Tarheel Forensic League Virtual State Championship
2022 — NSDA Campus, NC/US
Public Forum Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am a first time parent judge for debate.
Please do not talk fast as I am unable to understand anything you are saying.
I am a lay judge so please tell me exactly why you have won the round.
Thank you and have a good tournament.
Hi! I'm a former high school debater from the late '80s and early '90s -- yeah, I'm old. So while I know what flow is and will flow your rounds, please note I am a newbie judge.
It would be helpful if you would:
1. Ask, "Ready, judge?" before you launch into each speech. (I will be keeping time, too.) What would be even better would be, "Ready, judge, for my four-minute speech (three-minute crossfire)?..."
2. Sign post your arguments. "Moving onto my second contention, my opponent says, but we contend..."
3. Speak a little slower. Don't spread.
Be good sports and have fun!
Hello my name is Cory Johnson. I am an English teacher and a debate coach.
When I am judging there are a few things I look for:
It is extremely important that you have a clear link chain. As I am flowing, I want to be told how each point leads into the next. It is not my job to infer what you are trying to argue. You need to explicitly tell me each part of the argument, and how that creates your impact. If the impact is not made clear, I have nothing to weigh on and therefore voting for you becomes a challenge dependent on your persuasion skills alone. Please extend your cards, and your links, or I will consider them dropped. My final decision will be based on the flow, and how you interact with your opponent during the round.
Cross is not binding. In fact I will not even flow it. Cross ex is a time to gather information to then be used in rebuttal. It is also an opportunity for clarification and filling in your flow.
In an LD debate, the value is terminal. It is the primary voter issue, and as such must be woven into your contentions, and be present throughout the round, including your rebuttals. LD is a value debate and therefore it is not something to be mentioned briefly in your constructive and then forgotten. I am open to theory and K’s but understand if you take this route, you better be committed to it. Risking a theory to throw it away or using K’s arbitrary does not sit well with me. It is important to weigh your argument against your opponent, while your value is the terminal issue, weighing gives me as a judge the ability to make an informed decision.
In a PF debate, your impact is the primary voter issue. As stated above, this must be made clear. An ambiguous impact leaves very little room for me as a judge to make an informed decision. I want to be told what the result of my vote is. I want to be told how my vote affects the topic at hand. This is where weighing becomes terminal. If you do not weigh your impact against your opponents, I see little to no reason to vote for you, as a lack of weighing leads me to believe your impact is not very important to round. Within that weighing I want to see a clear comparison between you and your opponent.
When speaking, please be clear, and concise. I want to be impressed with your speaking ability, and this is how I decide your speaker points. DO NOT SPREAD! I prefer slower, more evocative speech, with impactful points of emphasis. I do not appreciate redundancy, especially in rebuttal. If you have to repeat yourself outside of the purpose of emphasis, it tells me you do not know what you are talking about.
A few extra miscellaneous points to keep in mind: I am a stickler about time. I will not flow anything said after time is up. It will not be considered when voting. It is also very important that you use off-time roadmaps, so I can follow your thought process. Finally keep the card calling to a minimum. Doing this excessively wastes too much time, and becomes annoying and frustrating. If you cannot rebuttal without seeing every card your opponent uses, that most likely means you need to do more research.
I look forward to judging you. Good Luck!
I'm a former speech competitor that has been judging speech, PF, LD, and CX rounds for 5 years. I am currently a public speaking teacher at the collegiate level as well. The things that I look for are consistent throughout both speech and debate events, recent and unbiased information, clear definitions, and NO SPREADING! The point of debate is to cleanly debate topics as educated individuals and to not devolve into a rude, talking over type of argument. There is a difference between debating and arguing.
The long and short of it all: I want a good, clean and fair fight!
Crawford Leavoy, Director of Speech & Debate at Durham Academy - Durham, NC
Email Chain: email@example.com
I am a former LD debater from Vestavia Hills HS. I coached LD all through college and have been coaching since graduation. I have coached programs at New Orleans Jesuit (LA) and Christ Episcopal School (LA). I am currently teaching and coaching at Durham Academy in Durham, NC. I have been judging since I graduated high school (2003).
- Speed is relatively fine. I'll say clear, and look at you like I'm very lost. Send me a doc, and I'll feel better about all of this.
- Run whatever you want, but the burden is on you to explain how the argument works in the round. You still have to weigh and have a ballot story. Arguments for the sake of arguments without implications don't exist.
- Theory - proceed with caution; I have a high threshold, and gut-check a lot
- Spikes that try to become 2N or 2A extensions for triggering the ballot is a poor strategy in front of me
- I don't care where you sit, or if you sit or stand; I do care that you are respectful to me and your opponent.
- If you cannot explain it in a 45 minute round, how am I supposed to understand it enough to vote on it.
- My tolerance for just reading prep in a round that you didn't write, and you don't know how it works is really low. I get cranky easily and if it isn't shown with my ballot, it will be shown with my speaker points.
SOME THOUGHTS ON PF
- The world of warranting in PF is pretty horrific. You must read warrants. There should be tags. I should be able to flow them. They must be part of extensions. If there are no warrants, they aren't tagged or they aren't extended - then that isn't an argument anymore. It's a floating claim.
- You can paraphrase. You can read cards. If there is a concern about paraphrasing, then there is an entire evidence procedure that you can use to resolve it. But arguments that "paraphrasing is bad" seems a bit of a perf con when most of what you are reading in cut cards is...paraphrasing.
- Notes on disclosure: Sure. Disclosure can be good. It can also be bad. However, telling someone else that they should disclose means that your disclosure practices should bevery good. There is definitely a world where I am open to counter arguments about the cases you've deleted from the wiki, your terrible round reports, and your disclosure of first and last only.
- Everyone should be participating in round. Nothing makes me more concerned than the partner that just sits there and converts oxygen to carbon dioxide during prep and grand cross. You can avert that moment of mental crisis for me by being participatory.
- Tech or Truth? This is a false dichotomy. You can still be a technical debater, but lose because you are running arguments that are in no way true. You can still be reading true arguments that aren't executed well on the flow and still win. It's a question of implication and narrative. Is an argument not true? Tell me that. Want to overwhelm the flow? Signpost and actually do the work to link responses to arguments.
- Speaks? I'm a fundamental believer that this activity is about education, translatable skills, and public speaking. I'm fine with you doing what you do best and being you. However, I don't do well at tolerating attitude, disrespect, grandiosity, "swag," intimidation, general ridiculousness, games, etc. A thing I would tell my own debaters before walking into the room if I were judging them is: "Go. Do your job. Be nice about it. Win convincingly. " That's all you have to do.
- I'll give comments after every round, and if the tournament allows it, I'll disclose the decision. I don't disclose points.
- My expectation is that you keep your items out prior to the critique, and you take notes. Debaters who pack up, and refuse to use critiques as a learning experience of something they can grow from risk their speaker points. I'm happy to change points after a round based on a students willingness to listen, or unwillingness to take constructive feedback.
- Sure. Let's post round. Couple of things to remember 1) the decision is made, and 2) it won't/can't/shan't change. This activity is dead the moment we allow the 3AR/3NR or the Final Final Focus to occur. Let's talk. Let's understand. Let's educate. But let's not try to have a throwdown after round where we think a result is going to change.
I am the Speech and Debate Coach at Carolina Day School in Asheville, NC.
Our program at Carolina Day focuses on Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and some speech events. In competition, I primarily judge Lincoln-Douglas.
I will always be flowing debates and will be familiar with the topics. I hear a lot of debates and can handle speed, but speed cannot come at the expense of clarity. If I can’t understand what you are saying and get it down on the flow, I won’t be able to weigh it later in the round.
I value frameworks in PF. If you don’t have a framework in the constructive, I will assume we are employing a cost-benefit analysis.
I judge primarily on a traditional local circuit. I'm open to progressive argumentation, but it will need to be clearly explained and clearly connected to the topic.
Big Picture: I'm a judge with few heartfelt convictions about what you can or should do to win a debate. Do you.
Theory: Do whatever you please, as long as you carefully weigh the impacts of your competing interpretations of any given theory. I think that most theory debates are inconclusive given that folks do not take the time to parse out what values or goals are furthered by their theoretical framework. You’ll have a greater chance of winning my ballot if you carefully and explicitly impact your theory arguments relative to the other side.
Topicality/Framework: I think the same basic thing about T/Framework--do what you will. I am of the school of thought that fairness, ground, and so on are not terminal impacts, and it is important to me that you make some normative comparisons about about how debate should be configured in debates about framework.
A note on competition: With the "do what you please" maxim in mind, I should say that I have some defaults. If you are a policy team, I do tend to have a greater negative bias on counterplans than others in this area, so feel free to test the limits of fiat and competition, if you wish.
When it comes to debates around starting points, I will say that I have a decided (though revisable) bias for opportunity cost as a model of competition, so I am probably more conservative (by default) than most on whether or not differences in starting point are a sufficient ground for competition. The world is a complex place, in my opinion, and so simply starting at a different place than another team does not guarantee that views of the world are de facto competitive options in the absence of some other claim for competition.
I am old, and my ears and flow are not quite what they once were. I tend to decide quickly, and not to look at a ton of evidence. Taking this into account in resolving the important issues in the debate, and, even better, providing a compelling narrative framing of your argument will go a long way with me.
My name is Max Moskovitz and I’m currently a Junior at Virginia Tech studying microbiology and biochemistry. I did debate for one year in high school and attended a few tournaments, but most of my time was spent focusing on Model United Nations club which I did for four years and was the co-president of. In Public Forum debate I like seeing intense scrutiny of opposing arguments during crossfire and both sides keeping debate lively and civil
Public Forum debater for four years, judge for three. Feel free to ask specific questions at the beginning of the round but here is generally what I will be looking for:
Sign Post (and Road Maps): Outlining and numbering in each speech not only adds organization to your arguments but ensures that I flow where intended.
Clarity and Presentation: Your arguments are only as good as the way you present them. Apply this concept to speed; speak at a pace so that your points are not only heard but also processed. Present arguments in both a logical and supported manner (with qualitative and quantitative evidence). Rely on BOTH evidence and logic throughout the round, not only the evidence, because I am much more likely to buy into evidence that is BOTH credible and that you can explain (since that shows you have a thorough understanding of what you are advocating for). Succinct explanation, including clear claims, warrants, and impacts will work in your favor. Impacts are especially crucial in explaining to me why what you are saying matters and why your impacts should be prioritized. Remember that link chains should not be implied but explicit.
Respect: Always keep in mind that the round should be clean, civil, and based in evidence. Anything you say will ultimately be a reflection of your character so stay level-headed and grounded in fact. If you question evidence, talk about its credibility, reliability, citations and card-cutting, etc. rather than using subjective words such as bad, atrocious, terrible, etc.
Weighing: Please refrain from squeezing this in at the very last minute! It does not matter if an argument goes uncontested if its impact, and all others, are not weighed against the other side and explained in terms of magnitude, morality, time frame, scope, probability, etc. Use world comparison to explain why it should be a clean ballot for your team. This will help relay a cohesive story to me on why to vote PRO/CON.
Above all, be confident and have fun with the round!
Yes, I want to be on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
UT '21 update (since I'm judging policy): I judge probably around a dozen policy rounds on the DFW local circuit a year (since about 2011), so I'm not a policy debate expert but I shouldn't be confused by your round. That means that I will probably understand the arguments you're making in a vacuum, but that you should probably err on the side of over-explaining how you think those arguments should interact with each other; don't just expect me to be operating off the exact same policy norms that you/the national circuit do. I am fairly willing to evaluate arguments however you tell me to. I have read a decent bit of identity, setcol, and cap lit. I am less good on pomo lit but I am not unwilling to vote on anything I can understand. Totally down for just a plan v counterplan/disad debate too.
Tl;dr I'm fine with really any argument you want to read as long as it links to and is weighed in relation to some evaluative mechanism. I am pretty convinced that T/theory should always be an issue of reasonability (I obviously think that some debates are better when there is a clear counter-interp that offense is linked back to); if you trust me to compare and weigh offense on substantive issues in the debate, I can't figure out why you wouldn't also trust me to make the same judgments on T/theory debates (unless you're just making frivolous/bad T/theory args). I enjoy any debate that you think you can execute well (yeah this applies to your K/counter-plan/non-T aff; I'll listen to it). I base speaker points on whether or not I think that you are making strategic choices that might lead to me voting for you (extending unnecessary args instead of prioritizing things that contribute to your ballot story, dropping critical arguments that either are necessary for your position or that majorly help your opponent, failing to weigh arguments in relation to each other/the standard would be some general examples of things that would cause you to lose speaker points if I am judging). Beyond those issues, I think that debate should function as a safe space for anyone involved; any effort to undermine the safety (or perceived safety) of others in the activity will upset me greatly and result in anything from a pretty severe loss of speaker points to losing the round depending on the severity of the harm done. So, be nice (or at least respectful) and do you!
Please add both emails to the chain.
I will not read the email chain unless I need it for evidence after round. It should not be a crutch for you to rely on. If I don’t catch it, the argument isn’t on my flow.
Co-Director, PFBC - 2022-Present
Assistant Debate Coach, The Blake School – 2014-Present
Assistant Debate Coach, Blaine High School – 2013-14
Strike me if you’re not going to read cards. These are cards. Here's even a link to Verbatim, a macro template that works with Microsoft Word so that card cutting is really easy.
I see debate as a research oriented activity with elements of persuasion and communication built in. The “logic” of a student’s argument should always start grounded in literature and research done by experts and any analysis done should stem from it. Otherwise, I’m just listening to teenagers make things up and that sounds like a waste of my time. I am not the judge for your rounds especially if you plan on reading through three word clips followed by an author name and no date.
The inability to produce a piece of evidence that you have introduced into the round ends the round in an L-25 for your team.
I expect that the second speaking team interacts in some fashion with the arguments made by the first rebuttal. I don’t need a perfect 2-2 split, but I should at least hear you respond to offensive arguments made in order to stay relevant in the round.
All defense needs to be extended in the following speech if you want me to consider it. The final focus cannot go for anything that wasn't included in the summary.
I don’t think that an argument needs a number next to it to necessarily matter in the round. In fact, I find arguments that are a string of “x number leads to y, y is equivocal to z points…” and the like to be unpersuasive. I do not know what inputs exists for this haphazardly thrown together equation nor do I think cross-applying studies in this fashion takes into account differences in how the research was conducted and on what groups.
I think observations/frameworks that provide actor obligations/requirements are interesting and underutilized. They provide me a neat set of rules for the round to be evaluated.
My speaker points average 27.7 these days if that’s important to you.
On theory, kritiks, and whatever else “progressive” argumentation you would like to read:
I default to a position of reasonability > competing interps.
RVIs are silly, you shouldn’t be able to score points for following rules. Paraphrasing is bad, and disclosure is good.
Good is good enough. On most theory questions in PF, the decision is a binary one. Is disclosure good, is paraphrasing bad, etc. are easy to decide. I’m not a fan of rather arbitrary differences post the initial question(open source vs first-three-last-three as an example).
Introduction of theory arguments should happen in the speech directly following the violation. Out of round violations should be introduced in constructives.
Frivolous theory such as shoes or whatever else people have made up at this point is a pretty quick intervention by me. Whatever you’re reading, you should fully believe that the norm makes debate rounds more educational, and fair.
Kritiks are fair game, give me specific links please. Discourse oriented alts I don’t find that compelling and are usually missing a pretty detailed framing debate to win.