Berkeley International Parli Invitational
2023 — Online - NSDA Campus, CA/US
Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am a parent judge who’s judged at quite a few tournaments. Please be clear and explain your arguments thoroughly (no jargon). Please check your ego at the door! I look forward to a great round.
I am a 3rd-year varsity debater and have been to many East and West coast tournaments, including finals at Berkeley, so I'm well-versed in debate jargon. I am a flow judge.
General notes: I'm fine with any arguments you want to run, provided they have solid links and clear impacts, as I will typically weigh/vote off of them. For the most part I am truth>tech. However, if your opponents are lying, call them out on it. Debate is an educational space for you to learn how to deal with other people.
I'm fine with theory if it a) has a reason to be run (not a fan of frivolous theory) and b) is clear and well executed; know the structure of a T-Shell if you want to run one, for example. If you’re trying to claim something is abusive, theory is unnecessary.
I'm not fond of spreading and it will drop your speaks, but I won't stop you. If there is anything I miss, however, I won’t vote on it. I will protect the flow, but call the POO regardless in case I miss something.
I will give all speeches 30 seconds of grace time unless the event specifies otherwise (i.e. some speech events) before I mark you down. Clear voters are wonderful. Roadmaps (on time or off time) are encouraged. Please signpost or I will cry. NO tag team POIs.
If you are rude or offensive I will drop you. Examples include name calling, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia or deliberate misgendering, etc. Don't be a jerk. Debates should be inclusive spaces to everyone. You can be assertive, confident, and passionate without being mean, so just don't do it. I promise attacking your opponents will not make your case stronger.
DON’T RUN A K
When responding to your opponents arguments, make sure that you summarize them, then give a response. Merely saying subpoint a of contention 2 leads to confusion on my side and your opponent's side, and I judge based off of my flow. If I have no idea what argument or impact you’re responding to, I just won’t vote on it. The straw man fallacy never works, make sure you flow your opponents speeches well so that you can respond to them well.
I respect Fiat in rounds but there is a limit to it. Fiat gives the government the assumption that their plan will pass, but doesn't extend into the impacts of the plan. Nontopical plans (i.e. plans with policies that don't relate to the resolution) will also not be considered. If your opponents have a nontopical plan, call them out on it and elaborate as to why it’s nontopical.
Connect your impacts back to the weighing mechanism. Make it very clear in your final speech why your plan is better than your opponents -- opposition especially should just be focusing on impact weighing.
Permutation According to CHSSA rules, a perm is “A test of the competitiveness of a counterplan or counterposition, it is an argument that explains how the functions of the plan and counterplan are complementary and mutually supportive. More practically, a permutation is a type of argument used by proposition teams to illustrate the noncompetitiveness of counterplans.” In essence, if the opposition runs a counterplan that is not mutually exclusive to the government’s plan, the government can run a permutation, or “perm”. For a basic example, if the resolution is that the USFG should raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and the opposition runs UBI, the government can make the case that, because the government can both raise the minimum wage and implement a UBI, the two plans are not mutually exclusive and the opposition needs to drop their counterplan, as well as all of their advantages. Perms are necessary in debate, but the government must explain how the two plans are non-competitive.
Competitiveness CHSSA rules state that competitiveness refers to “An argument for evaluating the legitimacy of a counterplan in formal debate. The presence of the counterplan should force a choice for the decision maker between the policies advocated by the affirmative plan and the counterplan. Competition is the quality of a policy that makes it a reason to reject another policy. Classically, competition was measured solely by means of mutual exclusivity.”
Counterplan: “A policy proposed by the opposition. The policy must offer a reason to reject the proposition team’s proposed course of action. Generally, the counterplan will either try to solve the proposition team’s proposed harms in a more beneficial way, e.g., by “avoiding” (not linking to) disadvantages accrued by the proposition team’s plan of action.”
If you are side opp, your job is not to just prove why the government is failing to solve an issue, but either why the current SQ solves better or your counterplan solves better. However, your counterplan should be exclusionary. Even if eliminating homework is better for students’ mental health than eliminating the SAT, the two ideas can happen in the same world, so your counterplan would be invalid. Unless you can prove that both can’t happen together, use your best judgment.
Typically, policy rounds use advantages and disadvantages rather than contentions, but I don’t really care either way. Opposition using ads and disads is definitely better for signposting, though, and might earn you higher speaks depending on your content.
Opposition’s counterplan needs to be competitive with the plan, not necessarily the resolution. Delay and study CPs, PICs, agent CPs, etc. are all within the rules, but can make the round confusing and messy, so make sure that you know how to signpost and argue for them before you run one.
Name Dropping influential philosophers will not help your case if you don't understand their ideologies, and will not be valued over general moral arguments. However these philosophers can make a round more nuanced, which is more entertaining and educational. AGAIN -- don’t search up a basic definition of Deontology and try to frame your case around it if you don’t understand it, it will discredit your case. Only run a funky weighing mechanism if you think you can actually argue it.
Plans and counterplans are not accepted in value rounds and I will not vote on them. In a value round, you should argue the morals of an idea, not the logistics.
+ speaks if you understand Kant better than me
The side that has the most evidence will not necessarily win. Analyze your statistics, impact them, explain how they relate to the round and how they benefit your side. Site your sources and don’t outright lie -- it’s a fact round be fair, and honest. If you are in a fact round and your opponents and your evidence conflict with each other, you should explain why your evidence makes more sense using logic and context of the round. However, nobody likes a definition or evidence round so don't make the whole round about the evidence. Burden of proof does not count in a fact round: both sides carry the burden of proof.
Fact rounds are weighed on probability, not net benefits. This should be obvious, but don’t set your weighing mechanism to what’s best for society.
Confidence and emotion are the most significant factors for speaker points.
Be passionate! Act as if you care about the topic at hand! Make the round entertaining!
Office references = +1 speaker point, but it has to make sense in the round. Don't hurt your speech by just quoting Dwight.
Spreading will lose you speaks: I prefer speakers that know their arguments well enough to state them concisely and eloquently.
Don’t be repetitive, if you have nothing more to say, just end your speech. You don’t need to take up the full time.
Try to stay away from filler words, it’s fine if you want to take a break for a few seconds to gather your thoughts or find your place on the flow.
I have been coaching forensics since 2001, leading programs in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Parliamentary Debate, and all Individual Events. I am now the Founder and Executive Director of The Practice Space, a non-profit dedicated to elevating underrepresented voices through public speaking programs, curriculum, and coaching. I also coach debate coaches and have started 5 forensics programs. In high school, I competed on the national circuit in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, going to elimination rounds at many major tournaments, including State Championships, Stanford Round Robin, Glenbrooks, UC Berkeley, Emory, and winning MLK. I also went to State Finals and Nationals in Individual Events (Dramatic Interpretation and Duo Interpretation).
The following refers to all forms of debate:
As a judge, I believe that speech and debate should be about communication and persuasion. While I can handle speed and know the jargon, debate should ultimately be about making the right choices in the round and giving strong explanations. I flow well and am okay with kritiks and topicality (although not enamored with them). Don’t let speed and jargon get in the way of clear communication. It’s not about winning every argument, but choosing the right ones by identifying the right clash, weighing the arguments, and concluding with a clear and persuasive story of the round. I ultimately judge rounds based on standards.
To me, the final speeches are the most important. Be clear about the standard for the round and don’t forget to impact well. I hate off-time roadmaps and starting off rounds with “time starts now”. Balance defense with offense and paint the picture of your side’s world. Do NOT be rude! I do not vote for people who are rude. If you are on the negative, make sure you leave enough time for clear voting issues in your last speech and don’t spend the whole time on line-by-line. The final affirmative speech should not contain line-by-line.
I did parliamentary debate for 4 years at Berkeley High.
My significant preference is for simple clear debate. Make sure your points are logically sound and clearly signposted. Weigh your arguments all the way. If I don't understand why your argument actually matters it doesn't matter how good the underlying structure of it is, I can't evaluate it in judging.
Don't be abusive. If I think a part of your plan/standards/definitions are abusive and your opponents call you out on it I'll probably give the round to them. The same goes for theory. If you're running theory and it's uncalled for I'll be inclined against you.
Be respectful to your opponents.
Enjoy the rounds and good luck.
I’m an alumna with three and a half years of parliamentary debate experience and sporadic judging experience in the decades that have followed. My senior year I was 3rd speaker of the year by cumulative speaker points. Since then I have judged at several worlds and NorthAms and organized and attended Canadian debaters’ outreach visit to Ukraine behind the Iron Curtain.
Courtesy and parliamentary language should prevail in all rounds: I abhor the recent trend at the collegiate level toward gutter language in rounds. Don’t use it! It won’t benefit you in debate or in the real word, either. It should go without saying that racist, sexist, homophobic and other abusive language has no place in the debate world: it has no place in my rounds.
I take notes during debates, but I’m not a slave to flowing. To that end, I appreciate debate in normal, conversational tones during rounds and am put off by speed talking. The same goes for spreading. Signposting is a wonderful way to organize and reinforce arguments and is greatly appreciated, though debaters need not feel they must number their arguments.
New arguments in rebuttals will be ignored, but POOs pointing them out are not a waste of time. I do not expect debaters to shrink from POIs, but I do not impose a quota: those who ignore all of them will be marked down for it. Neither theory nor kritiks thrill me: I prefer the round to be about the round. That said, I will consider any reasonable argument that is clearly enunciated.
What I value is style, content and clash – not necessarily in that order. Bring your best and treat your opponents with respect. The rest will take care of itself.
Elisa Batista is a writer, activist, and proud mom of a high school debater in Berkeley, California. She used to be a policy debater back in the 1990s at Londonderry High School in Londonderry, New Hampshire. She credits her experiences as a high school debater to fruitful careers in journalism and now political strategy and community organizing.
Her judging preferences:
• No spreading or speed-reading.
• Use all time allotted to carefully build on your arguments and counter all of your opposition's arguments.
• Start all speeches with a roadmap: Definitions, contentions, rebuttals, and framework or weighing mechanisms for the debate.
• All POIs should be verbal and judge encourages debaters to take them at some point during their speech.
• Be cognizant of introducing new arguments at the end of the debate. Judge is pretty good at picking up on these and will award extra points to debaters who successfully point them out as well!
• This judge enjoys taking detailed notes--"flowing"--the rounds, and is happy to give oral feedback at the end of the debate.
• Judge does not disclose ballot decision, unless it's the last round and inconsequential in terms of debaters' morale.
• High school debaters are awesome and judge wants to see them keep at it! Good luck!
disclaimers for preffing:
- i competed four years at archbishop mitty high school, policy for two years and parli for two years after, won chssa parli 2021
- i'm cool with the common k's (cap, neolib, security, etc), as a debater i have experience with running antiblackness, orientalism and queer k's. im good with anything, but im probably not familiar with ur niche lit base so just explain it well. if you're a super high level k or theory debater however, consider preffing me low lol
- spread if you want, i'll say slow or clear if i need to
my judging preferences:
1. if u cause harm in the debate space ill drop u immediately
2. tech over truth unless you don't warrant
3. organize uq/l/il/mpx and signpost
4. impact everything out or it doesn't matter; if i'm judging parli, everything should be centered around your weighing mechanism
5. im down for friv theory, unless u make the debate completely inaccessible to your opponents EDIT: if you are going to run theory, please for the love of god, run it well. don’t give me shitty theory shells to evaluate instead of substantive k/case debate. you may not suffer but i do
6. everyone gets a 29, make an atla/aot/jjk/shadow and bone reference and i'll give you a 30. speaks end up being arbitrary and ableist/sexist anyways so just have fun
7. stick around for feedback, i'll always try to disclose. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need anything else
TL;DR - tech>truth, clarity in thoughts and in speech (do not spread), be logical in linkchains and among your arguments, weigh, no theory, K, etc.
Although I am a parent judge, this is my seventh year judging debate tournaments, so I am not new to judging. I will flow arguments and will vote off of the flow (I'll mostly do tech > truth unless the arguement is so obviously false that nearly everyone would agree without googling it). That being said, please do not spread, because I'm bound to miss some of your arguments (if it doesn't make it onto my flow, I won't be able to evaluate your arguement). It is your job to make sure that you communicate your arguements clearly and logically.
- clarity, especially clarity of thought and logic, is more important than speed
- I will focus on the weigh, and whether you've proven that your standing argument(s)'s impacts are greater than your opponents. This means that as you go through your arguments (before you weigh), you must tell me what the impacts of your arguments are-- don't assume they are obvious, and I'm not likely to make them up for you. You can be creative about how you weigh, potentially including scope, magnitude, timeframe, probabilty, or a metaweigh, etc.
- I do not like off-topic/theory arguements that try to disqualify the other team. Debate the topic at hand.
- I appreciate roadmaps and signposting. I'm OK if the initial roadmap is off-time, but they really should be part of your speaker time. And be sure to continue to signpost as you address new arguments-- you don't want me to put your arguments on a random part of my flowsheet.
- Gov/aff does have the right to define terms, and I do give leeway for that. Don't abuse it though-- I really don't like having to judge a "definitions" debate, and if the definition doesn't allow a path for opp/neg to win, I'm voting with opp/neg.
- Warrant your arguments. Completely unsubstantiated arguments are hard to vote on, especially if rebutted by the opposing side. If both sides are unwarranted, I'll view it as a wash and it won't survive the round.
- And to quote Ryan Lafferty: Be charitable to your opponents’ arguments! I’d much rather you mitigate the best version of your opponents’ claims than demolish a heavily strawmanned version of them.
For PF specifically:
- I value warrants over cards. Tell me why your argument(s) make sense logically rather than telling me a card said so. I have faith that you can always find someone who will say just about anything (e.g.-- the earth is flat).
- Focus on the weaknesses in your opponents link chains rather than reading from a prepared block file.
- The clash should be obvious by the rebuttal speaches. Second rebuttal can start to frontline in addition to rebutting the prior speech, however they must respond to all offense (including turns) or else I'll assume the argument is conceded.
- I won't be on your email chain and almost always wont look at your evidence. It's up to you to convince me, rather than me determining whether the evidence is worthy. That being said, if someone asks me to look at evidence (e.g., in order to determine whether the evidence was represented correctly), I will.
Speaker scores are ultimately subjective based on impefect judging. For PF, in addition to the above, I'll also be analyzing the quality of the research in determining speaker scores. For Parli, broad background knowledge is a big plus.
I am relatively new to judging but I have been competing in Parli debate for about a year now so I am familiar with most forms of theory and structure.
Personally, I value impacts and warranting far more than I value statistics. This means that if I am given a terminalized impact with logical warranting I will value that a lot more than a claim and a piece of evidence (also citing sources isnt even allowed in this tournament). Please speak clearly and at a reasonable pace, I understand you might have a lot to say but for me and your opponents sake please just be reasonable. When it comes to kritiks and theory debates, I generally don't really vibe with that so I will likely give the win to the team that actually debates the topic.
Hello wonderful debaters, if you are reading this then I am probably judging you next round, how exciting! I am a HS Parliamentary debater, I use she/her pronouns, and I prefer Truth>Tech.
Most importantly, if you can work in a Taylor Swift quote or reference in a speech, I will give you higher speaker points.
- Speak Clearly (I have hearing issues and if you speak fast or mumble I may not understand you)
- Respond to the actual arguments being made
- Please, please, please signpost
- Give me a solid weighing mechanism in PMC or LOC and then weigh during the PMR and LOR
- Explain concepts or definitions clearly and try to give examples
- Ask/take one or two POI's
- Be rude or make debate inaccessible
- Rely too heavily on evidence (It can be good to back up points but the arguments should be based on logic)
- Use unnecessary jargon or theory (If you do use these, explain them clearly, or they will only serve to weaken your case and waste time)
- I am very receptive to blatant compliments before or after the round
- I am a fan of unpredictable Counter Plans, but please explain and weigh them well (I once won a round running abolish the senate)
- If you have any questions feel free to email me: email@example.com
As of the Hoosier Invitational, I will be judging the policy topic for the first time, so assume I have ZERO topic knowledge. I mainly judge NPDA so it's probably best to hover around 75% too speed (especially given the online setting). I advise readers to explain and crystallize over fast blips and tricks for your sake as much as mine - I could otherwise hang but in this setting it's frankly not worth the risk to your ballot.
email chain pls: firstname.lastname@example.org
I competed in Policy and Parli on a very lay circuit in high school, and then I competed in Parli and LD in college at the University of the Pacific. I was also an assistant Parli coach at Washington High School for a year. Altogether, I have a decent amount of experience with policy-style debate.
I try to be impartial about what arguments or strategies you choose to deploy in the round, but I do care that you deploy them well - provide warrants for your arguments, and provide clear decision calculus in the rebuttals. Specifically, don't just link your arguments to x impact, there needs to be an explicit weighing of the impacts in the round.
I'm fine with fast debate, but don't sacrifice clarity for speed as this can (and often does) negatively affect your argument quality and consequently your speaker points.
I'm game for theory debate, but I expect a clear abuse story outlined in the standards to go with your impacts. I'm not predisposed to either proven or potential abuse threshold, as both have real impacts - just hash out the threshold question in the round and then explain your abuse story from there.
Disad/Counterplan debates are also a great option - go with whatever you think fits the round best or what you're most comfortable with. All counterplans MUST be functionally competitive with the plan, or it's a non-starter for me.
I also think case debate has become something of a lost art, meaning that you can win terminal defense in front of me so long as you frame it correctly and pair it with turns. When it comes to case debate, I won't automatically vote on a risk of offense if that offense is predicated on a claim with missing/dubious warrants.
I frequently run kritiks and I enjoy judging rounds where critical arguments are made on either side, but that doesn't mean I automatically know the kit base inside and out - be sure to explain how the link story and how your alt solves your offense as per the framework. I am most familiar with critical arguments pertaining to capitalism, race, gender, colonialism, biopower, and the environment. I am less well versed in other literature, but I can generally always track a well-explained and cohesive thesis.
Feel free to ask any further questions before the round!
Hi I am Rosie (she/her). I did American parli debate at Berkeley High School for three years and I won the 2022 TOC. I now do IPDA debate at UC Santa Barbara.
Preface: I want my paradigm to be accessible to people who don't know debate language. If you are confused about anything I have written please ask me to clarify. I remember being very confused reading paradigms--I still am sometimes--so please, please don't hesitate to ask for clarification. At the bottom of my paradigm I have linked a document that I wrote going over the basics of some of the debate terminology I have used. I have also included my email if you want to talk personally.
The short version: not a super technical debater/judge, but mostly tabula rasa; explain things to me don't just cite evidence; don't give abusive definitions; tag teaming is fine; don't speak quickly; take POIs but I don't care a ton. I'll vote against you for abusive definitions.
My preferences are pretty simple: I enjoy case debate with good reasoning. I do not like abusive definitions. I like voting issues in rebuttal--tell me what the most important issue in the round is and why.
I guess one could call me tabula rasa (meaning I pretend I know absolutely nothing about the world at the start of your round). Basically, assume I know nothing about the world. However, if someone says something absurd, and you give a two second reason for why it is absurd, I'll believe you. That being said, don't expect me to do the work for you if your opponent lies or makes a large leap in logic.
Evidence in parli is easily misrepresented or straight up lied about. Statistics should support your argument, not be your argument's backbone. I will be hesitant to decide a round based on one statistic or piece of evidence. If you want me to weigh your evidence more, provide details (AT LEAST source, date of publication, author. If it is a poll, number of people surveyed, who was surveyed etc.). Also if you think a statistic is suspicious don't be afraid to call it out, tell me why I shouldn't trust it.
Counter plans are fun. I don't need plans to be mutually exclusive, but I will vote on perms. Run them if you wish!
Do not expect your opponents to have read the same literature that you have. Don't expect me to have read the literature that you have. All jargon should be explained, even jargon as simple as "utilitarianism." If you are using a lot of jargon and don't take POIs it will be hard to win my ballot. Also, if your opponents use too much jargon, please POI them and call them out for making the round hard for you to debate.
I know some people can be unfair so run theory if you need to. I wouldn't use theory as your primary path to the ballot if you can avoid it. That means if your opponents don't state a weighing mechanism, you are better off giving me one yourself than telling me to vote against them because they didn't. Attack the plan/weighing mechanism/etc. only when you can genuinely prove it has made the debate less fair or educational. Also, as long as you get the point across, I don't care if you run theory in a proper shell or not.
I don't like them very much. Only run when abundantly necessary. If your opponents tell me that Ks are bad I will be inclined to believe them.
Don't spread and have fun everyone! I look forward to judging you :)
Email me at email@example.com if you want to talk or have any more questions.
Document that explains things: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lnmSwREGG2zKGaC1PodU9wv1tED2oCxL_9qjPrO9upA/edit?usp=sharing
Hi. I am Anna Cederstav, a parent who has been judging for two years. I am a scientist by training but lead and work with attorneys.
Eloquent, logical, well-supported arguments will impress me. Speaking at a sprint and using techy debate tricks will not.
I appreciate debates that address the entire topic, approached from a global perspective. I prefer evidence-based arguments with solid analysis over emotional appeals or exaggerated hypotheses.
Please make debate accessible to me, other judges and your opponents by speaking clearly and concisely. I am unlikely to vote in favor of kritiks.
I hope you will have fun and approach debate as if you are in a real-life situation where something important is at stake, and you are doing your best to convince others to join you.
Background: Parli at Gunn (2019-2022). Was basically a case debater that liked running theory/Ks once a blue moon.
Note: Basically all the stuff below are my preferences/opinions. I'm always down to change my defaults for a round (ex: tech>truth -> truth>tech) if argued well.
- I protect, but call Point of Orders anyways in case I miss it
- I listen to evidence/sources, but your debating skills are more important
- Tech > Truth
- Spreading is an L: I can understand it, but I heavily prefer non-spread debates. Pls actually slow for opponents if they say slow
- Theory > Kritiks > Case
- If you bring up a CP or Kritik anytime past the constructive speeches (without a good reason) you probably won't get the ballot
- I like hearing well-thought-outtroll/fun strategies and give you props if you can run one
- Default Weighing Mechanism: net benefits
- Terminalize all impacts to: death, dehumanization, suffering (or some equivalent)
- Magnitude > Probability > Time Frame
- Pls signpost ! !
- Competing Interps > Reasonability
- Drop Argument > Debater
- Yes RVIs
- No default for Education vs. Fairness
- Friv T is cool if done WELL
- Limited experience with Ks and rarely ran them in high school so idk if I'm the best to judge these types of rounds
- High standard for a K to win a ballot
- Favorite Ks are unique ones (i.e. not capitalism or anthropocentrism)
- Alts have to be well-defended
I'm parent judge and former high school policy debater, and won a few local tournaments during my senior year. I did not debate at the college level. I have some scattered past judging experience, both high school and college level, but most recently, my judging has been limited to several tournaments during 2021. I judged elimination rounds at three or four tournaments this year and have always voted with the majority.
Be persuasive. Explain the voting proposition and why your side merits the vote. I generally vote based on overall persuasiveness of the presentation. Some arguments are accorded more weight than others, and you do not automatically win simply because your opponent drops an insignificant argument. Quality of arguments is far more important than quantity of arguments. I am unlikely to vote based on technicalities or procedural error.
Be logical: I am most persuaded by arguments that make sense and are consistent with your position overall. I'm prone to notice unexplained inconsistencies in arguments, although I like to think this will not affect my voting unless the inconsistencies are identified by the opponent. In most debates, there is merit to both positions. I am more inclined to be persuaded by debaters who recognize this and make a nuanced explanation of why their side is preferable rather than just trying to steamroll over the opposition.
Be creative: I am open to any arguments, and particularly appreciate an argument that I have not heard before. If your argument is rooted in debate theory, please explain the theory rather than just labeling it, and explain how it should inform the vote.
Be relevant: Tailor your arguments to the specific issues raised in the specific round. I find it frustrating when debaters make standard -- particularly disadvantage -- arguments without much effort to tie them to the specifics of the round or respond to specific issues raised by their opponents. If you want to use the same "millions will die" argument every round, that's fine, but please connect it well to the topic at hand.
Be on topic: I prefer debates that focus on the assigned topic. Although I will consider novel arguments, arguments that stray far off topic defeat the purpose of the debate. Debates about topicality also defeat the purpose of the debate -- so if you make a topicality argument, make it and move on. Along those lines, I'm all for a good creative counterplan, but not if it appears that the counterplan is simply an effort to reframe the topic or thwart the purposes of the debate. Counterplans that are similar to government plans with minor adjustments frustrate the purpose of the debate. I'm open to -- but not a huge fan of -- and not sure I always understand kritiks, so proceed with caution (or very clear explanation) if you go there.
Be organized; I track every argument in writing. If I can't follow your presentation, I'll have difficulty tracking your argument. I don't object to spreading, but please be clear so that I can follow your presentation. If you're all over the place, or just ticking off lists as quickly as you can with no development of arguments, I will likely stop flowing. It is easier to follow presentations when arguments are clearly numbered or labeled, and the labels are used consistently throughout the debate. I have no objection to roadmaps and signposting, nor do I expect off-clock roadmaps. It is your argument to organize and present as you wish -- but do be organized.
Points of information/points of order: I'm generally indifferent to points of information. Make/respond to them or don't, as you deem appropriate. Good points of information can help clarify or focus the argument. Overdone, they're annoying and rarely helpful. You should have a good reason to interrupt someone's speech with a POI. If you have a good reason, by all means, go for it. But don't make a POI just for the sake of making a POI. A POI should be used to get information or clarification, not to usurp your opponent's platform. Regarding points of order, feel free to make them, but keep them brief and focused. I will take them under advisement. You don't need to make a POO about new arguments first raised in rebuttal.
Speed: A brisk rate of delivery is fine, but be reasonable. If you talk too fast, I will have difficulty tracking your arguments. Fewer, carefully chosen words that focus on important arguments are generally more persuasive than rapid-fire presentations that fail to highlight what is most important.
Be polite. Be respectful. Being witty, funny, or occasionally sarcastic is fine, even welcome, as long as it is not rude. Although presentation is not as important as the strength and substance of the argument, it is noted and much appreciated.
I debated on the Oregon circuit in LD and Parli. I am an open-minded judge and enjoy any type of argument.
- I'll mainly vote on the explicit voting arguments you make.
- Extend dropped arguments through to voters if you want me to vote on them!
- I'm alright with speed but will inevitably miss stuff if you get too fast! Absolutely make sure to slow down on tags.
call me Judge
tl;dr: I'm a flow Parliamentary judge, good with speed. If you make my job of evaluating easier by collapsing and covering the flow, then you'll get my ballot. Policy background, thus a lover of kritiks. Aff Ks are hot, but so are Aff Ks Bad T. K > T > Case.
Both sides: Definitions need to come out of the first 2 constructive speeches, no backtracking and redefining halfway through the round. For the love of Allah (SWT), collapse collapse collapse.
Aff: I want a killer MG; a good PMR won't win me over if the MG was trash. Kill the flow and leave Neg with zero outs and I'll give you a cookie. For the PMR the best you can do for me is reframe the round and contextualize it under your weighing mechanism.
Neg: LOC needs to hard carry right out the gate. Open to PICs and counter-definitions as long as they come from the LOC and nowhere else; LOR should be preempting, wiping the flow clean so I can vote without even having to listen to the PMR.
Overall: Open to friv T, just don't read off 10 standards and be a douche about it. Keep it cute and fun. Collapse on 1 voters/impact, don't be messy and make me do work to evaluate it. Anything that makes me do more work is something to avoid doing. Tell me T > Ks and T > case, but actually give legitimate reasons for why.
Ks Bad T: Not a fan of it. I love a good K, what can I say (hey that rhymed!). Unless you can present me with some new and unique standards, I believe that Ks specifically grant access for minority debaters, and generalizing all Ks as being "bad" by default is a red flag for me. The only other circumstance I would vote for this is if your opponents are being blatantly inaccessible by spreading you out of the round, being ivory tower, etc.
Aff Ks Bad T: Now this is reasonable. I'll vote for it if you're smart about it. If not, my default is to accept Aff Ks so take this opportunity if it arises.
Overall: Cool with Aff Ks as long as you disclose during prep. I did gender, queer, necro-capitalism, anti-blackness, settler colonialism, and marx Ks in high school so if your K aligns with any of those then go for it. Be accessible or your K has no impact! This means 1) Don't spread your opponents out of the round. 2) Give definitions for the hella obscure words your literature references. I'm no parent judge, but I'm also not an English major. I'm cool Ks as long as you can translate it to the common vernacular.
Framework: I should know exactly what your thesis is by the end of the FW. Don't wait until the alternative to clearly state your ideas. Tell me how to evaluate pre vs. post fiat impacts, give me a role of the ballot.
Links: Quality > quantity. No link means no K, so choose them wisely. I want claim, evidence, reasoning like a sophomore year Honors English class. Don't just say, "Our opps did this so they're linking into the K!" actually explain it and justify it with evidence.
Impacts: Don't waste your time on them. Lowkey unimportant unless they have in-round solvency.
Alternative: Not huge on revolutionary/utopian alts, I find them to be no different than fiat in most circumstances. If your K has in-round, debate-space solvency then I'll love and cherish you till the ends of the earth <3.
K vs. K rounds: You're so cool if you do this. Love the inevitably high amounts of clash these rounds produce. Just make sure there are proper re-links and that your alternative solves/is a prerequisite to solving theirs.
Thank you for reading & good luck! Hmu after any round to ask a question, get advice, or literally anything else.
I am an experienced parli debater. I won state championships and qualified to TOC twice. My partner and I did mostly lay debat but Im comfortable with most styles.
-Keep everything respectful and inclusive, this goes above all else. This includes respecting everyone in the round and the subject you are talking about. Respect pronouns and content warnings.
- On that note, if anything happens in the round that makes the space hostile to you don't worry about getting the format exactly right, or making a perfect theory argument, but please let me know. Debate must be safe and inclusive for everyone.
-I am someone who doesn't come from a big theory background, but I am open to it of course, just help get there.
-Please don't abuse tech debate skills, if you use a word make sure you understand it. (And that I do.)
-Jargon is okay, but not if you are using it to make things difficult for your opponent, that will count against you.
-If you can make me laugh, not only will I love it, it might just help make your point. Please only do this in a way that is reverent to what you are talking about though, I do not buy into the idea that the debate space can be divorced from reality.
-Generally I think speaker points are too easy to be biased and so as long as you are respectful and doing your best that's all I care.
-I really appreciate rebuttals that make an effort to take stock of the round and don't just go line by line. Give me lots of weighing, figure out what is most important about your case and ignore the little stuff if you don't have time.
-Remember to breathe. Literally. I know I personally could get myself all worked up in the moment and it made it harder to think and the whole experience a lot less fun. I know this activity can be stressful, I've been there. Just do your best! :)
-I am new to this world of virtual debate so if there is anything I can do to make the experience better, or anything that I'm doing that is making things worse please let me know! :) (That actually goes for just everything.)
I look forward to a wonderful round!
I am a varsity debater, so I will be keeping a flow and I understand the rules of debate. I don't like theory rounds, I would much rather hear a productive debate with convincing, logical arguments and strong impacts. The best way to win a round is to prove to me why your side actually has the impacts you propose, and then weigh those against the impacts of the other side using your framework, i.e. net benefits. I don't mind what you're wearing, how fancy your diction is, or how fast you speak, I care that you have good arguments and that you can effectively refute opposing points. Please organize your case as clearly as you can, it will make you look much better, make your points more convincing, and be easier for me to follow. Most of all, please be respectful of one another!
I participated in high school speech and debate for three years and am a former captain from Crescenta Valley. Currently, I'm coaching at Berkeley High School and am a freshman at UC Berkeley majoring in Global Studies and Urban Studies. In high school I predominantly competed in parliamentary debate and extemporaneous speaking. I competed and broke at states, nationals, and NPDL TOC so I am familiar with both lay and tech styles (prefer the former). If any part of my paradigm doesn't make sense PLEASE ASK ME before the round. I'm here to make your speech and debate experience better.
Debate: The biggest priority in debate should be ensuring that the space is safe and inclusive to all debaters. I will drop you for making it unsafe or exclusive (e.g. racism, sexism, homophobia, etc). Clearly explained warrants, links, and impacts will always be to your advantage. Signposting makes the entire round run smoother and comparative weighing makes the round far more engaging and easier to judge, so I highly recommend doing both. See speech section for info on speaks.
Theory/Kritiks: I don't have the most background or experience with them, probably not the best judge to run these arguments with, especially if they're frivolous. That said, I can flow them if they are well constructed and clearly explained and if you feel like they are necessary please run them. Ks and theory are pretty exclusive arguments, and many debaters don't have the resources to use or respond to them, don't use these arguments solely to flow your opponents out of the round.
Speech: If you want time signals let me know before the round and I'll happily give them. Speaks start at 27.5 for my base or average and go up/down from there. Novices will automatically get a one point bump. The main ways to boost your speaker rank and speaker points are by having engaging content, utilizing body language, having tonal and vocal inflection, and by adding humor and personality to the speech. I will give 15-30 seconds of grace time unless told not to (if it's an incredibly short event like spar that number is more like 10 seconds, don't abuse it).
extra speaks if you show your pets
I value quality over quantity. A citation or example where there is a depth of understanding shown will be given more value than numerous examples with little explanation.
Speaking at a high rate will result in examples being missed and reduce the effectiveness of the argument. A barrage of citations show a students ability to do research, but not necessarily an ability to dissect an issue and reason.
Arguments that can break a topic down to it core issue are valued over arguments that come at a topic from varied and/or superficial levels.
Hi! I'm a Berkeley high school Parli debater.
In terms of my preferences, I just ask that you be respectful to all and don't spread, I will not be able to write down your arguments! I'm not a fan of K's.
If you have any questions after a round, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I did parliamentary debate at Berkeley High for 4 years. Above all else I just want to see a good round.
Make sure you provide actual clash and don't just restate your arguments as refutations.
Weigh a lot in the rebuttal speech, I need to know why your arguments matter.
Don't run frivolous theory, but if your opponents actually do something abusive do of course run theory. If you make abusive standards, definitions, plans, etc. I will be predisposed against you even if your opponents don't run very good theory. Just don't be abusive.
Good luck and have fun :)
I am a parent judge. I am persuaded by well-organized, logical arguments that are supported by facts/examples. I find sign-posting of arguments to be especially helpful.
I am not trained or well-versed in technical aspects of debate strategy, tactics, or gamesmanship. That said, I am a lawyer who presents and evaluates persuasive arguments for a living and in the real world where "kritiks" "theory" and spreading are typically not effective means to persuade. As a result, I value logical, substantive arguments over technical gamesmanship and speed.
If the topic is complicated and less in news, it is OK to spend a few moments educating the audience/me (judge). If providing context helps you build foundation for your arguments, go for it.
Quickly listing your position/arguments during the debate a few times is a good strategy. Ability to list, at a high level, your arguments and what you have covered helps the judge and you. It also reflects a methodical approach on your part.
If you have limited number of arguments, it is OK. You can explain why your argument(s) have the weight and why your argument(s) matter more than the number of arguments that the other side may be making.
If you notice that the other team introduced a new argument late in the debate and/or cited a source, when sources are not to be given credit for (say, in late rounds), I would notice that too. You are free to point out. I would prefer that you make your point quickly, and move to discussing substance. Also, you are free to tell me what arguments "flow" and what do not. As I am listening, I am making up my mind and such suggestions form the speaker do not generally make a difference in how I perceive the debate.
Above everything else, I look for:
* how you assign weight to your arguments,
* how critically you think about the impact of both side
* do you acknowledge obvious weaknesses and weigh them against the benefits
* how well you address what your opponents bring up
Many times, I do not know immediately at the end of the round who the winner is going to be. I take notes aggressively during each round. I review my notes after the round, some times agonize, and then decide. Regardless, of when I make up my mind, I do not prefer to share the results immediately after the round with the teams.
Hi, I'm Yang, a senior at Leigh High School.
I've been competing in speech and debate for around 7 years now and taught/coached public speaking and debate for around 3 years. I attempt to be a flow judge. When judging, I try my absolute best to not fill in any blanks during the debate. If you do not explain the impacts or significance of your contentions, I will have no reason to vote for them. Please do impact weighing at some point during the round so I know which side to prefer, do not expect me to do impact weighing for you.
I do value evidence and cards a lot during the debate, but I also understand the use of logic and reasoning. Although I do prefer an argument with a card over one without, I will still weigh a contention-based on logic and reasoning as well. I dislike when teams run a card without understanding the logic behind that card as it can lead to logical fallacies and misunderstood arguments. Please always send cards if your opp asks, I will buy T for disclosure.
I am ok with theory with kritiks, I will buy into them if you explain them well. Make sure to explain the significance of your T or K and why I should prefer T or K or else I will not vote for it. I dislike abuse of power when running K or T. If you run K or T against a newer team that does not understand K or T and do not give them an understanding of your T or K, I will still probably vote for you but give you very low speaker points. In the same sense, if you run a T or K shell in your first speech and drop it mid-round, I very much will dislike it but I will not vote against it unless the other team runs T. Again, if you do this, I will drop your speaker points.
Other small points:
I do not flow cross, I will listen but please extend important responses in speeches.
I have no bias for T or K so please explain why I should vote rather than saying "K should be preferred over T" or vice versa.
Overall I do not like speed. I see no benefit in spreading and am inexperienced with very fast spreading. If the other team runs spreading T and uneven grounds, I probably will buy it. If they do not call spreading out, I will not vote on it but I might drop speaker points.
I will try not to buy new arguments in the rebuttal speeches on purpose, but I still expect a POO from OPP.
If you rap or sing a sentence or phrase of your speech I will give you +0.1 speaker points :D
Hello! My name is Kayla (she/her/hers),
Having competed in team debate on the HS level, parli and LD in college, and having judged for LD/parli/IEs/IPDA for middle school, high school, and college tournaments, I will enjoy most arguments you want to raise, so long as they are respectful. I believe that ethical communication happens when teams respect each other and don’t use their arguments to degrade each other. I am open to all types of argumentation but will drop teams for problematic rhetoric.
I will vote on procedurals (including condo) and topicality. I prefer to see proven abuse, or at least a clear instance of potential abuse, for most theory arguments. Policy debate, or a K on the Aff or Neg is welcome. I am comfortable with speed, but am willing to vote on speed theory if the debate becomes inaccessible.
I would self-describe my style of judging as somewhere in between a "flow judge" and a "truth judge." While, in most instances, I will vote on the flow, if one team goes line-by-line and fails to address the thesis-level of the debate, I might break this norm. If the debate involves multiple conditional positions, I find cohesion in the round (slightly) less important: this makes the thesis of the debate less important than the line-by-line.
Theory is always an a priori issue to any other positions in the round. If you go for theory, collapse to theory.
I enjoy K debates and will be happy to hear them on either the Aff or Neg. I am also interested in your advantage/disadvantage debate, it’s whatever you think fits the round best or whatever you’re most comfortable with. I am less familiar (although somewhat familiar) with Lacan and Freud-based Ks, but I enjoy most other critical arguments and have a particular penchant for Foucault.
For speaker points, I will evaluate your content over the style in which it is presented. Speed is fine, but I could be persuaded to vote on a speed argument. Using language that is violent or degrades your opponents could also result in a reduction of speaker points.
Ask any questions in-round if you have more!
This is my second year judging parliamentary debates; my son is on the debate team at Berkeley High School. In real life, I am an attorney and a significant portion of my practice involves litigating appeals on behalf of defendants convicted of crimes. I would rather be convinced by substantive arguments than "theory" technicalities.
I'm David, I'm a fourth year Parli debater and I'll be your judge today. If you have any questions about my paradigm just ask me before the round starts:
What even is a "technocrat":
->Given that I am a decently experienced debater and judge I can flow and understand your tech arguments. That being said, unless it's very clearly warranted in the round, I default to assuming you made a theory argument to skew the other team out of the debate.
->Theory I'm most sympathetic too is stuff about abusive definitions and mutual exclusivity.
->Don't spread, you're not the next Eminem.
Do the work for me:
->I know I technically have to be judging your round based off of who had the best arguments with the greatest impact, but that's a lot of thinking (and subjectivity) on my part.
->Do a sizable portion of the thinking for me through weighing, clear impacts, and voting issues, and you are likely to get my vote.
->Sometimes when there are inferences in the round that aren't clearly stated (e.g. climate change would end the world) then I might, MIGHT, do some of the work for you. Though that depends on the day, and on whether or not you shamelessly compliment me before the round starts.
->Debate is supposed to be a fun activity.
->If you are able to use a significant amount of dad-jokes and puns then I probably can't vote on that but I will be paying more attention to your arguments making them, potentially, "better".
->Don't ruin the fun for anyone else, it's never that deep.
Don't be gross:
->I feel like this doesn't require a lot of elaboration. If you have to ask the question "would this be considered gross?" then you probably shouldn't be making the argument.
->I am not "tabula rasa" and by that I mean that I won't just believe any argument you make until it's disproven. If you make a bad argument that doesn't make sense, I'm not voting on it. Generally, the bigger the claim the more warranting is needed.
->Take a few POIs.
->I don't exactly "protect the flow" so I recommend calling POOs. That being said, I do tend to not really focus on new arguments made in the last speech when making a decision but that's not a promise.
Non-Parli Event Specific Notes:
PF: Please please please be respectful during Cross! If you've already asked a couple questions and the other person hasn't, give them a chance to talk. Also, depending on the time of day I may or may not be familiar with this month's topic. This means that you need to explain everything as if I'm hearing it for the first time. Also, given that I'm a Parli debater, I'm not very familiar with PF so please be patient with me.
Congress: I have a very low tolerance for interrupting. Speakers should be very aware that everyone in that space also wants to talk (especially if you're a man, you should be hyper aware of the effect of talking over women in the debate space).
LD: Same with PF, I may not be at all familiar with the topic so please be clear and explain things as if I'm hearing them for the first time. Also, given that I'm a Parli debater, I'm not super familiar with LD structure so please be patient with me.
I am a relatively new judge, so please explain everything clearly and thoroughly. Prefer debaters write the resolution on the whiteboard (if available ) and their names who is in affirmation and who is in opposition
1. No spreading (speak slowly)
2. Be articulate and speak clearly and loudly
3. Off-time road mapping is preferred
4. Keep track of your own time, and I will only consider what you said in your time.
Hello! I coach debate at Flintridge Prep and Westridge School.
I do Policy debate at usc and debated at Southwestern CC previously. I'm an African American studies / Comm major with a focus on colonialism and antiblackness and these studies influence the arguments I read and the discussions I have.
I have not judged all year and I have done little topic research on the specific planaffs on this (re: okay what is sand dredging and why is no one actually explaining what this is [crying emoji] I'm only in for Sunday, so pls keep this in mind for your prefs at gbx
Please have fun, don't be rude, have the round you want.
email chain —-> KhamaniGCoaching@gmail.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Stuff for Strikes/Prefs:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
debates about debate / pre-fiat: truth > tech
debates about warrants and information / post-fiat: tech > truth
t/fw: will vote on it but I've been labelled a K hack
Nebel T: boy, I don't get this and I'm too afraid to ask questions now, so pls explain what an up-ward tailed test is or we will both be lost
Theory threshold: kinda high actually, umm LD debaters need impacts to theory and clash is not an impact, its a standard -.-
Critical Non T Affs: I love these, I've even been inspired to write specific positions by 2 debaters I've judged so I guess there's your spillover warrant -- pls have your fw answers and i'm super down to learn some new stuff!
"debatably" T/NonT Affs: really big fan, win your stuff
Tricks: pls don't thx ~~
Cheater CPs: love a smart CP debate. give me the net ben to the cp
High Phil: pls strike me ; I genuinely do not enjoy the process of linking offense to a FW in which two things feel very similar and struggle to eval these debates unless there is a comparative advantage / cp / k format. I will judge them if I have to, but its a debate I don't enjoy.
Args like Warming good / Recession good / death good; if warming is good bc it’s great for that one species of phytoplankton, tell me why that phytoplankton is key in comparison to the climate conditions of others; i.e., incremental warming is what's happening now, incrementalism is good) Same for like death good; it's gotta be like "we need to reorient how we see death" otherwise, you're gonna be in for a rough time
K v K debates: probably my preferred debate, as long as you explain what's going on, I'm here to let you run your round and evaluate it how you want me to. These are really fun debates for me to become engaged in and one I love watching.
Case Debate / Turns: yee these are cool
Don't run K's
If you want to win, make sure to engage and best your opponents strongest offense
Stats on their own don't mean anything, show me that you understand the topic (logic > stats)
If you are going to base your case on some obscure top of case item, make it very clear why I should care about it
High speaks needs signposting
Hi! I'm Eesha, and I've been doing parli competitively for 3 (ish??) years now. I'll do my best to keep this short - I also agree with pretty much everything in Alden O'Rafferty's paradigm, if you want to take a look at that.
TLDR: don't be a jerk, interact with their arguments, weigh, explain everything, and tell me what to vote for. I don't care what you read, as long as everyone understands your arguments and can interact in the debate.
Me:I've been doing debate-y things since 7th grade, and still do an array - parli, MUN, HMC, mock trial, etc. I'm a junior at Aragon High School in California where I captain our fledgling parli team. Within parli, I've pretty much done everything - debated, judged, coached middle and high schoolers, I'm part of the NYPDL board, etc. I was trained as your classic Cali tech debater, and then became a NYPDL-er, so I'd say I'm fairly flay (mix of tech and lay).
General: Above all, be kind! This is just for fun, and at the end of the day none of your wins and losses matter, it's all about the learning.I care more about the HOW and the WHY as the what, so explain out your link chains and terminalize your impacts. In your rebuttals, write my ballot for me! Give me 2-3 clear voting issues, and weight your impacts. Signpost signpost SIGNPOST!!! Call the POOs! And if you POI, do not just take one of your arguments and try to phrase it as a question. Ask genuine questions. I also kind of detest framework debate - I get why it's important and I've been in many, but they usually get very messy very fast. To quote Sophie Rukin herself: "I hate abusive definitions. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT run abusive definitions".
East Coast:I need some sort of structure. Some people tend to read contentions like paragraphs, which is fine, but I really need you to tell me what's going on, and then the impacts, why it matters. Actually impact things out! And please for the love of god SIGNPOST.
West Coast: First of all, if you're reading this, I'm amazed someone convinced me to judge a west coast tournament. As a concept, I like theory and kritiks. I just have a lot of issues with how they're run. I was always told, don't run theory unless it's necessitated, and I live by that. If it's a kritik with no link to the round, or theory that's ridiculous and unnecessary, there's very little chance I will vote it, and I most likely won't give you great speaks. That being said, I think ks are really cool! If you can explain yours out simply, and everyone can interact with it, by all means, run it!
Style:Have fun! I love jokes and metaphors and silly little examples. I make bad jokes nobody laughs at in the majority of my rounds. I'm okay with speed if your opponent can keep up. If they call slow and you don't slow down, I'll be pretty annoyed, and will vote pretty quickly on justified speed theory.
I absolutely love debate, and I'm so excited you're debating. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me before the round!
to quote Alden - "IAM SO GLAD YOU ARE HERE! I AM SO GLAD YOU DO DEBATE!! YOU'RE GONNA DO GREAT AND LEARN SO MUCH!!"
Hi! I'm a previous Parli debater, now college student who does Ethics Bowl (kinda similar!) Be kind to each other, don't be overly technical for the sake of looking more competent, and don't spread. I don't love frivolous theory or Ks, but I understand that sometimes Ks and theory are genuinely needed.
Counterplans are great, but I don't love plan-inclusive counterplans — I won't reject them on that alone, but it seems difficult to have a productive interesting debate with them.
Try to take some POIs, I understand you can't take all of them, but one or two is more than reasonable.
Also, off-time road maps are kind of annoying, y'all.
My energy towards this whole thing is that one video of that Florida Sheriff where he's like, "Just chill out. Drink a 7Up. Eat a moon pie. Quit murdering people."
One time in a round this guy said to me that people in poverty should just stop taking vacations and save their money and then everything would be fine. Don't be that guy. <3
I have previously judged two tournaments. I am a practicing in-house attorney (non-litigator). I appreciate clear, well-reasoned, and well-supported arguments, delivered calmly, respectfully and sincerely. I tend to favor quality and clarity over speed and quantity. Thank you, and have fun!
My name is Eliot. I'm a Parli debater first, so if I'm judging some other event than this paradigm may be less useful. I would attempt to make this more entertaining, but it would probably be a copy of one of these great paradigms (that I happen to generally agree with) so I'll just keep it short.
Generally, I'm truth > tech. Parli should be a space where anyone can win a round if they make good arguments. As long as you don't make debate inaccessible, or act like a terrible person, then you're probably fine!
Some other general points:
- Tell me what the resolution is, what what you're actually talking about
- Please don't run unnecessary theory
- Evidence on it's own doesn't actually mean anything. Use actual logic!
Hi, I'm Tom Hertenstein, a parent judge from the California Bay Area. I studied art history, physics and economics in college and currently work in marketing. At my job I often present technical material to novice groups, so I recognize the value of clear, moderately paced explanations. I also appreciate arguments that balance rigorous logic with a literary and engaging style. This is my first season of judging high school debate.
Please speak at a reasonable speed; I don't believe in privileging quantity over quality.
Arguments need to have both a claim and a warrant
Try to avoid theory, empirically based arguments and abusive definitions
I am a parent judge, and I don't have that much experience judging so please bear with me. Make it clear where you are at within your speech, and give logical reasoning. I will vote off of whichever arguments convince me best, and have proper impacting. I am fine with whatever speaking style you are comfortable with, but try not to speak too fast.
I look forward to judging you!
I have been judging high school debate for several years, but I'm not super experienced in fancy debate terms so please articulate your arguments in a way I can understand.
My name is Gursimar Kaur, and I use she/her pronouns. I've been a parliamentary debater for 3 years at Berkeley High. I'll keep this short and simple:
a. Please avoid spreading as much as possible.
b. I'm fine with Kritiks/ theory, but if you're gonna run a K, make it good and worthwhile. I am not specifically enthusiastic about a debate where one side is running a pre-prepped K or making the entire debate round about theory. Try avoiding it if possible.
c. I'm open to counter plans and perms.
d. Don't be the debater that throws out a statistic in every other sentence. If you are using evidence, make sure you link it to your case and it's meaningful (don't just throw it out in the space and expect everyone to go with it). Don't expect evidence alone to win you the round.
e. Organization will help everyone in the round, so be organized. If you notice yourself fumbling in a speech, remember that you are allowed to pause, collect your thoughts, and then continue. I'm decently patient with pauses but it's up to you how you pace yourself.
f. POIs and POOs are good debate tools, make use of them. But abusing these tools will not help you win the round.
Have fun debating. I think debate is an educational experience and a worthwhile debate round is one where everyone walks out of the room having learned something. Be kind to your opponents (and everyone else)!!! Good luck with your rounds; slay :>
I have no previous debating experience. Please speak slowly, clearly, and avoid using jargons.
Canadian judge with experience in BP, CP, Parli, WSS and CrX. Preference for analysis/warranting, impacts, weighing and strategy over lists of examples. No strong preferences for speaking style or speech format.
I am new to judging. Please keep track of your timings. I would like you to talk slowly so that I can follow.
please be respectful!
I am a parent judge. Please do not use jargon and no running Kritik's or theory.
Debate, IE & Related Experience – Policy debate and extemp in high school. Policy debate during first two years of college, and then IE (extemp, impromptu, persuasive, informative) during last two years of college. Taught public speaking classes to undergraduates while attending law school. Civil litigation attorney having done numerous depositions and trials as well as many pre-trial, trial and appellate arguments.
Judging Experience – Prior to the last two years, judged IE at some state & NSDA district tournaments. In the last two years, have judged at over a dozen (mostly parliamentary debate and a few IE) tournaments throughout the country.
Behavior – Competitors should treat each other fairly and with courtesy and respect at all times.
Speed – While I do have experience participating in and flowing “spread” policy debate, my preference is for -- at most -- a relatively quick but still conversational pace. Anything faster seriously risks detracting from persuasion and comprehension.
Arguments -- One strong and well-developed argument may outweigh multiple other arguments = generally favor quality over quantity. Using metaphors and other imagery (and even sometimes a bit of well-placed humor) may strengthen your arguments. Effective weighing in the rebuttal speeches may often affect the decision.
Roadmaps And Signposting – Pre-speech roadmaps tend to be heavy on jargon and of limited use. In-speech signposting, however, can significantly facilitate the effective presentation and transition of arguments.
Points Of Information – While I value the potential impact that POIs may have, I do not have any minimum number of POIs which need to be asked or answered. I would prefer though that at least the first 1-2 reasonable POIs -- if asked -- be responded to briefly at or relatively near to the time of asking, as opposed to refusing to take any POIs or vaguely promising to respond later “if there is time.”
Points Of Order – A POO is necessary if you want me to consider whether a new argument has been made in a rebuttal speech. After the POO pro/con argument has occurred, please plan to continue the rebuttal speech since it is unlikely that I would rule on the POO before the end of the speech.
I've judged parli for several years now.
Please enunciate and speak slower. Especially with debates online, sometimes I struggle to hear speeches properly when someone is talking fast.
Make sure you have logical arguments with clear reasoning that I can flow.
Do not try to run theory or kritiks.
I encourage POIs
I competed in policy debate for two years in high school (many, many years ago). I enjoy understanding various aspects of different policy issues, but am not likely to fully understand debaters who speak very quickly (English is my first language).
I prefer a few quality arguments (developed with various supporting points) over raw quantity of arguments. I would be sympathetic to a debater that does a good job addressing arguments, but does not address all opposing arguments because there are too many of them, especially if the opposing arguments were not well developed to begin with.
I tend to believe that more extraordinary claims (e.g. enacting a certain policy will lead to global nuclear war) requires more and better evidence to support such claims and might not be convinced by such claims if they are lightly supported (even if the other side does not adequately address the claims). Also, I do not believe that all quotes / pieces of evidence are of equal weight.
If the other side has crafted a meaningful argument by quoting evidence out of context, please let me know.
I will likely look unfavorably upon debaters who seem to be focusing on minor points. Basing your case on a mere technicality might make the case rather precarious.
While certain techniques such as trying to change the resolution through Kritik might seem clever, I tend to view them as unsportsmanlike and I will likely feel free to ignore such attempts (especially trying to change the resolution).
While I think that roadmaps are helpful, I like to start the time when you speak. So, even if you claim an "off-time roadmap," your time might have already started.
I founded Able2Shine, a public speaking company. And I have only judged a few debates this year but love the activity. And I want a clear communication round with no speed.
Debate is the best game ever invented and we are all lucky to play it.
My name is Mat Marr and I am the Director of Forensics for Able2Shine and manager of the BASIS Fremont team.
Background: I debated policy in high school for three years including nationals. I qualified for nationals all four years in Foreign Extemp. I switched to LD my senior year and qualified for Tournament of Champions after a strong season on the national circuit. In college my partner and I broke at Parli nationals as freshmen. (Summary, I was decent at debate 20 years ago, but not the best, and I have some experience with all the styles but from judging and coaching in recent years and I am enjoying how debate is evolving.)
I try to be a pure flow judge. I don't flow CX.
Make sure you tell me where to record your arguments and use numbering, so I can track them. Be clear and direct in your refutations to your opponents arguments.
I have no strong biases for or against certain arguments (as a judge). That also means I do not assume impacts, such as topicality being a voter, unless argued in round. Tell me why your arguments are superior in reasoning and/or evidence.
I am fine with speed within reason but think its tactical value is limited.
Most importantly remember what a privilege it is to be able to spend our time debating and treat each other with respect. Thus, please be polite, inclusive and friendly and make the most of the opportunity to debate the important issues in a safe and supportive environment.
Good skill and have fun.
Specific event notes:
Parli- Please take a few questions in each constructive speech.
ToC Parli- I will not protect against new arguments in rebuttal if you choose not to use your point of order. I will vote for any well-argued position but generally enjoy topic specific policy debates.
Public Forum- Feel free to answer rebuttal as the second speech.
I am happy to discuss flows after rounds, find me and we can talk.
For email chains feel free to use my email : AshlandDebateTeam@gmail.com
Hello, I am a parent judge. Please speak slowly and make your arguments very clear. Please keep jargon to a minimum and make POIs and POOs as constructive as possible. Impacts and weighing are important, especially for third speakers. Good luck!
Hi, I'm S. Menon, a parent judge from Washington High School.
A good debater needs to ensure that the topic is properly introduced, with sufficient background information and useful definitions.
I would want a convincing case with:
- An approach to the debate in the context of a wider, real world discussion.
- Proper use of evidence to make a well-structured, clear argument
- Intellectual sophistication (sophisticated ideas/arguments NOT sophisticated words)
- Persuasiveness, passion and animation (as opposed to aggression)
- Relevant questions to opposition
- Addressing the weaknesses in the opposition's arguments with evidence
- Response to all arguments and clear refutations
- Intellectual flexibility to respond to different lines of argument instead of continual re-emphasis of one point
- Appropriate body language
- Volume and diction; do not talk too softly or too fast
- Courtesy and politeness to the other side
What I do not enjoy and appreciate in a debate are....
- Aggression or bullying (Passion and animation are good. Aggression not so much).
- Unnecessarily large words; these do not prove intellectual sophistication and instead complicate the case
- Do not get so stuck arguing about the word choices of your opponent, that focus shifts away from arguments/evidence.
- Unnecessary use of POI's in the middle of the speech; use when necessary and only necessary. They distract not only your opponents but also the judge's train of thoughts.
- I do not like to hear statements that start with words like "We will win this debate because...", "Our argument is better because" etc.
I am a lay judge, so I would appreciate it if the debaters used as little theory as possible. I will accept theory if I deem it necessary and it is clearly explained to me.
Currently Head Coach at Campbell Hall (CA)
Formerly Head Coach of Fairmont Prep (CA), Ransom Everglades (FL) & Pembroke Hill (MO), and Assistant Coach for Washburn Rural (KS), and Lake Highland (FL).
Coached for 20 years – Have coached all events. Have coached both national circuit policy & PF. Also I have a J.D., so if you are going to try to play junior Supreme Court Justice, please be reasonably accurate in your legal interpretations.
Address for the email chain: email@example.com
Scroll down for Policy or Parli Paradigm
Public Forum Paradigm
- If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in every speech, beginning with the 2nd Rebuttal. That includes defensive case attacks, as well as unanswered link chains and impacts on your own case.
- Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to a utilitarian offense/defense paradigm.
- Send speech docs in a timely fashion BEFORE you give any speech in which you introduce new evidence. If you don't, I will be sad, any time you take finding ev will be free prep for your opponents, and the max speaks you will be able to earn from me will be 28. If you do send docs I will be happy and the lowest speaks you will earn will be 28. This only applies to varsity teams.
- Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case. This should start in the 2nd Rebuttal.
- No new cards in 2nd Summary. No new cards in 1st Summary unless directly in response to new 2nd Rebuttal arguments.
- I'm OK w/ theory - IF IT IS DONE WELL. Read below for specific types of arguments.
1. Summary extension
If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in the summary. Yes, that includes defense & turns from the rebuttal. Yes, that includes conceded link chains and impacts. And that doesn't just mean "extend my links and impacts." That doesn't do it. You need to explicitly extend each of the cards/args you will need to make a cohesive narrative at the end of the round. If you want to go for it in the FF, make sure your partner knows to extend it. Even if it is the best argument I’ve ever heard, failure to at least mention it in the summary will result in me giving the argument zero weight in my decision. Basically, too many 2nd speakers just ignore their partner’s summary speech. Attempting to extend things that were clearly dropped in the Summary will result in a lowering of speaker points for the 2nd speaker. This is # 1 on my list for a reason. It plays a major factor in more than half of my decisions. Ignore this advice at your own peril.
1A. 2nd Rebuttal Rebuild
Everything I just said about Summary also goes for 2nd Rebuttal. Anything you want me to evaluate at any later point in the round needs to be mentioned/extended in 2nd Rebuttal. That includes extending / rebuilding the portions of your case you want me to weigh at the end, even those that were not addressed by your opponents in the first Rebuttal. For example: 1st Rebuttal just answers your links on C1. You not only need to rebuild whatever C1 links you want me to evaluate at the end of the round, but you also need to explicitly extend your impacts you are claiming those links link to in at least a minimum of detail. Just saying" extend my impacts" will be unlikely to cut it. At least try to reference both the argument and the card you want me to extend. And, yes, I know this means you won't be able to cover as much in 2nd Rebuttal. Make choices. That's what this event is all about.
2. Offense defense
Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to a utilitarian offense/defense paradigm. Just going for defensive response to the the opposing case in FF won’t be persuasive in front of me. Additionally, I am open to non-traditional framing arguments (e.g. rights, ontology, etc), but you will need to have some pretty clear warrants as to why I should disregard a traditional net offensive advantage for the other team when making my decision.
3. Send Speech Docs with the cut cards your are about to read before your speech
This is the expected norm in both Policy and LD, and it is time for PF to grow up as well. I am tired of wasting 15+ min per round while kids look for cards that they should have ready as part of their blocks and/or cases to share, and just paraphrasing stuff without the cut card readily available. To combat these bad practices, I choose to adopt two incentives in varsity rounds to have debaters use speech docs like every other legitimate form of debate.
First, if you do not send a speech doc w/ all the cards you are about to read in that next speech to the email chain in a timely fashion (less than a minute or two) before you begin any speech in which you read cards, I will cap your speaker points at 28, with a starting point for average speaks at 27. If you do send a speech doc with the cut cards you are about to read in order, I will guarantee that the lowest speaks you receive will be a 28, with a starting point for average speaks at 29. If you don't have this ready before the round, or can't get it ready in a minute or so before each speech, don't waste time trying. It defeats the part of the purpose aimed to speed up rounds and prevent tournaments from running behind because kids can't find their evidence. Just accept that your speaks will be capped, learn from it, and put together your cases and blocks more ethically for next time. Two caveats to this general rule: 1) the obvious allowance for accidentally missing the occasional card due to honest error, 2) if you engage in offensive behavior/language/etc that would otherwise justify something lower than a 25, providing a speech doc will not exempt you from such a score.
Second, I will utilize the approach that has been used in the past at the TOC, where teams are free to prep while the other team is searching for the evidence that they have been requested to share and should already have available, and that time will NOT count against the requesting team's 3:00 of prep. If you read this and can figure out how to use it to your advantage, more power to you.
Basically, I won't require you to provide speech docs, but I will use these two measures to incentivize their use in the strongest possible way I feel I reasonably can. This hopefully will both speed up rounds and simultaneously encourage more transparency and better overall evidence quality. If you don't like this, strike me.
4. Narrow the round
It would be in your best interest to narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key turns on your opponents’ case, and then spend most of your time doing impact comparisons on those issues. Going for all 3 contentions and every turn you read in rebuttal is a great way to lose my ballot. If you just extend everything, you leave it up to me to evaluate the relative important of each of your arguments. This opens the door for judge intervention, and you may not like how I evaluate those impacts. I would much rather you do that thought process for me. I routinely find myself voting for the team that goes all in on EFFECTIVE impact framing on the issue or two they are winning over the team that tries to extend all of their offensive arguments (even if they are winning most of them) at the expense of doing effective impact framing. Strategic choices matter. Not making any choices is a choice in itself, and is usually a bad one.
5. No new cards in Summary, unless they are in direct response to a new argument brought up in the immediately prior speech.
1st Summary: If you need to read cards to answer arguments first introduced in opponents case, those needed to be read in 1st Rebuttal, not 1st Summary. Only if 2nd Rebuttal introduces new arguments—for example a new impact turn on your case—will I evaluate new cards in the 1st Sum, and only to specifically answer that new 2nd Rebuttal turn. Just please flag that your are reading a new card, and ID exactly what new 2nd Rebuttal argument you are using it to answer.
2nd Summary: Very rarely, 2nd summary will need to address something that was brought up new in 1st summary. For example, as mentioned above, 2nd Rebuttal puts offense on case. 1st Summary might choose to address that 2nd Rebuttal offense with a new carded link turn. Only in a case like that will I evaluate new evidence introduced into 2nd Summary. If you need to take this route, as above in 1st Summary, please flag exactly what argument you say was new in the 1st Summary you are attempting to answer before reading the new card.
In either case, unless the prior speech opened the door for you, I will treat any new cards in Summary just like extending things straight into FF & ignoring the summary—I won’t evaluate them and your speaker points will take a hit. However, new cross-applications of cards previously introduced into the round ARE still OK at this point.
5A. No new cross-applications or big-picture weighing in Final Focus.
Put the pieces together before GCF - at least a little bit. This includes weighing analysis. The additional time allotted to teams in Summary makes it easier to make these connections and big-picture comparisons earlier in the round. Basically, the other team should at least have the opportunity to ask you about it in a CF of some type. You don't have to do the most complete job of cross-applying or weighing before FF, but I should at least be able to trace its seed back to some earlier point in the round.
I will, and am often eager to, vote on debate theory arguments. But proceed with caution. Debaters in PF rarely, if ever, know how to debate theory well enough to justify voting on it. But I have seen one or two rounds recently that give me some hope for the future.
Regarding practices, there is a strategic utility for reading theory even if you are not going for it. I get that part of the game of debate, and am here for it. But if you think you want me to actually vote on it, and it isn't just a time suck, I would strongly encourage that you collapse down to just theory in the 2nd Rebuttal/1st Summary in a similar fashion that I would think advisable in choosing which of your substance-based impact scenarios to go for. Theory isn't the most intuitive argument, and is done poorly when it is blippy. If it is a bad practice that truly justifies my disregarding substantive arguments, then treat it like one. Pick a standard and an impact story and really develop it in both speeches AND IN GCF in the similar way you should develop a link story and impact from your substantive contention. Failing to collapse down will more than likely leave you without sufficient time to explain your abuse story and voter analysis in such a way that it is compelling enough for me to pull the trigger. If you are going to do it (and I'm good with it if you do), do it well. Otherwise, just stick to the substance.
My leanings on specific types of theory arguments:
Fiat – For policy resolutions, until the “no plans” rule is changed, PF is essentially a whole-resolution debate, no matter how much teams would like for it to be policy. That means the resolution is is the plan text. Thus, if teams want to exclusively advocate a specific subset(s) of the resolution, they need to provide some warrants as to why their specific subset(s) of the resolution is the MOST LIKELY form the resolution would take if it were adopted. Trying to specify and only defend a hyper-specific example(s) of the resolution that is unlikely to occur without your fiat is ridiculously abusive without reading a plan text, and makes you a moving target – especially when you clarify your position later in the round to spike out of answers. Plan texts are necessary to fiat something that is unlikely to happen in the status quo in order to create a stable advocacy. Basically, in my mind, “no plans” = “no fiat of subsets of the resolution.” Also, please don't try to fiat things in a fact-based resolution (hint, it's probably not a policy resolution if it doesn't look like "Actor X should do Thing Y").
Multiple conditional advocacies – Improbable fiated advocacies are bad enough, but when teams read multiple such advocacies and then decide “we’re not going for that one” when the opposing team puts offense on it is the zenith of in-round abuse. Teams debating in front of me should continue to go for their unanswered offensive turns against these “kicked” arguments – I will weigh them in the round, and am somewhat inclined to view such practices as a voter if substantial abuse is demonstrated by the offended team. If you start out with a 3-prong fiated advocacy, then you darn well better end with it. Severance is bad. If teams are going to choose to kick out of part of their advocacy mid-round, they need to effectively answer any offense on the "to-be-kicked" parts first.
Paraphrasing - I tend to come down strongly on the side of having cut cards available. This doesn't mean I will automatically vote for paraphrasing theory, as I think there is room for a conceivably viable counter-interp of having the cards attached to blocks/cases or something similar. But blatant, unethical, and lazy paraphrasing has, at times, really threatened the integrity of this activity, and it needs to stop. This is the way to do that.
Trigger Warning - I am not your guy for this. I'm not saying I won't vote on it, but it would be an uphill battle.
Disclosure - Disclosure is good. My teams do it, and I think you should too. It makes for better debates, and the Wiki is an invaluable tool for small squads with limited resources and coaching. I speak from experience, having coached those types of small squads in policy against many of the juggernaut programs with armies of assistants cutting cards. Arguments about how it is somehow unfair to small teams make little sense to me. That being said, I don't think the lack of disclosure is as serious of a threat to the integrity of PF as the bad paraphrasing that at one point was rampant in the activity. Disclosure is more of a strongly suggested improvement, as opposed to an ethical necessity. But if the theory arg is run WELL, I will certainly vote on it.
If you want me to evaluate an argument or card, it needs to be in a speech. Just mentioning it in CF is not sufficient. You can refer to what was said in CF in the next speech, and that will be far more efficient, but it doesn’t exist in my mind until I hear it in a speech. Honestly, I'm probably writing comments during CF anyway, and am only halfway listening. That being said, I am NOT here for just not doing cross (usually GCF) and instead taking prep. Until the powers that be get rid of it, we are still doing GCF. Instead of just not wanting to do it, get better at it. Make it something that I should listen to.
8. Evidence citations
You should probably read the citations according to whatever the NSDA says, but I’m not likely to vote on any irregularities (e.g. no date of access) unless the abuses are proven to be especially egregious and substantive in the round.
9. Speaker points
See my policy on Speech Docs. If I were not making the choice to institute that policy, the following reflects my normal approach to speaks, and will still apply to how I evaluate within the 25-28 non-speech doc range, and within the 28-30 speech doc range. My normal reference point for “average” is 27.5. That’s where most everyone starts. My default is to evaluate on a scale with steps of 0.1, as opposed to steps of 0.5. Below a 25 means you did something offensive. A true 30.0 in HS debate (on a 0.1 scale) doesn’t exist. It is literally perfect. I can only think of 3 times I have ever given out a 29.6 or higher, and each of them were because of this next thing. My points are almost exclusively based on what you say, not how you say it. I strongly value making good, strategic choices, and those few exceptional scores I’ve given were all because of knowing what was important and going for it / impact framing it, and dumping the unnecessary stuff in the last half of the round.
10. Ask for additional thoughts on the topic
Even if you’ve read this whole thing, still ask me beforehand. I may have some specific thoughts relating to the topic at hand that could be useful.
Notice how I didn't say anything about that above, even though it's the first questions like half of kids ask? Basically, yes, I can handle your blazing speed. But it would still probably be a good idea to slow it down a little, Speed Racer. Quality > quantity. However, if you try to go fast and don't give a speech doc with cut cards before you start speaking, I will be very, VERY unhappy. The reason why policy teams can go as fast as they do is that they read a tag, which we as the audience can mentally process and flow, and then while they are reading the cite/text of the card, we have time to finish flowing the tag and listen for key warrants. The body of the card gives us a beat or two to collect ourself before we have to figure out what to write next. Just blitzing through cards without a tag (e.g. "Smith '22 warrants...") doesn't give us that tag to process first, and thus we have to actively search for what to flow. By the time we get it down, we have likely already missed your next "card." So, if you are going to try to go faster than a broadly acceptable PF pace, please have tags, cards, and speech docs. And if you try to speed through a bunch of blippy paraphrased "cards" without a doc, don't be surprised when we miss several of your turns. Basically, there is a way to do it right. Please do it that way, if you are going to try to go fast.
I debated for 4 years in high school (super old-school, talk-pretty policy), didn't debate in college, and have coached at the HS level for 20 years. I am currently the Head Coach at Campbell Hall in Los Angeles, and previously was an Assistant Coach at Washburn Rural in KS, and head coach at Fairmont Prep in Anaheim, CA, Ransom Everglades School, in Miami, and The Pembroke Hill School in KCMO. However, I don't judge too many policy rounds these days, so take that into account.
Generally, do what you do, as long as you do it well, and I'll be happy. I prefer big-picture impact framing where you do the comparative work for me. In general, I will tend to default to such analysis, because I want you to do the thinking in the round, not me. My better policy teams in the past where I was Head Coach read a great deal of ontology-based Ks (cap, Heidegger, etc), and they often make some level of sense to me, but I'm far from steeped in the literature. I'm happy to evaluate most of the normal disads & cps, but the three general classes of arguments that I usually find less persuasive are identity-based strategies that eschew the topic, politics disads, and to a lesser degree, performance-based arguments. But if any of those are your thing, I would in general prefer you do your thing well than try and do something else that you just aren't comfortable with. I'll go with the quality argument, even if it isn't my personal favorite. I'm not a fan of over-reliance on embedded clash, especially in overviews. I'd rather you put it on the line-by-line. I'm more likely to get it down on my flow and know how to apply it that way, and that's the type of debating I'll reward with higher speaks. Please be sure to be clear on your tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks. Hard numbering/”And’s” are appreciated, and if you need to, go a little slower on those tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks to be sure they are clear, distinct, and I get them. Again, effort to do so will be rewarded with higher speaks.
I generally think affs should have to defend the topic, and actually have some sort of plan text / identifiable statement of advocacy. There are very few "rules" of debate, thus allowing tons of leeway for debaters to choose arguments. But debating the topic is usually a pretty good idea in my mind, as most issues, even those relating to the practices and nature of our activity and inclusion therein, can usually still be discussed in the context of the topic. I rather strongly default to competing interpretations. I like to see T debates come down to specific abuse stories, how expanding or contracting limits functionally impacts competitive equity, and exactly what types of ground/args are lost/gained by competing interps (case lists are good for this in front of me). I usually buy the most important impact to T as fairness. T is an a priori issue for me, and K-ing T is a less than ideal strategy with me as your judge.
If you are going to go for it, go for it. I am unlikely to vote either way on theory via a blippy cheap-shot, unless the entire argument was conceded. But sometimes, for example, condo bad is the right strategic move for the 2AR. If it's done well, I won't hesitate to decide a round on it. Not a fan of multiple conditional worlds. With the notable exception of usually giving epistemology / ontology-based affs some flexibility on framework needing to come before particulars of implementation, I will vote Neg on reasonable SPEC arguments against policy affs. Affs should be able to articulate what their plan does, and how it works. (Read that you probably ought to have a plan into that prior statement, even if you are a K team.) For that reason, I also give Neg a fair amount of theoretical ground when it comes to process CPs against those affs. Severance is generally bad in my mind. Intrinsicness, less so.
Personally, I think a lot of the standard CPs are, in any type of real world sense, ridiculous. The 50 states have never worked together in the way envisioned by the CP. A constitutional convention to increase funding for whatever is laughable. An XO to create a major policy change is just silly (although over the last two administrations, that has become less so). All that being said, these are all legit arguments in the debate world, and I evaluate and vote on them all the time. I guess I just wish Affs were smart enough to realize how dumb and unlikely these args actually are, and would make more legit arguments based on pointing that out. However, I do like PICs, and enjoy a well thought out and deployed advantage CP.
Most topic-related disads are fine with me. Pretty standard on that. Just be sure to not leave gaping holes / assumptions in your link chains, and I'm OK. However, I generally don't like the politics disad. I would much rather hear a good senator specific politics scenario instead of the standard “President needs pol cap, plan’s unpopular” stuff, but even then, I'm not a fan. I'll still vote for it if that's what is winning the round, but I may not enjoy doing so. Just as a hint, it would be very easy to convince me that fiat solves for most politics link stories (and, yes, I understand this places me in the very small minority of judges), and I don't see nearly as much quality ground lost from the intrinsic perm against politics as most. Elections disads, though, don't have those same fiat-related issues, and are totally OK by me.
I don’t read the lit much, but in spite of that, I really kind of like most of the more "traditional" ontological Ks (cap, security, Heidegger, etc). To me, Ks are about the idea behind the argument, as opposed to pure technical proficiency & card dumping. Thus, the big picture explanation of why the K is "true," even if that is at the expense of reading a few more cards, would be valuable. Bringing through line-by-line case attacks in the 2NR to directly mitigate some of the Aff advantages is probably pretty smart. I think Negs set an artificially high burden for themselves when they completely drop case and only go for the K in the 2NR, as this means that they have to win 100% access to their “Alt solves the case” or framework args in order for the K to outweigh some super-sketchy and ridiculous, but functionally conceded, extinction scenario from the 1AC. K's based in a framework strategy tend to be more compelling in front of me than K's that rely on the alt to actually solve something (because, let's be honest here - they rarely do). Identity-related arguments are usually not the most compelling in front of me, and I tend to buy strategic attacks against them from the left as more persuasive than attacks from the right.
I understand that some teams are unbalanced in terms of skill/experience, and that's just the way it goes sometimes. I've coached many teams like that. But I do like to see if both debaters actually know what they are talking about. Thus, your speaks will probably go down if your partner is answering all of your cross-ex questions for you. It won’t impact my decision (I just want to know the answers), but it will impact speaks. Same goes for oral prompting. That being said, I am inclined to give a moderate boost to the person doing the heavy lifting in those cases, as long as they do it respectfully.
Parli is not my primary debate background, so I likely have an atypical paradigm for a parli judge that is influenced by my experiences coaching policy and circuit PF. Please adapt accordingly if you want to win my ballot.
First, I honestly don't care how you sound. I care about the arguments you make. Please, don't read that as an immediate excuse to engage in policy-style spreading (that level of speed doesn't translate super well to an event that is entirely analytics and doesn't have cards), but I will likely be more accustomed to and be able to handle debates that are faster than most of the HS parli rounds I have seen to date.
Two general things that I find annoying and unnecessary: 1) Introducing yourself at the top of each speech. I know who you are. Your name is on the ballot. That's all I need. This just seems to be an unnecessary practice designed to turn an 8 minute speech into a 7:30 speech. Forget the formalities, and just give me the content, please. 2) I don't need a countdown for when you start. We aren't launching a rocket into space or playing Mario Kart. Just start. I am a sentient enough being to figure out to hit the button on my timer when you begin talking.
I'll go speech by speech.
1st Gov: Spending the first minute or so explaining the background of the topic might be time well spent, just to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Please, if you have a contention-level argument, make sure it has some kind of terminal impact. If it isn't something that I can weigh at the end of the round, then why are you making the argument?
1st Opp: Same as above re: terminal impacts in case. Any refutations to the Aff case you would like me to evaluate at the end of the round need to be in this speech. That means you probably shouldn't get to the Aff case with only a minute or two left in the speech. If your partner attempts to make new refutations to the Aff case in the 2nd Opp, I won't evaluate them.
2nd Gov: Similar to the 1st Opp, any parts of your case that you want me to consider when making my decisions need to be explicitly extended in this speech. That includes all essential parts of an argument - link, internal link, and impact. Just saying "extend my Contention 2" is insufficient to accomplish this task. You will actually need to spend at least a modicum of time on each, in order for me to flow it through, in addition to answering any refutations that Opp has made on it in the prior speech. Considering that you will also need to spend some time refuting the Neg's newly introduced case, this means that you will likely NOT have time to extend all of your contentions. That's fine. Make a choice. Not all contentions are equally good. If you try to go for everything, you will likely not do anything well enough to make a compelling argument. Instead, pick your best one (or maybe two) and extend, rebuild, and impact it. Prioritizing arguments and making choices is an essential analytical skill this activity should teach. Making decisions in this fashion will be rewarded in both my decision-making at the end of the round, as well as in speaker points.
Opp Block: If you want me to evaluate any arguments in the these speeches, I need to be able to trace the responses/arguments back to the 1st Opp, except if they are new answers to case responses that could only have been made in the the 2nd Gov. For example, 2nd Gov makes refutations to the Opp's case. New responses to these arguments will be evaluated. However, to reiterate, I will absolutely NOT evaluate new refutations to Gov case in these speeches. Just as with the 2nd Gov, I also strongly advocate collapsing down to one contention-level impact story from your case and making it the crux of your narrative about how the debate should be decided. Trying to go for all three contentions you read in the 1st Gov is a great way to not develop any of those arguments well, and to leave me to pick whatever I happen to like best. I don't like judge intervention, which is why I want you to make those decisions for me by identifying the most important impact/argument on your side and focusing your time at the end of the round on it. Do my thinking for me. If you let me think, you may not like my decision.
Both Rebuttals: Listing a bunch of voters is a terrible way to debate. You are literally just giving me a menu of things I could vote on and hoping that I pick the one you want. You would be much better served in these speeches to focus in on one key impact story, and do extensive weighing analysis - either how it outweighs any/all of the other side's impacts, or if it is a value round, how it best meets the value framing of the debate. As I stated in the Opp Block section, please, do my thinking for me. Show that you can evaluate the relative worth of different arguments and make a decision based upon that evaluation. Refusing to do so tells me you have no idea which of your arguments is superior to the others, and thus you do not have a firm grasp on what is really happening in the round. Be brave. Make a choice. You will likely be rewarded for it. Also, there is very little reason to POO in these speeches. I keep a good enough flow to know when someone is introducing new arguments. If it is new, I won't evaluate it. I don't need you to call it out. I largely find it annoying.
I am a lay judge and try to look for the logic in points. I strongly prefer you to talk slowly and thoroughly explain your points. Please signpost and let me know when you’re starting a new point. DEFINE EVERYTHING, keep the debate simple to understand, and define any key terms. Try to avoid excessively large words. Stay on case and impact and let me know why your points matter.
Have judged a few rounds, but not much experience. Stay organized and have good impacts.
Call me judge
About Me:New to judging, not new to debating. Junior at Monrovia High School.
- If you can help it, try not to speak too fast, my handwriting tends to get bad under pressure.
- To win, have an effective argument that gets to the heart of the issue and refutes all your opponent's points
- If your opponent doesn't understand a POI, don't assume I do
- Have fun and learn!
Current: Bishop O'Dowd HS
Questions left unanswered by this document should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
tl;dr: Don't read conditional advocacies, do impact calculus, compare arguments, read warrants, try to be nice
It is highly unlikely you will ever convince me to vote for NET-Spec, Util-spec, basically any theory argument which claims it's unfair for the aff to read a weighing method. Just read a counter weighing method or a critique of net benefits.
I think the most important thing for competitors to remember is that while debate is a competitive exercise it is supposed to be an educational activity and everyone involved should act with the same respect they desire from others in a classroom.
Speaks: You start the debate at 27.5 and go up or down from there. If you do not take a question in the first constructive on your side after the other team requests a question I will top your speaks at 26 or the equivalent.
Don't call points of order, I protect teams from new arguments in the rebuttals. If you call a point of order I will expect you to know the protocol for adjudicating a POO.
I don't vote on unwarranted claims, if you want me to vote for your arguments make sure to read warrants for them in the first speech you have the opportunity to do so.
I try to keep my judging paradigm as neutral as possible, but I do believe debate is still supposed to be an educational activity; you should assume I am not a debate argument evaluation machine and instead remember I am a teacher/argumentation coach. I think the debaters should identify what they think the important issues are within the resolution and the affirmative will offer a way to address these issues while the negative should attempt to show why what the aff did was a bad idea. This means link warranting & explanation are crucial components of constructive speeches, and impact analysis and warrant comparison are critical in the rebuttals. Your claims should be examined in comparison with the opposing teams, not merely in the vacuum of your own argumentation. Explaining why your argument is true based on the warrants you have provided, comparing those arguments with what your opponents are saying and then explaining why your argument is more important than your opponents' is the simplest way to win my ballot.
Speaker points (what is your typical speaker point range or average speaker points given)?
My baseline is 27.5, if you show up and make arguments you'll get at least that many points. I save scores below 27 for debaters who are irresponsible with their rhetorical choices or treat their opponents poorly. Debaters can improve their speaker points through humor, strategic decision-making, rhetorical flourish, SSSGs, smart overviewing and impact calculus.
How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be “contradictory” with other negative positions?
I approach critically framed arguments in the same way I approach other arguments, is there a link, what is the impact, and how do the teams resolve the impact? Functionally all framework arguments do is provide impact calculus ahead of time, so as a result, your framework should have a role of the ballot explanation either in the 1NC or the block. Beyond that, my preference is for kritiks which interrogate the material conditions which surround the debaters/debate round/topic/etc. as opposed to kritiks which attempt to view the round from a purely theoretical stance since their link is usually of stronger substance, the alternative solvency is easier to explain and the impact framing applies at the in-round level. Ultimately though you should do what you know; I would like to believe I am pretty well read in the literature which debaters have been reading for kritiks, but as a result I'm less willing to do the work for debaters who blip over the important concepts they're describing in round. There are probably words you'll use in a way only the philosopher you're drawing from uses them, so it's a good idea to explain those concepts and how they interact in the round at some point.
Affirmative kritiks are still required to be resolutional, though the process by which they do that is up for debate. T & framework often intersect as a result, so both teams should be precise in any delineations or differences between those.
Negative arguments can be contradictory of one another but teams should be prepared to resolve the question of whether they should be contradictory on the conditionality flow. Also affirmative teams can and should link negative arguments to one another in order to generate offense.
Performance based arguments
Teams that want to have performance debates: Yes, please. Make some arguments on how I should evaluate your performance, why your performance is different from the other team's performance and how that performance resolves the impacts you identify.
Teams that don't want to have performance debates: Go for it? I think you have a lot of options for how to answer performance debates and while plenty of those are theoretical and frameworky arguments it behooves you to at least address the substance of their argument at some point either through a discussion of the other team's performance or an explanation of your own performance.
To vote on topicality I need an interpretation, a reason to prefer (standard/s) and a voting issue (impact). In round abuse can be leveraged as a reason why your standards are preferable to your opponents, but it is not a requirement. I don't think that time skew is a reverse voting issue but I'm open to hearing reasons why topicality is bad for debate or replicates things which link to the kritik you read on the aff/read in the 2AC. At the same time, I think that specific justifications for why topicality is necessary for the negative can be quite responsive on the question, these debates are usually resolved with impact calculus of the standards.
FX-T & X-T: For me these are most strategically leveraged as standards for a T interp on a specific word but there are situations where these arguments would have to be read on their own, I think in those situations it's very important to have a tight interpretation which doesn't give the aff a lot of lateral movement within your interpretation. These theory arguments are still a search for the best definition/interpretation so make sure you have all the pieces to justify that at the end of the debate.
Functional competition is necessary, textual competition is debatable, but I don't really think text comp is relevant unless the negative attempts to pic out of something which isn't intrinsic to the text. If you don't want to lose text comp debates while negative in front of me on the negative you should have normal means arguments prepared for the block to show how the CP is different from how the plan would normally be resolved. I think severence/intrinsic perm debates are only a reason to reject the perm absent a round level voter warrant, and are not automatically a neg leaning argument. Delay and study counterplans are pretty abusive, please don't read them in front of me if you can avoid it. If you have a good explanation for why consultation is not normal means then you can consider reading consult, but I err pretty strongly aff on consult is normal means. Conditions counterplans are on the border of being theoretically illegitimate as well, so a good normal means explanation is pretty much necessary.
Condo debates: On the continuum of judges I am probably closer to the conditionality bad pole than 99% of the rest of pool. If you're aff I think "contradictory condo bad" is a much better option than generic "condo bad". Basically if you can win that two (or more) neg advocacies are contradictory and extend it through your speeches I will vote aff.
In the absence of debaters' clearly won arguments to the contrary, what is the order of evaluation that you will use in coming to a decision (e.g. do procedural issues like topicality precede kritiks which in turn precede cost-benefit analysis of advantages/disadvantages, or do you use some other ordering)?
Given absolutely no impact calculus I will err towards the argument with the most warrants and details. For example if a team says T is a priori with no warrants or explanation for why that is true or why it is necessary an aff could still outweigh through the number of people it effects (T only effects the two people in the round, arguments about T spillover are the impact calc which is missing in the above explanation). What I'm really saying here is do impact calculus.
How do you weight arguments when they are not explicitly weighed by the debaters or when weighting claims are diametrically opposed? How do you compare abstract impacts (i.e. "dehumanization") against concrete impacts (i.e. "one million deaths")?
I err towards systemic impacts absent impact calculus by the debaters. But seriously, do your impact calculus. I don't care if you use the words probability, magnitude, timeframe and reversability, just make arguments as to why your impact is more important.
Cross-X: Please don't shout at each other if it can be avoided, I know that sometimes you have to push your opponents to actually answer the question you are asking but I think it can be done at a moderate volume. Other than that, do whatever you want in cross ex, I'll listen (since it's binding).
Hi I'm Elisandra (they/she) and I'm going to judge your round today:
- I am a varsity high school parliamentary debater at Berkeley High
New to judging- here are my general preferences:
- Statistics are meaningless without warranting, logic > numbers
- No K's
- Theory when necessary
- Tech over truth is a liberal lie /j
- Be kind and provide trigger warnings when discussing sensitive topics (insensitive or inappropriate arguments won’t be voted on as well.)
- Please don't spread, if you talk too fast and I can't understand your arguments I can't vote on them
- Limit the use of jargon, keep the debate accessible and educational
- I vote based on real impacts and well formulated points, if I don’t see the link I won’t automatically buy everything you say
- If you make me laugh you get higher speaks /j
If you have any questions feel free to ask me before or after the round- along with that feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Good luck beautiful debaters!!
Hi! I'm Gratia (she/her). I'm currently a sophomore at UCLA. I did parli at Bishop O'Dowd, where I competed for 4 years and coached novices as a junior and senior.
tldr: I'm down to evaluate any debate but am more familiar with theory and case than Ks. With that being said, I'll try my best to evaluate whatever debate you want to have.
You can read any arguments (as long as they're not racist, sexist, ableist, transphobic, or violent in any other way) but I can't promise that I'll know your lit base so explain them well. I love theory. Please use impact calc! Framing and layering are/should be your best friends. I love clean collapses. You can talk fast but please don't spread, it's been a while since I've really been involved in debate.
Debate is for YOU (the debaters) so I want you to have whatever debate you want. Please don't exclude your opponents or read harmful arguments in the process of doing so, but other than that I will listen to any debate. If your opponents say/do anything that makes you feel unsafe or is violent I am more than happy to do whatever I can to help.
If you have any questions about anything here or the round feel free to ask or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Please please please have warrants and explain why they're important, don't just read a quote. Be sure to do impact calc in your last speech AND tell me why I should prefer the impacts you have over the impacts your opponents have (ex: why magnitude matters more than probability or vice versa).
CPs are fine, but please spend time actually explaining them (don't just read the CP text and move on). I also love theory so I'm willing to listen to CP theory.
I love nuanced and specific link and internal link scenarios!! If you have some and use warrants within them I will be so grateful. I'm also a big fan of good brink scenarios.
By far my favorite argument as a debater, I'm willing to listen to any theory argument (some of my favorites to read were framework and no neg fiat if that gives any context). Please explain how you access fairness/education and do weighing within the theory debate!!
I default to competing interpretations and drop the debater unless you make arguments for something else. If you're going for reasonability please provide a brightline. I think RVIs are okay if you have sufficient justifications and can respond to your opponent's RVIs bad arguments.
I'm okay with conditionality but also willing to hear condo bad and vote on it if done well.
I am the least experienced with Ks but ran a few and hit a fair amount (and loved reading framework). I probably don't know much about your lit base (unless it's cap or set col) so you have to explain your arguments. That being said, I'm definitely willing to vote on Ks. Take questions!! None of us are going to have fun if the other team can't engage in the debate because they don't understand your argument. Ks and K lit can be confusing and isn't accessible to every team so if you don't take any of your opponents' questions I will give you low speaks (and I honestly probably have the same clarifying questions as your opponents).
I don't give speaks based on how "pretty" you speak, but rather based on your strategy. For example: if you have really great links in the PMC/LOC, cover your bases well in the MG, collapse well in the block, or give a clean collapse in the PMR, I will give you high speaks.
I will give low speaks if you don't slow/clear when asked, say anything violent/ offensive, or otherwise make the debate unsafe and inaccessible.
Lincoln Douglas debate notes: The comments below are written with policy in mind. But the principles apply. I would suggest reading the whole thing but specifically the parts on qualification of evidence, education and accessibility. What I hear and record by hand on my flow sheet is the official transcript of the debate.
IMPORTANT: These are my first NDT/CEDA rounds this year. (I'm contemplating grad schools in the mountain west for next year) Make sure acronyms, initialisms etc. are clear first before ripping through what will be new information for me. I suggest making sure each of your arguments (CP/K/DA - plan objection if you're old -) have a quick efficient thesis that makes sure I understand your position and its potential in the round before you take off speaking more quickly.
I have experience in just about all types of debate. While some distinctions between formats I see similarities rooted in intentional relationships, education and rhetoric. I do not see the judge as a blank slate. So I have some things that I think, based on my experiences as a debater, social science teacher, coach, parent and program director effect my role as a judge. We all have filters.
Personally, I debated NDT for the University of Houston in the early 80's. Achieving out rounds at major national tournaments and debating at both the NDT and CEDA Nationals. I have coached all debate events and many speech events. My policy teams won St. Marks and Memorial TOC tournaments and enjoyed success nationally. My students were also successful on Texas UIL and local circuits. I have had debate teams, LD debaters, extemp speakers and congress entries placed 1st or 2nd in Texas and have also coached a state oratory champion.
Currently, I consult and do debate on the side from home. I'm 62 years old. Concerns or questions about a judge that age are addressed below.
I am open to alternative approaches to resolutions but also enjoy frameworks employed in the past. Debating and coaching in Houston and teaching at the UTNIF for a decade definitely shaped my my ability to listen to different types of frameworks - or what the debate is supposed to mean or accomplish. I have coached at so many levels, for many years on different topics - instead of seeing differences I see many similarities in the way arguments are framed evolve. I debated when it was highly questionable to do anything beyond policy debate - even counterplans, much less conditional frameworks, but being from a small squad (in a different info environment - when access to research and evidence was definiteley privileged) we pursued the edge strategies - such as hypothesis testing to level the field. Coaching in policy we ran all range of arguments. Overtime shifting to a more critical approach. Once again in response, in part, to the changing information space. On an education topic we went deep all year on Critical Pedagogy and on a criminal justice - Constitutive Criminology. There are very few rules in debate. What policy debate means and what my vote means are for grabs by both teams. I'm not into labels at way to define myself. If I had to pick a term it would be: Critic of Argument
A couple of notes
Speed, unless evolution is really off track, speed can't be any faster, even from when we debated in college. Speed is rarely what set the best debaters apart. However, these are my first NDT rounds this year. (I'm contemplating grad schools in the mountain west for next year) Make sure acronyms, initialisms etc. are clear first before ripping through what will be new information for me. I suggest making sure each of you arguments (CP/K/DA - plan objection if you're old -) have a quick efficient thesis that makes sure I understand your position and its potential in the round before you take off speaking more quickly.
I evaluate your proofs. Proof is a broad term - much more than published material.
I consider evidence to be expert testimony. A type of proof. The debater who presents experts to support their claims should lay the predicate - explain why that source is relevant and qualified to be an expert - when they present the evidence. Quotations submitted as evidence with just a publication title or name and date often fall short of this standard. Generally I don't want to call for a card after the round whose author was not qualified when presented in constructives. I will call for evidence on contested points. However, usually the evidence has been well qualified by the team presenting it and the debaters are usually talking about lines and warrants from the card. It is highly unlikely that I call for card not talked about in rebuttals. I've seen traveling graduate students from England just dismantle top flight policy teams - they had proofs that all knew and accepted often with out some of the "debate tech" norms found in academic policy debate (NDT/CEDA). See the comments below on what matters in rebuttals!
Notes on Education
Spurious "quick claims" claims of a specific educational standard thrown out with out all elements of an argument are problematic. I am a life long educator who has witnessed and evolved with debate. Often teams quick claim Education as a voting issue. As an educator, I often see performance methodology (like only reading names and dates to qualify evidence or "card stacking" reading only the parts of a card that favor you - even if full context sheds a different light OR speed reading through post-modern literature as probably much more important than a debate tech argument) as serious education issues that could be discussed - and much more primary to education - than debate tech one offs.
I find "debate tech" like spreading and some uses of technology in round serve to privilege or tilt the playing field. This doesn't mean to slow to a crawl - fast and efficient - but also accessible to both the other team and the judge. So winning because the affirmative can't respond in depth to 8 off case arguments is not persuasive to me. Be bold - go deep on issues that you think are yours. "Debate Terms of Art" often fall in this category. Language choice should be accessible - even if it means adapting to your opponent as well as your judge.
Evidence often is not enough
Most debates aren't won early - the changing information space has created a lot of equity. But there two things debaters do in my experience in rebuttals that make a difference. After they have strategically collapsed or decided which issue to go for they:
1. They talk authors and specific warrants contained in the evidence - usually contrasting opposing authors and warrants. These warrants are prima facia - they are best when clearly identified - even in the opening speeches.
2. They can tell a narrative - or give examples of the mechanics, warrants, internal links in the card. They can also explain sequences of events - what would happen if I voted for your argument/position or team.
From an educators view - this is the goal of debate.
Counterplans and debate tech
Counterplan "micro theory" has really evolved. That is my term for many variations of counterplans that drive focus away from clash on the topic. Superficial, procedural and timing exceptions or additions counterplans. I actually spent time reviewing two articles on the history of PICs and their evolution prior to writing this. The excessive use of academic debate "Terms of Art" is problematic, sometimes exclusionary. I prefer head on collision in debate - and debaters who figure out how to position themselves for that debate. I prefer the debate come down to clash on field contextual issue as opposed to "side swiping" the topic. Just my preference.
I also find that this type of debate tech functions as a tool of exclusion. The debate should be accesable to your opponents without an overreliance of theory or tech debates. If they are used as time sucks that rubs me the wrong way going to your Ethos as a debater.
I do not and will not vote on or enforce a preround disclosure issue. Settle that before the round starts. Take it over my head if you object. If you ask me to adjudicate that - you might not like the answer.
How we treat each other
This is something that might trigger my voting in way you don't expect. Let's work on accomodating each other and creating safe spaces for academic discourse and the development of positive intentional relationships.
Sheela Pai. 10/22
I am a parent judge, but I do my best to understand and properly flow debaters’ arguments. I want to give everyone a fair chance in debate, based on the merit of their arguments and the delivery to me. I have a few requests and guidelines for you, as debaters.
I don't really buy the wholeIf You Give a Mouse a Cookie string of events, like offering AP classes in HS will lead college TAs to all end their lives. (not being disrespectful or flippant regarding suicide - this is an actual argument I have heard). I have heard so many prepackaged arguments about the most benign policy leading to mass poverty, poverty is cyclical, it takes seven years off your life, etc. If it is something that a reasonable person could see would lead to everyone falling into abject poverty, I would buy it, but I don't buy the overterminalizing. Funding playgrounds will not lead to nuclear war. Adding Finland and Sweden to NATO will not lead to extinction of humanity. (One really good, intelligent debater who was in the unfortunate circumstance of finding herself on the Opp side of an Aff skewed res in octos or quarters had to actually resort to that as a last ditch effort, and while I appreciate the endeavor, I could not buy it.)
Please don't be theory-happy. Use it only if other side has made an egregiously irrelevant or extratopical argument or interpretation. I feel like teams have gotten all too eager to use this and of all the theory shells that have been run by me, I have not found a single one compelling.
Please don’t lie or fabricate evidence. It’s better to lose a round for a lack of evidence than to lie your way to victory. The whole point of debate is to be educational to both sides of the argument and lying voids that altogether. Lying is cheating. It can get you in trouble. If I catch you lying, I will take appropriate action. Without lying, debate is much more enjoyable and fair for all parties.
Please signpost! Since I am new and rather inexperienced at flowing, signposting is very useful. Signposting allows me to be more organized. If you do so, I will be able to judge your debate more fairly, with more understanding of each argument.
Please be clear with every aspect of your arguments, from links and impacts to delivery. This helps me understand and judge the round properly.
I understand that non-speaking partners may need to support speakers when it is not the non-speaker's turn, but I find too many interruptions, constant and audible feeding of content, and taking over for the speaker to be irritating, distraction, and signs of poor preparation and lack of professionalism. At best, I will not flow or consider any content presented by team member when it is not their turn and at worst, I may dock you for it. If you must provide your speaking partner with your thoughts, please try to do so quietly, unintrusively, and if possible, non-verbally.
I take judging seriously, but am not power trippy. I am pretty relaxed and understand that you have put hard work into this tournament and into this round and have gotten up early to do it. I appreciate that. I think it's great that young people are doing this and you have my respect and admiration. I understand that it takes guts, even for more experience or less shy debaters. If you are new, I want to encourage you, so please do your best, but if you are struggling, I will not look down on you. Use these tournaments as learning opportunities to work on shedding inhibitions and becoming a stronger debater.
I write A LOT. I try to get down every word a speaker says, and thank goodness, because I have had to use my copious notes to decide whether an argument or stat was brought up previously when an opponent claims it was not! Since I am scribing away, I may not look up at you much or make eye contact. If I don't return your eye contact, please don't take it personally. I encourage you to look at the judge and at your opponents and audience since this is what is intended for a real life application of debate, such as in an actual parliamentary, political, or courtroom setting. Especially for those who are more shy or new, please take advantage of this smaller and perhaps less intimidating setting to practice making meaningful eye contact to help you in the future.
If I look at my phone during a round, I am not texting or playing 2048, as I most likely am every minute between rounds ;-) I am checking exact wording of a res, time, or something regarding the content. I take my judging duties very seriously and am always mentally present during rounds!
I appreciate you putting your time and energy into debate. I want to do my best as a judge to make it fair and enjoyable.
Run racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or other hateful arguments
Be overly invasive or picky with POIs (one novice debater used one in her first tournament to question the speaker about his discrepant use of 72% and 74% when referring multiple times to what portion of the US's cobalt imports come from China - c'mon. In this case it didn't warrant a POI.)
Speak too quickly for me or your counterparts to understand
- Be a jerk to your opponents, even (or especially) if they are struggling and especially if you are a stronger team/debater or older or more experienced. I appreciate that it takes guts to get up there and speak. If you snicker or smirk with your teammate or send (zoom) or write (in person) each other rude messages about the other team and share derisory laughs, I will go exothermic. I will let your coach, your school, and tournament directors know.
Follow the norms of Parliamentary Debate
- Feel free to remove your mask if tournament rules allow it
Have fun and not be overly aggressive
Thank your opponents
Be ready on time for the debate
Chill with jargon and technicalities, though if I find that the side arguing such things fails to properly lay a foundation with definitions and/or doesn't make it a voting issue in their final speech, I will most likely ignore it. Remember, jargon is not an explanation. I come into the round as a listener, not a fellow debater, so if you want to invoke jargon you must clearly define it as you would with a lay judge, otherwise I will not count it as a sufficient explanation toward whatever point you are making.
-I am friendly toward Theory if one side is making an abusive definition or unreasonable plan/CP, and I prefer it be limited to those instances.
-Please don't run Ks in Novice.
-No tag teaming. I will dock a full speaker point from members of a team anytime they do it.
-I will take every assertion made as the absolute truth until it is contested. I will accept "insufficient evidence" as an adequate response in the first four speeches (of course, if the other side did provide a sufficient warrant to their claim, they may simply point that out). I will not accept this as a response if it is first brought up in the Rebuttal speeches, and am happy to toss it out if the other side calls a Point of Order.
-The most important thing to remember is that it is the speaker's job to connect the dots between the arguments they're making and the conclusions they are drawing. I will not do it for you.
Above all be respectful, enjoy debate, and don't be afraid to lean into an argument you completely disagree with!
Hi, I'm Ethan (any pronouns), a sophomore parli debater with MVLA. This paradigm is parli specific, but most of this (especially the general & case debate sections) could apply to other events as well.
If you have any questions or want to add me to any email chains, my email is email@example.com.
I generally go Tech > Truth. This is your debate, feel free to run any kind of argument as long as they don't harm your opponents. If you read something egregiously offensive, I will drop you. Please signpost. It makes my job as a judge much easier if I can maintain a clean flow. If you're running something complicated or techy, make sure your opponents can understand it. If you feel like you're getting skewed out of the debate, make that known and I'll do my best to respond. If you got confused, talk to me after the round or email me and I can try my best to help you out.
Be respectful to everyone in the room. Don't run offensive or discriminatory arguments or I will drop you. If you attack your opponents or say anything sexist, racist, homophobic, etc., I will drop you.
I will buy just about any argument as long as they aren't offensive or complete misinformation. If I catch any obvious lies or made-up warrants, I will either drop you or lower your speaks. If I think it's an honest mistake, I will drop the argument at the very least.
On speed, I'm comfortable with just about anything. Go as fast as you'd like, but don't spread out your opponents. If your opponents call slow or clear, you should slow down. If your opponents are very clearly uncomfortable with your speed, I will dock your speaks. If your speed severely harms accessibility, my threshold for voting on any kind of accessibility argument (i.e. speed theory) will be on the floor.
Please time yourselves. I won't flow anything over time, and I will deduct speaks if you go over grace.
Tag-teaming is cool. Funny arguments are cool. I'm really just down for anything as a judge.
Please signpost. Make it clear to me when you're on uniqueness, links, or impacts. Bonus points if you make each subpoint clear.
You should be weighing as much as possible. If your opponent does some kind of weighing, respond to that. Meta-weighing or impact framing is also very much appreciated. Absent metaweighing, my default is usually to skew out any impacts with super low probabilities, regardless of the magnitude. I also default to preferring irreversible impacts, as long as the probability & strength of link is good enough.
In cases where impacts aren't analyzed or are accessed by both sides, I'm probably voting on strength of link. In that case, providing link-level comparisons, probability weighing, etc. will be very helpful in cleaning up the debate.
I love strategic plans and counter-plans. I know that it can be easier to default to res/squo, but running a strategic plan/cp will impress me as a judge. You should have a clear text and I'd love solvency arguments/comparative solvency arguments as well.
I grant offense on CPs as an argument of opportunity cost for the aff. This means I can and will vote on a strategic CP. This also means I don't default to giving neg fiat. As long as there's some level of probability analysis that the CP could happen that shouldn't be an issue though. I don't particularly like delay, consult, or other similar cps, but after seeing the topics at 2022 NPDI Open R4 and 2023 Nueva Open R5, I've started to become much more lenient on those kinds of "sketchy" CPs.
I'll evaluate just about anything, although I will be very harsh with friv theory. I've run friv a decent bit before, but If you're at a level where you're running friv theory, you shouldn't be in the novice pool.
I think theory can be very educational in novice debate, but only if it's run in a very clear and understandable way. You don't have to say stuff like apriori, just describe what it is and I'll self-translate on my flow. Just make it all understandable for other novices.
Please go through interp --> violation --> standards --> voters in order. If you are going out of order, please tell me that beforehand for the sake of my flow.
I will default to "drop the argument" unless you explain otherwise.
I usually dislike the RVI in JV. I usually like the RVI in novice. IVIs on the RVI can be funny if run well.
I see the K as a tool to increase accessibility in the round. You should not be using the K to skew your opponents out of the round. To do so goes completely against the purpose of the K.
I will not buy the K if I think you're just spewing jargon without properly understanding what you're reading. If I don't think you understand your K, you probably won't be winning on it. If I don't think your opponent understands your K, evaluation on education claims will be really difficult for me.
Read me in-depth solvency on the alt. Absent solvency, the K becomes almost strategically useless in terms of my evaluation.
I'm currently defaulting to T>K>Case since T/Theory affects how you interact with the K. That being said, I'm open to evaluating layering claims either way if they're made.
I flow POI answers. Please don't abuse the POI. If your opponents say to wait until the end of the contention, respect that.
Call the POO. I protect, but any articulation on why a particular argument is a violation will make my job way easier as a judge.
I grant both the PMR and LOR new meta-weighing, impact framing, and anything else that's not obviously new. I grant the PMR golden turns on anything new out of the block + any sketchy extensions out of the LOR.
Speaker points are really arbitrary in debate and I kind of hate them. Unfortunately, they do exist so here's my take on them. In general, you should get around a 27-28 if nothing crazy happens in round. Obviously speaks mostly come from impressive speaking style, but I will also boost speaks for any strategic arguments that impress me. Going egregiously over time or making problematic arguments will get your speaks docked (as previously stated). If you want to run 30 speaks theory, I might genuinely buy it if I'm feeling silly enough.
I know this paradigm might seem slightly overwhelming but in general, just try your best to enjoy the debate and make the debate enjoyable for your opponents. I'll try to give as in-depth feedback as possible, and will disclose if allowed. I will do my best to keep the debate space as inclusive as possible in-round and wish you all the best of luck.
I have no experience in terms of judging any kind or form of debate. Even though I have no experience but I will be fair and impartial with my decisions.
Always act with decorum towards other debaters.
I keep a rigorous flow, but I'd still consider myself a traditional judge. I reject speed for its own sake, but I can follow it somewhat. I would only vote for theory on topicality grounds or for actual abuse. Theory breaks debate, so you will need to convince me that the debate is impossible because of a real violation. Just because your opponent drops or mishandles your thin T shell does not mean a concession has occurred: tread carefully. A K will need to be explained very well. Your opponent dropping a poorly linked K is not an auto-victory.
Hello debaters ! I have been judging various types of debate since 2012.
1. Make sure to POI in the respective speeches .
2. No heckling.
3. Please keep your cameras on for the whole debate.
4. Please signpost so I don't get confused during your speech. If I'm confused, I'm not flowing!
5. Be clear with your roadmaps, plan texts (if applicable), and weighing mechanism.
Have fun debaters!
Parli: I'm a semi-novice judge; I've judged at 4 tournaments. I'm a research manager in my job which means I frequently develop insights with rationales & evidence and I need to prove/disprove hypotheses. I am most interested in your logic and persuasion (vs facts and statistics). I'm not a "technical judge." Please keep your pace no faster than medium so I can fully comprehend your well constructed arguments. Thanks!
Extemp: I've judged one tournament with extemp rounds. I look for clear structure, elements that make your points relatable for "regular people" like me, evidence that links well to your claims and ability to pace well to get your full structure in during the time given.
Speech:I have more experience with Parli and less with Speech but I lean on my background in theater and improv to guide some of my observations. I got a minor in theater in college, I studied improv in Chicago and performed for 11 years. In interpretation events (e.g. POI, DI), I'm looking for cohesive themes that weave together your sources and ideas into a strong POV. I pay attention to thoughtful, appropriate movement that enhances your scenes. I'm looking for distinct characters with clear personalities conveyed through line delivery, vocal and facial expression, varying intensity. I appreciate the hard work it takes to be vulnerable and genuine. In Extemp, I'm looking for a well organized, logical plan showing your clear POV on how you are approaching the topic. I hope to see who you are shine through your analysis and delivery.
I debated for 4 years in policy at Head-Royce as a 1A/2N and went for the K on both the aff and the neg for my last 3 years. I now debate at UC Berkeley.
Add me on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tech > truth but arguments need warrants.
Ev quality matters, people underhighlighting cards is a shame and should be called out for it. I'll only evaluate warrants that are read.
I see debate as a strategic game which means I'll evaluate all arguments. This means you should go for arguments you'd be afraid to break in front of other judges and I'll reward you with speaker points.
Debate is a game (the implication of this is up for debate)
Not super convinced with fairness as an impact, prefer clash/skills.
If going for the counter interp, explain what your model looks like. Very convinced by neg push back about what teams would do if they had an unlimited topic.
Think it's more strategic to go for the impact turn.
I probably vote more for the K but believe in T impacts more -- K 2NRs tend to have a better idea of offense and bigger picture view of the debate whereas 2ARs sound generic.
Read the K a lot in high school. Please don't spread jargon at me and explain your theory of power.
Fine for Ks of fiat or Ks that rely on FW for winning. Will decide the FW debate one way or another and will decide the rest of the debate from there.
Prefer debates where the link is to the plan and the K goes for turns case and the alt.
I err neg on most theory.
I'm willing to kick the counter plan for you if you say that the counter plan is conditional.
Think evidence quality matters a lot. Favorable to precision and predictability rather than debatability.
The topic is huge and have not seen any convincing T interps that limit the scope of affirmatives.
Not super comfortable evaluating techy T rounds, be clearer in the rebuttals about impacts.
Never heard a convincing arg for why K affs don't get perms. Most reasons are predicated off of winning T.
I like creative arguments. Read arguments you wouldn't normally read in front of a different judge. Tech over truth which means that I'll evaluate from the flow.
Prep ends when you stop typing. Don't count sending the doc as prep
Ethics challenges will be handled with regards to that specific tournament. If you want to stop a round then please follow the rules on how to do so. If you want to debate it out, then feel free but know that then it comes down to who did the better debating instead of who is right.
"X Author is bad" has never made sense to me, if that's true then beat the argument in round.
I won't auto vote against death good, people who read extinction impacts should be prepared to defend them. I draw the line at arguing that specific people should die (i.e. debaters in the room). That means Ks of extinction are ok but arguments about suicide are not.
Extra .1 speaks if you make fun of a current cal debater or a former/current HRS debater
Hi All! My name is Amber. I use she/her pronouns, and I'm a current high school parli debater. Feel free to ask quesionts about anything you don't understand on my paradigm, and if you want to talk more after a round email me at email@example.com.
Overview: I'm open to any and all styles of debating/argumentation except things that are racist, homophobic, sexist, or otherwise exclusionary. Be respectful and kind, and have fun!
General: Having strong impacts, logical analysis, and weighing is the most important. It’s easier for me to vote on cases I understand, so being organized and sign posting is probablyyy beneficial to you, but its a free country so you can be super disorganized if you want. I am a tabula rossa judge, so if someone tells me that pigs can fly and the other side doesn’t contest it I will assume, for the purpose of the round, that Piglet and Wilbur regularly enjoyed soaring through the sky with magnificent pink sparkly wings.
Speaks: I default to 28. If you use pop culture references, make me laugh, and are otherwise an incredible speaker I’ll give you a 29.5. If you use bigoted or exclusive language I’ll give you a 25. In terms of pop culture I know a lot about music, books, comedies, and older shows/movies but am HORRIFICALLY lacking in Marvel, Star Wars, and sports knowledge, so I probably won’t understand any of those references :(
Jargon: I understand jargon, so feel free to use it if you want. Won’t hurt you, won’t help you. Make sure your speech is accessible to your opponents though!
Spreading: Please don't do it.
Theory: Run it if you want to/need to. I personally think it is often overused and don’t use it unless I think I really need to, but if you argue it well I’ll vote on it.
Kritiks: I think kritiks can be cool, but pleassseeeee explain it well because if I don't understand what you are saying I can't vote for it. Good analysis will get you my ballot, out-teching your opponent with jargon and speed will not. Also, if you include in your kritik an explanation of why it is spelled with a Ks you will probably be wasting you speech time, but you will make me very happy!
- pronouns: she/her
hii i'm anika! i'm currently a sophomore at san jose state majoring in business management. i did debate (parli only) all four years at washington high school and broke at a few tournaments such as Stanford and TOC:) i'm currently an assistant coach at MVLA!
please talk to me before the round if we have time/ are waiting for something/ someone. i do not want to sit there awkwardly. u can ask me about college or debate or life or tv shows idk just go for it
some random things about my judging methods:
- content/ trigger warnings please. also please feel free to announce pronouns in the beginning of your speech/ the round if you are comfortable doing so!
- talk as fast as u need to but make sure you're breathing. i'll yell slow/ clear if need be and if the other team yells it more than 3 times & you don't stop, i'm receptive to theory arguments relating to speed.
- weighing is so so important to me. a good rebuttal is important and i really need there to be a clear analysis of how i need to vote or i will have to think a lot and i don't want to!!
- DO NOT be rude, bigoted, etc. if you are, i will stop the round, kill speaks, drop you, and/ or put in a formal complaint.
- case debate:
even with all the time i spent in debate, i've always preferred case debate over everything. just make sure to be organized and structured, make sure to sign post, have clear link stories, and terminalize your impacts!! try and have good evidence and warranting too if possible. the more interesting the argument the better, it'd just be more fun to listen to but generics are cool too if you really want/ need them for your strat.
when used right, theory is great. i liked theory in high school so i'll be responsive to theory arguments. fair warning: i am not a fan of friv T personally but if you run it and win on it, i'll vote for it. HOWEVER, i reserve the right to drop your speaks if you run friv t and the opposing team makes the argument that you were unfair/ creating an inaccessible round. basically, even if i have to vote for you on the argument, i still reserve the right to drop speaks.
rvis are cool.
have good interps pls, i struggled to come up with good interps for a while so i like seeing people do what i could not:D
PLEASE make sure that you weigh/ layer the theory against wtv else is in the round. don't make me have to think it all through and compare it for myself bc that means judge intervention and that's bad.
honestly, i've never run a K. i've watched rounds with Ks in them and have gone against a few but idk how confident you can feel in my K knowledge. with that being said, if you really want/ need to run a K, go for it. make sure it's clear, organized (if u don't sign post i WILL get lost i promise), and make sure your links are really strong and clear. if you're running something that gets really deep in philosophy, you need to do a very good job of explaining it and the connection to the round. PLEASE DO NOT USE Ks AS A TACTIC TO EXCLUDE PEOPLE OR GROUPS IN ROUNDS. basically don't be immoral.
overall, i know this isn't super in depth so if you have specific questions, feel free to ask them before the round begins!
About me: I'm a second-year at UC Berkeley studying Environmental Sciences and Legal Studies. I competed in parliamentary debate for four years in high school, captaining my junior and senior years. A few awards my partner and I earned include championing Stanford's national invitational and breaking at the Tournament of Champions. I have also coached for Berkeley High School's debate team and I'm currently competing on the Cal Mock Trial Team.
• Argument structure - Please use a consistent argument structure throughout the round (e.g. uniqueness, links, and impacts) and signpost throughout your speech
• Always weigh your impacts - please terminalize and weigh your impacts. It's not enough for you to link out your advantages/disads to death or climate change. You have to explain how I should weigh those against the other impacts in the round.
• Citing evidence - Follow any rules for citing evidence that the tournament provides. If none are provided, citing the name of the source and date of publication is enough for me
• Feel free to run whatever kind of theory you want as long as you do sufficient weighing/layering (tell me how I should evaluate this argument compared to everything else in the round)
• Not a fan of frivolous theories and anything that's run to skew your opponents out of the round.
• I'm generally unreceptive to K's but feel free to run them. If you do, please explain your framework, links, impacts, and alt very clearly and do sufficient weighing/layering.
• Please signpost because I may get lost if you don't
This is just a brief summary of my judging preferences. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions! And just remember that debate is a fun and educational activity, so just enjoy yourselves and you'll do great!
I have experience as a policy/CX debater in high school and I have been judging parli for just over three years. I have experience as a public speaker from many conferences, as well as corporate events and meetings.
I'll flow your arguments, but I need to be able to hear and understand them enough to write notes.
Don't expect me to know any theory that you don't explain clearly. Make sure that any theory (or any arguments at all) clearly relate to the debate you're in and the topic at hand.
Your speaking style and ability are important, but its not uncommon for me to award low-point wins. If you dont signpost well, not only can I not follow you, but you aren't delivering well.
Your summations should clearly tell me how to decide my vote.
I'm a parent judge who has been judging for around 3 years, but here are some of my preferences for the debate round.
- Please speak slowly and try to be as clear as possible so I can better comprehend what you are trying to say during your speech.
- Refrain from using acronyms and abbreviations during your speech
- Avoid running Ks
- Theory is fine but heads up I am not very familiar with it, so in the scenario, you run it makes sure you tell me why it is important in the round to avoid using the tech terms in the process for me to understand.
I will most likely give the vote to whichever side efficiently presents its case with logical arguments.
I'd like the debaters to craft their contention well and provide multiple arguments to support their position. I will also evaluate how well they deliver their speech, during the debate.
I'm a parent judge. I know most of the basics (uniqueness; links; impacts etc.).
I'm focused on the merits of each argument and find it distracting when teammates comment on other's performance. I prefer logical arguments that have connection back to the topic. If you are interested in running theory, I prefer theory shells that are necessary for regulating the debate; not superfluous rules.
I look forward to hearing your case. Good luck!
Email - email@example.com.
Overview - 1) I judge all debate events; 2) I agree with the way debate has evolved: progressive debate and Ks, diversity and equity, technique; 3) On technique: a) Speed and speech docs > Slow no docs; b) Open CX; c) Spreading is not a voter; 4) OK with reading less than what's in speech doc, but send updated speech doc afterwards; 5) Clipping IS a voter; 6) Evidence is core for debate; 7) Dropped arguments are conceded but I will evaluate link and impact evidence when weighing; 8) Be nice to one another; 9) I time speeches and CX, and I keep prep time; 10) I disclose, give my RFD after round.
Lincoln-Douglas - 1) I flow; 2) Condo is OK, will not drop debater for running conditional arguments; 3) Disads to CPs are sticky; 4) PICs are OK; 5) T is a voter, a priori jurisdictional issue, best definition and impact of definition on AFF/NEG ground wins; 6) Progressive debate OK; 7) ALT must solve to win K; 8) Plan/CP text matters; 9) CPs must be non-topical, compete/provide NB, and solve the AFF or avoid disads to AFF; 10) Speech doc must match speech.
Policy - 1) I flow; 2) Condo is OK, will not drop team for running conditional arguments; 3) Disads to CPs are sticky; 4) T is a voter, a priori jurisdictional issue, best definition wins; 5) Progressive debate OK; 6) ALT must solve to win K; 7) Plan/CP text matters; 8) CPs must be non-topical, compete/provide NB, and solve the AFF or avoid disads to AFF; 9) Speech doc must match speech; 10) Questions by prepping team during prep OK; 11) I've debated in and judged 1000s of Policy rounds.
Public Forum - 1) I flow; 2) T is not a voter, non-topical warrants/impacts are dropped from impact calculus; 3) Minimize paraphrasing of evidence; I prefer quotes from articles to paraphrased conclusions that overstate an author's claims and downplay the author's own caveats; 4) If paraphrased evidence is challenged, link to article and cut card must be provided to the debater challenging the evidence AND me; 5) Paraphrasing that is counter to the article author's overall conclusions is a voter; at a minimum, the argument and evidence will not be included in weighing; 6) Paraphrasing that is intentionally deceptive or entirely fabricated is a voter; the offending team will lose my ballot, receive 0 speaker points, and will be referred to the tournament director for further sanctions; 7) When asking for evidence during the round, refer to the card by author/date and tagline; do not say "could I see your solvency evidence, the impact card, and the warrant card?"; the latter takes too much time and demonstrates that the team asking for the evidence can't/won't flow; 8) Exception: Crossfire 1 when you can challenge evidence or ask naive questions about evidence, e.g., "Your Moses or Moises 18 card...what's the link?"; 9) Weigh in place (challenge warrants and impact where they appear on the flow); 10) Weigh warrants (number of internal links, probability, timeframe) and impacts (magnitude, min/max limits, scope); 11) 2nd Rebuttal should frontline to maximize the advantage of speaking second; 2nd Rebuttal is not required to frontline; if 2nd Rebuttal does not frontline 2nd Summary must cover ALL of 1st Rebuttal on case, 2nd Final Focus can only use 2nd Summary case answers in their FF speech; 12) Weigh w/o using the word "weigh"; use words that reference the method of comparison, e.g., "our impact happens first", "100% probability because impacts happening now", "More people die every year from extreme climate than a theater nuclear detonation"; 13) No plan or fiat in PF, empirics prove/disprove resolution, e.g., if NATO has been substantially increasing its defense commitments to the Baltic states since 2014 and the Russian annexation of Crimea, then the question of why Russia hasn't attacked since 2014 suggest NATO buildup in the Baltics HAS deterred Russia from attacking; 14) No new link or impact arguments in 2nd Summary, answers to 1st Rebuttal in 2nd Summary OK if 2nd Rebuttal does not frontline.
- My own opinion on the topic will not affect how I judge.
- I enjoy arguments built on fact and logic.
- I enjoy original ideas and enthusiastic performance.
- Feel free to confront, but with grace and respect.
- Good luck!
Hey guys I'm Kai Teigen! I use he/him/his pronouns and I'm the captain of Berkeley High School Speech and Debate. I have a few judging preferences you should be aware of:
1. I think Theory is a cool concept but is often used unnecessarily to beat down less tech oriented debaters, so T shells are fine but unless you have genuine ground for abuse it won't make much of a difference in weighing the round. I have similar feelings towards Kritiks; I won't outright ban but I'd strongly advise you not to run them especially in Novice. Ks and other hypertechnical debate styles tend to be pretty inaccessible, and if you do end up running one please explain it clearly and succinctly. The other team must have some chance to actually debate your Kritik or I won't vote for you, regardless of how many fancy sounding words you use.
2. As a general rule I think jargon is pretty silly; use it if you'd like but keep in mind that if it doesn't seem like you actually know what you're saying I'll probably disregard it. I also think speaker points are outdated and unnecessary, so I'll give you the tournaments average speaker score unless you're being condescending or rude, in which case expect to be dropped to the lowest possible speaker score.
3. I judge Tabula Rasa, so if I flow an argument and it goes unrefuted I'll assume it to be true. If new analysis is made in rebuttals, I will expect a point of order and without a point of order that analysis will factor into my decision as if it had been made in constructives. Make sure to weigh your points if you want to influence my verdict; tell me why your contentions matter and what I should be voting on. I have seen incredible teams fall apart in rebuttals just because they failed to weigh. Please don't let this be you. If neither side weighs, I'll weigh using my own political biases (I am no longer nearly as far left as I used to be but still economically and socially progressive) Just make things easy for all of us and weigh the damn points.
4. I'm not a stickler for perfect organization (I tend to be a little all over the place myself) but please keep your speeches as neat and clear as possible. If I don't understand where you are on the flow or I find you repeating a point, I'll take my hands off the keyboard and stop flowing your points until you tell me where you are or move on to a new point.
5. I tend to prefer actual logic over facts: facts can be great kickers to back your point but they're not real warrants on their own. If you want strong links you need to extend the fact, tell me what it means, and tell me why it makes sense and supports your case. Nine times out of ten I'll vote for a team with no facts but excellent warrants over a team that just rattles off university studies and doesn't extend their points, so prioritize reasoning over citations.
6. The last thing I have to say is that debate is supposed to be fun, safe, and inclusive. Don't laugh or smirk at your opponents, don't belittle or demean them, and don't trivialize tragedy. Trust me, none of these look good. IF ANY RACIST, SEXIST, HOMOPHOBIC, TRANSPHOBIC OR OTHERWISE EXCLUSIONARY LANGUAGE IS USED, I WILL DROP YOU IMMEDIATELY. Please be respectful and kind, because in the end debate is just a game and we're all here to learn and enjoy ourselves. I'll give a verbal disclosure and some feedback at the end of the round, feel free to ask questions but respect my decision because it is final. Good luck!
Archbishop Mitty '19 | Claremont McKenna College '23
Hi there! My name is Jon Joey (he/they) and I competed for four years for Archbishop Mitty High School, where I was an Assistant Debate Coach for two years and personally coached the 2021 CHSSA Parliamentary Debate State Champions.
My current affiliation is with the Crystal Springs Uplands School, where I am the Head Debate Coach for both the Middle and Upper Schools.
I also briefly competed in National Parliamentary Debate Association tournaments last year as a hybrid so definitely still up to speed with debate tech.
In the interest of inclusivity, if you have ANY questions about the terms or jargon that I use in this paradigm or other questions that are not answered here, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org—and please cc your coach or parents on any communication to me!
Peninsula Update (last updated 01.21.23):
Most of the Parli and PF paradigms applies here even for LD. I don't flow cross-examination and value argumentative content more highly over presentational speaking style.
Parli Paradigm (last updated 12.18.22):
- *Debate how you want and how you know. If you need to adapt for a panel, I will meet you where you are and evaluate fairly*
- The debate space is yours. Run as slow or fast, lay or tech of a round as you want.
- If on a panel and you punt the lay judge, I won't intervene but I will be very sad.
I keep a really tight flow and am tech over truth. Intervention is bad except with respect to morally reprehensible or blatantly problematic representations in the debate space—I reserve the right to exercise intervention in that case.
I prefer things to be framed as Uniqueness, Link, Impact but it probably doesn't matter that much. Just don't throw out unwarranted claims and expect that to automatically be offense for you.
Doing impact weighing/comparative analysis between warrants is key to coming out ahead on arguments.
Collapsing is really important. Extend some defense on the arguments you're not going for and then go all in on the arguments that you're winning.
Rebuttals are also very important! The 1NR cannot be a repeat of the 2NC and the 1AR should be engaging with some of the new responses made in the block as well as extending turns made in the 2AC. Give overviews, do comparative world analysis, do strategic extensions.
- Probably a lower threshold than most for like phil and tricks 'n stuff.
- Default to net bens.
- If the 1AC doesn't define stuff but the 1NC does, I find myself pretty skeptical of 2ACs that try to backfill the framework layer.
- Down for all kinds of trichotomy arguments, theory interps are cool (i.e. feel free to run policy rounds on value/fact/metaphor topics if you want to justify it to me).
- Read and pass texts.
I think counterplans are super strategic and am receptive to hearing most unconventional CPs (PICs, conditional, advantage, actor, delay, etc.) so long as you're prepared to answer theory.
Speaker points are awarded on strategy, warranting, and weighing. I do have a knack for flowery language and compelling one-liners but as a general rule: substance > style.
The path to a 30 probably includes really clean extensions and explanation of warrants, collapsing, weighing, etc!
- Despite this, I am pretty easily compelled by the litany of literature that indicate that speaks reify oppression and am pretty receptive to any theoretical argument about subverting such systems.
- I've stopped tracking how I award speaker points but I tend to award an average of 28.8 [HL = 30/27].
Kritiks are a form of criticism about the topic and/or plan that typically circumvents normative policymaking. These types of arguments usually reject the resolution due to the way that it links into topics such as ableism, capitalism, etc. Pretty receptive to these!
- I find KvK debates quite confusing and difficult to evaluate because debaters are often not operationalizing framework in strategic ways. Win the RotB debate, use sequencing and pre-req arguments, and contest the philosophical methods (ontology, epistemology, etc.) of each K. On the KvK debate, explain to me why relinks matters—I no longer find the manslaughter v. murder comparison as sufficiently explanatory in and of itself. I need debaters to implicate relinks to me in terms of one's own framework or solvency.
Read good framework, don’t double turn yourself, have a solvent alternative.
When answering the K, and especially if you weren’t expecting it, realize that there is still a lot of offense that can be leveraged in your favor. Never think that a K is an automatic ballot so do the pre- v. post fiat analysis for me, weigh the case against the K and tell me why policymaking is a good thing, and call out their shady alternative.
I think that teams that want to run these types of arguments should exhibit a form of true understanding and scholarship in the form of accessible explanations if you want me to evaluate these arguments fairly but also I'm not necessarily the arbiter of that—it just reflects in how you debate.
I'm a lot more willing to evaluate theory, or arguments that set norms that we use in debate.
I default to competing interps over reasonability, meaning that both teams should probably have an interp if you want to win theory. Feel free to change my mind on this and of course, still read warrants as to why I should prefer one over the other.
- I'm slowly beginning to care less if theory is frivolous as my judging career progresses but at the same time try not to choose to be exclusionary if you're aware of the technical ability of your opponents. Inclusivity and access are important in this activity.
Points of Information/Order
PLEASE take at least two POIs. I don't really care how many off case positions you're running or how much "you have to get through" but you can't put it off until the end of your speech, sit down, and then get mad at your opponents for misunderstanding your arguments if you never clarified what it was in the first place. On the flip side, I won't flow POIs, so it's up to you to use them strategically.
Tag teaming is fine; what this looks like is up to you.
- Call the P.O.O.—I won't protect the flow.
Ultimately, I don't want anyone to ever feel uncomfortable after a debate round so feel free to post round with me as much as you want (if time permits, although I won't change my vote after a round) because I am here to educate and help others in the activity that has given me everything :)
PF Paradigm (last updated 9.12.21)
Jack Howe Update:
- Feel free to read your cool, funky cases on this topic in front of me—I highly encourage it.
- Every argument requires a warrant for me to evaluate it—it's not enough to say "extend xyz author/statistic" without an accompanying warrant. Please extend warrants in both summary and final focus.
- Weighing is also SUPER IMPORTANT. Start doing this in summary. This also goes beyond just impacts—do link-level weighing and collapse pls.
- Okay, so apparently people have pedagogical issues with FYOs and SYOs (I am a Third Year Out) not caring about crossfire so while I maintain that I won't flow crossfire, you may generate offense off of concessions or contradictory answers made in CF ONLY if you explain and strategically utilize the indicted claim to generate meaningful clash.
- First Summary doesn't need to extend defense unless they frontline args in second rebuttal. However, it's probably strategic for second rebuttal to answer first rebuttal and start frontlining.
- If it's in final focus, it has to be in the summary.
- Impacts should be terminalized. I prefer numbers to scalar impacts, which should always be contextualized within the evidence.
- Impact framing is also very cool.
- I think theory and kritikal arguments are severely underutilized in PF. Open to any kind of argument on these layers.
- To minimize intervention, I won't call for the card unless you tell me to.
- However, I do reserve the right to intervene on behavior that I find explicitly oppressive and morally reprehensible; if it's implicit or you're just excessively rude/aggressive in general I will simply tank your speaks.
- My current speaks average aggregated across both Parli & PF is a 28.8 [H/L = 30/27]
- Speech docs are very appreciated.
- Signpost clearly.
- Ask me what my thoughts are on grand cross right before it should happen.
I am a high school debater, and I've competed in a variety of events. For debate events, make sure you are speaking at a speed that your opponents can understand. Please be respectful to your opponent(s) or other competitors. Aside from that, be creative and have fun!
* note for TOC * judge paradigms that include things like "I will drop you if you run a kritik," you just don't want black, indigenous, and students of color to access this space and it shows.
Specifics for Parli:
I am the Head Coach of Parliamentary Debate at the Nueva School.
ON THE LAY VS. FLOW/ TECH FIGHT: Both Lay (Rhetorical, APDA, BP, Lay) and Tech (Flow, NPDA, Tech) can be called persuasive for different reasons. That is, the notion that Lay is persuasive and Tech is something else or tech is inherently exclusionary because it is too narrowly focused on the minutiae of arguments is frankly non-sense, irksome, and dismissive of those who don’t like what the accuser does. I think the mudslinging is counter-productive. Those who do debate and teach it are a community. I believe we ought to start acting like it. I have voted for tech teams over lay teams and lay teams over tech teams numerous times. One might say that I do both regularly. Both teams have the responsibility to persuade me. I have assumptions which are laid out in this paradigm. I am always happy to answer specific or broad questions before the round and I am certain that I ask each team if they would like to pose such questions before EVERY round. I do not want to hear complaints about arguments being inaccessible just because they are Ks or theoretical. Likewise, I do not want to hear complaints that just because a team didn’t structure their speeches in the Inherency, Link, Internal Link, Impact format those arguments shouldn’t be allowed in the round.
Resolution Complications: Parli is tough partly because it is hard to write hundreds of resolutions per year. A very small number of people do the bulk of this for the community, myself being one of them. I am sympathetic to both the debaters and the topic writers. If the resolution is skewed, the debater has to deal with the skew in some fashion. This can mean running theory or a K. It can also mean building a very narrow affirmative and going for high probability impacts or solvency and just winning that level of the debate. There are ways to win in most cases, I don’t believe that the Aff should be guaranteed all of the specific ground they could be. Often times these complaints are demands to debate what one is already familiar with and avoid the challenge of unexplored intellectual territory. Instead, skew should be treated as a strategic thinking challenge. I say this because I don’t have the power to change the resolution for you. My solution is to be generous to K Affs, Ks, and theory arguments if there is clear skew in one direction or another.
Tech over truth. I will not intervene. Consistent logic and completed arguments these are the things which are important to me. Rhetorical questions are neither warrants nor evidence. Ethos is great and I’ll mark you on the speaker points part of the ballot for that, but the debate will be won and lost on who did the better debating.
Evidence Complications: All evidence is non-verifiable in Parli. So, I can’t be sure if someone is being dishonest. I would not waste your time complaining about another teams’ evidence. I would just indict it and win the debate elsewhere on the flow. However, there are things that I can tell you aren’t good evidence: WIKIPEDIA, for example. Marking and naming the credentials of your sources is doable and I will listen to you.
Impacts are important and solvency is important. I think aff cases, CPs, Ks should have these things for me to vote on them. If the debate has gone poorly, I highly advise debaters to complete (terminalize) an impact argument. This will be the first place I go when I start evaluating after the debate. Likewise, inherency is important. If you don’t paint me a picture of a problem(s) that need solving, should I vote for you? No, I shouldn’t. Make sure you are doing the right sorts of storytelling to win the round.
If there is time, I ALWAYS give an oral RFD which teams are ALWAYS free to record unless I say otherwise. I will do my best to also provide written feedback, but my hope is that the recorded oral will be better. I do not disclose in prelims unless the tournament makes me.
My presumption is that theory comes first unless you tell me otherwise. I’m more than happy to vote on K Framework vs. Theory first debates in both directions.
I flow POI answers.
Basically, I will vote for anything if it’s a completed argument. But, I don’t like voting on technicalities. If your opponent clearly won the holistic flow, I’m not going to vote on a blippy extension that I don’t’ understand or couldn’t summarize back to you simply.
BE NICE AND PROFESSIONAL. Debate is not a competitive, verbal abuse match. Debaters WILL be punished on speaker points for being rude (beyond the normal flare of intense speeches) or abusive. Example: saying your opponent is wrong or is misguided is fine. Saying they are stupid is not. Laughing at opponents is bullying and unprofessional. Don’t do it.
I’m more than happy to evaluate anything. I prefer education voters to fairness voters. It is “reject the argument” unless you tell me otherwise. Tell me what competing interpretations and reasonability mean. I’m not confident most know what it means. So, I’m not going to guess. Theory should not be used as a tool of exclusion. I don’t like Friv-theory in principle although I will vote on it. I would vastly prefer links that are real, interps that are real, and a nuanced discussion of scenarios which bad norms create. Just saying “neg always loses” isn’t enough. Tell me why and how that would play out.
Delay CPs and Consult CPs are evil, but I will vote for them.
The CP needs to be actually competitive. You also need a clear CP text. Actual solvency arguments will be much rewarded and comparative solvency arguments between the CP and the Plan will be richly rewarded.
Uniqueness does actually matter. Simplicity is your friend. Signpost what is what and have legitimate links. Give me a clear internal link story. TERMINALIZE IMPACTS. This means someone has to die, be dehumanized, etc.. If the other team has terminalized impacts and you don’t, very often, you are going to lose.
I was a K debater in college, but I have come around to be more of a Case, DA, Theory coach. I also have a Ph.D in History and wrote a dissertation on the History of Capitalism. What does that mean? It means, I can understand your K and I am absolutely behind the specific sort of education that Ks provide. That being said a few caveats.
Out of round discussion is a false argument and I really don’t want to vote for it. Please don’t make me.
Performances are totally fine and encouraged. But, they had better be real. Being in the round talking isn’t enough, you need warrants as to why the specific discussion we are having in the debate on XYZ topic is uniquely fruitful. Personal narratives are fine. If you are going to speak in a language other than English, please provide warrants as to why that is productive for me AND your opponents. I speak Japanese, I will not flow arguments given in that language.
I would prefer that you actually have a rough understanding of what you are reading. I don't think you should get to win because you read the right buzzwords.
Alternatives need to be real. If they put offense on the Alt, you are stuck with that offense and have to answer it. Perms probably link into the K, please don’t make me vote for a bad perm.
I am less likely to vote against an aff on a K for something they might do. I am very likely to vote on rhetoric turns, i.e. stuff they did do. That is, if you are calling them racist and they say something racist, please point it out. Your impacts compete, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to answer their theory arguments or make your own. I would encourage you to show how your impacts compete pre- and post-fiat. Fiat isn’t illusory unless you make it so and extend it.
There is also a difference between calling the aff bad or it’s ideology bad and the debater a bad person. In general, debaters should proceed as if everyone is acting in good faith. That doesn’t mean that rhetoric links don’t function or that I won’t vote on the K if you accuse your opponent of promoting bad norms--intellectual, ideological, social, cultural, political, etc.. However, if one takes the pedagogical and ethical assumptions of the K seriously, Ks should not be used as a weapon of exclusion. No one has more of a right to debate than another. To argue otherwise is to weaponize the K. We want to exclude those norms and that knowledge which are violent and destructive to communities and individuals. We also probably want to exclude those who intentionally spread bad norms and ideology. However, I severely doubt that a 15-year-old in a high school debate round in 2022 is guaranteed to understand the full theoretical implications of a given K or their actions. As such, attacking the norms and ideology (e.g. the aff or res or debate) is a much better idea. It opens the door to educate others rather than just beating them. It creates healthy norms wherein we can become a stronger and more diverse community.
I love clean framework debates. I hate sloppy ones. If you are running a K, you probably need to put out a framework block. I would love to have that on a separate sheet of paper.
Links of omission are vexing. There is almost always a way to generate a link to your K based on something specifically in the aff case. Please put the work in on this front.
I love case debate, a lot. Terminal defense usually isn’t enough to win you the debate. But defensive arguments are necessary to build up offensive ones in many cases. Think hard about whether what you’re running as a DA might be better served as a single case turn. Please be organized. I flow top of case and the advantages on a separate sheet.
Specifics for Public Forum:
Please give me overviews and tell me what the most important arguments are in the round.
Unless we are in Finals or Semis, I'm not going to read your evidence. I'm evaluating the debate, not the research that you did before the debate. If the round is really tight and everyone did a good job, I am willing to use quality of evidence as a tie-breaker. However, in general, I'm not going to do the work for you by reading the evidence after the round. It's your responsibility to narrate what's going on for me and to collapse down appropriately so that you have time to do that. If you feel like you don't have time to tell me a complete story, especially on the impact level, you are probably going for too much.
I don't have strong opinions regarding whether you start refutation or defense in the second or third speech. However, if things are tight, I will reward consistent argumentation and denser argumentation. That means the earlier you start an argument in the debate, the higher the likelihood that I will vote on it. Brand new arguments in the 4th round of speeches are not going to get much weight.
Thresholds for voting on solvency:
PF has evidence and for good reason. But, that doesn't mean that you can just extend a few buzzwords on your case if you are going for solvency and win. You have to tell me what your key terms mean. I don't know what things like "inclusive growth" or "economic equity" or "social justice" mean in the context of your case unless you tell me. You have 4 speeches to give me these definitions. Take the time to spell this stuff out. Probably best to do this in the first speech. Remember, I'm not going to read your evidence after the round except in extreme circumstances and even then...don't count on it. So, you need to tell me what the world looks like if I vote Pro or Con both in terms of good and bad outcomes.
I haven't come across any theory in PF yet that made any sense. I'm experienced in theory for Policy and Parli. If there are unique variations of theory for PF, take the time to explain them to me.
There isn't really enough speaking time to properly develop a fleshed out K in PF. However, I would be more than happen to just vote on impact turns like Cap Bad, for example. If you want to run K arguments, I would encourage you to do things of that sort rather than a fully shelled out K.
Specifics for Circuit Policy:
Evidence: I'm not going to read your cards, it's on you to read them clearly enough for me to understand them. You need to extend specific warrants from the cards and tell me what they say. Blippy extensions of tag lines aren't enough to get access to cards.
Go nuts. I can keep up with any speed as long as you are clear.
For all other issues see my parli paradigm, it's probably going to give you whatever you want to know.
Specifics for Lay Policy:
I do not understand the norm distinctions between what you do and circuit policy.
As such, I'm going to judge your rounds just like I would any Policy round --> Evidence matters, offense matters more than defense, rhetoric doesn't matter much. Rhetorical questions or other forms of unwarranted analysis will not be flowed. You need to extend arguments and explain them. If you have specific questions, please ask.
I have been in Debate for quite a few years. I am down to evaluate whatever arguments you want to run. I am not here to tell you what to run or how fast to run it. This is your show. I am cool with speed, ks, policy, procedurals, theory, or anything else you want to do. I wouldn't want you to think the round is about appealing to me, I think it is my job to evaluate the discussion you all have. Best of luck to you all.
Dear Buetiful Debaters,
My name is Luca Vicisano, I am a 3rd year hs parli debater, I use he/him pronouns and today, I'm going to be your judge.
To make this quick,
- Tabula Rasa unless your argument clearly doesn't make sense. Arguements must be adequetdly warranted and logical.
- I am very responsive to blatant and shameless *ss kissing
- Debate well
- Be good people
- Be respectful
- Explain any jargon, theory, and background neccesary for both sides to have a fully functional and educational debate.
- Theory when unnecesary (hint: it's likely unnecesary)
- Spread / Talk fast (stop being a bad person, stop making debate inaccessible)
- Jargon (stop being a bad person, stop making debate inaccessible)
- Be rude
- Make debate inaccessible
- Rely on imperics (evidence) to back your case (no me gusta that, use logic and warrasnting, not your long *ss files)
- Be boring
In all, I want you all to have fun, I want to have fun, I want you all to be nice, please ask me any and all questions after the round.
P.S. - In case you have you more questions that you forgot to ask or if you want to confesss your undying love for me; email@example.com
I would potentially vote for a K as long as it's:
- a) presented in a semi-lay style
- b) not spreaded
- c) each part is clearly explained
- d) well warranted and linked to opponent's advocacy or resolution
- e) not claiming a far-fetched impact
- f) interesting, thought provoking and unique
- g) only used against a team at least semi-familiar with K's
Otherwise, I will cry.
- I love CP's however, I get slighlty annoyed when straight up is perfectly debatable
- I don't buy monetary exclusivity or wtv its called
I am a parent judge.
I value argument reasonability over articulation. Don't think frivolous arguments have a place in debate.
I have some experience with parliamentary judging, for other formats, please explain the format before the round.
I'm a senior and captain of Harriton's (PA) debate team. I'm on the NYPDL's board as Social Media Director, and primarily debate on the east coast, but have some experience with west coast tournaments.
I appreciate well warranted arguments, and will prioritize them in a round. Please respond to all of your opponents points, and explain the impacts of your case. I will vote for "out-there" arguments if you can prove to me in the round that they're true.
Be respectful to me and your opponents. I'm excited to watch your round!
my name is Jack Wilan (pronounced Jaaaaaack Wilan) and I have about three years of parliamentary debate experience garnered from my precious time on the Berkeley High Speech and Debate team. I am really quite handsome and if you mention this at the start of your debate (the fact that I'm really quite handsome) I will be quite overjoyed and give you an instant "Jack Point" (my own currency) that won't help you win the debate but might look great on college applications.
Standards: I think standards are quite important in the round and will vote on whichever team's impacts and reasoning better holds up to the standard. Aff should always set one in the first speech, if they don't then Opp Is welcome to set a slightly abusive one but it might be kinder to set one that both sides can argue equally under (or just the expected one). Don't set incredibly esoteric standards (like "spears of truth") just go with ones that make sense and make sure to explain how your impacts relate to it in your last speech. 10 Jack points if you set the standard as "net benefits to Jack" (that said it's probably an abusive standard)
Theory: theory can be fun, theory can be silly, but don't make the entire debate about it. Theory should be used to make sure that it's a fair debate but I don't want to see any preprepared briefs or T shells that will invariably confuse me and your opponents. Your theory arguments don't need to be under a clear T shell and I don't want to hear ridiculous sounding jargon and cliche phrasing ("for the education of debate"). Try to cover all theory at the begging of your speech to make flowing easier and just explain it clearly and quickly so we can get on to the real debate.
Kritiks (not sure if I'm spelling that right): Don't run a kritik. They have a stupid name and kind of end up making for a pointless debate. I'll listen to what you have to say and if you're really convincing and you have good reasoning for it maybe, but don't run one just for the sake of it. 5 Jack points for telling me how to spell "kritik" before the round.
Using Statistics: In Parli your arguments shouldn't be centered around statistics but logic and reasoning. You'll probably only have like twenty minutes to prep and if you find a statistic that looks really good for your side then you should definitely include it in your case but don't make the whole thing about it. Just because one side doesn't have a direct statistic to prove something and you do, doesn't mean they can't win that point. Don't make up statistics or 'facts"; if it sounds really wrong I might just not consider it, besides that would be a pathetic thing to do and you would need to live with the horrendous knowledge that you lied to Jack for the rest of your life and would most likely never be able to sleep again.
Organization: Please use contention/advantage structure to organize your arguments and try your best to mention it when making refutations as well. I'm not the fastest at flowing and find it to be very helpful and I'm sure you and your opponents will as well. I'm not going to vote against you just because your structure was bad but try to make it good. Don't spread; I will not hear your points and you will not be able to articulate your arguments as well.
Jargon: I kind of like jargon, it's like a special debate love language, but don't use it for confusion purposes.
POIs and POOs: Not a huge fan of POIs, use them if you're actually confused about something they said and need clarification but not so much as method of offense. You can make whatever that offensive point is in your own speech. If you hear someone making a new point in a rebuttal speech then please do use a POO and they can give a little time to defend themselves for me to judge whether to strike it or not. 50 extra Jack points if you say you have "a poo" you want to make when making your point of order.
Tag teaming: I don't want you tag teaming. If you freeze when speaking or need to formulate a point better then graciously take a little bit of time to compose yourself instead of getting your teammate to help.
Being an asshole: Don't. 20 extra Jack points if you're not an asshole (the easiest way to gain Jack points)
That's all, god bless you and debate your heart out!
add me to the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a fourth year parent judge and a former competitor in Lincoln Douglas and Policy.
For Parliamentary Debate - I have judged Parli and will choose a winner based on which team best supports their side on the opinion. I judge you based on what you tell me, not what I know. I am tech over truth. There’s never a bad side of the motion. Argue what you’re comfortable with and make it an interesting round. I will be flowing all your arguments, and I make my decisions based on who convinces me their arguments are the strongest. You should tell me which issues are the most important and why you win those issues. Don’t forget to weigh, this is crucial to how I make my decisions! Any impacts are welcome. The extra 30 seconds are intended to complete a thought, not start a new one. Ties are awarded to the Opposition. Please rise when you want to interrupt with a question. Time pauses for POCs and POs, not POIs. Please be respectful to your opponents and have fun!
1. I really really prefer no spreading. If you must spread, you should hope I can keep up. Use taglines, signposts, road maps - anything that helps me follow. Contentions should be based on quality, not quantity.
2. Please be respectful to your opponent during cross. I don't appreciate interrupting your opponent - at the same time please be mindful of taking too much time to respond.
3. I will weigh all arguments carried through, and consider the impact of dropped arguments per your direction. (please don't drop your opponent's entire case) In LD, please weigh your argument against your framework. In all others, please clearly state how your impacts outweigh your opponent's.
4. I don't consider any new arguments in final speeches.
5. In your final speeches, please number or letter your voting points so we are all on the same page.
Good luck and have fun!
You're probably reading this about 10 minutes before prep starts. If that's you, let me offer you some advice. Take a deep breath, relax, and make sure that you come up with a cohesive argument. You're gonna do great, trust me.
My name's Nathan (he/him). I've done a lot of high school debate: 4 years LD, 1.5 years PF, 2 years Parli. I'm currently in my first year of college at UC Berkeley. I compete with Berkeley's Debate Society. I'd prefer you to consider me a lay judge though; don't use jargon without explaining it.
Although I can generally keep up with speed, err on the side of caution (I have never seen a spreader who clearly and logically articulated their points). I will try to put aside any outside knowledge that I've got about topics, but if you say something that I know is objectively wrong (e.g. China is part of NATO), I probably won't buy your point. You can make controversial claims, just mechanize it well and even if I disagree, I will weigh it. I personally don't like theory; please use it only if you think it's absolutely necessary. Most t's/k's generally aren't warranted.
Make sure that your case is well structured. Signpost your contentions and when you go on/off case. Highlight your impacts, your mechanisms by which you achieve those impacts, and why your impacts matter in and outside of the round. If you provide statistics, expert opinion, or examples to warrant your claims, make sure you explain the logic behind why those pieces of evidence make sense and connect to your case. Evidence itself doesn't suddenly prove your points; your logic proves your points. Weighing is a really important part of the round to me. Compare your impacts with your opponent's, and explain to me why your impacts are more important.
Above all, don't be rude. I really don't like voting for disrespectful teams. Assume that your opposing team is doing their best, and assume that I am buying their points. At the end of the day, it's your job to convince me that voting for you would be good for the future of parliamentary debate; be respectful, be kind, be human.
Good luck! I hope you make this debate enjoyable for everyone involved!
tl;dr: Be cool to your opponents. Structure your cases and refutations well. Make sure to explain your logic clearly and weigh your impacts. case debate > theory.
I am new to judging. So this will be more of a sketch than a fully developed paradigm, but with that caveat out of the way:
Please speak slowly. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Do not use debater jargon. I am unlikely to know what it means.
Explain points clearly and fully from start to finish. Many debaters hope to save time by saying something like “Delink this argument because of our XYZ evidence.” But that will not mean anything to me.
There are limits to what sort of evidence is credible, or how much I will trust it. For example, evidence claiming to predict the future is always uncertain. Opinion evidence is only as convincing as the reasoning that supports it.
Logical analysis can beat evidence if the logical analysis explains away the observation.
My advice is to pick a small number of issues, and show you prevail on those issues using a combination of empirical evidence (as opposed to opinion evidence) and deep analysis, then weigh them thoroughly.
I am a parent judge.
Please speak slowly and clearly, avoid jargon, and make sure to signpost.
I'm a Berkeley High varsity debater.
Debate however you'd like, as long as it's respectful. Kritiks are fine. I will try to protect the flow, but please POO if you hear a new argument in rebuttal speeches--it makes my job easier!
If you have any questions after a round, email me at email@example.com
Debate how you want to debate, and I will flow your arguments to the best of my ability.
I recognize that all judges possess some sort of bias, and in the interest of transparency, I will try to articulate some of mine below. However, please please do not let these biases affect how you want to debate / shape the debate space – solidly executing a strategy you’ve prepared and explained well will get you further than catering to my very vague argument preferences.
I did parliamentary debate for 4 years at Los Altos. I thought that I was quite capable in both “lay” and “flow” debates, for whatever that is worth.
I also did parliamentary debate (APDA) at the University of Virginia for a little bit. It was okay.
If I really had to impose ideological labels on myself, I would identify slightly more with progressive or flow debate assumptions – I am comfortable with speed, theory, kritiks, etc. – the flow ultimately determines my decision unless I am told otherwise.
That being said, I do not think that you should rely on these tactics for cheap wins – I often find intuitive responses to theory/kritiks quite compelling. In other words, be prepared to actually defend your position!
Slow down when reading texts (theory interps, advocacies) and when explaining complicated arguments.
I start making my decision by first looking to the final two speeches (PMR and LOR, 2AR and 2NR, whatever speech names you wish to use). Make sure these speeches clearly highlight why I should vote for you. However, from these two speeches, I will then work backwards to the more “substantive” speeches as necessary for my decision.
Call the point of order. You should do so for every new argument you think your opponents are making. However, if they continue along the same line of argumentation despite your POO, you should not keep calling the point of order (that would be redundant).
Some thoughts on specific arguments --
I like these arguments. This is all I did in high school. I have an immense amount of appreciation for a well-constructed disadvantage or advantage with thoroughly researched scenarios.
If your plan or counterplan relies on complicated solvency mechanisms, you should slow down for them.
Remember to weigh. Not just impacts. But links too. And uniquenesses. If there are two conflicting claims at all, that is a place that requires argument comparison. If there is no explicit comparison between two contradicting arguments, you are basically leaving it up to me to decide, which is a coin flip at best. I will try to find the path with the least intervention, but who knows what that path may be…
I am quite lax on counterplans, I think most are theoretically legitimate (still open to voting on things like PICs bad, condo bad, even … CPs bad, though) except for like delay or something. I loved reading consult, condition (they were also conditional), and assorted process CPs!!!
I am okay with these arguments.
I will be more lenient to the responding side if I determine there to be "frivolous" theory. A general rule that I apply to theory debates (and other forms of debate I guess): a blippy theory shell should be able to be refuted with blippy responses.
Having said that, I still found myself voting for frivolous theory more often than I expected/wanted to. So maybe I do have a theory bias. I think I usually find myself voting on theory when I find the rest of the debate round to be too messy.
I never really got the hate against RVI’s. I think they are okay if well-warranted and explained.
I love kritiks, though I rarely went for them in high school. In college I have read a decent amount of Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger.
Preferably, have a thesis with a clear explanation of the theory your K is based upon.
Slow down when explaining complicated concepts in your K.
I assume that a lot of kritiks are pre-prepared. This is okay, but if you do not understand your K it will be painfully obvious in the MO and I will have trouble voting for you even if they have conceded tons of arguments. In other words, explain your K well and don't rely on cheap tricks to win.
Having an overview for the K in the MO is nice.
The further you are from defending the tournament-given resolution, the more lenient I will be on T/FW args.
Those T/FW args are still beatable even if you don’t defend the resolution, though.
Everything I said about Ks above probably applies even more to K affs.
important: have fun. yay.
I prefer that you avoid spreading. Quality over quantity. Spreading causes confusion and missed arguments and is not a skill that you can use in real life.