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 coach and judge since 2015. 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. I strive to keep personal views and ballot intervention away from my RFD. I will evaluate only those arguments brought up by the debaters.
Speed is an issue for me. This is primarily an education and communication activity. I highly doubt either Lincoln or Douglas themselves were spreading, and I've never seen spreading 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!
P.S. All this extinction stuff is just debaters trolling, right?
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.
I am philosophically opposed to disclosing my ballot at the end of the round. I will only offer oral critique if I saw something that I think I could share to help you with the remaining rounds in the tournament (adjusting your case, how you could have argued more effectively, etc.). Everything else I am thinking during the round I will note on the ballot.
-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.
Barkley Forum Update (not debate related): I'm a student at Emory right now (chemistry and premed). If you have any questions about Emory in general I'd be happy to answer them for you! Feel free to ask me stuff before or after the round (but please not during lmao).
Other Barkley Forum Update (this one's actually debate related):I haven't judged an LD round in almost a year now (I judged some policy over the summer) and I don't coach anyone so it's been a minute. Please slow down a little bit to probably 80% of your max speed instead of full circuit spreading because I don't want to miss anything y'all are saying. Also I am not as well versed in a lot of the acronyms anymore in circuit debate (particularly tricks) so please take the time to say the full names of things. I will still be able to evaluate the rounds properly just as well as I have been but my vocabulary isn't the same anymore so please explain all the terms you need to (you know what they are).
Here's my full paradigm so plz read
My email is email@example.com. If you ask me for my email I'm gonna assume you didn't read my paradigm.
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. Everything in this paragraph is non-negotiable.
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.
A claim, warrant, and impact for EVERY argument you want me to evaluate at the end of the round each have to be extended in EVERY speech as well.
Debate should be a safe space for everyone involved. If you're reading something that could be potentially triggering or sensitive for someone please ask everyone involved in the round if they are ok with the material being read.
I'm not a fan of really long paradigms (this one's already pushing it) so I'm not gonna write out every single nitpicky thing for all your RVI warrants and framework weighing and all that other stuff. So PLEASE ask me for specifics in round. I'm looking forward to judging your debate. Good luck and have fun!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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. That does not mean that I think I am a good judge for the K. My depth in kritik literature is quite shallow 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 absolutely not capable of flowing if you SPREAD, in fact, if you choose to SPREAD, I will stop flowing and listen. I prefer to hear you present your arguments verses reading your prepared material. The documents will provide me the name of your source when I review before making a final decision. I favor up to date resources as changes happen daily, when presenting your argument I focus on the year of the evidence to include in my flow. 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.
UPDATE FOR ALABAMA STATE: I dont really have time to check my disclosure explanation that well. If youre confused, think it doesnt make sense, or are have any concerns, you can email me at email@example.com and I'll get back to you ASAP!
Debated Independently for Decatur Heritage, AL (2019)
- Args I used in high school: https://opencaselist.com/hsld18/DecaturHeritage/JuMc
B.A. Political Science, UA (2021)
- Alabama Forensic Council and Alabama Debate Society Competitor
- Undergrad Thesis was on the role of Kritiks in the Debate Space
M.A. Public Administration, UA (2023)
- Graduate SGA Senator, Crimson White Opinions Editor
J.D., UA (2026)
- Do whatever you want. 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.
- 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 :)
- If you're 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).
I'm Abi McKibben and a former debater for Samford University's policy debate team. I started debating in January of 2021. My email is email@example.com
- PLEASE read a plan
- Love me some impact comparison
- ROADMAP (announce when you are moving from one advantage/disad to another)
- I am not familiar with LD so keep the lingo to a minimum...
Preferences (Public Forum):
- Follow general prefs below...
General Speech Preferences:
- Don't spread/speak too fast, unless you want me to miss what you're saying...(If unclear, I will say "clear" briefly)
- Impress me by extending arguments AND relating them to the opposing team's evidence/args
- Easy on the abbreviations
- Evidence quality > evidence quantity
- Be aggressive, but cordial... if you're overly rude I will dock you serious points
- As long as I can tell you're giving your best effort (even if you're losing badly) 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.
Some wisdom looking back:
Don't be afraid to take up space. What you have to say matters! That being said, you can be assertive without putting down your opponent.
Debate about what you care about! Do you care about women's issues? Climate change? Access to healthcare? Find a way to relate the topic to what you deeply care about. It will make research so much more interesting and will often result in unique arguments that can be strategically favorable.
Vestavia Hills '19
Berry College '22
she/her (they/them pronouns are ok)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to email me for whatever, my debate resources (though not many) are your resources. I'm always down to chat about science, medicine, and environmentalism :)
Online Tournaments: Speech docs are a must!! Even if you’re not spreading, I probably won’t be able to hear you as clearly as you'd like; 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, let me know or put your pronouns in your tabroom profile.
Any argument that I deem racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, ableist etc. will result in an immediate drop. 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 default to viewing 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 lower your speaks.
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 won't consider the evidence.
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:
Feel free 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, fem, 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). If the violating school is not on the wiki, I will not evaluate disclosure interps. Running disclosure on teams that don't even know that the wiki exists 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 because it's the only way to check back on that abuse.
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:
Theory (basic): 1
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 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 dock 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 well 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 good 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.
Disads: Don't be sloppy with the links. Tell me why you o/w on magnitude/probability.
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 am more familiar 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.
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 judges 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 how this practice prevents fairness and/or education
-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 but have a low threshold for evaluating competing interps.
Interps that I'll be especially sympathetic to:
-Any T framework
-Spec Good/Bad (nebel)
-no Alts bad
-severance perms bad
If you're running tricks and say "what's an a priori", minus two speaks.
Tricks are 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).
+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. I have had someone take advantage of this once, and it made my day.
-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 sophomore at Samford University. I came into the debate community new freshman year, and have really been enjoying the rigor and joy of this singular activity.
I value arguments that are brought up consistently and clearly, such that they show up on my flow.
Regarding evidence v analytics, I value clash. The context of how an argument is being made changes how I value it. For example, if someone makes a point, contextualizes it in the debate, and uses evidence to back it up, I value that over analytics no matter how good the analytics are. However, if evidence is used in a rote manner that does not engage the other side and the opponent's analytics are highly specific, responsive, and intelligent, I will prefer the analytics. It's contextual, so be specific and responsive.
I don't value hostility in cross x. Cross x is for clarifying and communicating to your opponents and to your judge. You don't need to be passive, but if the hostility is such that it doesn't move the ideas forward, you are wasting your and my time.
When giving my RFD, I aim to communicate how I understood the debate and give you feedback you can use to improve your debating.
To avoid my pet peeves:
Don’t leave time on the clock. It is better to stand up there in the painful silence and shuffle through your flows thinking up analytics on the spot than to forfeit time. Using up every second of time is a mark of a tenacious debater.
COMMUNICATE WITH ME ABOUT TECH ISSUES.
I am not here to police your prep time. I trust that when you are running prep time you are prepping, and when the timer has stopped you are transitioning to giving a speech. I don’t like it. If you run into a problem outside your control, let me know and use your tech time, it’s there for a reason. Narrating what you are doing, “I’m saving the document” “I’m pressing reply all” “The doc is attached and once it loads, I will press send” are great ways to ensure transparency.
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.
Extras: None of the following will make or break a round for me, but I do have preferences and I want to preempt questions:
Flex prep: Am I cool with you asking CX questions during prep? – No, prep is prep, CX is CX.
Flex CrossX: Am I cool with both partners asking/answering questions in a CX? – I’m ok with it. I won’t mark you down for it, but I will mark your speaker points up for not doing it. I value teams that let their partner use their CX for prep and show that they can handle any question being thrown their way.
Is using prep to send a speech doc something you care about? I prefer it. It is a norm to end prep time and then send documents, so I won’t penalize you for it. However, if you do send your docs during speech time, it will increase your speaker points.
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: email@example.com
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.
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!!
If you have any questions about things not on my paradigm, feel free to ask before the round or email me.
Assistant Coach at The Altamont School
Policy debate at Samford (class of 24)
4 years of LD in high school
I would recommend starting off your speech at like 75-80% speed to give me a second to adjust before you build up to full speed. Clear differentiation between tags and the card body is also appreciated.
I do a lot of work on both the policy and critical side of debate in college. I typically consider myself more policy oriented in my style of judging, and think that the aff should probably defend an instance of the resolution. I am however a pretty good judge for nuanced Ks that have indicts of specific aff practices/assumptions.
I'm generally more neg leaning on CP theory debates and typically default heavily to reasonability and rejecting the argument, but I think especially egregious practices can make me swing more toward the middle on issues like condo (especially not a fan of 2NC CPs out of straight turns). T is alright, and I especially appreciate interps that strike a solid middle ground of limits and aff creativity/ground rather than just "you get one whole res aff" or something similar, although I suppose I could vote on it if executed well enough.
Only other major paradigmatic things are don't say/run things that are egregiously offensive, i.e. racism/sexism/etc. good, death good, things like that.
Note for LD: I would not consider myself a good judge for "tricks". If you regularly do things like hide blippy theory arguments or rely on obfuscating tactics to win debates, I am probably not the best judge for you.
First and most importantly, I am excited to be judging you and glad you are a part of this activity!
I did a lot of lay debate in high school, it was probably 80% or more of what I did, so I can really appreciate a slower debate with more emphasis on rhetoric. My advice for you is to do what you do best and are most comfortable with, don't feel like you have to spread or read positions you are unfamiliar with because of my policy background, as my original high school background was in lay debate.
Please make sure you have with you and can show me any evidence you read. I may not need to reference any evidence after the round, but if I do I would prefer you have it readily available.
I also really appreciate folks who have a very evident understanding of things like evidence comparison and strategy, as those were some of my favorite things as a debater. I really enjoy judging debates where the debaters who know their evidence and author qualifications and use them as strategic tools, as well as making smart strategic concessions in other parts of the debate to either get you more ahead on another key issue or to get you a more positive time tradeoff on other areas. Strategic technical concessions and evidence comparison are (in my opinion) some of the most underutilized parts of debate and are often what separate good debaters from great debaters.
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.