Cavalier Invitational at Durham Academy
2023 — Durham, NC/US
PF Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I'm a volunteer and I've read over some information about this topic and watched a demo video, but I am new to judging. Please keep your delivery slow and clear. I appreciate clear analysis of why you should win in the final rebuttals. Thanks so much!
PF Coach @ The Potomac School,
W&M '24,GMU '22 (debated (policy) 4 yrs in HS & 4 yrs at GMU)
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Flow judge, tell me how to evaluate the round
Here are a few thoughts:
1. I absolutely despise the way evidence is traded in PF. It is so unbelievably inefficient. You will probably be rewarded if you just send cases/rebuttal docs before each speech because I will less annoyed. If you are asking for opponents to write out/send analytics, you are self reporting, I know you aren't flowing.
2. Links and impacts need to be in the summary if you want me to evaluate them in the final focus. Please do not tagline extend your argument, do some comparative analysis in regard to your opponents arguments. Please go beyond just extending author names as well - most of the time I don’t really flow authors unless it matters.
3. Tech > Truth
4. I don’t flow cross, but I am listening. If something important happens in cross it NEEDS to be in your speech.
5. Theory: I am comfortable evaluating theory, although it super aggravates me when debaters read theory on teams that clearly wont know how to answer it just because they think it is an easy ballot, I will tank speaks for this. Either way, theory is just another argument I will evaluate on the flow, so make sure you are doing line-by-line, just like you would on any other argument. However, generally I think disclosure is beneficial and CWs are good when they are actually needed.
6. Ks: I will evaluate them, but probably have a pretty high threshold for explanation. I think there are ways to run them and be effective, but I think it is extremely hard given the time constraints of PF. I hate link of omissions though. pls stop
*UPDATE for Wake 2022*
I have not researched/coached at all on the personhood topic so pls do not assume that I knowthings.
Online things - pls slow down a lil - I already flow on paper and if you are flying through analytics online there is a good chance I wont catch some stuff
TLDR: I’m receptive to all kinds of arguments. Read what you are good at.
Policy v Policy
Cards: I will read them to answer questions about my flow or to compare the quality of evidence of well debated arguments (this is not an excuse for poor explanation) .
T: The standards I prefer and find most persuasive are limits/ground and real world context. I default to competing interpretations if no other metric is given. However, I err aff if I think your interp is reasonable (given reasonability is explained properly, it is often not) and the negative did not prove you made debate impossible even if neg interp is slightly better. Otherwise, just defend your interp is a good vision of the topic.
I am generally fine with unlimited condo. However, will be much more inclined to vote on condo if your vision of unlimited condo is 7 counterplans in the 1NC with no solvency advocates. Fail to see how that is a) strategic or b) educational. I will certainly vote on condo if it is dropped or won tho.
I'm fine with PICs out of specific portions the aff defends.
99 out of 100 times, if it's not condo, it's a reason to reject the arg. You need a clear reason why they skewed the round to get me to drop them even if it is dropped. Having said that, if you win that a CP is illegitimate you're probably in a good spot anyways.
K v Policy Affs
Specificity of links go a long way. This doesn't mean your evidence has to be exactly about the plan but applying your theory to the aff in a way that takes out solvency will do a world of good for you. Please remember I haven't done research on this topic, so good explanations will be to your benefit.
Make sure the alt does something to resolve your links/impacts + aff offense OR you have FW that eliminates aff offense. (Having an alt in the 2NR is definitely to your benefit in these debates, I am less likely to err neg even if you win a link to the aff without some resolution).
However, I probably tend to err aff on the f/w portion of the debate. Weigh the aff, key to fairness, etc are all arguments I tend to find persuasive. I also think a well developed argument about legal/pragmatic engagement will go a long way.
Good impact framing is essential in the majority of these debates. For the aff - be careful here, even if you win case outweighs, the neg can still win a link turns case arg and you will lose.
Contextual line-by-line debates are better than super long overviews. I will not make cross-applications for you.
K Affs v Policy
K Affs should probably have some relation to the resolution. They should also probablydo somethingto resolve whatever the aff is criticizing. If it isn't doing something, I need an extremely good explanation for why. TLDR: if I don’t know what the aff does after the CX of the 1AC, you are going to have a v hard time the rest of the round.
Negative teams should prove why the aff destroys fairness and why that is bad. Fairness is an impact. However, go for whatever version of FW you are best at. In the same vain as some of the stuff above, being contextual to the aff is critical. If you make no reference to the aff especially in the latter half of the debate, it will be hard to win my ballot.
Both teams need a vision of what debate looks like & why that vision is better. Or if the negative team does not have a superb counterinterp - impact turn the affs model of debate.
K v K
If you find me in these debates, make the debate simple for me. Clear contextual explanations are going to go a long way. Impact framing/explanation is going to be key in these rounds.
I did Public Forum Debate for four years in High School. With that said, I prefer the debators to have a normal talking speed, meaning not too fast or too slow. I do not like spreading. There should be impacts to each contention and or block, and the debate should not be solely about the sources or facts but rather the way they are incorporated into the argument. WEIGH THE ROUND.
Make it interesting, please do not bore me with irrelevant facts.
Don't be rude. If you're abusive or disrespectful, it'll show in your speaker points.
for the chain- firstname.lastname@example.org
reagan '21, duke '25
qualified to the TOC twice (8 bids total)
if you're a hardcore policy team, i would not pref me high. i did k debate of 3 of the 4 years i debated so that should probably tell you how well versed i am with policy things. if you do end up having me in the back and only read these arguments, don't worry. you just have to simplify and connect the dots for me more than you would for other judges. for k teams i am probably in the range of a 1-3 and policy teams from a 4-6.
my sophomore year i read settler colonialism and linguistic criticisms like anzuldua. my junior year i read a baudrillard aff and a bunch of k's on the negative like semiocap, wilderson, settler colonialism, and baudrillard. my senior year i only read warren on the aff and neg.
- clarity > speed
-tech > truth in most instances
- don't be problematic. i am unafraid to vote on microaggressions. (racism, sexism, death good)
- clipping is bad but needs proof (L and 0 speaks for the team who does it)
- try entertaining me! judging can get boring sometimes so enjoyable rounds are always good
- zoom debate can be miserable if you aren't careful. please have a good mic, try and have your camera on, and don't speak over others during cx because nothing can be heard
- these debates can either be really good or really bad - please don't make them bad
- im familiar with antiblackness, set col, cap, and baudrillard. even if i may know what you are reading, you still need to do nuanced analysis on the thesis of your k.
- i never understood long overviews cause you re-explain all of what you said on the line-by-line. if you do have a long overview, try and make it the least redundant as possible.
- i have a deep deep deep hatred for links of omission. please make them specific.
- framework determines the rest of the debate. you need a model of debate that is preferable and probably should have offense on why the other side's model is bad for debate.
- if you read a kritik against a K aff, i will reward specific engagement by holding affirmative teams to a higher standard for permutation explanation.
- you can kick the alt
- just cause you won your theory of power doesn't mean you won the round :P
- i read k affs a lot but that doesn't mean i wont vote for t usfg. it just means i know a lot about how it should be ran
- clash as an impact>>>>
- fairness and limits > education and ground
- often negative teams forget to do impact comparison when going for t-usfg - this is the easiest way to win my ballot
- subjectivity debates matter and can implicate a lot of the flow
- i think switch side is very persuasive and solves a lot of offense
- i lean towards competing interpertations but will still vote on reasonability
- case lists are nice
- i appreaciate intent to define arguments
- impact comparison is pretty important
- good counter interp ev is really cool.
- like t-usfg i am more persuaded by limits fairness and clash than education and ground
- smart, creative counterplans are appreciated if executed well
- i like counterplans that are textually and functionally competitive, but your counterplan by no means has to be. i mostly just think you should have a solvency advocate.
- i lean neg for most counterplan theory except for consult, condo, solvency advocate. theory debates get wack so do a lot of work here to make it make sense
- i need instruction for judge kick.
- impact comparison is especially important for these debates
- evidence comparison is also pretty important
- turns case arguments when executed correctly are strategic and beneficial for negative teams
- 1ar gets new arguments to new uniqueness, links, or impacts in the blocks
- apart from things like condo and judge kicks i am not nuanced in theory arguments. slow down and overexplain things if you plan on doing this in front of my
- you should probably do this besties
- i hate aspec. if you hide this in a t shell i hate you.
-be nice. being sassy can be fun but there is a limit
- respect your opponents. respect their pronouns. don't cut each other off. just be respectful
- put a trigger warning on your stuff!!!!!
- i am heavily influenced by Philip Dipiazza, Gavin Loyd, Sean Kennedy, Rafael Sanchez, and David Gutierrez. if you have any questions, their paradigms could probably answer it.
- taylor swift references gives you +0.2 speaker points
Please pre-flow before rounds!!!
Hey everyone, I’m Elliot. I debated with my sister Claire as part of College Prep BB. I'm a sophomore at Duke University and I coach for Durham Academy.
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Remember to collapse well, extend your argument fully, and weigh! Good weighing fully compares the impact you are going for with your opponents impact, and tells me through what lens I should make my decision.
I prefer a substance debate with good clash. I am open to evaluating any kind of argument — however I reserve the right to intervene if debaters are reading arguments in an inaccessible manner. Don’t be mean or problematic please, it won’t go well for you.
Feel free to go fast if you want but you should definitely send a speech doc! I can listen to and understand speed but I much prefer to have a doc to make sure I don't miss anything when I flow. If your opponents call for evidence and you have a doc with all of your evidence, just send the whole doc, and send it as a Word doc or in the text of an email. Stop sending a google doc and deleting it after the round...Have all your evidence ready please. If you take a while to send evidence - you’ll lose speaker points and you are also giving your opponents a chance to steal prep.
I think that almost all structural violence framing needs to be in rebuttal or constructive. I wont evaluate a blip read in summary thats like "don't evaluate any other impacts bla bla bla." You can read new weighing in summary but if it's not in summary it shouldn't be in final, unless you are just tweaking implications of the same piece of weighing or making a backline to a new response from first final or second summary.
Returning to in person debate norms:
- You can sit down or stand when speaking, whatever makes you feel most comfortable
- Please at least try to make some eye contact during your speeches and during crossfire
- During prep time, don't talk so loudly that everyone can hear what you are saying
Some of my favorite judges when I debated: Eli Glickman, Will Sjostrom, Sanjita Pamidimukkala, Gabe Rusk
Assistant Speech & Debate Coach at NSU University School
Last Update: November 2023---Thoughts on "Disclosure" and "Evidence Ethics" in PF added.
1. Big Picture
Please put me on the e-mail chain.
Policy: firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com
Public Forum: firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com
I actively coach and research policy and public forum debate. I enjoy technical, organized debates. I don’t think I have particularly controversial views, but have tried to be thorough where it matters for prefs/pre-round prep.
Policy vs. K---An argument is an argument, assuming it’s complete, warranted, and applicable.
Tech vs. Truth---Tech obviously informs truth, but if I have to decide between intuitive and well-explained arguments vs. terrible evidence, I’ll choose the former. There are few things I won’t vote on, but “death good” is among them.
Offense vs. Defense---This is a helpful paradigm for assessing relative risk, but risk can be reduced to zero.
2. General Practices
Speed---Go for it, but at the higher end you should scale back slightly. I flow on a computer without much shorthand.
Evidence---I read it during debates. When referenced in CX, I’ll likely go to it. Quality is in the back of my mind, consciously or not.
Re-Highlighting---If small, I don’t think you need to re-read in speech. Don’t expect me to read a giant card to figure out if you’re right.
Digital Debate---Make sure everyone is present with confirmation before starting. Be reasonable about tech issues, as I will track tech time. If there are major issues, I’ll default to tournament procedures.
Decorum---Sass, snark, or shade are fine within reason. I’m not a good judge for hostile approaches, e.g. interrupting speeches.
“New” Arguments---The more late-breaking, the more open I am to responses. “Late-breaking” is relative to me catching the initial argument. Happy to strike 1AR/2NR arguments rightly flagged as “too new.”
Alternative Practices---I’m here to flow and judge a debate, awarding a single win. If you’re trying to do something different, I’m not the judge for you.
3. Topicality (Plans)
“Competing interpretations” makes intuitive sense to me. “Reasonability” is best explained as either a matter of “functional limits” or a reason why your defense is terminal. You’re still better off prioritizing offense for your interpretation.
In a vacuum, narrow topics are preferable. That’s rarely the case, especially for the Inequality topic.
I was not at camp this summer, and do not have strong views on most of the debated T issues, e.g. “FR = tax and transfer” or “FJ = no subsets.” From grad school studying health policy, “single payer health insurance can be social security” seems a bit absurd, but I’ll let evidence dictate decisions.
These debates are frequently frustrating. Two suggestions.
1. Have a robust defense of your model of debate, including roles for teams/judge, clear examples of how debates play out, net-benefits, etc.
2. Pick and choose. Folks frequently read packaged overviews without resolving offense.
At a bare minimum, affirmatives should have some relationship to the topic and “affirm” a clear advocacy. I am not sympathetic to purely negative arguments/diagnoses of power relations.
Debate is competitive, academic, and personal space. Arguments that assume it’s only one seem a bit shallow. Offense can be made assuming all three.
“Fairness” or “clash” can be terminal impacts, though often teams don’t seem to explain why.
I am less persuaded by “truth testing” / “vote neg on presumption” arguments because all argumentation seems to rely on some outside/unstated assumptions. I can certainly be persuaded that the structure of debate warps content and that could be a reason for skepticism.
I don’t think “TVAs” require evidence, but it helps. What’s more important is the 2NR explaining what offense you think the TVA resolves instead of expecting me to figure it out.
It’s hard to convince me the act of reading T is violent. Feel free to impact turn the resulting curriculum, models, debates, etc. but I don’t think T is analogical to “stop and frisk.”
Err on the side of explanation, not buzzwords or author names.
Uniqueness matters. The alt needs to resolve each link, or have some larger reason that’s not relevant. Affs are often in a better spot pressing poorly explained alternatives/links.
I presume affs can test mutual exclusivity of alts, whether against a “plan” or “advocacy.” Feel free to argue different standards of competition. The less the aff outlines a clear method, the more I’m persuaded by “no plan, no perm.”
Permutation texts are great. This can be difficult when alts are amorphous, but 1AR/2AR explanation needs to rise above “do both.”
“Counter-perms” are not a thing.
If you want me to explicitly consider multiple worlds post-2NR, e.g. both CP vs. aff and/or status quo vs. aff, make an explicit argument. Saying the words “the status quo is always an option” in CX is not enough for me.
Topic literature helps dictate what you can persuade me is reasonable. If your only basis for competition is a definition of “resolved”/“should” and a random law review, good luck. If you have evidence contextual to a topic area and a clear explanation of functional differences in implementation, I’m far easier to persuade.
CPs should have solvency advocates of “comparable quality” to the 1AC. If your Advantage CP plank cites 1AC evidence, go for it. If you’re making something up, provide a card. If you’re trying to make card-less “Con Con” a thing, I’m a hard sell.
2NC CPs out of 2AC impact turns, add-ons, or shifts in aff explanation seem reasonable.
Both the aff/neg need to get better at debating intrinsic/“other issues” perms.
Framing is everything: impact calculus, link driving uniqueness or vice-versa, the works. Smart arguments and coherent narratives trump a slew of evidence.
I find most "DA Turns the Case" / "Case Turns the DA" debates spend too much time on terminal impacts and not enough time on internal links or timing.
Most 2AC theory blips against Politics DAs aren’t complete arguments, e.g. “fiat solves the link” or "a logical policymaker could do both." Still, intrinsicness arguments against DAs are underutilized.
Conditionality---It’s difficult to convince me some conditionality isn’t necessary for the neg to be viable. Things can certainly change based on substantive contradictions or quantity. Negs should be clear under what conditions, if any, they can kick individual CP planks.
Other Theory Issues---It’s difficult to persuade me that most theoretical objections to CPs or perms are reasons to reject the team.
9. Public Forum Specifics
I am not a "lay"/"flay" judge. I do not think every issue must be an "existential crisis" to matter, but I expect complete and well-warranted arguments.
A few views of mine may be idiosyncrasies:
A---Paraphrasing---I’m convinced this is a harmful practice that hides evidence from scrutiny. Evidence should be presented in full context with compete citations in real time. That means:
i) Author, Date, Title, URL
ii) Complete paragraphs for excerpts
iii) Underlining and/or highlighting indicating what is referenced.
iv) Sending evidence you intend to read to opponents before the speech is delivered.
Purely paraphrased evidence compared to a team reading cut cards will be treated as baseless opinions.
B---Line-by-line refutation matters.
i) You need to answer arguments in a coherent order based on when/where they were introduced.
ii) You need to extend complete arguments, with warrants, in later speeches. If not in summary, it’s too late to bring back from the dead in final focus.
If neither side seems to be doing the needed work, expect me to intervene.
C---Disclosure---I generally think disclosure is beneficial for the activity, which is why our program open sources. However, I am not as dogmatic about disclosure when judging. It is difficult to convince me "disclosure in its entirety is bad," but the recent trend seems to be shifting interpretations that are increasingly difficult to meet.
Absent egregious lack of disclosure/mis-disclosure, I am not the best judge for increasingly demanding interpretations if opponents have made a good faith effort to disclose. For example, if a team forgot to disclose cites/round report for a single round, but is otherwise actively disclosing, it is difficult to convince me that a single mistake is a punishable offense.
While I don't want to prescribe what I think standard disclosure should be and would rather folks debate the specifics, I am an easier sell than others on some things:
i) The quality of debates is better when students know what arguments have been read in the past. This seems more important than claims that lack of disclosure encourages "thinking on your feet."
ii) Debaters should provide tags/citations of previously read contentions. A doc with a giant wall of text and no coherent tags or labels is not meaningful disclosure.
iii) Round reports don't seem nearly as important as other forms of disclosure.
D---Evidence Ethics---Evidence issues are getting egregious in PF. However, I also do not like some of the trends for how these debates are handled.
NSDA rules matter. If an evidence challenge is invoked, I will stop the debate, inform the team issuing the challenge that the entire debate will hinge on the result of evaluating that challenge, and then consult both the NSDA rules and any tournament specific procedures to adjudicate the challenge. Questions of evidence ethics cannot be just "theory" or "off-case" arguments.
However, I think there's also a "spirit" of the rules and am concerned that folks are hunting for minor issues to avoid clash. What that means practically:
i) "Straw" arguments where the cut section clearly does not represent the rest of the article, ellipses out of major sections, bracketing that changes the meaning of an article (including adding context/references the author didn't intend), and fabrication are easy to convince me are round-enders.
ii) A single broken URL, a card that was copy and pasted from a backfile incorrectly so the last sentence accidentally cut off a couple words, and other minor infractions do not seem worth ending a round over, but it's up for debate.
iii) Not being able to produce the original full text of a card quickly seems like a reason to reject a piece of evidence given NSDA wordings, though I worry this discourages the cutting of books which are harder to provide access to quickly during debates.
I'm Anna (she/her). I’m a sophmore at Brown University. I coach PF for Durham where I debated from 2018-2021.
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At the end of the day, I’ll vote off the flow. Read whatever arguments, weighing, framework etc. you want. That being said, I don’t like blippy debate. Don’t skimp on warranting. If your argument doesn’t have a warrant the first time it’s read, I won’t vote off of it. I am especially persuaded by teams that have a strong narrative in the back half or a clear offensive strategy.
1. I always look to weighing first when I make a decision. If you are winning weighing on an argument and offense off of it, you have my ballot. That said, it must be actual comparative, well-warranted weighing not just a collection of buzzwords(e.g. we outweigh on probability because our argument is more probable is not weighing). Prereqs, link ins, short circuits etc. are the best pieces of weighing you can read.
2. Collapse and extend. I'm not voting off of a 5 sec extension of a half fleshed out turn. It will better serve you to spend your time in the back half extending, front-lining, and weighing one or two arguments well than 5 arguments poorly.
3. Implicate defense, especially in the back half. If it is terminal, tell me that. If it mitigates offense so much that their impacts aren't weighable, tell me that. Otherwise, I'm going to be more likely to vote on risk of offense arguments. Impact out and weigh turns.
4. I will evaluate theory/Ks/progressive args. When reading Ks, please make my role as a judge/the ROB as explicit as possible. Additionally, please know the literature well and explain your authors' positions as thoroughly and accessibly as possible. I see theory as a way to check back against serious abuse and/or protect safety in rounds. I will evaluate paraphrase and disclosure theory but find that the debates are generally boring so I won't be thrilled watching them.
I won't tolerate discriminatory behavior of any kind. Read content warnings with anonymous opt outs. Respect your opponents and their pronouns.
Finally, I really appreciate humor and wit. Making me laugh or smile will give you a really good chance at high speaker points.
If you have any questions feel free to ask me before round. I will disclose and give feedback after the round.
I am a lay judge - make sense and I vote for you :).
Be kind and have a great debate.
Try not to spread because I won't be able to flow. If you don't see me flowing, you're probably going too fast.
I am the Director of Speech and Debate at Charlotte Latin School. Have been coaching all types of debate (except Policy), but most specifically Public Forum.
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Currently serve on the Public Forum Topic Wording Committee, and have been since 2018.
1. Judge and Coach mostly Traditional styles.
2. Am ok with speed/spreading but should only be used for depth of coverage really.
3. LARP/Trad/Topical Ks/T > Theory/Tricks/Non-topical Ks
4. The rest is largely similar to PF judging:
- Flow judge, can follow the fastest PF debater but don't use speed unless you have too.**
- I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that, with some humor and panache.
- I have a high threshold for theory arguments to be valid in PF. Unless there is in round abuse, I probably won’t vote for a frivolous shell. So I would avoid reading most of the trendy theory arguments in PF.
5 Things to Remember…
1. Sign Post/Road Maps (this does not include “I will be going over my opponent’s case and if time permits I will address our case”)
After constructive speeches, every speech should have organized narratives and each response should either be attacking entire contention level arguments or specific warrants/analysis. Please tell me where to place arguments otherwise they get lost in limbo. If you tell me you are going to do something and then don’t in a speech, I do not like that.
I will evaluate arguments under frameworks that are consistently extended and should be established as early as possible. If there are two frameworks, please decide which I should prefer and why. If neither team provides any, I default evaluate all arguments under a cost/benefit analysis.
Don’t just extend card authors and tag-lines of arguments, give me the how/why of your warrants and flesh out the importance of why your impacts matter. Summary extensions must be present for Final Focus extension evaluation. Defense extensions to Final Focus ok if you are first speaking team, but you should be discussing the most important issues in every speech which may include early defense extensions.
Paraphrasing is ok, but you leave your evidence interpretation up to me. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round. Make sure to extend evidence in late round speeches.
Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to the key contention-level impact story or how your strategy presents cohesion and some key answers on your opponents’ contentions/case.
SPEAKER POINT BREAKDOWNS
30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior.
***Speaker Points break down borrowed from Mollie Clark.***
Email Chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Latin School, formerly at Providence (2014-22).
Trad debate coach -- I flow, but people read that now and think they don't need to read actual warrants? And can just stand up and scream jargon like "they concede our delink on the innovation turn so vote for us" instead of actually explaining how the arguments interact? I'm not going to do all that work for you.
COMPARATIVELY weigh ("prefer our interp/evidence because...") and IMPLICATE your arguments ("this is important because...") so that I don't have to intervene and do it for you. Clear round narrative is key.
If you present a framework/ROB, I'll look for you to warrant your arguments to it. Convince me that the arguments you're winning are most important, not just that you're winning the "most" arguments.
Please be clean: signpost, extend the warrant (not just the card).
I vote off the flow, so cross is binding, but needs clean extension in a speech.
I do see debate as a "game," but a game is only fun if we all understand and play by the same rules. We have to acknowledge that this has tangible impacts for those of us in the debate space -- especially when the game harms competitors with fewer resources. You can win my ballot just as easily without having to talk down to a debater with less experience, run six off-case arguments against a trad debater, or spread on a novice debater who clearly isn't able to spread. The best (and most educational) rounds are inclusive and respectful. Adapt.
Not a fan of tricks.
Run what you want and I'll be open to it. I tend to be more traditional, but can judge "prog lite" LD -- willing to entertain theory, non-topical K's, phil, LARP, etc. Explanation/narrative/context is still key, since these are not regularly run in my regional circuit and I am for sure not as well-read as you. Please make extra clear what the role of the ballot is. If I can't understand what your advocacy is, I can't vote on it.
Please collapse the round!
I will consider theory, but it's risky to make it your all-in strategy -- I have a really high threshold in PF, and because of the time skew, it's pretty easy to get me to vote for an RVI. It's annoying when poorly constructed shells get used as a "cheat code" to avoid actually debating substance.
I was a Lincoln-Douglas debate for two years in high school a LONG time ago. Today, I’m both a lawyer and a policymaker where I witness the value of debating public policy issues almost every single day. I’m also the father of a Public Forum debater.
I will use the full scoring range allowed by the tournament but expect a score anywhere within the 25 to 30 point range.
WHAT I LOOK FOR AS A JUDGE
Given my lack of judging a lot of debaters, I would describe myself as a lay judge with real world experience. In other words, I’m interested in your ability to persuade me with supportive evidence and impact.
WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR AS A JUDGE
* Use Roadmap and Signposts: Given the sheer amount of information and arguments for each topic, it’s absolutely critical that you signpost each of your arguments. Also, please roadmap your speeches. In other words, tell me what you will be talking about in your speech. Without roadmaps and signposts, it will be hard for me to flow and know where you are in the speec
* Be Persuasive and Employment Evidence: I’m interested in your ability to persuade me about your case with the proper warrants, evidence, and impacts.
* Don't Go Over Your Allocated Time:: I will time your speeches but feel free to time your speech too. I will stop flowing 10 seconds after the timer goes off.
* Be Courteous and Fun: I’m a firm believer that debate should be civil and courteous just like politics. Also, I know how stressful and nerve-wracking debate can be but try to have fun! I know everyone has put a lot of work into this. Remember, debate is more about developing analytical and persuasive skills and less about winning.
* Please Weigh: Tell me why your evidence and impacts matter more than your opponents. Also, comparative weighing is always better than just saying we outweigh on magnitude or scope
* Speak at a Somewhat Understandable Speed: I would rather have a debater speak very slowly and have every line of analysis mean something rather than someone who speaks at 180 words per minute and does not add much value to the round.
Dear All: As you can tell from judging history, I judge LD sparingly if at all over the last few years. My role in the activity is mostly yelling at people to start their rounds. Take your chances with my abilities to follow what is taking place. I don’t have predispositions to vote for anything in particular. My views that “bait theory” incline me to not want to vote for you if that is your primary strategy is still as true now as it was five years ago. Outside of that, I am open to whatever you can do well and justify that is interesting.
Since I am judging more PF these days:
Clear ballot story. I care about evidence. If you are paraphrasing in your case constructive, you had better have tagged, cited, and lined down carded evidence to support what you say. If you are looking for evidence in your prep time or in cross ex or I have to wait 5 minutes for you to find something before prep time even starts, you are debating from behind and your speaks will reflect your lack of preparation.
CX: Don't talk over each other. They ask a question, you ask a question. Bullies are bullies. I don't like bullies.
If it wasn't in the summary, it doesn't become offense in the Final Focus. Sign-post well. Have a ballot story in mind.
I hate generic link stories that culminate in lives and poverty. The link level matters a lot more to me than the impact level. Develop your link level better. High Probability/Low Magnitude impacts > Low Probability High Magnitude impacts.
Don't be a baby. If you and your coaches are trying to get cheap wins by bullying people with Ks and Theory and hand-me-down shells from your teams former policy back files, go to policy camp and learn how to become a policy debater. Disclosure is for plan texts. If you are running a plan, disclose it on the wiki. If you are not, no need to disclose. Disclosure privileges resource-rich debate programs with a team of people to prep your kids out.
Head debate coach at Strake Jesuit
I've coached for a long time and have watched/advised every type of debater. I have a workable knowledge on many progressive arguments, but my preference is traditional, topical debate. Persuasion and speaking skill matter to me. Because I don't judge much, it is important to speak clearly and to articulate the things that you want me to pay close attention to. If you go too fast and don't follow this advice you will lose me. I will not vote off of something that I didn't understand. You need to make my path to your ballot clear. I like certain types of theory arguments and will vote off of them if there is a demonstrated abuse (topicality, disclosure, etc.). My firm belief is that you should debate the topic assigned. I also am a big fan of disclosure. I think that it levels the playing field for all involved. Drops matter. Impacting is important. Giving clear reasons why you are winning offense is the easiest way to pick up my ballot.
Hi all! I am the Head Coach of Speech and Debate at Pinecrest High School in North Carolina. I am a former extemper with pretty deep knowledge of the happenings in the world.
LD & PF
--I am fine with speed, but remember with speed comes the risk I won't get it on the flow. If you see me stop typing/pen is no longer writing/I am staring blankly at you, consider that your cue to slow down.
--Make sure to differentiate your sourcing. Authors' last names are great, but tell me where the source comes from first. John Doe from the Council on Foreign Relations in 2022 sounds better than Doe 22. After that, you can refer to the source as CFR or Doe and I'm good on what you are referring to.
--Please weigh. Please. You have to do this in order for me to be able to determine a winner.
--Respect. Respect your opponents, partner (if in PF), self, and the host school. Competitive debate is a great activity; but you must maintain some sense of decorum throughout your time in the round.
--When you go to an in-house recess to determine splits, or inquire as to why no one is speaking, you have done yourself and your fellow competitors a disservice by not being prepared. Please avoid this as much as possible.
--I'm fine with rehashing arguments to a point, but you need to add more evidence to support this rehashed point. Something niche and unique that can catch the opposing side off guard.
--Presiding Officers: thank you for volunteering to run the chamber. Please only defer to the parli when you are unsure of certain procedure.
I am a lay judge and have not debated, though I have a basic understanding of PF concepts and how the rounds work. I am generally educated in the topic of internal armed conflicts in West Asia, the concepts of how our government deals with these affairs, and how diplomacy works. I have a business degree and have worked with public presentations, and will distribute speaker points as deserved.
Truth>> Tech, make your links clear and strong
Please time your own speeches and prep time. I will try to keep track, but I appreciate you doing it for me. I appreciate some level of front-lining and moderate pacing (NO spreading.) of speeches as well.
Coached (and still coaching LD,PF,CX, CONGRESS, ALL FORMS OF SPEECH)
for 18 years
GREAT COMMUNICATOR DEBATES
If you are looking at my paradigm, you are probably already a debate student who is used to checking Tab. So I will be quick. Usually I am a serious flow judge, but I will judge this tournament based on my understanding of the most important elements of the criteria set forth by the Reagan Debates ballot. I used to host the Reagan Debates in the Mid-Atlantic many years ago, where one of my students, Ronald Thompson Jr. qualified to the National Tournament. We traveled to the Reagan Library in 2015, where at Nationals, he made it to quarters. He is a NexGen Leader .
I know what to look for in a winner, just keep confident and do a good job debating and speaking.
other debate formats:
I mind if you run a K unless it is clever and used without abusing the resolution, I listen with a slight ear to fem K, queer K, etc.... But if you have a different case that is not a K I would rather hear it. If you get hit with a K, and run stock K blocks and stock K Bad and they say K good... I mean... I just vote off the flow.
PF should be any speed except high-velocity spewing and spreading. I can still flow any speed. Just send me your doc if you're going to be fast. Jdotson@potomacschool.org
I favor evidence that is current or at least evidence that has not "changed" since published. Cite author, date or if not available source and date.
Watch out for biases.
Most likely know most of the evidence you are using anyway
You do not always need evidence for common sense or common knowledge so just because your opponent says you did not have evidence does not mean you automatically lose.
Partners If you have to save your partner by talking during the crossfire that is not yours, go ahead. Better to have a round that is saved than a nightmare. But that will ding speaker points.
Also be nice but not passive aggressive. I don't like that. Chummy debate is kind of annoying so if you know each other from camp, or RRs etc, still take the round seriously.
are not 100% needed.
Overviews are cool. If you know what to do with them.
Mostly a must... unless your opponents were trash and frontlining was impossible
Not a huge fan, especially when you are abusing it. Disclosure should be reserved for those who are on the wiki or those know are in out rounds.
Public forum debate is for the PUBLIC. So I expect debate that is accessible and inclusive to all audiences.
The speaking rate can be moderate to moderately fast; however, I don’t think you serve yourself well or the community going any quicker than that.
All arguments must be made by summary, or I will not be able to evaluate them in the final focus.
I prefer debate to be polite. Be nice to all competitors. Using offensive language of any kind, including but not limited to racist/sexist/ableist, will result in low speaker points and an automatic loss.
I judge arguments based on the order they are presented. I will go from top to bottom of the flow at the end of the round to make my decision. Please address the speeches that came before in the round, and make sure you are responding to the other team.
Evidence is significant to me. I want you to include the author/organization and date. Feel free to email me and competitors to start a chain.
Ultimately, have fun. Keep it entertaining. And keep it debate!
Hi I am a parent judge:
I would like it if you didn't speak fast and spoke clearly
Also I don't like it when people talk over each other in cross
I wish both teams good luck in the debate
I competed in PF for Newton South High School in Massachusetts between 2010 and 2014 and coached for St Francis High School in California between 2014 and 2016. However, I consider myself a flow-leaning “flay” judge and I place a huge premium on warranting (meaning, the “why” behind your arguments).
What I’m looking for:
• Framework. You should be telling me how to evaluate the round in every speech. In summary and final focus, reiterate your framework and give me the key voting issues.
• Good warranting. I don’t care if you impact to nuclear winter if the links are weak. And “Smith 2019 says…” does not count as a warrant on its own. Tell me WHY something is likely to happen.
• Respect for your opponents.
Things I’m NOT looking for:
• My number one pet peeve is unethical evidence practices. Shady card-cutting (e.g. with creative ellipses, barely any context, or tiny font sizing for parts you don’t want your opponents to read) is a no-no. If asked, you MUST be able to immediately produce the page preceding and following the part of the evidence from which your cards are cut. Also, it is completely disrespectful to your opponents’ time if they call for a card and you hand them a 50-page paper without telling them where to find what you’re quoting. If that happens, the offending team’s prep time must be used to hunt for the quotation.
(Also note – except in extraordinary circumstances, I will only call for cards that have already been called by teams during the round. It is the primary responsibility of the debaters to evaluate the quality of evidence.)
• Extensive theory. Look, I get it, the rules of PF are in flux and a lot of things fly today that wouldn’t have flown ten years ago. With that said, I’m pretty biased against arguments that rely exclusively on theory, particularly kritiks.
• Spreading. I can flow only slightly faster than the average layperson.
Ardrey Kell '20 | UNC Chapel Hill '24
Contact me if you have any questions with the email above
***Note for online rounds: Online debates are really weird and the possibility of someone's internet cutting out or their audio lagging is really high. In order to keep the round going smoothly, I strongly suggest that you send over speech docs for each speech and disclose your cases either on the wiki or putting it on the email chain. That way even if there is a technical issue during a speech we don't have to backtrack.
I was the captain of the Ardrey Kell High School Public Forum team. I competed in PF for 4 years and had some decent success on circuit.
Speed wasn't an issue as a debater but judging is a whole different story, so slow down just a little bit, especially if it's a new topic. I'm fine with spreading as long as you provide speech docs (otherwise I won't flow).
Provide warrants for everything you read. Explain why something happens, instead of just claiming that it happens.
Signpost signpost signpost!
-Debate is a game. I am tech>truth and will flow any argument, as long as you articulate them well and your link chains actually make sense.
-I like framework debates, but in order to win off of framework you need to extend it in every speech of the round. If no framework is given, I default cost-benefit.
-No new offensive overviews in second rebuttal. Second Rebuttal should frontline turns (you can kick out of them strategically, but don't bs). Weighing in rebuttal is lit.
-If an argument is conceded, it becomes 100% true.
-Summary and final focus have to be consistent. You can re-explain the warrants/links already extended in summary, but there should be no new warrants/impacts that are key to the round in FF. 1st FF can do a little bit extra weighing and new backlines to responses made in 2nd summary given that the first speaking team has a disadvantage in the round but no new link extensions that weren't in summary.
-My favorite protein is weigh protein (if you don't understand you're either gonna lose the round or you spend time prepping for debate so much that you don't have time to go to the gym)
-If you don't extend a link in summary, it's game over for you. Link extensions should have uniqueness, link, internal link, and impact. Weighing should also be extended in every speech. You can't link in with weighing if you're not winning your link.
-Extending something doesn't mean saying "extend the Smith evidence that goes conceded". Extend what the evidence says as well as the warranting/implication
-Summary doesnt have to extend conceded defense unless it's turns or TD. Turns without warranting and implications aren't turns at all so I'm not gonna evaluate them if you don't flush them out.
-2nd FF can't have any new link ins or weighing. Extend it from summary
At the end of the day, I will vote off of the most important argument in the round. If it is well-articulated and weighed, chances are you probably won it.
I'm going to be honest here. I understand and support the fact that progressive argumentation is key for checking back abuse of norms and create inclusivity in the debate sphere. However, I ran substance for most of my career and I am not an expert at progressive argumentation. That being said, I will evaluate theory and some basic level Ks if they are really really well explained. My threshold for evaluating progressive args is high so the simpler your arguments are, the better. I'd still much rather judge a normal substance debate, but if there is a violation that you absolutely have the need to call out, then go for it. Don't run frivolous arguments.
-I slightly lean to no RVIs but I'm pretty taboo about it
-No K-affs, Plans/CPs, tricks, etc (I have no idea what these are)
-I'm not going to call for cards after round unless you make an effort to indict one and I am told to call for it.
-I will be flowing the entire round except for crossfire, so if something important in cross pops up, I'm not going to consider it unless it's mentioned in speech.
-If you are racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, ableist, or show any other kind of discrimination you will be dropped automatically with the lowest speaks possible.
-You can paraphrase your cards as long as the content is what it actually says. If you do get caught lying about your cards, you will get an L with really low speaks
-Any Weeknd or Drake reference = 30 speaks
At the end of the day, whether you're on the bid round or you're riding the bubble, make sure you have fun. I get bored very easily debating or judging so make the round entertaining and light hearted. If you're funny, I'll bump your speaks and will like you but don't force it or come off as rude.
If you have any questions that I may not have answered in this paradigm, you can contact me using the info I put at the top.
I judge based on the quality of arguments that you advance on behalf of the resolution. That means you clearly state your claims, provide reputable evidence in support of those claims, and drive home the implications of your claims. Your arguments should be well-developed and category-relevant. Rarely do I find Kritiks persuasive.
Keep in mind that in public forum, the goal is for you to make arguments that are persuasive to a “citizen judge” or lay person. Thus, you should speak deliberately (slowly) and clearly, avoid jargon, and demonstrate the logical connections between your evidence and claims, and the resolution.
Please engage one another respectfully and respond directly to your opponents’ claims and evidence. Ad hominem attacks, grandstanding, and condescending remarks are not appropriate. Good debates, grounded in classical rhetoric, explore relevant claims and evidence, and empower the audience to make an informed decision.
My Background: More than 25 years of teaching argumentation, persuasion, and public speaking at the undergraduate level, a Ph.D. in communication and rhetoric, and a research focus on the implications of argumentation on public policy.
I consider myself a lay judge. I will follow the flow of the debate and make notes accordingly, though I may or may not follow everything in the round if the speed of the debate is too fast. I also value quality speaking in conjunction with good argumentation, but not in place of.
Spencergrosso@gmail.com (Yes, I want to be on the chain)
Debated PF on the national circuit for 4 years
-Tech>Truth, debate is a game
-Speed is fine, I’ll yell clear up to twice in one speech, If you continue to be unintelligible after that, it’s on you. (I’m not yelling clear in online debate. Send me speech docs and be clear)
-Offense is offense and offense must be warranted and weighed. I don't care if it was brought up in case or rebuttal, i dont care if you called it a contention, turn, ad/disad, overview, whatever. If you give me a reason to vote for you, it must be weighed. I won't care about the "turn" you spent 10 seconds on and didn't implicate in any way just because your opponents dropped it.
-Any offense brought up in either 1st constructive or 1st rebuttal not responded to by second rebuttal is considered dropped.
-Defense doesn’t need to be frontlined until 2nd sum but its still smart to do it in 2nd rebuttal.
-Everything that you want me to vote on should be in both the final and the summary except I don’t require defense in first summary.
-I default to consequentialism/utilitarianism, but I’m open to looking at the round through a different lens if I am given a warrant as to why I should and I'm pretty good about that I've voted based off anti util framework many times.
-I tend to prefer strong, clear link chains over big sounding impacts that may or may not have a risk of solvency to them, but again if you do good meta weighing as to why I should prefer your 0.001% probability solvency for human extinction, I’m open to it.
-I heavily despise exclusion. If I can tell your opponents either have access problems or are like brand new to debate and you’re dumping 300+ WPM speech docs, reading something progressive, or debating in any way that is clearly designed to make your opponents unable to contest you, I'll doc speaks.
-The more evidence you send me, the better. If both teams are comfortable just emailing their full cases ideally with cards at the start, I like that. Same with rebuttal is awesome. I'll never look for holes in your evidence unless they are specifically pointed out to me by your opponents, so you lose nothing by giving me evidence.
-I’m generally lax with paraphrasing as long as I feel the literal words of the card are accurately represented by what you read.
Non Ad/Disad argumentation:
Be explicit on role of the ballot and why I prefer one type of argument versus another, if you don’t, I will default to: Policy/Framework>Kritik>theory>tricks.
-I’m open to them and I’m even kind to them as long as you’re clear with the link and the implication in every extension. I find a lot of debaters assume they’re winning a link on the K if it goes uncontested so they undercover it when extending it into later speeches. Just like any other argument, if you drop warrants, I drop you.
-It is my belief that theory needs to exist to prevent real abuse and encourage education, so I tend not to look too kindly on theory that I see as being brought into the round which sacrifices educational value for the sake of getting a win (dates, disclosure, paraphrasing etc.) that being said I’m open to all those shells, if you warrant it, win it, and weigh successfully why I should vote off it, I’ll vote off it.
-In PF, I don’t necessarily require responses to theory in the very next speech(if it’s read in 1st constructive, I don’t require a response until 2nd rebuttal) this is because I think theory should be normalized as typical argumentation so people feel more comfortable when it is run, so I treat it as a normal argument in terms of rules when responding to it.
-To win with tricks, you have to do the following:
1. Warrant why it gives you a path the ballot
2. Opponent must drop it
3. There must literally be no other offense in the round, I will quite literally evaluate any risk of any kind of offense before I evaluate your a priori.
-I don’t grant presumption on my own, u need to tell me to do it. I’m pretty open to the logic behind presuming 1st so if you argue that, I’ll probably grant it to u.
-The speaker point system is complete crap and I refuse to legitimize it. The way I see it, you start with a 30. Speaks are docked only for malpractice(rude, prejudice, debating in a way I deem as harmful) If you don’t commit any sins, you get a 30. If the tournament doesnt let me tie it, ill do 30, 29.9, 29.8, 29.7.
PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TIME YOURSELVES AND TIME EACH OTHER. If anyone asks me to time them I will quite literally start crying and I'm an ugly crier so we all lose in that scenario.
Looking for good argument, not technical wins. I.e. I don’t care about dropped contentions if the dropped contention was weak and other, stronger contentions were addressed well. Intellectual, evidentiary, and logical domination wins over tit-for-tat flow.
Technical losses are stupid. You’ll never see my ballot say “You didn’t frontline, therefore you lose.” Debate is still about persuasion. Don’t get me wrong; frontlining, collapsing, etc., are all good persuasive techniques to be used in debate. But the failure to use them won’t necessarily or automaticallylose you the round… it just might affect the persuasive effect of your argument. If you can still persuade that your side wins without using all the specific techniques, even against a team that does use them, you’ll still get my ballot.
LD- know your VC. Understand how, e.g., utilitarianism works or what social contract means in the context of your argument before hanging your entire argument on it. Do the actual analysis using your VC. Also do the analysis using the opponent’s VC if you can. Cross is good for discovery, but also for points.
TLDR: I like when people are kind and have fun. It's cool to be smart but it's even cooler to be kind. Talk to me like a human, make a compelling argument and I'll listen. I am not a robot and will not vote on some concept of the flow simply because it exists, but complex arguments (when explained well) are great to hear and impressive to observe.
email if needed for evidence stuff: email@example.com
I have some general expectations for round:
1.) Important stuff in Final Focus needs to be in Summary. You can clarify analysis present in the round and explain the warrants/links already extended in summary, but there should be no new warrants/impacts that are key to the round. A good rule of thumb is that the earlier I am able to hear/comprehend an argument, and the more you explain the argument, the more likely it is for me to vote for the argument. Even in front of "flow" judges I believe there is an advantage to the "narrative" style of debate (even when combined with line-by-line).
2.) Make sure to weigh in round. The easiest way for me to decide a round is if you are creating a clear comparative between your opponents arguments and your own. Many rounds I have to intervene and do work for the teams as they don't tell why their arguments are more important than their opponents. If teams don't weigh, I tend to give more credence to the first speaking team as they are still somewhat disadvantaged.
4.) Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses have no place in the debate community (and really any community).
5.) Progressive argumentation if accessible is cool but I haven't judged in a while and it'd be a big risk to run in front of me.
Don't forget to have fun in round and be kind! It's cool to be smart but it's even cooler to be kind.
I am a parent/lay judge. Please signpost/be clear throughout your speeches and talk at a conversational speed. Please do not talk fast. Always be civil and respectful to your opponents.
Updated for Princeton Invitation 2022
I am a traditional debate coach who likes to see debaters exercise their creativityINSIDE the conventions of the style. For Congressional Debate, that means strong clash and adherence to the conceit of being a congressional representation. For LD, that means traditional>progressive, and if a traditional debater calls topicality on a progressive debater for not upholding "ought" on Aff, I will look favorably on such an approach. That being said, if someone runs a K coherently, and the a priori claim of the K is not refuted, I will vote for the prior claim. I try to be as tabula rasa as possible, and I like to think I'm tech>truth, but don't ruin the the game with progressive garbage. If you love progressive argumentation, please strike me. I hate tricks, don't like K's, think performative debate is dumb, and really don't like want to see the resolution replaced by this month's social concern. For PF, I want to see strong evidence, good extension, crystallization, and framing. In essence, I want good debate with clear burdens. Write my ballot for me - give your opponent burdens to meet, meet your own, and explain why you win. I think debate is a beautiful game, and I want to see it played well.
Couple of last minute DON'Ts - I don't buy disclosure theory; I think it has harmed smaller schools by pretending to legitimize approaches big teams can deploy, and it has made spreading much more common. I cannot spread, and I cannot hear a case at speed. If your opponent spreads, and you call them out on it in the sense that their speed disadvantages you in the round, I will look very favorably on that as a prior condition of sportsmanship in the game. Don't spread, and don't fuss at your opponent for not putting a case on the Wiki. It's a voluntary system, and does not constitute systemic harm if you actually have to refute in round rather than prep on arguments read 30 minutes before the round.
Original paradigm from several years ago:
I learned debate at Hillsdale College from Jeremy Christensen and Matthew Doggett and James Brandon; I competed in IPDA and NPDA. I've been a coach since 2014. I have coached PF, Coolidge, LD, and Congressional. I judge on the flow. I'm looking for sound argumentation tied to the resolution; if you go off topic (K, etc) or want to run a theory argument, be prepared to explain why your strategy is justified. I am not a fan of speed in debate - convey your arguments, evidence, and impacts without spreading.
Debate is a wonderful game, and I enjoy judging rounds where both teams play it well. Accept your burdens, and fight for your position. Evidence goes a long way with me, so long as you explain the validity of your evidence and the impact that it links to. In LD, Im a big fan of traditional values-driven argumentation. In PF, I want to see the purposes of public forum respected - no plan, no spreading, and publicly accessible debate on a policy-esque resolution.
I have experience judging LD at the College and High School level and Public Forum at the High School level, but would be no means say I am an expert. These are some things to keep in mind with me.
Assume that I know nothing. This includes shorthand, theory, or K literature. Even if I do know something, I will pretend I don't to avoid intervening in the round.
Speed Kills (your ability to win the round). I want to be able to flow everything. To this end, I will say “clear” two times and then I am able to flow what I can flow: if I miss something because you’re speeding then it won’t be considered. I do not want to look at cards unless you or your opponent have a tiff about what they actually say.
Additionally, I think that spreading should be a tool to allow for deeper and more specific arguments as opposed to allowing for more short, blippy responses. If you're speeding through a response and that response was only a sentence or two to begin with, it probably doesn't register as that important to me.
Tech over truth except in extreme cases. Tell me what to vote on, tell me what to care about. Clearly weigh your impacts against your opponents do not assume I prefer one over the other without you giving me a reason to prefer.
I care about dropped arguments- you need to extend and that means more than just saying “extend.” Functionally reiterate your arguments or at least summaries of them.
CX- I often will flow this, but it will not factor into my decisions unless you bring it up in your speech. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot, DO use this time to clarify, NOT make new arguments.
I hate hate hate people being hyperbolic or lying about what their opponent said or did: Ex. “they dropped this point” when they clearly did not. Just know if you do it I will be inclined toward your opponent. If YOU misheard or misunderstood your opponent’s argument I get that, but pretending they didn’t respond to something they did is as good as dropping the arg.
-The most important things to me are delivery and content.
-If two people are very close on both these aspects content will be more important than delivery.
-I pay attention to questioning, but it is more of a tie breaker for me. If you ask a particularly good question I will note it and you will be ranked higher than someone with the same scores on speeches and no notes about questioning.
-Very important to my ranking of speeches is whether you are moving the round forward or introducing new ideas.
-I prefer evidence usage, though in some analytic cases it is not strictly needed.
-I very much like interaction with the other speeches that have gone (rebutting directly or adding more to a previous argument).
-Taking risks with content or delivery in ways which push the boundaries of the norms will certainly earn some bonus points in my head.
-I think that decorum is important- pay attention to what others are saying, don't engage in personal attacks or generally be rude.
I am a government public health and biomedical researcher. I have a daughter who is currently in Public Forum. This is my first year judging!
For email chains or google docs: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will try to flow as best as possible.
Standard lay judge
- Speak slow; max 160 wpm
- Please signpost in your speeches and provide roadmaps
- Be courteous in crossfire
Hi, my name is Aamer Husain. I graduated last year from Durham Academy and have participated in Public Forum, Extemp, and Informative Speaking.
For Extemp, I value highest a clear and logical argument that utilizes signposting and a variety of sources and analysis. However, it is also very important that you engage me as the audience with delivery, but I will not be impelled to rank you high if I don't buy your argument.
I don't flow crossfire so anything you want me to flow should come up during speeches.
Here are a few things I like:
1. Warranting andResponsiveness:If you just read cards don't expect to win my ballot. Give me some sort of analysis and warranting behind your arguments. I like clash in round. Make sure that the responses you make are specifically responsive to case. One again, don't just read cards, give me how those cards specifically take out their argument. Also, if I believe your evidence is miscut or you fail to provide sufficient evidence in a card that is central to the argument in question, that argument will not be flowed.
2.Signposting:Please signpost it helps me flow and gives structure to your speeches.
3.Comparative Analysis:I see that in a lot of rounds two people will have cards saying the opposite things. At that point you need to prove to me why your card is better (warranting, postdating, etc) otherwise you leave it to a 50/50 where I have to decide which card is better.
4.Extensions:Your final focus should just bring up the same topics and cards as summary. New arguments in final focus will not be flowed. If you drop an argument in summary, you concede that argument no matter how bad their argument is.
5.Weighing:Make sure to weigh impacts and links at least in final focus. It is the main way you are going to win my ballot.
6.Be Respectful:There is a difference between being assertive and rude. If you are being disrespectful in any way I will drop you and give you very low speaks. Make sure to have respect for your opponents.
7. Speed:I am good with speed, but not too fast or spreading (200ish words/min is a good benchmark)
-Adapted from Aryan Nair cuz I’m too lazy to write my own
one final word of advice: the more you simp, the higher chance you have of winning the round.
Greetings everyone! My name is Timothy Huth and I'm the director of forensics at The Bronx High School of Science in New York City. I am excited to judge your round! Considering you want to spend the majority of time prepping from when pairings are released and not reading my treatise on debate, I hope you find this paradigm "cheat sheet" helpful in your preparation.
2023 TOC Congress Update
Congratulations on qualifying to the 2023 TOC! It's a big accomplishment to be here in this room and all of you are to be commended on your dedication and success. My name is Timothy Huth and I'm the director at Bronx Science. I have judged congress a lot in the past, including two TOC final rounds, but I have found myself judging more PF and Policy in recent years. To help you prepare, here's what I would like to see in the round:
Early Speeches -- If you are the sponsor or early speaker, make sure that I know the key points that should be considered for the round. If you can set the parameters of the discourse of the debate, you will probably have a good chance of ranking high on my ballot.
Middle Speeches -- Refute, advance the debate, and avoid rehash, obviously. However, this doesn't mean you can't bring up a point another debater has already said, just extend it and warrant your point with new evidence or with a new perspective. I often find these speeches truly interesting and you can have a good chance of ranking high on my ballot.
Late speeches -- I think a good crystallization speech can be the best opportunity to give an amazing speech during the round. To me, a good crystal speech is one of the hardest speeches to give. This means that a student who can crystal effectively can often rank 1st or 2nd on my ballot. This is not always the case, of course, but it really is an impressive speech.
Better to speak early or late for your ballot? It really doesn't matter for me. Wherever you are selected to speak by the PO, do it well, and you will have a great chance of ranking on my ballot. One thing -- I think a student who can show diversity in their speaking ability is impressive. If you speak early on one bill, show me you can speak later on the next bill and the skill that requires.
What if I only get one speech? Will I have any chance to rank on your ballot? Sometimes during the course of a congress round, some students are not able to get a second speech or speak on every bill. I try my very best to evaluate the quality of a speech versus quantity. To me, there is nothing inherently better about speaking more or less in a round. However, when you get the chance to speak, question, or engage in the round, make the most of it. I have often ranked students with one speech over students who spoke twice, so don't get down. Sometimes knowing when not to speak is as strategic as knowing when to speak.
Questioning matters to me. Period. I am a big fan of engaging in the round by questioning. Respond to questions strongly after you speak and ask questions that elicit concessions from your fellow competitors. A student who gives great speeches but does not engage fully in questioning throughout the round stands little chance of ranking high on my ballot.
The best legislator should rank first. Congress is an event where the best legislator should rank first. This means that you have to do more than just speak well, or refute well, or crystal well, or question well. You have to engage in the "whole debate." To me, what this means is that you need to speak and question well, but also demonstrate your knowledge of the rules of order and parliamentary procedure. This is vital for the PO, but competitors who can also demonstrate this are positioning themselves to rank highly on my ballot.
Have fun! Remember, this activity is a transformative and life changing activity, but it's also fun! Enjoy the moment because you are at THE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS! It's awesome to be here and don't forget to show the joy of the moment. Good luck to everyone!
2023 - Policy Debate Update
I have judged many debates across all events except for policy debate. You should consider me a newer policy judge and debate accordingly. Here are some general thoughts to consider as you prepare for the round:
Add me to the email chain: My email is email@example.com.
Non-Topical Arguments: I am unlikely to understand Ks or non-topical arguments. I DO NOT have an issue with these arguments on principle, but I will not be able to evaluate the round to the level you would expect or prefer.
Topicality: I am not experienced with topicality policy debates. If you decide to run these arguments, I cannot promise that I will make a decision you will be satisfied with, but I will do my best.
Line-by-line: Please move methodically through the flow and tell me the order before begin your speech.
Judge Instruction: In each rebuttal speech, please tell me how to evaluate your arguments and why I should be voting for you. My goal is to intervene as little as possible.
Speed: Please slow down substantially on tags and analytics. You can probably spread the body of the card but you must slow down on the tags and analytics in order for me to understand your arguments. Do not clip cards. I will know if you do.
PF Paradigm - Please see the following for my Public Forum paradigm.
Add me to the email chain: My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
General overview FOR PUBLIC FORUM
Experience: I've judged PF TOC finals-X------------------------------------------------- I've never judged
Tech over truth: Tech -------x------------------------------------------- Truth
Comfort with PF speed: Fast, like policy fast ---------x--------------------------------------- lay judge speed
Theory in PF: Receptive to theory ------x------------------------------ not receptive to theory
Some general PF thoughts from Crawford Leavoy, director of Durham Academy in North Carolina. I agree with the following very strongly:
- The world of warranting in PF is pretty horrific. You must read warrants. There should be tags. I should be able to flow them. They must be part of extensions. If there are no warrants, they aren't tagged or they aren't extended - then that isn't an argument anymore. It's a floating claim.
- You can paraphrase. You can read cards. If there is a concern about paraphrasing, then there is an entire evidence procedure that you can use to resolve it. But arguments that "paraphrasing is bad" seems a bit of a perf con when most of what you are reading in cut cards is...paraphrasing.
- Notes on disclosure: Sure. Disclosure can be good. It can also be bad. However, telling someone else that they should disclose means that your disclosure practices should be very good. There is definitely a world where I am open to counter arguments about the cases you've deleted from the wiki, your terrible round reports, and your disclosure of first and last only.
Now, back to my thoughts. Here is the impact calculus that I try to use in the round:
Weigh: Comparative weighing x----------------------------------------------- Don't weigh
Probability: Highly probable weighing x----------------------------------------------- Not probable
Scope: Affecting a lot of people -----------x------------------------------------ No scope
Magnitude: Severity of impact -------------------------x----------------------- Not a severe impact
(One word about magnitude: I have a very low threshold for responses to high magnitude, low probability impacts. Probability weighing really matters for my ballot)
Defense in first summary? Depends if second rebuttal frontlines, if so, then yes, I would expect defense in first summary.
Offense? Any offense you want me to vote on should be in either case or rebuttal, then both summary and final focus.
Flow on paper or computer? I flow on paper, every time, to a fault. Take that for what you will. I can handle speed, but clarity is always more important than moving fast.
What matters most to get your ballot? Easy: comparative weighing. Plain and simple.
I think you do this by first collapsing in your later speeches. Boil it down to 2-3 main points. This allows for better comparative weighing. Tell me why your argument matters more than your opponents. The team that does this best will 99/100 times get my ballot. The earlier this starts to happen in your speeches, the better.
Overviews: Do it! I really like them. I think they provide a framework for why I should prefer your world over your opponent's world. Doing this with carded evidence is even better.
Signpost: It's very easy to get lost when competitors go wild through the flow. You must be very clear and systematic when you are moving through the flow. I firmly believe that if I miss something that you deem important, it's your fault, not mine. To help with this, tell me where you are on the flow. Say things like...
"Look to their second warrant on their first contention, we turn..."
Clearly state things like links, turns, extensions, basically everything! Tell me where you are on the flow.
Also, do not just extend tags, extend the ideas along with the tags. For example:
"Extend Michaels from the NYTimes that stated that a 1% increase in off shore drilling leads to a..."
Evidence: I like rigorous academic sources: academic journals and preeminent news sources (NYT, WashPo, etc.). You can paraphrase, but you should always tell me the source and year.
Theory in PF: I'm growing very receptive to it, but it really should be used to check back against abuse in round.
Pronouns: I prefer he/him/his and I kindly ask that you respect your opponents preferred gender pronoun.
Speed: Slow down, articulate/enunciate, and inflect - no monotone spreading, bizarre breathing patterns, or foot-stomping. I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds. This portion on speed is credited to Chetan Hertzig, head coach of Harrison High School (NY). I share very similar thoughts regarding speed and spreading.
I prefer competitors to speak clearly and not so fast that it makes it hard to keep up. This isn't about who makes the MOST arguments but who makes the best and clearest arguments!
I am a lay judge with some experience in public forum and speech, and limited experience in Lincoln Douglas and Congress.
Please don’t spread or do anything that would make it hard for me to understand you.
Tell me why you are winning, tell me what’s important, don’t make it hard for me to figure that out. WEIGH.
If you have a speech document and are comfortable with sharing it, that would ensure that I do not miss anything you say.
My email is email@example.com if you want to share anything.
Director of Speech and Debate at Lake Highland Prep - Orlando, FL
Email chain info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Debate is meant to be a fun activity! I think you should do whatever you need to do to ride your own personal happiness train. So have a good time in our rounds. That said, remember that riding your happiness train shouldn't limit someone else's ability to ride their's. So be kind. Have fun, learn stuff, don't be a jerk though.
I've been around debate for over 15 years. You can read whatever arguments in front of me and I'm happy to evaluate them. I'm fine if you want to LARP, read Ks, be a phil debater, do more trad stuff, or whatever else. I'm good with theory as long as you're generating genuine, in-round abuse stories. Frivolous theory and tricks is not something I'm interested in listening to. If I'm judging you online, go like 50% of your max spreading because hearing online is difficult. I'd like to be on email chains, but we all should accept that SpeechDrop is better and use it more. Otherwise, do whatever you want.
K - 1
Phil - 2
Policy - 1
High theory - 2.5 (it'll be ok but I'm going to need you to help me understand if its too far off the wall)
Theory - 1 (but the good kind), 4 (for the bad, friv kind)
Tricks - you should probably strike me
I'm somewhat ideologically opposed to judge prefs. As someone who values the educative nature of our events, I think judge adaptation is important. To that end, I see judge paradigms as a good way for you to know how to adapt to any given judge in any given round. Thus, in theory, you would think that I am a fan of judge paradigms. My concern with them arises when we are no longer using them to allow students the opportunity to adapt to their judges, but rather they exist to exclude members from the potential audience that a competitor may have to perform in front of (granted I think there is real value in strikes and conflicts for a whole host of reasons, but prefs certainly feed into the aforementioned problem). I'm not sure this little rant has anything to do with how you should pref/strike me, view my paradigm, etc. It kind of makes me not want to post anything here, but I feel like my obligation as a potential educator for anyone that wants to voice an argument in front of me outweighs my concerns with our MPJ system. I just think it is something important and a conversation we should be having. This is my way of helping the subject not be invisible.
Please speak clearly and you can speak fast as long as its comprehensible. Signpost and off-time roadmaps would be helpful.
1) For all debates, original oratory and advocacy speeches - basically events that require your to generate original work with preparation:
- No theory please. Use evidence, logical, clear and concise reasoning. Quantify when possible, and know that you are always entitled to your opinion, but not facts. Also, realize things are rarely black or white, so make sure to weigh weigh weigh.
- It is about informing and persuading me. You can use any tool in your script and speech to make that happen.
2) For interpretation speech events, "I will look for your ability to keep the audience engaged" while meeting the general requirements of the event.
- For DEC, the speaker should develop the ability to convey the message in a sincere, honest, and realistic style. The speaker must be able to interpret the meaning of the speech and be able to carry the interpretation over to the minds of the listeners.
- For DUO, it really is about beginning, middle, end, message, climax, scenes, acting. The topic can be light, heavy, sad, fun, anything. But these are meant to be engaging by nature IMHO, like watching a Netflix series, so make it so.
Don't be rude or obnoxious, and have fun. In debate and in life.
TLDR (updated 11/4/22)
- Speed is fine, you won't go too fast
- Win the flow=win the round
- Presumption =neg
- Theory is cool, run it well (Interp, violation, standards and voters. RVI's have higher burden)
- K debate is even better
- Defense needs to be extended
- I default to magnitude/strength of link weighing
- You can run any and all args you want, but they cannot be problematic/discriminatory/ attack your opponents. This will be an auto 20 speaks and L.
My debate experience:
Current assistant PF coach at Trinity Prep
3 Years of NFA-LD Debate
4 Years of Public Forum debate
It should be pretty easy to win my ballot. In my opinion, debate is a game, and you should play to win. Here are the specific things most debaters would want to know.
- I am cool with speed, so long as you don't use it to push your opponents out of a round. I will call clear if you become hard to understand, so keep that in mind.
- I will evaluate all types of arguments equally unless told otherwise.
- I am willing to listen to things like K's and theory arguments, so long as they are impacted out in the round.
- I really enjoy framework debates as well. I think these can be particularly beneficial for limiting the ground your opponents have in the round.
- I am tech over truth, which means so long as it is on my flow, I will evaluate the argument regardless of my own feelings on it. I will also not flow arguments through ink on the flow, so be sure to engage with your opponents answers in order to win the link level of your argument.
- Summary and FF should be somewhat consistent in terms of the direction they are going. Inconsistencies between these speeches will be harmful, especially when it comes to evaluating the strengths of your links and impacts
- On that same note, I want to see some sort of collapse in the second half of the debate- going for everything is typically a bad strategy, and I want to reward smart strategic choices that you make.
- I default to a net benefits impact calc, unless given a competing way to view the round. I am cool viewing the round through any lens that you give me, so long as you explain why its the best way for me to evaluate the round. If absent, I have to intervene with my own, which is something I hate to do.
- If you want me to call for cards, you need to ask me to do so. In that same regard, I wont intervene unless you leave me no other option.
- I dont flow CX, so if you want me to hold something that was said as binding, you need to bring it up in all of the subsequent speeches.
-Speaker points, in my opinion, are less about your speaking performance and more about your ability to present and explain compelling arguments, interact with the opposition, and provide meaningful analysis as to why you are necessarily more important. Content above style
-On a more personal note, I want the rounds that I judge to be educational and allow debaters to articulate arguments about real world issues, all of which deserve respect regardless of your own personal opinions. I have seen my partners and teammates experience sexism, racism, and other types of discrimination, and I have absolutely zero tolerance for it when I am judging.
- If you have any other questions about my paradigm, please feel free to ask me. I also will give feedback after rounds, you just have to find me and ask.
Hello, my name is Anchal!
I was a policy debater in HS and I am currently an LD/PF coach.
Treat me as a flay judge.
If you are sharing evidence you can add me @ email@example.com If you call out a card or would like me to look at evidence- make that evident in your speech.
For prep and your speeches time yourselves and your opponents. For speeches I usually keep a timer and I don't flow anything after my timer goes off.
Don't use debate jargon in place of explaining args.
I'm cool with speed but your opponents should be comfortable with your pace. Always be polite and respectful.
It's a public forum- I'm not a fan of theory, unless there's actual in round abuse. Running disclosure theory against a novice team is abusive. Frameworks are fine.
WARRANTING - please explain your arguments. Do not say "extend this" without explaining why. And please refrain from claiming that you already proved something earlier on without explaining what you did.
As a strat- give me voters and essentially write out my ballot.
Theory, Ks, etc. are totally fine.
I'm a fan of Ks and cool frameworks :)
-Rounds should be topical
-You have to weigh it has to be comparative and I prefer specific warrants based on in-round argument vs general ideas on how two impacts interact in a vacuum
-I wont accept new weighing in first final unless no other weighing is done before and 2nd can respond but can't read their own weighing
-i cant flow very well so in the back half i would slow it down i cant vote for things i dont understand
-warrants and contextualization are more important in the back half than the front half that doesn't mean you can make up new warrants in the back half it just means dont forget if your argument doesnt make sense I wont vote for it because I dont know what Im voting for
-Ill give block 30s if I can so if you dont get a 30 its because of your behavior in the round so I would call on you to reflect a little on what may have happened in the round to warrant it
NOTE FOR BERKELEY: IF YOU MEOW AT MY CAT AND SHE MEOWS BACK YOU GET A 30. IDK IF SHE WILL SHE DOES LIKE HALF THE TIME. UP TO YOU IF YOU WANNA TAKE THAT RISK
hey! i'm nate. put me on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/nate.nyg
he/him! will boost speaks +.1 for debaters who ask before round :)
i did ld at hunter and qualled to the toc my senior year. I was a 2n at wake forest for 2 years where my partner and i reached quarters of ceda. i did pf my freshman year, so i'm familiar, but don't assume i know every single thing about the activity and its conventions.
i'm willing to vote on anything and am purely tab with the caveat of intervening against oppressive argumentation. if you're reading theory or k's in pf, i'd vote on it, but please make an effort to make your arguments accessible to your opponents -- pf has not entirely adapted to new norms and if you don't try to adapt your arguments to pf and instead just assume your opponents will know your exact format and everything i'll be annoyed and speaks will suffer. bad theory and k debates are lame, frivolous theory in pf is probably the stupidest thing i can think of lol
oh also i'm judging policy now lol -- what i said above is still true -- was a 2n at wake, haven't debated in like a year, my partner and i quartered ceda reading black feminist lit on the aff and cap on the neg, that's a pretty good indicator i think of the types of arguments i enjoy voting on and judging the most. i'll judge a policy round if you want to have it obviously, i also have been coaching pf 2 years now so my ears are at least a little more attuned to util impacts than previously. in the same way that critical teams are expected to justify why they are moving away from the topic, i believe policy teams should be justifying why they are choosing to debate the topic in clash rounds -- this doesn't mean i'll hack for Ks -- it just means that the same standards apply because i view topicality/its reading as a speech act and i'm not sure why the fact that a speech act is also a procedural would mean i should disregard its implications or its context. that being said, my sophomore year my partner and I won R1 at the season opener reading disclosure, i'm willing to vote on whatever. if you're racist or talk down to women or misgender your opponent or do some other messed up stuff without both making good faith attempts to repair the potential for a safe debate and apologizing without reservation for said messed up act you will get an L20. one time my partner and i debated this guy who would only respectfully talk to me and refused to listen to her whatsoever, talking over her constantly. when we called him on it he said it was because of his adhd and then kept doing it (as a psych major i have never heard of adhd that only appears when you're talking to women!). please use that as an example of what NOT to do.
in the same way i try to hold policy teams to higher standards -- if you're reading a k -- i'm not just gonna hack. justify why the aff is necessary in debate, this round particularly, what my ballot does, make and justify spill up claims, have an awesome theory of power, make material arguments (the best thing i ever learned as a debater is how to read cap links that are 100% disads to the aff -- do that)
good luck have a great round hope it's fun feel free to ask me any questions i am happy to answer them
if you're curious -- my thoughts on debate right now are most influenced by asya taylor, darius white, jacob smith, and the wake coaches who read Ks when they debated (jgreen also)
for k teams -- i am in big support of high schoolers reading k's, i think it's super educational and definitely made me a lot of who i am now (ew. hate typing out that debate made me part of who i am, kinda gross), in support of that practice please feel free to after rounds ask me any random questions you have about lit or strategy, even if it's not related to the round you just had -- i'll do my best to give you some help! it's my understanding these tournaments are designed in part to increase debate access/let teams that might not otherwise get to too many nat circuit tournaments attend -- i coach a lot and have worked at ld camps the past few summers, i also understand wake has a very genius/expensive coaching staff and would be happy to redistribute some of what i've learned from debating here down because truthfully the coaches here are incredible and it should not just be a few debaters at random colleges getting their knowledge!!
I'm a former high school debater from Thales Academy Apex and thoroughly enjoy the skill and sportsmanship that is present during a debate. I believe the ability to entertain and determine its value without bias is a sign of great skill.
I want solid arguments backed up by air tight evidence. Debaters should be courteous when defending their argument but show determination. Dropping arguments and spreading are things that I do not appreciate.
Above all else face your opponent's argument clearly and directly. Do not play around it and endlessly clash over definitions as this does a disservice to the art of debate.
I am a relatively new lay judge.
Please do not spread or speak fast. I will not be timing you, so please make sure your speeches are the length of requirement and I would suggest timing yourself.
Be sure to signpost or else I will not be able to follow your speech as well as you'd like me to.
Off-time roadmaps are appreciated.
Evidence always needs a warrant, please don't rapid-fire cards.
I am a parent judge with two school years experience as a lay judge.
-Please speak at a conversational pace.
-I will flow all the round except for the cross examinations. So, the better organized your speech, the better I can flow.
-Please obey your time.
-Be respectful and professional at all times.
-I look for clear, organized and logical argumentation and valid, unbiased evidence.
Good luck and have fun.
If you're reading this before a PF round consider: skip to the bolded "this is a note for PF" which is about my views on evidence. Otherwise do what you want in round, go crazy. Read the rest of the paradigm if you have time, but it's mostly about LD/Policy.
1. I encourage you to ask me specific questions before the round. Asking me general questions (EG: "How would you describe your paradigm", etc.) before the round won't prompt me to give you very helpful answers. Just be specific with your questions and we'll be good, I'm happy to answer any questions I can. If you have questions that are going to determine or guide your strategy in round then ask them! But I'm not great at summarizing all my thoughts for you on the spot.
2. Most of the thoughts that follow are inspired by my experience judging and coaching LD, especially the Policy-lite model of LD that's become common at the college level. If you're concerned about how these thoughts translate to PF or to more traditional LD settings please ask about that in-round.
3. Tech over truth in nearly every regard, I want to see your arguments and responses to opponents'. Give me clear, evidenced links to support impact scenarios and narrativize them well. I will avoid judge intervention in almost all cases and to the extreme. That is to say, to put yourself in the best position to win I want to see you clearly defend and weigh your points because I will not weigh them for you. I will not automatically default to one position over another when given no reasons to prefer. From a strategic standpoint, it is in your best interest to give me a framework by which to evaluate your impacts even if that framework is localized to weighing your impact.
4. I'm always happy to answer questions and listen to concerns/criticisms of my decisions afterwards. I want to get better and so do you, why not help each other. However, I will not change my decision, even if you convince me I've made the wrong one.
5.THIS IS A NOTE FOR PF. If it takes you longer than 15 seconds to find a card that you claim to have, I will ask you if you want to run YOUR prep time to find it. If you say "yes" then carry on, but maybe consider familiarizing yourself with your evidence so you can find it quicker. If you say "no" then that evidence won't "exist" until you demonstrate that it's real (which could include reading it in the next speech, though that might be too late if your opponents speak between when you cite it and then). Obviously I will be understanding if there are technical difficulties (IE internet cutting out, computer crashing) which I have been made aware of.
Also, while we're on evidence in PF, sending just like, a link to a website isn't great. If your opponent doesn't interact with it I will probably take you at face value, but know that there is a chance (slight) that I will, unprompted, click your link and read the article and if it says something other than what you claimed then I will intervene to vote against you because of this. I won't do this with a cut card unless someone in the round makes it an issue. TL;DR: If you're sending just hyperlinks to articles make sure they say what you claim.
Speed: Sure. I can keep up as long as you are able to maintain clarity. I will call speed if you go too fast, and I encourage you to call speed on your opponent if they are going too fast for you. I will begin docking speaker points on the third time I have to call speed, and if your opponent calls a third time you should expect a good hit to your speaker points. This isn't necessarily a voting issue for me (unless your opponent makes it a voting issue). I definitely want to be on the speechdrop/email chain (though I prefer speechdrop). email@example.com.
AFF: I prefer topical AFFs. I am open to listening to an engaging K AFF (or if your opponent doesn't call T then I guess run whatever you want, obviously), but I would still prefer to listen to a topical AFF. I strongly prefer AFFs that include a plan text of some sort (even if it's a vague/open-ended plan text). I don't like the idea of "reserve the right to clarify" but I understand it's functionality given time constraints. Don't clarify in an utterly unreasonable way (my threshold is pretty high here).
T: Topicality is a stock issue, and as such I will vote on it if it's won. I don't particularly enjoy listening to T arguments, but who really does. I don't particularly love definitions (I.E. "substantial"), unless the original definitions are completely misrepresenting the words of the resolution/rule/etc. That being said, competing interpretations has been doing well in front of me recently so I would hardly call it unviable. Upholding your standards is pretty much the most important thing to do to win T in front of me. You can make your voter "NFA-LD rules" if you want, but there needs to be an articulated voter on T for me to vote on it. I default reasonability, but really I strongly prefer one or both debaters to give me a FW. I will evaluate T on whatever FW is given to me by the debaters. NOTE: My threshold for voting on T is lower than it was my first two years judging, if you happen to remember/have heard that I would not vote on Topicality.
Theory: Pretty much the same as my T paradigm. I'll listen to theoretical positions, just give me some clear standards if you want to win that position in front of me. I default drop the argument, but will vote on drop-the-debater if that argument is warranted out to me. Clear in-round abuse stories tied to theory arguments, especially those focused on research burden and unfair ground have been successful in front of me in the past, but I don't perceive myself as being uniquely drawn to them. I don't mind Neg debaters running Disclosure Theory against Affs, but unless the Neg runs a CP or an Alt I don't think Affs running Disclosure Theory against Negs is a viable strategy in front of me (NOTE: this is for LD, for PF aff's can run disclosure theory, it is viable in that realm). if the Neg DOES run a CP or Alt then suddenly Disclosure is a viable aff position.
Disclosure in PF is a fine theory position to run in front of me, but I will not vote for it on principle alone. I DO generally think disclosure is a good norm that should be adopted into PF, but that being said, you need to have clear standards, voters and weighing on a theory argument to win. My desire to not intervene in a round far outweighs my desire to punish teams for not disclosing. A role of the ballot framing is also a good strategy in any context if you're going for theory and if you're defending against a position like this then having a counter framework is also a good idea.
I will vote on conceded RVI's but the threshold for voting on an RVI that's been effectively defended against is probably fairly high. "Don't vote for an RVI" is not enough defense. Explain to me literally any reason to not vote for the RVI.
CP: I don't have a strong personal predilection to voting on conditionality one way or the other, but I conceptually dislike conditional CP's a lot- that being said, it's not a strong enough dislike for it to matter unless someone in round forces my hand. "Condo Bad" arguments are viable in front of me but by no means will they always win. Perms of the CP need to be actually explained to me. Just hearing "both" won't be a winning position in front of me. I will evaluate the plan vs. CP debate in pretty much the same way that I evaluate the SQ vs. plan debate unless one side offers a different FW. I am okay with the Neg going for CP and SQ in the NR, but I feel like the strategy is risky given that you have to split your time between both positions.
K: I love critical arguments and I'm a critical scholar professionally, but don't necessarily expect me to be read up on all of the literature (though I may surprise you). I'm okay with generic links to the AFF, but I definitely like to see good impact calculus if your argument is reliant on a generic link; I need one or the other to be strong for your K to have a chance in a round. I need to know why the impacts of the K outweigh or precede the impacts of the AFF. I prefer Alternatives that have some type of action, but am open to other types of Alts as well. I don't particularly love hearing alts that say we need to theoretically engage in some different type of discourse unless there's a clear plan for what "engaging in X discourse" looks like in the real world (which can include within the debate round at hand, but might have more). Particularly, I enjoy hearing alternatives that call for the debaters in the round to engage in discourse differently (I think this is the easiest type of Alt to defend). Even if the Alternative is to simply drop the AFF in-round, that is enough "real world" implementation of a theoretical Alt for me.
Clarification: K debate is not the absence of tech- you still need to demonstrate a link an impact even if those things take a different form or are about different things than they would be in a more traditional arg.
DA: Not much to say here. Give me a good DA story and if you are winning it by the end of the round then I'll probably vote on it. Definitely remember to do weighing between the DA and the AFF though because there's always a good chance that I won't vote on your DA if you can't prove it outweighs any unsuccessfully contested Advantages of the Aff. DA's with no weighing are only a little better than no DA at all.
Solvency: A terminal solvency deficit is usually enough of a reason for me to vote against the aff BUT I need this extended as a reason to vote. You can always say that it's try-or-die, tell me there's a risk of solvency and sure, I'll still grant you that begrudgingly (unless you've really lost the solvency debate). If you're getting offense somewhere else good for you, I'll still vote on that; so like, if your case falls but you have a turn on a CP or an RVI on T or something those are still paths to the ballot. This note is here because I've seen a few rounds where the aff just sort of says "they have at best a terminal no solvency argument" and like- that's enough for them. That's what neg needs at the minimum to win the round.
Current Coach -- Marist School (2011-present)
Lab Leader -- National Debate Forum (2015-present), Emory University (2016), Dartmouth College (2014-2015), University of Georgia (2012-2015)
Former Coach -- Fayette County (2006-2011), Wheeler (2008-2009)
Former Debater -- Fayette County (2002-2006)
Last Updated -- 2/12/2012 for the 2022 Postseason (no major updates, just being more specific on items)
I am a high school teacher who believes in the power that speech and debate provides students. There is not another activity that provides the benefits that this activity does. I am involved in topic wording with the NSDA and argument development and strategy discussion with Marist, so you can expect I am coming into the room as an informed participant about the topic. As your judge, it is my job to give you the best experience possible in that round. I will work as hard in giving you that experience as I expect you are working to win the debate. I think online debate is amazing and would not be bothered if we never returned to in-person competitions again. For online debate to work, everyone should have their cameras on and be cordial with other understanding that there can be technical issues in a round.
What does a good debate look like?
In my opinion, a good debate features two well-researched teams who clash around a central thesis of the topic. Teams can demonstrate this through a variety of ways in a debate such as the use of evidence, smart questioning in cross examination and strategical thinking through the use of casing and rebuttals. In good debates, each speech answers the one that precedes it (with the second constructive being the exception in public forum). Good debates are fun for all those involved including the judge(s).
The best debates are typically smaller in nature as they can resolve key parts of the debate. The proliferation of large constructives have hindered many second halves as they decrease the amount of time students can interact with specific parts of arguments and even worse leaving judges to sort things out themselves and increasing intervention.
What role does theory play in good debates?
I've always said I prefer substance over theory. That being said, I do know theory has its place in debate rounds and I do have strong opinions on many violations. I will do my best to evaluate theory as pragmatically as possible by weighing the offense under each interpretation. For a crash course in my beliefs of theory - disclosure is good, open source is an unnecessary standard for high school public forum teams until a minimum standard of disclosure is established, paraphrasing is bad, round reports is frivolous, content warnings for graphic representations is required, content warnings over non-graphic representations is debatable.
All of this being said, I don't view myself as an autostrike for teams that don't disclose or paraphrase. However, I've judged enough this year to tell you if you are one of those teams and happen to debate someone with thoughts similar to mine, you should be prepared with answers.
How do "progressive" arguments work in good debates?
Like I said above, arguments work best when they are in the context of the critical thesis of the topic. Thus, if you are reading the same cards in your framing contention from the Septober topic that have zero connections to the current topic, I think you are starting a up-hill battle for yourselves. I have not been entirely persuaded with the "pre-fiat" implications I have seen this year - if those pre-fiat implications were contextualized with topic literature, that would be different.
My major gripe with progressive debates this year has been a lack of clash. Saying "structural violence comes first" doesn't automatically mean it does or that you win. These are debatable arguments, please debate them. I am also finding that sometimes the lack of clash isn't a problem of unprepared debaters, but rather there isn't enough time to resolve major issues in the literature. At a minimum, your evidence that is making progressive type claims in the debate should never be paraphrased and should be well warranted. I have found myself struggling to flow framing contentions that include four completely different arguments that should take 1.5 minutes to read that PF debaters are reading in 20-30 seconds (Read: your crisis politics cards should be more than one line).
How should evidence exchange work?
Evidence exchange in public forum is broken. At the beginning of COVID, I found myself thinking cases sent after the speech in order to protect flowing. However, my view on this has shifted. A lot of debates I found myself judging last season had evidence delays after case. At this point, constructives should be sent immediately prior to speeches. (If you paraphrase, you should send your narrative version with the cut cards in order). At this stage in the game, I don't think rebuttal evidence should be emailed before but I imagine that view will shift with time as well. When you send evidence to the email chain, I prefer a cut card with a proper citation and highlighting to indicate what was read. Cards with no formatting or just links are as a good as analytics.
For what its worth, whenever I return to in-person tournaments, I do expect email chains to continue.
What effects speaker points?
I am trying to increase my baseline for points as I've found I'm typically below average. Instead of starting at a 28, I will try to start at a 28.5 for debaters and move accordingly. Argument selection, strategy choices and smart crossfires are the best way to earn more points with me. You're probably not going to get a 30 but have a good debate with smart strategy choices, and you should get a 29+.
This only applies to tournaments that use a 0.1 metric -- tournaments that are using half points are bad.
“There is a house. One enters it blind and comes out seeing. What is it?” --- Tell me the answer.
add me to the email chain: Manlybros11@gmail.com
Brentwood High '22: Debated for Four Years, had some success - Won TOC, Auto-Qualed to TOC 2x and Nats 1x. I'm now a head coach for the Debate Drills Club Team.
TLDR: Tech>Truth that will vote on anything that is not _ist.
I love debate. Take a deep breath, don’t be aggressive, and have some fun dawgs - I invested thousands of hours into this activity and know how important it is to some people - I GET YOU - leave it all on the flow and don’t be a chungus.
|Sign Post | Extend Warrants | Collapse meaningfully | Weigh Comparatively | BE NICE|
It’s MY job to adapt to you - if there’s anything you need before round to help make it more accessible or have any questions - email me or ask me before round.
Don’t be a jerk - Debate Rounds can get very heated - try to maintain your composure and “pretend to be sincere.” ALSO - if you are absolutely COOKING a team - don’t add fuel to the fire - treat a novice team with the same respect that you would give the #1 team ranked in the nation, if you don’t, you’re in for a low speaks win.
Unless the tournament says otherwise, I will disclose and give my RFD.
Feel free to postround (time permitting ofc). For newer debaters and anyone who wants help - ask me if there’s something better you could have done on argument x during the round to win my ballot - I will give my best critiques as possible to improve your skill into the future (I always loved judges who did this for me).
Second Rebuttal must frontline all offense and weighing - otherwise it’s conceded. Offense YOU are going for in the back half must also be frontlined - i.e. if you are going for a contention with 3 pieces of defense and a turn on it - you must frontline all of that in one way or another for me to evaluate it in the back half. (during tech rounds I used to frontline entire case and then go vroom vroom on their case - I think this is very strategic and if you do it well - I’ll give a speaks boost)
No Sticky Defense. Even if it is conceded, extend it.
Extend Warrants. For offense you are going for - whether that be a turn, DA, case argument, etc. I need a warranted extension that isn’t some blippy 5 second extension - if it's FULLY conceded, my threshold for this is a bit lower.
Summary -> FF mirror. Anything in FF has to be in summary. Case arguments, defense, offense, weighing all need to be explained and extended in summary for me to evaluate it at the end of the round. Exception to this rule is if a team reads new weighing in 2nd summary, you can respond to that in 1st FF. Structure of speeches can be different between summ and ff - just no different content. 2nd FF cheese will not work on me.
Frontlining. I love when teams frontline entire case in 2nd rebuttal - that is, if they do it well, if you can’t reach the efficiency level and blip storm supreme through the first 1:30 of rebuttal, it’s not gonna bode well for you on the flow. More broadly, frontlines need to be directly interactive with the argument you are responding to, give me reasons why to break the clash, postdates, warrant comparison, etc - or it’s gonna make the debate wayyyyyyyyy closer than it needs to be. Lastly, cross-applying conceded frontlines from different parts of the flow to another in back-half speeches is perfectly fine, the flow is a toolbox, not a map.
Rebuttal Responses. You can go as fast as you want, as long as there is a warrant that I can pinpoint and explain back to myself during my decision. Do not spam DA’s that are masked as turns that aren’t actually responsive to the link, you can give an all offense rebuttal - but make sure you are interacting with your opponent on the link level. Respond to impacts - one of weakest parts of current circuit tech debate is teams focusing too hard on link-level responses and flat out dropping their opps’ impact scenarios in even the most high-level rounds. Do this in rounds I judge you and adopt this in future ones - trust me, it’ll make a world of difference.
Carded weighing is GASSSS.
Make your weighing comparative. Just asserting that your argument is empirically proven or has a higher magnitude is the bare minimum and is the most basic way to grab a ballot. To be confident that you won mine, prove why your opponents don’t meet the weighing threshold, but you do - I.E your argument happened empirically, but their link was historically disproven. Most importantly, compare link-ins - just explaining why your argument link-ins to their impact doesn’t give you offense, it at best non-uniques their scenario - explain why you have a better link into their impact to generate round-winning weighing. META WEIGH - if two teams are giving different weighing mechanisms without any comparison, it’s gonna force me to intervene, prob over mag, visa versa, etc. makes the round ez for me to evaluate and by extension ez-ier for you to W.
Frontline yours and Respond to theirs. Don’t shuffle deck chairs on the titanic. If your opponents respond to your weighing, you need to frontline it in the proceeding speech and extend that frontline or otherwise you won’t have access to that weighing. This goes both ways - respond to your opponents weighing, or theirs is conceded. A really good “weigh” to win my ballot is to handle weighing at the top of your speech - it’s the most important aspect of the flow and crystalizes the round for tech judges.
Have Fun with it. Don’t be afraid to give strategic and smart link-ins, don’t stick to magnitude, probability, scope, etc. Link-ins and short circuits at both the impact and link level are by far the most effective forms of weighing. I like extinction outweighs or extinction comes first weighing - speaker boost incoming if you do this.
Fake Weighing. Strength of link weighing, Clarity of impact, Clarity of link is BS and not actual weighing - just analysis of the level of ink on your case that’ll be obvious when I look down on my flow. This weighing isn’t convincing - don’t waste your time reading it.
-Theory / Prog-
I’ll vote on theory - Default RVIS and reasonability. I didn’t read a single progressive argument in my debate career but had my fair share of rounds hitting Ks, theory, tricks, etc. So I know how to evaluate. BUTTTTT - if you are clearly reading theory to get an easy W against a new team expect your speaks tanked and if you are reading some friv stuff that is obviously just a 7-eleven quality shell I will have an extremely high bar for you throughout the round.
I’ll vote on Ks. I can evaluate Pf level K debate and vote correctly. I’ll evaluate everything directly off the flow and be completely tabula rosa - which I believe is of utmost importance ESPECIALLY in prog/K rounds.
I Like substance more. I’ve always been a substance guy - so don’t read prog just because you have a tech judge. If this is your topic strat, there is an actual violation, etc. RUN IT and I’m all ears.
Be Chill, Be fluent, easy to follow, and strategically smart - that’s my recipe for good speaks.
Some of my favorite debaters are Sri Chilukuri, Anoosh Kumar, Anuraag Routray, and Max Wu - I vibe with these debaters’ style - this is meant to give you a gauge on what I like.
Be assertive in cross - don’t let your opponents walk over you and don’t be afraid to call them out if they are ranting and giving a mini rebuttal.
If you made it all the way down here - thank you!
Hi friends! My name is Rhea Nandwani. (she/her) I am a sophomore at UF studying psychology, criminology, and sociology. I competed on the national circuit for 5 years and coached for my high school's debate team last year.
With that being said, here are a few things I like as a flow judge:
first and foremost, please do your part to make debate a safe, educational environment. don't be sexist, homophobic, islamaphobic, xenophobic, racist, ableist, etc. If you are, I will drop you and tank your speaks. this is a zero-tolerance policy.
as an extension of the first bullet point, you must read trigger warnings for any sensitive arguments related to identity, mental health, or structural violence. this is basic human decency. If not, I will evaluate tw theory- this is the only time I’ll invite theory. For non-graphic arguments, you just need to read a TW. For graphic arguments, you need a TW and an opt out. Opt out through anonymous google forms.
- I do not believe that theory or non-topical kritiks belong in Public Forum. Please do not run it with me as a judge. I will, however, always evaluate topical frameworks/ks. Again, tw theory is fine to run with me when there has been a violation. You can also read IVIs with me.
make sure everything you want me to vote on is in summary or final focus. tell me why you are winning.
please implicate and weigh turns
- please collapse
I would like to see all the evidence shared in round. I will only consider it in my decision, however, if you tell me to in your speeches.
I can handle speed, but if you spread I can't promise that I will catch everything you say; send docs for accessibility purposes if you are speaking over 950 words in 4 minutes.
weighing is the key to winning rounds. please interact with your opponents' weighing.
second rebuttal must frontline.
defense is sticky for the first speaking team (just extend it/talk about it in final)
postround me all you want. I want to answer your questions so that I can be a better judge
- i am never going to factor cross into my decision. if something significant happens in cross, please point it out to me in a speech if you want me to consider it in my decision. lowkey probably gonna be on my phone during cross.
- i default to first speaking team absent weighing or any path to the ballot
I think speaker points based on presentation are stupid. I will never evaluate speaker points based on how 'well'/loud you speak or how 'clear' you are. What you are wearing/how you look does not matter to me either. Literally, in round, feel free to take off your blazer/heels/tie. Be yourself. Instead, I will evaluate speaker points based on strategic decisions made in round and quality of responses/arguments.
please let me know if there is absolutely anything I can do to make debate a safer/more fun/more educational experience for you. I am happy to talk to you before/after rounds to support you in any way I can. Debate is scary and hard at times, but talking about it can make a difference. Feel free to contact me with questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, I know it is difficult, but TRY to HAVE FUN! At the end of the day, this is just a debate round. Your intelligence or worth is not dictated by your success at tournaments. In addition, regardless of your records at tournaments, you are learning and growing just through the time you put into preparing topics. You are doing great!
- i would love it if you include a reference to music artists or tv shows hehe
Good luck:) you got this:)
I am a parent judge with about a year of experience judging PF. A few notes about my preferences:
- Please try to speak slowly and clearly, if I cannot understand what you are saying, I will not be able to evaluate it in my decision
- Act civil during crossfire, I will drop your speaker points if you are rude to your opponents
- Don't run arguments that use lots of complex technical argumentation and jargon (K's, theory, etc.)
- Give me the clearest narrative in the round, I enjoy voting for arguments that are cohesive and well-explained
- Truth > Tech
- Don't misconstrue your evidence and make sure that if you paraphrase, it accurately represents your evidence
- Time yourselves please
- Presentation matters to me debate is about public speaking in my eyes just as much as it is about content
I did 4 years of PF at Cypress Bay in Weston, Florida (2016-2020). I'm currently a senior at duke.
My paradigm is just random notes and bullets because I'm a pretty boring and receptive judge. Generally flow, emphasis on weighing, implicating, offense. I'll evaluate anything, just explain it. Feel free to ask me anything before the round.
-Extend offense pls, I wont do it for you
-Weigh like the W depends on it, because it does. Respond to your opps weighing if you're cool.
-Cross is for you, does not impact I evaluate a round (unless it comes up in speech ofc)
-Don't read responses you won't implicate/explain/understand, makes the whole debate better
-please don’t shake my hand. I'm sick rn
-I cannot following anything fast. Do with that what you will
-3 min summary is cool and all but collapse
-Weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh. Which weigh? Dat weigh.
-Please have fun. Like actual fun and not like fun in pursuit of a W.
-I normally vote for the best singular piece of offense in the round. (collapse please)
-not paradigmatically/morally against them at all, but reading a K (or theory) in front of me is probably not the best idea unless you REALLY take the time to explain everything. I’m out of practice and never totally learned it all to begin with
- If you have any other questions feel free to email me email@example.com or ask me before the round. Hated my decision? send all complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of the day, debate is up to the debaters. Do what you enjoy/are best at and I'll do my best to be receptive and evaluate it all fairly.
Wired: Collapse, weigh, signpost, tom brady slander, being nice, talking slow
Tired: being mean, friv theory, partial quads (i dont know what partial quads are), tom brady, being mean.
******If both sides agree to settle the debate with a mutually agreed upon test/competition of strategy or skill, I will not intervene. Only valid if both teams are definitely breaking or definitely not.
I debated PF in high school but have been out of the event for a while. I would treat me like a lay judge who knows what a turn is. I care about narrative but don't leave the flow completely behind. No prog.
Mid America Cup 2023 UPDATE: please send all cases (and cut cards) to email@example.com prior to constructive for me to read along w you.
I kinda don't care about cross in tech rounds. If something important happens, say so in a speech.
HOWEVER, if both teams agree, I'm more than happy to cut all prep time for 6 additional minutes of grand cross.
For prog stuff, I'm really pretty out of the loop in terms of jargon. Explain it well.
Hi I'm Abraham (he/him).
If there's anything I can do to make the round more accessible to anyone in any way, please let me know and we can work on something together :)
I evaluate the round primarily off of the arguments made.
Properly extended links, warrants, and impacts (with good frontlines, as necessary) that are clearly compared against - and weighed over - other arguments (on link, warrant, and impact level, also as necessary) will win my ballot. (Proper weighing isn't just saying "probability" or "magnitude." It must be directly and specifically comparative)
That being said, I'm also a fan of "big picture" and "narrative" style debating. Make your arguments fit a clear theme, or have a theme around your arguments: make and frame the round (or at least your arguments) about a bigger idea or concept. Boil your points (and narrative) down to a concise, simple, and memorable message or thesis (if you can, aim for a unique narrative as well). Also, weighing your narrative makes it all the more persuasive. [To be clear, I think narrative debate won't necessarily decide who I vote for: if you win the narrative but lose all your arguments, I'm probably gunna drop you - but, if you win your arguments and can make a good, effective narrative as well (while not abandoning the flow), I will like that, and give higher speaks. Narrative can also be helpful for winning close rounds as well.]
I also a sucker for clever bits of rhetoric, such as well thought-out and executed analogies or witty chiasmus (to be clear, good rhetoric alone won't win you the round, but it'll help your speaks). Funny quips are also good.
Be smart and strategic. You can go fast if you want.
Also if something is dropped in the speech after it is read, it is dropped for the round. So, if 1st Rebuttal reads something, 2nd Rebuttal drops it, 1st Summary extends it as dropped, it is TOO LATE for 2nd Summary to read new responses (2nd Summary CAN weigh against it though). That being said, new stuff can be in 2nd Summary if it's "advancing the debate" in my opinion. So, if R1 says something, R2 responds, S1 rebuilds/responds to what R2 said, S2 can further "advance the debate" on said thing, giving new analysis / evidence to what S1 said in response to R2. This is rather rare though, often the debate doesn't get to that level. If that does happen, and S2 says new stuff that specifically responds to S1's response to R2's response to R1's response, F1 can advance the debate even farther by saying new stuff in response to S2's new response (which is in response to S1's new stuff, which responds to R2's new stuff). So yeah, new in final is ok in this case. In theory, that means that F2 can say new things as well if it's responding to new analysis from F1, but this is such a specific and small case that I doubt it will happen. Generally, rather than continuing to go back and fourth like that on some response by adding new stuff or warranting, teams should weigh the response against the case/frontlines given, or weigh the case/frontline against the response. It's cleaner and easier.
Also, if one team makes a poor extension (misses links or whatever) and the other team points it out in the speech after, that counts as pretty terminal defense, e.g. if 1st Summary extends case poorly, and 2nd Summary points that out, then that arg is pretty sufficiently responded to in my view. It's also too late for 1st Final to try to extend fully to make up for 1st Summary. BUT: if 1st Final does try to revive it, 2nd Final should point out the improper extension made in 1st Summary.
**PLEASE don't be afraid to ask me any questions 1) before the round, about anything covered or not covered here, or 2) after the round, about anything in my decision or evaluation of the round - just as you all want to improve as debaters, I want to improve as a judge. (Please postround me. I do not find it disrespectful. Please postround. PLEASE!)
Other stuff that other judges probably have that might be helpful for you as a debater:
- i'M a FoRmEr Pf DeBaTeR
- Go as fast as you want. I'll let you know if it's too fast or unclear what you're saying.
- 2nd Rebuttal doesn't HAVE to frontline anything necessarily, but it's usually strategic to do so. If R2 speaker does not frontline anything on their own case, all the defense (and turns) is/are conceded, which basically means that their case is now perma gg'ed. Some rounds it doesn't make sense to frontline case though. Up to you to decide what to do in R2 that's strategically best for you in the round. Basically, if you wanna win case, you should probably frontline in R2, but it's not necessarily always strategic to try to win case...
- bE rEsPeCtFuL iN cRoSs -> meh I don't really care. Be aggro if you want, I was always kind of aggro in cross, don't be outright mean though - let them talk. You can push for concessions and stuff tho, or try to ask trap questions to put them in a bind. If they do concede something important, mention it in a speech - the first one that you can after the cross in which the concession was made (if they concede a contention in 1st cross, have rebuttal mention it - don't say nothing about it in rebuttal and expect me to value the concession if it's only later explained in summary)
- email chain or google doc is preferred.
- wear whatever you want in the round - I don't have a preference on whether you're in a suit or a t-shirt - whatever you feel comfortable in and helps you debate the best (for me, it was a suit lol, but my partner liked casual dress)
- If you get to round before your opponents and I'm also in the room (like one team and I are just chilling, waiting for the other team), you can challenge me to a game of online chess (probably blitz) on lichess/chess.com, you don't need an account to play btw. If you beat me, +.3 speaks. If I beat you, auto L20. Jk. If I win, nothing happens, if you win, slight speaks boost (you'll get more depending on how badly you beat me. If you crush me in a beautiful way, sacrificing your queen for some crazy checkmate pattern, I might award you up to +.8 speaks or whatever). If you also wanna just play for fun, that's cool too. [note: I'm not that good at chess, but I enjoy it, so challenge me and you can probably win some free speaks] [note: you can also still get a 30 without playing chess w me]
Please use a proper content warning prior to discussing potentially sensitive topics in speech. What that means:
1. Say, before the speech begins, a brief content warning statement (eg. "Brief content warning, this speech discusses nongraphic references to _____. We will provide an anonymous google form for opting in or out, as well as additional questions")
2. Send a link to an anonymous google form in the chat (or some other anonymous system, ideally not phone number). Provide not only a "opt in / opt out" option, but also a box for anonymous questions that could be used to ask for more specifics on something. State, however, that such questions will be answered out loud, unless specified otherwise. (You can make a link shareable google form in about 2 minutes. If needed, I can make one)
3. Wait until you receive "opt in" for every person participating in the round - BOTH opponents, and ALL judges. You can ask spectators to please leave the room if they would like to opt out.
4. If there is unanimous "opt in", say so out loud, and you may proceed with your speech. If there is EVEN ONE "opt out," please DO NOT proceed with your speech. If the CWed argument was a block, don't read that block, if it was a contention, read a different contention.
5. If you forgot to do this before your speech, and you started your speech, and realized you are about to make an argument about a potentially sensitive topic, please PAUSE YOUR SPEECH, proceed with the above steps, and you may resume your speech when all participants have answered, adjusting your speech accordingly. You will not be penalized in any way for doing this. In fact, I would greatly appreciate it.
Please follow these steps. Failure to follow these steps will make me unhappy, and potentially cause bad experiences for other members of the round. If you fail to do this, the bar for content warning theory is low, and I'll probably vote off it. Debate should be safe and accessible for all, no exceptions.
PROGRESSIVE ARGUMENTATION (feel free to skip this section if you're not gunna read some prog.)
I DO evaluate progressive argumentation. High bar though, must be done properly. If not, I’ll just look elsewhere, and you will have wasted your speech time. Be smart about it. Also, the same rules for extending regular arguments applies to prog too. If you want me to vote off of it, you gotta extend it properly and fully. If the other team calls out a poor extension, that's probably GG for the prog argumentation, unless perhaps you make some new prog warrants as to why it shouldn't be GG, and why I should change my judging philosophy. The bar for responses to that kind of prog ideas (ideas like my partner's summary extension can be sus and you should still vote for it bc XYZ) is pretty low - the other team doesn't have to say much for me to not believe the prog warrants for why I should let bad extensions happen. Oh yeah, that also means don't read new prog warrants in 2nd FF as to why your partner's bad 2nd Summary extension is permissible, it's too late lol. Even if other team doesn't make technical responses like "they dropped role of the ballot," if the prog team did, in fact, drop some crucial part to the argument, then I still probably won't vote for it (unless you give me prog reasons why I should vote for it anyway).
If you are going to read prog, let me know before the speech so I can get another piece of paper. If what you're going to do is really out there, feel free to ask me about it before the round starts, I can give you my opinions on it / if I know how to evaluate it.
I'm down for some wacky stuff - you could run some prog saying I should evaluate rounds differently - like, if you give good warrants as to why I should just not pay attention to their 2nd Final for whatever reason lol, and it's like uncontested, I'll probably buy it, given it's done in a good way, presented sufficiently early in the round. That being said, there are some things I can't do. I can't give double win or loss, as far as I know. I can't give you 100 speaks. (I mean maybe if a team makes a prog arg saying I should do one of those things, and then proceeds to tell me how to do it bc I'm dumb and don't know how to hack tabroom's code to let me do something like that, then maybe I'll do it haha). Other than that, I'm open to prog stuff relating other, less rigid parts of the debate, like maybe speech times or something.
Args for presumption are important if you want me to presume a specific way. If no presumption arguments are made and I have to presume, I'll probably flip a coin or have siri flip a coin. If it's your strategy to have the round decided on a coinflip, great! If not, make args to why I should presume a certain way.
ALSO: don't just dump unintelligible prog on some novices or something. No point. If you're like a senior and you can't beat a novice team on the flow without prog, cmon. (this is a little tricky because ideally everyone should be evaluated on an equal plane, but there's a pretty big prog disparity on the circuit. I don't want to say I'll drop you for running prog in bad faith, because I understand that prog has some clear strategic benefits, but idk. I guess if you're gunna run prog for the ballot, make it AS ACCESSIBLE AS POSSIBLE for the opponents, ESPECIALLY if you know they may not specialize in this style of debate. I think we'd all prefer a good round over of a bad one, where the opponents are completely shut out from debating.
If you get prog run on you, and you'd rather concede the round to spend the remaining time to just discuss prog in general or discuss the arguments that the prog team read, with the goal of furthering understanding, that's cool with me.
ALSO: if you do run prog: be nice about it. If the opponents genuinely don't understand / are trying to understand it better, don't be mean to them. If you are, I might drop you just because.
ALSO: I reserve the right to intervene on / against any specific prog argumentation - like if someone makes an especially problematic prog argument, I may intervene against it. I also am not opposed to intervening and/or ending the round for reasons of mental wellbeing - eg: if a team asks me to end the round over a content warning shell, and I believe it is warranted, I will end the round.
Feel free to ask me questions about prog before the round. That being said, my knowledge and understanding of this style of debate is by no means exhaustive. I know there's a lot I don't know about prog.
Prefer if you speak clearly and confidently - avoid spreading.
Competed in PF throughout highschool - now a student at Duke. Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want additional comment.
I want to be treated as a flay judge!
I debated in Pf at Nova high school for 5 years
-I don't believe in progressive debate. I hate theory and K's with a passion. Run a K or theory and I'll drop you :)
- I prefer weighing to start in rebuttal but obviously it doesn't have to be, just make sure it is in summary if you want it to be considered in final
- don't just weigh on the impact level, weighing on the link level matters more to me as impact weighing is kind of obvious for the most part
I-Not a huge fan of speed, especially if you're just reading off a document, you can go a little fast but if it's late at night, early morning or mid-afternoon try to avoid fast speaking
-warrants are more important than impacts, if I don't hear a warrant, I don't care at all if your impact is extended cleanly throughout the round. I prefer logic over an unwarranted piece of evidence. Having an authors name behind an argument doesn't mean anything to me
- I will vote off of logic over an unwarranted probably not credible author.
Also, don't be rude, stand up when speaking beside the grand cross, and have to try to have fun.
I love Speech and Debate!
Tips: Relax before your event.
Always be respectful to your opponents! Speak slowly and clearly!
I have done events ranging from PF (2nd speaker), Big Questions, and OO for 3 years and placing in each. I am currently a student at UNC.
If you don't want to read, this short part is for you: Clear arguments win debates, stick with your arguments. Tell me why something is important and why I should vote for it. Don't be rude, don't forget to address your opponent's arguments. My standards are low for arguments because I would rather have you have a bad case but argue it well enough to win than have you have a great case but unable to argue it.
First and foremost, I do not offer feedback post-rounds. My ballots won't have much. I won't flow the entire round on the computer, (debate) only summary and final focus just so you can see where my thinking is at the end of round, cause that's what matters. If it wasn't addressed at the end of round to tell me to vote for it, why bring it up earlier?
I will look for clear arguments and line of reasoning. If you're going to tell me to "extend across the flow" or any other debate jargon, which I appreciate, tell me why. I will pay attention to every part of the round, including crossfires (be assertive but don't be rude). Signposting is appreciated. I have my preferences against spreading but I will be able to flow it. Enunciation is vital and so is general clarity. I don't mind voting for the craziest arguments but I do expect that you fully explain your case so your opponent and I can have an understanding. Your case does nothing for me if I cannot understand it. What happens in round matters, if it didn't then judging would be as easy as a side by side comparison of the cases. If you include observations in your case, keep up with them. Now onto speaks. I will drop you if anything comes up that is overtly disrespectful to anyone. I come from an Arab household and I can tell you, yelling does not make you right nor does it make me care. Any sign of disrespect, which includes laughing at the response of your opponent will be reflected in your speaks. TALKING TO YOUR PARTNER WHILE YOUR OPPONENT IS TALKING IS NOT PERMITTED EVER AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. We're all taking time out of our schedules and we just want to have some fun. I will try my best to not judge screw anyone over because we all know how awful that feels.
To discuss evidence, it matters. This is public forum debate, you should know this. I expect evidence at every level of the debate. Is one option more economically stable because of potential rise in prices in another? I've taken econ but I'm no expert. If your link-chain-warrant is missing evidence, the arguments falls. That said, I will not judge the round based off how I would've debated it, cause that is just awful. However, if your argument isn't clear to me, I cannot vote for it. I'm pretty lay on the standard of making your argument just because even bad arguments can win a round if your opponent doesn't address it. If I catch you falsifying evidence, you will be dropped. If I catch you misrepresenting evidence, you will be dropped. Where it really matters is when your opponent calls your card. If it becomes a keystone in the debate, I will request to see the card at the end of the round and it will hold influence on my decision. Keep a clean round and keep it exciting.
LD-Value structure is one of the most important aspects. An ought resolution means I need to know why I'm voting for your sense of morality and structure. If you abandon your values and favor your opponents or if they do not connect to your case, this will weigh heavy on my ballot. Tell me why Im voting for you and not your opponent. Don't spread to the point where you are blue in the face-clear and simple. I am less experienced in LD but I know how to flow and what a great round is. I expect respect for each other. As in PF, your case does nothing for me if I cannot understand it. Any type of case is permitted including tricks. Doesn't mean I will fall for it, but I'll allow it. You wanna run a case using moral nihilism? Go right on ahead. Wanna tell me morals don't exist? Why the heck not, you just better be prepared to defend it. In an attempt to not judge screw anyone over, I will not decide a round because I don't like your choice of argument. What I like and don't like are left at the door except for round preferences. Just because I don't like the way you formulated your argument, values, or what have it, does not mean I will drop you. I have allowed arguments in PF to pass by that I absolutely hated, but they were good and were argued well. I allow the same in LD.
Speech-The Achilles heel of many speech performers is the forgotten basics: eye contact, format, movement, enunciation etc. It is necessary for any and every round and that should not be discredited. Above this, I pay attention to comfortability and eloquence. I can overlook simple nerves getting in the way, but that does account for every performance. A round of 5 really awesome people is hard to judge, which is why I want to judge one. Every single speech has the capability to win first, no matter the topic. Delivery is key. Now if it comes down to it, I will rank on excitement, engagement, and overall possible interestibility? (thats a word? right? sure). Just because I do not find the topic particularly exciting does not mean you won't get ranked first. What I find exciting would make for the most boring speech ever so I pray none of you manage to tap into that. The vibe between debate and speech are different and thus I treat them differently. In debate we shake hands afterwards. In speech, we clap before and after. See what I mean? Despite being debate heavy, I will not subject any of you to my debate requirements.
**ALL TOURNAMENTS: I learned of the topic the morning of the tournament. PLEASE assume I know nothing.***
Competed in Public Forum @ Cypress Bay HS (2013-2017)
BA in Political Science @ University of Central Florida (2017-2021)
MA in Bioethics, Tech Ethics and Science Policy @ Duke University (2021-2022)
PF (If you have me for another event go lay) Paradigm
- Look, I know NSU is a tech school and all, but they hire me to coach lay debate i havent cut a card in maybe 6 years (but like ive been around the circuit so i sometimes know what's going on) . if you're spreading or speaking too fast i probably wont catch a lot of it and will probably look confused
- if possible, number your responses so i know if I missed anything
- Set up email chains/preflow during tech check. I am a big believer in sending case docs to make it easier for everyone but I won't force yall to do so. You'll get a bump in speaks if you do. email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please don’t shake my hand.
- You can ask to look at ev during your partner or opponent's speech/cross. Idk why or when people started considering this as "stealing prep time".
- Quality of voters> Quantity of voters.
- Weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh. Which weigh? Dat weigh.
- Keep the round lighthearted. I think debaters are way too angry now and some humor would be appreciated. Jokes and puns are highly encouraged.
- Not a fan of super squirrelly arguments or theory (the next 2 bullets might answer your next questions). Idk too much about K's and im not the best at evaluating them, but if that's what you wanna read just make sure you explain it well. If I'm confused at the end of the debate I promise you won't be happy with my decision.
- READ and SEND cut cards. paraphrasing is whack. i wont penalize you for it but if the other team reads theory or tells me to evaluate paraphrased evidence as analytics and not real evidence, and you dont respond, it's going to be a really uphill battle.
- Disclosure in PF is a good thing. Same thing as paraphrasing; If someone discloses and either a) you do not and they read disclosure theory OR b) you LIE about what you've disclosed, I consider this a TKO. This means if disclosure theory is read in the round (reasonably) and it is conceded then it is basically over. Not disclosing or lying is indefensible.
- Your final focus should be telling me what to write on my ballot. If i don’t have to spend time thinking about how im voting after the round, you and i will both be happy (half of you at least).
- Apparently this needs to be clarified now but regardless of speaking order, in the rare situation where there is no offense on either side at the end of the round I will presume neg.
If you have any other questions feel free to email me email@example.com or ask me before the round provided your opponents are present as well. Hated my decision? send all complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org and hold nothing back.
Bold: Collapse, weigh, signpost, don’t make me think, galaxy hoodie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai3UfW-dFi8&ab_channel=HeXyaCe
Fold: being mean, friv theory, no email chain/disclosure, partial quads lmao.
This is my second year as a parent judge. A few things about my judging preferences:
- I value a clear logic flow and argument
- It’s important during a debate to allow the listeners to understand your argument and points, so it’s better to speak slowly and to be heard, rather than quickly (clarity over speed)
- I love a good clash. You’ll get credit for a clear, logical argument, but demonstrating the ability to modify your argument and rebut your opponents’ ACTUAL argument is very important (dynamic arguments are very effective)
- Be civil in your crossfire. You will lose speaker points with me for badgering your opponent.
Most important: have fun. The ability to debate is a crucial life skill!
Speak at a moderate pace that both your opponent and I can follow. This is Public Forum, there should be no theory - that belongs to Policy and LD.
I will be flowing the round. No new arguments in summary. However, in summaries, I do prefer a line-by-line to address the round. Give me clear voters in your final focus to make sure that I know what you want me to vote on for the round.
Avoid off-time roadmaps - your speech should clearly signpost.
For evidence shares: please use this email - email@example.com
I competed in PF at Nova High School in South Florida from 2014 to 2019. I just graduated from Duke University and am finishing up my fourth year coaching PF at Durham Academy.
For Nats 2023, please put me on the email chain- firstname.lastname@example.org.
How I make decisions-
I tend to vote on the path of least resistance. This is the place on my flow where I need to intervene the least as a judge in order to make a decision. Explicitly identifying your cleanest piece of offense in the round, winning that clean piece of offense, completely extending that clean piece of offense (uniqueness, links AND impacts in BOTH summary and final focus), and then telling me why your cleanest piece of offense is more important than your opponents' cleanest piece of offense is usually an easy way to win my ballot.
- Do all the good debate things! Do comparative weighing, warrant your weighing, collapse, frontline, etc.
- Please preflow before the round. Holding up the tournament to take 15 min to preflow in the room is really annoying :(
- Warrants and full link chains are important! I can only vote on arguments I understand by the end of the round and won't do the work for you on warrants/links. Please do not assume I know everything just because I've probably judged some rounds on the topic.
- I won't read speech docs, so please don't sacrifice speed for clarity.
- I have a really low threshold and 0 tolerance for being rude, dismissive, condescending, etc. to your opponents. I'm not afraid to drop you for this reason. At the very least, I'll tank your speaks and write you a kindly worded educational ballot about making rounds unnecessarily hostile.
- I personally feel that calling for evidence as a judge is interventionist. I will only do it if 1- someone in the round explicitly tells me to in a speech or 2- reading evidence is literally the only way that I can make a decision (if this happens, it means both teams did a terrible job of clarifying the round and there is no clear offense for me to vote on. Please don't let this happen).
- I'll vote on Kritiks if they are clearly warranted, well explained, and made accessible to your opponents. (I am admittedly not a fan of K's but will vote on them if I absolutely must.)
- I will also vote on theory that is clearly explained, fleshed out, and well warranted. I believe that theory should ONLY be used to check egregious instances of in-round abuse and reserve the right to drop you for frivolous theory. I won't buy paraphrase or disclosure theory.
- HUGE DISCLAIMER: My biggest pet peeve in PF right now is the use of progressive args to make rounds inaccessible to teams who don't know how to handle them. Reading progressive args against a clearly inexperienced team to get a cheap win is an easy way to auto lose my ballot. ALSO I am really not confident in my abilities to evaluate progressive arguments. If you choose to run them, you take on the risk of me making the wrong decision despite doing my best. Proceed with caution!
- If you plan on reading arguments about sensitive topics, please provide a content warning before the round.
Judging History (had to change my email & everything got wiped): https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=312944
I debated PF for 4 years at Rock Ridge & competed on the CFL circuit nationally and locally. I'm now a law student at UNC-Chapel Hill and alum of UVA.
-Make sure to signpost in rebuttal
- 2nd rebuttal should respond to points in 1st rebuttal and the aff speech
- I am a flow judge, make sure to keep track of the flow very carefully &extendyour own arguments
- When you do extend arguments, explain the extension instead of simply saying "extend XYZ"
- Please perform a clear weighing analysis in summary, establishing voting issues and thenbring homethe weighing analysis in final focus
- Be civil in crossfire & trust me, I know a dead, stalling-heavy crossfire when I see one
- I prefer rebuttals with analysis linked to your opponents' case points rather than just spewing general cards that somewhat touch on their contentions.Attack their warrants and logic, don't make this purely an evidence war.
- I prefer off-time roadmaps for clarity's sake
Speaking & Speed:
Speak as fast as you want, it won't ruin your speaks as long as I can understand you. However, I will say that you're more likely to wow me from a stylistic perspective at a "lay" speed.
Feel free to run theory/Ks, but do know that I'm not necessarily too experienced in that field. And if it's something ridiculous it probably won't help you.
My Personal Voting Criteria:
I really like comparative world analysis in the summary and final focus speeches; it really boils things down and makes it easy for you to write my ballot for me. Try to weigh in rebuttal too if possible. Frameworks are pretty cool too if done correctly. I believe that the summary is the most important part and turning point of the debate, so please do a really good job here.The final focus should wrap up the flow; try to convince me to vote for you to the point that I'd feel miserable for not doing so.I like seeing arguments consistently extended throughout the debate andI like to reminded as to why particular warrants/impacts are crucial to your side winning.I probably won't vote on crossfire, but don't use this as an excuse to let some shenanigans loose.
**As always, calling for cards will eat up your prep & if you want me to look at a card, please let me know in Final Focus**
Try to have fun as much as you try to win :-)
Thanks Anthony Ovadje for this paradigm.
I'm a second year out who debated at Marist. I've done four years of public forum.
Weigh and warrant arguments.
Tech > Truth
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Teams should read cut cards. I won't drop you if you paraphrase, but it'll hurt your speaker points, and will vote on theory. I won't call for cards unless a team tells me to do so, or if a round comes down to strict evidence. Please be efficient with card exchange, it should not take longer than 3 minutes.
2nd rebuttal should at least frontline turns
Summary and FF should mirror each other
I'm okay with speed not the best, but if you go fast make sure you are clear. If you are unclear I might miss something.
I have very little experience with K lit(mostly cap and race), so I'm open to hearing K/soft left arguments, but just know I may not be the best judge for Ks.
I'll vote on paraphrasing and disclosure theory and other theory if something egregious occurs in round. I won't vote off something dumb like 'shoe theory.'
Please do not read arguments like death good or nuke war good in front of me. I think these arguments are stupid and show a blatant disregard for people dying.
Other than that have fun! Debate is really competitive and intense at times, but you will make rounds better for you, your opponents, and judges if you actually seem to be enjoying yourself.
If you have any questions you can ask me in round or just email me.
I did extemp and policy debate in high school (College Prep CA) and policy debate in college (UC Berkeley). I am a lawyer, and my day job is as a professor of law and government at UNC Chapel Hill. I specialize in criminal law.
For more than 10 years, I have been coaching at Durham Academy in North Carolina. I’ve coached a little bit of everything but mostly public forum. We’ve been nationally competitive in PF during that time. For example, we have won Glenbrooks, Harvard, and NSDA nationals.
Although I did policy debate, I see PF as a distinct form of debate. Accordingly, I prefer a more conversational pace and less jargon. I'm open to different types of argument but arguments that are implausible, counterintuitive or theoretical are going to be harder rows to hoe. I prefer debates that are down the middle of the topic.
I flow but I care more about how your main arguments are constructed and supported than about whether some minor point or another is dropped. I’m not likely to vote for arguments that exist in case but then aren’t talked about again until final focus. Consistent with that approach, I don’t have a rule that you must “frontline” in second rebuttal or “extend terminal defense in summary” but I do think that you should spend time talking about and developing the issues that are most important to the round.
Evidence is important to me and I occasionally call for it after the round. However, the quality of it is much more important than the quantity. Blipping out 15 half-sentence cards in rebuttal isn’t appealing to me. I dislike the practice of paraphrasing evidence — in my experience, debaters rarely paraphrase accurately. Debaters should feel free to call for one another’s cards, but be judicious about that. Calling for multiple cards each round slows things down and if it feels like a tactic to throw your opponent off or to get free prep time, I will be irritated.
As the round progresses, I like to see some issue selection, strategy, prioritization, and weighing. Going for everything isn't usually a good idea.
Finally, I care about courtesy and fair play. This is a competitive activity but it is not life and death. It should be educational and fun and there is no reason to be anything but polite.
Director of Speech & Debate at Taipei American School in Taipei, Taiwan. Founder and Director of the Institute for Speech and Debate (ISD). Formerly worked/coached at Hawken School, Charlotte Latin School, Delbarton School, The Harker School, Lake Highland Prep, Desert Vista High School, and a few others.
Updated for Online Debate
I coach in Taipei, Taiwan. Online tournaments are most often on US timezones - but we are still competing/judging. That means that when I'm judging you, it is the middle of the night here. I am doing the best I can to adjust my sleep schedule (and that of my students) - but I'm likely still going to be tired. Clarity is going to be vital. Complicated link stories, etc. are likely a quick way to lose my ballot. Be clear. Tell a compelling story. Don't overcomplicate the debate. That's the best way to win my ballot at 3am - and always really. But especially at 3am.
firstname.lastname@example.org is the best email for the evidence email chain.
You can ask me specific questions if you have them...but my paradigm is pretty simple - answer these three questions in the round - and answer them better than your opponent, and you're going to win my ballot:
1. Where am I voting?
2. How can I vote for you there?
3. Why am I voting there and not somewhere else?
I'm not going to do work for you. Don't try to go for everything. Make sure you weigh. Both sides are going to be winning some sort of argument - you're going to need to tell me why what you're winning is more important and enough to win my ballot.
If you are racist, homophobic, nativist, sexist, transphobic, or pretty much any version of "ist" in the round - I will drop you. There's no place for any of that in debate. Debate should be as safe of a space as possible. Competition inherently prevents debate from being a 100% safe space, but if you intentionally make debate unsafe for others, I will drop you. Period.
One suggestion I have for folks is to embrace the use of y'all. All too often, words like "guys" are used to refer to large groups of people that are quite diverse. Pay attention to pronouns (and enter yours on Tabroom!), and be mindful of the language you use, even in casual references.
I am very very very very unlikely to vote for theory. I don't think PF is the best place for it and unfortunately, I don't think it has been used in the best ways in PF so far. Also, I am skeptical of critical arguments. If they link to the resolution, fantastic - but I don't think pre-fiat is something that belongs in PF. If you plan on running arguments like that, it might be worth asking me more about my preferences first - or striking me.
Hello! I'm your judge! I was a former PF Debater, a current sophmore at Duke who's studying engineering. In my time debating, I did a mix of both lay and tech debate, and also was both first and second speaker at some point, but mainly second. For the current topic, I've haven't looked at it much, so break things down for me.
A couple of notes on preferences, I'm fine with speed, but might drop some things if you go too fast, especially in a virtual setting. When it comes to arguments like theory and kritiks, but I'm not familiar with them, so breaking down the very basics of such arguments it's important. Just make sure whatever abuse you are addressing is clear and important enough for me to drop the other team. Misrepresenting evidence is at least grounds to dock speak, if not drop round.
A couple of things that make me happy:
1. Responsiveness Being a second speaker, clash makes me happy. Make sure that all arguments are responsive. Specifically, rebuttal should tell me explicitly why their defense takes out the argument. I'll be extra happy and boost speaks if you can give me a comparative analysis between links and cards. If your opponent has a card saying that x is true, and you have a card saying x is not true, you need to tell me why your card is better (better warranting, postdating, etc). Or else it just turns into a 50/50 in which card I believe.
2. Cohesion Just make a consistent story or consistent extensions. If you focus on one topic, in summary, don't switch to another in the final focus. That doesn't mean repeat stuff without addressing arguments, just try to stick to the same topics. If something new comes up in summary or final focus by your opponents, just address it in the next speech possible, or call it out if you think it's too late in the round to bring up new points.
3. Signposting My flow tends to be pretty messy because I scribble, but I do try to keep it organized. If you tell me where you are, it will make it really easy for me to follow along.
4. Collapsing Please collapse in your summary and win an argument cleanly, along with the weight to go along with it. For summary, defense is sticky for first summary, but still would like it to be reemphasized. Second rebuttal does not need to frontline, but is strategic.