YALE UNIVERSITY INVITATIONAL
2022 — New Haven, CT/US
Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
As a Lincoln Douglas Judge I am a very traditional judge from a very traditional area of the country. With that, comes all of the typical impacts.
I am not able to flow spreading very effectively at all.
I, very rarely, judge policy, but those would be in slower rounds as well. Because of that, though, I am at least somewhat familiar with K debate, K AFF, theory, CP's, etc.
For me to vote on progressive argumentation in LD, it has to be very clearly ARTICULATED to me why and how you win those arguments. Crystal clear argumentation and articulation of a clear path to giving you the ballot is needed.
I'm a volunteer and I have judged Connecticut High School debates in a junior circuit. Please keep your delivery slow and clear. I appreciate timeliness.
Washington Urban Debate League '22 Yale '26
Add me to the email chain plz: email@example.com
Debate through middle and high school, double 2. Currently coach middle and high school UDL teams. Mostly read Ks— ie set col, fem, racial cap—on both aff and neg, so it's what I am most adept at evaluating. That aside, read what you want, I’m cool with voting on most anything.
Do the work for me in deciding the debate. Particularly at the top of the 2ar/2nr, tell me how I should be filtering the round, what you are going for, and why that should win you the ballot. I'll go off the flow.
Intensity's great, but there’s an important line that separates it from hostility and disrespect, particularly when we consider our different positionalities within debate. I won't tolerate in-round hostility or violence.
Coming from a UDL, accessibility is really important to me. Explain your stuff in cross-ex in a digestible way. I will reward your speaks accordingly.
Language matters. Genocide is not a buzzword.
Do your best with whatever you argue and have fun! Let me know if you have specific qs before round.
**College Policy Note**
Haven't debated/ judged on the topic, so I don't have any familiarity with your acronyms/ topic specific terms - it's your job to make sure I do by the end of round.
My fav. Be creative, do what you want, just justify why. I find Ks are strongest when they can couple their theory of power links with more specific links rooted in the 1AC (pull lines!) and historical/ social examples. Impact out the links and explain why they turn case. “State bad” alone won’t cut it and will make me sad...
I’m not picky on whether the alt is material or not, but I do want to hear some articulation of solvency beyond just making an “epistemological shift” or “insert x in debate”—that is to say that you should be taking it further and explaining the implications. Love examples here too—point me to instances that can help envision what the alt and alt 'solvency' looks like.
If you’re doing your link debate properly the aff shouldn’t have a chance at winning the perm, although I do appreciate external, named DAs to the perm.
**see additional note below from k affs
When answering the k, no matter from what side or argument style, you NEED to engage their thesis or theory of the power. It becomes really hard to beat it when you concede their way of understanding the world and of the filtering debate.
If you are a non-Black team reading afro-pess, I will hold the opposing team to an extremely low-threshold to win.
K Affs v FW
Leverage your 1AC more. Yes, the blocks you prepped are probably great, but the purpose of crafting and refining kritikal 1ACs is that they are meant to challenge dominant frames of the way we think/act; your theory should absolutely be your best offense against the neg.
Your model of debate should be very clear—what’s the role of the aff and negative, what does debate look like, etc. Do impact calc on the standards debate.
**Make sure that you understand and articulate the relationship btwn your k in round and out of round ie the relationship between some performance of resistance within debate and the implications for the structures of power you claim to challenge as they exist out of round.
Need to engage the aff’s unique critique of your model; specifically, how the aff scholarship & advocacy, as well as their theory of power, exists under the neg’s model of debate. Put effort and time into the TVA; how does it provide an inroad to the aff’s scholarship? Impact calculus on standards is great.
P.S. If you’re going to run cap in addition to FW, try to have some more specific links + alt examples to at least pretend there’s a chance you’re going to go for it.
Specific links are ideal. Take time to explain out your internal link chain—too often they get superficially extended and muddled. Impact calc and framing are key.
Make sure to have a net benefit. Explain how you solve for the aff, and if not in its entirety, then why your net-benefit outweighs.
T v policy affs
Not my favorite debate but will vote on it. Make sure analytics are clear/ slow down a bit. Tell me what debate looks like under your competing models and why I should prefer yours.
I didn’t have these debates much. Well-warranted theory arguments that you spend a bit more time on are more compelling than second-long blips that get blown up and ironically feel like they get in the way of the educational value of debate.
While I’d say I’m tech > truth, in the end, I find that teams do theory better when the violation is an actually impactful abuse that harms the education, fairness, etc of the debate, rather than just generic blocks read every round. I usually will think of education as the biggest impact in round with fairness and the like as internal links, but I can be persuaded otherwise.
You’re probably not going to convince me to vote on disclosure against a UDL team.
Debater for central catholic high school (graduated in 2022, 2x state champ), four years of policy debate on the national circuit (1a/2n) & mostly went for the cap k/process cps/ptx das
currently a student at yale (not debating)
email for chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Plz do not call me judge, just call me Oscar
also plz keep track of ur own prep/speech times
note for pf/ld: idk the res, so make sure to explain any niche terminology.
note for policy: i haven't done any research on this year's resolution
note for Ks: i don't think u need to win the alt to win a k debate. if u wanna go for a non unique da w/ the link alone go for it
if the neg reads a cp and a k, the aff should just read perfcon instead of condo
TLDR; read whatever you want, I'll vote on anything (just don't be racist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc...)
David Levin (he/him/his)
Head Coach for St. Luke's School, New Canaan, CT
Email Chain: email@example.com
be decent to one another (this includes your partner). don't use oppressive rhetoric. put me on the email chain.
Paradigms for PF, PD, and LD below.
>100 rounds judged in 2022-23. run what you want. cut cards. i'm a good judge for Kritiks. i'm a pretty good judge for theory. this format has so much potential for innovation - don't be afraid to try something different/new.
Note for February 2024 Topic:
Due to the wording of this resolution, the topicality debate could (and probably should) be a comically messy nightmare on both sides... Personally, I can't wait to judge these debates!
I've found that T in PF plays out a little differently than in policy, but I do believe that T should probably be run off-case with an interpretation, violation, standards and voters. If T will be in your final focus, it should take at least 90 of your 120 seconds - remember that it's a procedural argument, so by nature it's a prerequisite to the case debate. A sharp, technical T debate with good warranting will earn high speaks and high praise.
"Progressive debate" debate doesn't mean much to me. I love to evaluate kritik and framework debates. I like evaluating purposeful T and theory rounds (I'd especially like to see more fiat debates). I also like judging a good salt-of-the-earth "normal" round. I don't enjoy evaluating what you might call "tricks", but I'll judge them fairly. I'm not here to tell you what you can't run (outside of oppressive/exclusionary arguments). It's good to interrogate the normative expectations of PF debate, and to have discussions of what forms of exclusion undergird debate, and specifically this format, to begin with. I like this article from Stefan Bauschard a lot.
Please pre-flow and create the email chain before the round. Include me on the email chain. Make sure your opponents and I get the card doc (if applicable) prior to starting your speech. Card docs should cut full paragraphs, and include highlighting (see "Evidence"). If you have a shell (T, theory, etc), please send it in the card doc. Let's work together to trim down the time spent on evidence exchanges.
DO NOT send a "locked" document to me or your opponents. This is a competitive equity AND academic integrity concern.
Sit or stand for your speeches. Share the tabletote if only one team has one. No preference for room setup, however, if there is a rocking chair in the room, I reserve claim to it.
Speed/spreading is fine with some exceptions. Arguments presented in shell form (T, theory, etc) should be read more deliberately than case, otherwise I may miss an important warrant. Critical cases don't need to be read slower, but they often benefit from it.
If you have an auditory processing concern, please address it with your opponents rather than me whenever possible. If someone comes to you with an auditory processing concern, accommodate them. Be good to each other.
How I flow:
I flow digitally, and divide my flow by contentions. For contentions with multiple subpoints, just make sure you sign post. I flow warrants and read card docs during crossfire and prep, so don't just extend your author/tag.
I don't judge-extend or judge-kick whenever possible (maybe once in a while in a novice round).
I flow overviews at the top of the first contention. I'd rather flow weighing on the contentions individually, rather than en-masse at the bottom of the speech.
How I evaluate:
A-priori arguments are, as the name implies, evaluated first. Absent an a-priori debate, I go to framing.
Framing should be complementary to your impact/weighing. If framing is not argued, or if both teams drop framing, I default to utilitarianism. Once the framework debate is resolved (if there is one), I move to the contentions.
I like comparative link weighing a lot. Speculative impacts require a bit more work on uniqueness than empiric impacts. I think the status quo can be an impact in itself.
If neither team is able to garner offense, presumption defaults to the side of the resolution which most resembles the status quo. Presumption can be flipped if the status quo is the impact.
Crossfire is binding.
My debaters tell me I'm stingy with speaks - I average around a 28.7 for varsity rounds. For a well-executed technical debate, expect something in the 28.8-29.4 realm. Above a 29.5 is reserved for performances that "stick to the ribs", demonstrating both technical mastery and rhetorical salience. Remember that debate is largely a practice in storytelling.
Topical "normative" Cases:
Truth is determined by the flow, and I don't judge-extend or kick arguments. Otherwise, do what you do. Turns rock.
Topical "critical" Cases:
Win your framework and role of the ballot. "Role of the judge" feels redundant, but if you make a distinction between my role and my ballot's role, I'll listen.
Again, links and solvency usually the most vulnerable components of the case. K solvency shouldn't be restricted to discourse - but what does the fiat-ed adoption of the critical worldview look like?
Textual alts that suggest specific actions get a little too close to plans/counterplans for comfort - instead, "vote [your side] to endorse/reject [something]", then go win the link.
These rounds are where I can offer my most helpful feedback, whether you're running a K or debating against one.
Win your framework. Explain why the criticism is a prerequisite to topical debate, answer the TVA/TVN, and the perm.
Remember that I default presume to the side of the ballot closest to the status quo, whether you're reading a Non-T K or debating against one.
Presumption can be flipped either way. If you do a performance or narrative of some sort, implicate that stylistic choice.
I'm not quite as fond of these for time constraint reasons (they often result in messy back-halves), so if you read one, do so in 2nd constructive or first rebuttal.
If you're critiquing a specific problematic discourse your opponent advances, consider running it as a short theory shell instead (example: I don't need you to spend 120 seconds dissecting gendered structures of power to claim misgendering is bad - it's pretty straightforward).
I prefer T be read in shell form with an interpretation, violation, standards and voter(s).
I believe that fairness is an internal link to various more objective impacts, rather than an impact itself. If you go for "drop the team" on T, it should be the whole FF.
T against kritiks should center standards for why I should hold the line for the resolution.
Strong theory debates should focus on defining best practices for the activity.
"Theory bad" arguments are inherently theory arguments themselves and I'll evaluate them the same way I evaluate other forms of theory.
I prefer competing interpretations, but if the theory is clearly infinitely regressive or needlessly punitive, my threshold for reasonability lowers. This is especially true for theory "tricks".
Disclosure is good; Open-source disclosure is the gold standard; from my experience and observation, disclosure serves to benefit small programs and under-resourced programs; community minimums for disclosure are debatable. Paraphrasing, rather than reading actual evidence, is unethical.
Cut cards are and ethical standard for debate and non-negotiable at the varsity circuit level. Paraphrasing is not an automatic loss, but I will have no basis to trust your analytics absent you producing a marked copy of your evidence.
I have a low threshold for voting for paraphrasing theory against you, absent a performative contradiction from the other team.
Novices should learn to cut cards, but for them this a goal, not an expectation.
I'm a little rusty, but regularly judged policy between 2016 and 2020. K v. K and K v. FW/T rounds were my favorites.
Hello again! It's been a minute! If you have me in a policy round, my most important request is that you help me flow you. I can normally follow at decently quick speeds, but if I "clear" you, it's a request for you to help me catch what you're saying. Sign posting is important and please please read tags and shells more slowly than your internals.
I debated policy in HS and coached/judged for a few years before moving to more PF. That said, policy directly informed the way I coach and evaluate PF. I don't have particularly strong opinions about most arguments, so run what you're good at running. I understand that this is quite vague, so if you're unsure how you'll pref me, or what to run in front of me, just ask.
Run what you want, but understand that I don't know the norms as well here.
You can likely infer my judging style from the PF and Policy sections above. Any questions, just send an email.
Did 4 years of debate in HS; 2 years CX and 2 years PF. Mostly on national circuit but did local tournaments as well. I was a k-debater in policy.
Tech > Truth within reason. I will generally weigh and value depending on how you tell me to weigh and value. I have no default or preferred judging paradigm. Write the ballot for me in your last speech.
Please be clear when speaking. Spreading is fine but slow down if you are making analytics or reading tags.
I have not judged this year's topic yet.
Hey, please add me to the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org.If you really don't want to read this I'm tech > truth, Warranted Card Extension > Card Spam and really only dislike hearing meme arguments which are not intended to win the round.
PF and LD specific stuff at the bottom. All the argument specific stuff still applies to both activities.
How to win in front of me:
Explain to me why I should vote for you and don't make me do work. I've noticed that I take "the path of least resistance" when voting; this means 9/10 I will make the decision that requires no work from me. You can do this by signposting and roadmapping so that my flow stays as clean as possible. You can also do this by actually flowing the other team and not just their speech doc. Too often debaters will scream for 5 minutes about a dropped perm when the other team answered it with analytics and those were not flown. Please don't be this team.
Online Debate Update
If you know you have connection/tech problems, then please record your speeches so that if you disconnect or experience poor internet the speech does not need to be stopped. Also please go a bit slower than your max speed on analytics because between mic quality and internet quality it can be tough to hear+flow everything if you go the same speed as cards on analytics.
By default theory and topicality are voters and come aprior unless there is no offense on the flow. Should be clear what the interpretation, violation, voter, and impact are. I generally love theory debates but like with any judge you have to dedicate the time into it if you would like to win. Lastly you don't need to prove in round abuse to win but it REALLY helps and you probably won't win unless you can do this.
I feel framework should be argued in almost any debate as I will not do work for a team. Unless the debate is policy aff v da+cp then you should probably be reading framework. I default to utilitarianism and will view myself as a policy maker unless told otherwise. This is not to say I lean toward these arguments (in fact I think util is weak and policy maker framing is weaker than that) but unless I explicitly hear "interpretation", "role of the judge", or "role of the ballot," I have to default to something. Now here I would like to note that Theory, Topicality, and Framework all interact with each other and you as the debater should see these interactions and use them to win. Please view these flows wholistically.
I am comfortable voting on these as I believe every judge is but I beg you (unless it's a politics debate) please do not just read more cards but explain why you're authors disprove thier's. Not much else to say here besides impact calc please.
I am a philosophy and political science major graduate so please read whatever you would like as far as literature goes; I have probably read it or debated it at some point so seriously don't be afraid. Now my openness also leaves you with a burden of really understanding the argument you are reading. Please leave the cards and explain the thought process, while I have voted on poorly run K's before those teams never do get high speaker points.
Look above for maybe a bit more, but I will always be open to voting and have voted on K affs of all kinds. I tend to think the neg has a difficult time winning policy framework against K affs for two reasons; first they debate framework/topicality most every round and will be better versed, and second framework/topicality tends to get turned rather heavily and costs teams rounds. With that said I have voted on framework/topicality it just tends to be the only argument the neg goes for in these cases.
Perms are a test of competition unless I am told otherwise and 3+ perms is probably abusive but that's for theory.
So I will only intervene if the 2AR makes new arguments I will ignore them as there is no 3NR. Ethics and evidence violations should be handled by tab or tournament procedures.
- What gets you good speaks:
- Making it easier for me to flow
- Demonstrate that you are flowing by ear and not off the doc.
- Making things interesting
- Clear spreading
- Productive CX
- What hurts your speaks:
- Wasting CX, Speech or Prep Time
- Showing up later than check-in time (I would even vote on a well run theory argument - timeless is important)
- Being really boring
- Being rude
- I am much more lenient about dropped arguments than in any other form of debate. Rebuttals should acknowledge each link chain if they want to have answers in the summary. By the end of summary no new arguments should made. 1st and 2nd crossfire are binding speeches, but grand crossfire cannot be used to make new arguments. *these are just my defaults and in round you can argue to have me evaluate differently
- If you want me to vote on theory I need a Voting Issue and Impact - also probably best you spend the full of Final Focus on it.
- Make clear in final focus which authors have made the arguments you expect me to vote on - not necessary, but will help you win more rounds in front of me.
- In out-rounds where you have me and 2 lay judges on the panel I understand you will adapt down. To still be able to judge fairly I will resolve disputes still being had in final focus and assume impacts exist even where there are only internal links if both teams are debating like the impacts exist.
- Please share all evidence you plan to read in a speech with me your opponents before you give the speech. I understand it is not the norm in PF, but teams who do this will receive bonus speaker points from me for reading this far and making my life easier.
- 2AR should extend anything from the 1AR that they want me to vote on. I will try and make decisions using only the content extended into or made in the NR and 2AR.
- Don't just read theory because you think I want to hear it. Do read theory because your opponent has done or could do something that triggers in round abuse.
- Dropped arguments are true arguments, but my flow dictates what true means for my ballot - say things more than once if you think they could win/lose you the round if they are not flown.
I did 3 years of policy debate in the RI Urban Debate League. Been judging since 2014. As a debater I typically ran policy affs and went for K's on the neg (Cap and Nietzsche mostly) but I also really enjoyed splitting the block CP/DA for the 2NC and K/Case for the 1NR. Despite all of this I had to have gone for theory in 40% of my rounds, mostly condo bad.
Maine East '21
Tech > truth
I am most comfortable with policy arguments, but will do my best to adjudicate the round based on the arguments presented in the speeches. Out debate the other team on your k and I will have no problem voting for you.
I am not familiar with the current topic and Yale will be the first tournament I judge this year. Make sure to include any explanations of things specific to your aff or about really niche parts of the topic. I think this is most important for T debates as I have no idea what topic consensus looks like, what affs are being run, how big the topic is, etc. Broad claims about how the topic is bad for one side or how some types of affs on the topic are trash will not be persuasive without detailed, warranted analysis. Be descriptive.
Don't like theory debates that much. Condo is the only reason to reject the team, but condo is probably good. However, solvency advocate theory, international fiat bad and object fiat bad are pretty persuasive reasons to reject the counterplan. Perms are probably your best bet against process counterplans.
Fairness is an impact on T-USfg (probably the best one), but is very difficult to explain well. Invest time in it. Utilize TVAs. I think the most persuasive strategy for K Affs against T-USfg is to impact turn the neg team's model. I usually don't find middle-of-the-road approaches with counterinterpretations very persuasive.
If your aff against the K, I find FW and util very convincing. Utilize your aff and impact turn the alt. If your neg and running the K, I think winning FW or that the links turn the aff is important. I think most alts are silly and don't do much (unless the aff team drops it or you win you can fiat away everything).
Politics DAs are inherently bad, but are necessary. They were a majority of my 2NRs in high school. Go for a clever ptx DA and read good evidence and I'll probably be happy and boost your speaks.
**EMAIL FOR EVIDENCE CHAIN**: email@example.com
Policy Debate Coach @
Success Academy HS for the Liberal Arts (Present)
NYCUDL Travel Team (2015-2019)
Brooklyn Technical High School (2008-2015)
Baccalaureate School for Global Education (2008-2010)
Benjamin Banneker Academy (2007-2008)
Paul Robeson HS (2006-2007)
Program Director - New York City Urban Debate League (September 2014 - July 2020)
Director of Debate - Success Academy HS for the Liberal Arts (August 2020 - Present)
New York Coalition of Colleges (NYU/CUNY) (2006- 2009)
Paul Robeson High School (New York Urban Debate League) (2003-2006)
Years Judging: 15 (Local UDL tournament to National Circuit/TOC)
Policy Short Version:
** 12/1/21 - 2021 NY FALL FACE OFF UPDATE**
This will be my first tournament on the water protections topic and my first time judging remote in a while so I ask that you prioritize clarity over speed as I will be flowing on paper and if I can't catch your arguments because I can't hear you then those arguments will not be evaluated in my decision.
I try to let you, the debaters decide what the round is about and what debate should be. However, as I grow older in this activity, I will admit that certain debate styles and trends that exist from convoluted plan texts/advocacy statements where no one defends anything and worse; debaters that purposely and intentionally go out of their way to make competitors and judges and even spectators feel uncomfortable through fear tactics such as calling people out in debate because one doesn't agree with the other's politics, utilizing social media to air out their slanderous statements about people in the debate community and so on is tired and absolutely uncalled for. I say this because this has been an on-going occurrence far TOO often and it has placed me in a position where I'm starting to lose interest in the pedagogical advantages of policy debate due to these particular positions. As a result, I've become more and more disinterested in judging these debates. Not to say that I won't judge it fairly but the worst thing you can do in terms of winning my ballot fails to explain what your argument is and not tell me what the ballot signifies. So, if you are the type of team that can't defend what your aff does or how it relates to the topic and solely survives off of grandiose rhetoric and/or fear tactics... STRIKE ME!
The Semantics of "So-Called" Rules or Norms for Debate Rounds
THE INTRO: I try to have zero substantive or procedural predispositions prior to the round. But as I judge, judge, and judge policy debates, that tends to shift. So, in out of all honesty, I say to you that all debaters will have the opportunity to argue why you should win off with a clean slate. If you win a round-ending argument, I won't shy away from voting for you just because I think it's stupid. Of course, I expect your arguments to be backed up by persuasive reasoning (or whatever else you find persuasive), but if you fail to explain why you should win, I will feel personally licensed by you all to make things up. So at the end of the day, don’t make me have to do the work to adjudicate the round… you do it. DON'T MAKE ME HAVE TO DO THE WORK THAT YOU SHOULD DO IN THE ROUND!!! I don't mind reading evidence at the end of a debate, but don't assume that I will call for evidence, make sure that if you want me to evaluate your argument with your evidence at the end of the round just tell me what I should review, and I'll review the argument for you. Also, if you intend to use acronyms, please give me the full name before you go shorthand on me.
TOPICALITY: I've come to enjoy T debates, especially by those that are REALLY good at it. If you are that T hack that can go for T in the 2NR then I am a lot better for you than others who seem to think that T isn’t a legitimate issue. I do, which doesn’t mean I will vote for you just because you run it. It means that if you win it, that brings major weight when it is time for adjudication. FYI, T is genocide and RVIs are not the best arguments in the world for these debates but I will pull the trigger on the argument is justified. (and I mean REALLY justified). Voting on reasonability or a competing interpretation as a default paradigm for evaluating T is up for grabs, but as always I need to know how the argument should be evaluated and why it is preferable before I decide to listen to the T debate in the 2NR (e.g. predictable limits key to topic education).
COUNTERPLANS: I don’t mind listening to a good (and I mean) good CP debate. I don’t really have any set opinions about issues like whether conditionality is okay and whether PICs are legitimate. I award debaters that are creative and can create CPs that are well researched and are competitive with the AFF plan. Those types of debates are always up in the air but please note that in my experience that debaters should be on top of things when it comes to CP theory. Those debates, if executed poorly are typically unacceptably messy and impossible to resolve so be careful with running theory args on CP debates that A) makes ZERO sense, B) that is blimpy, and C) that is not necessary to run when there is no abuse. Violation of any of the three will result in me giving you a dumb look in your speech and low speaks. And it really doesn't hurt to articulate a net benefit to the CP for that would win you some offense.
DISADVANTAGE: I evaluate Disads based on the link story presented by the negative in the 1NC and what is impacted in the 2NR. To win my vote, the story needs to be clear in terms of how specifically does the affirmative link to the DA. Any case can link but it’s how specific the link is and the calculus of the impact that makes me lean more towards the neg.
KRITIKS: I can handle K debates, considering the majority of my debate career has been under critical arguments (i.e. Capitalism, Statism, Racism, Biopower…) But, if you are a team that relies on the judge being hyped up by fancy rhetoric that you learn from camp, practice, or a debate video on YouTube, you don’t want me. In fact, some of you love to read insanely complicated stuff really fast without doing enough to explain what the hell you’re saying. I like a fast debate like anyone else, but if you read the overview to your tortuously complex Kritik at top speed, you’re going to lose me. If your kritik is not overly complex, go nuts with speed. I will vote on offensive arguments such as "K Debate Bad/Good or the perm to the alt solves or turns to the K, as long as you win them. Overall, I’m cool with the K game, ya dig. All I ask of you all is a comprehensive link story for me to understand... an impact and what does the alternative world looks like and how that is more desirable than the aff policy option. "Reject the aff" as the alt text.... very long stretch on winning the K if I don't know what it means.
FRAMEWORK: Like Topicality, I also enjoy framework debates, if done properly. And like topicality, I try to not have a default preference in terms of defaulting to policymaker or activist or whatever in the fairness of approaching the debate round from a clean slate. At the end of the debate, I need to know what the round should be evaluated and what is my jurisdiction as a judge to evaluate the debate on a particular framework versus the opponent's competitive framework (if they choose to present one). If there isn't a competitive framework, I'll simply default to the original framework mentioned in the debate. In essence, if I am not presented with a framework of how to evaluate the argument, I'll take the easy way out and evaluate the argument as a policymaker. However, it is up to the debaters to shape the debate, NOT ME.
PERFORMANCE/ K Affs: I'm slowly starting to dislike judging these types of debates. Not because I don't like to hear them (I've ran critical affirmatives and neg positions both in high school and in college) but more and more I'm stuck judging a debate where at the end of round, I've spent nearly two hours judging and I've learned little to nothing about the topic/subject matter but instead subjected to grandiose rhetoric and buzzwords that make no sense to me. I really dislike these debates and the fact that these types of debates are growing more and more places me in a position where I'd rather not judge these rounds at all. As a judge, I shouldn't have to feel confused about what you are saying. I shouldn't have to feel pressured into voting a certain way because of one's pessimistic view of the debate space. Granted, we all have our issues with policy debate but if you don't like the game... then don't play it. Changing the debate space where diversity is acknowledged is fine but when we lose sight of talking about the resolution in lieu of solely talking about one's personal politics only becomes self-serving and counter-productive. For that, I am not the right judge for you.
That said, if you want to run your K aff or "performance" affirmative, do what you do best. The only burden you have is that you need to win how your level of discourse engages the resolution. If you cannot meet that burden then framework/procedural arguments become an easy way to vote you down. If you can get through that prerequisite then the following is pretty straightforward: 1) I just want you to explain what you are doing, why you are doing it, what my role is, and how I’m supposed to decide the round. 2) If you want me to engage the debate via a comparison of methodologies, you need to explain what it is and how it functions in the context of the resolution and prove that its preferable against your opponent or vise-versa. 3) I want you to act like the other team actually exists, and to address the things they say (or the dances they do, or whatever). If you feel like I should intuit the content of your args from your performance/K Affs with no explicit help from you, you don’t want me, in fact, you will just hate me when I give you lower speaks. However, if you are entertaining, funny, or poignant, and the above constraints don’t bother you, I’m fine. 4) If you answer performance/ K Affs arguments with well-thought-out and researched arguments and procedurals, you’ll easily pick up my ballot.
THEORY: This is something that I must say is extremely important to mention, given that this is greatly a big issue in policy debate today, especially in the national circuit. So let me be clear that I have experienced highly complex theoretical debates that made virtually NO sense because everyone is ready to pull out their blocks to "Condo Bad" or "Vagueness Good" or "Agent CPs Bad" without actually listening to the theoretical objection. With that I say, please pay attention. Good teams would provide an interpretation of how to evaluate a theory argument. Like a procedural argument, you should prove why your interpretation of the theoretical argument is preferred for debate. It would also help you to SLOW, SLOW, SLOW down on the theory debates, especially if that is the route that you're willing to go to for the 2NR/2AR. If the affirmative or negative are planning to go for theory, either you go all in or not at all. Make sure that if you're going for theory, impact it. Otherwise, I'm left to believe that it's a reason to reject the argument, not the team.
FLASHING EVIDENCE/EMAIL CHAIN: I have a love-hate relationship with paperless debate but I can accept it. That being said, please be aware that I will stop the prep time once the flash drive is out of the computer of the team that is about to speak. I take this very seriously considering the ongoing mishaps of technical issues that are making the paperless debate, in general, a notorious culprit of tournament delays, considering the flashing of the evidence, the opponents searching for the correct speech file, and the infamous "my computer crashed, I need to reset it" line. If you are capable of having a viewing computer... make it accessible. I'm also cool with email chains. You can send me your speeches to firstname.lastname@example.org. Same rules on flashing apply to email chains as well.
BEHAVIOR STYLE: To be aggressive is fine, to be a jerk is not. I am ok if debates get a bit heated but that does not allow debaters to be just plain rude and ignorant to each other. That said, please be nice to each other. I don't want to sound like the elementary school teacher telling children to behave themselves, but given the experience of some debaters that simply forgot that they are in an activity that requires discipline and manners... just chill out and have fun. For example, POINTLESSLY HOSTILE CROSS-EXAMINATIONS really grinds my gears. Chill out, people. Hostility is only good in cross-ex if you making a point. And oh yeah, be nice to your partner. At the end of the day, they're the ones you have to go back to practice with.
Remember, competitive debate is a privilege, not a right. Not all students have the opportunity to compete in this activity on their spare weekends for various reasons (academic and socio-economic disadvantages to name a few). Remember that debate gives you an opportunity to express yourselves on a given subject and should be taken advantage of. Although I don't want to limit individuals of their individuality when presenting arguments however I will not condone arguments that may be sexist, racist, or just plain idiotic. Remember to respect the privilege of competition, respect the competitors and hosts of the tournament and most importantly respect yourselves.
HAVE FUN AND BEST OF LUCK!!!
Email for chains or questions: email@example.com
Influences: Will Baker, Alex Sherman, Taylor Brough
2016-2020 Debater @ Bronx Science -- Qual'ed to TOC
2020-2024 Debater @ NYU -- CEDA quarterfinalist
2020-2022 Head CX Coach @ Bronx Science
2023-Present Assistant PF, LD Coach @ Collegiate
Last Updated: Updated for Harvard 02/13/2023
Policy and LD general: Good for anything, mostly read Ks in high school and college. "Debate is a game" is a silly argument. You don't need to go for the alt on the K or a CP to win, but I won't judge kick unless instructed to. I actively coach multiple events and keep up to date with research, so I will have fairly decent topic knowledge.
Policy specific: Fairness might be an impact, but you need to prove it. I don't care if you read a plan, you just need to justify it. Strongly convinced by K condo arguments and I disfavor contradictory K arguments.
LD specific: Honestly fine for anything except tricks. I don't inflate speaks. Order of experience would probably be K > LARP >> phil > trad >> tricks.
PF Paradigm: Don't paraphrase. Cut cards, not corners. Read whatever you want in front of me. I don't care if you spread. Please read theory properly.
IMPORTANT if I am in the back of your debate:
- 1AC should be sent 3 minutes before start time, emails should be collected before that. If sending the 1AC pushes us more than 5 minutes past the start time, I will take all additional time past 5 minutes from you as prep.
- Pen time is important, slow down a bit if you want me to get something down. Speeding through a 40 point 2AC block will not result in all 40 points on my flow. I flow your speeches, not your doc.
- Stop stealing prep. Depending on how I'm feeling I'll call you out for it, but regardless of how I'm feeling I'll drop your speaks.
- I assign speaks according to the speaker point guide provided to me by Tabroom. It is the most standardizable method and consistently lowers the standard deviation of speaker points when provided to judges. Please do not email me after the debate asking for a justification of your speaker points. They should speak for themselves.