Alabama State 2022
2022 — Birmingham, AL/US
Lincoln Douglas Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Jordan Berry - Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School
I have been a debate coach and judge since 2015, with a primary focus on L/D. Most debaters over the years categorize me as a traditional L/D judge. My chief weighing mechanism is usually framework (my undergraduate degree is in philosophy), but I can be persuaded to the contrary. I have no value hierarchy. John Locke was my favorite character from LOST, and I try my best to be that in the round: personal views and ballot intervention should not be a part of my RFD. I will evaluate only those arguments brought up by the debaters.
Insane speed is an issue for me. I highly doubt either Lincoln or Douglas themselves were spreading, and I've never seen that style of speech in any real-life situation aside from episodes of "Storage Wars." I do flow the round (though not cross), but "winning the flow" isn't the same as winning the round in some cases; this event is supposed to be persuasive and accessible, not a checklist of responses and replies. Thus, I always roll my eyes when one of my debaters complains about "lay" judges: in crafting a case/round, they should receive as much consideration as that ex-policy debater.
Other issues for me: do be respectful. Do engage meaningfully with the resolution. Do be honest. Do have fun.
Break a leg!
I've been debating since I was in high school and am familiar with most forms of debate. Specifically, I've competed in PF and NPDA. With that being said, I'm open to literally any style of debate. I really like critical theory and alternative interpretations of the resolution, but I'm good with traditional too. The most I really ask of you all as debaters, is to make your cases clear to me. Other than that, have fun, be safe, and don't be mean.
Primarily, I am a coach and educator. I have always felt strongly that debate is a contest of ideas and communication skills. I have no preferences in the round; however, if you speak so quickly that your ideas are diminished, I will have a hard time voting for you, especially if your opponent is more articulate (even with weaker arguments).
I vote on whatever I found to be effective in the round. The more specific your arguments are to what happens in the debate, the greater your chances of earning my ballot. I’m looking for clash and reward debaters who work to ensure it is achieved.
-Do not spread. On a scale of 1-10 for speed I prefer somewhere around 6-7. I would prefer you to slow down or pause a tad for taglines for my flow. Also if you list 4-5 short points or stats in quick succession, I probably will miss one or two in the middle if you dont slow down.
-Arguments you go for should appear in all speeches. If your offense was not brought up in summary, I will ignore it in FF.
-I do not think cross is binding. It needs to come up in the speech. I do not flow cross, and as a flow judge that makes decisions based on my flow, it won't have much bearing on the round.
-At the least I think 2nd rebuttal needs to address all offense in round. Bonus points for collapsing case and completely frontlining the argument you do go for.
-In terms of overviews, please do not be abusive. I don't like it when a team throws a nib on their opponent. I will reduce speaker points for this tactic. It's fine to use an overview for something that covers their entire case, not to just introduce a new argument that acts just like a contention from case.
-Please time yourselves. My phone is constantly on low battery, so I'd rather not use it. If you want to keep up with your opponents' prep too to keep them honest then go ahead.
-For speaking, I do not care at all about eye contact. I do not care if you sway, etc. I will not be looking at you during speeches, as I am looking down at my flow most of the time. Project your voice and be clear.
-In terms of some of the more progressive things- I haven't actually heard theory in a PF round but I hear it's a thing now. If your opponent is being abusive about something then sure, let me know, either in a formal shell or informal. Don't run theory just to run it though. Obviously, counterplans and plans are not allowed in PF so just don't.
1) Bad or misleading evidence. Unfortunately this is what I am seeing PF become. Paraphrasing has gotten out of control. Your "paraphrased" card better be accurate. If one piece of evidence gets called out for being miscut or misleading, then it will make me call in to question all of your evidence. If you are a debater that runs sketchy and loose evidence, I would pref me very high or strike me.
2) Evidence clash that goes nowhere. If pro has a card that says turtles can breathe through their butt and con has a card saying they cannot and that's all that happens, then I don't know who is right. In the instance of direct evidence clash (or even analytical argumentation clash) tell me why to prioritize your evidence over theirs or your line of thinking over theirs. Otherwise, I will consider the whole thing a wash and find something else to vote on.
3) Not condensing the round when it should be condensed. Most of the time it is not wise to go for every single argument on the flow. Sometimes you need to pick your battles and kick out of others, or risk undercovering everything.
So first, I primarily judge PF. This means my exposure to certain argument types is limited. I LOVE actually debating the resolution. Huge fan. I'm cool with DAs and CPs. Theory only if your opponent is being overly abusive (so no friv). If you are a K or tricks debater good luck. I know about the progressive things but since I primarily judge PF, my ability to evaluate it is very limited from experience. If you want to go for a K or something, I won't instantly drop you and I will try my best to flow and evaluate it in the round. But you will probably need to tweak it a little, slow down, and explain more how it is winning and why I should vote for it. I come from a traditional circuit, so the more progressive the round gets, the less capable I am of making a qualified decision.
I do not want you to flash your case to me. I want to flow it. If you read to point that it is unflowable then it is your loss. If I don't flow it, I cannot evaluate it and thus, cannot vote on it. Spreading in my opinion is noneducational and antithetical to skills you should be learning from this activity. Sorry, in the real world and your future career, spreading is not an acceptable practice to convince someone and get your point across.
Please signpost/roadmap- I hate when it is unclear where you are and I get bounced around the flow. Have fun and don't be overly aggressive.
Update for Emory Debate Camp Tournament: This paradigm is primarily for LD. Most of my experience is also in LD but I did a year of college policy. I really don't care what you run but I've been out of debate for a bit now so I may not be up to date on a lot of acronyms and definitely am not up to date on topic lit. Ignore all the stuff below about theory and tricks because I know policy is a lot different. I'll default to reasonability and drop the arg on theory but if you wanna go for competing interps or drop the debater feel free to. Please don't run any tricks in policy too. Please feel free to ask me for any specifics.
Big Questions Update: lmao
My last paradigm was too sarcastic and the one before that was too long so I'm just gonna make this short and simple.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I did national circuit LD in high school and I primarily ran policy stuff, theory, t, and tricks (I'm prob best for judging these arguments). You can prob put me as a 1 for these on your pref sheets.
I'm down with judging phil and k debate too but I'm not familiar with a lot of the lit (especially pomo k's) so if you're running that please overexplain. You can prob put me as a 2 or 3 for these based on how confusing your lit is but you should probably put me as a 5 if you're running exclusively pomo.
This should go without saying but don't be offensive. You should also try to avoid being a jerk in general because this is supposed to be an enjoyable activity.
Tricks debate is cool but there's some things I'll interfere on there. First, you don't get to change speech times and I evaluate all five speeches. Don't bring in stuff from outside of the round (except disclosure stuff I guess but I'll get to that more in a second). That'll be met with an L and minimum speaks.
I'll vote on disclosure theory but I really don't like it at all especially if it's run against someone with substantially less resources than the person running it. Don't expect your speaks to look good if you go for disclosure theory against a stock position.
Ask me for specifics in round. Good luck and have fun!
Samford '25 -- If you're interested about debating in college I'll be happy to talk to you about debating at Samford if you ask!
I am a current debater at Samford University where I qualified as a first year to the NDT. I competed in debate for 4 years at Rockdale County High School where I won the NAUDL round robin. My entire career I have read almost exclusively policy arguments. For those who care I have been a 2A for 95% percent of my debate career.
Please do not send speech docs as a google doc or PDF (Unless format is important to your speech and changing the format will disrupt the message) if you do your speaks are capped at 28.3
Yes, add me to the email chain email@example.com
Tech > Truth and its not even close.
PF and LD debaters might find the first paragraph useful but there is a section for y'all at the bottom!
In deciding rounds often times I find myself to be one of the first judges in as I don't tend to read a lot of evidence. I find that some judges reconstruct the debate through the cards read instead of the actual debating and contextualization done in round and as a result teams win based on quality of evidence not on who actually did the best debating. For this reason, I don't like to read cards unless I find teams having two interpretations of the same idea or inserting a new highlighting of their opponents cards. If you think a piece of evidence should be integral to my decision and is the upmost important that I read it post-round flag in your speech "Aaron you should read this card!"
The Politics disad has to be my favorite debate to have and to judge although many find the link chain to be a little silly. However, this doesn't mean go crazy with a random agenda disad because I also do find myself assigning close to zero and even zero risk of a disad. Specific links to an aff are important but that doesn't mean your generic topic links don't matter either. For aff teams thumpers are the best way to beat generic topic links to disads especially if they post-date the negative's uniqueness evidence.
I lean heavily neg on CP theory and am almost in the realm of giving the negative infinite conditionality. I believe that is the burden of the neg to prove the aff is a bad idea or solves best and thus I think conditionality is the best method for the negative to be able to achieve this. This does not mean you can't go for condo bad in front of me but rather that it probably shouldn't be your a strat and that there should probably be specific in round abuse proven. The more condo the negative reads the more convincing condo bad becomes especially in a world where the negative is implemented 4+ conditional worlds. I feel for the aff for judge kick and having to defend two worlds but I think most times judge kick doesn't matter as the net benefit doesn't work absent a counterplan due to low risk and getting outweighed by the affirmative. There is definitely a debate to be had though on whether or not the neg gets judge kick. Generally I think process/states/agent CPs are all good doesn't mean the theory debate isn't there to be had higher threshold to reject the team versus reject the arg. I have yet to see another method of weighing CP and net benefit outside of sufficiency framing that makes any sense but if you have an alternative I'm happy to hear it and implement it if you win it.
I've began to enjoy kritikal debates more and more as I've become more entrenched in debate through my college career. I think most generic kritiks however, can be quite repetitive because who wants to hear cap bad/good for the 1000th time. My depth in kritik literature is quite shallow however, and it is to the negative's advantage to over-explain their kritik if I am in the back of your round because if I just don't understand what you are kritiking and how the alternative solves that it is unlikely I am to vote on your kritik. I think specific links to the aff are important and if you can point to specific affirmative evidence to prove you link that puts you in a good position for winning your link. In most cases I will weigh the affirmative in some method against the aff unless the negative is just outright winning that the kritik must be a prior-question to the aff. Going for kritiks without the alt I'm hesitant to vote on because without a method of solving how are the links not just FYIs? If you can answer that question feel free to go for the kritik without an alternative.
Topicality is underutilized against policy teams and I think negative teams get scared to go for 5 minutes of just aff is egregiously untopical. I think as a result of this some affs are objectively not resolutional and a few I can point to in recent history where the neg should 100% of the time go for topicality but didn't were Westminster's Treason aff and probably any courts affs on CJR. Standards are a must and I think fairness is an impact. What makes for a good interpretation is probably up for debate and should be well debated by both sides.
FW: Please read a plan. I will vote for a planless aff if well impacted out why it is important that your aff comes before fairness and why the resolution doesn't allow for the discussion that you aff asks for. I think switch side debate solves a lot of offense the K times try to win on T.
PF and LD Debaters
Don't worry about adapting to me I will adapt to you! Just do what you do best and I will follow what you are doing. For LD debaters who do high theory and philosophy you should read the section for Kritiks from my policy paradigm.
I flow rounds. Alerting me to clear contentions and off time road maps assists me in completing my flows. I am not great with SPREAD, in fact, if you choose to SPREAD, I will probably stop flowing and just listen. I favor up to date resources and focus mostly on the year of the evidence. Cross fires should be civil. I generally look to typical speech characteristics when determining speaker points, such as speaking with clarity and articulation. I also consider the general characteristics of giving a speech such as how you present yourself through your demeanor both individually and as a team, as well as with your opponents.
Debated Independently for Decatur Heritage, AL (2019)
- Args I used in high school: https://hsld18.debatecoaches.org/Decatur%20Heritage/
B.A. Political Theory, UA (2021)
- Alabama Forensic Council and Alabama Debate Society Competitor
- Undergrad Thesis was on the role of Kritiks in the Debate Space
MPA Environmental Policy, UA (2023)
- Graduate SGA Senator
- Do whatever you want.
- I've engaged well enough with most arguments to become familiar with them, but that doesn't mean you should avoid basic argument structures. I'll judge the round based on how you tell me I should :)
- I dont care if you stand, sit, or whatever in round. I should also be good with most speeds, but if I need you down I'll just keep saying slow until you're at a level I can flow.
- If youre planning to spread, it would be significantly easier for me to flow if you could throw me on the email chain (firstname.lastname@example.org). I keep a decent flow but please don't assume I instantly know which card you're talking about unless you slightly explain it (or its a big factor in the round).
- I believe debate is a training field-- it has a competitive nature as a game, but should remain ethical and truthful as an educational activity. Essentially, go for whatever route you're comfortable with, but be prepared to defend its utility. This activity can be really elitist and this a route to address it. Even paradigms that try to make this activity more accessible end up adding on jargon that benefits larger programs.
Looking to do Speech/Debate in college?
Let me know. UA has a team that competes in both speech and debate, and a separate organization focusing on providing debate resources and coaching to developing debate programs. Both of these have funding potential and are super accessible no matter your experience level. I can also connect you to some other programs (and just generally like talking about the different spheres of this activity on the collegiate level).
Hey! I'm Abi McKibben and I debate for Samford's policy debate team. I started debating in January of 2021 as a novice and am now in JV.
My email is email@example.com
Preferences (Public Forum):
Extending arguments will get the most attention from me if you explain the idea rather than just the tag.
I appreciate a comparison of impacts.
Please announce when you are moving from one ADV/DA to another.
I am not familiar with LD so keep the lingo to a minimum.
My ear isn't trained to keep up with extremely fast speech speeds yet, especially if it's unclear. If unclear, I will say "clear" briefly while you speak.
Be easy on abbreviations --say the whole thing.
Evidence quality > evidence quantity.
As long as I can tell you're giving your best effort, you'll get a decent score for speaker points.
I'm Ravi Nataraj, a current junior in chemical engineering at Auburn University. In a past lifetime (high school), I've led the Hoover High LD Debate Team and have judged many tournaments over the past 3 years.
To win the round and ultimately appeal to me, you don't need to do much. Speak slow and loud so I may write legibly. If you spread (sometimes acceptable) or yell gibberish at me, I will not be able to interpret the chicken scratch I've written. Spread if needed for your case ONLY, but try not to for other sections.
LD is the pinnacle of philosophical debate, so value and criterion are EXTREMELY important. Link all cards back to framework heavily. If the opponent proves a card doesn't connect back to framework, you will likely lose that card. I still value card to card debate as it factors into the final "scale" I use.
Because its LD, analytical is preferred over empirical evidence, but understand they go hand in hand. Here, it's worth noting the key difference between LD and PF is the use of philosophy.
Lastly, please don't run anything weird like disadvantages or kritiques (with a k or c?). Actually, kritiques are fine (state the premise) but I'd prefer you don't run it.
That's all and good luck!
I was an LD/Congress debater for three years (2016-2019) and mostly competed at local tournaments, but I have experience with bid/national circuit tournaments as well. I'm pretty much here because of a combination of nostalgia and an obligation to give back to an activity that gave me so much.
she/her or they/them pronouns
Vestavia Hills '19
Berry College '22, Biochemistry and Biology Majors (yeah they sound like the same thing but they're not)
Online Tournaments: Speech docs are a must!! Even if you’re not spreading, I probably won’t be able to hear you as clearly because of the online nature of this tournament; I've heard plenty of rounds where someone was cutting out every few seconds.
I think defaulting to they/them pronouns for everyone in the round is a pretty good practice (but not a voting issue). If you prefer something else, lmk.
Any argument that I deem racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, ableist etc. will result in an immediate downvote. Debate and civil discourse often excludes the voices of disadvantaged groups, and arguments like these can further deter people of these groups from participating. I view the round as a microcosm of real public policy-making/discourse, so it should be a model of respect and tolerance despite the poor example set for us by current politicians.
Plagiarism or cutting cards in a way that changes their meaning (i.e. cutting out the word NOT from a sentence) will result in an automatic loss no matter what happened on the flow if I discover it. Less blatantly incorrect but still deceptive cutting will result in me not evaluating the card in the round and a possible reduction in speaker points. If you go for evidence ethics and lose it, I won't automatically vote you down, but I'll probably drop your speaks.
I started LD at my school really just so that I wouldn't have to debate with a partner, but I ultimately fell in love with all of the layers and intricacies of LD rounds. Stock rounds are fine; they're more accessible, after all. But really, I love the meta aspect of LD that allows us to take a step back and address the assumptions that shape the round and our world through kritiks or theory. Also, introducing layers just makes my job as a judge easier most of the time.
General (if you don't want to spend forever reading all of my ramblings, just read this section)
Quick Pref Guide:
Ks (in the direction of the topic): 2
Ks (identity, hostage taking, not intrinsic to the topic): 3/4
Phil: 4 (dumb it down for me)
High Theory: 5/strike
I'll weigh T>theory>K>case (this is pretty basic, there will be rare instances where this differs based on how bad the top layer was or if I'm adequately persuaded that one layer has more out of round impacts).
Please give me an off-time roadmap and signpost! Taking a couple of extra seconds can be the difference between me voting on your argument and me not even being able to put it on the flow.
Speed: If you're spreading or basically spreading under the guise of "speaking fast", just be safe and make an email chain. That way, there's no question of whether I can clearly hear and evaluate your arguments. The last thing I want is to have to leave things off my flow because I couldn't understand what you were saying.
CX: BINDING!! But also, I think it’s kinda a weak arg if you use something vaguely implied in cross as a link.
On progressive args: Accessibility to debate is (believe it or not) pretty important. Lincoln Douglas in Alabama has been slowly dying (and limited to only a few schools), while other events (PF, Congress, IEs), have generally been doing pretty well. The reason for this is that LD is inherently less accessible; the layering permitted in LD rounds requires a lot of education and resources that many debaters do not have. LD is cool in that you get to run this obscure stuff, but the point of LD is to DEBATE, as it is called Lincoln Douglas DEBATE. If you're debating against someone who has less resources and had no means to learn how to respond to these args, running tricks or high theory is going to make for an extremely unproductive round. Being able to LARP debate is still a very important and foundational skill (even if it seems like it's not because it's usually the bottom layer). If you can't get a ballot in a LARP round in this context, then you probably didn't deserve it from me in the first place. If you make it so that the other side cannot engage, I'll deck your speaks (think like 26 max), and you can say goodbye to a speaker award or a good seed for break rounds.
I was a big LARPer in high school (really because I wasn't taught much outside of LARP debate and learned more about the other stuff as a judge). If you want to limit the chance of me screwing you over with my decision, a LARP round is probably the way to go.
In LD, framework is key. It tells me how to evaluate the round, so take time to explain why I should prefer your value/value criterion/ROTB and why your case fulfills it. I would prefer that your criterion has an author explaining why it achieves your value, but if it doesn't, I'll buy analytical arguments. I'll default to util until I'm given any other fw.
CPs: I loved running these and would pretty much have an obscure CP for every topic in high school. But, there is a difference between an obscure advocacy and an abusive one. I'm very likely to prefer theory if it's run against a PIC or conditional CP.
Plans: If your plan does not maintain the original intent of the resolution or is extra-topical, I'll prefer theory from the neg. Keep in mind that I'm relatively a stickler for topicality, but spec as long as it fulfills the res is fine. Otherwise, I also loved running these.
Disads: I'm very experienced with running these. If you get me to weigh the round with util and maintain the links, then you have a solid chance at winning the round.
I think that Ks are a very important aspect of debate in that we get to dig deeper and question the underlying societal assumptions that inform public policy making and debate. I don't really have experience running these, but I'm familiar with the structure and some of the more common ones (capitalism, biopower, anthro, afro-pessimism, queer-pessimism, fem, security etc.) I'll also vote on hostage taking/satire if extended throughout as long as the other side doesn't point out a perf con (that's the biggest weakness I see in those rounds) or have a good turn etc. Don't assume that I'm familiar with some obscure K. If you want to run something that is not on this list, PLEASE ask me about it before round. This is basically me saying that it's your responsibility to make sure that I will be able to vote on what you read. Also, I'm probably not the best person to judge a K vs K round. Because I believe that it is the affirmative's duty to be topical, it'll be hard for you to make me evaluate some K affs, but if you've learned anything from reading this, I don't have a lot of black and white rules for how a debate should go. I'll ultimately weigh the round based on the rules that are established by the debaters, so see theory below.
Performance/identity Ks are cool, but again I'd prefer that you in some way link your advocacy to the topic if you're running these on the AFF, but I won't gut check non-intrinsic K affs. Don't just go up there and read a story or say "because I'm ___ vote for me" (it has happened). Explain how my vote actually indicates a paradigm shift. Reading these well is probably one of the best ways to get high speaks from me.
If you're going for the K, the method will be under harsh scrutiny. I'm super sympathetic to charity cannibalism args against id pol Ks, especially if you don't identify with the group that is the subject of the K. Shouldn't have to be said but just... don't exploit people's suffering for the ballot. If you're passionate about an issue and believe that the K enacts real change in any round context, read it all the time. If you just read it when it's strategic to do so, that triggers charity cannibalism for me.
I'm a lot better versed in theory than I am in Ks. I like it a lot more than most debaters probably, but that doesn't mean that I love friv theory. See below:
Theory serves as a check on abuse in the round and is also important in terms of setting norms for debate as an activity. Theory is not something that should just be thrown at any argument for which you didn't prep or used as a weapon to waste your opponent's time by forcing them to respond to it in the next speech. If your opponent goes for the RVI in those cases, I'll probably give it to them. That being said, I don't know why so many hate RVIs, but I'm often willing to vote on them to deter frivolous theory. If your opponent calls for competing interps, you'd better have a counter-interp because lack of one can easily become a voting issue. I don't really prefer education or fairness, so feel free to run either. I'm more likely to buy "drop the argument", but if initiating theory required you to drop other substance in the round, feel free to run "drop the debater". Spikes are fine; I don't love them because they're kind of abusive, so any response to them at all by the other side will require you to spend some actual time explaining why the spike is good for debate in your next speech.
Things I want to see eventually if I'm going to evaluate theory as the top layer in the debate:
-An interp stating what debaters SHOULD do (not what they should not do)
-A clear violation linking specifically to what your opponent read
-A couple standards listing problems that the abuse causes/exacerbates in the round and whether they prevent fairness and/or education in the round
-Voters/paradigm issues: Tell me WHY promoting fairness or education is a prereq to the rest of the flow. Tell me whether I should drop the debater or the argument (drop the debater needs some kind of justification for why this abuse requires a deterrent that severe). I default to reasonability if nothing is specified. It's helpful to explain why the other side doesn't get RVIs but not necessary for me to evaluate the shell.
Interps that I'll be especially sympathetic to:
-Any T framework
-Spec Good/Bad (nebel, whatevs)
-no Alts bad
-severance perms bad
If you're running tricks and say "what's an a priori", minus two speaks.
These are only ok in my book because theory exists. Also they're pretty much dependent on truth testing framing (trying to make tricks a voting issue with comparative worlds framing is dumb, don't do it), so they're not as infallible as they may seem. I'll be receptive to tricks, but if you're debating against someone who knows what they're doing, you'll probably just end up kicking them and you will have really just wasted your own speech time. I'm not a big fan of NIBs, but I can't say that I'm not partially here to be entertained, so if you make the round entertaining with tricks or just anything unexpected, that'll be reflected in your speaker points. At the same time, if you're a big school debater running these against a small school debater or novice who doesn't even know what they are, your speaks will be docked a bit (see LD general).
I've only seriously debated PF at one (online) tournament, so take that as you will. I'm not 100% on the norms as far as what counts as a dropped arg (like how much you have to do on your own case in 2nd rebuttal), so I'll let the debaters set their own norms for these and tell me why making an argument at a certain point is abusive or not.
Unless I'm told to do otherwise, I'll just evaluate under util. I'll have a high threshold to be persuaded to use another fw.
COLLAPSE AND WEIGH! I hate looking at a flow with 5 contentions where cards are pretty much at a deadlock and having to decide who won.
Evidence: Paraphrasing is ok as long as cards are available. If the entire round ends up being hinged on a card or two, then I might call for them before I write my ballot. If a team fails to present me or their opponents with a card within one minute of it being called for, I'll remove it from my flow.
Long rant about progressive args:
It seems like PF is following the trend of other debate events in that is getting more and more tech. I've run Ks at an online PF tournament just for fun, but whether this kind of debate should become a norm in public forum is a difficult question to answer for me. For now, I'll set these standards:
If this is a student organized tournament without NSDA points at stake, I'll vote on anything. Be as tech as you want (see LD section for some limitations). This is a good place to bring awareness to kritikal issues or have a little fun without penalizing debaters who weren't ever trained on how to respond to Ks, tricks, theory, etc.
If the tournament does not meet the standards above, I'll evaluate these progressive rounds differently. You can of course bring up issues such as structural violence and even introduce framing that is not simply a "cost-benefit analysis", but I won't weigh it entirely before substance like "pre fiat impacts" usually are in tech rounds. If you don't read this and do run a K, I'll just weigh it like a contention and there will be a high threshold for me to weigh it first (it pretty much has to be completely conceded and extended cleanly). Also, I'll be more likely to evaluate Ks like set col, afro pessimism, feminism, etc because I think that these are actually issues that policymakers should consider in real life. Ks like baudrillard or anprim won't get my vote in these rounds. I won't vote on tricks in actual PF rounds. I don't really see how tricks benefit policymaking skills, which is supposed to be the point of PF. For theory, I won't weigh theory that is frivolous or dumb (shoe theory, cough cough). The only shell I can say I'm 100% ok with is disclosure, but I'll be receptive to counter interps too, especially from small school debaters. If the violating school is not on the wiki, I will not evaluate disclosure interps. That practice is horrible for small schools. If there is clear abuse in the round (like running a plan or counterplan or some other arg that inherently limits your ability to respond, including Ks and tricks), I'll weigh theory against that pretty heavily too because it's the only way to check back on that abuse.
+0.3 for running something fem
-0.5 for disrespectful expressions while your opponent is speaking (I see this a lot between partners in PF)
+0.2 for a good pun (limited to only one addition of 0.2 points, please don't make me cringe)
+0.4 for some (ACCURATE) chemistry explanation. This would be cool, but you'd also probably waste some time doing this if you're going for the ballot. If you just want speaks, this is an easy bonus.
-0.5 if it's pretty clear that you have no idea what your cards actually say
-1 if you're a big school debater and try to tell a small school debater what's good for them
*See LD General about progressive args and speaks
Points can be added subjectively for how entertained I was by your speeches.
If you have any questions about what to run, feel free to ask me before the round.
Jay Rye - Head Coach - Montgomery Academy
Experience- I have been involved with L/D debate since 1985 as a former L/D debater, judge, and coach. I have been involved with Policy debate since 1998. I have coached Public Forum debate since it began in 2002. While at many tournaments I serve in the role as tournament administrator running tournaments from coast to coast, every year I intentionally put myself into the judge pool to remain up to date on the topics as well as with the direction and evolving styles of debate. I have worked at summer camps since 2003 - I understand debate.
I would identify myself as what is commonly called a traditional L/D judge. Both sides have the burden to present and weigh the values and/or the central arguments as they emerge during the course of the round. I try to never allow my personal views on the topic to enter into my decision, and, because I won't intervene, the arguments that I evaluate are the ones brought into the round - I won't make assumptions as to what I "think" you mean. I am actually open to a lot of arguments - traditional and progressive - a good debater is a good debater and an average debater is just that - average.
While for the most part I am a "tabula rasa" judge, I do have a few things that I dislike and will bias me against you during the course of the round either as it relates to speaker points or an actual decision. Here they are:
1) I believe that proper decorum during the round is a must. Do not be rude or insulting to your opponent or to me and the other judges in the room. Not sure what you are trying to accomplish with that approach to debate.
2) Both sides must tell me why to vote "for" them as opposed to simply why I should vote "against" their opponent. In your final speech, tell me why I should vote for you - some call this "crystallization" while others call it "voting issues" and still others just say, "here is why I win" - whatever you call it, I call it letting your judge know why you did the better job in the round.
3) I am not a big fan of speed. You are more than welcome to go as fast as you want, but if it is not on my flow, then it was not stated, so speed at your own risk. Let me say that to the back of the room - SPEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! If you have a need for speed, at the very least slow down on the tag lines as well as when you first begin your speech so that my ears can adjust to your vocal quality and tone.
4) I am not a big fan of "debate speak: Don't just say, cross-apply, drop, non-unique, or other phrases without telling me why it is important. This activity is supposed to teach you how to make convincing arguments in the real world and the phrase "cross-apply my card to my opponents dropped argument which is non-unique" - this means nothing. In other words, avoid being busy saying nothing.
5) Realizing that many debaters have decided to rely on the Wiki, an email chain, and other platforms to exchange the written word, in a debate round you use your verbal and non-verbal skills to convince me as your judge why you win the round. I rarely call for evidence and I do not ask to be on any email chain.
Name: Grace Scott
My name is Grace Scott. I am a Policy Debater at Samford University. I focus on structure and helping the debtors I'm judging understand the round from a bird's eye view.
I would love to chat with you about Samford debate, or debate in general. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have further questions.
Hi! I am Savannah Shirley, a member of the Samford University Debate Team. I am a Law, Politics, and Society student with a Spanish minor. I am involved in several on-campus organizations and extracurriculars, but debate has become one of the most rewarding activities that I am apart of. I am an unbiased and fair judge that wants all competitors to feel comfortable in the rounds and confident in their preparation.
Please include me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spreading is great, but make sure you are still being articulate! If you are not able to speak quickly with clarity, don't attempt to. Solid arguments win debates, not speed.
For lay debaters, please check the bottom of my paradigm!
Please be on time for check-in. Also if you're interested in college debate, I'd love to talk to you about Samford debate!!
Policy debate at Samford (class of 24)
Assistant Coach at The Altamont School
I'll just include here the important stuff people usually look for, with more details below. I'm pretty much in the middle on truth/tech, probably slightly leaning toward tech.
As a general principle, I dislike generic strategies and really enjoy specific strategies and risky strategic choices made in round, regardless of k vs policy content.
I think I'm generally pretty bad for generic theory arguments (condo, pics bad, etc.) but I think a combination of theory arguments or things contextualized to the round can be much more persuasive (condo combined with condo planks, 2NC CPs/CPs out of straight turns, etc.)
I think I'm solidly on the policy side of policy v k but any argument can be won if executed well, but I think I'm also much better for Ks on the neg rather than K affs with little/no grounding in the resolution.
For LDers, tricks are bad. Don’t do that.
More Specific Things
DAs: Don't have much to say here. Impact calc is super important, turns case articulated well may be even more important. Link ev specific to the plan=gold standard. Zero risk is a thing, but not a thing that happens often.
CPs: As said above, I typically lean neg on most theory issues, but can be pulled toward the middle with arguments contextual to the round. Generally I hold the viewpoint that the closer the solvency advocate is to the actual CP text, the more likely it is to be theoretically legitimate. Competition is a separate question, and one I think I lean more aff on. Default view is that a CP probably has to be textually and functionally competitive, and generally not a great judge for counterplans that compete off things like certainty or immediacy. I default to judge kick being good, and think it's generally a logical extension of conditionality, but a consistent 1AR/2AR that delineates judge kick as something to reject independent of condo can make me stick the neg with the CP.
Against policy affs: I think I'm an ok judge for T, but probably not the best. I think going for T requires forwarding a stable image of what the topic looks like under your interpretation. I think the most successful T 2NRs in front of me are ones that have reasons why their interp is predictable and best preserves equal division of ground. I'm not great for arbitrary/contrived interps, especially those coming from unqualified/random sources.
Against K affs: I'm generally very persuaded that the affirmative needs to defend a topical plan. The nuance of what that means can and should be debated out (obviously), but I think an aff that jettisons the topic entirely will have an uphill battle in front of me. Fairness is an impact, and I think can also be a very persuasive internal link to education. I also think the neg should utilize arguments like TVAs and switch sides debate to mitigate aff offense, but I don't think they're a game-ender if the neg doesn't have a TVA.
Ks: I think generally Ks can get too generic, but I love Ks that utilize specific critical literature indicting parts of the aff. Ks that just have links to the state/society at large are typically not persuasive to me, and I think Ks that do well against me delineate a specific portion of the aff's literature to indict, a specific impact, and an alternative to resolve those specific flaws in that methodology (i.e. USC's K of privatized AI).
Ethics Questions: Clipping is an auto-L+0 speaks. I will do my best to police clipping, but feel free to call out clipping if you notice it. I will say, if you call out clipping and are going to stake the round on it, please have a recording/something I can verify with.
Evidence ethics questions are generally on a spectrum of how egregious they are, and are rarely (if ever) a reason to end the round. Most can be resolved with just a rehighlighting/including extra portions of the evidence, but I think some more severe instances, such as fabricating parts of evidence or excluding paragraphs/sentences in the middle of the card, will definitely be cause to dock speaks, and multiple instances could be reason to reject the team.
You do you, don't try to be more "policy" in front of me because of my mostly policy background. I did mostly lay LD in high school and can enjoy a good slower round. Only points of "adaptation" I'd say would benefit you is:
1. Reading carded evidence rather than paraphrased evidence. This seems like a norm in PF so if you do it, at least make sure you have the card you're paraphrasing ready. I read a lot of evidence post-round. This can all easily be solved with just having an email chain set up with those cards being sent.
2. Set up an email chain, even in lay rounds. I strongly believe it helps quality of rounds, transparency, and generally helps rounds run much smoother because we don't have to deal with evidence exchanges for specific cards in round.
Other than that, just be nice to each other and have fun! Rounds are always more enjoyable when everyone is a little more laid back and enjoying themselves rather than being super on-edge.
Some stuff that can boost your speaks:
- Having a good joke/funny example to prove whatever point you're making. This isn't to say to try and make your speech into a comedy routine, but a funny one liner can definitely make a speech better.
- Being efficient with prep/tech. So many debaters take a long time to do everything. You're instantly getting higher speaks if I hear something along the lines of "stop prep at [insert time], the email has been sent".
- (Especially for LD) Not trying to make framework debating a thing in a round where it doesn't need to be a thing. If you're both arguing the same/a similar framework, (in my opinion) the 1NC should just concede framework at the top and both teams should just mention it in weighing afterwards.
- Otherwise making smart/strategic concessions or choices.
My name is Neelima Vundela. I am a parent judge for LAMP High School, and I'm a Senior Programmer Analyst for the Alabama Department of Public Health in Montgomery.
I use she/her pronouns. Throughout the duration of the round, I suggest that you address your opponent and me (your judge) as "my opponent/judge".
I AM A PARENT JUDGE (to reemphasize). SUPER LAY. Please understand that I have no prior LD experience (participating or whatsoever) and that you should make sure to explain things in detail.
Please do not be racist/homophobic/sexist etc.; be respectful to me and your opponent and most importantly, have fun!
Consider me a new lay judge. I participated in high school debate 30+ years ago (primarily Student Congress with a bit of Policy). While I have considerable academic and professional experience in the real world of persuasion that awaits you outside the high school debate room, please assume that I know little to nothing about your topics, jargon, arguments, rebuttals, evidence, rules, procedures, etc. If it's important or at issue in the debate, you need to clearly convey that… perhaps more than once. In other words, please treat me as a general audience member. I see it as your job to guide and persuade me that you and your position deserve my vote.
I believe connecting with and adapting to your audience are critical components of formal and informal discourse and persuasion, regardless of the setting (e.g., courtroom, legislative, political, board room, holiday dinner table, etc.). Along those lines, organization, structure, and story are important. It would be best if you weaved together a narrative that guides the audience where you'd like them to end. In other words, please take extra care to connect with and guide me through your case while clearly illustrating where there are critical choices between the various positions presented throughout the round.
These tournaments and the competitions within them should be fun, friendly, and respectful. Divisiveness, personal attacks, and generally rude behavior are not welcome where I am judging. I find humor to be a great way to connect with an audience and, while they aren't evidence, I am particularly fond of puns and dad jokes.
I hope you have a wonderful time at your upcoming tourniment.