Arkansas District Tournament In Honor of Jennifer Akers
2022 — AR/US
Congress (Debate: Congress) Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I like to flow every debate I watch to make sure the burden of rejoinder is clearly identifiable, but I will not flow a dropped argument without being told. You should be flowing as well. If it is not CX, then I don't want you to spread. I don't mind speaking fast but I want to really hear your arguments and have time for you to persuade me.
Kindness and tone go a long way. If you are belittling someone else it does not help to prove your point. There is a difference between being assertive and flat-out demeaning.
In Congress, I am not a fan of rehash - I want to hear rebuttals and debate, not a new speech that doesn't address what the aff and neg speakers have brought to the chamber. I think it is completely appropriate to respond in your speeches to arguments by referencing the name of the representative/senator as long as you are tasteful. It helps me keep up with the round.
How you treat your PO and your attitude towards them also go into judging you as a competitor. If you have problems, you have every right to call a point of order, but being snide and hostile makes you look weak.
In IPDA, the resolution is paramount. You must show, using the weighing mechanism, how your case and arguments outweigh your opponents. In questioning, please refrain from dismissing each other or being overtly aggressive. Remember I am flowing but you have to direct my attention and give me a road map.
I have not judged CX in ages. But many moons ago, I was a CXer and I can flow. I don't perceive that I will be judging CX at any point.
Hi, my name is Ibitayo but everyone calls me Tayo (pronounced Thai-yo), only my parents say Ibitayo. I did Forensics and Debate for four years at Bentonville West High School (2016-2020) and I’m currently a freshman in Academy of Art University. I was extemp co captain my junior year and Speaking captain my senior year in high school.I did a wide array of events from HI to Extemp to BQ to Congressional Debate. My favorite event however is definitely Congressional Debate (I’m that kid that brings their own gavel *smh) I strive for everyone to be comfortable and have fun.
Congressional Debate I love-
-When you have evidence for every single point and citing them correctly
-Addressing the other representatives appropriately (don’t be calling people by they first name in round)
-Extensive knowledge of Parliamentary Procedure
-Actually using the knowledge of Parliamentary Procedure to help the round move along
-Make points that are realistic to the current political situation. If you are going to talk about immagration you better not act like covid-19 doesn’t exist rn.
I really dislike-
-Disrespect. I expect everyone to act more like adults than the actual senate okay.
-Spreading this is congress
-Wasting time. Pointless motions, going way over time, making points on a bill/resolution and not adding any more points or evidence to the subject matter. Wasting time is not a good look for me
-Softball questions, asking questions that are not constructive and are not going to challenge anything. Not answering the question is also very annoying
Debate(PF/BQ/LD) I love-
Clash. Really utilizing the CX time to make the points stronger
Arguments that are constructive and flow really well
Being able to speak in rebuttals really confidently and really explaining why the opponents points are inferior
I really dislike-
When competitors don’t use up all of the time they have. If you have four minutes to speak, use it.
THE WORST THING YOU COULD DO IN ANY DEBATE STYLE:
If you are speaking on the behalf of another group of people (another race, religion, gender, ect.)and you don't have evidence supporting that, my respect drops immediately. I would rather the evidence be from someone that is actually of that group as well. There have been so many instances where people just make stuff up about another religion or something with nothing to back up their statement. If you do this in congress, you'll get the lowest speech score from me. In any other debate style, its going to be very hard to gain my respect as a judge back.
If you ever have any questions let me know here: Ibitayo.L.Babatunde@gmail.com
Frequent Congressional Judge. Be unique with your content instead of repeating over and over again. Use crystallization in your speeches near the end of the bill.
Keep the debate interesting with new evidence and argumentation
Be polite! Of course keep a bite but never step into the realm of rude.
Policy Debate Paradigm:
The things you are probably looking for:
Speed: I’m fine with whatever you are comfortable with--no need to try to impress me.
Performance: I do not want to see a performance (deal-breaker)—I took policy debate extremely seriously, and I only want to see your creativity showcased through your strategy and your arguments; however, a relevant and cutesy pun here and there will be well-appreciated.
Pre-dispositions: Please do not make arguments that you do not understand/cannot explain in order to fill the time or to confuse the opponent—I will definitely take notice and probably will not vote for you. Keep things well researched and logical and everything should be fine.
Sportsmanship: Please always be respectful of your opponents. Mean-spiritedness is not a way to show me you’re winning. Even though I will always vote for the better arguments, if you display signs of cruelty towards your opponent, your speaker points will suffer.
****Make sure you have great links…nothing worse than sitting through a round where no one understands how any of the arguments relate to the topic*********
Disadvantages: Unless if your strategy is extremely sophisticated/well thought out/well-rehearsed (I have encountered quite a few when I competed), I think you should always run at least 1 DA.
· The Counterplan: If done well, and the strategy around them is logical and thought-out, these are generally winners. If done poorly and you just inserted one to fill the time, I will be sad and bored.
· Procedurals/Topicality: I love a good meta-debate, and I am open to these if you guys have a solid strategy around these arguments (for example: if your opponents are illogical/made mistakes, point that out to me). However, I usually see T’s used as generic fillers, and I will not vote for a generic filler.
· The Kritik: Love Ks if done well and showcases your knowledge of the topic and argument. However, if I can sense that you don’t know what you’re talking about, running a K might hurt you.
Overall, have fun ( I understand how stressful this event can be), show me you're prepared, and always try to learn something.
Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate Paradigm:
My job as a judge is to be a blank slate; your job as a debater is to tell me how and why to vote and decide what the resolution/debate means to you. This includes not just topic analysis but also types of arguments and the rules of debate if you would like. If you do not provide me with voters and impacts I will use my own reasoning. I'm open all arguments but they need to be well explained.
My preference is for debates with a warranted, clearly explained analysis. I do not think tagline extensions or simply reading a card is an argument that will win you the debate. In the last speech, make it easy for me to vote for you by giving and clearly weighing voting issues- these are summaries of the debate, not simply repeating your contentions! You will have the most impact with me if you discuss magnitude, scope, etc. and also tell me why I look to your voting issues before your opponents. In terms of case debate, please consider how your two cases interact with each other to create more class; I find turns especially effective. I do listen closely during cross (even if I don't flow), so that is a place to make attacks, but if you want them to be fully considered please include them during your speeches.
Debate success doesn't matter! Have fun and do what you love! Be a good person!
Hello! My name is Anna Dean (she/her). I will default to (they/them) if I don't know you.
Bentonville West High School '21 (AR) | Harvard '25
I've been in the Speech & Debate world for 6 years. In High School, I did: Policy (Bentonville West DR FOREVER.), Extemp, World Schools, a little bit of Congress/ LD.
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do what you do & do it well.
Speed is fine (in CX/LD) (slow down a bit online & emphasize clarity)
Truth over Tech
If you read 40 cards in the block = fascism
I love a good cross-ex :)
Win an impact.
Number your args... please.
You have not turned the case just because you read an impact to your DA or K that is the same as the advantage impact.
DO NOT CLIP CARDS.
I like them if they're well done. I should say, I don't have immense knowledge of theory. I ran Fem, Fem Killjoy<3, Queer, Set Col, Cap in high school. I evaluate method v. method.
Yes! I love a soft left AFF. My ideal round is a soft left aff and 3-6 off.
I love T. Go for it. I think it's underutilized. I like procedural fairness impacts (when it's clearly an impact). If you want to win my ballot, paint a picture of what your vision of the topic is and what happens in debates on it, which matters much more to me than conceded generic blips and buzzwords.
I lean more neg (60/40). IMPACTS.
Yes, but they can get boring and overdone. I would rather read 5, solid, well-highlighted UQ cards than 10 poopy cards that say "it'll pass but it's cloooooseeee!" without ever highlighting anything beyond that sentence. Uniqueness controls the direction of uniqueness and the link controls the direction of the link.
I tend to think condo bad (55/45). Some teams try to get away with murder. Yes, I will vote on 'condo bad'. I lean neg when the CP is based in the literature and there's a reasonable solvency advocate. I lean aff when the CP meets neither of those conditions.
Focus on arg development & application rather than reading backfiles.
If your strategy involves going for some version of "all debate is bad, this activity is meaningless and only produces bad people" please consider who your audience is. Of course, you can make arguments about flaws in specific debate policies & practices, but you should also recognize that the "debate is irredeemable" position is a tough sell to someone who has dedicated 6+ years of her life to it and tries to make it better.
Examples are incredibly helpful in these debates, especially when making structural claims about the world.
I am policy debater at heart. I will flow every word you say. Speed is a weapon in debate.
I don't love theory/meta-theory/tricks. I find a lot of Philo debates have tricks.
I am good for more policy-oriented theory arguments like condo good/bad, PICs good/bad, process CPs good/bad, etc.
See above for more specifics.
Speak well. You are role-playing a policymaker... act like it.
Be prepared to speak on both sides of the bill.
I value evidence and credible sources.
DO NOT re-hash args.
I love good intros and transitions! I love to laugh a lil in an extemp round!
Organization is key!
I value evidence and credible sources.
I stay very up to date on current events... I will know what you're talking about... take that as you wish:)
Best of luck to you! If you have questions feel free to ask me before a round or email me!
Hi everyone! My name's Andrea Dorantes, and I'm an alumnus of Bentonville High School in Bentonville, Arkansas. Currently, I am a senior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Before college, I competed in both Speech and Debate for 5 years. I am the 2017 State Champion in USX, a National Qualifier in Informative Speaking, and a Semi-Finalist in Informative Speaking at the National Tournament of Champions. I have also competed in Congressional Debate at a high level. Although most of my performance experience lies in the public speaking realm, I am confident in my ability to assess other performances with skill and consistency. Thank you for your patience and perseverance in this unconventional time, and I am glad your skills and hard work will be able to be showcased.
I'm really looking forward to watching your performances :)
To those running the tournament: My preferred styles to judge are Congressional, IPDA, and I'm happy to judge forensics/speech. Putting me in policy is a bad idea and I don't like policy at all.
To competitors: Racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism, and hate speech of any kind will earn an immediate loss of my ballot. The most important thing to me in a round is that you respect not only me, but your opponent, other judges, spectators, and anyone else. Please don't spread. If I wanted to try to make sense of spreading, I'd do policy. I don't do policy, so I don't want to hear spreading. Please just have mercy and talk at a decent pace. I have no preference in how you present your argument, just do it well.
Max Green (He/Him)
Hi, I'm Max Green. I'm a former debater now in college. I spent 8 years doing team policy debate and various speech categories.
Things I like in Congress debate:
-Clear and Concise: A great way to show me you know what you're talking about is to be able to address an issue with a short response that still covers all the nuances of it.
-Productive Parliamentary Procedure: Use parliamentary procedure to make the round more productive, not to show off your knowledge of it.
-Enunciation: I have the ears of someone 40 years older than I am, if you don't enunciate, I will not understand you.
Things I like in Big Questions
-Clear Clash: Tell me what you're responding to and how your evidence/argument refutes it.
-Enunciation: I have the ears of someone 40 years older than I am, if you don't enunciate, I will not understand you.
Hi!! I primarily competed in LD in high school at Cabot High School and then in Parliamentary Debate at Arkansas State. I no longer debate but now judge periodically. I have many specific viewpoints on debate but do not desire you to be confined to me. Too many times in competition did I intentionally run (or in most cases not run) cases that were catered to who my judge was. Speech and Debate are supposed to be safe educational activities to express yourself. So have fun. I want you to enjoy the round and not resent having a specific judge. Of course, I do have viewpoints based on my own experience but at the end of the day, it's not right for you to have to fit my box. Run what you want, as long as it's not harmful to others, and enjoy.
Arkansas Debaters- I am not "traditional." Do not fear, I will give you a sizable RFD as a method to improve your craft. You do not have to dumb it down, change the wording, or anything else odd like that. You can run positions others might not allow (CP, T, K, Disads.) Just know what you're talking about. Don't run something just to do it, understand the material you are about to tell me. Be creative and engaging with both sides of the flow. But, do not desensitize yourself to very real things in this world just to win the ballot.
Clarity over speed always. Quality outweighs quantity always. Analysis and explanation are more important than many small cards. Please tell me where you are on the flow. I live for a good line-by-line.
Please be cautious of discussing extremely sensitive material and think of how it could affect those in the room. This is not one of the cases where forgiveness is easier to give than permission.
Respect peoples identities
I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Note: Due to my busy lifestyle, I do not have a ton of background knowledge on these topics. So please do not assume I know all of your literature immediately.
I was a long-time high school coach of CX, LD, PF and Congress and was a college policy debater MANY years ago.
If you want to put a title on my debate philosophy, I’d call myself a policymaker.
When I judge a round, I pay attention to my flow. I care about dropped arguments, and I don’t like the neg to run time suck arguments and then kick out. That said, be sure I can take a good flow by speaking at a reasonable rate of speed. If you feel you must speak quickly, at least give me a chance to catch your tag lines and source citations, or, better yet, provide a link to your case.
I have no issues with theoretical debate or critical arguments, so long as you make me understand them. That said, I still prefer to judge a round about the resolution instead of a round about whether or not someone was abusive.
In CX debate, I consider T to be an important argument in the round but will not vote on it unless I judge there has been actual in-round abuse.
LD debate should have a strong value component and avoid overt policy-making.
I judge Congress on content and delivery. This type of debate demands a strong and passionate public speaking style. Questioning is crucial to final score.
In all types of debate, don’t be rude to your opponent. Respect the activity with professional demeanor.
I am a debate coach at Little Rock Central.
You do you. I want to see you at your best. I believe that my role is to listen, flow, and weigh the arguments offered in the round how I am told to weigh them by each team. I will listen to and evaluate any argument, and my goal is to not intervene. I can do that best when you: 1) explain why your impacts outweigh your opponents' impacts; 2) explain the risk of your impacts compared to your opponents' impacts; 3) do evidence comparison as necessary; and 4) do judge instruction. It is unacceptable to do anything ableist, anti-queer, racist, sexist, or violent.
Go for it.
I feel pretty middle of the road when it comes to thresholds.
Go for it.
I do not spend as much time with the lit base as other judges whom are probably in the judge pool. I'm really not trying to self-deprecate or signal something about kritikal lit, but also any time that I am using to write arguments or cut cards is to prepare for heg/policy debates. All to say, pref me if you wanna pref me, and please presume that I am not completely familiar with your literature/authors (unless they are common).
I will vote for any kritikal affirmative that wins its method and theory of power and wins the impacts/questions of risk. I will also vote for embedded critiques of debate.
I think it’s important for kritkal affirmatives (when asked) to be able to articulate how the negative side could engage with them as it comes up; explain the role of the negative in the debate as it comes up, and, if applicable, win the questions of fairness.
Question of fairness - up to you to tell me what kind of fairness I should prioritize and why your method does or does not access it/preserve it/improve it.
Quality over quantity; the more specific, the better
Other Specifics and Thresholds, Theory
• Perms: Explain how the perm works (more than "perm do X"). Why does the perm resolve the impacts? Why doesn't the perm link to a disad?
• T: Normal threshold if the topicality impacts are about the implications for future debates/in-round standards. High threshold for affs being too specific and being bad for debate because neg doesn't have case debate.
• Disclosure is generally good, and also it's ok to break a new aff.
• Limited conditionality feels right, but really I am most interested in how these theory arguments develop in round and who wins them based on the fairness/education debate and tech.
I am an experienced debater and I have performed in multiple speech individual events. I am currently competing in Varsity IPDA debate at Arkansas Tech University.
I don't care if debaters spread, however, I feel like content needs to be stated clearly. I vote based on strength of arguments as opposed to quantity. I will vote based on courtesy so please remember that in order to promote civil discourse you must treat your opponents like the human beings that they are. If you cannot present an appropriate attitude in the round, then you will see that reflected on your ballot.
I’ve bolded what you need to skim preround. There’s a ctrl+f section for opinions on specific arguments. This paradigm applies to all events; I've spent the past 2 years mostly judging circuit LD & I anticipate judging roughly the same amount of circuit LD & CX rounds during the 22-23 season. My argumentative opinions are pretty much the same across all events. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
hi! i'm nethmin! i use she/her/hers pronouns!
The Hill School ’20, Pitzer College ’24 (double majoring in cs-math and economics).
I competed on the national circuit & at some locals/trad tournaments; was fairly successful at both. I'm now an assistant coach for the Damien High School policy team and I coach a few LDers independently. I've coached both sides of almost every style of argument.
During my debate career, I read a little bit of everything. I've gone for most types of neg arguments, read a planless aff for a few months, went for framework against planless affs, read an aff with a plan, etc. My strongest belief about argumentation is that argument engagement is good - I don't care what styles of arguments teams read in front of me, but I'd like the debate to be engaging. I would consider myself to be competent at evaluating whatever debate you want to have. My debate history should not dictate what you read in your round. I think people should stop treating debate as their immortality project and let the students in the activity do what they want.
firstname.lastname@example.org for LD rounds (you can also use this email to contact me if you need anything)
Format subject lines as follows: tourn name & year - round number - aff team code - neg team code. example: meadows 2022 - round 1 - damien ab - damien cd.
If you need to contact me/a Damien coach, please don't use the Damien teamail, use my email or the relevant coach's email. If you need to contact a Damien debater, please don't use the Damien teamail - use the email on their wiki or come find a Damien coach.
If you really don't want to read the paradigm:
1. for online debate -- record your speeches, no speech redos, send recording if tech difficulties
2. i don't flow off the doc, but i'll check it periodically to make sure you're not clipping
3. will say slow/clear twice per speech before just giving up & trying my best
4. read any args you want, just make sure they've got a claim, warrant, and impact!
5. if you need to contact me, i prefer email over fb messenger
6. be nice be nice be nice be nice be nice
ideological flexibility is what i value most in debate. judges who say "i won't vote on the k because i think k teams are cheaters" and judges who say "teams who read t-framework are horrendous human beings" are equally objectionable to me (all other things being equal). i do not believe that the arguments a team reads are a reflection of how good/bad of a person they are (unless they literally impact turn sexism or something of that nature). i try to be someone who will vote on any argument as long as it's not delivered in a way that's morally abhorrent (bullying your opponent = bad) and it meets the minimum standards to be considered a complete argument (claim, warrant, impact).
actual paradigm/explanations of my thoughts and feelings about debate:
All of my deal-breakers/hard and fast rules/moments of "I won't vote on this" are dependent on three things:
1 - protecting the safety of the participants in the round (no harrassment, no physical violence, etc).
2 - voting for things that meet the minimum standard to be considered an argument (claim, warrant, impact).
3 - rules set forth by the tournament (speech times, one team wins and one team loses, I have to enter my own ballot, etc).
I don't care what style of argument you read. I'm roughly 50-50 in debates that involve planless affs. I don't think reading a plan makes you a bad person or that not reading a plan makes you a bad person. As long as your argument doesn't violate the above three criteria, go for it! I think I have far fewer set-in-stone debate opinions than most coaches/judges.
I think that warrants are hard to come by in many debate rounds these days, even ones with “good” debaters. Err on the side of a little too much explanation, because if your arg is warrantless, you will be ballotless. If your opponent concedes something, that means you get access to uncontested warrants/I consider those warrants to be true. It does not mean I will vote on an argument with no warranting. It also does not mean your extension can be sans-warrants. I understand that the LD 1AR is awful and very short, but you need to reference the warrants in some way when you extend conceded stuff.
I value technical debate. However, I also think that truth matters. I do not default to dropping a team that reads untrue arguments (either for strategic value or out of lack of knowledge), however, I am receptive to this being argued as a “reject the team” issue by the opponent. Use your judgment on this – a novice with a bad politics disad is probably not the same level of egregious as someone who read 8 untrue disads because disproving an untrue DA takes longer than reading one.
Similarly, I think that independent voters need warrants and an articulation of why they sequence before everything else. Debaters have been getting away with murder in terms of labeling random pieces of evidence or analytics as independent voters. You need to tell me why impact defense is somehow an “independent reason to negate.” Spoiler: it probably isn’t. This isn’t to say I won’t listen to args about reps or other independent voters. I made these args. Reps matter and I value these debates. I also value warrants, sequencing, and ballot analysis in these debates. Independent voters are arguments and they need a claim, warrant, and impact, along with a justification for how they sequence (just like any other argument). Calling something an independent voter doesn’t mean I vote for you if you extend it.
Here’s how I generally evaluate debates (absent someone telling me otherwise – my views on sequencing can be changed):
1 – See if there are arguments (independent voters, for example) that debaters HAVE ARTICULATED as coming before any framing mechanism
2 – Find the winning weighing/framing mechanism, whether that’s a standard, value criterion, role of the ballot, or role of the judge. If you think your weighing mechanism sequences before your opponent’s, it is valuable to point that out.
3 – Locate warranted offense that is impacted back to the winning framing mechanism, and take into account any argument that might change who gets offense from it/nullify the arg (turns, terminal defense). You have to do some level of work to weigh under the winning framing mechanism – I’m willing to do some work for you here but I can’t create arguments that didn’t exist.
4 – Weighing between competing offense. This is usually done based on how debaters choose to weigh things. If you don’t weigh, I will just be left to “weigh” as I see fit. This is a good situation for nobody.
Some general notes
Policy stuff: I've found after a year of judging that I enjoy policy-style debate much more than I am perceived to enjoy it. If you're a policy-style debater wondering how to pref me: I'm not the judge you want if you're looking for someone to hack for you against K teams. I'm probably the judge you want if you're looking for a decent/competent evaluation + feedback to help you improve, and you want a judge who has a decent/good understanding of how policy positions interact with other styles.
K stuff: read the k, love the k, won't hack for the k. I'll give your arguments a fair shake against policy-style teams, which is more than a lot of judges will do (it makes me sad that judges will actively hack against a style of argument). I won't actively intervene in your favor/pass judgments on how good/bad of a person your opponent is purely based on their 1NC strategy.
Sequencing saves ballots!! Tell me which layer comes first and why. I will buy things like “case comes first because it has a value criterion and those are good for debate.” That is literally an argument I read and won. Just tell me why your offense comes first, give me a warrant, and tell me why your offense sequences before that of your opponent. If not … it’s up to me lol and that’s no good.
Framing is important. If your opponent concedes your ROB but reads theory, use the ROB to exclude their offense. Don’t concede framing.
Defense matters. No risk of offense is a thing. However, having some offense certainly helps you win the debate. I’m a big fan of impact defense.
My favorite 1NC against almost any type of affirmative is some kind of procedural, a counterplan/countermethod that resolves a substantial chunk of their offense, a disad/net benefit to the aforementioned cp/cm, and a good line-by-line of the 1ac. this is true whether you're debating a non-t aff or a policy aff. this isn't like some weird requirement i impose on all rounds i judge, it's just a thought.
Trad debater vs circuit debater -- I don’t think it’s anyone’s burden to shift their style of debate to accommodate anyone else. I do think it is the burden of both debaters to respect all styles of debate and not be rude or condescending. You should each debate how you debate best and I will evaluate the round you give me. If you are the circuit debater in this scenario, do not assume that you will win. Trad debaters can win these rounds by doing good analysis, comparing evidence/warrants, and utilizing framing to their advantage. NOBODY in this round (spectators, opponent, etc) should be patronizing or elitist. If you are elitist, I will be more than happy to give you awful speaks. We need to acknowledge that the circuit is elitist and doesn’t treat trad debaters well. Please don’t become a part of that problem.
Speed/clarity – I will say CLEAR two times before I just stop flowing. I will not yell clear if you are too fast (I will say SLOW) or if you are too quiet (I will say LOUDER). I think that opponents being able to slow/clear the other debater is key to accessibility, please be accommodating. I can handle a decent amount of speed, especially with cards. I am much worse at handling speed with blippy analytics (as most people are). Going slower on analytics is a good idea.
POSTROUNDING: i'm super friendly and receptive to questions after the round (even if the questions are delivered in a manner that's not always the most polite - i know what it's like to lose a close round). i'm generally willing to answer questions for quite a while, as long as tournament schedule/second flight permits and/or there isn't a pressing concern i need to address regarding a student of mine. however, my patience takes a NOSEDIVE when you have no idea what your positions say, your questions consist of "ok but how was this not evaluated" and then your coaches send me a long email/text an hour later to aggressively ask questions without seeing the round. to clarify, i'm fine with a few clarifying questions from coaches, but i get irritated when it's obvious that you've docbotted your coach's prep, you don't understand the round/why you lost, and your coach is trying to ask me questions that you should be able to ask if you have any understanding of the prep you're reading.
Miscellaneous odds n ends that didn't really fit in other sections of the paradigm:
1 -- I'm increasingly unconvinced by cards cut from articles written by debate coaches. LDers are going to think I'm subtweeting a specific person, but I'm not only subtweeting them. My lack of being convinced by debate coach evidence applies as much to K teams as it does to anyone else. I'm not saying you can't make certain arguments, but I am saying that you should probably find actual academic literature that makes the argument. If the only person you can find who has published an article that says the thing you want it to say, and that person is a debate coach, you should take a moment to think about why the only person saying what you need them to say is a person who has a vested competitive interest in the thing they're saying being perceived as true. Do with this info what you will.
2 -- I would really strongly prefer that trigger warnings/content warnings/accessibility requests are decided pre-round as opposed to mid-round/by reading a procedural. I'm happy to help facilitate anything that's needed in order to ensure that both teams can engage equitably in the round. Evaluating late-breaking trigger warnings debates where the first warrant for the arg is made after 2nc/1nr is not something that I enjoy. I'll still evaluate these debates if they come down to a theory debate, I'll just be not super happy.
3 -- The debate people that I spend a fair amount of time with are Tim Lewis, Chris Paredes, Jared Burke, Aly Sawyer, Sam McLoughlin, and Eva Lamberson. This is quite a salad of people, and I don't even know if this info is helpful, but I figured I'd include it in case you're curious.
Opinions on Specific Positions (ctrl+f section):
If you read something on case that functions at a higher layer, note that when the argument is read and provide a warrant for it. Multiple layers of responsive engagement with the aff can devastate the 1ar.
You read a 1AC, please use it in the 1AR.
I did this a bit during my career. My strongest opinion about planless affs is that you need to be able to explain what your aff does/why it's good.
Use the aff in the t-fwk debate. I tend to think you can weigh case, but give me some warrants as to why you do so that the 2nr on framework doesn’t ruin you.
If there is prefiat offense, I don’t think you have to flag it as such in the 1AC. I think you do have to in the 1AR. I need an explanation of why something is prefiat, and what that means in the context of the round. Does prefiat mean case>T and disads? Does it mean T>case>disads? You get to choose! But warrant it out pls.
T-fwk vs planless affs:
I've been on both sides of this debate and voted both ways - I find that a lot of these debates are decided based on technical concessions or mishandled layering arguments (not because of any predisposition that I have - these are just the mistakes that debaters make the most often). I don't have a strong preference for how framework teams engage in these debates other than that you should make sure you are respectful of the debaters and experiences contained within the 1AC – this doesn't mean that you shouldn't contest the aff, but it does mean that you should be conscious of the sensitive nature of the material that can be discussed in these debates. Additionally, I think that TVAs are very important – you need to find me/your opponent a model of debate that includes their aff and also meets your interp. Without a TVA, I’m much more inclined to vote on any number of aff arguments, from impact turns to “aff good.”
Make sure you answer counterinterps, impact turns, RVIs, and cross-applications. Make sure you answer any sequencing arguments and telling me why your offense comes first.
I don’t love frivolous theory. I also tend to think CX checks. You can change my mind on this, but you can also substantively engage with your opponent’s args. Choose your own adventure.
Theory defaults: competing interps, drop the debater. RVIs: absent a "no RVIs" arg being made & won, I'll assume that RVIs are theoretically legitimate/I'll evaluate an RVI if it's made. I don't have a particularly strong opinion in either direction on the yes/no RVIs debate.
Topicality (not framework):
Same defaults as theory.
I find T to be a compelling strat against tiny affs, but I also am persuaded by affirmative answers to T -- no strong feelings either way in these debates. Don’t make T your only strat (this is probably just general debate advice, and isn’t specific to only me as a judge).
One note about grammar-based topicality arguments: I don't find most of the grammar arguments being made these days to be very intuitive. This isn't to say that you shouldn't go for these args in front of me (I actually find myself voting for them a lot) but rather, that you should explain/warrant them more than you would in front of a judge who loves those arguments more than anything.
I used to say that I would never vote on tricks. I've decided it's bad to exclude a style of argumentation just because I don't enjoy it. Here are some things to know if you're reading tricks in front of me:
1 - I won't flow off the doc (I never flow off the doc, but I won't be checking the doc to see if I missed any of your tricks/spikes)
2 - The argument has to have a warrant in the speech it is presented
3 - The reason I've been so opposed to voting on tricks in the past is that I've never heard a trick that met the minimum threshold to be considered an argument (claim, warrant, impact)
I value the explanation that you do in the round and the actual parts of the evidence you read, and I will not give you credit for the other musings/opinions/theories that I’m sure your author has.
Sequencing is important and you should do it.
Links of omission <<<<<<<< other links. But, I’ll vote on them. Give me warrants that I can explain back to your opponent if I vote against them.
Specific links >>>>generic links with explanation>>>>>>>more links.
If you're looking for a judge who is going to tell your opponent that they are a bad person simply because they read a plan, you're barking up the wrong tree.
Zero risk probably doesn't exist, but very-close-to-zero risk probably does. Teams that answer their opponents' warrants instead of reading generic defense tend to fare better in close rounds. Good evidence tends to matter more in these debates - I'd rather judge a round with 2 great cards + debaters explaining their cards than a round with 10 horrible cards + debaters asking me to interpret their dumpster-quality cards for them.
I don't have strong ideological biases about how many condo advocacies the neg gets or what kinds of counterplans are/aren't cheating. More egregious abuse = easier to persuade me on theory; the issue I usually see in theory debates is a lack of warranting for why the neg's model was uniquely abusive - specific analysis > generic args + no explanation.
Judge kick - you've gotta tell me to do it. I'm not opposed to it, but I won't assume that you want me to unless the 2nr tells me to.
Please have warrants, a speech doc, and clash.
I think that the value-criterion is a criminally underrated weapon when a trad debater is up against 7 off. Use the 1ac that you read to your advantage and make smart arguments.
I think that traditional debaters should be allowed to collapse to one contention. I know this isn’t the most common on all local circuits, but feel free to do this in front of me.
It is advantageous to weigh under your opponent’s framing mechanism in addition to telling me why yours is better.
I think that a short NC and then lots of case turns is the way to go in trad debate, but that’s just me.
NOTES FOR ONLINE DEBATE:
1. debate is still a communicative activity. this doesn't mean i think you should lay debate in front of me, but it does mean i think you should do things like check the zoom video so you can see nonverbal reactions, thumbs up/nods when you ask if we're ready, etc. this also means you should be doing things like signposting! and weighing! don't just read prewritten analytics at full speed and not engage with your opponent.
2. RECORD YOUR SPEECHES. i will not be allowing speech redoes. this is final. if i'm on a panel and another judge wants a speech redo, i will not flow the new version of the speech. this is the most fair way i can think of to resolve tech issues -- this isn't to say i think all debaters are malicious and trying to steal prep, but rather, a speech is almost always better (clearer, more efficient, more organized, has better weighing) when it's done the second time -- even if you don't intend for there to be any changes.
Arguments I will NEVER vote for (this list might get longer as time goes on)
-ableist/racist/sexist/transphobic/classist/violent arguments. To clarify, if I am judging a round where it comes down to a racist argument and a sexist argument, I will vote on presumption, not one of the two arguments.
-shoes theory/formal clothes theory/any other argument that attempts to police what a debater wears or how they present. If you are in front of me, these arguments should not be in the strat at all. Not even as a throwaway argument.
congrats on making it to the end of my paradigm! i know this paradigm was a lot of info to process, but as long as you're nice/accessible and you don't actively make debate worse, we will be besties! feel free to ask me any questions you have before the round starts/via email! i really love debate and i'm glad that you're in this activity. please let me know if there's anything i can do to make the debate space better or more accessible for you.
In the 2000s, I was a TOC-qualified Congressional debater from Arkansas and fiddled around with policy but am not good enough to judge varsity in that event. During college, I started an undergraduate Congressional Debate and Model Congress circuit (which is now defunct). Today, I am a Chicago-based real estate finance and investment management executive. Feel free to look me up on social media / LinkedIn. I'll always explain my paradigm verbally in the round(s) but here are a few highlights:
Congressional Debate Paradigm
~ For authorship / affirmation speeches, I look for a well laid out, outlined summary of the key points of legislation and why the legislation needs to be passed on this particular issue. The best speeches will reference lines of legislation and explain what the legislation does / enforces / regulates rather than why to vote in your favor. For example, if you want to legalize unicorn hunting, you will not only explain why the unicorn population is plentiful to sustain with legalized hunting, but also what the legislation does in its text to regulate effectively such as the number of horns one can bag, color of rainbows allowed, etc.
~ Likewise, for negation speeches, I look for refutation and an outline of not only why the topic should not be regulated in the way the bill specifies, but also why the bill itself should not pass. Is it a poor enforcement mechanism, too broad, or overbearing? What specific line(s) say this and why are these lines bad? Talking about the topic broadly in an eloquent way will get your points, but specificity to the bill itself will give you a better rank.
~Specific references to text in the legislation will get you a higher score and rank if the rest of your speech is solid. Remember - the specific bill is being debated, not the topic itself. Some bills are too broad and others go too far. You can agree with the premise of the bill itself but not the way it is written.
~ CD is a form of debate. That means that there must be refutation, argumentation, and summation of the points which move fellow legislators to vote on your side. Do not rehash the same points or introduce new points further along in debate (after the 3rd speech on your side). This is repetitive and doesn't move the argument along. Instead, focus on clashing with the opposite side and reaffirming / summarizing the strongest points on your side. There is no need for a 2-3 point speech after the 4th speech on the aff / neg side. Summarize!
~Outlining / roadmapping your speech in the first 10-20 seconds is critical for me and your peers to follow along the speech. A clear transition between points is appreciated.
~ Timing of your points needs to be even. Too many CD competitors spend the first two minutes on their first point and scramble to finish. Do not be finishing up your 2nd point at 2:40 and rush through the third point, then go over 3:05. Conclusions are just as important as introductions. If you go over 3:10, your speech score and rank will be degraded.
~ Persuasion is key. You must compel your supporters in the room (and the constituents you are hypothetically representing) to be more firm in their beliefs and your opponents to waver to your side. You don't need a punny attention grabber, but I appreciate clever rhetoric and a well articulated speaker who doesn't go overbearing in "debate voice." The best US senators and representatives don't use a different tone when speaking at the lectern being nationally broadcast on C-SPAN versus having a 1:1 conversation with their voters.
~ Evidence is appreciated but I'm not a stickler for specific explanations, dates, and authors (e.g. you do not have to say "According to Ryan Reynolds of The Brookings Institute, a think tank on international affairs, dated January 1, XXXX"; just say "The Brookings Institute published a study earlier this year..."). Don't introduce new evidence to support the same point that's been reiterated in a past speech if it's beyond the 3rd speech on one side. Strong bonus points if you can point out inconsistencies or flaws in previous competitors' evidence.
~ For presiding officers, I look for efficiency, consistency, and control of the room. Keeping order is essential, but having a more effective way of moving along debate, Q&A, and voting will give you higher ranks. If you've done something innovative to make precedence, keeping time, or Q&A more effective, I will rank you among the best speakers in the room. I have ranked POs first and will continue to do so if they are truly outstanding.
tl;dr: I'm pretty lax, so just read whatever you're best at. Don't read some half-baked argument to try to please me. I like Ks better than regular policy, but I'll vote for the argument that wins in the round. To win me over, you need to have solid argumentation. As a debater, I was coached for Ks and identity arguments, so I tend to lean more towards those. I'll still vote for a policy team.
Ks: I absolutely love Ks. I know most of them, but some of them can get a little buzzword-y, so just be sure to explain those a bit. Also, while I know most of them, I'm best with identity Ks, so you might want to put more explanation into other Ks for me.
Identity Args: I love identity args and have basic knowledge of most of them, though I can pick up anything I don't understand quickly. It's not detrimental, but I would suggest if you read an identity argument and you do not fit with that identity, I will be inclined to side with an appropriation/charity cannibalism argument from the other team. If you don't fit with that identity, don't argue the impacts like you live in their shoes.
FW/Topicality: I tend to vote against framework and topicality arguments that state that debate is a game and center mostly around in-round abuse or abuse to the neg. I need some sort of impact outside of team v team in the debate space. Also, if you're going to run T, run a T that actually matters, not just some arbitrary argument that you're only using for strategy.
DAs/CPs: Give me a good link and continue to flesh out that link debate. Also flesh out the impacts the same way, but it's important that you never forget the link.
Problematic Stuff: If you say something that I find problematic, I will do something about it. I am not above a lecture, lowered speaks, and/or a downvote if the other team uses that against you.
If you don't take notes during my RFD, I will get up and leave.
She/Her/They/Them - Radically Thotty
If you have any questions about the round or anything in general, don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com (Also add me to the email chain)
Just have fun with the debate I promise I'm not mean it's just my face
Go off on whatever you want
Truth Over Tech (Tech is obviously amazing, but don’t go reading racism/homophobia good args or something like that because that ain't the truth, and arguments that are just not true are not persuasive)
Love speed especially when clear
If you read 40 cards in the block = fascism (sorry bout it)
Also, cross-ex is like... the most important part to me...
I think that debate is based on the contextualization of the round. Whatever comes out of your mouth is what I evaluate (which on paper sounds really weird but you get the point).
Don't be rude, but that doesn't mean you can't be bitchy, if fact I encourage it, if you know a claim is ridiculous call it out, clown on them, and CX is a perfect place to do this.
IMO CX is CX because of CX so I evaluate Cross-Ex ALWAYS. It's my favorite part, so y'all better know whatchu talking about because CX can be pretty damning for a lot of teams
KvK: I'm all for them, especially if it's done well. I love talking about specific theories and reading various literature on them. I do a lot of QT research so if you're planning on running with that I'd have a pretty good background on it before reading it in front of me. Anything else is totally fine, but I evaluate this in terms of a method v. method, not in terms of which method I think is better but which is better framed, linked, and described materially throughout the round. So tech helps you a lot here.
Plans: Sure! I read soft left affs in high school, so I have a soft spot for em........ If you're not reading one, topic analysis is obviously almost necessary, but even then if it says fvck the res that's totally fine too, C/I can help you with this as well. I read k affs, but I love clash debates.
Framework: I read both K affs and Policy affs, so I've definitely voted on FW before. I will say there better be a lot of impact framing on this especially in the context of the round, cause I believe that the aff in itself is scholarship so that's already a plus for in-round analysis.
TvPlans: You can go for T in the 2NR, but there needs to be quite a bit of articulation, mostly just because I don't really understand it and I didn't do much of it in high school. I've never gone for T before, so if that gives you any information. Affs that are obviously untopical sway my vote in this case. Grammar T's are pretty strong tho too ;)
DAs: I like these, but at some point, I think they not only get repetitive but also boring. In this case, quality over quantity, because if not, it's a waste, so if you running it into the block, there needs to be a lot of contexts and in-round descriptions.
CPs: I like these, condo is definitely good in this case. I think theory on CPs can be strategic, I also like the creativity on CPs, but I think Fiat in all cases needs to be explained to me in the context of what we fiating and why we should be able to. I don't just buy a "we get fiat" argument, I need to know why you do.
Theory: Perm debate is good, but it isn't just about specific theories and why you deserve perms or not, it's also what can the perm do for each side, or why it's unfair for the affirmative to have one, I love out of the box answers to perms and play on words. Other theories are fine I guess but there needs to be more than a 1 line description and a fairness impact though.
KvPlan (K's in general): I like these kinds of debates, especially if there's a good link not just to the topic/overarching usfg, but specifically the plan itself and why voting aff causes specific disadvantages. Tell me why the perm can't work, and why the K and K alone is specific to solving the plan. I also live for the ways in which plan debaters respond to this, if done well can make for really good debates.
Also, I love putting DA names on links and examples, creative naming goes a long way for me.
Things I hate
- Blippy Disclosure (Unless breaking new or specific reason)
- Stealing Prep
- Homophobia/Racism/Sexism, etc.
Debates supposed to be fun and an awesome activity where we all get to hear each other's opinions, voices, and scholarship; don't ruin that. It makes debate inherently harmful and unfun, and I don't think engaging in such an intellectual activity should be either of those things.
If you got this far lol:
+.25 speaking points for each GOOD RuPaul's Drag Race reference ;) (This doesn't mean dancing btw - Asya told me I had to clarify that)
My name is Ardyn Townzen and I am a graduate of Bentonville High school. I am currently a Senior at Creighton University pursuing my bachelors of Science in Nursing degree and medical anthropology. I was the 2018 National Qualifier of Domestic Extemporaneous speaking and I competed at a high level in Congressional Debate for three years.
I am looking for well prepared and thought out arguments. I expect everyone to be respectful of each other and professional. I value plenty of reliable sources for your position and when you are able to come up with original arguments.
I am so excited to be judging this weekend! I am ready to see how you demonstrate your talents! :)