand and future debates. I think that PF is currently grappling as a community with a lot of Framework questions, and inherently believe that my ballot actually does have potential for some degree of Solvency in molding PF norms. Some examples of FW arguments I have heard this year include Disclosure Theory, positions that demand the first constructive speech of the team speaking second provide direct clash (rejecting the prevalent two ships passing in the night norm for the initial constructive speeches), and Evidence theory positions.
To be clear, this does not mean at all that teams who run FW in front of me automatically get my ballot. I vote all the time on basic stock issues, and in fact the vast majority of my PF decisions have been based on offense/defense within a role-playing policy-maker framework. Just like any debate position, I am completely open to anything (short of bullying, racism, blatant sexism, truly morally repugnant positions, but I like to believe that no debaters are coming into these elite rounds intending to argue stuff like this). I am open to a policy-making basic Net benefits standard, willing to accept Fiat of a policy action as necessary and justifiable, just as much as I am willing to question Fiat -- the onus is on the debaters to provide warrants justifying whatever position or its opposite they wish to defend.
I will provide further guidance and clarifications on my judging philosophy below, but I want to stress that what I have just stated should really be all you need to decide whether to pref/strike me -- if you are seeking to run Kritiks or Framework positions that you have typically found some resistance to from more traditional judges, then you want to pref me; if you want rounds that assume the only impacts that should be considered are the effects of a theoretical policy action, I am still a fine judge to have for that, but you will have to be prepared to justify those underlying assumptions, and if you don't want to have to do that, then you should probably strike me. If you have found yourself in high profile rounds a bit frustrated because your opponent ran positions that didn't "follow the rules of PF debate", I'm probably not the judge you want. If you have been frustrated because you lost high profile rounds because you "didn't follow the rules of PF debate", you probably want me as your judge.
So there is my most recent update, best of luck to all competitors as we move to the portion of the season with the highest stakes.
Here is what I previously provided as my paradigm:
Speed: Short answer = Go as fast as you want, you won't spread me out.
I view speed as merely a tool, a way to get more arguments out in less time which CAN lead to better debates (though obviously that does not bear out in every instance). My recommendations for speed: 1) Reading a Card -- light-speed + speech doc; 2) Constructives: uber-fast + slow sign posting please; 3) Rebuttals: I prefer the slow spread with powerfully efficient word economy myself, but you do you; 4) Voters: this is truly the point in a debate where I feel speed outlives its usefulness as a tool, and is actually much more likely to be a detriment (that being said, I have judged marvelous, blinding-fast 2ARs that were a thing of beauty)...err on the side of caution when you are instructing me on how to vote.
Policy -- AFFs advocating topical ethical policies with high probability to impact real people suffering right now are best in front of me. I expect K AFFs to offer solid ground and prove a highly compelling advocacy. I love Kritiks, I vote for them all the time, but the most common problem I see repeatedly is an unclear and/or ineffective Alt (If you don't know what it is and what it is supposed to be doing, then I can't know either). Give me clash: prove you can engage a policy framework as well as any other competing frameworks simultaneously, while also giving me compelling reasons to prefer your FW. Anytime you are able to demonstrate valuable portable skills or a superior model of debate you should tell me why that is a reason to vote for you. Every assumption is open for review in front of me -- I don't walk into a debate round believing anything in particular about what it means for me to cast my ballot for someone. On the one hand, that gives teams extraordinary liberty to run any position they wish; on the other, the onus is on the competitors to justify with warranted reasoning why I need to apply their interpretations. Accordingly, if you are not making ROB and ROJ arguments, you are missing ways to get wins from me.
I must admit that I do have a slight bias on Topicality -- I have noticed that I tend to do a tie goes to the runner thing, and if it ends up close on the T debate, then I will probably call it reasonably topical and proceed to hear the Aff out. it isn't fair, it isn't right, and I'm working on it, but it is what it is. I mention this because I have found it persuasive when debaters quote this exact part of my paradigm back to me during 2NRs and tell me that I need to ignore my reasonability biases and vote Neg on T because the Neg straight up won the round on T. This is a functional mechanism for checking a known bias of mine.
Oh yea -- remember that YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME.
Public Forum -- At this point, after judging a dozen PF TOC bid rounds in 2021-2022, I think it will be most helpful for me to just outright encourage everybody to run Framework when I am your judge (3 judge panels is your call, don't blame me!). I think this event as a whole desperately needs good quality FW arguments that will mold desirable norms, I might very well have an inherent bias towards the belief that any solvency reasonably expected to come from a ballot of mine will most likely implicate FW, and thus I am resolved to actively encourage PF teams to run FW in front of me. If you are not comfortable running FW, then don't -- I always want debaters to argue what matters to them. But if you think you can win a round on FW, or if you have had an itch to try it out, you should. Even if you label a position as Framework when it really isn't, I will still consider the substantive merits behind your arguments, its not like you get penalized for doing FW wrong, and you can absolutely mislabel a position but still make a fantastic argument deserving of my vote.
Other than "run FW", I need to stress one other particular -- I do not walk into a PF round placing any limitations whatsoever on what a Public Forum debate is supposed to be. People will say that I am not "traditional or lay", and am in fact "progressive", but I only consider myself a blank slate (tabula rasa). Every logical proposition and its diametric opposite is on the table in front of me, just prove your points to be true. It is never persuasive for a team to say something like "but that is a Counterplan, and that isn't allowed in PF". I don't know how to evaluate a claim like that. You are free to argue that CPs in PF are not a good model for PF debates (and lo and behold, welcome to running a FW position), or that giving students a choice between multiple styles of debate events is critical for education and so I should protect the "rules" and the "spirit" of PF as an alternative to LD and Policy -- but notice how those examples rely on WARRANTS, not mere assertions that something is "against the rules." Bottom line, if the "rules" are so great, then they probably had warrants that justified their existence, which is how they became the rules in the first place, so go make those underlying arguments and you will be fine. If the topic is supposed to be drug policy, and instead a team beats a drum for 4 minutes, ya'll should be able to articulate the underlying reasons why this is nonsense without resorting to grievances based on the alleged rules of PF.
College Parli -- Because there is a new topic every round, the threshold for depth of research is considerably lower, and debaters should be able to advocate extemporaneously; this shifts my view of the burdens associated with typical Topicality positions. Arguments that heavily weigh on the core ground intended by the topic will therefore tend to strike me as more persuasive. Additionally, Parli has a unique procedural element -- the ability to ask a question during opponent's speech time. A poignant question in the middle of an opponent's speech can single handedly manufacture clash, and create a full conversational turn that increases the educational quality of the debate; conversely, an excellent speaker can respond to the substance of a POI by adapting their speech on the spot, which also has the effect of creating a new conversational turn.
lysis. While this event has evolved considerably, I am still a firm believer that Value/Criterion is the straightest path to victory, as a strong V/C FW will either contextualize impacts to a policy/plan advocacy, or explain and justify an ethical position or moral statement functioning as that necessary advocacy. Also, V/C allows a debater to jump in and out of different worlds, advocating for their position while also demonstrating the portable skill of entering into an alternate FW and clashing with their opponent on their merits. An appropriate V/C will offer fair, reasonable, predictable, equitable, and functional Ground to both sides. I will entertain any and all theory, kritiks, T, FW. procedure, resolution-rejection/alteration, etc. -- but fair warning, positions that do not directly relate to the resolutional topic area will require a Highly Compelling warrant(s) for why. At all times, please INSTRUCT me on how I am supposed to think about the round.
So...that is my paradigm proper, intentionally left very short. I've tried the more is more approach, and I have become fond of the less is more. Below are random things I have written, usually for tournament-specific commentary.
Worlds @ Coppell:
I have taken care to educate myself on the particulars of this event, reviewing relevant official literature as well as reaching out to debate colleagues who have had more experience. My obligation as a fair, reasonable, unbiased and qualified critic requires me to adapt my normal paradigm, which I promise to do to the best of my abilities. However, this does not excuse competitive debaters from their obligation to adapt to their assigned judge. I adapt, you adapt, Fair.
To learn how I think in general about how I should go about judging debates, please review my standard Judge Paradigm posted below. Written short and sweet intentionally, for your purposes as Worlds debaters who wish to gain my ballot, look for ways to cater your strengths as debaters to the things I mention that I find generally persuasive. You will note that my standard paradigm is much shorter than this unique, particularized paradigm I drafted specifically for Worlds @ Coppell.
Wesley's Worlds Paradigm:
I am looking for which competitors perform the "better debating." As line by line and dropping of arguments are discounted in this event, those competitors who do the "better debating" will be "on balance more persuasive" than their opponents.
Style: I would liken Style to "speaker points" in other debate events. Delivery, passion, rhetoric, emotional appeal. Invariably, the power of excellent public speaking will always be anchored to the substantive arguments and authenticity of advocacy for the position the debater must affirm or negate. While I will make every effort to separate and appropriately quantify Style and Content, be warned that in my view there is an inevitable and unbreakable bond between the two, and will likely result in some spillover in my final tallies.
Content: If I have a bias, it would be in favor of overly weighting Content. I except that competitors will argue for a clear advocacy, a reason that I should feel compelled to vote for you, whether that is a plan, a value proposition, or other meaningful concept.
PAY ATTENTION HERE: Because of the rules of this event that tell me to consider the debate as a whole, to ignore extreme examples, to allow for a "reasonable majority" standard to affirm and a "significant minority" standard to negate, and particularly bearing in mind the rules regarding "reasonability" when it comes to definitions, I will expect the following:
A) Affirmatives will provide an advocacy that is clearly and obviously within the intended core ground proffered by the topic (the heart of hearts, if you will);
B) Negatives will provide an advocacy of their own that clashes directly with the AFF (while this is not completely necessary, it is difficult for me to envision myself reaching a "better debating" and "persuasion" standard from a straight refutation NEG, so consider this fair warning); what the Policy folk call a PIC (Plan-Inclusive Counterplan) will NOT be acceptable, so do not attempt on the NEG to offer a better affirmative plan that just affirms the resolution -- I expect an advocacy that fundamentally NEGATES
C) Any attempt by either side to define their opponent's position out of the round must be EXTRAORDINARILY compelling, and do so without reliance on any debate theory or framework; possibilities would include extremely superior benefits to defining a word in a certain way, or that the opponent has so missed the mark on the topic that they should be rejected. It would be best to assume that I will ultimately evaluate any merits that have a chance of reasonably fitting within the topic area. Even if a team elects to make such an argument, I still expect them to CLASH with the substance of the opponent's case, regardless of whether or not your view is that the substance is off-topic. Engage it anyways out of respect.
D) Claim-Warrant-Impact-Weighing formula still applies, as that is necessary to prove an "implication on effects in the real world". Warrants can rely on "common knowledge", "general logic", or "internal logic", as this event does not emphasize scholarly evidence, but I expect Warrants nonetheless, as you must tell me why I am supposed to believe the claim.
Strategy: While there may be a blending of Content & Style on the margins in front of me as a judge, Strategy is the element that I believe will be easy for me to keep separate and quantify unto itself. Please help me and by proxy yourselves -- MENTION in your speeches what strategies you have used, and why they were good. Debaters who explicitly state the methods they have used, and why those methods have aided them to be "on balance more persuasive" and do the "better debating" will likely impress me.
POIs: The use of Questions during opponent's speech time is a tool that involves all three elements, Content/Style/Strategy. It will be unlikely for me to vote for a team that fails to ask a question, or fails to ask any good questions. In a perfect world, I would like speakers to yield to as many questions as they are able, especially if their opponent's are asking piercing questions that advance the debate forward. You WANT to be answering tough questions, because it makes you look better for doing so. I expect the asking and answering of questions to be reciprocal -- if you ask a lot of questions, then be ready and willing to take a lot of questions in return. Please review my section on Parli debate below for final thoughts on the use of POI.
If you want to win my vote, take everything I have written above to heart, because that will be the vast majority of the standards for judging I will implement during this tournament. As always, feel free to ask me any further questions directly before the round begins. Best of luck!
Please ask specific questions should you have them. Prefer substantive debates. And, fully support teams who take the initiative to stop rounds when concerned re: evidence ethics (the instructions are fully detailed in the NSDA High School Event Manual, pp. 30-33). On Theory and other such arguments in Public Forum Debate:
remi (she/ her) I'm a sophomore at gw studying IA and environmental studies. I did pf in hs but consider me flay
also tell me your pronouns and names before the round starts!
EXTEND your warrants and impacts (quantified preferably) plz -- if you want it voted on, it has to be said in summary AND final focus
basic jargon is fine (DL, turn, extend, time frame) but don't go crazy
I don't write down card names, stats or warrants yes but not names sources or years so if you mention a card name and don't explain it ill be confused
I don't evaluate cross fire, if something happens, tell me in a speech
read content warnings
if you wanna wear sweats or a hoodie that's fine, come in a hat for all I care!
I dont know how to evaluate theory and K's but if you wanna try you can lol
dont be rude and have fun!
Currently Head Coach at Campbell Hall (CA)
Formerly Head Coach of Fairmont Prep (CA), Ransom Everglades (FL) & Pembroke Hill (MO), and Assistant Coach for Washburn Rural (KS), and Lake Highland (FL).
Coached for 20 years – Have coached all events. Have coached both national circuit policy & PF. Also I have a J.D., so if you are going to try to play junior Supreme Court Justice, please be reasonably accurate in your legal interpretations.
Address for the email chain: email@example.com
Scroll down for Policy or Parli Paradigm
Public Forum Paradigm
- If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in every speech, beginning with the 2nd Rebuttal. That includes defensive case attacks, as well as unanswered link chains and impacts on your own case.
- Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to a utilitarian offense/defense paradigm.
- Send speech docs in a timely fashion before you give any speech in which you introduce new evidence. If you don't, I will be sad, any time you take finding ev will be free prep for your opponents, and the max speaks you will be able to earn from me will be 28. If you do send docs I will be happy and the lowest speaks you will earn will be 28. This only applies to varsity teams.
- Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case. This should start in the 2nd Rebuttal.
- No new cards in 2nd Summary. No new cards in 1st Summary unless directly in response to new 2nd Rebuttal arguments.
- I'm OK w/ theory - IF IT IS DONE WELL. Read below for specific types of arguments.
1. Summary extension
If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in the summary. Yes, that includes defense & turns from the rebuttal. Yes, that includes conceded link chains and impacts. And that doesn't just mean "extend my links and impacts." That doesn't do it. You need to explicitly extend each of the cards/args you will need to make a cohesive narrative at the end of the round. If you want to go for it in the FF, make sure your partner knows to extend it. Even if it is the best argument I’ve ever heard, failure to at least mention it in the summary will result in me giving the argument zero weight in my decision. Basically, too many 2nd speakers just ignore their partner’s summary speech. Attempting to extend things that were clearly dropped in the Summary will result in a lowering of speaker points for the 2nd speaker. This is # 1 on my list for a reason. It plays a major factor in more than half of my decisions. Ignore this advice at your own peril.
1A. 2nd Rebuttal Rebuild
Everything I just said about Summary also goes for 2nd Rebuttal. Anything you want me to evaluate at any later point in the round needs to be mentioned/extended in 2nd Rebuttal. That includes extending / rebuilding the portions of your case you want me to weigh at the end, even those that were not addressed by your opponents in the first Rebuttal. For example: 1st Rebuttal just answers your links on C1. You not only need to rebuild whatever C1 links you want me to evaluate at the end of the round, but you also need to explicitly extend your impacts you are claiming those links link to in at least a minimum of detail. Just saying" extend my impacts" will be unlikely to cut it. At least try to reference both the argument and the card you want me to extend. And, yes, I know this means you won't be able to cover as much in 2nd Rebuttal. Make choices. That's what this event is all about.
2. Offense defense
Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to a utilitarian offense/defense paradigm. Just going for defensive response to the the opposing case in FF won’t be persuasive in front of me. Additionally, I am open to non-traditional framing arguments (e.g. rights, ontology, etc), but you will need to have some pretty clear warrants as to why I should disregard a traditional net offensive advantage for the other team when making my decision.
3. Send Speech Docs with the cut cards your are about to read before your speech
This is the expected norm in both Policy and LD, and it is time for PF to grow up as well. I am tired of wasting 15+ min per round while kids look for cards that they should have ready as part of their blocks and/or cases to share, and just paraphrasing stuff without the cut card readily available. To combat these bad practices, I choose to adopt two incentives in varsity rounds to have debaters use speech docs like every other legitimate form of debate.
First, if you do not send a speech doc w/ all the cards you are about to read in that next speech to the email chain in a timely fashion (less than a minute or two) before you begin any speech in which you read cards, I will cap your speaker points at 28, with a starting point for average speaks at 27. If you do send a speech doc with the cut cards you are about to read in order, I will guarantee that the lowest speaks you receive will be a 28, with a starting point for average speaks at 29. If you don't have this ready before the round, or can't get it ready in a minute or so before each speech, don't waste time trying. It defeats the part of the purpose aimed to speed up rounds and prevent tournaments from running behind because kids can't find their evidence. Just accept that your speaks will be capped, learn from it, and put together your cases and blocks more ethically for next time. Two caveats to this general rule: 1) the obvious allowance for accidentally missing the occasional card due to honest error, 2) if you engage in offensive behavior/language/etc that would otherwise justify something lower than a 25, providing a speech doc will not exempt you from such a score.
Second, I will utilize the approach that has been used in the past at the TOC, where teams are free to prep while the other team is searching for the evidence that they have been requested to share and should already have available, and that time will NOT count against the requesting team's 3:00 of prep. If you read this and can figure out how to use it to your advantage, more power to you.
Basically, I won't require you to provide speech docs, but I will use these two measures to incentivize their use in the strongest possible way I feel I reasonably can. This hopefully will both speed up rounds and simultaneously encourage more transparency and better overall evidence quality. If you don't like this, strike me.
4. Narrow the round
It would be in your best interest to narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key turns on your opponents’ case, and then spend most of your time doing impact comparisons on those issues. Going for all 3 contentions and every turn you read in rebuttal is a great way to lose my ballot. If you just extend everything, you leave it up to me to evaluate the relative important of each of your arguments. This opens the door for judge intervention, and you may not like how I evaluate those impacts. I would much rather you do that thought process for me. I routinely find myself voting for the team that goes all in on EFFECTIVE impact framing on the issue or two they are winning over the team that tries to extend all of their offensive arguments (even if they are winning most of them) at the expense of doing effective impact framing. Strategic choices matter. Not making any choices is a choice in itself, and is usually a bad one.
5. No new cards in Summary, unless they are in direct response to a new argument brought up in the immediately prior speech.
1st Summary: If you need to read cards to answer arguments first introduced in opponents case, those needed to be read in 1st Rebuttal, not 1st Summary. Only if 2nd Rebuttal introduces new arguments—for example a new impact turn on your case—will I evaluate new cards in the 1st Sum, and only to specifically answer that new 2nd Rebuttal turn. Just please flag that your are reading a new card, and ID exactly what new 2nd Rebuttal argument you are using it to answer.
2nd Summary: Very rarely, 2nd summary will need to address something that was brought up new in 1st summary. For example, as mentioned above, 2nd Rebuttal puts offense on case. 1st Summary might choose to address that 2nd Rebuttal offense with a new carded link turn. Only in a case like that will I evaluate new evidence introduced into 2nd Summary. If you need to take this route, as above in 1st Summary, please flag exactly what argument you say was new in the 1st Summary you are attempting to answer before reading the new card.
In either case, unless the prior speech opened the door for you, I will treat any new cards in Summary just like extending things straight into FF & ignoring the summary—I won’t evaluate them and your speaker points will take a hit. However, new cross-applications of cards previously introduced into the round ARE still OK at this point.
5A. No new cross-applications or big-picture weighing in Final Focus.
Put the pieces together before GCF - at least a little bit. This includes weighing analysis. The additional time allotted to teams in Summary makes it easier to make these connections and big-picture comparisons earlier in the round. Basically, the other team should at least have the opportunity to ask you about it in a CF of some type. You don't have to do the most complete job of cross-applying or weighing before FF, but I should at least be able to trace its seed back to some earlier point in the round.
I will, and am often eager to, vote on debate theory arguments. But proceed with caution. Debaters in PF rarely, if ever, know how to debate theory well enough to justify voting on it. But I have seen one or two rounds recently that give me some hope for the future.
Regarding practices, there is a strategic utility for reading theory even if you are not going for it. I get that part of the game of debate, and am here for it. But if you think you want me to actually vote on it, and it isn't just a time suck, I would strongly encourage that you collapse down to just theory in the 2nd Rebuttal/1st Summary in a similar fashion that I would think advisable in choosing which of your substance-based impact scenarios to go for. Theory isn't the most intuitive argument, and is done poorly when it is blippy. If it is a bad practice that truly justifies my disregarding substantive arguments, then treat it like one. Pick a standard and an impact story and really develop it in both speeches AND IN GCF in the similar way you should develop a link story and impact from your substantive contention. Failing to collapse down will more than likely leave you without sufficient time to explain your abuse story and voter analysis in such a way that it is compelling enough for me to pull the trigger. If you are going to do it (and I'm good with it if you do), do it well. Otherwise, just stick to the substance.
My leanings on specific types of theory arguments:
Fiat – For policy resolutions, until the “no plans” rule is changed, PF is essentially a whole-resolution debate, no matter how much teams would like for it to be policy. That means the resolution is is the plan text. Thus, if teams want to exclusively advocate a specific subset(s) of the resolution, they need to provide some warrants as to why their specific subset(s) of the resolution is the MOST LIKELY form the resolution would take if it were adopted. Trying to specify and only defend a hyper-specific example(s) of the resolution that is unlikely to occur without your fiat is ridiculously abusive without reading a plan text, and makes you a moving target – especially when you clarify your position later in the round to spike out of answers. Plan texts are necessary to fiat something that is unlikely to happen in the status quo in order to create a stable advocacy. Basically, in my mind, “no plans” = “no fiat of subsets of the resolution.” Also, please don't try to fiat things in a fact-based resolution (hint, it's probably not a policy resolution if it doesn't look like "Actor X should do Thing Y").
Multiple conditional advocacies – Improbable fiated advocacies are bad enough, but when teams read multiple such advocacies and then decide “we’re not going for that one” when the opposing team puts offense on it is the zenith of in-round abuse. Teams debating in front of me should continue to go for their unanswered offensive turns against these “kicked” arguments – I will weigh them in the round, and am somewhat inclined to view such practices as a voter if substantial abuse is demonstrated by the offended team. If you start out with a 3-prong fiated advocacy, then you darn well better end with it. Severance is bad. If teams are going to choose to kick out of part of their advocacy mid-round, they need to effectively answer any offense on the "to-be-kicked" parts first.
Paraphrasing - I tend to come down strongly on the side of having cut cards available. This doesn't mean I will automatically vote for paraphrasing theory, as I think there is room for a conceivably viable counter-interp of having the cards attached to blocks/cases or something similar. But blatant, unethical, and lazy paraphrasing has, at times, really threatened the integrity of this activity, and it needs to stop. This is the way to do that.
Trigger Warning - I am not your guy for this. I'm not saying I won't vote on it, but it would be an uphill battle.
Disclosure - Disclosure is good. My teams do it, and I think you should too. It makes for better debates, and the Wiki is an invaluable tool for small squads with limited resources and coaching. I speak from experience, having coached those types of small squads in policy against many of the juggernaut programs with armies of assistants cutting cards. Arguments about how it is somehow unfair to small teams make little sense to me. That being said, I don't think the lack of disclosure is as serious of a threat to the integrity of PF as the bad paraphrasing that at one point was rampant in the activity. Disclosure is more of a strongly suggested improvement, as opposed to an ethical necessity. But if the theory arg is run WELL, I will certainly vote on it.
If you want me to evaluate an argument or card, it needs to be in a speech. Just mentioning it in CF is not sufficient. You can refer to what was said in CF in the next speech, and that will be far more efficient, but it doesn’t exist in my mind until I hear it in a speech. Honestly, I'm probably writing comments during CF anyway, and am only halfway listening. That being said, I am NOT here for just not doing cross (usually GCF) and instead taking prep. Until the powers that be get rid of it, we are still doing GCF. Instead of just not wanting to do it, get better at it. Make it something that I should listen to.
8. Evidence citations
You should probably read the citations according to whatever the NSDA says, but I’m not likely to vote on any irregularities (e.g. no date of access) unless the abuses are proven to be especially egregious and substantive in the round.
9. Speaker points
See my policy on Speech Docs. If I were not making the choice to institute that policy, the following reflects my normal approach to speaks, and will still apply to how I evaluate within the 25-28 non-speech doc range, and within the 28-30 speech doc range. My normal reference point for “average” is 27.5. That’s where most everyone starts. My default is to evaluate on a scale with steps of 0.1, as opposed to steps of 0.5. Below a 25 means you did something offensive. A true 30.0 in HS debate (on a 0.1 scale) doesn’t exist. It is literally perfect. I can only think of 3 times I have ever given out a 29.6 or higher, and each of them were because of this next thing. My points are almost exclusively based on what you say, not how you say it. I strongly value making good, strategic choices, and those few exceptional scores I’ve given were all because of knowing what was important and going for it / impact framing it, and dumping the unnecessary stuff in the last half of the round.
10. Ask for additional thoughts on the topic
Even if you’ve read this whole thing, still ask me beforehand. I may have some specific thoughts relating to the topic at hand that could be useful.
Notice how I didn't say anything about that above, even though it's the first questions like half of kids ask? Basically, yes, I can handle your blazing speed. But it would still probably be a good idea to slow it down a little, Speed Racer. Quality > quantity. However, if you try to go fast and don't give a speech doc with cut cards before you start speaking, I will be very, VERY unhappy. The reason why policy teams can go as fast as they do is that they read a tag, which we as the audience can mentally process and flow, and then while they are reading the cite/text of the card, we have time to finish flowing the tag and listen for key warrants. The body of the card gives us a beat or two to collect ourself before we have to figure out what to write next. Just blitzing through cards without a tag (e.g. "Smith '22 warrants...") doesn't give us that tag to process first, and thus we have to actively search for what to flow. By the time we get it down, we have likely already missed your next "card." So, if you are going to try to go faster than a broadly acceptable PF pace, please have tags, cards, and speech docs. And if you try to speed through a bunch of blippy paraphrased "cards" without a doc, don't be surprised when we miss several of your turns. Basically, there is a way to do it right. Please do it that way, if you are going to try to go fast.
I debated for 4 years in high school (super old-school, talk-pretty policy), didn't debate in college, and have coached at the HS level for 20 years. I am currently the Head Coach at Campbell Hall in Los Angeles, and previously was an Assistant Coach at Washburn Rural in KS, and head coach at Fairmont Prep in Anaheim, CA, Ransom Everglades School, in Miami, and The Pembroke Hill School in KCMO. However, I don't judge too many policy rounds these days, so take that into account.
Generally, do what you do, as long as you do it well, and I'll be happy. I prefer big-picture impact framing where you do the comparative work for me. In general, I will tend to default to such analysis, because I want you to do the thinking in the round, not me. My better policy teams in the past where I was Head Coach read a great deal of ontology-based Ks (cap, Heidegger, etc), and they often make some level of sense to me, but I'm far from steeped in the literature. I'm happy to evaluate most of the normal disads & cps, but the three general classes of arguments that I usually find less persuasive are identity-based strategies that eschew the topic, politics disads, and to a lesser degree, performance-based arguments. But if any of those are your thing, I would in general prefer you do your thing well than try and do something else that you just aren't comfortable with. I'll go with the quality argument, even if it isn't my personal favorite. I'm not a fan of over-reliance on embedded clash, especially in overviews. I'd rather you put it on the line-by-line. I'm more likely to get it down on my flow and know how to apply it that way, and that's the type of debating I'll reward with higher speaks. Please be sure to be clear on your tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks. Hard numbering/”And’s” are appreciated, and if you need to, go a little slower on those tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks to be sure they are clear, distinct, and I get them. Again, effort to do so will be rewarded with higher speaks.
I generally think affs should have to defend the topic, and actually have some sort of plan text / identifiable statement of advocacy. There are very few "rules" of debate, thus allowing tons of leeway for debaters to choose arguments. But debating the topic is usually a pretty good idea in my mind, as most issues, even those relating to the practices and nature of our activity and inclusion therein, can usually still be discussed in the context of the topic. I rather strongly default to competing interpretations. I like to see T debates come down to specific abuse stories, how expanding or contracting limits functionally impacts competitive equity, and exactly what types of ground/args are lost/gained by competing interps (case lists are good for this in front of me). I usually buy the most important impact to T as fairness. T is an a priori issue for me, and K-ing T is a less than ideal strategy with me as your judge.
If you are going to go for it, go for it. I am unlikely to vote either way on theory via a blippy cheap-shot, unless the entire argument was conceded. But sometimes, for example, condo bad is the right strategic move for the 2AR. If it's done well, I won't hesitate to decide a round on it. Not a fan of multiple conditional worlds. With the notable exception of usually giving epistemology / ontology-based affs some flexibility on framework needing to come before particulars of implementation, I will vote Neg on reasonable SPEC arguments against policy affs. Affs should be able to articulate what their plan does, and how it works. (Read that you probably ought to have a plan into that prior statement, even if you are a K team.) For that reason, I also give Neg a fair amount of theoretical ground when it comes to process CPs against those affs. Severance is generally bad in my mind. Intrinsicness, less so.
Personally, I think a lot of the standard CPs are, in any type of real world sense, ridiculous. The 50 states have never worked together in the way envisioned by the CP. A constitutional convention to increase funding for whatever is laughable. An XO to create a major policy change is just silly (although over the last two administrations, that has become less so). All that being said, these are all legit arguments in the debate world, and I evaluate and vote on them all the time. I guess I just wish Affs were smart enough to realize how dumb and unlikely these args actually are, and would make more legit arguments based on pointing that out. However, I do like PICs, and enjoy a well thought out and deployed advantage CP.
Most topic-related disads are fine with me. Pretty standard on that. Just be sure to not leave gaping holes / assumptions in your link chains, and I'm OK. However, I generally don't like the politics disad. I would much rather hear a good senator specific politics scenario instead of the standard “President needs pol cap, plan’s unpopular” stuff, but even then, I'm not a fan. I'll still vote for it if that's what is winning the round, but I may not enjoy doing so. Just as a hint, it would be very easy to convince me that fiat solves for most politics link stories (and, yes, I understand this places me in the very small minority of judges), and I don't see nearly as much quality ground lost from the intrinsic perm against politics as most. Elections disads, though, don't have those same fiat-related issues, and are totally OK by me.
I don’t read the lit much, but in spite of that, I really kind of like most of the more "traditional" ontological Ks (cap, security, Heidegger, etc). To me, Ks are about the idea behind the argument, as opposed to pure technical proficiency & card dumping. Thus, the big picture explanation of why the K is "true," even if that is at the expense of reading a few more cards, would be valuable. Bringing through line-by-line case attacks in the 2NR to directly mitigate some of the Aff advantages is probably pretty smart. I think Negs set an artificially high burden for themselves when they completely drop case and only go for the K in the 2NR, as this means that they have to win 100% access to their “Alt solves the case” or framework args in order for the K to outweigh some super-sketchy and ridiculous, but functionally conceded, extinction scenario from the 1AC. K's based in a framework strategy tend to be more compelling in front of me than K's that rely on the alt to actually solve something (because, let's be honest here - they rarely do). Identity-related arguments are usually not the most compelling in front of me, and I tend to buy strategic attacks against them from the left as more persuasive than attacks from the right.
I understand that some teams are unbalanced in terms of skill/experience, and that's just the way it goes sometimes. I've coached many teams like that. But I do like to see if both debaters actually know what they are talking about. Thus, your speaks will probably go down if your partner is answering all of your cross-ex questions for you. It won’t impact my decision (I just want to know the answers), but it will impact speaks. Same goes for oral prompting. That being said, I am inclined to give a moderate boost to the person doing the heavy lifting in those cases, as long as they do it respectfully.
Parli is not my primary debate background, so I likely have an atypical paradigm for a parli judge that is influenced by my experiences coaching policy and circuit PF. Please adapt accordingly if you want to win my ballot.
First, I honestly don't care how you sound. I care about the arguments you make. Please, don't read that as an immediate excuse to engage in policy-style spreading (that level of speed doesn't translate super well to an event that is entirely analytics and doesn't have cards), but I will likely be more accustomed to and be able to handle debates that are faster than most of the HS parli rounds I have seen to date.
Two general things that I find annoying and unnecessary: 1) Introducing yourself at the top of each speech. I know who you are. Your name is on the ballot. That's all I need. This just seems to be an unnecessary practice designed to turn an 8 minute speech into a 7:30 speech. Forget the formalities, and just give me the content, please. 2) I don't need a countdown for when you start. We aren't launching a rocket into space or playing Mario Kart. Just start. I am a sentient enough being to figure out to hit the button on my timer when you begin talking.
I'll go speech by speech.
1st Gov: Spending the first minute or so explaining the background of the topic might be time well spent, just to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Please, if you have a contention-level argument, make sure it has some kind of terminal impact. If it isn't something that I can weigh at the end of the round, then why are you making the argument?
1st Opp: Same as above re: terminal impacts in case. Any refutations to the Aff case you would like me to evaluate at the end of the round need to be in this speech. That means you probably shouldn't get to the Aff case with only a minute or two left in the speech. If your partner attempts to make new refutations to the Aff case in the 2nd Opp, I won't evaluate them.
2nd Gov: Similar to the 1st Opp, any parts of your case that you want me to consider when making my decisions need to be explicitly extended in this speech. That includes all essential parts of an argument - link, internal link, and impact. Just saying "extend my Contention 2" is insufficient to accomplish this task. You will actually need to spend at least a modicum of time on each, in order for me to flow it through, in addition to answering any refutations that Opp has made on it in the prior speech. Considering that you will also need to spend some time refuting the Neg's newly introduced case, this means that you will likely NOT have time to extend all of your contentions. That's fine. Make a choice. Not all contentions are equally good. If you try to go for everything, you will likely not do anything well enough to make a compelling argument. Instead, pick your best one (or maybe two) and extend, rebuild, and impact it. Prioritizing arguments and making choices is an essential analytical skill this activity should teach. Making decisions in this fashion will be rewarded in both my decision-making at the end of the round, as well as in speaker points.
Opp Block: If you want me to evaluate any arguments in the these speeches, I need to be able to trace the responses/arguments back to the 1st Opp, except if they are new answers to case responses that could only have been made in the the 2nd Gov. For example, 2nd Gov makes refutations to the Opp's case. New responses to these arguments will be evaluated. However, to reiterate, I will absolutely NOT evaluate new refutations to Gov case in these speeches. Just as with the 2nd Gov, I also strongly advocate collapsing down to one contention-level impact story from your case and making it the crux of your narrative about how the debate should be decided. Trying to go for all three contentions you read in the 1st Gov is a great way to not develop any of those arguments well, and to leave me to pick whatever I happen to like best. I don't like judge intervention, which is why I want you to make those decisions for me by identifying the most important impact/argument on your side and focusing your time at the end of the round on it. Do my thinking for me. If you let me think, you may not like my decision.
Both Rebuttals: Listing a bunch of voters is a terrible way to debate. You are literally just giving me a menu of things I could vote on and hoping that I pick the one you want. You would be much better served in these speeches to focus in on one key impact story, and do extensive weighing analysis - either how it outweighs any/all of the other side's impacts, or if it is a value round, how it best meets the value framing of the debate. As I stated in the Opp Block section, please, do my thinking for me. Show that you can evaluate the relative worth of different arguments and make a decision based upon that evaluation. Refusing to do so tells me you have no idea which of your arguments is superior to the others, and thus you do not have a firm grasp on what is really happening in the round. Be brave. Make a choice. You will likely be rewarded for it. Also, there is very little reason to POO in these speeches. I keep a good enough flow to know when someone is introducing new arguments. If it is new, I won't evaluate it. I don't need you to call it out. I largely find it annoying.
Did PF & some Parli at VIP, NFALD at WKU
I coach for Campbell Hall
Policy (This applies to circuit LD as well):
Speed is fine
Not a huge fan of the k
I enjoy topicality debates
I enjoy theory debates
Finding cards should take under 30 seconds or its your prep (flash cases for perfect speaks).
If you disclose I'll give you really really high speaks
I'll evaluate most arguments barring anything offensive or insensitive. If you're unsure of what I mean by this or want to clarify anything ask me before the round.
Be nice to one another. Cross is optional if both teams agree to skip.
Please weigh, that's what the decision is based on, don't focus on the line-by-line in FF, instead explain why your impacts matter more than the other teams.
Parli: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not feel obligated to fill time if you're a beginner or just don't have 7 or 8 minutes worth of argumentation. I would much rather you give a 4-minute rebuttal than an 8-minute rebuttal where half of the speech is you just repeating the same things over and over again. Speed is cool so long as your opponents are fine with it. Any arguments will be evaluated unless they're discriminatory
Lemme know if you have any questions
Debated PF for Lakeville. I study Data Science at Wisconsin.
I’ll do my best to make the correct technical decision in every round. Feel free to contact/post round if you disagree with my decision.
I vastly prefer email chains to google docs - firstname.lastname@example.org
Read content warnings. Do not use expletives without a content warning.
Crossfire is bad. It is not binding, and I generally don't listen. Please use this time to ask legitimate clarifying questions.
I flow extensions and actually care about them being good.
Have cards. If I have to sift through a random article to find out what part of it you're talking about I'm likely to just pretend the argument is an analytic.
Warrants need to exist.
Frontline in second rebuttal.
Defense isn’t sticky. Some very rare exceptions.
Speed is fine. However, reading very quickly from paraphrased docs will tank your speaks and annoy me, if you intend on going fast the least you can do is read from cut cards. "Direct quotes" aren't cut cards.
Collapse to as few arguments as possible.
Voting where debaters tell me to vote >>> Voting where I personally think you messed up
I prefer debaters who call out their opponent’s mistakes.
If everyone is making mistakes, I generally try to give each side some risk of offense and attempt to vote off of clash/defense/weighing.
Given no other option I presume neg unless told otherwise.
How I resolve weighing
Absent comparison by debaters themselves:
I value well-warranted prereq, short circuit, and link-in arguments most.
For obvious reasons I prefer conceded, warranted, and comparative weighing.
I generally prefer weighing introduced earlier in the round.
I vote off the flow but it’s likely I don’t know the nuances of your specific category so break stuff down for me.
I would honestly prefer to judge a substance round. This being said:
I will vote for any argument you win and weigh. I’ve personally debated theory a lot more than Ks. Frivolous theory and tricks are usually bad and my threshold for responses is pretty low.
I personally think that disclosure is good, and paraphrasing is bad. In high school I read from cut cards in rebuttal, and open sourced disclosed. This doesn’t mean I will hack for these arguments.
RVI debates are annoying. You shouldn't win for being fair, but you should win if you sufficiently prove that the interp is net bad. Feel free to argue about this in round.
These people taught me debate:
Flex prep, skipping grand, off time road maps, informal clothing, etc. is chill.
I reserve the right to drop you for making the space unsafe.
I also reserve the right to drop you for blatantly violating NSDA or tournament rules. Fabricating or egregiously misrepresenting evidence is basically always an instant loss.
My flowing is very detailed. I write down the main concept of the arguments and refutations as well as what is said during the crossfires, as it helps me later make my decision.
As long as you enunciate well enough for me to understand, you can go as fast as you want to. If you don't, I might lose some of the things you said and not write it down.
Use the time of rebuttal to refute all the arguments of the opposite team. Once you're done with that, you can expand your arguments in the time left, not before.
Weigh your impacts and those of the opposite team, it lets me know why you should have my vote. You can do this throughout the debate, but it is a must during summary.
Aggressiveness, as long as you keep it respectful, is accepted.
But, most importantly, have fun!!
I debated public forum for 6 years from middle school to the end of HS at BC Academy.
Please read this paradigm carefully before so that we don't have delays. Assume that I will always be ready.
Zoom Specific: Yale people pls ignore :((
My campus's wifi is trash, I do advise you to disclose your case to me at email@example.com before the round actually starts. That's right -- add me to the email chains while you're at it! can handle up to 200 words per minute cuz you never know when my wifi will crash <3 , please send me your speech docs if you are planning to spread over my limit I know the online experience is quite different. If you have any technical difficulties hearing the other side please do not be afraid to intervene in the round by saying "clear". I don't care if your camera is off or not if your wifi is also like mine but turning it on is recommended to replicate the in-person debate experience to the largest extent Please try to wear headphones so that no one echos in the debate round -- my personal pet peeve!
I have a little bit of railway knowledge
My debate terminology is a little rusty. Progressive strategies might throw me off but I will try to understand it to the best of my abilities
I'm tech>truth, so make sure to call out sus cards in front of me (I will call for cards if this is notably important at the end of the round)
If you're saying something problematic/homophobic/anything along those matters, I automatically give you a 20 on speaker points
If you're rude and not professional, I deduct 1 speaker point every second you keep up the attitude until it reaches 20
If it takes you more than 5 minutes to get the card, you don't have the card (actually Yale requires me to be patient a little, so I'll just deduct prep time until u run out lol)
Preferably time yourselves, but don't abuse this - I'd rather focus on the flow/content
I will keep track of prep though, seen too many debaters tryna pull a fast one on me
Much as I like double drop theory for the entertainment factor, do not run this as the ballot doesn't allow me to do so
I consider defence sticky in the 1st summary
2nd rebuttal should frontline offence
extend in SS to be considered in FF I will not extend for you
impact weighing is a must for me in FF, weighing in summary is not required --> if you don't weigh, don't expect to win the round
please do the work for me. I do not like to build bridges or connect messy points together to flesh out what happened in the round nor like to artificially make clashes for debaters
Speaks: Ignore, Yale doesn't allow me to do so :((((
I know that even the smallest speak differences break your chances of even being in the top decile or even quartile, so I will be nice! If you make me laugh, you get an automatic +0.2 +0.1 for a pun attempt, +0.2 for a good pun attempt (my definition of good is skewed quite subjective) +0.2 for a NCT (Neo Culture Technology) reference - only the real ones know heh
MOST IMPORTANTLY HAVE FUN!!!! DEBATE IS NOT THE END NOR THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD
Seasoned ex-public forum debater. Currently a law school student and PF varsity coach.
1. I base my decision on the flow and impacts made. Meaning, if any arguments and cards are not extended properly, I will not do your work for you and extend them. I will drop them like its hot and in turn, vote against you. I cannot stress this enough, but please make an effort in making impacts in the debate. I appreciate impact calculus and impact magnitude. Weigh arguments against each other and make my job as a judge easy and do the work for me.
2. I'm good with speed but I don't do drugs. I uphold clarity over substance. If I don't understand you, then I won't flow your arguments. On the side note, I don't flow crossfire so if it's important, bring it up in a speech.
3. As far as framework goes, hit me with your best shot. As long as there is weighing in the round as to what and how I should be judging, I won't complain and I won't deter from the weighing mechanism. However, if there is no framework or weighing mechanism in the round, I will default to a cost benefit analysis and the impact flow. With the nature of this resolution this weighing mechanism is the most fair and easiest to utilize.
4. I appreciate evidence analysis in a debate but I absolutely do not appreciate the debate boiling down to just pieces of evidence. Give me your impacts. Evidence is only there to better what you are arguing--not be your argument. With that being said, I will also take a look at a piece of evidence if it becomes an issue in the round. If your evidence doesn't say what you said in the round--I will drop you like it's hot (x2). I don't run prep for evidence calls as long as no prep going on.
5. I want cohesion in speeches. Meaning, the summary and final focus should be cohesive as far as what the key impacts were in the round. I will not weigh an argument unless it is pulled through every speech. The beauty of public forum isn't just the resolutions or nature of debate but rather the partnership that comes with it. It's a partner event--work together.
6. Be civil. I appreciate assertiveness but there is a fine line between being assertive and being rude. I will drop you for being rude and uncivilized. Low speaks don't matter as long as you break but when it affects you breaking, then there is a sense of urgency. As Kendrick Lamar said, "[b]e humble."
I mainly judge public forum, and occasionally policy or congress.
The following is for Public Forum. Here’s what I expect:
1. Make sure you introduce yourselves before you start.
2. I expect all debaters to know the rules and be respectful to one another.
3. Debaters should keep track of their prep time and speech times but I may monitor them and time myself.
4. Be clear and communicate effectively (No spreading please). If I can't understand you, I will assume you don't know your topic.
5. Anything dropped in the round can not be responded to later in the debate.
6. Don’t read new cards in the Final Focus.
7. Do lots of weighing in the Summary and Final Focus; you should make it clear to me who won the round, I shouldn’t have to do the weighing myself.
1. Come prepared to round with a flash drive in case the WiFi is down and you can't email your speech docs.
2. Say which argument you are responding to before you read a card, and group arguments.
3. Don't read just evidence and expect me to interpret why they were said; make it clear what each card means in the context of the debate with analysis.
4. Do what you would do in a normal policy round- don't read floating pics and unreasonable theory shells against your opponents just because they or I don't know the rules as much as you.
5. I will be reading your speech docs but it would be wise for you to read at a speed at which I can clearly understand what you're saying.
6. Divide the neg block between your partner reasonably- for example you shouldn't be going both case and off case in each speech of the block.
7. Properly flow the round and be respectful to your partner and opponents by at least acting like your listening to their speeches. This will enable you to debate line-by-line rather than just using pre-made blocks that don't necessarily address the warrant of your opponent's arguments.
I am an ex a public forum debater from New Horizons Bilingual school in Dominican Republic and am currently in med school! I have quite a bit of debate experience (debated for 3 years) so I would really appreciate that you guys use technical debate terms/jargon throughout the round. I'll try to include as many details as possible but if you have any other questions feel free to ask. Remember the most important thing is that you try your best and have fun!!
- I can keep up with a pretty fast pace just make sure its understandable, but slow down when reading your impacts or numbers so I can get them all down.
- In your rebuttal I really would prefer a line by line approach but if you don't it wont hurt you.
- For summary please make sure to use impact calculus and explain to me why they apply to each individual issue. Make sure you really summarize for me what happened in the round and you start explaining to me why your'e winning each point but please don't just make it another rebuttal that'll make your speaks lower...
- On that same note do not mention any arguments in final focus that you didn't extend through summary. If I hear something not mentioned in summary in final focus, i'll just stop flowing.
- In final focus, same thing as summary don't just refute everything again. This your chance to really grab my attention and tell me why your'e winning. Make it priority to get all the voting issues across. Flat out tell me what they are and how you won them. If you don't tell me the voting issues i'll default to what I think they are.
- On evidence, I really don't care if you ask for it but if you ask for a new piece every 5 secs i'll probably get annoyed and lower your speaks. With that being said, if you debate over a card for a while i'll ask for it at the end and use that for my decision.
- I will ALWAYS keep time, but do as well try your best to NOT leave more than or go over 3 seconds. In cross, if you go over time just finish your sentence (briefly) don't waste time by asking me.
- Make it a priority to have a framework... it really does define the round but you wont lose the round for not having one if you can win under the opposing teams.
- I love a fiery crossfire but if you're rude you'll lose speakers, and if you're just plain disrespectful ( racist/homophobic/xenophobic etc.) you're automatically losing the round.
- If you make me laugh, bring me coffee, or reference Grey's Anatomy your speaker points will be boosted:)
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PARLI PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. I have judged parli less than other formats, but my parli judging includes several NPDA tournaments, including two NPDA national tournaments, and most recent NPDI tournaments. Speed is fine, as are all sorts of theoretical, Kritikal, and playfully counterintuitive arguments. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. I do not default to competing interpretations, though if you win that standard I will go there. Redundant, blippy theory goo is irritating. I have a fairly high threshold for deciding that an argument is abusive. Once upon a time people though I was a topicality hack, and I am still more willing to pull the trigger on that argument than on other theoretical considerations. The texts of advocacies are binding; slow down for these, as necessary.
I was trained in formats where the judge can be counted on to ignore new arguments in late speeches, so I am sometimes annoyed by POOs, especially when they resemble psychological warfare.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about The Economy. "Helps The Economy" is not an impact. Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase?
When I operate inside a world of fiat, I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. "Fiat is an illusion" is not exactly breaking news; you definitely don't have to debate in that world. I'm receptive to "the role of the ballot is intellectual endorsement of xxx" and other pre/not-fiat world considerations.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA PF PARADIGM
I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. Speed is fine. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. At various times I have voted (admittedly, in policy) for smoking tobacco good, Ayn Rand Is Our Savior, Scientology Good, dancing and drumming trumps topicality, and Reagan-leads-to-Communism-and-Communism-is-good. (I disliked all of these positions.)
If an argument is in final focus, it should be in summary; if it's in summary, it should be in rebuttal,. I am very stingy regarding new responses in final focus. Saying something for the first time in grand cross does not legitimize its presence in final focus.
NSDA standards demand dates out loud on all evidence. That is a good standard; you must do that. I am giving up on getting people to indicate qualifications out loud, but I am very concerned about evidence standards in PF (improving, but still not good). I will bristle and/or throw my pen if I hear "according to Princeton" as a citation. Know who your authors are; know what their articles say; know their warrants.
Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about a nebulosity called "The Economy." Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase? When I consider which makes the world a better place, I will be looking for prevention of unnecessary death and/or disease, who lifts people out of poverty, who lessens the risk of war, who prevents gross human rights violations. I'm also receptive to well-developed framework arguments that may direct me to some different decision calculus.
LES PHILLIPS NUEVA LD PARADIGM
For years I coached and judged fast circuit LD, but I have not judged LD since 2013, and I have not coached on the current topic at all. Top speed, even if you're clear, may challenge me; lack of clarity will be very unfortunate. I try to be a blank slate (like all judges, I will fail to meet this goal entirely). I like the K, though I get frustrated when I don't know what the alternative is (REJECT is an OK alternative, if that's what you want to do). I have a very high bar for rejecting a dcebater rather than an argument, and I do not default to competing interpretations; I would like to hear a clear abuse story. I am generally permissive in re counterplan competitiveness and perm legitimacy. RVIs are OK if the abuse is clear, but if you would do just as well to simply tell me why the opponent's argument is garbage, that would be appreciated.
I work in the Technology Sector in the Bay Area. I judge for Dougherty Valley, and though I am quite novice at judging, I have watched a lot of rounds and have a good understanding of the format and logistics.
As a heads-up, I plan to take notes during the debate, but it is better if you treat me as a "lay" judge.
I have a good amount of general knowledge on the topics provided for these events, but may not know the specifics of your topic.
a) Speak loudly and clearly. Please no "spreading". I will not be able to understand what you are saying, so speaking slower will allow me to process your arguments more clearly.
b) Be polite and fair to your opponent. If you are outright rude (ie. yelling, mocking, laughing, cutting opponents off) you will not get good speaks. Also, please note that team work is key and I find that the best debaters can work together efficiently.
c) Explain arguments thoroughly. Remember I do have some background in topics but not in debate so terms such as "uniqueness" should be more elaborated upon. Another important aspect is organization so try to state clearly what you will be talking about. (ie. Next, lets talk about the first contention.)
I will try to be as fair as possible and explain my decision in the best way I can using the above criterion as well as the debate itself. I will not carry personal biases into the round.
I will vote for the team that explains their warrants and why their impacts matter to me.
If your arguments are too complicated to be understood by the average person, then I will probably be less likely to vote for you.
Additionally, presentation will probably also influence my decision. Be confident, if you make it seem like you are losing then I will think that.
I expect teams to time their speeches themselves. But, if you want me to time, I can do that as well.
If you think that I should look at your/your opponent's evidence, please let me know.
Glenbrooks 2022 Congress Paradigm:
I am in the Congress pool this weekend - here are my current thoughts on Congressional Debate.
I am currently the Director of Speech and Debate at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas and have been coaching at SLHS since August 2020. Last year, I coached 3 TFA State finalists including a 3rd place winner, 4th and 6th places at NSDA Nationals in the House, and many students who have earned multiple TOC bids. I say this to tell you that I enjoy Congress a great deal when done well. I enjoy coaching my Congress squad a bunch. Bad Congress, however, is among the worst things that one could be subjected to.
The primary factor in my ranks is whether your speeches and questions moved the debate on a particular item of legislation forward. This can include but is not necessarily limited to:
1) Introducing well-researched and presented constructive arguments in early cycle speeches;
2) Adding additional, new information to develop a point presented by a prior speaker and weigh an argument during middle cycle speeches (rather than restating a prior speaker's argument under the guise of "expanding on" or "illustrating" or "quantifying" something); or,
3) Synthesizing and comparing arguments made by other speakers to present a cohesive picture of whether to pass or defeat a piece of legislation at the end of debate on an item.
I highly, highly value clash and argument synthesis. Too many Congress rounds become debaters talking past each other without explaining why, overall, a bill should be passed or defeated. Every single speech should engage in the arguments of a prior speaker. You should think of yourself as "working with" the speakers on your side to advance your position on the bill against the set of speakers from the other side.
I believe the reason many Congress speeches suffer is because they run away from the burden to interact with the debate that is happening on the floor: either through introducing new constructive arguments that simply do not have a substantial impact compared to existing arguments, or not engaging with the content of prior speakers.
I value content more than other judges (my debaters would say far more), but delivery is still a factor in my ranks. If you are making a good argument based on good evidence, I am more inclined to overlook certain delivery issues that other judges may find more problematic. I think arguments in Congress often stop at the claim level and are not deeply warranted: going more in depth at the warrant level beyond one statistic or one supporting argument is necessary to achieve a high rank in most chambers.
I think Congress chambers need to get more comfortable calling to question and moving on much sooner than many do, debating more bills with fewer cycles of debate on each bill. The current “base two” trend of “everyone is going to speak twice on two bills and then we’re done” is not good for the activity: preset precedence reigns supreme, and there are many bills that should only have a few cycles of debate, not 10. Legislators who attempt to move away from that model (i.e., by calling to question, by recommending a docket of more than 2 items, etc.) will be rewarded in my ranks. I am terminally unpersuaded by people who believe it is "more fair" to let somebody who hasn't spoken give the 9th affirmative speech - I can almost guarantee that speech will not add anything new to the debate and that speaker would be far better served by waiting for the next item and giving an early cycle speech on that one.
I get very annoyed with chambers who call multiple recesses because they are unprepared – in scenarios where people are reluctant to give speeches, I will heavily, heavily reward people that are prepared to debate, even if their speeches are technically worse than other people who waited to speak. To be clear: if nobody is prepared to give a sponsorship or first negative speech, and you volunteer to give that speech (even if it is technically a bit worse), you will dramatically improve in my rankings, perhaps over other speakers that may be technically more proficient once they decide to speak.
Please keep direct questioning civil and productive. There's no need to yell at or attempt to talk over each other. I pay attention to questioning and expect you to participate but it is not the largest factor in my ranks.
I will rank the PO provided they do not catastrophically err in their performance. The PO's job is to facilitate as much debate as possible in as fair of a manner as possible. POs who do well to achieve that end will be ranked more highly than POs who don't. An average PO will generally get a rank of around 4 or 5 from me. The PO will improve in their rankings if debate in the chamber is bad, if they have consistent and clear signals and procedures for speakers, questioners, and motions, and if they minimize delays or mistakes in recognizing the next speaker and questioner. I know and understand parliamentary procedure: i.e., amendments, particular motions, etc., and will reward POs who do too. The PO will be harmed if there are many excellent speakers in the chamber which make it more difficult for them to stand out, or procedures are inconsistent, unclear, or do not align with parliamentary procedure. I will keep my own precedence sheet while judging for both speakers and questioners and pay attention for errors. The PO's candidacy speech, the results of PO elections, and other more ceremonial aspects of the PO's role generally play little to no role in my ranking at the end of the chamber.
I debated LD for Hunter College High School for four years and recently graduated from Pomona. I went to TOC a few times and reached finals my senior year. I graduated in 2017. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org—put me on the email chain! If you have questions, feel free to email me or ask before round.
TLDR; please weigh (a lot), one good argument > four blippy arguments, be nice to your opponent!
Hi PF! I have coached LD in various places. I now coach PF for Oakwood. I will try to adapt to PF norms for judging, though my LD background will inform how I perceive rounds. I prefer to do as little work for debaters as possible. The best debaters will write my ballot for me.
TLDR; I have a high threshold for warrants and extensions. I'll vote on policy style extinction scenarios if done well, but they're often executed poorly—be sure you can tell a clear story with warrants in later speeches.
- Send speech docs before your speeches; if you paraphrase, include all the cards at the bottom of the doc.
- The best final speeches have a clear narrative arc/story of your impact scenario with many kinds of weighing—i.e., don't just say that nuclear war is worse than poverty—you should also have a number of arguments comparing your/your opponent's internal links. Extend warrants into final focus.
- People in PF have started to read LD/policy type arguments with long link chains. Often, these arguments don't have proper uniqueness/link/impact. If you can't tell a clear story establishing a brink for impacts that would require a brink, it will be hard to get me to vote on these arguments against something with a clearer narrative. I also tend to find these arguments unpersuasive since the strength of link to your terminal impact is always pretty low, and often some of the links are barely warranted. You can execute this well, but be cautious that the links are well-articulated.
- I have a lot of trouble with signposting in PF. Be extra clear about where you are on the flow at all times. I tend to miss card names, so don't use those to signpost. If you're spreading, slow down more.
- Be as explicit as possible with things like weighing.
- I won't vote for arguments that I don't understand or arguments that are clearly unwarranted. I believe I have a somewhat high threshold for what counts as a warrant—one sentence cards usually aren't enough.
- I'm relatively technical, but I am less inclined to vote for you're not persuasive
- I do not understand how the economy works..... if you're using technical economic terms please explain what they mean! And be extra-extra explicit about how you reach your impacts. Examples help.
Evidence exchange takes much too long. If the round takes over an 1 hr 10 min due to evidence exchange, speaks are capped at a 27.5. If one team sends their evidence before every speech, this only applies to the other team. If one team seems to excessively ask for evidence, this rule will only affect the speaks of the other team.
- I can flow spreading, but I'd rather not and I'll probably miss things—especially if you don't send speech docs/make 1-2 line arguments. Use spreading as an opportunity to make more in-depth arguments, rather than spewing blips
- I will not intervene unless I believe you are engaging in a practice that excludes your opponent—for example, reading theory against novices/a team that clearly doesn't know what theory is, particularly if the arguments are frivolous. Use your judgment & debate with the best intentions.
- I will vote on kritiks that are executed correctly, but please make an effort to ensure your opponent understands your positions and err towards over-explanation. Kritiks should be disclosed
- If both teams seem to want to have a theory/k/etc. debate, then I will evaluate this argument as if it is an LD round. If you miss necessary argument components, that's on you—e.g., I won't pretend you read a theory voter if you did not
- Good, true arguments > highly technical bad arguments
- If you read disclosure theory and don't disclose your disclosure theory shell, you should lose, though your opponent must point this out.
- I have a low threshold for ev ethics violations. If you think your opponent did something bad, they probably did. Feel free to stop the round, or make a brief argument explaining the violation, and I'll vote on it if I think the violation is clear. You can read a full theory shell if you want to, but it's not necessary
- Things that are bad: clipping, miscutting, misattributing evidence, broken links, changing the meaning of the cards with brackets, lying, not reading things that change the meaning of the evidence, etc.
I’ll vote on anything as long as it is warranted. Although I debated a certain way, I would much rather see you do what you do best than to try to adapt to what you think I want. I’ll try to evaluate the round in the way I think the debaters see it, so I’ll do my best to avoid defaulting either way on any particular issue. My biggest preference is just for intelligent well-thought out arguments, whether that's a kritik, a plan aff or a framework. That said, here are my preferences:
- Please please please do not be late :(
- Full disclosure: if you send me your Aff, I'm probably just gonna back flow it later and zone out during the AC . So if you're extemping things in the aff (idrk why people do this...if ur opponent will have a hard time flowing, I will too) give me a heads up
- The biggest reason people lose in front of me is because they do not explicitly weigh. WEIGH WEIGH WEIGH WEIGH WEIGH, PLEASE, OR ELSE I WILL HAVE TO INTERVENE. And then we will all be sad. If you do not weigh in your speech, and then you lose, that is on you.
- Prep time ends when your flash drive leaves your computer or when you email your opponent
- I have a high threshold for extensions if your arguments are contested or if you're doing any interaction between the arguments you're extending and your opponents. It’s not enough to say “extend the aff” or “extend advantage one” — you need to articulate some warrant so I know what specifically you’re extending. If you don’t explicitly extend offense in the last speech, I won’t vote for you.
- I reserve the right to not vote for arguments that I don’t understand/that are not warranted. Your opponent shouldn’t lose for dropping an incoherent sentence with no justification
- I won’t vote for any responses to arguments that are new in later speeches, even if your opponent doesn’t point it out
- I’ll vote you down if you say anything actively racist/sexist/homophobic etc.
- I’ll time your speech — if you go over time (besides if you finish a sentence), I’ll discount your arguments even if your opponent doesn’t point it out
- I think embedded clash is good — you can make arguments that say otherwise and I’ll evaluate them, but that’s my default
- It's really hard to flow spreading on Zoom. I'll yell clear, but if I have to say it more than a couple of times I am missing arguments you've made and I won't fill in the blanks
- If paradigm issues are conceded, you don’t have to extend them
- I strongly dislike offensive spikes, but I’ll vote on them if there’s a warrant and the argument is conceded. Just know your speaks will suffer.
- Slow down for interps/counterinterps
- If someone reads theory in the 1a/1nc without an implication it’s enough to say “don’t vote on it — there’s no implication” and I won't — you can't then read voters in the next speech. However, if there's no voter and no one points that out and acts like theory is drop the debater, I'll vote on it
- I prefer well justified syllogisms to super blippy fw preclusion arguments
- Please weigh
- I think people think I don't like Ks?? This is not true. Kritiks, run well, are one of my favorite kinds of arguments. I'm pretty familiar with most K lit, with the exception of POMO stuff, so please go slower if you’re reading something super dense. If I have no idea what you’re talking about, I won’t vote for you. Concrete examples are always good.
- My defaults for kritiks are the same as other positions, which is: please weigh, and please be explicit with interactions. Don't expect me to know what arguments your position takes out without an explicit implication. (I.e. you have to say, this takes out theory, and why).
Things that will get you high speaks
- Innovative and interesting arguments that you’re clearly knowledgeable about
- Good strategies
- Using CX effectively
- High argument quality
- Good overviews/crystallization
- Good case debate. Please don't drop the aff!!!!
Things that will get you low speaks:
- not disclosing
- being shifty
- lots of spikes/blippy arguments
- super generic dumps (especially on K v theory debates)
- clearly not understanding your own positions
- being mean to a novice/someone clearly worse than you. You don’t have to debate down, just don’t be rude and go slower so that the round is educational for everyone
- academic dishonesty
-Clarity is key. I get it – you have four minutes and the temptation to speed read through as much evidence as possible is overwhelming. But in my opinion, burying your opponents in cards they can’t follow – and thus cannot properly respond to – is not debate. Enunciation and inflection in your speaking will also help clarify your points.
-I may put my hand up during your speech as an indication that you should slow down – I will try not to, as I know this can throw you off, but I will if I am genuinely unable to follow your arguments.
-Another big point: respect your opponents (and your partner). You can be assertive without yelling, badgering, or putting someone else down. I will not tolerate any racist, homophobic, sexist, or ableist actions or arguments in these rounds.
-In your constructive, I care about the quality of your contentions over the quantity. I would rather see a few contentions that are well-supported by a lot of research from multiple, respectable sources than many poorly supported contentions and subpoints.
-I also care about seeing a clear link chain, where you analyze how each piece of evidence supports and builds your argument. Please don’t just throw sources together and call it a day – I like hearing your own (brilliant) analysis :)
-Please clearly impact your points! Super important for me when weighing the round is whether you can still access your impacts and what the magnitude of those impacts are.
-Please try to cover as much of your opponent’s speech as you can in your rebuttals – it’s more important to me that you fully address your opponent’s arguments than that you “go back to your own speech” and defend your own constructive.
-Start narrowing down the debate to voters in your summary. This is the speech where I want to see responses to rebuttal arguments/attacks on your contentions raised by the other side.
-If you don’t have a question during CX, don’t be afraid to ask a clarifying question.
i have a daughter who debates so I have a little bit of knowledge on the topic
send me your constructive beforehand so I can follow along, I can not keep up with the fast speed (email@example.com)
- in-experienced parent judge
- speak slow and clearly
- english is not my first language
- i am new to judging
- please do not argue with my decision, I may lower your speaker points.
- please time yourself and your opponents, I may time sometimes.
- i do not take many notes, i follow the main idea
PF Paradigm 2022-23 Season:
I consider myself tech>truth but I have been approaching a closer equilibrium between the two lately due to the poor state of evidence ethics, power tagging, clipping, and more. Further, I know stakes can be high in a bubble, bid, or important round but let's still come out of the debate feeling as if it was a positive experience. The complexity and dynamic nature of debate can be so rewarding and equally thrilling. But if you pair that with inflexibility, curtness, or even acrimony the debate devolves into a Pyrrhic victory at best for you and a painful experience for us all. Life is too short for needless suffering. Please be kind, compassionate, and cordial.
GPC: Florida Blue Key/Glenbrooks/La Costa
Lot's of docbots on this topic. Don't just read backfiles/block docs and think that's a speech. Implicate every response explicitly and connect it to your opponent's speech or your partner's. If they are running "ukraine-russia" and you just read "a2 ukraine-russia" without doing comparative analysis on why your a2 has better evidence, warranting, or interacts with those responses you are not moving the debate forward. For example, "start off on their link evidence. Their Smith 22 card claims that Russia's primary motivation in invading Ukraine was retaliation against US-Nato Expansionism. This is wrong for two reasons. Our Jones card from last month specifically highlights two motivations that matter to Russian domestic politics more and thus make GPC a none issue or the alt causes more likely. Black Sea access and ethnic Tartars. These effect Putin's power in the kremlin more because.... x.... our evidence postdates their because y... our evidence is better because it looks at 15 years of Russian moves in the region... our evidence is better because our author is a Kremlinologist for 40 years.... our warranting is more intuitive because z." Give me something y'all. I feel like people are just reading docs they didn't even write and there is no work being done in the round.
2022 Fall Stats Update: Importing my Tabroom data I've judged 612 rounds since 2014 with a 54% Pro and 46% Con balance. There may a slight subconscious Aff bias it seems. My guess is that I may subconsciously give more weight to changing the status quo as that's the core motivator of debate.
- What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but also when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot.
- Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools but it's less likely I will defer to nuclear war, try or die, etc on the risk of magnitude. Probability over magnitude debates unless I'm given well warranted, carded, and convincing framework analysis to prefer the latter.
- Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
- Don't be a DocBot: I love that you're prepared and have enumerated overviews, blocks, and frontlines. I love heavy evidence and dense debates with a lot of moving parts. But if it sounds like you're just reading a doc without specific or explicit implications to your opponent's contention you are not contributing anything meaningful to the round. Tell me why your responses interact. If they are reading an arg about the environment and just read an A2 Environment Non-Unique without explaining why your evidence or warranting is better then this debate will suffer.
- I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical, theoretical, and/or pre-fiat based roads. I think framework debates be them pre or post fiat are awesome. Voted on many K's before too. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become increasingly tired of opportunistic, poor quality, and unfleshed out theory in PF. I used to have an essay about my doubts on three major theory arguments but moved it to the bottom of you want to read why. TL;DR: I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. I am more skeptical of paraphrasing theory than disclosure theory. Lastly, if you look back at the last 31 rounds or so I've judged with theory as the primary voter I've probably only voted for the team who introduced theory in the round 6 of 31 rounds. Meaning I vote for theory 19% of the time when it's the voter. Take that as you will. All variables being equal I would prefer post-fiat stock topic specific rounds but in principle remain as tabula rasa as I can.
- What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time. If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
- Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
- DA's in general or second rebuttal? You mean the borderline new contentions you are trying to introduce in the round that are tentatively linked at BEST to the existing arguments in the round order to time skew/spread your opponents thin? Don't push it too much.
- I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
- Calling for your opponent's cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Do preflows before the round. Smh y'all.
- If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear or provide speech docs to your opponents to allow for accessibility and accommodation.
- My favorite question in cx is: Why? For example, "No I get that's what your evidence says but why?"
- My favorite phrase in debate is: "Prefer our warrant or evidence" or "comparing our warrants you prefer ours because..."
- Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me! [Before covid times this was prophetic]
- If you need to email for a chain or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at the Oxford Debate Union
Coaching Experience: 12 years of coaching, instructor at 14 debate camps, debate camp director, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, Director of Debate at Fairmont 2018-Current, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, Capitol 2016-2018, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach and lecturer for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.
Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Law & Religion - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment - Majored in Religion and Philosophy at DU '14. Other research areas of familiarity include Buddhism, comparative religion, sociology of religion, First Amendment law, free speech, freedom of expression, art law, media law, & SCOTUS history.
Ramblings on Theory
Let me explain why I am writing this. This isn't because I'm right and you're wrong. I'm not trying to convince you. Nor should you cite this formally in round to win said round. Rather, a lot of you care so much about debate and theory in particular gets pretty personal fairly quickly that I want to explain why my hesitancy isn't personal to you either. I am not opposing theory as someone who is opposed to change in Public Forum.
- First, I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. My grad school research and longstanding work outside of debate has tracked how queer, civil rights advocates, religious minorities, and political dissidents have been extensively censored over time through structural means. The suppression and elimination of critical race theory and BLM from schools and universities is an extension of this. I have found it very difficult to be tabula rasa on this issue. TW/anonymous opt outs are welcome if you so wish to include them, that is your prerogative, but like I said the lack of one is not a debate I can be fair on. Let me be clear. I do not dismiss that "triggers" are real. I do not deny your lived experience on face nor claim all of you are, or even a a significant number of you, are acting in bad faith. This is always about balancing tests. My entire academic research for over 8 years was about how structural oppressors abuse these frameworks of "sin," "harm," "other," to squash dissidents, silence suffragettes, hose civil rights marchers, and imprison queer people because of the "present danger they presented in their conduct or speech." I also understand that some folks in the literature circles claim there is a double bind. You are opting out of trigger warning debates but you aren't letting me opt out of debates I don't want to have either. First, I will never not listen to or engage in this debate. My discouragement above is rooted in my deep fear that I will let you down because I can't be as fair as I would be on another issue. I tell students all the time tabula rasa is a myth. I still think that. It's a goal we strive for to minimize intervention because we will never eliminate it. Second, I welcome teams to still offer tw and will not penalize you for doing so. Third, discussions on SV, intersectionality, and civil rights are always about trade offs. Maybe times will change but historically more oppression, suppression, and suffering has come from the abuse of the your "speech does me harm" principle than it benefits good faith social justice champions who want to create a safe space and a better place. If you want to discuss this empirical question (because dang there are so many sources and this is an appeal to my authority) I would love to chat about it.
Next, let me explain some specific reasons why I am resistant to TW theory in debate using terms we use in the literature. There is a longstanding historical, philosophical, and queer/critical theory concern on gatekeeper shift. If we begin drawing more and more abstract lines in terms of what content causes enough or certain "harm" that power can and will be co-opted and abused by the equally more powerful. Imagine if you had control over what speech was permitted versus your polar opposite actor in values. Now imagine they, via structural means, could begin to control that power for themselves only. In the last 250 years of the US alone I can prove more instances than not where this gatekeeping power was abused by government and powerful actors alike. I am told since this has changed in the last twenty years with societal movements so should we. I don't think we have changed that significantly. Just this year MAUS, a comic about the Holocaust, was banned in a municipality in Jan 22. Toni Morrison was banned from more than a dozen school districts in 2021 alone. PEN, which is a free press and speech org, tracked more than 125 bills, policies, or resolutions alone this year that banned queer, black, feminist, material be them books, films, or even topics in classrooms, libraries, and universities. Even in some of the bills passed and proposed the language being used is under the guise of causing "discomfort." "Sexuality" and discussions of certain civil rights topics is stricken from lesson plans all together under these frameworks. These trends now and then are alarming.
I also understand this could be minimizing the trauma you relive when a specific topic or graphic description is read in round. I again do not deny your experience on face ever. I just cannot comfortably see that framework co-opted and abused to suppress the mechanisms or values of equality and equity. So are you, Gabe, saying because the other actors steal a tool and abuse that tool it shouldn't be used for our shared common goals? Yes, if the powerful abuse that tool and it does more harm to the arc of history as it bends towards justice than I am going to oppose it. This can be a Heckler's Veto, Assassin's Veto, Poisoning The Well, whatever you want to call it. Even in debate I have seen screenshots of actual men discussing how they would always pick the opt out because they don't want to "debate girls on women issues in front of a girl judge." This is of course likely an incredibly small group but I am tired of seeing queer, feminist, or critical race theory based arguments being punted because of common terms or non-graphic descriptions. Those debates can be so enriching to the community and their absence means we are structurally disadvantaged with real world consequences that I think outweigh the impacts usually levied against this arg. I will defend this line for the powerless and will do so until I die.
All of these above claims are neither syllogisms or encyclopedias of events. I am fallible and so are those arguments. Hence let us debate this but just know my thoughts.
- I am more skeptical of paraphrasing theory than disclosure theory. On the former, I am sympathetic and have seen myself countless times how "full text" cases are equally capable of being miscut and clipped. Theoretically there is a possible debate on paraphrasing facilitating abuse easier and there could be a good trade off theory debate had but rarely do I see that done well. On the latter, I am more open to a disclosure theory debate but still remain more resistant than most flow judges to engaging this argument. I will be especially incredulous of your theory argument if I discover your application of theory is principally inconsistent. For example, you are running disclosure or paraphrasing theory against one team for violating but not another team who violated (assuming both judges would have equally been receptive.) There may be other extenuating circumstances that explain the discrepancy in application but they need to be addressed.
I am getting better on disclosure theory but let me explain some of my concerns based on anecdotal experiences being in PF for 15 years. For one I have probably judged more rounds than you if you're a competitor. 545 by January 2022. Not a flex but just a survey of what's going on in the circuit. There were actual tournaments last year where more than half of the rounds had cases or arguments exclusively from one or two teams. That's not bad on face. The problem was the vast majority of the debaters using them didn't even understand the cards in a nuanced way to even explain them. I am sorry but if you are one of the top teams in the country a novice or team who wants better arguments are likely to defer to you in trust. The issue was that some of the cards were miscut or extremely powertagged. I thought the wiki was supposed to solve power tagging and evidence ethics? I saw so few indicts or evidence comparison. For example, there was in infamous card from a January topic last year where it was from the copy of the bottom of a corporate blog with no date, warrant, author but I saw it in probably 66% of rounds on the topic. No one interrogated the source that well except for maybe two rounds and the stamp of approval from being on a prominent wiki let it just proliferate more. The wiki didn't solve this problem at all. I think we are getting better I hope. I don't think any serious disclosure team denies this could be a problem but they argue that as a whole putting more evidence on the wiki means more fairness and education for all. I wish someone could start doing analysis on how many more teams are on the wiki, number of cards, etc. I just would like to look at data because I think the competing warrants are strong and need something outside of my experiences to validate said warranting.
I am most suspicious of paraphrase theory because virtually every single round I judge with full text I would question if even the full text is cut appropriately. You selecting words while omitting others means you are actively deciding which ones not to read. Just because you are using some of the exact words in an excerpt but still deciding which ones to include to me is barely different than paraphrasing. I think it means it'ss relatively harder to abuse evidence but not by much. If anything I think full text cards are called for less and overtime have become "power cut."
Like in my disclaimer on the other theory shell none of these arguments are truisms just my inner and honest thoughts to help you make strategic decisions in the round.
I am an engineering graduate and a Software/IT professional. I used to participate in debates and oratorical competitions during my school years. So, I bring in lot of respect and passion for Speech and Debate.
I'm a parent judge and this is my first tournament judging. Please don't go too fast and explain your arguments well.
Requesting to keep track of your own time during the round including prep and speeches.
I don't evaluate progressive arguments so please don't read them unless there is explicit cheating involved.
If evidence or facts are not real/accurate, it will affect speaker points.
All the Best and keep it cool.
1. Ask Rahi Kotadia.
2. If you aren't sure refer to rule number 1.
Jokes aside I can handle anything pfers got. (I will tank speaks and reserve the right to drop you if you do something icky though)
I know most pfers don't read long paradigms so imma keep it sweet and short.
I did pf for Dougherty Valley and was decent at it for 4 years. TOC nats the whole shebang
I will only vote off args in ff, I will not evaluate args not extended in summary. Is a blip an argument? refer to rule number 2.
I picked up college Parli so I can evaluate theory args (Fw, T, random shells) and most common Ks (cap, set col, mil) . (if you do read a K please read it correctly). I do not have experience w stuff like Baudrillard and Nietzche. If you think your K is weird refer to rule number 2.
CI>R unless told otherwise, condo good unless told otherwise, gimme a ROB.
Unlike Rahi I will not intervene and I vote purely off the flow.
Its been a year since I last did parli, so If you will be spreading I reserve the right to yell clear if you are unclear.
Also please give me a proper off time road map/tell me what papers to put on top of each other.
PLEASE PREFLOW BEFORE YOU REACH ROUND.
READING CARDS IS ON PREP TIME. IF YOU TAKE TOO LONG TO SEND EV I WILL START YOUR PREP TIME.
Add me on the email chain email@example.com. (I don't read ev unless someone explicitly tells me to and extends it into FF)
The Blake School (Minneapolis, MN) I am the director of debate where I teach communication and coach Public Forum and World Schools. I also coach the USA Development Team and Team USA in World Schools Debate.
Some aspects that are critical for me
1) Be nice and respectful. Try to not talk over people. Share time in crossfire periods. Words matter, think about what you say about other people. Attack their arguments and not the people you debate.
2) Arguments must be extended in each speech. This idea of "sticky defense" and not answering arguments in the second rebuttal doesn't understand how debate works. A debater can only make strategic choices about their speech if they base it on what was said in the speech previous to them.
3) Read evidence. I don't accept paraphrasing -- this is an oral activity. If you are quoting an authority, then quote the authority. A debater should not have to play "wack a mole" to find the evidence you are using poorly. Read a tag and then quote the card, that allows your opponent to figure out if you are accurately quoting the author or over-claiming the evidence.
4) Have your evidence ready. If an opponent asks for a piece of evidence you should be able to produce it in about 60 seconds. At two minutes or so, I'm going to just say the evidence doesn't count in the round because you can't produce it. If I say the card doesn't count then the card doesn't count in the round. If you say you can't produce the card then you risk losing. That is called fabrication to cite evidence and then not be able to produce it. If I ask for a card after the round and you can't produce it, again you risk losing the round. Good evidence practices are critical if this format is to rely on citing authorities.
5) I tend to be a policymaker. If there is no offense against trying a new policy then I suggest we try the new policy as it can't hurt to try. Offense is important for both sides.
6) Use voting issues format in summary and final focus. Learn that this allows a clear story and weighing. A voting issue format includes links, impacts, and weighing and provides clarity to just "our case/their case". You are still doing the voting issues on "their flow" or "our flow".
7) Lead with labels/arguments and NOT authors. Number your arguments. For example, 1) Turn UBI increases wage negotiation -- Jones in 2019 states "quote"
8) Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.
Enjoy the debate and learn from this activity, it is a great one.
Former policy debater, recent PF coach and judge, new policy coach and judge. Email chains to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overview - 1) Because I haven't judged meaningful policy rounds in a while (as of Jack Howe 2021), I'm not really familiar with modern off-case arguments; 2) That said, run what you want to run and makes you happy; 3) I'm open to most arguments, but due to lack of familiarity with modern arguments (esp. arguments that address the superstructure of debate or the phenomenology of discourse) I need the debaters to execute the arguments completely, i.e., to an RFD...I thank you now; 4) I have no redlines regarding arguments except for ones based on bigotry, mostly b/c you have to listen to the argument before judging it; 5) I'm highly skeptical of conspiracy theories b/c they're stupid and dangerous, and I can be easily persuaded to ignore them or give completely executed turns; 6) Evidence is central to policy debate b/c evidence is central to probability and quantification; 7) Credibility of evidence determines the likelihood of outcomes or the accuracy of the impact; 8) I prefer debaters "weigh" throughout their speech, on the argument being weighed, not as a distinct section of their speech (e.g., "Now I will weigh the debate..."); 9) I love how policy debate has evolved, it's on me if I can't follow; 10) Be kind to your opponents, treat their arguments with respect; 11) I am more familiar with Public Forum, ~300 rounds judged since May 2020.
Policy specifics - 1) Having debated in college around the time the Macintosh was launched, I know my way around pen and paper, I flow well; 2) Talk as fast as you like; 3) I prefer a policy debate - H2O is such an important and interesting issue - to a K or theory debate, but the debate isn't about the judge; 4) I know H2O; 5) Conditionality OK, but disads to CPs are sticky; 6) Offense and defense interact at link and impact levels, job of debaters is to analyze interaction to RFD (e.g., explanation of pre-reqs, timing, relative brinks and uniqueness, internal link chains, scenario velocity, etc.); 7) Yes to topicality; 8) Plans/CPs should have plans with specific actions or vision/mission, or persuasive argument why plans/CPs should not; 9) Minimize paraphrasing, NO CLIPPING; 10) I decide based on flow what arguments are new when the argument affects my decision, irrespective of whether it's pointed out, but it's a good idea to point it out when it happens on an important argument.
PF specifics - 1) I vote on what debaters put on my flow; 2) Evidence is critical, minimize paraphrasing and cherry-picking <10% of the words in a card, ask for and refer to evidence by source/year and synopsis of content of evidence; 3) Apply frameworks/decision rules/voters where they are probative, not only in overview where framework is presented; 4) Whether or not 2nd Rebuttal frontlines is a strategic choice not a requirements, not frontlining puts more pressure on 2nd Summary but enables better defense + possibility of turning defense to offense w/turns; 5) Weigh w/o using the word "weigh", explain why your impact scenario is more probable/faster developing/has larger terminal impact/precludes opponent's offense/happens before opponent's offense; 6) No plan or fiat in PF, empirics prove/disprove resolution, e.g., if NATO has been substantially increasing its defense commitments to the Baltic states since 2014 and the Russian annexation of Crimea, then the question of why Russia hasn't attacked is critical to weighing likelihood of Russia lashing out when confronted with NATO military buildup in the Baltics; 7) Talk as fast as you want, be clear, don't talk as fast as you can and leave 30 seconds on your Constructive or Rebuttal; 8) No new link or impact arguments in Summary, answers to 1st Rebuttal in 2nd Summary OK if 2nd Summary can cover w/o frontlining, I decide what's new; 9) Dropped arguments still need to be pointed out as dropped, implication of dropped argument must be explained; 10) Ask for cards immediately after the speech, burden is on team providing cards to provide the request cards quickly, debaters shouldn't prep while cards are being delivered but the best enforcement is to provide the requested cards quickly, if you ask for cards I expect that you will read them and incorporate specific arguments against the requested cards, provide source/date for requested cards; 11) Be nice to one another, have fun.
hi! i debated pf in hs. toc '19! i was a former co-director for nova debate camp and go to uva now. i also coach ardrey kell VM and oakton ML. email chain! email@example.com
tl;dr, i'm a typical flow judge. i'm tab and tech>truth, debate however you want (as long as it does not harm others). for more specific stuff, read below!
most important thing:
so many of my RFDs have started with "i default on the weighing". weighing is NOT a conditional you should do if you just so happen to have enough time in summary - i will often default to teams if they're the only ones who have made weighing. strength of link weighing counts only when links are 100% conceded, clarity of impact doesn't.
other less important stuff:
online debate: unless you're sending speech docs, please just make a shared google doc and paste cards there. i get it, you want to steal prep while waiting. but really, it's delaying tournaments and i get bored while waiting :( (you don't have to though, esp in outrounds - but i will be happier if you do)
also, if you're debating from the same computer, it's cool, just lmk in the chat or turn your camera on before the round so i know, because i usually start the round when i see 4 ppl in the room
speed is ok. i think it's fun. i actually like blippy disads (as long as they have warrants). but don't do it in such a way that it makes the debate inaccessible - drop a doc if your opponents ask or if someone says "clear".
whenever you extend something, you have to extend the warrant above all else.
defense is not sticky, but my threshold for completely new frontlines in second summary is super high. turns must be frontlined in second rebuttal.
new implications off of previous responses are okay (in fact, i think they're strategic), but they must be made in summary (unless responding to something new in final). you still need to have concise warranting for the new implication, just as you would for any other response.
i don't listen during cross - if they make a concession, point it out in the next speech.
weighing is important, but comparative and meta weighing are even more important. you can win 100% of your link uncontested but i'd still drop you if you never weigh at all and the opps have like 1% of their link with pre-req weighing into your case. don't just say stuff like "we outweigh because our impact card has x and theirs has y and x>y", but go the next step and directly compare why your magnitude is more important than their timeframe, why your prereq comes before their prereq, etc. if there is no weighing done, i will intervene.
i encourage post-round questions, i'm actually happy to spend like however long you want me to just answering questions regarding my decision. just don't be rude about it.
i will evaluate progressive arguments (Ks, theory, etc).
no friv theory, no tricks
i default to reasonability, RVIs, and DtD *if not told otherwise* - before you start e-mailing me death threats, this is just so teams can't read random new shells in summary unless they're going to spend the time reading warrants for CI and no RVIs - i prefer theory debates to start in constructive/rebuttal, and i'll be sympathetic to teams that have to make new responses to a completely new shell in summary or final focus
i'm less versed on Ks than i am theory. i can probably follow you on the stock Ks (cap, sec, etc), but if you're going to run high level Ks (performance, afropess, etc), i'll still evaluate them, but i advise you run them with caution, since i might not be able to get everything down 100%. it's probably best to make these types of Ks accessible to both me and your opponents (you should honestly just explain everything like i'm a lay judge, and try to stay away from more abstract phil stuff like epistemology/ontology/etc).
if you have any more questions, feel free to ask or e-mail me before the round!
TL;DR: Don't be rude or discourteous; speak well and clearly; and like win or whatever idc im not your coach
parli and extemp mainly in hs
If its prepped pls disclose it makes my life a hell of a lot easier
Run what you want, as long as it isn't morally reprehensible (i.e. kill all puppies). I prefer fewer, well created arguments with solid warranting and reasoning. Walk me through the link chains and terminalize your impacts and the debate will be so much more educational that way.
I believe that debate's inherent existence is for education, so the more creative and out of the box your arguments (as long as they're well reasoned) the more brownie (and speaker points) you get from me.
I'm totally and completely fine with tech/theory arguments and default on reasonability unless told to otherwise.
If you are going to spread, make sure your opponents are fine with it and especially make sure that's its understandable. In other words, if you can't spread without mumbling or stumbling just don't do it.
I start speaks at 28 and go up or down from there, with 1.5 being style and persuasiveness and the other .5 being creativity of arguments. You could be the reincarnation of Churchill himself and still get a 29.5 <3
Don't have much to say to y'all, as speech is very much event based. I judge speech based on how much you are able to meet the intent of your event. I.e. in HI I want to laugh but in Ext I want to come out of it knowing something new about the world. Other than that, as long as you're enjoying the speech you're giving I believe that your best will shine through.
Please be civil, polite, and reasonable. Be clear and I would prefer no progressive arguments. Good luck in your debate!
I am a lay judge, so make sure that final focuses and summaries are slow and actually summarizes everything and restates your argument.
I am the Scott Woods who teaches and coaches at BASIS Scottsdale in Arizona. There are others. For instance, I am not the slam poet Scott Woods (although I enjoy his work), so if you try a slam poetry case because you think that your judge is a pretty famous slam poet, you will probably be disappointed by the ballot.
About me: I teach middle school English and high school speech and debate. I competed in interp and platform events in college. I'm a Scoutmaster, a Republican, and I go to church regularly. Many people who know me don't believe that I am as conservative as I think I am.
I want the debate round to be for the benefit of the debaters. I have been coaching and judging debate for several years, mostly in PF, but some LD. I also judge policy rounds occasionally. I've judged at the TOC four times and at NSDA Nationals three times. When I judge on a panel, my decision is often different from the majority, possibly because my judging skills are so refined and subtle, or maybe for other reasons that escape me.
I think of debate as an educational game that should be fun, challenging, and life changing for the good. I don't like sneaky approaches to debate, tricks, or unsporting behavior. I especially don't like anything that attempts to achieve an unfair advantage over an opponent. Among the behaviors I don't like to see are spreading, because it seeks to gain a time advantage by squeezing more content in the given time, forcing one's opponent either to spread or to be disadvantaged, because it makes debate into a ridiculous exercise (and I consider making good things appear ridiculous in order to achieve personal gain to be bad form), and because it is aesthetically unpleasant (and I consider intentional ugliness inflicted on others to be bad form). Also, if you spread I won't flow as much, won't understand as much, and won't believe you as much. If both teams spread, then I'll just have to guess at who won, which is very likely something that you don't want me to do. Please speak in a clear, persuasive voice at a reasonable public debate speed, and be sure to point out when the other side is spreading, show the harms, then show why they should lose on that. I'll probably buy it.
If your debate strategy includes using tactics that have the effect of giving you an unfair advantage over your opponent, your chances of winning will go down. Your arguments should give you the advantage, not your sneaky approach, your hidden claims, your abusive framework, or your tricky wording. Again, call out your opponent's sneakiness. This is especially fun and elegant in an LD round when your opponent values morality, justice, fairness, etc., and you call them out for violating standards of morality, justice, or fairness.
I prefer clear, well-reasoned arguments that are logically valid and well supported by warrants and evidence. I also value impacts. Show me magnitude and probability. I will evaluate these by taking on the stance of an intelligent person who is well educated, open minded, and not a fool. If you read a card but don't put it into the context of a clear argument, then I won't care about it. You have to use evidence to support your warranted arguments. Your cards are your evidence. I hear many LDers giving lengthy quotes of dense philosophy, without contextualizing the quoted speech. I would much prefer that you summarize the entire argument of the philosopher clearly, briefly, and accurately, rather than quoting some paragraph that seems to support your interpretation. I almost never buy appeals to authority. If you say that Philosopher X says Y, therefore Y is true, I will probably not believe you. Feel free to call your opponent on this.
Since I think that debate is a worthwhile activity that can positively shape the character of youth, I value having fun and being nice. I don't want to spend an hour or so with people who are being mean to each other. Let's have fun and enjoy the round.
I won't leave my knowledge, training, or prejudices at the door, mainly because I can't (if I were truly tabula rasa, I would be an infant or an imbecile). Instead, I'll try to be aware of them and limit the impact of my own opinions or knowledge on the debate. If you don't make the argument, I will try not to make it for you. You must do all the work in the debate. I will, however, apply my knowledge of effective argumentation and the "reasonable person" test to the arguments in the debate. If you give me a weighing method and a clear path to signing the ballot for you, your chances of winning the round go up. Please understand that I will fail to leave behind my biases, assumptions, prejudices, etc. This is a feature of being human. We can't control the processes of our thought very well, and we are largely unaware of what guides and controls our thinking. Your job as a debater is to make these biases, assumptions, and prejudices irrelevant against the overwhelming power of your arguments. Good luck.
Please understand that I will likely be judging you after having taught children all day or having traveled a long distance and slept poorly. I will probably not be at my best. This is true for many of your judges. You should consider taking this into account when you write your cases and make your arguments. After you lose a round that you think you should have won, don't complain about the stupid judge. Instead, consider what you could have done differently to compensate for that judge not being at his or her cognitive best. That's your responsibility. I don't want to think during a round. Thinking is hard. It's not my job. I often disappoint debaters when I am required to think. Your job is to pre-think the round for me, better than your opponent does. The team that does this best will win.
It's up to the round to decide on the framework. If your framework is abusive or unreasonable, I'll drop it and favor your opponent's analysis, especially if your opponent calls it out as such. I prefer realistic frameworks that generously look at the resolution as though the debate were really a public forum (even in LD) for discussing an important issue. I also prefer realistic arguments that are accessible to the public.
It bothers me when debaters don't know their case because someone else wrote it, they haven't researched the topic, or they are just using the cards that came with the briefs without trying to understand the bigger picture. This become a problem when debaters misinterpret cards or philosophers they don't understand. If your opponent calls you on your card and disputes what it means, then I will call for the card at the end of the debate and make my own judgment. I don't want to do this for a number of reasons, mainly because I don't want to do the work that you should be doing. That being said, I know a lot about many subjects, so if I think that you are misinterpreting a card, I may call for it, even if your opponent has not called you out on it. I don't like to do this, but I also don't like misinterpreted or false cards to affect a round, and I don't expect high school students to have comprehensive knowledge of the world. If I think that your card was misinterpreted, then I will drop the argument it supports.
Please do the work for me. Make it easy for me to decide who wins. Tell the story of the round. Be organized on the flow in your rebuttals.
If your opponent calls for a card, they may continue to prep while you search for it, without that time counting against their prep. This is the procedure at the TOC, which I particularly like because it encourages teams to provide their opponents with the cards they ask for in a timely manner. If you don't have the card, and the context surrounding it, then I will drop the argument that is supported by the card. If your card clearly says something other than what you say it does, I will very likely vote for the other side. Please don't misrepresent your evidence.
Regarding policy debate: Every round that I have judged in policy debate has come down to judge adaptation. Whoever adapts best to my limitations as a judge (see above) will likely win the round (or, if you prefer, my ballot). My recommendation is that policy debaters should have two cases: one that they normally run and another that they write for judge adaptation. Debaters should also practice adaptation whenever they can, making sure that their arguments are comprehensible (at a minimum) and convincing (this should be the target) to normal, educated people.
Most of my judging experiences are PF and LD. I also judged limited rounds of parli, policy and congress. However, in case I get pulled to judge policy, please don't spread!
I value clear warrants, explicit weighing and credible evidence, but not too much tech over truth.
- Speed: talking fast is not a problem, but DON'T spread.
- Warrants: the most important thing is clear links to convince me with supporting evidence (no hypothesis or fake evidence - I will check your evidence links).
- Flow: I flow everything except for crossfires. Clear signposts help me flow.
- Rebuttals: I like quick thinking when attacking your opponents' arguments and probing weaknesses in important and threatening arguments. Turns are even better.
- Crossfires: don't spend too much time calling cards (yes, a few cards are fine) or sticking on something trivial.
- Weighing: bring those up in both summary and FF with warrants that you want me to vote on.
- Timing: I don't typically time your speeches unless you ask me to do so, but I do time your prep and CX.
Finally, enjoy your rounds!