Cavalier Invitational at Durham Academy
2023 — Durham, NC/US
PF Challenge Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
PF Coach @ The Potomac School,
W&M '24,GMU '22
Put me on your email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
*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.
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 does annoy 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
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.
Add me to the chain: email@example.com
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
I'm Anna (she/her). I’m a sophmore at Brown University. I coach PF for Durham where I debated from 2018-2021.
Add me to the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 the Director of Speech and Debate at Charlotte Latin School. Have been coaching all types of debate (except Policy), but most specifically Public Forum.
Email Chain: email@example.com
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.***
I am a debate coach with 20 years experience, and have coached all speech and debate events.
In round, I reward strong research/evidence, solid understanding of the topic, and advancing the debate by bringing points and clash together. Use evidence accurately and truthfully. Different speeches (authorship, refutation, weighing, etc.) have different purposes, and accomplishing the purpose of each speech is more important that battling in a waiting game, always trying to get the last speech. Every argument and claim should be effectively supported with warrant and data from evidence. Questioning should be won by smart questions and answers: CX should not be a shouting match or full of interruption.
Presiding officers should maximize time given to speakers and questioners, and minimize PO narration as much as possible through direct communication and strong word economy. POs should keep things fast, professional, fair, and within the rules. The debate session should maximize debate time allotted.
I am a traditional judge. I judge what's on the flow. Truth and tech both matter. Use evidence accurately and truthfully. Framework and Value/criterion/standard are very important. I'd rather hear arguments grounded in real world data in the literature on the topic, but also am open to philosophy arguments. I am not a fan of theory that would end up substituting for debating the actual topic. Please don't spread. It's rarely necessary. If opponents or I call for evidence, please provide it right away- there shouldn't be delays related to evidence searching. Don't call for evidence too often or without good reason. Please be cooperative, civil, and professional in CX when you are questioned.
I judge what's on the flow. Truth and tech both matter. Use evidence accurately and truthfully. Framework and warrants and data are very important to me. Every argument should be clear, warranted, and supported with data/examples/evidence. Keep cross ex civil and polite, and an equal sharing of speaking time. I prefer to hear grouping and strong weighing in summary and final focus, so definitely collapse the debate to a few key issues instead of covering a ton of different thoughts in a line by line style. If opponents or I call for evidence, please provide it right away- there shouldn't be delays related to evidence searching. Don't call for evidence too often or without good reason. I strongly prefer arguments grounded in the literature of the topic, with data and real world examples, over efforts to avoid debating the topic, such as disclosure theory or other theory. Public Forum debate was created to develop skills related to communicating with the general public, and that intent should be embraced by PF debaters. No need to spread in PF at all.
-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
-in 2nd rebuttal two things you have to frontline and dont read disads if theres a legitimate violation/issue I'll evaluate a new off but I don't recommend doing it on a ticky-tack violation
-Im fine with progressive arguments but you cant kick it you can collapse on specific warrants but any argument you read should make it to final and i wont evaluate no RVIs or must read competing interps
-im fine with any speed in the front half of the round but in the back half the faster you go the more I'll miss or not get which makes it hard to vote for you so make a judgement call
-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
Mid America Cup 2023 UPDATE: please send all cases (and cut cards) to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
This is my fourth year as a parent speech and debate judge, most of which has been spent judging public forum and lincoln douglas debate.
Please be respectful of your opponent and your judge. Please follow the rules and treat everyone fairly.
I appreciate speaking that is reasonably paced so that I can follow your arguments, so a little quicker than conversation-paced speaking works best for me. You will have enough time to make your arguments without rushing through them. I will listen carefully to your evidence, and to me, a few pieces of strong evidence are far superior to a lot of weak evidence.
I have little knowledge of your topic and have not prepped so do not assume that I know the literature, arguments, or acronyms.
Please convince me with good evidence and a carefully made argument.
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- email@example.com.
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.
I’m currently a first-year student at Duke and I competed mainly in Congressional Debate during high school and have had experience in Public Forum.
In Congress - I will be looking at strong link chains in your argument. Everything has to make sense if you want to be scored well. Argumentation will be valued over presentation (probably around 75% argumentation 25% presentation). Make sure you are respectful to your fellow competitors. I want to see a lot of clash and no rehashed arguments. If you can pull off a strong refutation/crystalization speech that will be scored better than bringing up two new points towards the end of the debate. Make sure you ask lots of good questions and are attentive throughout the debate. POs should be fair, respectful, and efficient. If I consider your behavior or your arguments as anything remotely sexist, racist, homophobic, or along the same lines of offensive will be immediately dropped.
In PF - Please no spreading or talking obnoxiously loud just to talk over your competitors. Make sure your link chains are strong and everything is as clear as possible. I'll want to see you cite from strong sources and are well prepared. If you want me to vote on your side I'll have to see a humanized impact (human reason). Presentation doesn't really matter to me I'll look at your argumentation and how you respond to your opponents mainly. If I consider your behavior or your arguments as anything remotely sexist, racist, homophobic, or along the same lines of offensive will be immediately dropped.
I debated in the late 90's. I believe in the Value Premise and Criterion. I think there should be clash. Rounds should be in a conversational speed. If I am yelling clear, I am missing an argument. I will stop flowing. I am not a blank slate judge nor will I drop someone for dropping an unreasonable argument. The last speeches are for providing voters and writing my ballot. If there is no connection back to the VP/ your position, I feel there is no ground for me to vote. I do not vote for Kritiks. I do believe a discussion with a debater about the round is ok. I think understanding points of view helps with communicating your cases in later rounds. I will not switch my decision.
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.