Tarheel Forensic League Virtual State Championship
2022 — NSDA Campus, NC/US
Lincoln Douglas Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Forensics is a speaking competition in which the art of rhetoric is utilized - speaking effectively to persuade or influence [the judge].
I take Socrates's remarks in Plato's Apology as the basis of my judging: "...when I do not know, neither do I think I know...I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know" (Ap. 21d-e).
My paradigm of any round is derived from: CLARITY!!!
All things said in the round need to be clear! Whatever it is you want me to comprehend, vote on, and so forth, needs to be clearly articulated, while one is speaking. This stipulation should not be interpreted as: I am ignorant about debate - I am simply placing the burden on the debater to debate; it is his or her responsibility to explain all the arguments presented. Furthermore, any argument has the same criteria; therefore, clash, at the substantive level, is a must!
First and foremost, I follow each debate league's constitution, per the tournament.
Secondly, general information, for all debate forms, is as follows:
1) Speed: As long as I can understand you well enough to flow the round, since I vote per the flow!, then you can speak as slow or fast as you deem necessary. I do not yell clear, for we are not in practice round, and that's judge interference. Also, unless there is "clear abuse," I do not call for cards, for then I am debating. One does not have to spread - especially in PF.
2) Case: I am a tab judge; I will vote the way in which you explain to me to do so; thus I do not have a preference, or any predispositions, to the arguments you run. It should be noted that in a PF round, non-traditional/abstract arguments should be expressed in terms of why they are being used, and how it relates to the round.
Set a metric in the round, then tell me why you/y'all have won your metric, while your opponent(s) has lost their metric and/or you/y'all have absorbed their metric.
The job of any debater is to persuade the judge, by way of logical reasoning, to vote in his or her favor, while maintaining one's position, and discrediting his or her opponent's position. So long as the round is such, I say good luck to all!
Ask any other clarification questions before the round!
Hey everyone, I'm Ely (he/him).
In high school, I primarily competed in traditional LD and championed NCFL. Now I debate parli for Yale.
Please include me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I agree with everything Anthony Berryhill says.
Run what you want. I'll do my best to evaluate it. Communication comes first though. If I can't understand your arguments and warrants, that's on you, and I have no problem making that my RFD.
I like it when debaters collapse effectively on arguments. Crystallizing the round goes a long way with me. I also like to see debaters cede the true parts of their opponent's case but give nuanced analysis on why they outweigh.
Humor is always appreciated and will boost speaks.
Lastly, if possible, make me care about your arguments. Tell me explicitly who you help, and why that matters. Judges aren't robots. If you can give me a convincing narrative tinged with passion, it goes a long way.
Won the 2022 NSDA Inaugural Collegiate PF national championship. My wonderful partner Bradley Tidwell taught me everything I know about PF. Also my traditional LD thoughts are all applicable to PF.
traditional debate - 1
Ks and phil - 2 if explained well but 4 if it's incomprehensible. always better to err on the side of explaining.
LARP- 2 (please no weak internal links it'll make me sad)
T/theory- 3 this is generally boring to me, but I'll certainly vote on well-warranted/egregious violations. Also fair warning: I'm inexperienced with T. Run it if you need to, but make it easy for me to understand/vote for you.
Tricks - 4/strike. Tricks generally decrease accessibility in debate. If you must read them, do them right. Tricks should be interesting, well-warranted logic problems that encourage (not discourage) thoughtful responses. I don't vote on one sentence blips. I also think spikes are bad, and while I won't drop you for it, I'll tank your speaks. They should be clearly identifiable in your underview or otherwise accessible to your opponent and me.
I decide debates through layers. Framework, observations, burdens, etc are all crucial to structuring the debate. I look to what operates at the highest ground, decide who won that point, and move to the next layer. Rinse and repeat until the debate has a winner. Thus, it would benefit you to try to structure the debate in such a way that you have a win condition.
Here are some things that’ll make voting for you easier for me.
1. ENGAGE WITH FRAMEWORK. Weigh frameworks against each other. Even better if y’all haven’t agreed on a FW yet, tell me how you win under both your FW and your opponents (if you do this, I’ll boost your speaks).
2. Weigh. Weigh. Weigh. If you don’t weigh offense, I have to guess at the end of the round whose impacts are more important. You don’t want that because it makes the round very subjective on my end. Instead, go the extra mile, avoid that, and tell me explicitly why your offense is more important than your opponents.
3. Please do extensions correctly. Do not just say "extend my second contention" or "extend Warren 13" and then move on. Extend the ev or arg, rebut any arguments they made, explain the impact of the extension, and THEN move on.
4. I like numbered responses and overviews. They make the debate easier for me to flow/understand.
5. Round narrative is very important. Don’t lose sight of what this debate is really about because you’re too busy focusing on an irrelevant tangent that won’t factor into my decision. Tell me overall why your world is better than your opponents. Tell me who you help, why they need help, why you’re the person that best helps them, and why that matters. That’s how to win in front of me.
6. Voter issues. Do them. It makes evaluating the debate much easier. A bit of advice. Negative, if you correctly predict what the Aff voters will be in NR and tell me why I shouldn’t vote for it, that’s a great strategic move, and I’ll boost speaks. Affirmative, in the 2ar, interact with the Neg voters, and I’ll boost speaks. They literally just handed you on a silver platter the arguments they’re hoping to win. So attack or (better yet) turn their voters! Outweigh their voters with yours!
I can evaluate circuit debate but don't enjoy it. Qualified to TOC and understand most things.
I'm in between on the tech vs. truth debate. Obviously, tech matters because full truth would justify me voting for Aff just because I personally believe that side. Full tech justifies the race to the bottom we see right now with debaters throwing out unwarranted blips and expecting to win because their opponent dropped a single sentence. I'm somewhere in the middle probably slightly leaning towards tech. No one is tabula rasa. You trust me to use my agency to make a decision about who won the round, so trust me to use my agency to decide whether tech or truth matters more in a specific round.
Things I like: increasing accessibility in the debate space (i.e being inclusive to small schools & new debaters), interesting arguments about identity/geopolitics, warranted out link chains, probability>magnitude weighing. Also, I will always prefer logical analytics over poorly contextualized evidence. Lastly, please weigh.
Things I dislike: when debaters read literature they don't understand and can't make comprehensible in round, shady disclosure, friv theory, etc.
Speed: I probably wouldn't be able to flow finals TOC, but with that said, I can handle decent levels of speed. We should be good if there's a doc. I'll yell clear if there's a problem.
Flex prep is fine. CX is binding.
Anthony Berryhill Judge Paradigm
(NOTE: SIGNIFICANTLY UPDATED AS OF DECEMBER 8, 2022 FOR NEWMAN TOURNEY)
- Professional: Former Vice President of Learning at PIMCO, a leading fixed income firm (until June 2022)
- Currently running own college admissions company (MBA/MD/PhD/undergrad) at www.elitecollegehacker.com, Subject matter expert on practical applications of L&D, D&I, and intersectionality
- Coaching (recent): 2022 Collegiate Public Forum National Champions (Yale AT), 2021 NCFL Grand Nationals Champion (Myers Park EA), 2021 LD State Champions in North Carolina (varsity) and Louisiana (novice), and seven top 20 finishes (speaking and/or final result) at NSDA Nationals LD/Extemp Speaking, Member of NSDA LD Wording Committee (since 2018)
- Previously: Assistant LD Coach for Isidore Newman (my alma mater); Managing Director for Victory Briefs (2018-2020); started national circuit squads at Harker and Mission San Jose, 2007 TOC International Public Forum Champions (with Rick Brundage and Nick Coburn-Palo)
- Education: Stanford BA Political Science 2004; Previous PhD Candidate (MA/MPhil) at Yale in Contemporary Political Theory, Dissertation on intersectionality (2004-2011); MBA Quantic School of Business and Technology
How I vote (in brief): I vote for the debater who -- through the appropriate decision rule (values, burdens, argument layer) -- convinces me that I should vote for their side of the resolution (and/or performance) above the other debater.
I view LD as a traditional judge, with a critical theory orientation. I strongly and violently prefer line-by-line and crystallization style debating, with a clear, accessible delivery style (think 1996-2015 LD).
I dislike the faux policy style ever present in circuit LD, the go faster than you are clear - dump arguments/rehash Goodin 10 util/ 4 off NC style. *I'm not anti-policy,* I'm anti the use of policy concepts incorrectly, without the speaking, analytical clarity, and ethics evidence practices that policy debaters do, but circuit LDers emulating them do not.
In sum: I need to fully *understand,* and be able to explain, in detail, why you won the round. Help me do that as much as you can, and if you do, then I won't care about your style.
Signposting (specific named reference to specific contentions/subpoints/cards/analytics) and extending arguments will help you win rounds and are absolutely necessary. Identify and outline specific arguments you are answering. Help me flow well by slowing down SIGNIFICANTLY on tags, having tags that EXPLAIN/SIMPLIFY AND CONTEXTUALIZE your argument, without powertagging (which I hate).
It is also in your best interest to explicitly weigh between scenarios in which you lose/win slowly, carefully, and in a structured manner, esp. at the NR and 2AR. It is better to admit/account for what you may lose than to ignore it. Debaters who do this round analysis win my ballot and 30s with shocking consistency, unless there is a technical error. Those who do not adapt...have been much less fortunate.
You must vary your voice, speed and avoid monotone at all costs.
WARNING: National circuit debate like speed/spreading is unflowable and unfollowable, even with a speech doc. I can't understand or flow it (neither can 90% of judges, but they don't admit it).
ON SPEED: My max is fast conversational speed. If you spread and you aren't college policy champion level clear/decipherable, I will not be able to flow you (and won't yell clear).
What I won't vote for:
1. Blippy arguments, or SENTENCE FRAGMENTS esp. on theory and in-case preempts. If it's bad English, not warranted, etc. I reserve the right NOT vote for the claim and/or I'll look for reasons not to.
2. "Tricks" debaters are bad people and don't get my ballot. Don't hide arguments or lie.
3. POWERTAGGED evidence/tags that are lying or exaggerating the claim made by the author. If your tag says more than your card does and I catch it, I reserve the right to intervene and not vote for the argument.
IMPORTANT: If you are the debater seeing a powertagged or miscut card PLEASE TELL ME, and I'll check the card and judge accordingly. I'm a real stickler that evidence needs to warrant precisely what's being claimed/impacted, no fudging/exaggerating. Just having a one sentence assertation that repeats your tag is NOT ENOUGH. #evidenceethics
4. No skepticism, no disclosure theory cheap shots, no impossible burdens, no arguments that are contingent on the identity of your opponent, no misgendering theory, and don't ask me to save society or debate with the ballot. Just debate the topic--or if you don't, defend your alternative approach well.
5. I will stop rounds, interrupt speeches, and/or consider a Loss/0 if a debater is being inappropriate in content, performance, or language. I won't do this unless I think there is a safety issue, or behavior which would violate a high school's conduct guidelines.
DO NOT SWEAR or engage in other inappropriate behaviors that are common in circuit LD performances, this includes your speech docs.... *cough* even if running afropess, that's no excuse for bad behavior that your principal would disapprove of, regardless of your racial identity.
TLDR: If you wouldn't do it in front of your mom, principal, or the scholars you are citing, don't do it in front of me. Just debate clean and we'll all leave happy!
I am generally a flow judge and can follow fast paced debate.
Framework should be established and followed throughout the round. Tell me why your framework is superior and back up your claim with evidence in contentions. If there is no framework debate, the round will rely on weighing evidence in contentions.
Contentions should be clearly stated with supporting evidence and analysis. Your evidence should be fully explained and analyzed as to its impact on the debate. I prefer evidence be referred to by subject/topic throughout the round rather than simply the author's name. Know your evidence well enough defend it in cross-examination.
Your case should be organized, focused and come to a reasonable conclusion that convinces me to vote in your favor. Failure to communicate the importance of evidence, weighing values and impacts, or extending key arguments may result in a loss.
Hello all! Because access to most technology remains dependent in some areas on socio-economic status, please note that the basics of my paradigm will be repeated in person for the benefit of any student that does not have internet access. As the standards of debate change to reflect an increasingly technologically-dependent world, please remember as future leaders and philanthropists that the students who may benefit from scholastic debate the most may not have access to these now-standardized platforms and tools. Be kind to one another, and make sure that you remember that scholastic debate is, first and foremost, meant to foster greater mindfulness, critical thinking, and the skills one needs to lead and participate in productive and compassionate discourse. Never sacrifice your empathy for a trophy!
Now that that's out of the way, you should know that I am a NC LD Debate veteran, having qualified for nats and all that jazz. In college, I've participated in a much more soft and nice form of debate via the NCICU Ethics Bowl (which I encourage you all to participate in if available to you). I am currently a student at Gardner-Webb University in the graduate MA religion program. I graduated last year with a BA in Philosophy/Theology, so I will definitely know if you mix up consequentialism and non-consequentialism.
I have no definite preferences in terms of form of argumentation. My one request is that you take my hand and gently lead me to flowing your side. The point of LD is to provide a concise, thorough, and convincing argument for whatever side you are obligated to defend. All the counterplan advocacy theory blah blah blah hoopla matters far less to me than your ability to convince me that you have one. With that said, the value debate is, in my opinion, a vital part of LD debate. You are far more likely to win if you pay close attention to the value debate. Without it, LD would not exist.
In terms of things that will definitely get you on my bad side, I cannot stand when debaters are rude to one another. Be nice, be polite, stand up during your speeches, don't hold your laptop in front of your face, and for the love of all that is holy please do not stare at your opponent during CX or make faces at them. It is not convincing. It is not funny. It will get you low speaker points and a stern lashing on your ballot.
Know that when you receive your ballot from me, 99% of the critique on that ballot will have nothing to do with my decision. Rather, I will attempt to impart my wisdom to you to the best of my ability. My comment regarding your misuse of Immanual Kant has nothing to do with your win or loss. I will tell you explicitly why you won/lost.
Finally, ask me if I'm ready before speeches, especially CX, and know that my time is the final time. I will time you and you will not trick me into believing that you had 30 seconds left. Let me know if you need time signals.
Also don't spread. If I can't understand what you say, I can't flow you. That doesn't work on me.
If I judge you in PF, I'll try my best.
New addition as of Spring 2022 > Please do not send me your case. I will look at it and judge you for how it is cut. Thank you.
Coach at Charlotte Latin School, formerly at Providence (2014-22).
Treat me like a "flay" judge.
I'm a flow judge, but apparently people read that now and think they don't need to read actual warrants? And can just stand up and scream jargon like "they concede our delink on the innovation turn in the 1AR so vote for us" instead of actually explaining how the arguments interact?
Please just explain your arguments. I'm not going to do all that work for you!
Please COMPARATIVELY weigh ("prefer our interp/evidence because...") and IMPLICATE your arguments ("this is important because...") so that I don't have to intervene and do it for you. Clear round narrative is key.
If you present a framework, I'll look for you to warrant your arguments to it. Convince me that the arguments you're winning are most important, not just that you're winning the "most" arguments.
Please be clean: signpost, extend the warrant (not just the card).
I vote off the flow, so cross is binding, but needs clean extension in a speech.
I do see debate as a "game," but a game is only fun if we all understand and play by the same rules. We have to acknowledge that this has tangible impacts for those of us in the debate space -- especially when the game harms competitors with fewer resources. You can win my ballot just as easily without having to talk down to a debater with less experience, run six off-case arguments against a trad debater, or spread on a novice debater who clearly isn't able to spread. The best (and most educational) rounds are inclusive and respectful. Adapt.
Not a fan of tricks.
I tend to be more traditional, but can judge "prog lite" LD -- willing to entertain theory, K's, phil, LARP, non-traditional role of the ballot arguments, etc. Explanation/narrative/context is still key, since these are not regularly run in my regional circuit and I am for sure not as well-read as you. If I can't understand what your advocacy is, I can't vote on it.
Please collapse the round!
I’ll vote on theory, but don’t make it your all-in strategy. I’m way more interested in the substance of the debate.
I did PF for 4 years, and I did Big Questions for a few weeks at L C Anderson High School. I won both NSDA Nats and TFA State.
Just do whatever you planned on doing. Spreading is fine as long as you are clear. If you aren't good at spreading, first of all, you really shouldn't be doing it in PF, but if you really need to and you know you are bad at it, save yourself the L and flash me the doc you are reading. I value "tech over truth", in the sense that I will vote purely based on the ink on the flow, and I am willing to buy arguments that may not be true at all in the real world, as long as they were well articulated on the flow.
I don't flow cross fires at all, so unless you have an audience to please, I'd say just chill out a bit on cross fires. They won't really affect my decision. Also yes, I realize I was an aggressive debater myself, but if you're straight up being rude, I will dock speaks, which you really don't want from me because I generally give good speaks, so getting bad speaks from me will make you look even worse.
Make sure you weigh and you explain to me why you think you won the round by Final Focus, as I do not want to have to do that for you, especially on topics where I probably don't have any prior topic knowledge.
I will call for cards that you have asked me to call for, or cards that seem sketchy that are central to the round. In most cases, however, I will default to whatever the debaters tell me their cards say, so make sure you stay on top of that.
You do not have to extend defense if it is dropped. If it is addressed, however, I will obviously expect you to address it in speech if you are going for it.
Make sure you are sign posting.
Also please let me know where on the flow you will be starting your speech so that I can start flowing it well.
If you read frivolous theory, keep in mind that I probably will not weigh it unless it is completely dropped/inadequately responded to. I am also not a fan of disclosure theory in PF. That is not to say I won't evaluate it by default, but also run at your own risk.
And finally, everything you want me to vote on should be extended all the way to final focus. Even if it was dropped, if you do not extend it in final focus, I will not default you the win on an argument.
If you have any other questions for me, feel free to ask before the round!
Read PF paradigm, should give you a sense of my debate background maybe how you should adapt.
Plans, CPs are all totally fine
Theory, Ks, more tech arguments are all good with me. Just do whatever you planned on doing.
Spreading is totally fine.
I made it to UIL LD State once, so post-round me as hard as you want, as long as it is educational.
I prefer that there is not speed talking in rounds
I am pretty new to judging and have primarily judged LD and PF. I enjoy a spirited debate but clear speaking and enunciaton are paramount. I believe that it is the responsibility of the debaters to watch their clocks and won't manage them unless it's overtime by a good margin.
Hey! I'm Ethan and I debated for West Broward in Florida for 4 years. I received 9 bids and broke at the TOC.
There are a couple of things that generally contextualize my views on debate and how you should probably debate in front of me.
I am Tech > Truth. Naturally, if your arguments are both technical and true, that makes you a better debater.
Public Forum Emory update - ngl, I want you to read theory in front of me if you understand it.
I won't evaluate
1] new 2nr arguments and/or implications that directly are used to answer something in the 1ac. Weighing is fine but I will not evaluate arguments that answer something from the 1ac. That means no GSP or skep turns case in the 2nr unless it was in the 1nc. Only exception is if new offense was read in the 1ar.
2] non-sequitur arguments or arguments where conclusions don't follow from premises.
3] won't evaluate speeches early INSIDE of the speech the argument was read in. Yes eval after 2n in 1nc, No eval after 2n in 2n.
4] oppression good in a vacuum. Off limits = racism good. Acceptable but hard to make a good argument = x violence does not happen to y group in z instance. Just be sensitive - pluralist dialogue is important but being mindful of others' feelings is also integral.
Theory: One of the things I feel most comfortable evaluating. Coming up with a smart combo shell or making cool strategic decisions are awesome and make judging a lot more fun. I'm perfectly fine with theory as a strategic tool so if this is what you like to do, I'm all for it. There's no such thing as frivolous theory.
Defaults - DTA, Reasonability, No RVIs. NSM vs IRA assumption depends on offense to the shell. These are paradigm issues, not voters. These are the defaults because this is what any paragraph argument on any flow would look like as long as an external impact (fairness, bindingness, scope, etc) is justified.
I don’t default voters (Fairness/Ed/Etc) - they’re impacts to arguments. I will assume there’s no impact to the standards if you don't read an external impact.
Don't read new paradigm issues for a 1nc shell in the 2n, it's new.
T: I view it as an endorsement > punishment model. It's a methods debate so winning the shell is prob enough to independently justify voting on it. These are just defaults if no one reads paradigm issues though. Obviously, I'll evaluate the shell under whatever metric you justify.
Policy: I never debated this way but I'll evaluate these debates the way you tell me to. The jargon is not exactly vernacular to me so I'd probably err on the side of explaining the implication of something for like 2 seconds if you think I wouldn't get it. Underrated strategy though against phil debaters and I do like it.
Tricks: Sure. I like warrants though. I'm also tired of analytic dumps where arguments are all over the place.
Ks: Better off preffing someone else. I'm a sucker for extinction o/w and frankly true arguments that say 1nc evidence has no warrants. If you cut good evidence though, that's solid. Bar for explanation is high and I don't listen to arguments that demean another debater's identity. Theory of power needs to be clear and 2n explanation needs to be found in the 1nc.
Been judging debate (PF and LD only) for almost 20 years. Coached PF at Cary Academy last year. While I try to stay up on the "technical stuff," to me, this misses the point of debate as an educational or, for that matter, a persuasive activity. So, while I can probably follow whatever case you want to run, put me in the truth (vs tech) camp. Running a well executed rhetorically sound argument will be the best way to win my ballot.
As for style, clear communications will win the day. Can probably flow at whatever speed you choose to run, but I don't value quantity over quality, whereas I do value clarity over vagary.
In addition to advancing rhetorically sound arguments, I expect debaters to find the clash in the round and give me a standard with which to weigh it. Don't expect me to do that work for you. You don't want me imposing my sensibilities by picking some arbitrary standard for the round. Moreover, between two sound cases, I will prefer any reasonable standard to no standard at all (even for an otherwise compelling/sound cases). Word of caution, though, don't let the round devolve into a pure weighing debate. At the end of the day, I will vote for the side that presents the most compelling case for affirming or negating the resolution.
I have judged debate since 2001. From 2014-2021 I coached Public Forum and Speech events. I retired after 8 years as the Co-Director of Speech and Debate at Cary Academy in North Carolina in 2021.
DEBATE: In debate (LD/PF) I look for clear claims, evidence and links to logical, clear impacts showing contextual analysis. I flow each round and look for you to bring your arguments through the round, tell me the clash and how I should weigh.
I judge as if this activity is preparing you for the real world. I won't flow what I have to work too hard to follow or translate (read speed). Asking for evidence for common sense issues won't count either. You can use flow jargon, but tell me why. You want me to flow across the round? cross apply? for instance, tell me why. Don't exaggerate your evidence. Finally - I'm not here to show you how smart or clever I am by pretending to understand some sesquipedalian or sophomoric arguments (see what I did there?)- that means. 1.) do a kritik and you are going to lose because you failed to acknowledge that ideas can conflict and are worthy of discussion; 2.) "the tech over truthers" and other silly judging paradigms don't make you a more articulate conveyor of ideas once you have to "adult". I will know the topic, but judge like a lay judge. Convince me. Have fun and enjoy the activity!
CONGRESS: Well researched unique takes on a resolution are important. Simple stock arguments and analysis is easy. I look for you to look deeper into the consequences/outcome of passage. Don't rehash, not only is it boring but it suggests you needed to listen more closely. Refutation of previous speeches shows careful analysis in the moment and it shows you have more than the case you wrote the night before (even if you did :)). Presentation is also important. I don't like BS for the sake of being a good presenter but a balance of solid research, thoughtful analysis, ambitious and relevant refutation from a persuasive speaker will get high marks!
I am the Director of Forensics and head LD coach at Cary Academy. I would describe myself as a neo-traditionalist. I follow a traditional approach to LD with some notable exceptions. I am a typical traditionalist in that I prefer a debate centered on a common sense, reasonable, good faith interpretation of the resolution; and I believe speakers should emphasize effective communication and practice the habits of fine public speaking during the debate. I differ from many traditionalists in that I am not a fan of the value premise and criterion, and that I do not believe that LD arguments have to be based on broad philosophical concepts, but rather should be as specific to the particular resolution as possible. If you want to win my ballot you should focus on developing a clear position and showing how it is superior to the position put forth by your opponent. You should not attempt to make more arguments than your opponent can respond to so that you can extend them in rebuttal. In my opinion most rounds are not resolved by appeals to authority. The original analysis and synthesis of the debater is vastly more important to me than cards. For further insight on my views please consult these following articles I have written for the Rostrum:http://debate.uvm.edu/NFL/rostrumlib/ld%20Pellicciotta0202.pdf,
The following paradigm is fairly exhaustive because my investment as a judge is equally (if not more) important than what y’all do as competitors. If my feedback is subpar, the work and effort you all put in is a waste. Ultimately, the following novel is not meant to intimidate, but rather to aid in how the debate can be elevated. I look forward to being a part of the art of communication through debate in each round and best of luck!
I am the assistant debate and forensics coach at the University of Richmond, where I also obtained a B.A. in Philosophy. I have over ten years of experience as a competitor and four as a collegiate coach in six styles of debate (PF, LD, Policy, Congress, Parliamentary, and Long Table) and over a dozen speech events. I competed with and against international teams that are a part of the CIDD and German circuits and am a member of the VAFTDC (Virginia Association of Forensics, Theatre, and Debate Coaches). Additionally, I have/had involvement with Future Problem Solvers, Model UN, theatre, and improv. Given the scope of my background, a lot of my preferences concentrate on the art of rhetoric and communication within debate rather than a purely technical focus (truth>tech). That said, I try to also respect the difference between norms and rules given the breadth of the debate realm and appreciate the evolving structure of the debate realm.
Feel free to e-mail me any questions: email@example.com
Kindness is key. The purpose of debate is to expand upon ideas with good faith intentions and find ways to coherently communicate and critique nuanced topics. That said, there are certain truths that are generally held to be accepted as true (things should be logically consistent, all people should be treated humanely, opinions cannot replace facts though can be considered as informing perspective and bias, etc.). Especially given the current political climate, a healthy level of skepticism and grace should always be extended without resorting to ad hom attacks or broad sweeping generalizations. This guiding principle is something that can be utilized throughout our existence, which is what makes debating so valuable as a life skill.
I am sick of wasting time during round calling for cards in varsity rounds. I heavily suggest utilizing disclosure theory which means if your case is not presented in full and a card is asked for, I will run prep if it takes longer than 15 seconds.
Extinction arguments (re: nuclear war) are a losing battle and while it is not a guaranteed loss, know that we live in a world where that it is so statistically unlikely, it does not provide a compelling argument. Death is not a threat if it is inevitable, it's the suffering that we fear. If you're going to run existential cases, you're better off pointing to cyber warfare, anti-capitalism/totalitarianism, economic downfall, or human rights cases since that has more tangible, concrete impacts. Yes, death is a major factor to consider, but I don't lose sleep over dying in an all-out nuclear war considering that we live in a capitalist hellscape that makes existence make death seem like an escape sometimes.
Some things of note:
-Avoid personal phrases. Frame things as an objective pontification instead with “if/then” statements and “the affirmative/negative’s position claims…”
-Be honest about mistakes both in ownership and forgiveness. If a point is dropped, concede and find ways to move forward. Additionally, don’t take critiques personally and recognize the difference between norms and rules. It may impact the debate scoring or decision depending on how egregious the instance is. Debate is a holistically judged sport!
-Clarity is key. Making assumptions leads to a lot of miscommunication and though I may have experience in a lot of different backgrounds, I am human as well. Revel in the fact that you are the go-to expert in the room!
-Organization helps with everyone. Signposting and roadmaps are highly encouraged. Roadmaps are also more than just saying you’ll “touch upon the opponent’s contentions and expanding upon your own”. Being able to identify features of clash, impact calculus, voters, and what kind of debate it is (value, definition, evidence, contention, etc.) will help elevate the overall effect of presentation.
Case Sharing and Sources/Citations- It is not required to share the entire case with the opponent. However, it is in good faith to at least allow access to specific portions used and it is mandatory to share cards when asked. Though I do not like evidence shoving and card-based debates, it does not look favorable if you cannot provide adequate support of a claim. Sourcing is also important and when giving a piece of evidence, understanding the methodology and ideas of empiricism and epistemology are key in demonstrating an adequate understanding of the citations provided.
Speaker Points (from a 20-30 scale)- I rank on a bell curve structure that is fairly reflective of the indicated suggested ranking (poor, average, good, excellent, and outstanding). This may skew points in overall standing but also indicates that a score of 29 or 30 is truly earned. As long as the argument is clear (organizationally and orally), use up the majority of the time, are able to identify each necessary piece (value, VC, and contentions), the score should range from 23-27 based on other factors such as fillers (“uh” and “um”), dropped arguments, rebuttals, and overall ability to crystalize the argument. Rarely will I award anything lower than 22 unless the speeches are incomplete, there is a conduct issue, or the debate is entirely conceded. Conversely, scores in the upper echelon effectively demonstrate mastery of presentation (little to no fillers, solid stance and projection of voice, able to command the room without seeming too aggressive), expansive understanding of the topic at hand and evidence presented (clean links and warrant), and excelling at the art of rhetoric and argumentation theory via things such as voters, impact calculus, and word economy. Know that if you obtain a score of 28 or above, I am genuinely impressed!
Key judging elements I look for: Value/VC, Definitions, Framework, Theory, Analysis, CX, CBA
Plans, Kritiks (K), Fiats, and Theory- Though I recognize the validity (and growing usage) of “progressive” LD, I tend to follow a more traditional outline. I think plans and Kritiks (Ks) have their place as long as they don’t deviate too far from the topic at hand and provide explicit tie into solvency, inherency, and the overall framework/paradigm at hand. Your plan should also FOLLOW the establishment of contentions and general framework. PRE-Fiats also tend to be used in ways to derail the debate by completing sidelining the resolution at hand. POST-Fiats are totally fair game as long as it is still relevant and topical. The structure should not hinge upon a theory argument considering that the Value/VC is contingent.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you run a plan that indicates we should ignore philosophical/moral theories in favor of political and pragmatic ones (there is a painful irony within this notion) or appeal to theory as an end-all-be-all (save for very VERY limited exceptions), I will automatically dismiss your case. This is a particular problem because I have seen a butchered interpretation of some major theorists despite having good intentions. That said, it does no good to spread misinformation and accountability of knowledge is of utmost importance. In short, all politics is based off of theory, and using Rawls’ “original position” and “veil of ignorance” does not necessarily absolve you of that burden just because some antiquated dead white dude said it’s possible to be enlightened while conveniently ignoring the fact that We Live In A Society™. I also do not have the patience for Ks that purport a resolution being dismissed on the notion that it's inherently "racist, sexist, queercist, ableist, etc". We exist on a platform that is intrinsically rooted in privilege and if you're going to push an Oppression Olympics argument, no one wins and it defeats the purpose of debate. We all have something to learn through our own personal adversity and it is not productive discounting a person's opinion solely because they may be more or less privileged than you. Extinction arguments are also extremely annoying and offer nothing unique or interesting to the debate since it assumes a fallacious slippery slope scenario that is almost never rooted in reality. That said; use all of these suggestions at your own discretion.
Framework, Paradigms/Observations, Disadvantages (Disads), and Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA)-
FRAMEWORK IS IMPERATIVE. If you do not give definitions, context, paradigms and/or observations, you leave the debate wide open for attacks or gaps to be filled either by the opponent or my own implicit biases. I will do my best to remain objective but if certain norms are expected, I will default to my own inferences of the topic at hand. Paradigms are important for context and should be given if the resolution is vague. For instance, is this topic Americentric or global? What is the status quo? Is there a timeframe? Though not necessary, those that include a sort of paradigm or observation within their framework generally tend to fare better. Remember what happens when people assume things :) Disads are also helpful when identified adequately for the rebuttal and rejoinder speeches. For me, CBA should be a general default when debating a topic. Debate is about exploring the nuances of the argument since most things are not black and white. Do not assume (again, there’s that word), my background in Philosophy means I favor a political or social case over an economic one though econ arguments do provide a good sense of impacts and concrete metrics. If one side demonstrates favorable merit and a cleaner link to the resolution at hand, it does not matter what flavor of argument is presented. I will vote and have voted for arguments that go against my own personal beliefs if/when they are conveyed well.
Flex Prep/CX Flow- I allow Flex Prep (shifting prep time for CX time) but only if both parties agree to its usage before the round starts through explicit consent. Additionally, I DO flow CX since I think it has a purpose in the debate and demonstrates a person’s ability to elevate the contentions. A good CX can make or break a round and help give additional points based on oratory skills.
Roadmaps/Signposting- Please use them and refer to the main paradigm section above.
Key judging elements I look for: Definitions, Framework, Analysis, crossfire, CBA, well-composed rebuttal, summary, and final focus speeches
The use of spreading, plans, and Kritiks (Ks) are antithetical to PF debate given the fact that it is understood as the most accessible form of argumentation to a layperson. That said, there should be heavy emphasis on analysis and warrant and not just evidence shoving. Given the rapid back and forth of this style of debate, the expectation is to be a kind of “mini-expert” of a topic with an intimate understanding of certain terms and elements related to the resolution and disseminated quickly. CBA is expected though not always necessary depending on the resolution. Use theory sparingly.
Definitions- these are imperative for framework. If you do not define the scope and context of this debate, it is impossible to create a basis for why the contentions uphold the resolution.
I DO FLOW AND HEAVILY WEIGH CROSSFIRES. The main appeal and, imo, fun part of PF is the “real world” aspect of having a rapid back and forth conversation. A person’s ability to adequately talk about a controversial topic with a level head means just as much as being “right” about a situation or topic.
Given how most constructive cases are prepared, the main weighing mechanism for me is how well people can utilize impact calculus (magnitude, feasibility, timeframe, and probability) and voters (evidence weighing, contention clash, definition debate) by the end of the debate. The best debates are those who are able to find the common thread and main clash of the debate (usually by establishing a CBA).
Key judging elements I look for: Plan building, heavy evidence usage, links/warrants/analysis
Policy, to me, is what the highest and most refined debate should be. Pulling from all other disciplines (the oratory, bill building, and procedural skills of Congress, the theory and analysis skills of LD, the evidence and case building of PF, and the impromptu style of Parli and Long Table). Any and all aspects of the above topics are fair game as long as it’s in good faith. Though policy is, admittedly, my least favorite and least familiar debate style, I appreciate the craft and some of my favorite rounds have been in policy though it is a beast to understand and an even bigger feat to master so hats off to those who compete in one of the most profound forms of debate!
Spreading- Please do not spread. The art of debate is about communication and a person’s ability to have an impressive wpm does not promote adequate expansion of complex ideas and is antithetical to the spirit of argumentation. I will doc points if I cannot flow properly due to speaking too quickly. If I cannot physically fully follow the argument, I cannot award adequate points.
The quote, "Politics is perception" is especially true for this form of debate. The showmanship and ability to present a topic in only three minutes is a powerful tool that is heavily based on the speaking style and engagement with the entire chamber. The focus on evidence is not as important but I typically look for at least one source per contention. I only recommend one since I think that the quality of analysis is more important than the quantity of sources. Being able to address the bill or resolution specifically will also elevate the overall impression and score. Back and forth debate is obviously the ideal though as long as it's not too lopsided, I don't mind doubling of one side occasionally. As long as people are respectful and communicative without stepping on too many toes, I'm a fairly lax judge.
From a Parliamentarian's standpoint, being able to take up space confidently without suffocating the room is a delicate balancing act. Being eager to participate without stifling others is also key in the communal aspect of Congress. Efficient chambers are nice, but if the room becomes too tense, it sucks all the joy out of the event. PO scores tend to be a bit more inflated due to the extra burden of tasks though top scores almost always come from those who given incredible speeches.
Given the nature of Parli debate, it is understood that pretty much anything goes. The notion of this debate is meant to be elevated but also accessible so I don't have as many constraints considering the (assumed) maturity of collegiate level debate. That said, I do like to see a person's ability to merge the ability of a solid orator with that of a logical common thread. Though I try to remain unbiased, I will also be tempted to fill in gaps if references are made without adequate sourcing due to the nature of this debate.
QUOTE ROUND: I'm fine with either leaning into the resolution from a literal interp of a quote or a broader context of what certain norms and systems mean through theory and storytelling. Use your own discretion.
Other notes: I have a humanities degree so advanced econ theory and neuroscience is probably going to go over my head (though I will give it the good old college try!). International Politics is also not something I'm particularly well-versed in. I am but one human on a planet of almost 8 billion with over 200 municipalities. Please hold my hand through your thought process.
Though my first love was debate, I am a speech kid at heart. The variety and depth is vast and I don't claim to be an expert in any of these individual events. While I think characterization and textual analysis are key to making a piece "come to life", I also appreciate the vast amount of perspectives and lived experiences in how we understand narratives. That said, I am entitled to use my own discretion and I as an audience member have a role in your performance. If I am not engaged or not "included" in the process of creating this art, it will reflect in the score with reasons that should at least be acknowledged. My aim is not to crush anyone's creative spirit though sometimes certain artistic choices can have consequences that need to be considered (swearing, content choice, general presentation, decorum, etc). We're all human though accountability is of utmost importance.
Self-published pieces are... risky especially since the purpose of an "interp" is to interpret ANOTHER'S work. Though that isn't to say it doesn't come without potential reward. Be wise.
After Dinner Speaking (ADS): plz make me laugh ????
Communication Analysis (CA): I tend to find this event a middle ground of persuasive and informative that is pinpointing a specific event or speech at hand. I should be able to follow along with the topic if I don't have any prior knowledge while still being able to be on your side by the end of the speech in some way, shape, or form. This tends to be a really dry event so feel free to spice it up with a few jokes. I like to think of John Oliver, Contrapoints, and Lindsey Ellis as good reference points for CAs on topic areas.
Declamation: I don't mind if you try to embody the original intent or put your own spin on it but it should reflect the words spoken in some meaningful way. This event is the most text heavy so be EXTREMELY purposeful in delivery. I couldn't care less about physicality, just make sure to project.
Duo: My favorite event! This is probably the most theatrical so whether you make me laugh, cry, or just think a little bit more about life, give me a show! Physicality is key. Don't just create a character, BECOME them! Creative use of limited space is key and really try and create dynamic movement not only through your movements, but through the text itself.
DI: Duo... but solo
Extemporaneous: I recommend at least two sources per point to have a good qualifying score. That said, evidence pushing will only get you so far and I'm far more impressed by a solid analysis of the information presented. The expectation is that you're the mini-expert for 7 minutes and should be able to adequately inform me of a topic in the allotted time (within reason). That said, don't assume I know the context of the topic or that either of us are the smartest person in the room. The event is meant to humble us and designed to force us to appreciate complex topics that need to be handled with care. Hot takes are entertaining but may not always be effective. Use discretion.
Impromptu: I recommend no more than 2 minutes for prep for top speaks. I'm not entirely impressed by minimal note usage since it's a tool given to you for a reason. Careful about fillers and make sure to have some sort of methodical and cohesive narrative or thesis statement. If I suspect you're using stock stories and inserting the topic as a buzzword, I WILL immediately dock points and recommend disqualification if confirmed. This is not a prepped round and it antithetical to the purpose of the event and I consider it a form of cheating. I hate cheating.
Improvistation: Yes and... make sure it's funny :)
Informative: Make me think! I want to be able to take away at least one new fact from the speech. Though logos is the main focus here, there should be a heavy emphasis on sourcing and ethos as well. That said, evidence pushing only goes so far so analysis and warrant should carry your argument forward throughout the presentation. If I lose sight of the thesis, then the overall presentation falls with it. Make sure to establish a common thread and not make it too dry. There should be little to NO opinions in this event save for polls or other pertinent information regarding the event. My role is to learn about the topic, not be persuaded.
Original Oratory: No matter what emotion you make me feel, I should sense it to be genuine AND relatable. OO is one of the hardest because not every story is able to fulfill both requirements and is extremely subjective. I don't have any other feedback other than making sure the narrative is cohesive and follows some sort of the hero's journey. You are the hero, make me want to root you want!
Persuasive: Though this event is rooted in a lot of elements similar to informative, you should at least convince me to see the validity in your argument even if I don't think it's entirely sound from my own personal opinion. Pathos will also take you far here so definitely appeal to personal anecdotes or other emotional appeals that pair well with the logos and ethos elements in this event. This is meant to be a blended event and showcase your oration skills outside of just presenting an idea. Think TedTalk.
Poetry: Same as prose but, like, poetry, maaaan. I do permit passages from different languages! Just note that the work needed to convey emotion is harder, though not impossible! Please don't just sing a song ????
Prose: I'm literate. I love books. Words make me feel things. Bear in mind this event is less about acting and more about textual painting. I should be able to feel your characterization by your tonal inflection and wordplay and appreciate the unpacking of what the author intended blended with your own interpretation. I have a nuanced opinion about Death of the Author so don't assume I'm going to discount the context of the piece just because you have a new spin on it. Honor the work you're presenting, even if it means being subversive with the text.
Radio Broadcasting: All about the diction, inflection, and personality. This event is incredible because looks truly don't matter. I find the funnier, the better since most RB voices tend to be drab and have a grating sense of braggadocio that is off-putting. Larger than life doesn't have to mean phony so make it BIG but believable.
Storytelling: Pretending you're ACTUALLY giving this presentation in front of kids. Lean into the absurdity and silliness of humor. I want my inner child to be awoken!
Overall, I'm excited to be a part of the artistic process and look forward to hearing all of your pieces and speeches!!
Hi, I'm Sanjana! I did LD and Extemp at Ardrey Kell (graduated in 2021), and now go to Dartmouth College. I primarily did traditional LD/some circuit LD during my senior year.
I'm a few years removed from competitive debate, and will probably not have much familiarity with the topic.
My general preferences are that you spend enough time explaining the links and impacts of your arguments, what the implication of those impacts are for the round (especially through framework in LD), and how that interacts with and weighs against your opponent's arguments. Be as comparative as possible in your last speech.
- Please do not spread
- Please do not use any discriminatory terms or else you will be immediately removed
- Pretend as if I am a tabula rasa
- I did speech and debate in high school in India, it is very different now
- Please do not cut each other off during cross examination, that will not look good
I'm Andrew, he/him, a former policy debater and erstwhile LD coach, and a current Computer Science/Philosophy double major at UNC. I'm pretty comfortable with LD, but I definitely have a preference for a more Policy-inflected style as opposed to trad LD. You should feel comfortable running either traditional or progressive arguments in a round I am judging, any small preference I may have will be far outweighed by your confidence in your case. Please feel free to ask questions about me or my paradigm pre-round; I will only answer questions that might be relevant to the debate if your opponent is present.
I am, or at least I try to be, as low-intervention as is practically possible in-round and when voting. Obviously I have opinions, both on resolutions and certainly on the activity of debate itself, but I will try very hard to forget those opinions when I am looking at the flow at the end of the round. Similarly, I will absolutely not make arguments for you which are not on my flow, no matter how obvious they might seem to you! If you want me to weigh an argument, you absolutely must bring it up in your speeches.
Please feel free to spread to a reasonable extent, but if I feel you are trying to simply overwhelm the other team rather than actually engage in debate I reserve the right to give you bad speaks. Please signpost very clearly: if you are going so fast and in such a monotone that I can't pick up your tags, you're going to be in trouble later in the round. I will say "clear" if needed. Please also indicate where on the flow I should be looking if you're going line-by-line if it might be at all confused.
Framework debate is fine but, admittedly, not my favorite. It is fine to concede FW on the neg and just read offs and turns. If you plan to read some metaethics, please make it clear what exactly is going on or you run the risk of giving me a headache.
I like plan clash debates, and I am quite comfortable weighing policy v policy. Please read topical counterplans, I will not hesitate to drop you on T if you run an abusive CP (specific actors, excluding a small part of the aff, that sort of thing). 50 States is fine I guess but you had better argue it very well. I will also weigh perms, so it would probably be good to be sure your CP is exclusive.
I like theory debates, but please make it clear you actually understand the blocks you are reading. Try to avoid very jargon-heavy blocks; if you want jargon, read a K. On the other hand, theory can be engaging and interesting, and I will vote on theory. I am usually convinced by the argument that using the ballot to influence the behavior of debaters in the future and shape norms is probably both real and a voting issue, so please don't drop theory. Finally, please don't try and weigh your plan against your opponent's theory.
I spent most of my time in policy cutting and running Ks, I am most familiar with them. Feel free to run K affs and Ks as offs on the neg.
Styles have since changed somewhat, but I am still familiar with most of the major K authors. I'm in particular good on bio-power (really, Foucault in general), Heidegger, Rousseau, and Kant. I also just finished reading Afropessimism, but I'm not as experienced with afropess Ks.
However, consider that the opposing debater is likely less well-versed than I; make sure to carefully signpost, give good answers in CX, and generally don't try to squeeze a win out of deliberately confusing your opponent.
If you have some super-weird K lying around burning a hole in your (metaphorical) tub, please read it; I live for weird Ks.
I am a strong believer in disclosure, and I will verbally disclose at tournaments which permit it. I learned the most when I was able to hear what the judge thought about the round when it was still fresh in my mind and I was able to ask questions.
I try to ensure my disclosure is actionable: what changes could you have made so that you won the round, what cards might seem missing from your case, or what you might want to try out should you encounter an unusual argument again. Ideally, everyone should leave a round having learned something they can use in the future.
I will include all major points I discuss post-round on the written disclosure as well.
This is my second year of judging. Use good communication skills, be clear and concise, and be professional and respectful to each other. I want to hear factual evidence that is logical and well-researched to prove to me why you should win over your opponent. Some other highlights...
I generally stick to a range of 25-29, with 25 being average or slightly below, 26 being decent, 27 being good, 28 being very good, and 29 being exceptional. I'll reserve 30 for a speaker who knocks it out of the park. If you are being unnecessarily rude, condescending to your opponent, or use racist/sexist/homophobic/etc. language, then I will rank you lower than this range.
For me, this is related to speaker points. I'm okay with you speaking somewhat quickly, but be clear and concise. Be aware that the faster you speak means I may miss important arguments that could win the round for you or your team, so take that into consideration when it comes to speaking and clarity. I also am not a fan of spreading. If you spread, I will not select you as the winner and will lower your points.
Feel free to ask me questions at the beginning of the round if you want to know anything else. Most of all, have fun!
Editor-in-Chief Champions Brief LD
Been around debate for 15+ years (4 years as a competitor the rest coaching). I'm fine with speed as long as you're clear. I can understand spreading at high speed unfortunately time is catching up to me and I can’t write/type as fast as I once could so I'll say clearer or slower a few times as needed in order to make sure I can actually flow what’s necessary.
*Slow down a bit for online debates. I flow off what i hear. Sound issues inevitably pop up and while I may have the doc just in case; this isn't an essay contest.
I'll evaluate the round based on how I flow it so run what you want for specifics see below. Please ask me questions if you want to know more.
I judge a lot of util debates which is fine but I'm up for any kind of framework debate. I like a good complicated theory heavy framework. Permissibility and presumption debates are sorely lacking nowadays so I'm all for them. Haven't heard a good skep round in awhile. Don't be afraid to run nihilistic frameworks in front of me. If you can warrant it and defend it I'll listen to it (so long as it's not racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic).
Run them please. Admittedly I'm more familiar with classical K literature like cap, bio power and some psychoanalysis. I enjoy a good postmodern Phil round but that doesn't mean I won't listen to other K's. Identity K's and stuff like that are totally fine but make sure you're really clear on the link and alt level. K aff's are fine as long as they can win reasonability on T.
I default to reasonability it's hard for me to say there is an objective limit on the topic when language has multiple meanings. Have good interps. Warranted interps that have an internal justification for why they're true will probably be better than a random dictionary. Random violations that you know your opponents meet but you run them anyway as a time suck are bad. I likely won't buy a contested RVI but a good I meet is probably enough for aff's to avoid any offense on T for me. T violations function as a gateway issue. If the aff isn't topical they likely will loose especially if there is a topical version of the aff. If the aff can give me a good warranted reason why they don't need to be topical I'll vote on it. The standards debate is important if you're gonna go for T you need to go all in and spend time here really explaining why your interpretation creates the best model/the aff isn't debatable.
Not my favorite but necessary at times. It's structured the same as topicality and starts with a "T" but theory isn't T. I default to drop the argument in less you tell me otherwise. Theory comes immediately before the layer in which it is criticizing unless you tell me otherwise. Frivolous theory is real, it's when you could easily answer arguments but decide to read theory. This shouldn't be your go to in front of me but I will vote on it if you win it. I'll listen to RVIs on theory but it takes an awful lot of work or the other debater just dropping it for me to vote on them. Theory is inherently a subjective position if it is well contested; obviously a concession is a "true" argument.
CPs & DAs
Yes please. Make sure you have an explicit CP text with a solvency advocate. Debaters jump from links to impacts really quick nowadays. Don't forget about internal links. They help tell stories in the 2AR/NR. Conditionality is probably fine in front of me but I think anything beyond testing the aff once methodologically and once pedagogically (one CP and one K) is getting abusive.
*Tech over truth only goes so far if you're technically true argument is morally repugnant don't expect me to vote for it. Don't be racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, or transphobic that's likely gonna be an auto loss.