Middle School TOC hosted by UK
2022 — NSDA Campus, KY/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Chattahoochee HS '21
University Of Kentucky '25
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I will pretty much vote on anything and lack many ideological predispositions with a few exceptions. I try to be as least interventionist as possible so please do judge instruction that explains to me why you have won the debate & the implications of the arguments you are going for.
Send a card doc after the debate has ended. I'll read the cards you think are important, but I tend to think the quality of evidence comes secondary to who did the better debating.
I know very little about the topic and have judged only a few debates so take that as you will.
I prefer to judge substantive debates over trivial theory arguments. Anything that isn't conditionality is a reason to reject the argument not the team. Conditionality is probably good but I can easily be convinced otherwise. I will not vote on blimpy theory arguments that aren't developed or articulated out earlier in the debate.
Non-resolutional theory is a non-starter.
I will not judge kick the CP unless instructed to.
Huge fan of them, I love me some solvency offense & AFF specific counterplans.
Probably my favorite debates to judge. If you're going for it, there needs to be substantial case defense otherwise what are you doing. It becomes relatively easy for me to vote on 'try or die' because the other team drops an impact even if the DA is big. Turns case & impact comparison is a must in these debates.
I like to think I'm fine for the Kritik. I'm not great for it not because I think they're silly but because I'm not too well into the lit (not a fan of high theory). It is probably going to be hard for you to convince me that the AFF shouldn't get to weigh the consequences of the plan. The best kritiks are ones with links specific to the plan & a clear alternative that solves the case. Otherwise, it becomes easy to vote AFF on framework or the alt is vague, does nothing and case outweighs.
Again, I know nothing about this topic so please refrain from staking the debate on topicality unless you think the AFF is egregiously un-topical.
I would prefer you read & defend a topical plan. That said, I have somehow found myself voting for the AFF more frequently because NEG teams fumble going for framework.
I am a huge fan of limits & clash. I find AFF teams that go for their counter-interp as defense to limits are entirely unpersuasive. I think if you have me in the back of these debates, AFF's should impact turn fairness & clash and tell me why their impact outweighs.
- tech > truth
- Don't sacrifice clarity for speed
- Bigotry will not be tolerated
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Nathan Brown, Peninsula 24'
Novice stuff (applies to everyone since I'm only judging middle school/novice anyway):
If you use google docs I'd recommend watching this video before the round: https://youtu.be/OXc7-GAyYOw
If you are unfamiliar with what an email chain is/how to operate one, please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGu6MOEDNeI'
Time your speeches, please!!! Also, time your opponents' speeches.
2nr/2ar should predict the most important things in the debate and make sure they win those, which is a prerequisite to judge instruction. 2ns should not spread themselves too thin in the 2nr or that makes it tough for me to vote on anything when I have too many options but not enough substance.
Call me whatever you want, Nathan, Nate, judge Nate, Nate dogg, etc. I won't vote on what you call me.
I try my best to be a fair judge, but if you don't understand the argument, please don't read it.
Your camera should be on, don't steal prep. If your camera is off, you should be letting me know what you are doing so I don't think you're stealing prep (i.e. sending out the doc). I will keep my camera on during the debate unless something unexpected comes up, so if I'm not visible on camera make sure I'm there.
Recording the debate is allowed and encouraged, it will help you get better.
Clarity over speed, but beware of the dangers of excessive speed and online debate. Relying on the power of your wifi and my wifi is risky, but if it cuts out for a significant amount of time I'll let you know and we can re-start from the timestamp.
Join rounds ASAP, disclose ASAP.
Tech over truth, dropped arguments are true, though whether or not the argument was truly "dropped" can be contested based on the previous speech. Open cross-x good, it's ok to ask a quick question of the other team during your prep, I believe the other team should answer those questions.
I've been a 2N basically my whole debate career; only run policy affs
I'm not more biased toward soft-left affs vs big-stick affs but know that soft-left affs usually come with the burden of winning framing. I'll vote for them if your framing is sufficient, but I will default to extinction first unless you tell me why to prioritize your impacts. I will never assign zero warrant or risk to extinction, but framing is a good way to mitigate their offense and bolster your impacts, but don't rely on solely framing to take out the neg's impacts. I'm only going to believe that there's an extremely low risk of the DA if you are actually winning some defense against it. Read whatever impact you want, especially nuanced impacts that can't be impact-turned. Also, I don't mind long internal link chains as long as they are logical and "follow-able".
No new 1ar answers unless it's to new impacts/offense in the block of course. If you manage to hide new 1ar answers disguised as extrapolations of 2ac answers, good for you.
I don't think K affs in middle school/novice debate is a common thing, that's good. If you do read a planless aff, just know I do not have much experience with these but I will hold it to a high standard. I think fairness and clash are good, strong impacts so that makes your burden high. You have to prove to me why the ballot has the role you assign it in the debate, and why that role is good. I will default to the interpretation that the ballot is to communicate which team did the better debating to tabroom unless thoroughly persuaded otherwise.
Dissads: Great, this is probably the neg strat you learned how to debate with. A dissad has to be complete, it needs uniqueness, link, impact. Just reading a single generic link card in your 1nc is not enough. Of course, aff-specific links are great, but you can defend generic links too. Make sure you're reading a dissad that still has uniqueness. (i.e. don't read senate elections if they're over)
Counterplans: CPs are good, make sure you have a net benefit. If the net benefit is internal, it's your burden to extend that along with the counterplan. If the net benefit is external (i.e. a dissad), then extend that through the 2nr. It's not a net benefit if it isn't extended into the last speech.
CP theory's a reason to reject the arg. (except condo)
PICs that pic out of a fundamental part of the aff are good. How legitimate your pic is is up for debate. I don't like "should" competition (who does?)
Adv CPs are good, plank abuse might change my mind
Process CPs are probably bad
I think conditionality is probably good, but if you lose it, it's still a voter. For the aff, it will be a lot to convince me condo is bad, but if they're being extremely abusive with it in-round, that's reason to vote aff.
Topicality: Affs should be T. Impacts are important. Also, make sure you extend your interp. It's easier to win T arguments that aren't super limiting and I tend to side with T interps that are specific and clearly exclude the aff's mechanism. It is the neg's burden to prove why the aff doesn't meet their interp, I am especially inclined to vote on the we meet if the neg reads a vague interp.
Kritik: I can't stress this enough, you're probably in middle school if you're reading this, so please only read Ks that you can understand and defend. Reading blocks and never responding to the neg arguments on the K is not a good debate. I believe you should also defend the theoretical/framework reasons to vote for the K, though I am generally reluctant to vote on "you link you lose" unless the neg is clearly and thoroughly ahead on framework. That being said, root cause claims or "our impact makes theirs inevitable" are arguments I believe help mitigate case well. Long overviews are overrated - get to substance.
FW v K affs:
The aff has the burden of convincing me why their interp of what debate should be outweighs any neg offense, and that means responding to neg arguments thoroughly and explaining why your view of debate is better, because I will assume debate is a competitive game going into a round. I love clever neg add-ons or dissads on the FW or T flow. Fairness is an intrinsic good and probably the best impact to go for. Try to explain why you access more offense with FW than they do with a ballot. It's not hard to convince me that my ballot can only remedy procedural unfairess.
ASPEC: prefer not, I'll vote on it if it's clearly warranted in the 1NC and (functionally) dropped by the aff
Disclosure Theory: I think disclosure is really important in a debate. That being said, it's a hard ballot to write unless there is proof that the aff purposefully evaded disclosing their aff before the round. Provide proof they refused disclosure and I'll hear you out, but for it to be a ballot it's gotta be extended heavily in block/2nr.
Condo: above, under "counterplans"
I do not have much experience with LD, but please refer to the "Top Level" section of my paradigm. If I am judging you for LD, you probably are just starting so don't stress out in round and have fun.
Associate Director of Debate @ Greenhill
Still helping KU in my free time
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I love debate and I will do my absolute best to make a decision that makes sense and give a helpful RFD.
Competing interpretations are easier to evaluate than reasonability. You need to explain to me how we determine what is reasonable if you are going for reasonability.
Having said that if your intep is so obscure that there isn't a logical CI to it, perhaps it is not a good interpretation.
T debates this year (water topic) have gotten too impact heavy for their own good. I've judged a number of rounds with long overviews about how hard it is to be negative that never get to explaining what affirmatives would be topical under their interp or why the aff interp links to a limits DA and that's hard for me because I think much more about the latter when I think about topicality.
Affirmatives should be about the topic. I will be fairly sympathetic to topicality arguments if I do not know what the aff means re: the topic after the 1AC.
I think teams are meming a bit on both sides of this debate. Phrases like "third and fourth level testing" and "rev v rev debates are better" are kind of meaningless absent robust explanation. Fairness is an impact that I will vote on. Like any other impact, it needs to be explained and compared to the other team's impact. I have also voted on arguments about ethics, education, and pedagogy. I will try my best to decide who wins an impact and which impact matters more based on the debate that happens.
I do not think the neg has to win a TVA to win topicality; it can be helpful if it happens to make a lot of sense but a forced TVA is generally a waste of time.
If the aff is going for an impact turn about debate, it would be helpful to have a CI that solves that impact.
I would love to see you go for a disad and case in the 2NR. I do not find it persuasive when an affirmative team's only answer to a DA is impact framing. Impact framing can be important but it is one of a number of arguments that should be made.
I am aware the DA's aren't all great lately. I don't think that's a reason to give up on them. It just means you need a CP or really good case arguments.
I really enjoy an old-fashioned k vs the aff debate. I think there are lots of interesting nuances available for the neg and the aff in this type of debate. Here are some specific thoughts that might be helpful when constructing your strategy:
1. Links of omission are not links. Links of “commission” will take a lot of explaining.
2. Debating the case matters unless there is a compelling framework argument for why I should not evaluate the case.
3. If you are reading a critique that pulls from a variety of literature bases, make sure I understand how they all tie to together. I am persuaded by aff arguments about how it's very difficult to answer the foundation of multiple bodies of critical literature because they often have different ontological, epistemological, psychoanalytic, etc assumptions. Also, how does one alt solve all of that??
4. Aff v. K: I have noticed affirmative teams saying "it's bad to die twice" on k's and I have no idea what that means. Aff framework arguments tend to be a statement that is said in the 2AC and repeated in the 1AR and 2AR - if you want fw to influence how I vote, you need to do more than this. Explain how it implicates how I assess the link and/or alternative solvency.
5. When ontology is relevant - I feel like these debates have devolved into lists of things (both sides do this) and that's tough because what if the things on the list don't resonate?
Generic counterplans are necessary and good. I think specific counterplans are even better. Counterplans that read evidence from the 1AC or an aff author - excellent! I don't have patience for overly convoluted counterplans supported by barely highlighted ev.
I do not subscribe to (often camp-driven) groupthink about which cp's "definitely solve" which aff's. I strongly disagree with this approach to debate and will think through the arguments on both sides of the debate because that is what debate is about.
Solvency deficits are a thing and will be accounted for and weighed along with the risk of a DA, the size of the DA impact, the size of the solvency deficit, and other relevant factors. If you are fiating through solvency deficits you should come prepared with a theoretical justification for that.
I am generally neg leaning on cp theory but if you want to make an argument about why a certain cp is illegitimate (cough, con con) I will do my best to objectively evaluate that argument.
Some people think it is auto-true that politics disads and certain cp's are terrible for debate. I don't agree with that. I think there are benefits/drawbacks to most arguments. This matters for framework debates. A plan-less aff saying "their model results in politics DA's which is obviously the worst" will not persuade absent a warrant for that claim.
Love a good case debate. It's super under-utilized. I think it's really impressive when a 2N knows more about the aff evidence than the aff does.
Please don't be nasty to each other; don't be surprised if I interrupt you if you are.
I don't flow the 1AC and 1NC because I am reading your evidence. I have to do this because if I don't I won't get to read the evidence before decision time in a close debate.
If the debate is happening later than 9PM you might consider slowing down and avoiding especially complicated arguments.
There was once a team who lost an "ethics challenge" because they capitalized a letter in a 1AC that had not been capitalized in the previous version of the 1AC -- that is not actually an ethics challenge. If you make a frivolous or convoluted ethics challenge in a debate that I judge I will ask you to move on and be annoyed for the rest of the round. Legitimate ethics challenges exist and should/will be taken seriously but ethics challenges are not something we should play fast and loose with.
For debating online:
-If you think clarity could even possibly be an issue, slow down a ton. More than ever clarity and quality are more important than quantity.
-If my camera is off, I am not there, I am not flowing your speech, I probably can't even hear you. If you give the 1AR and I'm not there, there is not a whole lot I can do for you.
Newbie Coach for ADL
I give pretty high speaks if you're nice.
Email Chain: Brandonchen.email@example.com
Ask in round if you want to know more about me
Hi you all!
I'm a senior at Mamaroneck. Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Novice debate is about learning fundamentals. If you show me that you have given the round your best (you've flowed, been attentive, instructed me how to write the ballot, etc.), you'll be rewarded.
I will try my best to prevent my biases from influencing the decision.
Have fun :)
---email title should include the tournament, round, and teams.
---forward complaints to email@example.com
---I will vote on what is said and evaluate arguments based on how they are articulated. That means while I have preferences, they can all be overridden by judge instruction and technical debating.
---I care a lot about research. That means I will always prefer a strategy or argument that demonstrates both the quality and quantity of evidence. In addition, it isn’t just about the evidence itself but that strategy or argument’s germaneness to the 1AC / 1NC.
---default to sending a card doc. Evidence should be formatted neatly, using verbatim, and organized coherently. This is true of both the card doc as well as every speech that features evidence.
---mitigate random dead time during debates. I will not be a stickler for nuisances but if it gets beyond a certain point, I’ll start taking prep. This includes but is not limited to the ability to send an email, set up stands, etc.
--- +.3 speaker points for open source. This is all speeches where evidence is read, not just the 1AC / 1NC. I prefer you tell me before the round so I don’t forget.
---there has been a discrepancy I have been noticing, likely caused by a lack of in-person debate and other factors. First, too much block reading in the final rebuttals. This isn’t to say it’s a bad thing, but it is to say you are likely to get better points from me if the final rebuttals are obviously not prewritten speeches. Second, people lack presence. Most debaters seem very used to being on a screen and just talking into a computer. Debate is a persuasive activity, where the goal is to persuade me, the judge. You should try your best to persuade me, not your laptop. This includes facing me during CX, being more engaged during the debate, etc. Finally, a lot of people are really quiet. It is not that people are unclear but getting used to microphones and not speaking in large rooms means debaters don’t seem used to projecting their voices. That means despite being clear, I may miss some things or struggle to play catchup. This issue is especially true on the body of cards.
---all of these factors are unlikely to tip the scale of a debate, but they matter and will only help speaker points.
---I am dedicating a section to attempt to unpack my decision-making process. My favorite judges are rarely those that have ideological preferences with me, but rather those whom I understand how they make decisions, which gives me a guide for how to approach a round.
---“tech” > “truth.” This means I care a lot about technical concessions. This is true not only of the argument itself but the way its characterized and the manner in which I am instructed to evaluate it. However, there are two caveats to this rule. First, the less true an argument is, the less of an answer it requires. This does not mean it cannot be left unaddressed. Second, the argument must comprise a full argument at the time of the concession.
---the default is that I will attempt to intervene as little as possible. When I do intervene, it is because there is a particular component of a debate that I need to resolve, but neither team has done a good job of resolving it.
---judge instruction is very important. I don’t pretend to be the most knowledgeable person about many things and won’t say that I am perfect. That means I am prone to errors, misjudgments, and mistakes. I would struggle to identify anyone who is the “optimal” judge at all times. That, in conjunction with a lack of strong opinions on “procedural” questions in debates (including cross-applications, “newness” allowed, etc.), means I am readily malleable by the debate in front of me. Debaters should attempt to rig this malleability to their favor in front of me. Which impacts matter, how should I understand an argument, how new is an argument, what is a prior question, can debaters insert re-cuts, etc., are all up for debate and I will largely accept whatever the debaters say as guiding my decision.
---I mulled over this a while and realized I should introduce another layer to my explanation of judge instruction. While I find myself knowing the order of questions I should resolve after a round, I rarely feel strongly about it. I could be convinced by a final rebuttal that points in a particular direction or map of how I should go about deciding.
---evidence matters a lot to me. My favorite part of the activity is reading and processing evidence. This can be either highly qualified, well-warranted positions or contrived, strategically processed ones. Regardless, the debating and comparison of evidence are very important to me. I will not, however, read the evidence for the sake of it. I will read evidence to verify arguments made by debaters and it will influence the margins of how I fall on a particular issue. As I said above, even this process of how I read evidence can be altered by the quality of debating.
---vagueness < explanation / clarity (?). There is an increasing trend among teams to not specify anything in plan texts, CP texts, alternatives, cross-x, etc. It is actually reaching a point where it is mind-boggling that in this persuasive speech activity, we are racing towards being more amorphous and, as a result, less persuasive. This isn’t to say I want people going for vagueness procedures or I want texts to specify to the nth degree. This is to say that debaters should reign in some tendencies to reach for vagaries when they can simply be clear and defend what they say. Simply put, more details and explanations are always better for me. I will struggle to vote on something I cannot explain, obviously.
---none of this is to be disingenuous and say I have no ideological predispositions. However, it is to say the only impact of those dispositions is I am more receptive to certain arguments.
---debate it more. More offense is always better than less.
---1ACs need internal link evidence and need to be highlighted coherently. That seems to be forgotten.
---defense wins championships. Very few teams read good internal link/impact evidence.
---the vaguer the advocacy/what the AFF is defending, the better I get for the NEG.
---debate is a game. It might be more than just that, but that fact dictates a vast majority of what is done in debate and is significant.
---AFF offense needs more about why the process of the debate is bad, not just that the content of the rez is bad.
---my ballot probably only determines who won the debate.
---I think I actually enjoy K v. K debates more than a T debate. I think this just has to do with research interests.
---the more it's secretly a DA, the more I am a fan.
---specific/updated > generic/old.
---both teams rarely deploy mutually exclusive framework interpretations.
---I could care less that fiat isn't real. "It could be an Italian car for all I care and I'm still letting them weigh the aff.” - Alex Gazmararian.
---have you seen some 1ACs v the K? Go for a CP + DA for a quick ballot.
---competing interps > reasonability. However, the more ridiculous your interpretation is, the more I am likely to buy reasonability.
---predictable limits > other stuff.
---read lots of cards. The more qualified evidence supporting your interp, the better it probably is for debate.
---cards that define words > cards that just use them in context. One is a definition, and one isn’t.
---teams usually arrive at the same impact i.e., debatability, but never reconcile internal links. That’s important.
---judge kick is my default. Theory is probably an uphill battle, particularly if conditionality is good. Most theoretical complaints are better as permutation arguments, rather than independent voting issues.
---solvency deficits need impacts. This is especially true of “process” CP debates. Even if the process of the CP is uncertain if it results in the plan, why does that initial uncertainty matter?
---sufficiency framing is intuitively based on cost-benefit analysis. Therefore, it is my default unless told otherwise.
---intrinsic perms can be fine.
---pretty NEG on all theory. Nothing should be a reason to reject the team except conditionality. “Competition dictates legitimacy” seems intuitive to me.
---framing pages are silly. I am better for the K of impacts than “probability first.”
---politics DA is good. I care less about preconceived notions of fiat than most.
---impact turns are good. Do it. Read them all.
---evidence ethics or anything else in a similar vein should typically be debated. That's what I prefer but if there is a clear violation consistent with tournament policy, the onus is on the debaters to clearly direct me to stop the round and address it.
---"Being racist, sexist, violent, etc. in a way that is immediately and obviously hazardous to someone in the debate = L and 0. My role as educator > my role as any form of disciplinarian, so I will err on the side of letting stuff play out - i.e. if someone used gendered language and that gets brought up I will probably let the round happen and correct any ignorance after the fact. This ends when it begins to threaten the safety of round participants. Where that line is entirely up to me." – Truf.
My name is Alexander Farahbod.
I am a high school debater who has competed in World Schools Debate at the Kinkaid School. Competing at TFA State, UC Berkeley, and King Round Robin.
Worlds rounds are clash-centered debates on the most reasonable interpretation of the motion. I am usually flowing the debate on my computer or my iPad, taking thorough notes on every speaker’s remarks, POIs, and answers to the POIs.
Email Chain (if necessary): firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't POI too much/too little. Be smart with them.
Weigh - tell me why you win, compare worlds, and give me 'even if' statements.
Don't be abusive with framing; be smart with it.
If there are multiple paths to victory for both teams, I will take what I think is the shortest path and explain why I think it's the shortest path, and you can influence my decision by explaining why you control the shortest path.
I prefer debaters and arguments that are engaging and funny.
I love World Schools Debate!
Do not run from the heart of the motion and engage in the most salient and fruitful clashes and you'll do great. I am very well versed in this format. Weigh very clearly and don't forget to extend the framework conversation throughout the entire debate. Personally, I find both principle and practical arguments to be equally as valuable in the round as long as speakers explain the importance of these arguments and weigh them against each other. I usually find it easier to follow a debate case when teams present metrics/burdens for the round. I personally don’t mind fast speakers, and I consider strategy and content over style, but the points are still there so don’t neglect them.
Ensure that you have a logical structure to the progression and development of the bench. You are speaking to the judge as a global, informed citizen--you cannot assume that I know all of the inner workings of the topic literature, even if I do. Work to sell a clear story with syllogistic link chains: make the implicit, explicit.
Some thoughts on WSD
1. Prop Teams really need to prioritize establishing a clear comparative and beginning the weighing conversation in the Prop 3 to overcome the time-skew in the Opp Block. This involves spelling out clearly in the prop three not only what the major clashes are but also what sort of voters I should prefer and why.
2. Weighing is a big deal and needs to happen on two levels. The first level has to do with the specific content of the round and the impacts (i.e. who is factually correct about the material debated and the most likely characterizations). The second level has to do with the mechanics leveraged in the substantives and defensive part of the round (i.e., independent of content—who did the better debating by relying on clear incentives, layered characterizations, and mechanisms). Most debates neglect this second level of weighing; these levels work together and complement each other.
3. Opposition teams should use the block strategically. This means that the material covered in the Opp reply should not be a redundant repetition of the Opp 3. One of these two speeches should be more defensive (the 3) and the other less defensive (the 4) — we can view them as cohesive but distinct because they prioritize different issues and methods. There is a ton of room to play around here, but bottom line is that I should not hear two back-to-back identical speeches.
4. Big fan of principled arguments, but I have found that teams are not doing a fantastic job weighing these arguments against practical arguments. The framework of the case and the argument should preemptively explain to me what I should prefer this *type* of argument over or against a practical argument (an independent reason to prefer you). This usually involves rhetorically and strategically outlining the importance of this principle because of its moral/value primacy (i.e. what is the principled impact to disregarding this argument).
5. Regrets motions are some of my favorite motions, but I find that teams really struggle with these. You are debating here with the power and retrospect and hindsight. To this end, watch out for arguments that say something is bad because it “will cause X;” rather, arguments should say this thing is bad because it “already caused X.” This does not mean that we cannot access conversations about the future in regrets motions—but we need to focus the majority of our framing on actually analyzing why an *already present/happened* event or phenomena is worthy of regret.
In terms of strategy, I always take into consideration contradictions in the cases and the weighing that each team gives an argument. I also ponder heavily the proper development of arguments, this means that speakers should be spending a reasonable time developing arguments, not leaving a full-on argument for the last minute.
I do not think that evidence is necessary to prove an argument so long as it is proven through persuasive analysis and realistic characterizations. I also believe that teams should respect the fiat the motion gives each side of the house, meaning that teams can actually do or think they can do whatever the motion is asking from them. Despite this, it is important for teams to also characterize and analyze why their model is likely to happen/be accepted, why it would solve issues they are trying to fix and how they will carry this out.
LD, PF, CX Paradigm: I'll listen to just about anything done well.
General: I am very much a "flow" judge. Signposting is crucial. I do not extend arguments or draw links on my own. If you do not tell me or paint the story for me I will really despise doing the work for you.
Speaks: The quality of the argument will always outweigh the persuasion that you use. It is ridiculous to vote for a team because they sound better. I will penalize racist, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist or ableist speech with low speaks.
Speed: I am fine with speed; though I am not fine with bad clarity. Rapidly slurring cards together and ignoring clear sign-posting does not allow as much time as you think for me to put your arguments on the flow. If you see me stop flowing or if you notice my facial demeanor change, this is a good indicator that your speed is too fast with not enough clarity.
Framework: Framework is very important to a good debate. Value clash should start here. This comes with two caveats. First, know what your authors are actually saying. I might penalize you for running content that you misconstrue. Second, be able to explain, with your own analytics, any dense framework that you run. I will default to comparative worlds unless told otherwise. Some level of intervention is required on the part of the judge unless the framework debate is carried all the way to the 2AR--don't make me intervene. Make sure you return to the framework debate!
Theory/T: You do you. Not a fan of frivolous theory to be honest; but you're in charge (more or less). I dislike tricks. Make the interp clear and the violation clear. This is not my favorite part of judging rounds, so if it is a part of your strategy don’t pref me.
Cross-X: I flow cross-ex. I do consider it a substantive portion of the debate and cross-ex is binding. I believe that too many debaters waste their cross-ex time by desperately trying to get some understanding of their opponent's case because of the increasing absurdity of some case strategies and/or the lack of clarity that accompanies some speed.
K's: Good K debates are wonderful! Bad ones are the worst debates to watch. I love to see something unique but relevant if you default to K. Please very clearly tell me what the Alt looks like; "vote neg" is not an alt!!! You’ve got to give me some function beyond “give me the ballot.” I am comfortable with most critical theory and post-modern scholarship. Please do not make me draw the links for you. If you choose to run a critical theory, you should understand it well. Good K debaters do their authors and their author's scholarship justice by understanding the primary texts and scholarship inside and outside of the round. If your only exposure to a K author is a list of cards, you are philosophically unequipped to meaningfully engage in that author's scholarship, and unprepared for a good K debate. This in no way means that you have to be a PhD student on Baudrillard to run a Baudrillard K, it just means you have to actually do your homework and trust your knowledge of the scholarship because you didn't take shortcuts in understanding the K-Author, and your main textual engagement with the K-Author goes well beyond a series of cards, especially cards someone else cut.
Evidence: I believe that evidence ethics are serious.
Weighing and Impacts: spell out the voters for me. It's that simple. If you give me an impact calc, that is super beneficial for you.
*When I give my RFD in prelims, you are more than welcome to ask questions. However, if you argue with me or begin to debate with me, I will give you a 20 on speaks--no joke Do not waste my time.
** I will not tolerate any rhetoric that is racist, sexist, or homophobic. Taking morally repugnant positions is not in your favor.
Please feel free to ask me any specific questions before the debate if you have any.
North Broward Preparatory School (Assistant Director): 2021 – Present
University of Michigan (Assistant Coach): 2020 – Present
Northwestern University: 2016 – 2020
Email Chain (yes): gabrielj348 [at] gmail.com
The affirmative team should read a topical plan that agrees with the resolution. The negative team should defend the status quo, a competitive alternative, or a topicality violation. The ballot picks a winner and I’m not likely to be persuaded I should attempt to use it for anything more.
Debate is a voluntary academic contest. Debate rounds should be as fair as possible. I’d strike me if you disagree with that premise. I’d also strike me if your argument says debate is bad, debate rounds should be unfair, the other team/school/community is bad, or in general requires avoiding a well-prepared opponent.
Community events and historical disputes should be separate from debate rounds. If a genuine issue arises during the debate, please alert whomever you feel most comfortable with (judges including myself, your coaches, the tab or tournament staff, etc.) and we will stop the debate. I won’t decide these issues through offense/defense, tech over truth, or line by line. Adhering to debate norms like speech and decision time, spreading, and the flow seems antithetical to resolving genuine concerns and is a disservice to all involved. Please avoid ad hominem attacks, reference to out of round events, or disingenuous complaints and/or accusations. I generally will not vote for them even if dropped.
Tech over truth in most debate... see above. Any argument is on the table. I won’t reject false arguments for the sake of truth alone, even when confident about the issue. I have a low threshold for dismissing incomplete or illogical arguments, especially if you are technically proficient and on the side of truth. My goal as a judge is too avoid unpredictable intervention without giving you a change to adapt. I’ll communicate in my decision if and where I thought I had to intervene, especially if an argument makes writing a coherent ballot for either side difficult.
I default to extinction bad/util good, especially if not told otherwise.
Topicality v. Planless
If the 1AC is planless or does not defend topical enactment of a government policy I am much better for the negative. If debated close to evenly I have a hard time reconciling affirmative offense with the competitive nature of debate.
I have presumptions that debate is first a game, games should be fair, and enforcing norms is not de facto violent. The negative does not need many words to convince me those things are true. If your arguments disagree with those premises, you should strike me.
Both fairness and clash are impacts and considering reasons why they might not be requires fair adjudication and clash.
I have a high threshold for what a complete argument is in framework debates (claim, data, warrant) and labeling something as a DA does not substitute for the parts that constitute one.
I will not footnote in presumed community knowledge or events and strongly prefer debates about the current topic to debates litigating past community conflicts. Even if included I’m not automatically convinced that these are inherently impacts, that the only negative ballot disavows history or that it’s inherently violent to agree with an interpretation that past 1ACs also violate.
I’ll likely vote neg if the following arguments are included: debate is a competition/game that requires fairness, preserving fairness is a prerequisite to achieving other potential worthy outcomes, well-prepared opponents who clash over the same topic improve the quality of rounds, improving rounds is good, strategic choices and competitive desire for the ballot motive every argument, claims to the contrary are strategic choices even if genuine, I should presume them to be motivated by competition since the only certain motivation I know is that all participants currently want the ballot, competing interpretations must consider the likely and worst allowed examples under each interpretation, no interpretation is every interpretation, the resolution is the most and likely only predictable interpretation, and what matters for predictability (and what the ballot is a referendum on) is whether the negative should be able to go for topicality in future debates when faced with a similar 1AC.
Topicality v. Plan
I’m best if you have a specific violation that was clearly tailored to the affirmative ahead of time. If your violation can be read against most 1ACs on the topic I think it’s probably wrong. I’ve voted for bad interpretations but have a low threshold for calling nonsense if there’s an answer that justifies doing so. Acknowledge strategic costs and benefits of an interpretation truthfully rather than asserting it is “best” for both sides or solves everyone’s offense.
I lean affirmative especially if the interpretation is unpredictable, poorly evidence, or creates a slightly more limited topic for the sake of limits. I often find myself frustratingly reading through the unhighlighted sections of out of context definitions that I wish someone had pointed out with an implication beyond “your card is from X”.
I’m more persuaded by debatability and fairness concerns than education. Connecting your standards to impacts and differentiating them each interpretation is important.
Fine for PTIV arguments and have made peace with vague plans. I think solvency and circumvention arguments are a better remedy than topicality.
Usually, I think that arguments that the topic is broken or unworkable for one side are overstated and should be mentioned once if not skipped.
Conditionality is the only presumed voting issue. Conditional advocacies may be infinite in number and introduced in either constructive. Advantages with intrinsic internal links are my preferred recourse. Most persuaded by logic.
I’d prefer if the negative didn’t CP out of straight turns but more for cowardice than theory reasons.
States uniformly doing the plan and/or all amending constitutions is questionable.
International fiat is bad.
Good for most but the more it tests the plan the better I am. Not a fan of CPs without evidence but evidence may be read after the 1NC.
Fine for process and I appreciate the craft that goes into writing them. They aren’t a personal strength or research priority so try to clearly explain the mechanism, scope of fiat, and standards. Mandate, effect, function language is useful.
Competition debates should include normative justifications for both definitions and counterplan/permutation interpretations.
You cannot selectively “defend” something for a DA but not for CPs.
Politics is on life support. You should let it go. I have not judged a coherent politics debate backed by quality evidence in years. Most of these scenarios are nuked by a few analytics. There’s no bill yet? Zero risk. No vote for months? Zero risk. Biden must “sign off” tagged as “PC key”? Zero risk. No cards but somehow prices in all thumpers but can’t overcome the link? Zero risk. Bill solves climate change? Probably zero risk.
The block should read additional impact mods and carded turns case arguments.
Zero risk is possible but rare.
I prefer numbered 1NCs that include solvency and internal link presses, re-cuttings, and case turns over a slew of analytics and impact defense. Don’t number if you can’t correctly refer to them throughout the debate. I’ll number my flow regardless.
Impact defense and alt causes are good but you should make arguments specific to the 1AC rather than copy paste a generic block.
2As get away with murder on the case. “Yes X, that’s Y” is not a complete argument. The block should exploit light 2AC coverage. I have a low threshold for zapping case. Being present in the 1AC is not a free pass to resurrect an argument in the 2AR.
Impact turns are great, some of my favorite debates. I tend to start with sustainability/impact framing before transition. Remember to answer/exploit arguments based on the specific internal link conceded to access the impact turn.
I’m better for the aff than neg but went for, have researched, and am gettable on kritiks. The more they test the plan the better.
I generally think the plan should be weighed for fairness/clash reasons, the neg should engage/turn/solve the case, and that permutation double bind is a good argument. I can be persuaded not to weigh the plan at all. I can also be persuaded to say Ks should functionally be CP/DA with link uniqueness, alt solvency, etc. The negative usually spends too much time doing a little of everything without developing anything. I’m more likely to vote neg on a K that’s clearly the Fiat K, no tricks or disguises, than a K that attempts to do everything at once and fix it in the 2NR.
Framework is the most important part of the K for me. I've often sat for the affirmative when the neg was ahead on most of the page but losing framework. If case is dropped and the affirmative gets to weigh it, I generally vote affirmative.
Don’t spend unnecessary time one FW without explaining the implication of winning your interpretation for the other parts of the debate. When both interpretations are compatible with one another (this happens too often and means your interpretation is probably not serving as much utility as you think) the team that identifies that first and allocates time accordingly usually wins.
Neg teams lose me when they conflate being slightly ahead on an interpretation like "we get links to stuff other than the plan" with "we don't need to answer case/those links auto-disprove/dismiss entire affirmative".
If you want the implication of your framework to be that I shouldn't weigh the case, clearly state that in the block.
I'm most persuaded by in descending order: neg can get links to stuff other than the plan, neg can lower the threshold for alt solvency, neg needn’t necessarily solve case to win, case doesn’t matter.
My ideal compromise is the neg gets links to things other than plan implementation but must win that the implication of those links outweighs/denies the hypothetical benefits of implementing the plan.
I am not “deep” in any particular literature base so explain your theory and apply it to the case as much as possible for Ks that are more complex than Capitalism, Security, etc.
I have yet to see a compelling reason why most identity kritiks negate the desirability of the plan or why debate should be primarily about a particular group. Explaining how the kritik implicates the case is very important in these debates. If your strategy does not attempt case debate I am probably bad for it.
Demonstrating an ontology argument does not automatically accomplish that task, necessitate a d-rule framing, or substitute for specific impact instruction and/or comparison. The neg needs to include reasons that winning a descriptive claim implicates normative ones. The world might really really really suck... the plan might make it better. Absent a strong framing argument that implicates that type of thinking, I’m probably voting affirmative.
CX is important and you should consider it an extension of speeches. CX is binding and starts with the first question (no “did you read” before starting the timer).
You don’t have to answer questions after the timer, after rebuttals, or during prep time and I may not pay attention to questions asked outside of CX. Be reciprocal if you want them to clarify something post timer.
The negative should almost always include questions about the plan in 1AC CX. Random questions about impacts are not going to make or break the debate.
Questions about solvency/mechanisms/links/internal links/alternatives/competition > alt causes, meh analytics, impacts, revisiting past questions.
Inserting evidence is fine but should preferably be read out loud before the debate ends if you think it’s important. I’m probably won’t care much about recuts if you don’t restate the important lines in final rebuttals.
Ethics "violations" are not a thing. Ethics challenges are. I will stop the round and attempt to reconcile them according to what seems most fair and/or true, best adhering to the governing rules of the tournament. If your argument is best made as a link to something else, make it as a link. Anything rising above that threshold will stop the round and include the possibility of either team losing. Practically speaking this means think hard before saying "new sheet". If you aren't willing to stop the round, I'm not flowing or evaluating it. Speaks will be capped at 28.7 if the round stops. The round will not resume after it stops. There are too many low to no cost voting issues or ethics violations that heavily favor the accusing team, especially when it is evident that pre-tournament preparation has occurred. I will not continue the debate or "draw a line" from past speeches when questions of integrity or character on made.
Treat each other with respect. If you cannot, do not expect respect from others. Put simply, ask yourself if the room would be pleasant were everyone to behave like you.
If a core component of your strategy is ad homs, out of round accusations, screenshots, or refusing questions, strike me.
29.6 – 30.0: Top 1-10 debater at the tournament.
29.0 – 29.5: Should clear/win a speaker award.
28.5 – 28.9: Above average to solid.
28.0 – 28.4: Still learning, stick with it.
27.6 – 27.9: This was tough…
27.0 – 27.5: You were rude. Being here sucked.
25.0: You cheated/clipped/etc. Coaches or Tabroom should be alerted.
I coached LD at Harker for a year but was mainly tasked with policy assignments. If you get me and treat it like a policy debate, you'll be fine. I'm not familiar with phil shells or tricks and very likely won't vote on them.
I'm honestly truth over tech in this activity because so many of the things people say are nonsensical. T is not an RVI. Conditionality is okay. Aff framework choice is fake. Don't proliferate new pages.
Caddo Magnet ‘21
I want to be on the email chain, email@example.com.
The most important thing I have to say is that I will do my absolute best to judge every debate in the least interventionist way possible, besides a few non-negotiables I'll list below. I will vote on an argument that I profoundly disagree with if I think that it was won. However, evidence quality influences technical debating and I value good evidence highly, even though I don't usually read a ton of cards in high school debates because I don't feel like I need to.
I've found that even though I have a ton of opinions about what I think debate should look like, those preferences pretty much entirely go away when judging. I don't care much at all about what arguments debaters are making and really only care about how it's debated. I've been in a lot of debates and have seen many people go for many different arguments, so I should be able to understand yours. However, I will say that I have a fairly strong preference for organized, and technical debating, and not debating in this way will probably make it harder than you'd like for me to give a satisfying decision.
I'll do my best to default to as few things as possible and adapt to the debate at hand. If you want me to view the debate a certain way, tell me how I should so I don't have to substitute my preferences for your debating.
You won't need to read all of this, just have offense and win that it outweighs the other side's offense.
You can go as fast as you want while maintaining clarity. You won't be going too fast for me, but you could be a little unclear, so I'll clear you if it becomes a problem.
I think of debate as a game, which filters a lot of these thoughts, but you can easily win that debate is not a game or is more than just a game. (Almost) everything is debatable.
It's generally better to make bold choices and only go for a few pieces of offense in the final rebuttals to explain them well than to go for a lot of things and not explain them as thoroughly.
I default to evaluating arguments probabilistically. That goes away if questioned.
Line by line is good.
Judge instruction is good.
Justify new arguments. Just because another team says you don't get new arguments doesn't mean it's true, especially if they're reading cards on an argument you dropped.
If you're going for a K of reps, you probably need case defense unless it was grossly mishandled. I see going for reps links while not answering the case as a bit like a link turn with no UQ. If you disagree, explain why and you'll be all good.
It'll help you to start the debate on judge kick early.
Good for T arguments with good evidence. I generally prefer predictability over debatability, but that's not absolute and shouldn't affect how I evaluate debates.
Good for competition debates. Send perm texts if it's anything besides do both, do the CP, or some variation of the plan and certain planks.
Good for politics. Read a lot of cards.
Good for impact turns and theory. Not because I think the arguments are true, I just think of them like any other argument and a lot of teams are bad at answering them. I don't really see why going for theory if you're winning is more "cowardly" than going for other arguments that you're winning that are technical TKOs, but that doesn't mean it's always or even often the best strategy.
Good for Ks that are impact turns/solvency takeouts to the case. Good for Ks that have alts that solve the case and links that are DAs to the plan. Probably best for Ks that are just Framework and say the aff shouldn't get to weigh the plan.
Good for extinction outweighs vs. the K. Also fine for the perm and link turns.
Good for clash and fairness. Fine for other impacts to FW. Good for a counter-interp or impact turn strategy against FW, just make sure you pick one.
Generally don't love K affs that identify truisms and say that's a reason to vote for them. Pointing out bad things does nothing for you if you don't have a means of solving them. Of course, you can also get unique offense based on what the neg says, but you need to explain what voting aff does, whether it changes debate practices, rejects unethical ones in just this debate, forwards a desirable political strategy, etc.
Fairly bad for frivolous theory arguments when they aren't based on resolutional language. For example, if the 2AC drops ASPEC, the neg often didn't have enough of an argument to extend it in the 2NC without making new arguments, so the 1AR gets to justify new arguments too. That doesn't mean I won't vote on bad theory arguments (I have), or that new 1AR arguments are automatically justified, but it does mean that I have a pretty high bar for winning them.
Bad for analogizing T to actual violence (genocide, drone strikes, etc.). That's not to say that you can't problematize reading T, but arguments comparing it to literal violence are incredibly unpersuasive.
I think role of the ballot arguments are usually pretty silly.
Not the biggest fan of many soft left affs. I think lots of aff framing arguments are kinda silly but so are lots of other arguments, so I don’t actually care too much. I obviously prefer aff-specific framing arguments but if generic, I prefer risk assessment (existential risks overestimated, probability outweighs, conjunctive fallacy, butterfly effect, etc.) type aff framing arguments instead of "X comes first," "extinction is non-unique," and asserting that a DA is low risk without actual defense, but that seems to be out of vogue.
If you're going to say that plan text in a vacuum, functional and/or textual competition, utilitarianism, probability first, etc. are bad, you need to provide an alternative to those things. Otherwise, it's the equivalent of reading offense against a T interp when you don't have a counter-interp to solve any offense. The fact that those things have problems doesn't necessarily mean that alternatives are better.
I judge this a little bit and there's not much that I have to say about it specifically. All of the stuff above applies equally to LD. I've only ever debated in policy and usually only judge policy so I'm probably best for you if you just act like this is a one-person policy debate.
Never really had a debate where "value criterions" became important, but if you're gonna do that, just explain why offense in favor of yours outweighs offense in favor of theirs and you'll be fine.
Not a fan of frivolous theory arguments.
I've only judged this a few times. It would probably also help you to act like this was a policy debate because of my lack of familiarity with PF specifically. Really, you just need to win that your offense outweighs your opponent's.
Please don't paraphrase articles when first reading them. That's bordering on an academic integrity violation. Just read what your cards actually say, then you can obviously explain and paraphrase them in later speeches.
Both teams get 8 minutes for constructives, 5 minutes for rebuttals, and however many minutes of prep time the tournament invitation says/everyone in the round agrees to. I won't flow anything you say after the timer goes off.
CX is binding.
There is one winner and one loser.
I will flow both teams unless requested not to. If you request me not to flow and the other team would like me to, then I just won't flow you, which will almost certainly end up worse for you and make the debate harder for me to decide.
I won't vote on anything that did not occur in the round/I didn't see (personal attacks, prefs, disclosure, etc.). I think a judge's role is to determine who won the debate at hand, not who is a better person outside of it, and there's often no way to verify out-of-round claims. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, I will assist you in going to tab/whoever you'd feel most comfortable with so they can create a solution, but I don't view that as something that the judge should decide a debate upon, especially for high schoolers.
If a team initiates an ethics challenge, the debate stops and if it's found to be legitimate, the offending team will lose and will get the lowest speaks I can give. If it's not found to be legitimate, the team that initiated the challenge will lose.
It'll be hard to offend me but don't say any slurs or engage in harmful behavior against anyone else in the debate including racism, sexism, homophobia, intentionally misgendering someone, etc. I see pretty much all arguments as fair game but when that becomes personally harmful for other people in the debate, or is something indefensible like racism good, then it's crossed a line. I've thankfully never seen something like this happen in a debate that I've been in but it'd be naive to act like it's never happened. The line for what is and is not personally harmful to someone is obviously arbitrary but that applies to almost all things in debate, so I think it's fair to say that it's also up to the judge's discretion to determine when the line has been crossed.
I'm somewhat expressive but I try not to be. I don't want to influence how the debate plays out but if I'm confused, think an argument is funny, or think an argument is bad, I might unintentionally show it.
I'll give you better speaks if you're reading a substantial number of cards that you cut and they're good. I've been seeing a lot of old, bad cards in docs that could very easily be replaced in an afternoon, so I'll reward people that I see putting in the work. I'll be ecstatic if most of your cards, especially in the 1AC and 1NC, are from 2021 or newer.
I've noticed lots of debaters being pretty quiet when they're speaking which has made it hard to understand and flow. It seems like a result of online debate, so I'll cut some slack, but it's generally better to be too loud than too quiet.
Call me Austin, not "judge."
I like when people are funny. Lighten up the debate and make some (good) jokes if that's your thing.
Feel free to post-round. You won't offend me.
You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I coached for Saint Ignatius High School for 10 years in the 90s. I coached for Case Western Reserve University from 1995-2006. I started coaching again in 2016. The teams I coached were 75% policy and 25% Kritik debaters. I am fine with any type of argument, but I tend to enjoy fast, evidence intensive, traditional policy debates that collapse down well to a few clear reasons for me to prefer.
I do my best not to interject my opinions or perspectives into the decisions. I like being told how to sign the ballot and will try to pick either the 2NRs or 2ARs interpretation of the round. I like the analysis of warrants. The clash between competing warrants makes for the best debate.
Bravado is encouraged as long as it is done within the confines of fun, friendliness, and fairness.
DAs: Analysis of the evidence, comparison of evidence, and clear articulation of uniqueness, link, and impact are important to me.
TOPICALITY: I like topicality debates but rarely see them. I look to compare two competing interpretations. I probably have a lower threshold than most for having to justify it as a voting issue.
KRITIKs: They are fine. I treat them like any other argument. The more specific the link evidence and link story is to the affirmative, the more engaged I will be. Multiple links are exponentially more persuasive. Permutations need to be clearly explained. I am open to K is bad arguments. I am not deep into all of the literature.
COUNTER PLANS: Counter Plans are fine. Permutations need to be clearly explained. Solvency for counter plans matter.
FRAMEWORK: Clarity on Framework is helpful early on in the debate.
I have a bias towards new/odd arguments. Especially creative DAs and Counterplans. If you are looking to test something out, I may be a good judge to try it on. I'll make sure I give you all the feedback you need.
The most important thing to know about me is that while I would like to be included in the email chain, I will not read evidence during the round. I believe it risks too much judge bias even from the most experienced judges. I will read evidence at the end of the round if things are close or if the one of the debaters convinces me I need to look at one or two key pieces of evidence. Ultimately, I will vote on my flow. This means a minimum level of speaking articulation, clarity, and general ease of flowing does matter. If I can not understand a speaker I will verbally give a warning or two with no penalty.
Lane Tech - 2012 - 2013
Iowa City High - 2013 - 2016
University of Northern Iowa - 2016 - 2017
Emporia State 2018 - 2021
Berkeley Prep - 2021 -
-email chain -
-Recently retired k-leaning flex debater/resident performative stunt queen for Berkeley Prep Debate
-would much rather judge a really good policy v policy round than a poorly executed k round - BUT - would ultimately prefer to judge a k v k round where both sides have competing and creative strategies that they are both a) deeply invested in and b) have interesting interpretations of. Those are the rounds I always had the most fun in, but to be clear, I have also realized over the years that a policy v policy round has the potential for just as much, if not more and have no problem judging these debates.
-the team executing whatever argument they are most comfortable with at the highest level they can, will always in my eyes have an easier time getting my ballot/receiving higher speaks which means that the the speeches I want to see are those that you are enthused about giving and ultimately, I want you to be excited to be able to do whatever it is that you are best at.
-went for everything from big stick warming affs to f*** debate performance 1AC's, to Black/Native Studies like Warren, Wilderson, Moten, King, Gumbs and Hartman to Queer theory like Butler, Edelman and Trans-Rage to High theory like Nietzsche, Baudy and OOO as well as Procedurals like T/FW/A- and I-Spec, Disads/Case turns like to deterrence, politics and SPARK and of course, multiple different flavors of counterplans. so regardless of what it is you go for I'm down - just don't take this as an excuse to not use judge instruction/concise explanations that makes sense - even if I was a Nietzsche one - trick in high school that doesn't mean I'm going to do the nihilism work for you. All this is to say is that whoever you may be, you should feel comfortable that I have in some way or another had a certain level of experience with your literature base.
Due to recent events its been suggested to me that I add a layer to my philosophy I wasn't sure was necessary, but in an effort to help protect future debaters/debate rounds, as well as myself/fellow judges, here is what I will say -
While I do empathize with the competitive nature of this activity, it should go without saying that if there is violence of any kind, whether that be intentional or not, my role as an educator in this community is to intervene if that situation deems my involvement to be necessary and I want to make it very clear that I have no qualms in doing so. Its important to recognize when we have to put the game aside and understand as a community that we have a responsibility to learn from situations like those and to be better as we move forward. SO just for the sake of clarity, I do not have a desire to stop rounds, in fact - quite the opposite. However, my role as a judge (one that I would hope others embody when judging my own students) is one that adjudicates the round in the most equitable means possible AS WELL AS one that ensures the safety of, to the best of my capacity, each debate round and all of its participants/observers.
Also - Sometimes, and not always, but in the same fashion as countless other judges, I can, at times, be a very reactive/nonverbal judge. Understanding that those kinds of things are a) an inevitable part of this activity b) not always caused by something you did and c) can be incredibly critical in your in round-decision making is crucial and is a fundamental skill that I believe to be vastly important in succeeding within this activity. HOWEVER, that means that whether or not you choose to modify what you are doing based off how I am reacting is, at the end of the day, your decision and your decision alone - recognizing when to do so/when not to is a core facet of competing.
Strike me if you don't like it.
specific feels about certain things:
- have aff specific link explanations regardless of offcase position - that doesnt mean that every card has to be specific to the aff but your explanation of the link should be as specific to the 1AC as you can make possible - extra speaker points to those who can successfully pull lines
- hot take: after all this time in online debate, I will in fact "verbally interject if unable to hear" regardless of whether you make that clear to me before you begin your speech - so as a personal preference don't feel obligated to say that anymore. Id rather you just give me an order and start after getting some signal (verbal or visual) that we're all ready. as an incentive to help try and stop this practice, expect a lil boost in points.
- that being said, "as specific to the 1AC" means you could have a really good link to aff's mechanism. or you could have a great state link. or a link to their impacts. etc. it doesnt matter to me what the link is as long as it is well developed and made specific to what the 1AC is. I dont want to hear the same generic state link as much as the next person but if you make it creative and you use the aff than I dont see a problem.
- affirmatives could be about the topic, or they could not be, its up to you as long as whatever you choose to do you can defend and explain. If you're not about the topic and its a framework debate, I need to know what your model of debate is or why you shouldnt need to defend one etc. if youre reading a performance aff, the performance is just as important if not more than the evidence you are reading - so dont forget to extend the performance throughout the debate and use it to answer the other teams arguments.
- whether its one off or 8 please be aware of the contradictions you will be making in the 1NC and be prepared to defend them or have some sort of plan if called out.
- on that note theory debates are fine and could be fun. im not that opposed to voting on theory arguments of all varieties as long as you spend a sufficient amount of time in the rebuttals to warrant me voting on them. most of the time thats a substantial amount if not the entirety of one or more of your rebuttals.
- perm debates are weird and i dont feel great voting for "do both" without at least an explanation of how that works. "you dont get a perm in method debates" feels wrong mostly because like these are all made up debate things anyways and permutations are good ways to test the competitiveness of ks/cps/cas. that being said, if you have a good justification for why the aff shouldnt get one and they do an insufficient job of answering it, i will obviously vote on "no perms in method debates"
- dropped arguments are probably true arguments, but there are always ways to recover, however, not every argument made in a debate is an actual argument and being able to identify what is and isn't will boost your speaker points
how these are determined is inherently arbitrary across the board and let's not pretend I have some kind of rubric for you that perfectly outlines the difference between a 28.5 and a 28.6, or a 29.3 and a 29.4, or that my 29.3 will be the same as some other judges.
I do however think about speaks in terms of a competitive ladder, with sections that require certain innate skills which ended up being fairly consistent with other judges, if not slightly on the higher side of things. Hopefully, this section will more so help give you an idea of how you can improve your speeches for the next time you have me in the back.
-26s: these are few and far between, but if are to get one of these, we've probably already talked about what happened after the round. The key here is probably don't do whatever is that you did, and is most likely related to the stuff I talked about at the top.
-27s: If you're getting something in this range from me, it means you should be focusing on speaking drills (with an emphasis on clarity, and efficiency), as well as developing a deeper/fuller analysis of your arguments that picks apart the detailed warrants within the evidence you are reading.
-28s: Still need to be doing drills, but this time with more of an emphasis on affective delivery, finding a comfortable speed, and endurance. At this point, what I probably need to see more from you is effective decision making as well as judge instruction - in order to move into the 29 range, you should be writing my ballot for me with your final rebuttals in so far as using those speeches to narrow the debate down and effectively execute whatever route that may be by painting a picture of what has happened leading up to this moment
-29s: at this point, you're probably fairly clear and can effectively distinguish between pitches and tones as you go in order to emphasize relevant points. The only drills you should be doing here should be concerned with efficiency and breathing control, and if you are in the low 29's this is most likely a clarity issue and you should probably slow down a bit in order to avoid stumbling and bump your speaks up to high 29's. Higher 29's are most likely those who are making the correct decisions at most if not all stages of the debate, and successfully execute the final speeches in ways that prioritize judge instruction, and clearly lay the ballot out for me throughout the speech.
-30s: I actually don't have a problem giving these out, because I think my bar for a "perfect" speech can be subjective in so far as 30's for me can definitely make mistakes, but in the end you had a spectacular debate where you gave it everything you could and then some. I try not to give these out often though because of the risk it could possibly mess with your seeding/breaking, so if you do get one of these, thanks - I had a wonderful experience judging you.
-0.0 - 0.9 - this section is similar for every category in that it is dependent on things like argument extension and packaging, handling flows/the line by line, cross ex, link debating, etc. however, a team that is in the 29 range will have a higher bar to meet for those sort of minutia parts of your speech than those in the 28 or 27. That's because as you improve in delivery you should also be improving in execution, which means that in my eyes, a debater who may be in the 27 range the first time I see them, but is now speaking in the 28 range will have a higher bar than they did before in order to get into the high 28s.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Please give an order.
Do impact calculus and line-by-line.
Yes, you may insert re-highlightings.
I lean neg on most counterplan theory.
I default to judgekick.
The link matters more than uniqueness.
Zero risk is almost impossible.
add to email chain -- firstname.lastname@example.org.
Novice debaters: the top of the rebuttals should explain why I should vote for you. Do not just read your blocks---respond to each argument the opposing team makes that is relevant.
Complete arguments require a CLAIM and WARRANT. Even if it's dropped. In order for me to consider it, you must extend a full argument.
Word docs if possible.
Bad habits (lose these):
Don't call me judge.
Arguments and evidence don't "stand."
"On your first word." --> Nothing. Just start.
"Affirmation/Negation" ---> "Affirmative/Negative"
"Don't you agree." --> Better questions ("how" or "why" questions).
"Off-time roadmap." --> "Order." Or just give it; don't even need to say order.
"Judge and opponent ready?" --> "Is anyone not ready?"
"My opponent said [cue elaborate explanation of argument I've already heard]" --> "They say [3 word summary]."
"I win on magnitude. I win on scope. I win on timeframe." --> Just explain the impact.
Running "2 minutes of prep." --> Just run prep. End it whenever.
You don't have to read a plan. Most DAs to framework require more explanation than people are doing.
I probably won't vote for theory. The negative can be as flexible as they want. I'd much rather watch an in-depth debate that engages with the case than a generic process counterplan.
Affs should almost always get to weigh the plan. The negative should almost always get to critique any portion of the 1AC. "You link you lose" is nonsense to me. Similarly, "links must be to the plan" sounds terrible.
Not particularly keen to listen to a high theory debate.
Policy section above applies.
I'm not as eager to vote on theory as other LD judges. Debate the substance of the round.
Tricks are an uphill battle. I will find any way I can to vote against you. I'm not familiar with philosophy type arguments, so I'd advise against reading them (but I'll try to adjudicate the round to the best of my ability).
Peninsula '25 (hopefully) Princeton, Yale, Harvard, or Stanford '29 (definitely)
Put me on the email chain: email@example.com
I will never vote for the regulatory negotiation counterplan. Under any circumstances.
I will drop you for using mac. Non-negotiable.
Firm believer in all disciplines being equal- besides mental evaluation it must also be physical- post-round you will physically combat the other team (or because of online debate challenge them to a clash royale match) to determine speaker points and I will give the winner a piece of chocolate- this also means I am persuaded by a challenge of a physical confrontation in the 1ac in order to determine the ballot.
My memory isn't great so please recite every piece of evidence you would like to extend word-for-word
If I see a plantext, auto L and 25 speaks
Condo is bad. Negation theory ONLY justifies the squo
Vagueness is almost always good- if I can't understand what the aff or alt does by the end of the round that motivates a ballot not to mention the strategic benefits
Ground and Grounds is the same word
Truth > Tech- I do not flow and will be evaluating the debate purely based on cards
RVIs are very persuasive- requires significant negative investment to convince me not to vote on it and that time investment just proves skew further
I will not disclose personal moral beliefs- however if you violate any it will make it almost impossible to vote for you
Trump won the election. Take from that what you will. "Biden solves" will result in a 25 and auto-loss.
Do not look me in the eyes during cross-ex- I will view it as a challenge of my authority and any maggots who dare gaze into the void will be consumed
Argue with the other team after the round to determine my decision- look to pf grand cross for an example
Feeding into the previous vagueness point- this applies to speaking too- I will believe you if you say you finished a card unconditionally and accusations of clipping will be punished
My _ key is broken- please do not say any word with an _ in it or I will not be able to flow it and be irritated
Make an obscure reference to (insert unknown debater) for 0.1 extra speaks!
Please warn me when you're about to start the speech with a 10 second countdown and get verbal confirmation by everyone in the room individually that they're ready for you to start- it's important everyone is ready.
Will evaluate arguments either team asserts as dropped as made even if unintelligble earlier
Please pronounce all punctuation verbally- it prevents me from flowing effectively if you do not.
PLEASE DO IMPACT CALC OH MY GOD I HAVE HAD TO BASICALLY FLIP A COIN FOR 3 STRAIGHT DEBATES
Not voting on something I didn't see happen in-round. This includes not disclosing past 2NRs.
+0.5 speaker points for a well-maintained wiki. Let me know if you think you meet that criteria.
CX open + binding, spreading good- this isn't midwest locals (hopefully)
Clipping is an auto-win- just not for you.
Just debate what you do well and it'll be fine
Tech > Truth but truth determines how well you need to technically perform- "sky is purple" will be voted on if dropped but "sky is blue" is gonna have a much lower threshold to win
Condo's good, have never gone for condo in 3 years as a 2A, but it's not literally unwinnable- some stuff if you're getting curbstomped on substance and want a cop-out:
Number of off doesn't really change how amicable I am towards conditional advocacies unless it's a question of interps- doesn't meet the counterinterp, or the debate comes down to like 1 cp 1 k vs 3 condo or some numerical comparison where all the debate comes down to the merits of that one extra advocacy
If the aff can prove the neg constructed the 1nc in such a way that it was impossible to respond to, e.g.contradictory condo, I'll eagerly vote on it. 2NC counterplanning out of straight turns is pretty sus and I start to open my heart to the demerits of conditionality but it's not unwinnable for the neg- see if you can get a perm out of it to take out some of their offense at worst
I can tell if you're going for it because you're losing everywhere else and want to turn the debate into a coinflip- I get it, but is substance really that unwinnable for you? Will probably lower your speaks if you go for it as a cop-out but doesn't consciously affect the decision itself.
Have a real interp in the 2AC. Once saw a shell that was "Condo strat skew research dispo solves" and I reconsidered my involvement in this activity. Please, make it well thought-out and intricate in the constructive if you want to have a shot at winning with a blown up 2ar.
I really wanna see a topical K aff debated well. I'm talking atticus glen style arguments. High skill floor, but I'll be impressed and give you high speaks if you can pull it off effectively
Reconsider reading a planless aff in middle school/novice year, but for these debates:
Fairness is an independent impact and will be unless "just an internal link" is literally dropped
Aff should impact turn neg standards. Your C/I almost never solves their offense and the Limits DA is fire
Very sympathetic to the argument that the only thing my ballot can do is decide who won on a technical level, and convincing me otherwise in the face of competent debating is an uphill battle
Counterplans seem to be the neg's only shot on the NATO topic, so I'd use the fact link uniqueness is super screwed as a justification for some of the more sus counterplans you might read- international fiat, multi-actor, resulting in all of the aff, etc.
Doesn't mean I'm neg-leaning on these debates, probably like 70/30 aff in legitimately egregious instances with a well-crafted interp (multi-level fiat, international multi-actor, honey)
Send permtexts. It's time-consuming and hard to think under the pressure of a huge 1nc, but competition is a great way out of a debate where you may have zilch against a new process counterplan, and I just enjoy these debates if done well (or competently given it's middle school)
Functional + Textual competition is like 50/50 and I can go either way- intrinsic in both areas is legitimately indefensible though and should be shrugged off with like two sentences in the block
2NC counterplans are probably okay but can get you in some serious trouble if the aff is smart with perms so think about em hard- also makes me a bit more aff leaning in condo debates the more egregious it gets so watch your back and adjust coverage
Country PICs seem absurdly busted and I lean a bit aff on the Perm Do the Counterplan debate- very winnable for the neg though, and the fact this is the only arg they could possibly go for when you break the Luxembourg PIC new means you should have some great blocks
NATO = Organization that contains its member states seems like a simply true argument, but the aff is wayyyy ahead in a debate about if we should let the Neg create an entirely new organization/alliance with literally all of the same members and have that be competitive. (looking at you, MBA)
Goddamn are DAs bad on this topic. Go for 'em, but you better have some FIRE thumper answers cuz those are incredible this year
Contextualizing the link will do wonders. Super hard to justify a neg ballot when your explanation and spin doesn't go beyond the generic 1NC card. If you don't have any specific links, then spin like it's goddamn ballet and go for gold
Good impact calc is swag + W. Makes my job WAYYYY easier if you have access to their offense via turns case or I know who's faster
Rider DAs one of the only probably illegit ones, but win your interp of fiat and I'll buy it
Horsetrading is arguable- it's based on the consequences of passing the plan and the plan alone absent some sort of weird attatchment to it but nobody writes these DAs anymore so who really cares
Politics is eh. You really think you have some cards saying thumped cooperation with NATO is the lynchpin of the dems' electoral strategy, go for it. Just know the lit is probably pretty aff.
fw: Aff probably gets the plan but that doesn't mean it's all that matters- best interp is probably that aff has to defend reps but gets to use the consequences of the plan as a justification for them- neg gets reps links but has to explain why it outweighs the plan's consequences- both sides agree you can't sever representations from justifications so it comes down to case debate- K debate is case debate!
Perm's pretty underutilized broadly but you're in a better place to be impact turning with cooperation/NATO good on this topic
Alt's super important and people don't put much thought in anymore- go for the perm if it solves the impacts to the K, not the links because double bind becomes real- Alt badmust be a part of the 2ar otherwise you're starting off behind
Author indicts are gonna need to be impacted out because 20 "deleuze is a pedophile" cards or whatever doesn't really amount to much substantive offense and your rhizomatic cooperation or whatever probably zeroes case
Psycho's probably bs but aff's gotta win it
Very hard to convince me debatability is all that matters with competent precision/predictability explanation by the aff- predictable limits, precision prerequisite to ground, etc. are all pretty damn convincing and predictability outweighs is generally the aff's best bet
T-Article 5 with only the Fukayama card isn't a real definition and I won't evaluate the argument until you read a definition of NATO that says it's article 5, which probably doesn't exist
Reasonability is just the argument your c/i solves enough of their limits DA that the predictability DA outweighs- explain it more like that instead of "1% risk we solve any of their offense is AUTO AFF BALLOT BECAUSE SUBSTANCE CROWD OUT!"
I love resolutional procedurals fr- if you're planning on spamming badBoSu troll strats on the neg please switch to LD- aff, just go for non-resolutional procedurals bad and infinitely regressive- yes, having every aff advocate against racism might be good. No, that doesn't mean the aff should lose for having not done that.
Feel free to ask about the decision- I encourage it. It's really helpful for growth to understand how you could have improved your speech and even more so to actually do it (redos!).
I'm a high schooler and have done Policy debate for three years at the Kinkaid School. Email me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a judge, I evaluate arguments (claim, warrant, data, and impact). You need a warrant and impact, not just a claim. I prefer substantive arguments as opposed to regressive debate theory, but I'm fine with DAs, Ts, Theory, and all other on-case, as long as you clearly explain its relevance to the specific debate. In general, the more case-specific your link and the more comprehensive your explanation, the more I’ll be persuaded.
I take notes, but if you become unclear or speak too quickly especially online, your arguments may not make it on the flow. Be especially sure to say your tag lines and dates clearly. Do the internal link work--tell me the ground you lost, why it's good, etc. and please do not run away from clash.
I am tech over truth. Unless there is another framework to evaluate the round under, I will take dropped arguments as true. I will stick to my flow and minimize intervention as much as possible. Do what you do best. However, tech over truth has its limits. An argument must have sufficient explanation for it to matter to me, even if it’s dropped.
If there are multiple paths to victory for both teams, I will take what I think is the shortest path and explain why I think it's the shortest path, and you can influence my decision by explaining why you control the shortest path.
I prefer debaters and arguments that are engaging and funny.
Please feel free to ask me any specific questions before the debate if you have any.
TLDR (im judging you and you have no idea who I am)
put me on the email chain email@example.com
Lincoln Park (CDL) 2016-2020
University of Kentucky 2020-present
I do not tolerate card clipping
i have a processing disorder, I can keep up but its in your best interest to reduce your speed by about 10-15% and/or send analytics in the speech document. You won't lose for not doing these things, but I can't vote for you if I don't know what you said.
IF MY CAMERA IS OFF I AM NOT READY - ALWAYS CHECK TO MAKE SURE I AM PRESENT BEFORE YOU START
decrease your speed by like 15-25% to account for the inevitable unreliability of online stuff.
Experience on the NATO topic: I judged some debates at camp and debated on the college topic. I would not say that I am familiar with a lot of acronyms though.
Read whatever you want to read - i'll do my best to evaluate all arguments without bias.
I do K debate now but I read a plan for 4 years in high school so I know whats going on.
Tech > truth (mostly) My threshold for truth rises when a debater is even marginally racist/sexist/homophobic -- if you do something messed up but not drop worthy i'll inevitably have a bias against you and I won't feel like keeping it in check.
T is good, theory is good, disads are good, counterplans are good, abusive counterplans are good, saying abusive counterplans are bad is good, Ks are good, K affs are good, framework is good. Everything that is not racist/sexist/ableist/and/or homophobic is probably good.
my voting record on framework is split 50/50. im biased towards the aff on fairness - i have a hard time believing the aff makes debates procedurally unfair. best aff strat --- nuanced counter interp that solves limits and ground or just straight impact turns. best neg strat --- tva + switch side.
K v K debates are cool and you should probably still make a framework argument about how to evaluate the round. i do not care if perms exist or not in a methods debate. convince me.
I AM A VERY BAD JUDGE FOR TRICKS --- READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
i'm a particularly good judge for you if you're a "larp" debater
send your case or 'disclose' as you may say. if you dont i will make you use your prep time to send evidence.
i operate on a offense defense paradigm
do you, but remember to tell me why i should care about what you're saying as opposed to ur opponent.
do line by line, respond to all arguments, and extend all parts of your arguments, split the block on the neg, and narrow down what you go for in the final speeches and you will be golden.
I will only read evidence that has been implicated in the 2nr and 2ar IF the debate is close. Other than that, I think the debating should be left to the debaters in the room, not authors or coaches who cut the cards.
If you read a great piece of evidence but can't explain the warrants and your opponent reads a mediocre piece of evidence and can, I'm more likely to side with your opponent.
Most points I give are in the 28.3-29 range. I don't give below a 28 unless you barely made arguments and I will never give below a 27.5 unless you've done something egregious. If you get above a 29 i was impressed.
Card clipping = -.5 for every offense
being overly rude or threatening = -1 for every offense
the phrase "cold conceded" = probably will lose like -.2
"judge" = MASSIVE REDUCTION (wont actually affect speaks but pls call me lauren, judge is too formal & makes me uncomf)
it is perfectly fine if you disagree with my decision, there are times when the debate is close and i end up writing multiple ballots before I decide and I pick the one that makes the most sense to me.
I am okay with questions and statements of disagreement, (ie -- but lauren what about this argument? but if you look at it this way doesn't it warrant an x ballot?) but I draw the line when it gets to the point where I've repeatedly explained my reasoning and you still do not give up. No matter how compelling of a post round argument you make for why I am wrong, I likely won't run to tab to get the ballot changed because I trust my own judgement. If it gets to that point, I will simply ignore you and if the other team has finished asking questions I will leave.
Preferred chain title: Tournament Name R# [aff team name] vs [neg team name] Ex -- Gonzaga R4 Kentucky MW vs NU DF
If you only have one card to send, I actually prefer that you send it in the body. 3 or more cards should have a doc.
i make a lot of faces while judging, sorry if that bothers you, but you can tell a lot about what I think of your argument by watching me.
A little bit about me: I competed in speech and debate for three years during high school, specifically in PF, Congress, limited prep, and interp events. I even dabbled a little in LD and World Schools. Now, I stay involved with the speech and debate community by coaching PF at Phoenix Country Day School in AZ.
As far as paradigms go, I'm open to pretty much any argument you can warrant properly and impact out. I will vote off the flow, but that means your arguments need to be made clear to me. I can keep up with speed, but if I put my pen down, you've lost me. At the end of the round, I am looking for offense, which includes both the impact and the link into that impact, that has been extended cleanly through the debate. Then, it comes down to the weighing that you have done for me on that offense. Don't make me do that work for you because it probably won't turn out the way you want it to!
General things to note:
- Please stand for your speeches unless there is a legitimate reason you are unable to. It helps your public speaking, your persuasiveness, your confidence, you name it.
- For the love of all things holy, SIGNPOST, SIGNPOST, SIGNPOST!!!! I want clear taglines and numbered responses. The more organized you are in your responses, the more likely I will follow every piece of your argument, meaning the more likely I am to vote for you.
- I like off-time roadmaps. That means something short like, "I'm going aff then neg," or, "The order will be overview, their case, our case." It shouldn't be anything more than telling me where I will be flowing.
- I will not call for a card unless you specifically ask me to during one of your speeches.
- If something important happens during CX, bring it up during a speech.
- Don't be rude to your opponents. I love a little sass and sarcasm because debate definitely calls for that sometimes, but don't blatantly disrespect one another.
Technical things to note:
- Second rebuttal should frontline (quickly) anything that will be extended in summary.
- Extend important defense. Defense is sticky, but it strengthens your position if you hang onto important defense throughout the round.
- Counterplans: These don't belong in PF. They are a clear violation of rules. Counter advocacies with the necessary probability weighing are fine, but no plan text or specific implementation plan.
- Kritiks: I find Ks really interesting, and I am all for their entrance into PF when you have a tech judge/panel. I want you to read your K to me as if I have not read the literature surrounding the issue though. Just because you say a buzz word, does not mean I understand the argument. Make sure it is well formulated if you want my ballot.
- Theory: If there is a clear violation of PF rules, don't run a shell. Just tell me about the violation during a speech, and that will suffice. If there is a violation of norms that you feel is genuinely worthy of bringing up (i.e. no frivolous theory), I am willing to hear it out. That being said, I am not super well-versed in theory debate, so you just need to make sure you explain to me what the impact of your argument is on the round and why I should care about it. In all honesty, if a team runs theory, you are probably more likely to get my ballot without running a counterinterp and just responding to it the way you would any other argument. All the jargon starts to get lost on me.
I started this technical section based on questions I am frequently asked in round. It is nowhere near exhaustive, so if you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to ask me when both teams are present before the round!
Also, please include me in the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been high school policy/CX debater for two years now.
My preferences are flexible and will change depending on how persuasive the debater is.
Fair warning, I do become distracted easily, so please make your arguments engaging and relevant. Debaters that have engaging and well researched arguments are always preferred.
If you become unclear or speak too quickly, I will not flow them. I will call 'clear' if I cannot understand, but whatever points you may have said may not make it on the flow, so please speak clearly. Do not try to spread if you are not the best at it. Bad spreading causes your argument to lose effectiveness.
I generally do not prefer tech debates, unless they are fleshed out well, and have a significant impact on the case. I prefer substantive arguments over regressive debate theory. I am okay with open cross ex. CPs, DAs, Case, T arguments, Ks, I really don't care what you run as the negative as long as it is well researched and stays topical.
If there is any sort of hate speech, racial slurs, homophobic or sexist remarks, or general crappy behavior, you will automatically lose that round and I will dock your speaker points.
If you have any specific questions, please ask me before the round starts.
Email Chain: email@example.com
Debate for Greenhill, Qualified to the TOC twice.
I will attempt to evaluate any debate as objectively as possible so you should read whatever you're comfortable with, but I'm also human and have some ideological beliefs.
Speed is fine and preferred.
Love a good DA case debate. I will reward good case pushes and impact turns with high speaks.
I'm not the best at evaluating tough counterplan competition debates so if that's your jam I'll try my best but be wary. I tend to lean aff in terms of conditionality and most theory regarding cheaty counterplans.
No RVI's please.
On the negative, I find my biggest problems with K 2nrs are a lack of link and alt explanation. Rather than reading a thick overview with a ton of buzzwords craft a story that explains the link contextually to the aff and give examples of what the alternative will look like.
For T-FW debates I'm neutral. I think the aff is in the best position when they explain the impact turn to T well and do impact calculus for why it both outweighs and turns clash/fairness.
UC Berkeley '27 - studying plant bio + data sci
he or they series of pronouns are both cool.
My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
General notes: the rebuttals should be like an RFD, you need to explain a way in which I can feel comfortable voting for you while also taking into account your opponents offense. Please don't just extend arguments from your constructives but also interact with your opponents claims. Debate is either a game or shapes subjectivity or both, who cares. Either way please don't say offensive things.
Plan-less affs: Please don't. But if you must I prefer if they be contextualized to the topic. If you're reading something complicated, I need a solid explanation in the round that's sufficient enough for me to understand what the argument your going for is. Obviously T is the most intuitive argument against these positions and you should certainly go for it if you want to. I find that impact turning T is the best way to go if you're aff. Fairness is an impact. I also really like seeing contextualized and well researched Ks and PIKs against these sorts of affs. If you have one, don't be afraid to go for it. (I'm prolly a bit more dovish on these now than when I originally wrote this paradigm).
Soft-left affs: I think they're great. You need a compelling argument for why I should shift away from the delusional impact weighing assumptions that policy debate has normalized. CPs that solve the aff are probably the best neg strat.
T v. plan: Don't really have any unusual thoughts on T. Go for it if you must. I have a limited experience going for or judging it but as long as you debate it well you should be fine.
K: If you read the K aff portion of this paradigm, you're probably thinking to yourself that Arman Omidvar is one of those hopeless Peninsula policy hacks that hates anything having to do with a critical argument. Fortunately or unfortunately for you, this is a mistake. I love the K, and I have found myself primarily going for it as I mature as a debater. I like specific critiques. If I listened to your 2NC in a vacuum and I didn't know what 1AC you were responding to then that's a problem so make sure to do the contextual work here to really impress me.
Framework for the K: The best way framework has ever been explained to me was by John Turner who said something along the lines of: framework is the neg's justification for why we should evaluate non unique arguments like the links. Framework can obviously do much more than that but at its most basic, that's what the neg should be trying to win. I'm inclined to weigh the aff however good debating on the part of the neg can break that assumption.
Theory: you need in round abuse to go for it. I love theory 2ARs against really abusive CPs. It's probably your best way out. I think i'm pretty charitable to condo 2ARs.
Thoughts on competition: I don't default to judge kick and I don't think "the status quo is always a logical option" is a particularly good model since it invites loads of judge intervention. If you go for a CP and the aff has offense to the CP that outweighs the offense the neg has forwarded then i'm voting aff. Same goes for the alt.
I have a lower bar for aff victory on the perm than most people I know. The role of the perm is to prove that all of the plan and some of the CP/Alt could plausibly happen and not trigger the DA. As long as I reasonably believe this to be true, then i'm voting aff. I don't think the aff needs to win a 'net benefit' to the perm bc that makes the perm no longer about competition and warps it into some sort of advocacy that the aff could go for which isn't what I believe the perm to be.
Conclusion: I have done debate for about four years now. That's certainly not enough time to fully grasp all the ideas present in the activity. I'm open to hearing new ways of thinking about debate even if it clashes with what's written above.
University of Kansas '23, Washburn Rural '19
Coaching for Greenhill (TX), the Asian Debate League (TW), and Shawnee Mission East (KS)
---Better for policy and AFF-specific Ks; not great for K AFFs, process counterplans, and technical T arguments
---Not the greatest flow, likes creativity, more likely to care about macro-issues than minor technical drops, avoid jargon/acronyms, will vote on args that promote sedition
---Fully-developed strategies that clash tend to perform better in front of me
---My debate beliefs are malleable. The opinions below might make me seem like a old person (true, though), but good debating can remedy my predispositions. Good ev helps too.
---Largely persuaded that:
(1) incomplete args in the 1NC justify new responses
(2) net benefits should be verbally stated in the 1NC
The justification for both of these will be below.
1---Respecting your opponents (CX, pronouns, don't mercilessly bludgeon less-experienced debaters), be ethical, etc.
2---Efficiency. In your speech, during prep, emailing, down-time. etc. If you don't need 10 minutes of prep for the 2NR/2AR, don't take it.
3---Taking debate seriously. Pay attention, flow, try. But also, have fun! We are all invested, so let's make our debates worthwhile. Ad-homs are bad and not arguments.
4---Research (evidence matters, but so could spin). Vertifical proliferation is better than horizontal proliferation of arguments. Also, likely won't vote for death good.
5---Ethos and Clarity. I am a bad judge for teams that just spit into their computer at 300 WPM at 65% clarity. Lowkey think that debaters that are slow (while being smart, technical, etc.) are *****chefs kiss***** I should hear every single word you say. Please enunciate and recognize that debate is also a communication activity instead of a block perfecting competition in the 2NR and 2AR. If you are a team that has rebuttals prescripted without any plans of contextualization (such as asserting things happened when they didn't), then please email me your 2NR/2AR blocks and I will just assign your speaker points during the 1AC and vote against you.
1---Lack of analysis. You should have framing arguments, judge instruction, contextualization, and argument development.
2---Debates that make me litigate things outside of the debate.
3---Vagueness. It should be clear what your AFF does, what the plan means, what the counterplan does, what your highlighting of evidence means, and what the tags of your cards are intended to communicate. I am likely more amenable to vagueness arguments than most-judges.
Topicality vs. Policy AFFs
T versus policy AFFs was one of my least favorite arguments. It isn't ideological, but I spent most of my debate career debating with 2Ns who were obsessed with it, so I just never really thought about it. I find most T debates dry but I understand the strategic necessity of them. I think my aversion stems from 1NCs that lack a violation and then debate becoming late-breaking.
To improve my VTL when going for T, internal link explanation is important. 2Ns have seemed to forget that there ought be a reasonable explanation about how we get from the violation to zero NEG ground ever. Both teams should have more debating about what the interp/counter-interp debates wouldlook like. Assertions of topic biases or quality of generics should be explained with warrants. I am not the ideal judge for a technical T argument.
For some reason, I find ground arguments more compelling than limits/precision. Not sure if this will affect my judging but I've always thought that limits arguments were hyperbolic. Big topics feel good as long as the NEG has robust strategies to counter them. When evenly debated, plan-text-in-a-vacuum is a tough sell for me.
The optimal 2NR is a DA and the case. Counterplans are for cowards. I'm not as big on the modern Politics DA as most of Kansas debaters but it's fine. Intrinsincness tests are stupid.
AFFs teams should have offense on the DA. NEG teams should try to have real "turns case" arguments outside of "nuke war is bad."
I'm mostly AFF-leaning on theory arguments. I'm not wedded to these beliefs but have some predispositions. Not a huge believer in conditionality. This is not a free invitation to go for condo in the 2AR, just merely an observation that in-depth debates are better.
My least favorite genre of argument as a debater was the process counterplan. Again, I understand its strategic utility and will judge the debate as neutrally as possible. I'd prefer a 2NR that is about why the AFF's bad. Competition debates are dry. Comparative evidence between the AFF and the counterplan's process that demonstrates functional competition could make me hate your counterplan a little less. I am also a less qualified judge for complex competition debates.
I am a good judge for presumption and giving a low weight to the AFF advantages. The 2AC and 1AR get away with murder on the case, so the NEG teams should use that to their advantage. This is an area where good debating will be rewarded with nice speaker points.
I enjoy soft left AFFs but framing contentions need to contain offense. ________________________________________________________________________________________
Ks vs. Policy AFFs
I'm better for Ks on the NEG. I will award specificity, especially backed with evidence. I will have a hard time voting on critiques that lack interactions with the scholarship and thesis of the 1AC. If the NEG reads a K impact turn to the AFF's advantage, that is likely the best strategy in front of me. Or, have a robust framework justification with turns case arguments. I seem to care a little bit more about performative contradictions/linking to your own K than some (not for theory reasons).
K AFF vs. T: USFG
I have voted both ways but am not a good judge for you. I am better than white-bro-card-cutting sweats but should still be taken below "clash judges." Explain what debates over the AFF interp would look like. I always thought framework debates were thought provoking and helped me think about debate. Explain what debates over the NEG interp/TVA would look like. I am open to voting for either fairness or education.
I am a believer in research about the topic, so the closer your AFF is to being about the topic, defending a theory of power, being a substantial shift from the status quo, and defending material action, the better. Any lit bases outside of bio power, colonialism, settler colonialism, capitalism, and IR need more explanation. ________________________________________________________________________________________
(1) Incomplete Arguments
I am mostly compelled that the 1AR should get whatever it wants in response to incomplete 1NCs. Debates are increasingly rewarding blippy 1NCs, causing debates that are worse to judge and I believe judges ought hold the line on what the debate community constitutes a complete argument. If a 1NC DA shell lacks uniqueness, then why should the 2AC be burdened to make link turn args as to how they reverse the deficiencies of the status quo. The logical conclusion of "you have to answer everything" would mean the AFF would have to read impact d to random floating impacts, which is absurd.
(2) Net Benefits
Whatever the net benefit of every advocacy is should be specified in the 1NC. This is low-cost for the NEG and would improve debates/AFF strategy. CX doesn't remedy this because NEG teams take forever to answer, which is unfair for the AFF because the 1A could be asking good, substantive questions. Instead, I have to listen to the 1N say "everything is a net benefit... wait... <>...then the 2N takes 15 seconds to decide and then lists net benefits to analytical con con, states, the one card security K, a card-less 15 plank advantage counterplan, and a process counterplan. This take might seem extreme, but I believe it is the least arbitrary and most efficient way to resolve net benefit shenanigans (a time limit feels weird). For most counterplans, they are only complete arguments if they have arguments about solvency AND competition in the 1NC. Counterplans that rely on DAs to beat the perm and complete, so it seems logical that the NEG should be responsible for this. Lastly, I want to award bold strategies. The clearer the net benefits are, the better AFFs will be at straight-turning and NEGs will read better DA + CP combinations.
People who have shaped the way I think about debate/inspire me include Cindy Burgett, Tim Ellis, Will Katz, Peg Wefald, Natalie Knez, Q Robinson, Jordan Foley, Brian Box, and the KU coaching staff (Rock Chalk!).
Email chain: rrn.debate [at] gmail [dot] com
Background: Mamaroneck High School, University of Southern California – Policy Debate
Tech over truth. Any biases and gaps in knowledge can be corrected for by good debating. I will minimize judge intervention. Good rebuttals include judge instruction, frame arguments, highlight a few core issues, and compare/maximize offense.
Be clear, don’t be surprised when an argument I can’t flow doesn’t make it into my decision. I do not look at docs during speeches, am slow at typing, and on average get down 60% of your speech down on my flow.
Don't clip, be rude, or lie.
Novices should endorse clash.
I agree with Ken Karas on most everything.
peninsula 22 ucla 26
email chain: email@example.com
i don't flow off doc
limited topic knowledge
I'm okay with anything as long as you know what youre talking about
Run an untopical aff, run a plan, advocacy or no advocacy, run a k do whatever the fuck you want as long as you know what youre doing. also make sure you can explain it to me bc im not gonna vote on something i dont understand. so take the time to make sure i understand
Also as a neg if u go for t it better be the best t in the world and you better explain why it hurts you and you better have it be perfect bc otherwise who cares
do any k or cp or da u want just make sure you understand it and can explain it well- make sure you spend the time in round to explain it and its process
dont go for multiple world advocacies in the 2nr. pick one- you can run multiple advocacies throughout the round- but only go for one
if u go for theory, that better be the only thing u go for or i wont vote on it
more impacts based and please do weighing the last speech- i will defer to FW
i worked at a camp on the NATO topic but i have limited topic knowledge. explain acronyms, slow down on T.
the following are just ideological preferences, good debating is more important
tech > truth but an argument needs to have a claim/warrant/impact in order for me to vote on it
procedural fairness is an impact
i am more persuaded by k affs that are grounded in topic literature
won't judge kick unless you tell me to
the further away from topic lit ur process cp is the more likely i err aff on theory
smart 2ac perm texts are underutilized
politics is fine but i prefer a 1nr that does good link spin to a 1nr that card dumps shitty evidence
you do you
dont assume anything about my knowledge of your literature
i will likely err neg on a more limited topic
other than condo, theory is usually a reason to reject the argument not the team
if you make a (good) joke about derek devito i will give you +.2 speaks
im generally not that expressive
i will adjust speaker points to the tournament/division
Debated @ University of Kansas 2019-2023 | Debated @ Shawnee Mission East 2015-2019 | Coach @ ADL and Shawnee Mission East
I believe the AFF should defend an example of the resolution and the NEG should argue that example is bad. Am fine for critical NEG positions, bad for AFFs that do not defend a plan. I enjoy complete arguments, so good highlighting, establishing uniqueness for DAs, etc. will be rewarded with speaker points.
I care about truth to a certain degree and am more likely to vote for and enjoy persuasive arguments.
Topicality vs. Plans
* High threshold. Not good enough to say "limits explosion" without telling me what types of AFFs are included/excluded by your interp.
* Interp evidence quality is important.
Topicality vs. Planless Affs
* Low threshold. I have never been compelled by arguments for why the AFF should not be topical, but the NEG must still execute.
* Fairness is a great impact, but am also good for impacts based on iteration, research, and clash. Without an AFF constraint, I don't think debate could exist. I think of topicality like a strike zone in baseball, its boundaries are not perfectly defined and it might not be perfect for either team, but if it did not exist the game could not be played in a competitive manner.
* In order to win, the AFF needs to defend a model of debate that provides a valuable role for the NEG, solves AFF offense, and is mutually exclusive with the NEG model.
* Will judge kick counterplans unless told otherwise.
* Conditionality seems to be a necessary evil, but I am convinced that fiating out of solvency deficits and straight turns in the 2NC is not good. Increased condo generally equals worse debating, but do what you need to do. Counterplans are for cowards who don't want to do case debating.
* AFF on consult, delay, process, international, word PICs, and fifty state fiat. These are reasons to reject the argument. Good for functionally intrinsic textually legit perms to test internal net benefits OR a potentially textually intrinsic functionally legitimate perm against a vague counterplan text.
* PICs are fine.
* Turns case is important.
* I like politics.
* I will likely weigh the plan. To win, the negative should wins link turns case arguments, solvency deficits, or impact turns.
* You should have a reason for making a framework argument. The 2NR and 2AR need to give judge instruction for what I should do if you win or lose your framework interpretation. I default to weighing the plan against the impacts of links that the alternative can resolve. I think the aff is only responsible for impacts that they make worse.
* I think the alt should solve something, and am not persuaded by reject the plan style criticisms. I could be persuaded by an impact framing argument if you win a "non-unique" link to the plan.
* I am persuaded that the neg doesn't get to sever reps in many cases if other arguments are explicit contradictions with links or the alternative. Examples of this are reading the cap K and growth DA. The AFF should exploit tensions between pages and generate smart DAs to alternatives.
My preferred pronouns are they/them.
I debated in the NDT-CEDA policy circuit for 4 years.
I believe the topic is always being negotiated, not static. Much like a German Shepherd, framework is not always policing, but it may lend itself to such a service. Debates come equipped with norms, but those are not law.
High School 2020-21
Speed is fine, but go only as fast as you can handle. Conditionality is generally okay. Everyone in the debate should be timing. I have ADHD so I am terrible at remembering to press start. Rely on my timer at your own peril.
I like to hear critiques explained through history and current events. Examples are the easiest way to make a complex concept simple enough to evaluate in the short span of time we have together.
Police apologists whose arguments rely on the fear of the criminal will gain little traction on my ballot. Discussion of crime requires nuance as it easily becomes anti-black very quickly given the history of politicians using thinly veiled "tough on crime" platforms to wrestle over power. Read the links below and avoid an automatic L.
The Willie Horton Ad
I debated in policy for The Blake School for four years (2009-2013) and then I debated for Rutgers University-Newark in college (2013-2017). I ran mostly policy based arguments in high school and mostly critical arguments in college. I was an assistant coach (policy and public forum) with the Blake School until 2019, now I teach/coach debate (policy and congress) at Success Academy Midtown West and Harlem West.
Feel free to run any arguments you want whether it be critical or policy based. The only thing that will never win my ballot is any argument about why racism, sexism, etc. is good. Other than that do you.
I do not have many specific preferences other than I hate long overviews - just make the arguments on the line-by-line.
I am not going to read your evidence unless there is a disagreement over a specific card or if you tell me to read a specific card. I am not going to just sit and do the work for you and read a speech doc.
I am not as familiar with the post-modern literature - so just make sure you are clearly explaining the alternative. Most of the K literature I know well is race and gender based.
Note on clash of civ debates - I tend to mostly only judge clash of civ debates - In these debates I find it more persuasive if you engage the aff rather than just read framework. But that being said I have voted on framework in the past.
PF - Please please please read real cards. If its not in the summary I won't evaluate it in the final focus. Do impact calculus. Stop calling for cards if you aren't going to do the evidence comparison. I will increase your speaker points if you do an email chain with your cards prior to your speech.
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.
- please please format the email chain correctly -- tournament name -- round # -- name (aff) vs name (neg)
- do what you want, i genuinely don't care what you run and will listen to every argument within reason
- make my ballot for me -- don't make me have to debate the round for you because i won't -- tell me why i'm voting aff/neg and what i'm voting on
- cx is binding and i will flow it
- i enjoy watching methods debates but am probably a better judge for clash rounds
- the case debate is under-utilized in most debates
- i love impact turns (please nothing offensive though)
- condo is probably good - i can be persuaded otherwise but if it's less than 5 it will be an uphill battle
- i LOVE a good T debate
- "better team usually wins |---x---------------------| the rest of this" -- dave arnett
+0.1 speaks for roasting any current kentucky debaters
- have fun and if you have any questions, just ask!
- i have limited topic knowledge so please avoid acronyms
- clash is good and it will be difficult to convince me otherwise in close debates
- explain your arguments well -- i will never vote on an argument that i don't get a full explanation of
- cx is binding and i will flow it
- the final speeches should be writing my ballot for me -- tell me why i should vote pro/con and what arguments i'm voting for
- i have limited experience judging/coaching LD and will judge it like its a short policy round
- because i'm a policy debater, i'm probably better for k or larp rounds
- i'm not sure why teams think that perm double bind is sufficient enough to win a round on
- i do not like voting on egregious theory but i begrudgingly will - that being said if theory/tricks comprise your core strat i will not be pleased
- since LD rounds are pretty short, i prefer when you really commit to one strategy
October 2022 update: I am unfamiliar with the 22-23 high school topic and this will be the first time I judge this resolution - please keep this in mind before you spread through your blocks :)
Conflicts: ADL. My pronouns are He/Him. Add me to the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stolen from Dylan Willett: I am in Taiwan which is at minimum 13 hours ahead of the tournament I am judging so make sure to start off at a pace where I can adapt to your speed and speed up progressively through the speech because I might begin the debate a bit groggy.
I will judge the debate based on the flow. That said, I'm not too familiar with high theory Ks, but I will try my best to adapt to whatever argument style presented in the debate.
I lean negative on most theory arguments. I lean AFF on T, and I find reasonability a very persuasive argument when argued well. Please don't let this dissuade you from going for T - good debating can overcome most of my preferences/biases.
I won't judge kick the CP unless the 2NR tells me to. Impact calculus is very important. The Cap K is a very good argument if your link explanation goes beyond "state bad".
For PF: Speaks capped at 27.5 if you don't read cut cards (with tags) and send speech docs via email chain prior to your speech of cards to be read (in constructives, rebuttal, summary, or any speech where you have a new card to read). I'm done with paraphrasing and pf rounds taking almost as long as my policy rounds to complete. Speaks will start at 28.5 for teams that do read cut cards and do send speech docs via email chain prior to speech. In elims, since I can't give points, it will be a overall tiebreaker.
For Policy: Speaks capped at 28 if I don't understand each and every word you say while spreading (including cards read). I will not follow along on the speech doc, I will not read cards after the debate (unless contested or required to render a decision), and, thus, I will not reconstruct the debate for you but will just go off my flow. I can handle speed, but I need clarity not a speechdoc to understand warrants. Speaks will start at 28.5 for teams that are completely flowable. I'd say about 85% of debaters have been able to meet this paradigm.
I'd also mostly focus on the style section and bold parts of other sections.
2018 update: College policy debaters should look to who I judged at my last college judging spree (69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa) to get a feeling of who will and will not pref me. I also like Buntin's new judge philosophy (agree roughly 90%).
It's Fall 2015. I judge all types of debate, from policy-v-policy to non-policy-v-non-policy. I think what separates me as a judge is style, not substance.
I debated for Texas for 5 years (2003-2008), 4 years in Texas during high school (1999-2003). I was twice a top 20 speaker at the NDT. I've coached on and off for highschool and college teams during that time and since. I've ran or coached an extremely wide diversity of arguments. Some favorite memories include "china is evil and that outweighs the security k", to "human extinction is good", to "predictions must specify strong data", to "let's consult the chinese, china is awesome", to "housing discrimination based on race causes school segregation based on race", to "factory farms are biopolitical murder", to “free trade good performance”, to "let's reg. neg. the plan to make businesses confident", to “CO2 fertilization, SO2 Screw, or Ice Age DAs”, to "let the Makah whale", etc. Basically, I've been around.
After it was pointed out that I don't do a great job delineating debatable versus non-debatable preferences, I've decided to style-code bold all parts of my philosophy that are not up for debate. Everything else is merely a preference, and can be debated.
I strongly prefer to let the debaters do the debating, and I'll reward depth (the "author+claim + warrant + data+impact" model) over breadth (the "author+claim + impact" model) any day.
When evaluating probabilistic predictions, I start from the assumption everyone begins at 0%, and you persuade me to increase that number (w/ claims + warrants + data). Rarely do teams get me past 5%. A conceeded claim (or even claim + another claim disguised as the warrant) will not start at 100%, but remains at 0%.
Combining those first two essential stylistic criteria means, in practice, many times I discount entirely even conceded, well impacted claims because the debaters failed to provide a warrant and/or data to support their claim. It's analogous to failing a basic "laugh" test. I may not be perfect at this rubric yet, but I still think it's better than the alternative (e.g. rebuttals filled with 20+ uses of the word “conceded” and a stack of 60 cards).
I'll try to minimize the amount of evidence I read to only evidence that is either (A) up for dispute/interpretation between the teams or (B) required to render a decision (due to lack of clash amongst the debaters). In short: don't let the evidence do the debating for you.
Humor is also well rewarded, and it is hard (but not impossible) to offend me.
I'd also strongly prefer if teams would slow down 15-20% so that I can hear and understand every word you say (including cards read). While I won't explicitly punish you if you don't, it does go a mile to have me already understand the evidence while you're debating so I don't have to sort through it at the end (especially since I likely won't call for that card anyway).
- Defense can win a debate (there is such as thing as a 100% no link), but offense helps more times than not.
I'm a big believer in open disclosure practices, and would vote on reasoned arguments about poor disclosure practices. In the perfect world, everything would be open-source (including highlighting and analytics, including 2NR/2AR blocks), and all teams would ultimately share one evidence set. You could cut new evidence, but once read, everyone would have it. We're nowhere near that world. Some performance teams think a few half-citations work when it makes up at best 45 seconds of a 9 minute speech. Some policy teams think offering cards without highlighting for only the first constructive works. I don't think either model works, and would be happy to vote to encourage more open disclosure practices. It's hard to be angry that the other side doesn't engage you when, pre-round, you didn't offer them anything to engage.
You (or your partner) must physically mark cards if you do not finish them. Orally saying "mark here" (and expecting your opponents or the judge to do it for you) doesn't count. After your speech (and before cross-ex), you should resend a marked copy to the other team. If pointed out by the other team, failure to do means you must mark prior to cross-ex. I will count it as prep time times two to deter sloppy debate.
By default, I will not “follow along” and read evidence during a debate. I find that it incentivizes unclear and shallow debates. However, I realize that some people are better visual than auditory learners and I would classify myself as strongly visual. If both teams would prefer and communicate to me that preference before the round, I will “follow along” and read evidence during the debate speeches, cross-exs, and maybe even prep.
I like competing interpretations, the more evidence the better, and clearly delineated and impacted/weighed standards on topicality.
Abuse makes it all the better, but is not required (doesn't unpredictability inherently abuse?).
Treat it like a disad, and go from there. In my opinion, topicality is a dying art, so I'll be sure to reward debaters that show talent.
For the aff – think offense/defense and weigh the standards you're winning against what you're losing rather than say "at least we're reasonable". You'll sound way better.
The exception to the above is the "framework debate". I find it to be an uphill battle for the neg in these debates (usually because that's the only thing the aff has blocked out for 5 minutes, and they debate it 3 out of 4 aff rounds).
If you want to win framework in front of me, spent time delineating your interpretation of debate in a way that doesn't make it seem arbitrary. For example "they're not policy debate" begs the question what exactly policy debate is. I'm not Justice Steward, and this isn't pornography. I don't know when I've seen it. I'm old school in that I conceptualize framework along “predictability”; "topic education", “policymaking education”, and “aff education” (topical version, switch sides, etc) lines.
“We're in the direction of the topic” or “we discuss the topic rather than a topical discussion” is a pretty laughable counter-interpretation.
For the aff, "we agree with the neg's interp of framework but still get to weigh our case" borders on incomprehensible if the framework is the least bit not arbitrary.
Depth in explanation over breadth in coverage. One well explained warrant will do more damage to the 1AR than 5 cards that say the same claim.
Well-developed impact calculus must begin no later than the 1AR for the Aff and Negative Block for the Neg.
I enjoy large indepth case debates. I was 2A who wrote my own community unique affs usually with only 1 advantage and no external add-ons. These type of debates, if properly researched and executed, can be quite fun for all parties.
Intrinsic perms are silly. Normal means arguments are less so.
From an offense/defense paradigm, conceded uniqueness can control the direction of the link. Conceded links can control the direction of uniqueness. The in round application of "why" is important.
A story / spin is usually more important (and harder for the 1AR to deal with) than 5 cards that say the same thing.
I generally prefer functionally competitive counterplans with solvency advocates delineating the counterplan versus the plan (or close) (as opposed to the counterplan versus the topic), but a good case for textual competition can be made with a language K netbenefit.
Conditionality (1 CP, SQ, and 1 K) is a fact of life, and anything less is the negative feeling sorry for you (or themselves). However, I do not like 2NR conditionality (i.e., “judge kick”) ever. Make a decision.
Perms and theory always remain a test of competition (and not a voter) until proven otherwise by the negative by argument (see above), a near impossible standard for arguments that don't interfere substantially with other parts of the debate (e.g. conditionality).
Perm "do the aff" is not a perm. Debatable perms are "do both" and "do cp/alt"(and "do aff and part of the CP" for multi-plank CPs). Others are usually intrinsic.
I think of the critique as a (usually linear) disad and the alt as a cp.
Be sure to clearly impact your critique in the context of what it means/does to the aff case (does the alt solve it, does the critique turn it, make harms inevitable, does it disprove their solvency). Latch on to an external impact (be it "ethics", or biopower causes super-viruses), and weigh it against case.
Use your alternative to either "fiat uniqueness" or create a rubric by which I don't evaluate uniqueness, and to solve case in other ways.
I will say upfront the two types of critique routes I find least persuasive are simplistic versions of "economics", "science", and "militarism" bad (mostly because I have an econ degree and am part of an extensive military family). While good critiques exist out there of both, most of what debaters use are not that, so plan accordingly.
For the aff, figure out how to solve your case absent fiat (education about aff good?), and weigh it against the alternative, which you should reduce to as close as the status quo as possible. Make uniqueness indicts to control the direction of link, and question the timeframe/inevitability/plausability of their impacts.
Perms generally check clearly uncompetitive alternative jive, but don't work too well against "vote neg". A good link turn generally does way more than “perm solves the link”.
Aff Framework doesn't ever make the critique disappear, it just changes how I evaluate/weigh the alternative.
Role of the Ballot - I vote for the team that did the better debating. What is "better" is based on my stylistic criteria. End of story. Don't let "Role of the Ballot" be used as an excuse to avoid impact calculus.
Performance (the other critique):
Empirically, I do judge these debate and end up about 50-50 on them. I neither bandwagon around nor discount the validity of arguments critical of the pedagogy of debate. I'll let you make the case or defense (preferably with data). The team that usually wins my ballot is the team that made an effort to intelligently clash with the other team (whether it's aff or neg) and meet my stylistic criteria. To me, it's just another form of debate.
However, I do have some trouble in some of these debates in that I feel most of what is said is usually non-falsifiable, a little too personal for comfort, and devolves 2 out of 3 times into a chest-beating contest with competition limited to some archaic version of "plan-plan". I do recognize that this isn't always the case, but if you find yourselves banking on "the counterplan/critique doesn't solve" because "you did it first", or "it's not genuine", or "their skin is white"; you're already on the path to a loss.
If you are debating performance teams, the two main takeaways are that you'll probably lose framework unless you win topical version, and I hate judging "X" identity outweighs "Y" identity debates. I suggest, empirically, a critique of their identity politics coupled with some specific case cards is more likely to get my ballot than a strategy based around "Framework" and the "Rev". Not saying it's the only way, just offering some empirical observations of how I vote.
I coach policy debate at Success Academy Harlem North Central. arden dot traynor at saschools dot org for the chain. My pronouns are they/them.
A note for high school JV/varsity competitors: my paradigm is geared towards the kids I typically judge, middle school novices. However, a lot of this applies to high school novice debate, and dare I say higher level high school debate. I'm a little rusty on higher theory/kritikal lit because the median age of my students is 12, so just make sure to explain those texts thoroughly. Feel free to ask me for specifics in the room.
1. Most debates can be won or lost over one central issue. Define that issue for me and tell me why your side should win.
2. Your final speech should always begin and end with the exact reasons you think I should vote for you.
3. Cross examination matters. It is as much a part of the debate as any speech.
4. 99% of T arguments are not convincing and unless the aff is wildly untopical, I will not vote on it. I will almost always default to reasonability, unless you can give me a fantastic reason not to.
5. Spreading is one of the most ableist practices in this activity. Don't. Clarity > speed everyday.If I cannot hear your arguments, I cannot weigh them.
6. Speak like you care about what you're talking about. Inflection will boost your speaker points. Studies have shown that communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice, and 7% words only. Keep that in mind as you give your speeches.
7. My least favorite kind of debate to judge is one about procedural issues and debate norms. Keep it on the issues. Let's talk about how to make the world a better place, not whether or not condo is bad (and for the record, I'm on team limited condo good).
8. Any kind of "death good" or "rights bad" argument will get you an automatic L. I'm not here for racism, homophobia, transphobia, cissexism, ableism, classism, or any other oppressive frameworks of thought. Cheap tricks will get you an automatic L.
9. Argumentative clarity > technical flair. Debate can be elegant. Complex topics can be explained in concise language. I will often defer to the team who demonstrates the most effective understanding of the subject matter. Kritiks are welcome only if you deeply understand them.
10. SIGNPOST AND ROADMAP!!! Organization matters.Time that I have to spend shuffling my flow tabs and figuring out what exactly you're responding to is not time that I'm spending actually hearing you. Take that extra 30 seconds of prep to make sure your speech is actually in the order you're saying it's in.
11. Above all else, be kind to each other. Demonstrate respect in the way you listen and respond to your opponents' arguments.
12. If you're not taking notes during my RFD I'll stop talking and leave :) I know that sounds really aggressive but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to spend time and effort parsing through my notes and giving detailed feedback if you're not going to write it down somewhere.
Dartmouth, TAS, Interlake. He/him.
Add me: ant981228 at gmail dot com
College people, add: debatedocs at googlegroups dot com
Please include the tournament, round, and teams debating in the subject line of the email.
Key Things to Know
I will flow and vote based on the things you said. NEGs can say whatever but the more it says the plan is bad the better. Conditionality and judge kick are good. AFFs should be T and are likely to lose if they aren't. If you say death good you lose. If you ask for a 30 you will get a 25.
I STRONGLY prefer that all cameras be on whenever anyone in the debate is speaking, but I understand if internet or other considerations prevent this.
If my camera is off, assume I am away from my computer and don't start talking. If you start your speech while I am away from my computer you do not get to restart. That is on you.
Here is how to successfully adjust to the online setting:
1. Inflect more when you are talking.
2. Put your face in frame. Ideally, make it so you can see the judge.
3. Get a microphone, put it close to your face, talk into it, make sure there is an unobstructed line between it and your mouth.
4. Talk one at a time.
Tech determines truth unless it's death good. If you tell me to embrace death because life is bad I will vote against you even if you do not go for the argument. More broadly, all else being equal, I strongly prefer to solve problems without resorting to violence or force if possible.
Otherwise, unless my role as a judge is changed, I will attempt to make the least interventionary decision. This means:
1. I will identify the most important issues in the debate, decide them first based on the debating, then work outward.
2. What is conceded is absolutely true, but will only have the implications that you say it has. Unless something is explicitly said, conceded, and extended, or is an obvious and necessary corollary of something that is said, conceded, and extended, I will attempt to resolve it, rather than assuming it.
3. I will intervene if there is no non-interventionary decision.
4. I will attempt to minimize the scope of my intervention by simplifying the decision-making process. I would prefer to decide fewer issues. If an issue seems hard to resolve without intervening, I will prioritize evaluating ballots that don't require resolving that issue. Example: a DA is heavily and messily contested, and may be straight turned, but the case would outweigh the DA even if the DA was 100% NEG. I will likely not attempt to resolve the DA page. In complex debates, it would behoove you to instruct me on how I should do this, or instruct me not to do this if you would prefer that I resolve the debate a different way. You can also stop this from happening by debating in ways that don't require intervention to evaluate.
I am aware that this procedure can influence my assessment of substance. Given infinite decision time, I would not do this. However, decision times are shrinking. Post-round time is limited; minutes spent resolving complex or under-debated issues that are not outcome-determinative trade off with the quality of my assessment of issues that are. I believe this process net reduces error costs.
I have voted NEG 53% of the time.
I often vote quickly. This does not necessarily mean the debate was lopsided or bad; more likely, it is a sign that the teams clearly communicated the relationships between their arguments, allowing me to perform evaluations as the debate is happening. If I take a long time that means I was unable to do this, either because there was significant complexity in the debate or because communication was poor.
The following are my inclinations - if you don't like them you can change them.
The agenda DA is not a serious argument.
"Framing pages" where you say "DAs are bad" are bad.
CP'ing in offense is underrated.
If no one says anything I will assume I can judge kick. It is very hard to use theory to stop me from thinking about the status quo. Nothing but conditionality is a voting issue. Pretty NEG on most theory, except fiating out of your own straight turned offense.
Competition is usually more impactful than theory. Theory arguments that logically presume you have won a competition argument ("CPs that steal the AFF are a voting issue" assumes you have demonstrated that the CP has stolen the AFF, which is a competition argument. "CPs that are not functionally and textually competitive are a voting issue"... come on, what are we doing here) are a waste of time. Just win the competition argument.
Functional competition + explaining what your plan does + definitions + reasons to prefer your definitions >>>>> anything involving the concept of textual competition. Textual competition is mind poison that corrupts any competition model it touches.
If I can't explain what a CP does and how it accomplishes whatever the NEG says it does, I am unlikely to vote for it. You can avoid this by writing a meaningful CP text AND explaining it in the speech.
I like judging good T debates. I really don't like judging bad ones. What sets these apart is specific application of broad offense to interpretations and impact debating that is specific to internal links, grounded in a vivid vision for debates under your topic.
I do not think the intrinsic value of being "factually correct" about your T argument is very high.
Many parts of a T argument can be enhanced with cards - e.g. link to limits, claims of AFF/NEG bias in the literature, predictability via prodicts/indicts.
Argue by analogy and comparison to other AFFs, especially in CX.
Ks / Planless AFFs
OK for specific Ks on the NEG, bad for random backfile slop, bad for K AFFs, death good = L.
If your K is secretly a DA, refer to the DA section. If your K is not a DA then yes, you need framework and you need an alternative. Whatever issue your framework says should determine the round should be what your link, impact, and ALT are about.
I do not judge many debates involving nontraditional AFFs. The biggest hurdles to voting AFF for me are usually: 1) why can't the AFF be read on the NEG, 2) why is the AFF's offense inherent to resolutional debate or to voting NEG on framework instead of some avoidable examples, and 3) how do I reconcile the AFF's vision of debate or the topic with debate's inherently (even if not exclusively) competitive nature.
I am open to different understandings of what it means for things to compete if there is no plan. However, "no plan, no perms" is nonsense.
The only effect of my ballot is to decide the winner.
Strong strategy, being fun/engaging to watch, being smart, being classy, being clear = higher speaks.
Making wrong strategic choices, being underprepared or ignorant about substance, making CXs annoying/pointless, making bad arguments, being needlessly mean, being a mumbler... = lower speaks.
I do not view speaker points as divorced from substance.
My points are slightly below average.
Asking for a 30 will yield a 25.
Ethics and Conduct
If the tabroom tells me to do something, it is not up for debate. I will do that thing. The rest is what I will do if left to my own devices.
Evidence ethics (out of context? straw-person? lied about quals? cut in middle of paragraph?) should be debated out like any other theory argument. Alternative remedies short of an automatic loss could be more responsive or proportional to the harm: scratching the argument AND evidence, scratching only the evidence and treating the argument as if it is made analytically, assuming an author is absolutely unqualified, requiring the team to produce the full text of articles in question, requiring the violating team to establish a paper trail authenticating other important evidence and presuming other evidence to be fabricated, requiring a team to produce the full text of every article in the debate and presuming other evidence to be fabricated, reducing speaker points, informing the team's coaches after the fact. They MAY be a reason to reject the team, but I will not treat them as such by default.
Clipping - claiming you read words from evidence that you did not read - is different, and a voting issue. It is a form of dishonesty that irreparably distorts teams' speech times, which affects every other issue in the debate, and which opponents are uniquely poorly positioned to police. If you are inexperienced or appear to have clipped by mistake, I will be lenient. Otherwise, it is non-negotiable.
Thoughts on stopping the debate early:
1. This is an exceptional measure to be avoided if possible.
2. Once the debate stops because of an ethics challenge, my first step is to consult the tabroom and do whatever they say.
3. Unless expressly instructed otherwise by the tabroom, the debate will not resume once stopped. The winner and loser will be determined solely by the ethics challenge.
4. An accusing team can stop the debate at any time. They win if they are correct, present compelling evidence that they are correct, and I agree that the conduct justifies a penalty loss. The winner will receive 28.5 and 28.6. Losers who have personally committed an ethics violation receive the lowest points allowed. Losers who have not personally committed an ethics violation - either due to an unsuccessful accusation, or because the partner committed the violation - receive a 27 and 27.1.
5. An accused team can stop the debate, even if the accusing team does not wish to do so, if the accusation concerns the fundamental academic integrity of the accused. This is a very high bar.
6. An accusing team may ask me if I believe certain conduct justifies a penalty loss without stopping the debate. I will take judge prep to answer. This answer is not an invitation to negotiate and obviously doesn't bind the tabroom.
7. I will proactively end the debate for clipping. I will not do this for other evidence ethics or academic integrity issues.
8. Basically none of this applies to novice or JV, where I will resolve the dispute as quickly and narrowly as possible with the aim of maximizing the number of speeches that can happen.
Being racist, sexist, violent, etc. in a way that is immediately and obviously hazardous to someone in the debate = L and 0. My role as educator outweighs my role as any form of disciplinarian, so I will err on the side of letting stuff play out - i.e. if someone used gendered language and that gets brought up I will probably let the round happen and correct any ignorance after the fact. This ends when it begins to threaten the safety of round participants. You should give this line a wide berth.
Update for Loyola 2020:
Honestly, not much has changed since this last LD update in 2018 except that I now teach at Success Academy in NYC.
Update for Voices / LD Oct 2018:
I coach Policy debate at the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, CA. It has been a while since I have judged LD. I tend to do it once a or twice a year.
You do you: I've been involved in judging debate for over 10 years, so please just do whatever you would like to do with the round. I am familiar with the literature base of most postmodern K authors, but I have not recently studied classical /enlightenment philosophers.
It's okay to read Disads: I'm very happy to judge a debate involving a plan, DAs and counter-plans with no Ks involved as well. Just because I coach at a school that runs the K a lot doesn't mean that's the only type of argument I like / respect / am interested in.
Framework: I am open to "traditional" and "non-traditional" frameworks. Whether your want the round to be whole res, plan focused, or performative is fine with me. If there's a plan, I default to being a policymaker unless told otherwise.
Theory: I get it - you don't have a 2AC so sometimes it's all or nothing. I don't like resolving these debates. You won't like me resolving these debates. If you must go for theory, please make sure you are creating the right interpretation/violation. I find many LD debaters correctly identify that cheating has occurred, but are unable to identify in what way. I tend to lean education over fairness if they're not weighed by the debaters.
LD Things I don't Understand: If the Aff doesn't read a plan, and the Neg reads a CP, you may not be satisfied with how my decision comes out - I don't have a default understanding of this situation which I hear is possible in LD.
Other thoughts: Condo is probably a bad thing in LD.
Update for Jack Howe / Policy Sep 2018: (Sep 20, 2018 at 9:28 PM)
Please use the link below to access my paradigm. RIP Wikispaces.
Micah (mai · kuh) Wang.
Taipei American '23, Emory '27.
Went for all sorts of policy argument, have also read a K AFF and have gone for a K (REAL) (EMOTIONAL) (GONE REASONABLY WELL).
Go as slow as you're willing to. I suck at flowing and am trying my best to get better.
I'll clear you twice before it becomes a you problem.
No inserting rehighlightings. Lines must be read in your speech or in CX.
"How much time do I have left" = ☹. Time yourself.
If you tell me to embrace death because life is bad I will vote against you even if you do not go for the argument.
Always adapt to the layest judge on a panel. I won't punish you for making the debate accessible.
Set up the chain before the round starts.
Include the Tournament Name, Round, and Teams in the subject.
You should send the doc you're reading from.
Send speeches in word docs and please try and name it something relevant to the round. "Tournament R#---1NC.docx" > "1nc (37).docx"
Any more than three cards go in its own doc.
If you don't want your docs circulating, I'll honor your request to the greatest extent I can.
My Junior and Senior wikis are pretty descriptive of what arguments I'm familiar with and went for.
Stuff in each section should help. Email me before round with questions.
I'm fine with ins/outs. If you don't know what that means, it probably doesn't apply.
Disclosure is good. If your strategy relies on not disclosing previously broken arguments, strike me.
K AFFs are in the K Things section.
— Big Stick AFFs.
Good for most things but dislike process-based advantages. Will listen to your Federalism ADV or Chevron ADV or whatever but I will complain.
The Heg Good AFF gets perms against the K. If the NEG can't answer it, they should probably lose.
— Soft Left AFFs.
Read soft left Saudi on the Arms Sales topic, where I learned that winning the framing page means doing line by line and not just reading an overview.
Very unlikely to vote on only a framing push in the 2AR, but who knows.
Will vote on anything if debated well enough by the AFF. But most things are probably reasons to reject the argument.
I think 3 condo is where I start seeing red flags. Subject to change based on what was read and the community consensus on the topic.
2NC CPs are probably bad. 1NR CPs are worse. 2NR CPs are not going to be flowed.
Quality over quantity, but my threshold for NEG flex changes heavily based on the topic.
K v. Policy AFF are in the K Things section.
Not very confident in judging these debates, so giving explicit judge instruction in these debates is important.
I think plan text in a vacuum is silly.
I have yet to hear a persuasive reason why Condo > T.
Go for it. Would prefer not to have a counterplan competition debate.
The AFF gets limited intrinsicness to test the germaneness of a Process CP, but I can be persuaded otherwise.
Strongly believe that the NEG should have a solvency advocate for every counterplan.
I love a good Topic DA. The Politics DA is fine, and the less said about the Rider DA the better (it loses to theory).
Link specificity is always good. It's been too long since a Topic had DAs specific to the AFFs process. If you're still going for Politics on the Economic Inequality topic, shame on you.
— Impact Turns.
Go for it. My favorite argument of all time is Ice Age.
Only caveats are that suffering probably sucks, and discrimination is bad.
Evidence comparison in these rounds is very important to me.
Relatively familiar with most literature bases. Won't be useless in an Identity-related debate but I would still err on the side of overexplaining.
Less familiar with Pomo/High Theory Ks, but I'll vote for it if I understand by the end of the round.
I have zero interest in evaluating a Death Good K.
— K AFFs.
Didn't read one until senior year, where I read an AFF about Techno-Orientalism and then an AFF about Virilio.
Please defend something, and defend the same thing throughout the round.
The debate almost always boils down to "what's the largest impact that I can solve with the ballot?", so winning that debate puts you in a very favorable position.
Either slow down or send analytics. It's very likely that I won't catch something important.
I think debate is a game, but that doesn't necessary preclude subject formation.
I primarily went for Fairness, but I also went for clash-oriented impacts.
— K v. Policy AFFs.
I prefer Ks that read specific links to the AFF. Those are fun.
I dislike Ks that are basically links of omission or heavily focused on theories of power. Those aren't fun.
— K v. K.
Not the best in these rounds. Explaining judge instruction and the root cause debate is important.
I'm 50-50 on whether the AFF gets a perm.
No spreading unless both teams agree to and successfully set up an email chain.
I do not care about anything except substance. Paraphrasing is okay if you provide the full text of the evidence. Ks that link to the resolution are fine, but I don't think pre-fiat Ks belong in PF.
T is not an RVI. Disclosure is not surveillance. Don't know what "Kant" means.
I won't vote on something I don't understand at the end of the round, so read trix/phil/etc at your own risk. The closer to policy debate, the better.
I don't want teammates that aren't actively in the debate round to make noise or be distracting.
I'll listen to anything, and you can spread if you want. Just remember that there is a style section of the rubric.
Dowling Catholic 2020
University of Kentucky 2024
Do what you do best.
I care about responsiveness more than anything else. Don't just shotgun warrants/restate arguments, listen to what your opponent says, apply your warrants to what they are saying, and explain why your arguments subsume theirs.
Line by line is the most important part of debate for me.
I try to be more deterministic than probabilistic when evaluating arguments. Strong comparative analysis and argument resolution can turn 'risks' of things into decisive yes/no questions for one team.
Add me to the chain (email@example.com) however I try to look at speech docs as little as possible. I think the increasing card-docification of debate is an unhealthy trend. The value of cutting really good cards should be that you can explain and apply them advantageously and access a higher standard for ev comparison, as such, the purpose of me having access to the doc should be to verify if what you're saying your ev says is true in the event the other team disputes it, not to assess the quality of the cards in the abstract. This is also why slowing down and being clear helps since If I flow your arguments from hearing them first I feel less interventionist when granting you their weight.
Slow down for arguments that have a really dense concept-to-word ratio like T and theory.
I'm cool with inserting rehighlightings as long as you actually explain in depth what the rehighlighting says/why it matters rather than just exploiting it as a method to read cards faster - if this turns into a moral hazard for one team the other should call it out.
CP competition admittedly isn't my strong suit.
lesser stylistic things -
Pick your battles, especially in CX. Chances are, not every word that comes out of your opponents mouth is an F tier trash argument. I get that having conviction and passion is important, but sometimes knowing when to give certain opposing arguments a respectful level of credence can convey nuance and demonstrate to me that you're smart enough to be cognizant of the substantive difference between certain arguments in the round.
numbering arguments is always a plus.
I like when tags have the card's warrants in them.
PF - in all honesty I will probably judge this like a policy round, so most of the stuff above applies. if you're responsive and focus on developing less arguments more in depth and with more warrants you should be good.
LD - tricks suck. please don't pref me if this is your style.
Email me if you have questions and please put me on the chain: dylan.willett8 at gmail dot com as well as firstname.lastname@example.org. I coach for the Asian Debate League. I debated for UMKC. In college, I mostly went for framework, topic DAs, and an assortment of topic critiques. As a coach I mostly have spent the last year working on random policy stuff, but have spent a lot of time working with critical approaches to the topic as well.
Be bold, read something new, it will be rewarded if you do it well. Analysis of evidence is important. I have found that over the past few years I have grown my appreciation for more of the policy side of research not in an ideological lean, but rather I am not starting from negative with process counterplans, I appreciate clever disadvantages, etc. If you have good cards, I am more willing to reward that research and if you do something new, I will definitely be happy.
I begin my decisions by attempting to identify what the most important arguments are, who won them, and how they implicate the rest of the debate. The more judge instruction, including dictating where I should begin my decision by showing me what is most important will help determine the lens of how I read the rest of the arguments
I find that I am really annoyed by how frequently teams are asking major flow clarifications like sending a new file that removes the evidence that was skipped. Please just flow, if there is an actual issue that warrants a question its obviously ok, but in most situations it comes across as not paying attention to the speeches which is a bit frustrating.
I like good, strategic cross-ex. If you pay attention and prepare for your cx, it pays dividens in points and ballots. Have a plan. Separate yourself and your arguments here!
I am a big fan of case debates that consist of a lot of offense – impact turns or link turns are always better than just pulling from an impact d file.
I think that I mostly lean negative on theory arguments – I would be really sad if I had to parse through a huge theory debate like condo, but am willing. I think I start from a predisposition that condo, PICs, etc are okay, and change based off the theory debate as it develops. I think theory is an important part of an affirmative strategy versus good, and especially cheaty, counterplans. I don't think education is a super persuasive argument in theory debates I have found. Way easier to go for some type of fairness argument and compare internal links versus going for some abstract notion about how conditionality benefits or hurts "advocacy skills".
In framework debates, the best teams spend a lot of their speeches on these flows answering the nuanced developments of their opponents. AFF or NEG teams that just say a different wording of their original offense in each speech are setting themselves up to lose. I am interested in hearing what debates would look like under each model. I like education arguments that are contextual to the topic and clever TVAs and impact turns are good ways to get my ballot while making the debate less stale. I find the framework teams that lose my ballot most are those that refuse to turn (on the link level or impact level, in appropriate manner) AFF offense. I find the K AFF teams that lose my ballot most are those that don't double down on their offense and explain how the NEGs impacts fit in your depiction of how debate operates.
Ks, DAs, CPs, T, FW, etc are all fine to read and impact turn – as long as I am judging a round where there is some attention to strategy and arguments are being developed, I will be happy. Definitely willing to vote on zero risk of a link.
My name is Marcus Williams and i'm a senior at the University of Kentucky.
My email is email@example.com . You can email me with any questions you have. If you do email chains you can also add me to it before the round.
I really enjoy debate and I think it should be a fun activity that everyone should be comfortable doing. With that being said, I am open to all arguments that teams make. I have NOT done any debating or research on this years high school/middle school topic, but that doesn't mean I am clueless to how things work. It just means you need more explanation.
Do impact and framing work. I prefer specificity when it comes to link arguments. Generic link arguments can get it done with nuance, but I am lenient to aff no link arguments if they press your very general evidence.
Topicality should be treated as a disad, meaning that you should do similar impact calc. Violations should be aff specific. T debates can be kinda confusing if you are just repeating your arguments without answering the other teams, so make sure to do comparative work.
Generic counterplans are fine. Ensure you isolate all 1AC internal links early on and how you resolve them in advance.
I am persuaded by a lot of aff theory arguments however, I find I vote neg a lot more in theory debates because of a lack of impact comparison and technical drops. going for one liner theory arguments are fine if their dropped, but they have to be clearly communicated and substantiated with an impact.
let em rip
Tech > Truth. I care far less about the content, and far more about the technical execution of the argument. I will not have an artificially high threshold regarding voting on any argument, from conditionality bad to warming good. The following is my decision-making process, and I will stop if further steps are not required to make my decision.
1. Tech*. This is solely based on my flow. Arguments consist of a claim, warrant and implication. If an argument lacks one of these components, I will not arbitrarily discount it, however, it likely limits the importance of a technical concession for the rest of the debate. I will be strict with new arguments, but whether or not an argument is new or justified is up for debate (excepting the 2AR). This is where most 70-30 debates will end.
2. Truth (Evidence). This is based on evidence comparison. I will assess evidence according to the metrics established by the debaters (recency, conclusiveness, qualifications, etc.) to make probabilistic determinations on given issues in the debate. This is where most 60-40 debates will end.
3. Truth (Judge Intervention). This is based on my personal understanding of arguments & biases. The persuasiveness of an argument is likely filtered through my opinions about debate and the world, which means that in the event of a true ‘tie’ (which I find incredibly unlikely), my predispositions below may play a role.
*NOTE — To disincentivize clash-avoidance tricks & cheapshots, I am unlikely to vote on a conceded argument that is intentionally obfuscatory, such as embedded ASPEC or ‘dropped’ floating PIKs, and am amenable to justifications for new answers. If you are uncertain if your argument meets this threshold, make a more complete argument.
A. Offense-Defense. Zero risk is incredibly rare.
B. Topicality. Debatability and predictability both matter. These debates often come down to internal link scope. Reasonability is compelling, given a large impact that outweighs the debatability differential between the two interpretations. Evidence quality likely matters more than limits.
C. Counterplans. Judgekick is default. Aff teams should go for theory & competition more, assuming well-crafted interpretations, 1AR time investment and impact comparison.
D. Disadvantages. Uniqueness is probabilistic. The link matters most.
A. Neg. Offense-Defense. My preferences for reducing the scope of aff offense is: links that dispute the case > bigger impact and/or impact framing > alt solves > framework.
B. Topicality. The best impact is dependent on the aff, regarding both the aff's impact turns to framework and the neg's explanation of their offense. Impact comparison is everything.
1. Insert rehighlightings, read recuttings.
2. Send out the 1AC before the speech.
3. Don't ask for a marked copy absent egregious lack of clarity. Marked copy ≠ delete cards that weren't read.
Hi everyone who is reading my paradigm,
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org for the email chains.
I’ve been coaching policy debate for five years at the Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove, IL (it's a middle school). I’ve also judged a few rounds of high school Public Forum. I kind of fell into the job as a debate coach- I didn’t have any debate experience in high school or college. I've taught Literacy for 16 years, and social studies for the last two.
That being said, please treat the debate room like a classroom in terms of behavior and decorum. If the way you are acting would not fly at your school, don't do it in front of me. Debate can get heated, the CX can get pointed, but outright rudeness, swearing, etc. will come with penalties.
That being said, I always view debate through the lens of a solid analytical argument, just like I would in my classroom. I need a cohesive argument, solid support, analytics, and a breakdown of why your argument is superior to your opponents’ argument. An “A” debate should look like an “A” paper.
Two things I don’t like to hear are extremely fast talking and cards that don’t support their tags. It’s great that you got through a lot of evidence and tried to put a lot of things on the flow sheet, but if you are only reading a sentence or two from each card and it doesn’t add up, it’s not a real argument. I need depth. I need Klash.
I am really against fast reading. If you words are jumbling together and I can't make it out, it's not going on my flow. If I can't make out what you are saying, I am going to give you a "clear." If it continues, I'll give you a second one. Beyond that, I will disregard it if I can't make it out.
The round is going to go to the group that clearly lays out their argument (love signposting) and advances their ideas clearly while pointing out the flaws in their opponents’ presentation.
I’ll take T’s and K attacks that are on topic and make a valid point, but I much prefer to stick to the case. If their case is barely hanging on to being topical, go for it. Can you make a legit critique with some SOLID links? Go for it. Just don't get too esoteric on me, and make sure the link is solid. Blocks of jargon with no real tie to the case will not work.
Plz put me on the email chain at Stevenyu0923@gmail.com
I judge very similarly to Scott Wheeler. If that means anything.
Tech over truth dropped arguments are presumed to be true, but I do believe that true arguments are easier to defend.
Simplicity is good.
Every argument needs a claim, warrant, impact.
If it takes more than 1 minute to send out a document I start running prep unless justified. ("My computer isn't loading for more than 1 whole minute is usually not a justified answer")
If you don't slow down after I clear you I will stop flowing.
Some degree of aggression is fine, love a heated clash heavy debate.
I take starting debates on time very seriously. When we read the time debate needs to start, it doesn't mean you start sending the 1AC. It means you have the 1AC sent, and you are ready to start the speech.
Don't advise you go for arguments like racism, extinction, suffering good or anything of those kind. But if you do, I will reluctantly evaluate it fairly.
For every min of prep you don't use I will give 0.1 of extra speaks to award going off the flow.
T A5 is not an argument. If mishandled, I will vote on it. But the threshold of mishandling is high.
I am fine for any policy arguments, and extra speaks for teams who do detailed case debating. If you are reading a tricky argument then you should start your speech with an overview of how it operates. Otherwise, I only want to hear quick overviews of impact calculus.
I am usually fine for CP theory from both sides. If you are going for theory, please don't read blocks straight down. You need to actually clash with their specific arguments instead of reading generic answers. It is hard to convince me to vote on something that occurred outside of the round, but if you do plan on going for it make sure you have concrete evidence of what your opponents did and articulate specific impacts to it. Relatively good at understanding funky permutations against process CPs.
Nonetheless, here are my preferences below.
Process CPs---Probably acceptable
Agent Fiat---Probably good
Multi-plank CPs---Probably good
International Fiat---Probably bad
Object Fiat---Probably bad
Other than condo, most of these are reasons to reject the argument not the team.
Never really went for the K before this year. Familiar with majority of critical literature. Although you definitely want to stay away from high theory. Love a good, specific, and clash heavy K debate. I am usually best for impact turn Ks like Cap, militarism, imperialism or different variations of security Ks. To me, K debate is case debate. The more you debate the case the more you convince me of the flaws in the 1AC's critical scholarship. Perf con most likely bad but generally not enough to reject the team. Don't advise going for FW in front of me unless severely mishandled.
Decent for K affs. However, I'd prefer simple Ks of the resolution.
I would encourage debaters to go for impact turns (tech good, NATO good, foreign Aid good, etc.) against K affs. One should pull rehighlightings of the 1ac as links to these impact turns.
T Framework is fine. Fairness is most likely an impact. Debate most likely shapes subjectivities to some degree.
Clarity > speed
Don't steal prep
Quarry Lane High School 24
Has debated both policy and pf. (2A and 1N)
Email Address: email@example.com
I learn everything I know about debate from Chris Thiele - his paradigm is 1000x more detailed than mine will be
- Tech > Truth
- OpenSource is good. Paraphrase is bad
- Speech Doc is mandated. Please set up an email chain before the round starts and send all your cards for each speech.
- Don't steal prep. Please send your speech doc in 2 min.
- Just a clarification, I found many teams confused with this part. Speed is okay with me (ie: normal high school/college spreading, so don't read spreading theory against your opponent.), but be clear and be slower at the tag and analytics. Quality>Quantity. (Notice English is my second language. I also spread in debate, but I think spreading ≠ you can be unclear. If you decide to mumble through the cards, I will still go through your speech doc, but I will take off your speaker points.)
- Please Line by line the argument. Don't drop arguments and bring up brand-new stuff in your last speech. If a dropping argument isn't identified for both sides, I will kick it.
- I have no offense with any argument. You may say, "human extinction is good" or "xx country is evil." At least you should follow the structure of "author+claim+warrants+data+impact."
- (MS rounds) Collapsing is important: I found many teams choose to go for all the things they have at the beginning to the end for both aff and neg. pls don't do that
- A strong last speech is always important to me. Showing me the way how I should judge this debate always makes my job easier.
For policy specific:
- I like competing interpretations. Prove to me why your interpretation is better. Go hard on weighing, such as education, clash, etc.
- Aff Only: Offense/Defense + weighing is better than just going for reasonability.
- In-round abuse is good, but you don't need it to win my ballot.
- I will vote on theory, but if you are going to run really weird theories pls pls pls explain them to me
- I prefer to go more offensive on theory. Same with topicality, competing for interp is definitely stronger than saying we meet.
Framework on Case & K
- If there's no counter-framework, I will concede that both teams agree on it.
- If you want to win the framework, please spend time completing frameworks. Don't just extend your card and text repeatedly to me. Give me warrants and impacts on why your framing is better or more important than your opponents' framework.
- I am not good at framework when policy aff vs k. prefer substances
- Framework vs. K Aff: I think whether fairness can be counted as an impact is still debatable. I feel like fairness is more likely to turn to education because there's less engagement, negatively reflect, etc. Maybe it's just I am a 2A for k aff, so I prefer the debate to focus more on subjectivity, education, clash (predictability will turn education)
- If you do enough work, I may believe my ballot can change the world.
- I am not a huge case debater, but I understand the most popular case on the topic. I think it's really hard for neg to know more about the case than aff does. If neg has an amazing case neg, I will reward the team.
- Go in-depth into the argument. Card comparisons are always effective. Weighing should not be later than 1AR.
- I still don't recommend dropping the case, especially when you go for DA + Case or some K + Case.
- Follow basic offense + defense pattern
- I feel like DA is the only section that is truth > tech for me. The evidence is the most essential part. The more recent cards plus good warrants always change the uniqueness and control the link.
- As a 2A, I hate random cheating cp, especially when there are more than 6 offs. However, it could be a winnable strategy.
- Perm: only accept "perm to do both," "perm to do cp," and "perm to do the plan and part of the cp." You can read other forms of perms, but I don't think that's a winning strategy.
- Link can be anything in the debate (it can be plan text, language, actor, etc.), but you should explain how Aff representation leads to xxx impact. For Aff, you may attack the link by checking the uniqueness of the K.
- Both sides can fiat the alt. Prove to me how the alt solves the k and the case better compared to the plan. Of course, you don't need an alt to win the debate. I will treat the K like a philosophical DA if you don't go for alt; then weighing and framework is important.
- Perm is generally just served for checking uncompetitive alternatives. However, if you drop the perm and your opponent extends it, I will still vote off you. (this is just for the case when the link is not strong)
- For KAff only: I have debated k aff throughout my junior year, so I think I am some sort familiar with it. I think k aff is pretty interesting, even though most of the time it will end up collapsing on topicality. As a 2A, 90% of the time I am answering the framework, so I will still vote on it if you run it well. On neg, I usually run k against k aff, but you are free to run anything else.
- I have no experience with LD debate or topic so I may judge more policy bias. (Cross-apply my policy standards) This means that I will still try my best to understand your argument, but if you are running any LD-only theory, pls pls pls explain it to me clearly.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can call me judge or Elizabeth either is fine.
Experience: I debated one year of public forum in eighth grade, policy in ninth grade, and this year is my second year in policy.
Speed: I'm alright with speed as long as it's clear. Do slow down on tags and analytics.
Theory: I'm familiar with condo and opensource but I'm open to any as long as you explain it well.
Ks: I run the Cap K and Security K, but other Ks that are not too obscure I can probably also understand. If you run something that is not as common I will still vote for it if you explain it well enough that I understand it.
Generally I'm alright with anything but just make sure you explain things fairly well.