Big Tent Online
2022 — Online, US
Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
You may know me previously as Caitlin Smith or Caitlin Addleman. She/her pronouns.
I coach with the University of Minnesota (fall 2017 - present). I debated 4 years (2013-2017) of NPDA/NPTE parli for Wheaton College and 4 years of LD in high school. I have also coached policy at the UMN and LD at Apple Valley High School.
I care deeply about debate, about equity in it, access to it, and very much believe in the power it has to change lives. I take my role as an educator seriously, which means I am always happy to chat about or answer any questions related to debate, from theory to substantive arguments. Additionally, I consider the moral/ethical questions of debate to be a constitutive feature of the activity. As such, I refuse to check my status as a moral agent at the door. I will, and have (albeit rarely), voted down arguments that I consider to be seriously morally problematic, regardless of what’s on the flow. While my standard for doing so is high, I take as axiomatic that every person has intrinsic and immutable worth - if I feel that your advocacy or representations seriously impinge on the worth of someone in the room, that will affect my decision. This does not mean that I won’t vote for arguments I don’t like or ethically agree with (I do that all the time); rather, I simply will not hold myself to voting on the flow if I feel someone in the room is being done violence. If you have any questions about my standards or threshold, please ask me.
A Note on Tech:
I believe that the technical aspects of debate are tools we use to allow us to understand and engage with the substance of arguments more deeply. I therefore do not think that tech is a substitute for substantive engagement. I value more highly arguments that engage with the opposing positions substantively than ones that merely do so technically (while to do both is truly masterful debate). Put simply, substance > tech > truth.
I’m fine with speed and will clear you if you pass my threshold (which is unlikely). Please be aware of how the online nature of debate constrains speed by paying attention to whatever chat feature we have available for people saying speed or clear - and please make accommodations as necessary. Please say all plans/CP’s/T-interps/alts/etc. slowly and twice.
Please do it. This will make my job a lot easier, and also make it a lot more likely that I see the round the way that you would like me to. I will evaluate the round as you tell me to, although in absence of any weighing arguments, I default to probability first and will have a substantially lower threshold than most parli judges to vote on systemic/materialized/highly probable impacts (given any arguments being made that I should prefer them). This does not mean I will not vote on nuclear, disaster, etc. scenarios, just that I will not accept prima facie an unwarranted claim that those impacts outweigh all other things if your opponents are making arguments to the contrary.
I have broad knowledge of economic and policy issues (my knowledge skews more heavily towards the K). Thus, I will be largely limited to my understanding of what you put out in a given round. If you’re clear, there shouldn’t be a problem, just don’t expect me to know what various terms or abbreviations mean off the bat or grant you internal warrants without clear explanations.
Win the debate on whatever layer you would like. My threshold to vote on theory is determined by the extent to which a clear impact on the shell is articulated and weighed. I also believe that standards should be contextualized to your opponents’ position. I find great problems in reading generic reasons why policy is good against non-T affs because I very much believe that theory should be about bringing questions of how debate ought function into the conversation, rather than forcing certain ideas out. This doesn’t mean don’t read theory in those situations, but that, if you’re going to, I will hold you to a high standard. Finally, I have a lower threshold than most parli judges for we-meets: if they meet the text of your interpretation, I do not consider a remaining violation to be a priori offense (as in, it’s still offense, but without an interpretation it does not function a priori, absent additional arguments that it should). If you have questions about what this means, let me know.
I debated lots of K’s and write lots of them with my team. I love them. I particularly love when they are clear on what the alt does and what a world of the alternative looks like. I really hate chicken-and-egg style root cause debates and would much prefer to hear substantive debate about the issues in the K. Please don’t assume I know your literature (just because I read K’s doesn’t mean I will understand your K) . I will vote on what is said in the round, not my prior knowledge of your particular author.
Debate is both a game and the real world. Bringing real world issues to the forefront within debate rounds is simultaneously extremely important and extremely difficult. It definitely creates change in our community and, as such, is something I take very seriously. I will attempt to evaluate every round as fairly as I can, while recognizing I do not check my status as a moral agent at the door. The one thing I like to be clear in these debates, therefore, is the role of the judge. I don’t mean that you have to include me in your movement, make me feel comfortable, or anything like that; I mean expecting me to evaluate what I’m supposed to do at the end of a debate round, with many moral issues on the table and no framework to deal with them, has the potential to give me a major panic attack. I don’t say this because I anticipate any such problem, but simply because it is a very real concern for my mental health and I want competitors to be aware.
26-30, unless you do something very rude or exclusionary.
Experience: 2 years high school PF, 1 year high school LD, 1 year college IPDA
Go slow, clear signposting and good structure is essential. I need to be able to follow along
Quality of arguments is more important than speaking style and presentation, but speaking style is still important. It can be the difference in a very close round.
Make sure to have clash.
Include clear, concise, and well-defined voting issues. The final speeches of the debate round should provide closure like a confident punctuation mark.
Experience: Former Missouri State NFA-LD debater for 4 years. 3rd in NFA-LD at NFA Nationals in 2019. 2ish years of judging college debate. Now work in think tank world.
TLDR: Do what makes you comfortable. Make sure you are keeping the debate accessible and educational for everyone involved. Be nice. I’m more knowledgeable and comfortable with policy debate than K debate but I want you to do what you feel good about. Go fast if you want. Condo is good and your theory argument probably isn’t going to be on my mind at the end of the round. Quality and depth of arguments > multiple shallow arguments. CP + DA =personal favorite type of debate.
A quick note about online debate
I would implore you to remember that we as a community are weathering this storm together and doing things that help make this process easier for everyone (including maybe going a little slower than normal because of low quality computer speakers). Keep your camera on while you debate please.
At the end of the day, debate should be a game built around clever technical argumentation that enhances your education on the topic and relevant critical literature, while remaining open for as many people as possible. Tech>truth I think is key to preserving said game. I think speed is generally good but you should ask yourself if you are doing it because it is necessary to win or if you are being exclusionary. I do not think my ballot determines anything other than wins in losses in a casual game. Things that I feel are intentionally done to exclude people from the game will be held against you and could be a voter if bad enough (i.e. you made a racist/sexist/ableist/transphobic argument). You should disclose to your opponent before round and on the wiki.
Notes on different arguments:
Disads are good. I don’t know what else to say really. I hope you spend time weighing the impact from the DA and contextualizing how it interacts with the aff rather than just saying “it outweighs”. I don’t think that should have to be said really but too many debates in NFA don’t contain that broader story and contextualization. I like a good politics DA a whole lot.
CP’s are very good for debate and your personal education. I think judge kicking a CP is pretty intuitive and I haven’t seen a great argument against it. PIC’s are generally good for debate and holding the aff to a reasonable intellectual standard. I tend to think that theory arguments are a reason to reject the arg not the team, BUT I can obviously be persuaded otherwise.
I’m all for K’s...more so on the negative than the affirmative, but I’m open to both. I do have a few thoughts on what I need out of a K debate though. The first thing I want to specify here is that I really would prefer your alt to be more than a mad lib full of philosophy 350 jargon. I want to be able to walk away from the round with a fairly clear understanding of the action of the alt and a pair of contrasting worlds for me to evaluate. It’s fairly easy just to say “thing bad”, so I would hope for a little more substance than that. Second, I am familiar with the basics of a lot of K arguments (some more than others, I probably have a bit more background knowledge on islamaphobia or feminist theory than I do queer theory for example) but I was not a K debater and I have less and less time to read critical literature now that I am out of school. So while I am not entirely out of touch with the literature, I may need some high level contextualization at the beginning. Third, if you want to run K's on the aff I think that is fine but you still should find someway to contextualize your critique within the topic. I think this at least partially nullifies concerns over accessibility and education. I think people within NFA-LD have mostly gotten better at this over the last couple years but you occasionally still see a K aff that is so generic it feels like it was recycled from 3 topics ago.
My general stance is that if you know deep down in your heart that your opponent's Aff is topical and you still want to go for T… you’ve chosen probably the least intellectually interesting way for this round to go. That aside I think T debates can be ok when done right and I'll vote on both proven and potential abuse. But would highly prefer proven abuse.
I think theory arguments can serve as important guardrails against genuinely game breaking behavior but I also believe they are very abused by some debaters. I really dislike cheap, obscure two line theory arguments used as gotcha techniques. I think they are often used as crutch and end up harming the educational value of a round. That being said, I have voted for different theory arguments many many times over the years. I just need you to spend time on them and actually flesh them out into real arguments.
Something I think uniquely plagues the NFA community is the lack of standardized and agreed upon speaker points. Some judges will hand out a 29.5 to anyone who strings a sentence together and others will give you a 28 for a round they said "blew them away". While I don't think I am necessarily going to solve that myself, I wanted to be transparent and clear about how I think this should work. So here are my breakdowns for speaker points in NFA-LD
25 or below: You said something offensive or mean to the other debater. Booo
25.1-25.9: You filled up less than half of your speech time or seemed to struggle to grasp the fundamentals of debate. I'll hand these out pretty sparingly.
26-27: You made some pretty significant mistakes in this round, conceded a major impact, and could use a fair amount of practice. You probably couldn't quite figure out how to utilize the arguments you were making or made a bunch of blippy arguments with no contextualization and they were never expanded upon later.
27-28: You did pretty ok. If I was tournament god I would not give you a speaker award, there were some clear areas of improvement that could be worked on, but it was a pretty solid performance otherwise.
28-You did pretty good. You had a solid path to victory at one point or another in the round and deserve a low speaker award.
28.5-29: I left the round with a very clear understanding of exactly what you were going for and why you deserved to win. You know what you had to do to win, and even if you ultimately lost, you were never truly out of the game. You contextualized exactly how your impact or framing interacts with your opponent's and pulled a few clever tricks.
29-29.5: Fantastic job. You deserve a high speaker awards and I would very much expect you to be in deeper elims. Not only were your final arguments well developed and weighed, but you were able to give me a legitimately deeper understanding of the competing worlds with specific warrants from each card and demonstrated you genuinely knew your stuff. You pulled out something neither me nor your opponent expected and had excellent round vision.
29.5-30: This speech should be shown to future novice debaters as an example of what to do.
Hi Friends and Future Friends,
My name is Elle (like the letter "L")! I was a former intercollegiate debater and competed in multiple events, including BP, IMP, IPDA, NPDA, and Ethics Bowl. I am an extremely fair judge. I do not vote according to personal basis, nor do I let any political leanings interfere with my ability to view the scope of a round. I have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a second BA in Philosophy. I share my educational background because I believe that it has trained me to indulge in (and even enjoy) hearing alternative perspectives/arguments. It has also edified me to decipher between sound argumentation and utter humbug.
When judging a debate round I flow meticulously, actively listening and observing both teams. I vote according to the arguments presented to me. How these arguments are presented is up to the debaters. I will entertain a wide range of approaches to a given resolution. I enjoy debate rounds of all types; running a topicality argument or Kritik will not lose my vote. I often get asked about my preference regarding "speed": talk as fast as you like, I can flow it. With that said, speaking quickly is a strategy– acknowledge that if your judge misses an argument you said, that's a risk of the strategy you chose. I expect stock issues addressed, I do consider impacts as significant, and I will flow to spot dropped arguments. Each round is unique, and different issues arise. Therefore, I hesitate to say that there is this "one thing" that determines how I vote in each round [I don't think I would be a fair judge if I could name just one thing].
The one thing you should note about me: I do not tolerate disrespect during, before, or after a debate round. If you are disrespectful to another debater I will vote you down. I have done it before (unfortunately) and will do it again if need be. I have voted teams down before for being overtly disrespectful to either a debater on the opposing team or (and yes, this has actually happened) a debater on their team. I don't mind us having fun and being snarky. I genuinely care about each of you enough individually to hold you all accountable for being respectful collectively.
General Approach: Add me to the chain when I arrive (stopped including my email here when rando students started asking how to get into NYU). Don't wait for me, start the rd when the neg has the 1AC up. NYU's network is slow so I won't look at speech docs until after the rd. Still thinkis it worsens judges' flows to be reliant on the doc. Still flowing on paper. Be organized, Be ready. Shorter, decision time limits mandate better time management on your part as well.Be considerate.
Making My Decision: Good debaters work extremely hard so I will make every effort to be very thoughtful and conscientious as your judge. Whatever decision allows me to inject myself the least into the interpretations of issues in the round is the one I will attempt to make. Did a ton of topic research and still surprised about the directions of many affs so best advice -- you do you.Compare positions, ev and tell a story in the last rebuttal that frames the round the way you wish me to decide it. I’ll vote where you tell me if it's coherent. If you have multiple stories, prioritize them. Don't rely on my post-round reconstruction. If you only spend 10 seconds on a key point in your last rebuttal, don't expect me to spend much more than that evaluating it in my decision. Most rounds come down to impact assessment and warrant comparisons. Card docs are sometimes helpful in open. Less so in jv. An author’s name is not an argument. Don’t confuse the two. Provide warrants for why your ev is better than theirs. Recuts of opponents' ev need to be read in round not just inserted into the doc to be assessed on my flow.Ethics challenges are ALWAYS a voting issue.
Tech vs. Truth Tech over truth is an inflection point not a value system. My voting record reflects a tech leaning but that's more reflective of how truth is framed in the 2AR vs. my role to protect the neg. Application of either really comes down to the skills and execution of the particular debaters.
The Aff: Do what you want in terms of policy, K or performance. I'm game. Set up how to evaluate your approach to affirmation prior to the 2AR so there is some level of predictability and discussion for the neg. There need to be advantages to that approach (i.e. EXTERNAL -- why is it or is it not productive? or INTERNAL -- what does it communicate or provide you with in the debate space of importance?) the same as with substantive arguments. If you are performing, make sure that the role of the ballot is articulated and extended and not a 2AR surprise. You will get better points. My evaluation will come down to offense on the FWK flow based on impacts identified by the debaters unless it's one of those rare rounds where the neg has a tight, specific strat. Speaking of....
The Neg: Have a clever, tight strategy. Don’t whine. If you want to defend your right to a politics link or a certain interp, go for it. Presumption matters and is underutilized.
TOPICALITY/FWK: I’ll vote on T/FW if you win the relevant internal/external impacts in the debate. T - Subsets debate have suffered from a lack of nuance on both sides. Pulled the trigger more than once but would prefer real discourse when possible. All subsets aren't created equal, in terms of lit base, and what they would allow future affs to doAll animals vs. one Malayan horned frog both seem like pointless extremes. . I'd rather you read another DA if we can't get better at this debate.
DISADS Fine obviously. Providing reasons why the DA turns case are always a good idea.
CPs Smart CPs always add to your strategy. If you read CPs with lots of conditional planks or more than 3 conditional advocacies in a rd, I'm not the right judge for you. Do feel free to take advantage of teams that read & react without studying your CP text carefully. Also, can a brother get some solvency ev with that CP text? Sympathetic to "1AR gets new answers" vs CPs with no 1NC solvency. Remember, this is a legal topic. Courts, executive agencies & state legislatures have different powers from Congress that impact wording, function and execution. I'll listen and weigh solvency deficits if the AFF is correct on function. I don't judge kick without specific instruction to do so.
K AFF/NEG: For teams that generate links from messed-up, in-round behaviors or focus on the debate space-No changes. If teams defend external claims and impacts, winning anti-blackness is a superstructure or capitalist gov't solutions have failed on-balance is necessary but not sufficient as it was in the past. Quality examples are more essential and more available including images of unjust black death, galvanized micro-political movements resisting capitalism, racial injustice, colonialism, and militarism in over 80 countries as well as government crackdowns plus counter-movements like expanded militia activity and events like the DC insurrection. More recently, we're encountering baby steps of corporate accountability, record increases in bias attacks, the first whole-of-government anti-oppression audit in history [including specific mention of anti-blackness] passage of 112+ voter suppression laws, and the gutting of Roe v Wade. Your arsenal needs solid answers to scalability, empirical solvency, and why gov't action will not inevitably be needed. Include good reasons why the K turns case.
Pet Peeves that lower points: 1--STOP STEALING PREP TIME -It's a nasty habit. You are taking time from my life that I will never get back. 2--MIND YOUR TECH - I have sympathy for unexpected tech issues but not poor preparation that delays the tournament & wastes everyone's time. If you're debating online: a) Check your tech between rds for charge etc. b) Have a back-up (phone, tablet, etc.) in case your laptop malfunctions mid-speech. c) Get verbal or visual confirmation everyone is back and ready before starting ALL your speeches d) don't record people without permission e) slow down 10-20% because it's hard to hear/decipher stuff online f) figure out how you two will communicate during prep whether it's discord, facetime, or by cell. 3--DON’T CURSE EXCESSIVELY in your speeches. If someone slips up but is making an earnest effort, no problem. Don't hae a bright line for you but if you need to ask, you're probably excessive. Community norms have forced me to exempt external sources with curses (films, music, poetry. etc) and advocacy statements. 4--DON'T BE SLOPPY WITH SOURCES Ex. You say “Read the Jones 10 ev after the round!” I read it and it sucks. In the post-round, it becomes “I meant to say Roberts, not Jones,” or “There were three pieces of Jones ev I meant the 1AR card.” That's a "you" problem. Effective communication good.
Please be respectful towards each other and the judge,time yourself, and have fun! This is a learning experience for all of us!
Experience: 8 years debate in high school and college- Parli, LD, IPDA, PFD, Worlds... pretty much every debate style you can imagine I've done at least once. I also assistant coached for 2+ years and still on and off travel/ assist where I can. I have also judged almost every form of debate as well!
Generally there isn't much you could say in front of me that I wouldn't understand- all forms of arguments are accepted by me as long as they are well thought out and well written. However you debate is okay with me as long as there is good clash! Whoever gives me the best link and impact analysis will win my favor much easier than a team that doesn't.
Speed: Its okay, but don't use it to exclude the other team. I can keep up with a FAST team, but if you are pushing wild extremes, and you want something to stand out, you had better make sure you slow to say it with emphasis, or get it in front of me multiple times. Debate is a communication event, and the whole purpose is to make sure you are understood, and there is clash. If you go so fast that I keep up and the other team doesn't and it ruins clash, its not going to be good for you, or them. If someone is going too fast PLEASE feel free to say "clear" in round in some way to note to me and them that you aren't keeping up.
Tech: I know tech has been a part of Debate now for a long while. Especially now with long distance rounds. If someone leaves the room unexpectedly I will stop their speech time and they will have a grace period to get back into the round.
If you have an email chain going to share evidence please feel free to include me! There are times I also would like to have evidence to clarify some things, and its easier if I get it while you give it!
As for specifics you may ask-
DAs- I want well thought out links that are easily followable, and impacts that are terminal and weighed out against the opposing impact. I don't want to hear "this Aff causes this impact" without it being followed up by a "this is why its a worse option than their case."
T- I will listen to a good T debate. Key word GOOD. Dont run T just to waste mine or the opposing teams time. If there is an arguably topical plan and you want to run it, go for it! Make sure you format it well, and have good voters attached to it.
CPs- I do enjoy a good counter plan! make Sure you are up to snuff in your CP theory though!
K- I will listen to and vote for a K if it is well built and the Alt makes clear sense as to what is being achieved via the K.
Lastly... Give me voters! reasons to prefer ect. I want to know what I should be voting on at the end of the debate. What should I be comparing line to line? Which impact is the most important/ heaviest? What actually happens in the world if I vote Aff or Neg?
2018 NPDA National Champion
I can judge pretty much anything. Just be clear and have fun.
For additional speaker points, consult the below recipe.
***Before you strike me, ask your DoF how many times I beat the teams they coached. Now, rethink your strike and pref me higher.***
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- black pepper
- 2⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably fresh)
- 1 lb fettuccine, prepared as directed
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter.
- When butter is melted, add cream cheese.
- When the cream cheese is softened, add heavy cream.
- Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in parmesan.
- Serve over hot fettuccine noodles.
You can add me to the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated at NYU for 3 years and also in high school, reading mostly soft-left affs with plan texts and a mix of T, K, CP with occasional disads on case. I've been in the working world the past few years managing electoral campaigns. I've now returned for grad school at NYU and am helping out the team this weekend.
This is my first tournament on the personhood tournament so a) slow down on tags and cites so I have a chance to get back up to speed with my flows and b) don't assume I know all of the funky topic-based arguments.
Rather than a strong preference for a particular style of debate just be smart and clear especially in your rebuttals. If I'm not clear on why the DA uniqueness or the Kritik alt solvency, it will be much harder to win my ballot.
On the big issues, it matters to me how you treat other humans so try to be respectful and not a jerk. Talking over your partner is a no-no since they deserve respect as well.
Disads on Econ, Politics and Leadership are core issues and I know Court Clog. The topic Disads, please take a little more explanatory time.
Yes, i'm willing to vote on theory but wading through a condo debate is't the most fun I've had in life.
Counterplans can be condo, dispo etc but I'd rather not have a bunch of conditional planks thrown around. If you want to read 3 advocacies as long as there's only one in the 2NR, I'm ok with that but above that, you're fighting uphill. I won't judge kick the CP for you.
Haven't had enough rounds to have a leaning on if I vote aff or neg on framework so we'll have to see. For now, it's really just which side does the better job debating. As far as theory knowledge, be aware that I'm in grad school for bioethics so depending on your genre you might walk into my expertise.
My default is the aff gets to weigh the case against the K and they have a right to a perm.
Anything else, please ask before the round.
Updated for the Legalization Topic 9/11/14
I do want on the e-mail chain: email@example.com
Debate Experience: Wichita State graduate 2009. We read a middle of the road straight up affirmative and won more debates on arguments like imperialsim good than should have been possible. However, on the negative roughly half of my 2NRs were a K (with the other half being some combination of T, politics/case etc.) so I believe firmly in argumentative flexibility and am comfortable voting for or against almost all arguments.
Judging Experience: 5-8 tournaments each year since graduating.
Most importantly: I do not work with a team currently so I have not done any topic research, my only involvement is judging a handful of tournaments each year. It would be in your best interest to not assume I have the intricacies of your PIC or T argument down and take some time explaining the basis of your arguments. If the first time I figure out what your CP does or what your violation is on T is after you give me the text after the debate, my motivation to vote for you is going to be pretty low. I am currently a practicing attorney so I may have some insight on the topic from that perspective, but I'll try to minimize what impact that has on my decisions outside of possibly some suggestions after the debate on how to make it more accurately reflect how the legal process works.
Ways to kill your speaker points/irritate me
1. Cheating - I mean this substantively not argumentatively. This can include stealing prep time, clipping cards, lying about disclosure etc. If people are jumping cards or waiting to get the flash drive and you are furiously typing away on your computer it's pretty obvious you are stealing prep and I will call you out on it.
2. Being unecessarily uptight/angry about everything. There's no need to treat every round like it's the finals of the NDT, try having some fun once in awhile I promise your points from me and others will go up as a result. I take debate seriously and enjoying being a part of debate, but you can be very competitive and still generally pleasant to be around at the same time. I have no problem if people want to make fun of an argument, but it's one thing to attack the quality of an argument and another entirely to attack the person reading those arguments.
3. Not letting the other person talk in cross-x. It irritates me greatly when one person answers and asks every single question on one team.
4. A lack of line-by-line debate. If your only reference to the previous speeches is some vague reference to "the link debate" you are going to be irritated with my decision. I'm only willing to put in the same amount of work that you are. This is not to say that I can't be persuaded to have a more holistic view of the debate, but if I can't tell what arguments you are answering I am certainly going to be sympathetic if the other team can't either. Also people over use the phrase "dropped/conceded" to the point that I'm not sure they mean anything anymore, I'm paying attention to the debate if something is conceded then certainly call the other team out, if they spent 2 minutes answering it skip the part of your block that says "they've conceded: . It just makes me feel that you aren't putting the same work that I am in paying attention to what is occurring in the debate.
5. If your speech/cx answers sound like a biblography. Having evidence and citations is important, but if all you can do is list a laundry list of citations without any explanation or application and then expect me to wade through it all in the end, well we're probably not going to get along. I do not tend to read many cards after a debate if any. I pretty quickly figure out where the important arguments (debaters that identify and highlight important arguments themselves and resolve those debates for me are going to be very far ahead) and then I will turn to arguments and evidentiary issues that are contested.
Ways to impress me
1. Having strategic vision among the different arguments in the debate. Nothing is better than having a debater realize that an answer on one sheet of paper is a double turn with a team's answer on another and be able to capitalize on it, bold moves like that are often rewarded with good points and wins if done correctly.
2. Using your cross-x well. Few people use this time well, but for me it's some of the most valuable speech time and it can make a big difference in the outcome of debates if used effectively.
3. Having a working knowledge of history. It's amazing to me how many arguments are just patently untrue that could be disproven with even a basic understanding of history, I think those are good arguments and often more powerful than the 10 word overhighlighted uniqueness card you were going to read instead.
I enjoy a well crafted and strategic T argument. My biggest problem with these debates is the over emphasis on the limits/reasonability debate occuring in the abstract, usually at the expense of spending enough time talking about the particulars of the aff/neg interps their support in the literature, and how the particular interp interacts with the limits/reasonability debate. T cards rival politics uniqueness cards as the worst ones read in debate, and more time should be spent by both teams in pointing this out.
I think this topic provides an interesting opportunity for discussion with the absence of the federal government in the topic as far as what the Aff can and should be allowed to defend. I'm curious how both Affs and Negs will choose to adapt to this change.
Topicality - K Affs
I think you have to have a defense of the resolution, the manner in which that is done is up to the particular debate. Unfortunately I've been forced to vote on T = genocide more times than I'd like to admit, but Neg's refuse to answer it, no matter how terrible of an argument it is (and they don't get much worse). Critical Affs are likely to do the best in front of me the stronger their tie is to the resolution. The argument there is "no topical version of our aff" has always seemed to me to be a reason to vote Neg, not Aff. Stop making that argument, doing so is just an indication you haven't read or don't care what I put in here and it will be reflected in your points.
I don't ususally get more than one or two opportunities per year to judge debates centered around issues of race/sex/identity but try to be as open as I can to these types of debates when they do occur. I still would prefer these arguments have at least some tie to the resolution as I think this particular topic does allow for good discussion of a lot of these issues. I have generally found myself voting Aff in these types of debates, as the Negative either usually ignores the substance of the Aff argument or fails to explain adequately why both procedurally and substantively the way the Aff has chosen to approach the topic is bad. Debates about alternate ways in which these issues might be approached in terms of what Negatives should get to say against them compared to what the Aff should be forced to defend seem most relevant to me, and one that I find interesting to think about and will try hard to make an informed decision about.
I like this style of debate a lot. However, one thing I don't like is that I find myself increasingly voting on made up CPs that for some unknown reason link slightly less to politics, simply because Aff teams refuse to challenge this claim. To sum up, don't be afraid to make smart analytical arguments against all arguments in the debate it can only help you. I am among those that do believe in no risk either of an aff advantage or neg disad, but offense is always nice to have.
Affs also seem to give up too easily on theory arguments against certain process CPs (condition/consult etc.) and on the issue of the limits of conditionality (it does exist somewhere, but I can be persuaded that the number of neg CPs allowed can be high/low depending on the debate). In general though I do tend to lean neg on most theory issues and if you want to win those arguments in front of me 1) slow down and be comprehnsible 2) talk about how the particulars of the neg strategy affected you. For example conditionality might be good, but if it is a conditional international agent cp mixed with 2 or 3 other conditional arguments a more coherent discussion about how the strategy of the 1nc in general unduly harmed the Aff might be more effective than 3 or 4 separate theory arguments.
I judge these debates a lot, particularly the clash of civilization debates (the result of judging exclusively in D3). Negative teams would do well to make their argument as particularized to the Aff as possible and explain their impact, and by impact I mean more than a vague use of the word "ethics" or "ontology" in terms of the Aff and how it would implicate the aff advantages. If you give a 2NC on a K and haven't discussed the Aff specifically you have put yourself in a bad position in the debate, apply your arguments to the Aff, or I'm going to be very hesitant to want to vote for you.
Additionally while I vote for it pretty often exploring the critical literature that isn't "the Cap K" would be pleasantly appreciated. I can only judge Gabe's old cap backfiles so many times before I get bored with it, and I'd say 3/4 of the debates I judge it seems to pop up. Be creative. Affs would be smart not to concede big picture issues like "no truth claims to the aff" or "ontology first." I vote for the K a lot and a large percentage of those debates are because people concede big picture issues. Also keep in mind that if you like impact turning the K I may be the judge for you.
I debated for NYU for three years from novice to open and graduated three years ago. I'm now judging periodically each year for NYU and haven't seen many rounds on the current topic, so please be mindful if you are using jargon, shorthand or acronyms and explain them to me clearly if you think they will be important to my decision calculus.
As far as argumentation, I ran a mix of critical and policy arguments and did practice rounds against performance teams so please do what you do best. I will evaluate Topicality and Framework arguments but have not judged enough to form a bias either way. Some of the best debate rounds I have seen were performative in nature so it will be a matter of execution rather than philosophy that decides the T/FW issue if you go for it. My own affs were generally creative in nature [like climate fiction] but did generally include a plan text or some relation to the topic. My only real limitations on arguments are I will not evaluate Sexism/Racism Good and other on-face offensive positions. Regardless of style, tell me how to weigh impacts in the round, compare your evidence and account for the arguments that you think your opponents are likely to go for. Please treat your fellow competitors with respect. Debates can be hard fought without being rude or offensive. Since these are my first rounds on the topic, it is probably also advisable to slow down some to make sure I catch your arguments.
`Definitely add me to the email chain, and remember to have fun.
I debated at Missouri State for three years and had moderate success. I am now a graduate student studying communication.
I slightly prefer policy arguments more than critical ones. I want to refrain from intervening in the debate as much as possible. Extinction is probably bad. I think debate is good and has had a positive impact on my life. Both teams worked hard and deserve to be respected.
-Aff needs a clear internal link to the impact. Teams often focus too much time on impacts and not enough on the link story, this is where you should start.
-I like impact turns that don't deviate from norms of morality.
-Condo is good.
-Fairness is not an impact within itself but could be an internal link to something.
-Kritiks are interesting. Explain your stuff.
-Weighing impacts, evidence comparison, strategic decisions, and judge instruction can go a long way.
-Any argument that disproportionately targets minority populations will result in an automatic loss, conclusion of the debate, and a reporting to tabroom as well as your coaches.
My name is Grace, I use she/her pronouns. I have been active in the speech & debate community for over 8 years and I have so much love and respect for the sport.
I have participated in speech events such as Duo, Duet, Poetry, Prose, and Extemp. As well as Debate events such as Congress, Parli, and PF.
Most of my growth in Debate can be credited to my alma mater, Whitman College, where I competed in Parli for over 3 years with FANTASTIC coaches.
As for judging speech events, I stick to the expectations of the event: usually, informative, organized, clear, and entertaining pieces are what I look for. I give extensive feedback and am open to discussing any feedback I provide.
For debate: As long as it is allowed in your form of Debate, I will allow it!
I am open to hearing theory, procedurals, critics, whatever! As long as they are not openly and obviously advocating for something like mass slavery or genocide.
Other than that, I prefer a good clean debate with lots of signposting, extensions, and big-picture/small-picture analysis.
It is always easy for me to understand anOur world vs their world analysis and clear articulations as to why you are winning and the other is losing.
I am pretty much a flow-oriented judge, I love my flows and it helps me keep track of the debate so please make sure you are clear about whatever argument you are addressing/ extending.
I love creative/ performance debates but make sure they are relevant to the debate and leveraged in the debate.
I am okay with speed as long as your opponent is as well.
If everyone is ok with speed, please be sure that you are clear, you sign post, and are respectful if the other "clears" or "slows" you. If you do not, I do take that into consideration.
I don't flow cross x but just be sure to be respectful to each other. I don't believe in being "nice" per se, just don't be intentionally or overtly rude for no reason.
Like my coaches always said, Debate is a game. Have fun, and do Good debate.
Minneapolis South '17
University of Minnesota '21
Coach at Minneapolis Edison HS Fall '17 - Spring '20
Part-time Coach at UMN Fall '21 - Present
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Yes put me on the email chain, some of these thoughts haven't been changed in a while so feel free to email me to ask any questions. I have a full-time non-debate job now so I have less knowledge about the topics than in past years.
Hybrid Tournament note: if masks are required by the tournament for in person participants anyone wearing one receives a .2 speaker point increase. If you think this is too steep a penalty you are free to wear a mask wherever (even from home) you are debating.
HS: Minimal topic knowledge, Judged 4 rounds on the topic so far this year - know NATO stuff from the college topic a few years ago and having been following Ukraine closely, but some of the details of this year will need to be explained to me.
College: Some topic knowledge, have been doing a small amount of work for UMN, judged 25 debates so far.
Speed, good if clear, warrant dense and slow > fast nonsense, I flow on paper so I need pen time.
Favorite 2NRs, DA and Case, T, impact turns, adv cp + ptx, (but go for what you are good at, will vote for most anything).
FW v. k aff, yes fairness is an impact, but often a small one. K aff can win, but probably needs some explanation of the role of the negative (and how they can reasonably accomplish this role).
I debated about 592 rounds (30 middle school, 275 high school, 287 college) and have judged about 272 (59 middle school, 125 High School, 68 College), best result: octa-finalist at the 2021 NDT.
Debate is an educational activity and I take my role as a judge to include that of an educator. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you feel welcome and safe.
I value clarity over speed, I should be able to hear just about every word that you say including the card text. but if you are clear I can keep up with any amount of speed. If you are unclear I'll flow as much of your speech as I can understand, if it isn’t on my flow it isn’t on my ballot. Clear communication on what you want me to write down is a plus. Organization is a plus, but otherwise I'll just flow straight down. My role as a judge is up for debate, so tell me how I should be evaluating impacts.
I vote off the flow. Default to tech > truth, though truth often determines how much tech you need to win the argument. I usually evaluate based on offense (broadly defined) vs defense, so comparisons between each sides offense are a major plus, otherwise I will have to do those comparisons and you might not like how they end up.
Don't clip, I shouldn't need to say this, if you clip and don't correct it you get zero speaks and a loss based on my discretion. if you say mark the card actually mark it, I follow along with the speech doc to check for clipping. (Note: this section applies for everyone but is included mostly from me judging local high school rounds.)
FW vs K affs - Yes. Fairness is probably a real impact, though a fairly small one, clash about the only other impact worth saying when going for fw. the neg probably needs some way to mitigate aff offense either a TVA, switch side or process over content. Aff’s should probably have a model of debate, as it is much more difficult to convince me that an activity that you devoted your time to is wholly bad. A very clear model of debate with a clear role for the negative can sometimes solve much of the negs fairness and clash offense. Procedure based DAs to FW are better than content based ones.
K vs Policy - If you are choosing which K to go for in front of me the Cap K is probably the best option. I’m fine for most of the generic Ks (i.e. security, cap, biopower). I’m fine for specific Ks also, but make sure you explain them because I haven't read much of the lit in depth. I’m ok for many identity Ks (antiblackness, gender, queerness) in that I have a base level of understanding of them but have a somewhat high threshold for ontology claims being true. I’m not good for Baudrillard, Bataille, D&G or Nietzsche, etc, I don't understand why they answer the aff. I have a high threshold for no Ks FW on the aff, easily win that you get to weigh the aff, though what that means is up for debate, and should be explained. Please impact out what I should do if you win your interp on FW.
Topicality (not against K affs) - T is about a model for debate. Abuse isn’t needed and it isn't abuse that something doesn't link, unless they shift what they defend, which then isn’t about T. I default to T a priori. Standards with warrants are needed in the 1NC. Tell me what reasonability means and why it is good beyond the generic one liner if you want me to vote on it (ie 1-2 minutes of the 2ar + 2-3 sentences in each speech before then).
PIC/Ks - The aff should be able to defend all parts of their plan/advocacy, other pics are debatable. (subject to debates about textual and functional competition-see below).
Theory/CP - most condo is probably good, types of CPs, and solvency advocates matter more than just the number of condo, though I will vote on condo. 2NC counterplans out of straight turns are probably bad. - I have found myself voting aff on condo more than I would like - 2nr please include neg flex, fairness outweighs and dispo fails.
Perm do the CP is good against process CPs, Textual functional good as a justification for the perm. Default to reject the arg except for condo. International fiat probably isn't real, multi actor is debatable. I default to judge kick if the neg losses the perm or that CP links to the net benefit, though if 1ar/2ar says I shouldn't and the 2nr doesn't have a justification for it I won't kick it. Perm do both usually needs a net benefit, often a solvency deficit. Probably good to compare this NB to the DAs to the perm.
DA - I evaluate probabilistically, so unlikely to win zero risk unless major drop, need to do impact calc. Uniqueness controlling link makes more sense to me, but can be convinced otherwise. Threshold for thumpers is determined by the broadest link argument extended, so if you have a more specific link it can backfire to extend the more general one.
Impact framing - Util is probably the best frame, though with broad conception of value of life, and more based around a model than each action. Risk = Magnitude x Probability, so low probability extinction isn't always larger than structural violence (because future lives are broadly discounted based on alt causes/unknown thumpers), probability is usually determined based on how well it is debated out.
Case - Most affs have logical inconsistencies, being able to exploit these is always a plus. Good case answers are underutilized and usually winners. UQ is a squo solves/solvency deficit unless there is a theory arg, unlikely to be zero risk of solvency, so you should have some offense, or a robust defense of why presumption goes neg.
I judge many different formats, see the bottom of my paradigm for more details of my specific judging preferences in different formats. I debated for five years in NPDA and three years in NFA-LD, and I've judged HS policy, parli, LD, and PF. Tell me where to vote and why you are winning - I am less likely to vote for you if you make me do work. I enjoy technical/progressive/circuit-style debates and don't care about delivery style. I love theory and T and I'll vote on anything.
Please include me on the email chain if there is one. email@example.com.
Also, speechdrop.net is even better than email chains if you are comfortable using it, it is much faster and more efficient.
CARDED DEBATE: Please send the texts of interps, plans, counterplans, and unusually long or complicated counterinterps in the speech doc or the Zoom chat. Slow down a little on analytics not in the doc though. Also, while I am fine with tricks and spikes, I think you should put them in the doc for the sake of accessibility.
TL:DR for Parli: Tech over truth. I prefer policy and kritikal debate to traditional fact and value debate and don't believe in the trichotomy, please read a plan or other stable advocacy text if you can. Plans and CP's are just as legitimate in "value" or "fact" rounds as in "policy" rounds. I prefer theory, K's, and disads with big-stick or critically framed impacts to traditional debate, but I'll listen to whatever debate you want to have.
TL:DR for IPDA: I judge it just like parli. I don't believe in the IPDA rules and I refuse to evaluate your delivery. Try to win the debate on the flow, and don't treat it like a speech/IE event.
TL:DR for NFA-LD - I don't like the rules but I will vote on them if you give if you give me a reason why they're good. I give equal weight to rules bad arguments, and I will be happiest if you treat the event like one-person policy or HS circuit LD. I prefer T, theory, DA's, and K's to stock issues debate, and I will rarely vote on solvency defense unless the neg has some offense of their own to weigh against it. Also, I love good vagueness shells but I am tired of the generic vagueness shell that cites the rules and doesn't say how specific the aff needs to be - if you run vagueness, give me a brightline.
TL:DR for High School LD: 1 - Theory, 2 - LARP, 3 - K, 4 - Tricks, 5 - Phil, 99 - Trad. I enjoy highly technical and creative argumentation. I try to evaluate the round objectively from a tech over truth perspective. I am more used to LARP and policy-style arguments but I have no problem voting on phil. I love circuit-style debate and I appreciate good weighing/uplayering. I enjoy seeing strategies that combine normal and "weird" arguments in creative and strategic ways
CASE/DA: Be sure to signpost well and explain how the argument functions in the debate. I like strong terminalized impacts - don't just say that you help the economy, tell me why it matters. I think generic disads are great as long as you have good links to the aff. I believe in risk of solvency/risk of the disad and I rarely vote on terminal defense if the other team has an answer to show that there is still some risk of offense. I do not particularly like deciding the debate on solvency alone. Uniqueness controls the direction of the link.
SPEED: I can handle spreading and I like fast debates. I mostly follow Lila Lavender's position on speed theory, which means that if I am to vote on speed theory, you should have a genuine accessibility need for your opponents to slow down (such as having a disability that impacts auditory processing or being entered in novice at a tournament with collapsed divisions) and you should be able to prove objectively that engagement is not possible. Otherwise I am very likely to vote on the we meet. I think that while there are instances where speed theory is necessary, there are also times when it is weaponized and commodified to win ballots by people who could engage with speed. However, I do think you should slow down when asked, I would really prefer if I don't have to evaluate speed theory
THEORY/T: I love theory debates - I will vote on any theory position if you win the argument even if it seems frivolous or unnecessary - I do vote on the flow and try not to intervene. I will even vote on PMR/2AR theory if there is an egregious violation in the MOC/NR that did not happen in the LOC/NC. I default to fairness over education in non-K rounds but I have voted on critical impact turns to fairness before. Be sure to signpost your We Meet and Counter Interpretation.
I do care a lot about the specific text of interps, especially if you point out why I should. For example, I love spec shells with good brightlines but I am likely to buy a we meet if you say the plan shouldn't be vague but don't define how specific it should be. RVI's are fine as long as you can justify them, and I will not intervene against an RVI if you win it on the flow. I do not need reasons why fairness and education matter unless you are comparing them to something else or to one another.
I default to competing interpretations with no RVI's but I'm fine with reasonability if I hear arguments for it in the round. However, I would like a definition of reasonability because if you don't define it, I think it just collapses back to competing interps. I default to drop the debater on shell theory and drop the argument on paragraph theory. I am perfectly willing to vote on potential abuse - I think competing interps implies potential abuse should be weighed in the round. I think extra-T should be drop the debater.
Rules are NOT a voter by themselves, and I rarely read the rules of events that I judge. If I am going to vote on the rules rather than on fairness and education, tell me why following rules in general or following this particular rule is good. I will enforce speaking times but any rule as to what you can actually say in the round is potentially up for debate.
COUNTERPLANS: I am willing to vote for cheater CP's (like delay or object fiat) unless theory is read against them. PIC's are fine as long as you can win that they are theoretically legitimate, at least in this particular instance. I believe that whether a PIC is abusive depends on how much of the plan it severs out of, whether there is only one topical aff, and whether that part of the plan is ethically defensible ground for the aff. I think that condo is good but I try to be neutral if I evaluate a condo bad shell. I hate dispo and I think all CP's should be either condo or uncondo. I will not judge kick unless you ask me to. Perms are tests of competition, not advocacies, and they are also good at making your hair look curly.
IMPACT CALCULUS: I default to magnitude because it is the least interventionist way to compare impacts, but I'm very open to arguments about why probability is more important, particularly if you argue that favoring magnitude perpetuates oppression. Timeframe is more of a tiebreaker to me - unless you show how the timeframe of your impact prevents the other impact from mattering. In debates over pre fiat or a priori issues, I prefer preclusive weighing (what comes first) to comparative weighing (magnitude/probability).
KRITIKS: I’m fine with kritiks of any type on either the AFF or the NEG. The K's I'm most familiar with include security, ableism, Baudrillard, rhetoric K's, and cap/neolib. I am fine with letting arguments that you win on the K dictate how I should view the round. I think that the framework of the K informs which impacts are allowed in the debate, and "no link" or "no solvency" arguments are generally not very effective for answering the K - the aff needs some sort of offense. Whether K or T comes first is up to the debaters to decide, but if you want me to care more about your theory shell than about the oppression the K is trying to solve I want to hear something better than the lack of fairness collapsing debate, such as arguments about why fairness skews evaluation. If you want to read theory successfully against a K regardless of what side of the debate you are on, I need reasons why it comes first or matters more than the impacts of the K.
IDENTITY/PERFORMANCE: I understand why people read these arguments, but at the same time debate is a competitive activity with the burden of rejoinder, so if you set up the debate in such a way that the other team can't negate your argument without negating your identity or lived experience, I will be more willing to vote on theory. The only way I know how to evaluate the debate is the flow of what happens in round, and I have trouble evaluating frameworks that ask me to look at something other than the flow.
REBUTTALS: Give me reasons to vote for you. Be sure to explain how the different arguments in the debate relate to one another and show that the arguments you are winning are more important. I would rather hear about why you win than why the other team doesn't win. In parli, I do not protect the flow except in online debate (and even then, I appreciate POO's when possible). I also like to see a good collapse in both the NEG block and the PMR. I think it is important that the LOR and the MOC agree on what arguments to go for.
PRESUMPTION: I rarely vote on presumption if it is not deliberately triggered because I think terminal defense is rare. If I do vote on presumption, I will always presume neg unless the aff gives me a reason to flip presumption. I am definitely willing to vote on the argument that reading a counterplan or a K flips presumption, but the aff has to make that argument in order for me to consider it. Also, I enjoy presumption triggers and paradoxes and I do not mind voting for them if you win them.
SPEAKER POINTS: I give speaker points based on technical skill not delivery, and will reduce speaks if someone uses language that is discriminatory towards a marginalized group.
If you have any questions about my judging philosophy that are not covered here, feel free to ask me before the round.
If there is no flex time you should take one POI per constructive speech - I don't think multiple POI's are necessary and if you use POI's to make arguments I will not only refuse to flow the argument I will take away a speaker point. If there is flex, don't ask POI's except to ask the status of an advocacy, ask where they are on the flow, or ask the other team to slow down.
I believe trichotomy should just be a T shell. I don't think there are clear cut boundaries between "fact", "value", and "policy" rounds, but I think most of the arguments we think of as trichot work fine as a T or extra-T shell.
PUBLIC FORUM ONLY:
I judge PF on the flow. I do acknowledge that the second constructive doesn't have to refute the first constructive directly though. Dropped arguments are still true arguments. I care as much about delivery in PF as I do in parli (which means I don't care at all). I DO allow technical parli/policy style arguments like plans, counterplans, topicality, and kritiks. I think there are good arguments for why these arguments should not be in PF, but I won't make them for you - you have to say it in round.
Speed is totally fine with me in PF, unless you are using it to exclude the other team. However, if you do choose to go fast (especially in an online round) please send a speech doc to me and your opponents if you are reading evidence, for the sake of accessibility. If you want a theory argument or an argument about the rules being a voting issue, please tell me. Just saying "they are cheating" or "you can't do this in PF" is not enough.
I think policy is an excellent format of debate but I am more familiar with parli and LD and I rarely judge policy, so I am not aware of all policy norms. Therefore, when evaluating theory arguments I do not take into account what is generally considered theoretically legitimate in policy. I am okay with any level of speed, but I do appreciate speech docs. Please be sure to remind me of norms that are specific to what is or isn't allowed in a particular speech
I am not fond of the rules or stock issues and it would make me happiest if you pretend they don’t know exist and act like you are in one-person policy or high school circuit LD. However, I will adjudicate arguments based on the rules and I won’t intervene against them if you win that following the rules is good. However, "it's a rule" is not an impact I can vote on unless you say why following the rules is an internal link to some other impact like fairness and education. Also, if you threaten to report me to tab for not enforcing the rules, I will automatically vote you down, whether or not I think the rules were broken.
I think the wording of the speed rule is very problematic and is not about accessibility but about forcing people to talk a certain way, so while I will vote on speed theory if you win it, I'd prefer you not use the rules as a justification for it. Do not threaten to report to tab for allowing speed, I'll vote you down instantly if you do. I also don't like the rule that is often interpreted as prohibiting K's, I think it's arbitrary and I think there are much better ways to argue that K's are bad.
I am very open to theory arguments that go beyond the rules, and while I do like spec arguments, I do not like the vague vagueness shell a lot of people read - any vagueness/spec shell should have a brightline for how much the aff should specify.
Also, while solvency presses are great in combination with offense, I will rarely vote on solvency alone because if the aff has a risk of solvency and there's no DA to the aff, then they are net beneficial. Even if you do win that I should operate in a stock issues paradigm, I am really not sure how much solvency the aff needs to meet that stock issue, so I default to "greater than zero risk of solvency".
I personally don't think IPDA should exist and if I have to judge it I will not vote on your delivery even if the rules say I should, and I will ignore all IPDA rules except for speech times. Please debate like it is LD without cards or one-person parli. I am happy to vote on theory and K's and I think most IPDA topics are so bad that we get more education from K's and theory anyway. I'll even let debaters debate a topic not on the IPDA topic list if they both agree.
I debated for 5 Years at the University of Kansas. I am also planning on a medical petition for a 6th year as such I should only be judging JV and Novice. I have debated as a Policy and K debater. No real preference on either side. Make smart arguments that fit your style. I will vote for the cheapshot if it's well warranted. I think. Puns make your speaks go up. Becuase puns.
My personal philosophy - Debate is a form of Theatre. We tell stories here and compete against other stories. using evidence in performance to prove whose I should prefer. This is most similar to Augusto Boal's Legislative Theatre.
Theory- I'll be honest. I suck at flowing. I have a handwriting disability. If you want me to judge a huge theory debate slow down on make a huge issue of your major points. I'll accept most theory arguments. Usually a smart idea is to use theory args as leverage to do something like a sneaky perm.
K - Making it tangentially related to the topic is a plus but other than that I prefer good link and impact work done here.
Pics -Love them, really proves you've done some research on the topic
CP/Disad/Case- Love em, Consult is cheating, the more creative the disad the better, The more case the better your chance of winning.
University of Minnesota, NDT-CEDA 2017-2021 (Healthcare, Exec Authority, Space, Alliances). Anoka High School, (lay) LD+PF 2015-2017.
For the email chain: please put the tournament and the teams in the subject line, it makes organization and scouting easier. College rounds: Please put firstname.lastname@example.org on the email chain for me.
If you have questions: don't email debatedocs, email email@example.com. Please do not put this on the email chain, I don't want that nonsense in my inbox, and I will forward it to debatedocs anyway so this won't stop you from getting scouted.
Feel free to record/stream/publish the round (pending the consent of other participants). In the interest of transparency, here is my comprehensive judging record, with wiki-style round reports and a summary of each RFD. My Tabroom ballot will likely contain detailed written feedback beyond the oral RFD. Novice/JV debaters: I know it's hard to step back and see the round impartially during the RFD, so you in particular should go back and read the feedback after you've had time to digest a long tournament weekend.
I wish negative teams understood that with great power to write counterplan texts comes great responsibility in self-restraint. I wish case defense was answered as well as defense on disadvantages. I wish competitors were less cowardly in cross-examination and more willing to defend what they said in their speech.
I appreciate debaters who enjoy debating! I appreciate when teams point out their opponents' mistakes in a speech, and I am very reluctant to do that work for debaters who do not do so. I appreciate when strategic concessions made in one place are leveraged in others. I appreciate in-depth case defense. I appreciate mundane arguments executed well. I appreciate when teams exploit tension among their opponents' arguments.
I strongly dislike time-wasting. I strongly dislike use of the first negative rebuttal as a third negative constructive. I strongly dislike kritiks, and in general only vote on them when the risk of the affirmative's impacts is zeroed by external case defense. I strongly dislike arguments that dispute the value of an activity we all choose to do. I dislike counterplans that do not have predetermined outcomes. I dislike argumentative cowardice: introduction of underdeveloped positions with core components sandbagged to the negative block, evasiveness in cross-examination, and so on.
I am a very expressive judge -- if I look confused during your speech, you have confused me; if I look frustrated during your speech, it is probably your fault; if I laugh when you make an argument it is not because I will not vote on it or because it is a bad argument, it is because the argument is funny. I am bad at evaluating topicality debates, this is a skill at which I have been actively seeking to improve. I am in general very slow at deciding debates. I am more willing than many to assign zero risk to positions. I am confident I am in the top five percent of all judges for topicality against kritikal affirmatives. I am unconvinced that there is any meaningful numerical limitation on conditionality: If it is good, it is good; if it is bad; it is bad.
Novice and JV debaters are strongly encouraged to simplify the debate in late rebuttals. This will improve both your speaker points and your likelihood of making sufficiently complete arguments to win the debate.
Unless you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing, your counterplan should not be unconditional -- you are more likely to lose a debate because the 2AC can ignore multiple disads than on conditionality.
Flow the debate -- I will be very disappointed if arguments that were not read in the 1NC get answered in the 2AC, and your speaker points will suffer.
I will evaluate evidence that was inserted but not read only if the mere existence of the evidence constitutes a warrant. I will evaluate silly or offensive arguments, but these arguments are typically very easy to answer. I will kick counterplans for the negative if I am instructed to do so, but my threshold to overturn this presumption is low. I will run a prep timer for teams who need things removed from a speech doc (this is distinct from asking for marks in marked evidence).
An ethics violation (evidence, clipping, etc) introduced as a voting issue will either end the debate or not constitute a reason to reject the team, at the sole discretion of the team introducing the violation. I have a high threshold for identifying malice or competitive advantage gained from introducing improperly attributed evidence.
A forfeit will occur if one side does not wish to debate. I will consult the tabroom staff, if they award a forfeit/bye I will not submit a ballot. If I am instructed to submit a ballot, the side withdrawing from the debate will recieve the minimum speaker points allowed. The partnership not withdrawing will have an opportunity to give one constructive and one rebuttal each, to which I will arbitrarily assign speaker points. I will not participate in any arrangement to give sham speeches to avoid the consequences of a forfeit.
Competition rooms are public spaces, and spectators are welcome to watch or take notes as they see fit.
Plan texts should describe what the aff does. Plan texts should contain all of the things the affirmative wishes to fiat: If your solvency advocate calls for an insurance mandate, you probably already have enough offense against the PIC out of an insurance mandate to win without perm do the counterplan.
Old antitrust thoughts:
I have noticed that topicality interpretations seem exceedingly contrived and largely silly, and I don't know what is limiting this topic. I have noticed that in case-DA or counterplan-case-DA debates I vote negative an astounding amount of the time. This tells me that affirmative teams need 1) better 1ac answers to states and regs, 2) offense against net benefits, and 3) better case coverage in the 2ac.
Please use the restroom and fill up your water bottle before the round, in prep time after your speeches have finished, or during my decision time. The longer I have to make a decision, the better my decision and my feedback will be.
During dead time, I have literally nothing to do but watch competitors. You may think you can get away with stealing prep, but you cannot. I will notice, I will complain about it, I may punish you, I may complain to your coach about it.
The number of conditional worlds is two to the power of the number of advocacies, not the factorial of the number of advocacies.
All of the evidence you read in a debate should be formatted the same.
Put arguments in a useful order: If the first advantage has two scenarios, answer scenario 1 then scenario 2. If the 1AC has a solvency page, put circumvention there rather than on whichever advantage you take first. If it doesn't, you can create a solvency page for the affirmative.
Performative contradictions are double-turns or conditional arguments, not independent voting issues.
The speech doc is not a record of what happened in the round, it is a tool to share evidence. Sending too few things in the doc is a problem; sending too many things in the doc is clown-tier but will only cost you speaker points, and even then only if it's egregious.
The abbreviations 'aff' and 'neg' are shortenings of "affirmative" and "negative" and are ergo words not acronyms.
I competed in UIL Policy for four years in high school and 3 years of NSDA Policy. After graduating, I went to Texas A&M and competed in NFA-LD for 3 years. Last year, I began coaching for a 2A High school in Texas. This year I am a Grad Assistant at WKU.
You do you. Debate in your style. Run the arguments you want to run. As long as the arguments are warranted and you can give me clear voters on why the argument matters, I am willing to vote for nearly anything. Don't be racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc.
T- I was a very heavy T debater and am willing to hear just about any T argument that is imaginable. I just ask that you make it reasonable. FX and Xtra T are arguments that I like and enjoy hearing on both sides of the round. If you are going to debate T, explain the voters more than just saying "Fairness and education." Explain why those things matter in debate.
DA- Please explain why the disad outweighs the aff and impact it out. Affs, respond to more than one part of the disad. Don't lose because you only put defense on the flow that the neg was prepared for.
K- I am open to almost any and all k's. I am not super well read in a lot of k lit so if you are able to inform me of the lit, I am okay with you running it. I have ran as a competitor and am willing to vote on arguments like death good.
CP- I will listen to and vote on CP's if they are run well, but they are my least favorite argument overall. I feel that CP's don't have a lot of ground that is given and most rounds with CP's boil down to a perm. This doesn't mean that you cannot run them. On some topics, CPs are necessary and I understand that. My feelings towards CP will not interfere with any round decisions.
TL;DR: I am open to just about anything as long as it is done well and warranted. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. Run what you feel is best for the round. Please don't be rude or problematic in your speeches or arguments. I will vote you down if you say something that is blatantly problematic or offensive. Just because it is an argument does not excuse any racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.
put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Experience: 3 years of high school policy debate, 5 years of NDT/CEDA debate at Miami University and Missouri State University. High School coach for 4 years at Parkview (Missouri) High School, Graduate Assistant at Missouri State University.
Most of my experience in debate was very much on the policy side of thing. That doesn't make me uncomfortable with kritiks, but I also wouldn't say I'm familiar with much of the critical literature base. Even more so than in policy rounds, solid evidence analysis and application is very important for me to vote on a critical issue on either the affirmative or the negative. For critical affirmatives, I do think it's important to answer any topicality or framework arguments presented by the negative. For kritiks against these types of affirmatives, I think it's important to contextualize the philosophies and arguments in each in relation to the other side. Maybe even more than in policy v policy debates clash here is very important to me.
On the policy side of things, I love to see a good case debate, and think that evidence analysis(of both your own and your opponent's evidence) is of the utmost importance in these debates. I love a good discussion and comparison of impacts.
In terms of CP theory, I will probably default to rejecting the argument rather than the team in most instances if the affirmative wins the theory debate. On conditionality specifically, the affirmative must have a pretty specific scenario on the negative's abuse in the round for me to vote on it. I much prefer the specificity of that distinction over the nebulous "bad for debate" generality. That ship has probably sailed. One other thing to note is that I will not kick the counterplan for you automatically. The negative will need to make a judge-kick argument (preferably starting in the block) to allow the affirmative opportunities to answer it. I think this is a debate to be had, and shouldn't just be something that is granted to the negative at the outset of the round. That being said, I am definitely willing to do it, if said conditions are met and you win the reason why it's good.
Speed is fine, but I think clarity is far more important that showing me that you can read a bunch of cards. I will say that I am a little rusty, having judged at college/higher level high school tournaments sparingly in the last few years. On evidence I will likely be fine, but would appreciate going slightly below full speed when reading a block of analytic arguments/overviews.
Stockdale High School '20
Currently do parli in college. I did policy debate on the national circuit in high school, but am familiar with pretty much all forms of debates. I know prefs are annoying so this will be short.
Any argument you want to read works. Impact weighing is an absolute must.
I know a lot people automatically are looking for how judges feel about the k. In terms of where I land on the spectrum of policy to kritikal arguments, I probably more comfortable with policy arguments but this does NOT mean I hate the k. I will vote for anything that is well explained, but a lot of times teams will rely on the judge being very familiar with their scholarship in order to get away with their tricks and skip explanations; if you do this you will lose. If at the end of the debate I'm not scratching my head about what the advocacy/alternative does and what your thesis is because you explained it well, you'll be in good shape.
Disad stories should be well explained. Don't just read a zillion 1 sentence cards; actually answer the specific warrants of the link and uniqueness claims of both sides. It's possible for there to be zero risk for something.
The counterplans can be either textually or functionally competitive. If you're reading more than 4 conditional positions I'd probably think that's abusive; but if you win condo good than hey, condo's good.
T is incredibly strategic, more teams should go for it. That being said, if the t debate just is a bunch of the classic one liner arguments being thrown by both sides, then it is incredibly difficult to evaluate. Also, in framework debates, aff should be sure to answer the 1nc warrants thoroughly and not just put 15 disads on the flow.
Impact turn debates are always a good time.
Final word: I personally can't stand excessively long overviews. Its become a trend to hide a bunch of offense in there and then go onto the line by line and answer stuff with "that was in the overview." Do your explanation and whatever you else you feel you need to do at the top, but please do the line by line on the line by line.
I start at 29.0 and work my way up. If you slip in a sports joke I'll boost you an extra 0.05. I'll tank you if you say something hella problematic.
2011-15 – Lawrence Free State, KS, Policy (Space, Transportation, Latin America, Oceans)
2015-17 – JCCC, KS, NDT/CEDA (Military Presence, Climate Change); NFA-LD (Bioprospecting, Southern Command)
2017-20 – Missouri State University, MO, NDT/CEDA (Healthcare, Exec Authority, Space); NFA-LD (Policing, Cybersecurity)
2016-17 – Lawrence High School, KS, (China engagement)
2017-19 – Olathe West High School, KS, (Education, Immigration)
2019-22– Truman High School, MO, (Arm Sales, CJR, Water)
2020-22– Missouri State University, MO, (MDT Withdrawal, Anti-Trust); NFA-LD (Climate, Endless Wars)
2022-Present - Truman State University, MO, NFA-LD (Elections)
2022-Present - The Pembroke Hill School, MO, (NATO).
Always add: email@example.com
Also add - College NDT/CEDA: firstname.lastname@example.org
If I walk out of the room (or go off-camera), please send the email and I will return very quickly.
Email chains are STRONGLY preferred. Email chains should be labeled correctly. *Name of Tournament * *Division* *Round #* *Aff Team* vs *Neg Team*
You do you; I'll flow whatever happens. I tend to like policy arguments more than Kritical arguments. I cannot type fast and flow on paper as a result. Please give me pen time on T, Theory, and long o/v's etc. Do not be a jerk. Debaters work hard, and I try to work as hard as I can while judging. Debaters should debater slower than they typically do.
Evidence Quality X Quantity > Quality > Quantity. Argument Tech + Truth > Tech > Truth. Quals > No Quals.
I try to generate a list of my random thoughts and issues I saw with each speech in the debate. It is not meant to be rude. It is just how I think through comments. If I have not said anything about something it likely means I thought it was good.
If you can prove to me you have updated your wiki for the round I am judging before I submit the ballot I will give you the highest speaker points allowed by the tournament. An updated wiki means: 1. A complete round report. 2. Cites for all 1NC off case positions/ the 1AC, and 3. uploaded open source all of the documents you read in the debate inclusive of analytics. If I become aware that you later delete, modify, or otherwise disclose less information after I have submitted my ballot, any future debate in which I judge you will result in the lowest possible speaker points at the tournament.
In "fast" online debates, I found it exceptionally hard to flow those with poor internet connections or bad mics. I also found it a little harder even with ideal mic and internet setups. I think it's reasonable for debates in which a debater(s) is having these issues for everyone in the debate to debate at an appropriate speed for everyone to engage.
Clarity is more important in a digital format than ever before. I feel like it would behoove everyone to be 10% slower than usual. Make sure you have a differentiation between your tag voice and your card body voice.
It would be super cool if everyone put their remaining prep in the chat.
I am super pro the Cams on Mics muted approach in debates. Obvious exceptions for poor internet quality.
People should get in the groove of always sending marked docs post speeches and sending a doc of all relevant cards after the debate.
I enjoy politics debates. Reasons why the Disad outweighs and turns the aff, are cool. People should use the squo solves the aff trick with election DA's more.
I generally think negatives can and should get to do more. To me, CP's test the intrinsic-ness of the advantages to the plan text. Affirmatives should get better at writing and figuring out plan key warrants. Bad CP's lose because they are bad. It seems legit that 2NC's get UQ and adv cp's to answer 2AC thumpers and add-ons. People should do this more.
Judge kicking the cp seems intuitive to me. Infinite condo seems good, real-world, etc. Non-Condo theory arguments are almost always a reason to reject the argument and not the team. I still expect that the 2AC makes theory arguments and that the neg answers them sufficiently. I think in an evenly matched and debated debate most CP theory arguments go neg.
Kritiks on the Negative
I like policy debate personally, but that should 0% stop you from doing your thing. I think I like K debates much better than my brain will let me type here. Often, I end up telling teams they should have gone for the K or voted for it. I think this is typical because of affirmative teams’ inability to effectively answer critical arguments
Links of omission are not links. Rejecting the aff is not an alternative, that is what I do when I agree to endorse the alternative. Explain to me what happens to change the world when I endorse your alternative. The aff should probably be allowed to weigh the aff against the K. Clash debates with solid defense to the affirmative are significantly more fun to adjudicate than framework debates. Floating pics are probably bad. I think life has value and preserving more of it is probably good.
Kritical Affirmatives vs Framework
I think the affirmative should be in the direction of the resolution. Reading fw, cap, and the ballot pik against these affs is a good place to be as a policy team. I think topic literacy is important. I think there are more often than not ways to read a topical USfg action and read similar offensive positions. I am increasingly convinced that debate is a game that ultimately inoculates advocacy skills for post-debate use. I generally think that having a procedurally fair and somewhat bounded discussion about a pre-announced topic helps facilitate that discussion.
Debates in which the negative engages all parts of the affirmative are significantly more fun to judge than those that do not.
Affirmatives with "soft-left" advantages are often poorly written. You have the worst of both worlds of K and Policy debate. Your policy action means your aff is almost certainly solvable by an advantage CP. Your kritical offense still has to contend with the extinction o/w debate without the benefit of framework arguments. It is even harder to explain when the aff has one "policy" extinction advantage and one "kritical" advantage. Which one of these framing arguments comes first? I have no idea. I have yet to hear a compelling argument why these types of affirmative should exist. Negative teams that exploit these problems will be rewarded.
Short blippy procedurals are almost always only a reason to reject the arg and not the team. T (along with all procedurals) is never an RVI.
I am super uninterested in making objective assessments about events that took place outside of/before the debate round that I was not present for.
Things that are bad, but people continually do:
Have "framing" debates that consist of reading Util good/bad, Prob 1st/not 1st etc. Back and forth at each other and never making arguments about why one position is better than another. I feel like I am often forced to intervene in these debates, and I do not want to do that.
Saying something sexist/homophobic/racist/ableist/transphobic - it will probably make you lose the debate at the worst or tank your speaks at the least.
Send docs without the analytics you already typed. This does not actually help you. I sometimes like to read along. Some non-neurotypical individuals benefit dramatically by this practice. It wastes your prep, no matter how cool the macro you have programmed is.
Use the wiki for your benefit and not post your own stuff.
Refusing to disclose.
Reading the 1AC off paper when computers are accessible to you. Please just send the doc in the chain.
Doing/saying mean things to your partner or your opponents.
Unnecessarily cursing to be cool.
Some random thoughts I had at the end of last season: .
1. I love debate. I think it is the best thing that has happened to a lot of people. I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how to get more people to do it. People should be nicer to others.
2. I was worse at debate than I thought I was. I should have spent WAY more time thinking about impact calc and engaging the other teams’ arguments.
3. I have REALLY bad handwriting and was never clear enough when speaking. People should slow down and be clearer. (Part of this might be because of online debate.)
4. Most debates I’ve judged are really hard to decide. I go to decision time often. I’m trying my best to decide debates in the finite time I have. The number of times Adrienne Brovero has come to my zoom room is too many. I’m sorry.
5. I type a lot of random thoughts I had during debates and after. I really try to make a clear distinction between the RFD and the advice parts of the post-round. It bothered me a lot when I was a debater that people didn’t do this.
6. I thought this before, but it has become clearer to me that its not what you do, its what you justify. Debaters really should be able to say nearly anything they’d like in a debate. It is the opposing teams’ job to say you’re wrong. My preferences are above, and I do my best to ignore them. Although I do think it is impossible for that to truly occur.
I took this from Chris Roberds who said it much more elegantly than myself.
I have a VERY low threshold on this argument. Having schools disclose their arguments pre-round is important if the activity is going to grow/sustain itself. Having coached almost exclusively at small, underfunded, or new schools, I can say that disclosure (specifically disclosure on the wiki if you are a paperless debater) is a game changer. It allows small schools to compete and makes the activity more inclusive. There are a few specific ways that this influences how ballots will be given from me:
1) I will err negative on the impact level of "disclosure theory" arguments in the debate. If you're reading an aff that was broken at a previous tournament, on a previous day, or by another debater on your team, and it is not on the wiki (assuming you have access to a laptop and the tournament provides wifi), you will likely lose if this theory is read. There are two ways for the aff to "we meet" this in the 2ac - either disclose on the wiki ahead of time or post the full copy of the 1ac in the wiki as a part of your speech. Obviously, some grace will be extended when wifi isn't available or due to other extenuating circumstances. However, arguments like "it's just too much work," "I don't like disclosure," etc. won't get you a ballot.
2) The neg still needs to engage in the rest of the debate. Read other off-case positions and use their "no link" argument as a reason that disclosure is important. Read case cards and when they say they don't apply or they aren't specific enough, use that as a reason for me to see in-round problems. This is not a "cheap shot" win. You are not going to "out-tech" your opponent on disclosure theory. To me, this is a question of truth. Along that line, I probably won't vote on this argument in novice, especially if the aff is reading something that a varsity debater also reads.
3) If you realize your opponent's aff is not on the wiki, you should make every possible attempt before the round to ask them about the aff, see if they will put it on the wiki, etc. Emailing them so you have timestamped evidence of this is a good choice. I understand that, sometimes, one teammate puts all the cases for a squad on the wiki and they may have just put it under a different name. To me, that's a sufficient example of transparency (at least the first time it happens). If the aff says it's a new aff, that means (to me) that the plan text and/ or advantages are different enough that a previous strategy cut against the aff would be irrelevant. This would mean that if you completely change the agent of the plan text or have them do a different action it is new; adding a word like "substantially" or "enforcement through normal means" is not. Likewise, adding a new "econ collapse causes war" card is not different enough; changing from a Russia advantage to a China, kritikal, climate change, etc. type of advantage is. Even if it is new, if you are still reading some of the same solvency cards, I think it is better to disclose your previous versions of the aff at a minimum.
4) At tournaments that don't have wifi, this should be handled by the affirmative handing over a copy of their plan text before the round.
5) If you or your opponent honestly comes from a circuit that does not use the wiki (e.g. some UDLs, some local circuits, etc.), I will likely give some leeway. However, a great use of post-round time while I am making a decision is to talk to the opponent about how to upload on the wiki. If the argument is in the round due to a lack of disclosure and the teams make honest efforts to get things on the wiki while I'm finishing up my decision, I'm likely to bump speaks for all 4 speakers by .2 or .5 depending on how the tournament speaks go.
6) There are obviously different "levels" of disclosure that can occur. Many of them are described above as exceptions to a rule. Zero disclosure is always a low-threshold argument for me in nearly every case other than the exceptions above. That said, I am also willing to vote on "insufficient disclosure" in a few circumstances.
A. If you are in the open/varsity division of NDT-CEDA, NFA-LD, or TOC Policy your wiki should look like this or something very close to it. Full disclosure of information and availability of arguments means everyone is tested at the highest level. Arguments about why the other team does not sufficiently disclose will be welcomed. Your wiki should also look like this if making this argument.
B. If you are in the open/varsity division of NDT-CEDA, NFA-LD, or TOC Policy. Debaters should go to the room immediately after pairings are released to disclose what the aff will be. With obvious exceptions for a short time to consult coaches or if tech problems prevent it. Nothing is worse than being in a high stress/high level round and the other team waiting until right before the debate to come to disclose. This is not a cool move. If you are unable to come to the room, you should be checking the wiki for your opponents email and sending them a message to disclose the aff/past 2NR's or sending your coach/a different debater to do so on your behalf.
C. When an affirmative team discloses what the aff is, they get a few minutes to change minor details (tagline changes, impact card swaps, maybe even an impact scenario). This is double true if there is a judge change. This amount of time varies by how much prep the tournament actually gives. With only 10 minutes between pairings and start time, the aff probably only get 30 seconds to say "ope, actually...." This probably expands to a few minutes when given 30 minutes of prep. Teams certainly shouldn't be given the opportunity to make drastic changes to the aff plan text, advantages etc. a long while after disclosing.
Director of Debate at Weber State University - presently
Assistant Coach at Western Washington University. 2020-2022
Graduate Assistant Coach at the University of Wyoming 2018-2020
I debated for Gonzaga University 2014-2018
Do what you do best and feel most comfortable and confident forwarding in the debate- I judge a myriad of styles and types of arguments in debates- while my paradigm gives you a sense of how I view decision-making calculus- I first and foremost view my role as a judge as an ethical educator.
Kritiks- I enjoy critical debates. Feel free to run them on both sides. I am well versed in feminist/queer, postmodern, and gender theory, although I am also familiar with other critical literature bases. The link debate is the most important part of a critique for me. Really good impact analysis does not matter if there is no link to the 1AC. I also think that performative links are valid arguments and can be used as reasons for why the permutation does not solve. I generally think the aff should get perms although can be persuaded otherwise in an instance where the aff is not about the resolution or in pure methods debates.
Role of the Ballot - I think the role of the ballot is to vote for who wins their arguments and does the better debating. If you have an argument otherwise, I will be more persuaded/default to a functionality/interpretation of how my vote works if both teams get a chance of receiving that vote. I do not find a "Role of the Ballot" claim that is to "vote for us" to be persuasive. I think it's dishonest and transparently one-sided to interpret the role of a ballot through one team's participation.
Aff framework versus the K- Your interpretation should probably say you should get to weigh your impacts vs. the K. I prefer debates about the substance of the arguments over debates that end up being exclusively about aff framework, if your framework argument ends up mooting the substance of both the aff and the K (aff solvency and alt solvency) then it becomes a messy debate that I will not enjoy adjudicating.
Performative/Non-Traditional Debates - I think the aff should be about something pertaining to the topic and recommend something be done that is different than the status quo (does NOT have to be a plan or involve the United States Federal Government). If the aff chooses to not do this, they'll have to win why the topical version of the aff can't solve for the performance/discussion that the aff began and win an impact turn to framework. In terms of impact analysis. You should be able to explain what reasonable neg ground exists versus your aff that is within the realm of topic-related research. That said, I'll still vote for an aff that is not about the topic if they win their impact turns to framework/accessibility questions.
Framework versus Performative/Non-Traditional Affs- I think that the negative either has to win that there is a ‘topical’ version of the aff that can solve for the substance and performance/discussion of the affirmative, or that their interpretation of debate can allow for better access to the solvency mechanism/ address the impacts of the affirmative. I say ‘topical’ because I am generally unpersuaded that the aff must defend the “hypothetical enactment of the plan by the USFG”, I think that the negative has to prove that the affirmative either justify an interpretation of the topic that makes it impossible to be prepared to debate this particular aff, or that the affirmative is not grounded in a methodology that changes something in the status quo or the lives/experiences of the debaters in the round. I think that the best deliberative model of debate is one in which the affirmative presents a strategy that can generate effective deliberation on a topic because it is something that is contestable and allows for a debate to occur regarding the desirability and effectiveness of two competing strategies/methods to address the affirmatives impacts/concerns.
Topicality- If the debate becomes a large T debate, please slow down so I can get the nuances and particularities of the arguments and debate. I flow on paper so keep that in mind. Limits and predictability are not impacts they are internal links. Discussing how limits and predictability impact debate/ research/ neg prep and what that means in terms of education etc. (This also goes for framework)
Theory- Generally, I think reasonable conditionality (example: 1 Kritik and 1 CP) is a good thing but conditionality bad arguments can be used strategically. I generally err neg on theory arguments that are not conditionality, but I am open to persuasion by either side of the debate.
Counterplans- I generally will vote on a counterplan if you win that you solve the aff, which means you don’t particularly need to win a big risk of your offense to win.
Disads- You need a good disad turns case argument or a case take out to be a round winning strategy. Most of the time I will filter my decision for case versus the disad debates through impact calculus.
John Katsulas, Director of Debate, Boston College
30 years coaching
Here are the rules for debate:
1) The affirmative side must advocate a plan of action by the United States Federal Government. If you merely read poetry, dance, or play music, you will lose.
2) The negative side must defend a consistent policy position in the debate. The negative may choose to defend the status quo, or the negative may advocate an unconditional counterplan.
3) Topicality is a voting issue and never a reverse voting issue.
4) Conditionality is prohibited.
5) The resolution is worded as a policy proposition, which means that policy making is the focus of debate.
6) Kritiques are not welcome.
7) Performance-style debate belongs in theatre productions.
Here are suggestions for debating in front of me:
1) The affirmative side has huge presumption on topicality if they can produce contextual evidence to prove their plan is topical.
2) Agent counterplans are fine. Don’t waste your time arguing PICS bad arguments against them. The legitimacy of international fiat is debatable, but I definitely believe there are far stronger arguments favoring limiting fiat to U.S. governmental actors.
3) Politics disadvantages are welcome. I like to hear them. Affirmatives should attack the internal link stories on many of these disadvantages. This is frequently a more viable strategy than just going for impact turns.
4) Both sides should argue solvency against affirmative plans and negative counterplans. Both sides should attack the links and internal links of impacts.
5) If you are incomprehensible, I won’t re-read all of your evidence after the debate to figure out your arguments.
6) Negative can win my ballot on zero risk of affirmative case solvency. Many affirmatives cases are so tragically flawed that they can be beaten by an effective cross-examination and/or analytical case presses.
7) I am very strict on 1ARs making new answers to fully developed disadvantages which don’t change from the 1NC.
8) Cross-examination answers are binding.
9) ASPEC: I won’t vote on it UNLESS you ask in cross-ex and they refuse to specify an agent.
10) Too late to add new links and impacts to your disadvantages during the first negative rebuttal.
I have a low threshold for dismissing non-real world arguments like nuclear war good and wipe-out.
SHORTEST VERSION: THINGS I BELIEVE ABOUT DEBATE
Lawful Good -----|----Neutral Good -----|----Chaotic Good
1AC Plan Texts, ----|----- Case Debate,------|----Performance Debate,
Open Debaters -----|----Novice Debaters----|----JV Debaters
Lawful Neutral ---|---True Neutral------|---- Chaotic Neutral
Topicality -----------|----Counterplans ------|------Dispositionality
Lawful Evil -------|----Neutral Evil ------|-----Chaotic Evil
Framework args ---|----Standard Nuke ----|----- Baudrillard
from 1996 that ----|---- War Disad
say no K's
You are prepping and don't have time to read everything, or interpret. So this is the stuff you most need to know if you don't know me :
1) I run The New School program. The New School is in the Northeast, around the corner from NYU where I actually work full time. (CEDA has Regions, not Districts. The NDT and the Hunger Games have Districts.) I care about things like novice and regional debate, and pretty much only coach for resource poor program. You need to know this because it affects how I view your ETHOS on certain "who are we" arguments.
2) Email: email@example.com. Skip the rant below about want/need to be on chain.
3)SLOW THE HELL DOWN ONLINE. I flow on paper. I need PEN TIME. I am not reading along with the doc unless the connection gets bad or I have serious misgivings.
4) Do what you need to do to make the tech work.
5) Do what you do in this activity. Seriously, especially in novice, or on a panel, you are not 100% adapting to me, so change how you debate those things a bit maybe, but not what you debate. To help with that:
6) Yes, my threshold for "is there gonna be a nuclear war" is WAY higher than it is for "what we talk about in the debate round going to affect us personally". I will vote on the wars, but I don't enjoy every debate about prolif in countries historically opposed to prolif. That isn't "realism" - that's hawk fetish porn. So if this IS you, you gotta do the internal link work, not read me 17 overly-lined down uniqueness cards.
7) I am more OFTEN in K rounds, but honestly I am more of a structural K person than a high theory person. Yes, debate is all simulacranow anyway, but racism and sexism - and the violence caused by them - ARE REAL WORLD. Your ability to talk about such things and how they relate to policies is probably one of your better portable skills for the modern world in this activity.
8) Performance good. Literally, I have 2 degrees in theater. Keep in mind that it means I am pretty well read on this as theory. All debate is performance. (Heck, life is performance, but you don't have time for that now...). My pet peeve as a coach is reading through all the paradigm that articulate performance and Kritikal as the same thing. It.Is.Not. Literally, it is Form vs. Content.
9) Winning Framework does not will a ballot. Winning Framework tells me how to prioritize or include or exclude arguments for my calculation of the ballot. T is NOT Framework (but for the record I err towards Education over Fairness, because this activity just ain't fair due to resource disparity, etc, so do the WORK to win on Fairness via in round trade offs, precedents, or models.)
10) Have fun. Debate can be stressful. Savor the community you can in current times.
PS: I am probably more flow focused than you think, BUT I still prefer the big picture. Tell me a story. It has to make sense for my ballot.
Last Year's Version
The 2020 Preamble:
1) Bear with my tech for September for the first round of each day - I work across multiple universities and I am still sorting out going across 3 Zoom accounts, 5 emails accounts, and 2 Starfish accounts for any given thing. Working from home for 6 months combined my day-job stuff into my debate stuff, so I may occasionally have to remember to do a setting. This is like the worst version of a Reese's peanut butter cup.
2) Look, it would be great if I COULD see you as you debate. I am old - I flow what you say and I don't read along with the speech doc unless something bad is happening (bad things include potential connection issues in 2020, concerns over academic integrity/skipping words, and you don't actually do evidence comparison as a debater when weighing your cards and theirs). I don't anticipate changing that in the online debate world. But also, tech disparity and random internet gremlins are real things (that's why we need so many cats in the intertubes), so I ALSO understand if you tell me the camera is off for reasons. That's cool.
3) Because of connections and general practices - SLOW DOWN. CLARITY is super important. (Also, don't be a jerk to people with auditory accommodation needs as we do this). Trade your speed drills for some tongue twisters or something.
4) Recording as a back up is probably a necessary evil, but any use of the recording after a round that is shared to anyone else needs explicit - in writing, and can be revoked - permission of all parties present. PRACTICE AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT. See ABAP statement on online debate practices.
5) I have never wanted to be on the email chain/what-not; however, I SHOULD* be on the chain/what-not. Note the critical ability to distinguish these two things, and the relevance of should to the fundamental nature of this activity. Email for this purpose: firstname.lastname@example.org .
(Do not try to actually contact me with this address - it’s just how I prevent the inevitable electronically transmitted cyber infection from affecting me down the road, because contrary to popular belief, I do understand disads, I just have actual probability/internal link threshold standards.)
((And seriously Tabroom, what the F***? First you shill for the CIA, and now you want to edit the words because "children" who regularly talk about mass deaths might see some words I guarantee you then know already? I was an actual classroom teacher....debate should not be part of the Nanny State. Also this is NEW, because the word A****** used to be in my paradigm in reference to not being one towards people who ask for accessibility accommodations. ARRGGHHH!!!))
Things I am cool with:
Tell met the story
Critical Lit (structural criticisms are more my jam)
Performative strategies - especially if we get creative with the 20-21 format options.
CP fun times and clever intersections of theory
A text. Preferable a well written text. Unless there are no texts.
Not half-assing going for theory
You do you
Latin used in context for specific foreign policy conditions.
Teaching Assurance/Deterrence with cats.
Things that go over less well:
Accidentally sucking your own limited time by unstrategic or functionally silly theory
Critical lit (high theory … yes, I know I only have myself to blame, so no penalty if this is your jelly, just more explanation)
Multiple contradictory conditional neg args
A never ending series of non existent nuclear wars that I am supposed to determine the highest and fastest probability of happening (so many other people to blame). You MAY compare impacts as equal to "x number of gender reveal parties".
Not having your damn tags with the ev in the speech doc. Seriously.
As a general note: Winning framework does not necessarily win you a debate - it merely prioritizes or determines the relevancy of arguments in rounds happening on different levels of debate. Which means, the distinction between policy or critical or performative is a false divide. If you are going to invoke a clash of civilizations mentality there should be a really cool video game analogy or at least someone saying “Release the Kraken”. A critical aff is not necessarily non Topical - this is actually in both the Topic Paper for alliances/commitments and a set of questions I asked at the topic meeting (because CROSS EX IS A PORTABLE SKILL). Make smarter framework arguments here.
Don't make the debate harder for yourself.
Try to have fun and savor the moment.
*** *** ***
*Judges should be on the chain/what-not for two reasons: 1)as intelligence gathering for their own squad and 2) to expedite in round decision making. My decisions go faster than most panels I’m on when I am the one using prep time to read through the critical extended cards BEFORE the end of the debate. I almost never have the docs open AS the debaters are reading them because I limit my flow to what you SAY. (This also means I don’t read along for clipping … because I am far more interested in if you are a) comprehensible and b) have a grammatical sentence in some poor overhighlighted crap.) Most importantly, you should be doing the evidence comparisons verbally somehow, not relying on me to compare cards after the debate somehow. If I wanted to do any of that, I would have stayed a high school English teacher and assigned way more research papers.
Yes, email chain or speechdrop are fine. email@example.com. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to email them to me and I will try to respond as promptly as possible.
If there are questions you have before round that aren’t answered in this paradigm, then feel free to ask!
Lee’s Summit High School (MO) 2017
Missouri State University 2021 (NDT/CEDA and NFA LD)
I did debate all throughout high school and college with nearly all that experience in policy debate. I competed in NDT/CEDA tournaments for my first two years and NFA LD throughout.
I want to be able to be lazy in judging, so give me clear impact calculus and overviews, and be sure to follow the flows.
General opinions on debate:
tech over/equal to truth unless the arguments are clearly false or incredibly skeptical, e.g. that structural violence is good.
It’s a game, and there are some rules to that, particularly in H.S., but that doesn’t inherently mean you need to follow them. You can make arguments and give reasons as to why some of the rules may be bad and shouldn’t be followed. E.g. Planless affs- there are many reasons why not upholding U.S.F.G. action is bad (and many why it is). These are debates that can be had. Clash and standards are key here, but don't just spout "fairness and education", especially if it's in a rebuttal. I will hold to you explaining why those are good and the impacts to them.
I probably won't have any problems with speed, but if you’re too fast or unclear, then I’ll let you know.
I lean on the side of extinction outweighs on impact magnitude, but good impact calculation can sway me otherwise. Especially if there was significant work done on reducing the link and/or internal links to extinction. I weigh magnitude, time frame, and probability evenly. If one side explains why extinction-level scenarios are impossible or almost impossible and the other side just says, but extinction outweighs, then the ballot will go to the former.
Impact calc is super important, so please do some!
Please explain how your CP/DA/case turns interact with the affirmative’s case and vice versa. Having a clear link and internal link chain is paramount to effectively weighing your arguments in the rebuttals.
CPs don’t necessarily have to solve all of case if the net benefit outweighs, but you should still tell me why that’s important, and make that argument yourself.
PICs are probably good, but can be abusive and, in the round, I will try to have a blank slate on the theory debate.
Clash is key. Link and perm debates are a mess if you don't know what the alternatives are or how they interact with each other.
Impacts matter! Be sure to explain how to view and weigh them.
PIKs can be legit, but there better be great explanation on how and why.
Form and Presentation:
Generally, I evaluate speaker points on how well the arguments were presented, explained, etc and less on just sounding pretty. While sounding good is still important, I would prefer a more in-depth explanation of your arguments - find a balance between speed and eloquence.
Be respectful! Debates that get excessively aggressive towards a team or specific individuals in round are not fun and are not things I want to see. Win the round by out-debating the other team, not by trying to make them look bad. I WILL dock your speaks if you act indecently and will not tolerate disrespectfulness.
7 years of debating experience, NDT quarters, two time CEDA semifinalist. 6 years coaching, previously coached Rochester, Binghamton, CCS.
I ran all types of arguments throughout my time in debate and will similarly vote for any type of argument within reason if compelling and won. While I debated mostly ks and performance based debate, I flow whatever’s in front of me. If you want me to flow a particular way, or not flow at all, let me know.
Add me on the email chain if you want: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: Have an impact and interpretation at the end of the debate please. So many people don’t extend them and just assume it carries over from all other speeches. Saying fairness isn’t enough, explain why it matters
DA: It irks me when tags just say ‘extinction’ but if you explain how we get there, give me a good link story, and do good impact framing you’re more likely to get my ballot. To be clear, ptx das are not my cup of tea but I'll vote on them if you win.
FW: one minute, twenty argument fw shells are not particularly compelling, any leeway given to those arguments is always reciprocally given to the aff’s responses on my ballot.
PIKs: I love them. People should read them more.
CPs: I have a low threshold for voting against extremely abusive counterplans, but do enjoy when they’re strategically deployed.
Ks: I’m familiar with most literature bases, most familiar with race, fem, disability, queer theory and anthro.
White partner DAs: While I'll listen to them, probably not the most strategic argument to go for in front of me considering throughout my seven years of debate I never had the opportunity to debate with a non-white debater so I'm very sympathetic to the 'don't force me to debate by myself/exert extra labor because my university is racist' args. HOWEVER, this doesn't give blank checks for white partners to say whatever. If you say negro, or other problematic things, having a black/poc partner will not protect you and you will be called out.
Do not say that Obama ended racism
I shouldn't have to say this but I will: do not be racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc.
Policy debate coach at Como Park Senior High.
CARD coach and policy debate judge at the University of Minnesota.
I am beginning to judge more events other than just policy but I have almost zero experience with other forms of debate.
Please include me on the email chain: email@example.com. Everyone gets plus .1 speaks if I'm not asked to be put on, and I'm just automatically put on the chain. Ask me any questions about my paradigm in person or via email, although I do try to update it regularly with the most important stuff.
Ks on the neg are obviously always fine and for what I think about T-USFG/FW, see the very bottom below the fairness slider. But bottom line, I don't really care what you read as long as you convince me to vote for you, I will.
Stuff related to online debating:
Don't delete analytics from the speech doc, please. I'll probably dock your speaks if I remember to. Online debate is harder to flow than in-person so it's good practice if you want me to catch everything you're saying.
Please slow down a little (especially on T and theory*) because the number of arguments I flow is rarely equal to the number of arguments the speaker actually makes, and those numbers will be much closer to each other if everyone prioritizes clarity and slowing down a bit. Don't just read this and think you're fine. Slow down, please. I know half of all judges ever have something like this in their paradigm but I'm a slower flow than average because I flow on paper.
Read a plan--------------------------x--------------Do whatever (probably at least sorta related to the topic)
Tech--------------x----------------------------Truth -- I hate myself for it, but I am kind of a truth-orientated judge in that I really don't want to vote for silly args, and the worse an arg is, the more leeway I give to answering it
Theory-------------------------------------x--------- Substance -- condo is really the only theory arg that gets to the level of "reject the team", I simply feel that most other theory args are reasons to reject the arg, not the team. Unless the negative goes for the CP/K to which the theory applies in the 2nr, it's a tough sell for me to vote on, "They read [insert abusive off-case position], they should lose".
Conditionality good--------x---------------------Conditionality bad -- this being said, I would much rather see 4-6 good off, than a 7+ mix of good and bad
States CP good (including uniformity)-----------x----------------------50 state fiat is bad
Always VTL----------------x---------------------Never VTL
Impact turn (*almost) everything-x-----------------------------I like boring debate -- to add to this, I'm huge sap for impact calc and specifically rebuttals that provide a detailed narrative of the impacts of the debate and how they interact with the other team's. Impact comparison and impact turns are often the deciding factors for me in close debates
*Almost meaning I'll vote on warming good, death good, etc. but obviously not on args like racism good or sexism good
Process CP's are cheating----------------------x---------------Best fall-back 2nr option is a cheating, plan-stealing CP
Lit determines legitimacy-------x-----------------------Exclude all suspect CPs
Yes judge kick the CP--x-------------------------------------------Judge kick is abusive -- as long as the 2nr says to kick the CP, I'm gonna kick it and just analyze the world of the squo vs the aff and I'm pretty sure there's nothing the aff can really do if condo bad isn't a thing in the round. Heck, I judged a debate where the CP was extended for 30 seconds and not kicked but I still voted neg because the neg won a large risk of a case turn. What I'm saying, is that when you are aff and the neg goes for more than just the CP with an internal NB, beating the CP doesn't equate to winning the debate outright
Presumption----------x--------------------------Never votes on presumption
"Insert this rehighlighting"---------------------x--I only read what you read
I flow on my computer ---------------------------------------x I'm gonna need to borrow some paper
I try to give out speaker points that are representative of how well you performed in the round compared to the tournament as a whole. I try to follow the process detailed here, but I often find myself handing out speaks sort of indiscriminately. Getting good speaks from me includes being respectful and making good choices in the rebuttals (smart kick outs, concessions, and flow coverage).
Clash! I like judging debates where the arguments/positions evolve in relation to one another as opposed to simply in vacuums.
Fairness is an impact---------------x--------------Fairness is only an internal link -- My threshold is usually how close your aff is to the topic in the abstract, i.e. personhood and NATO. I do feel like in the end the main goal of doing debate is to win. The activity obviously serves a ton of other purposes but at the end of each debate, one team wins, and one team loses. This doesn't mean that I think reading a planless aff is unfair and can definitely be convinced that a "fair" debate produces something bad, but it's going to be very hard to convince me that debate is not a game.
Topic education is decent for an education impact but policymaking and policy education are meh. Critical thinking skills can also be extracted from debate and critical skills about calling out state action and for revolution planning.
If you don't read a written-out advocacy statement: Impact turn framework----------x---------------------------Procedural
Debate and life aren't synonymous but I understand that many of your lives revolve heavily around debate, so I will respect any arg you go for as long as you make smart arguments to support it.
EMAIL FOR DOCS: [beau.a.larsen] @ gmail.com
They/them, and I fought very hard for these pronouns to be used in CPD as a competitor, so please use them and adjust others
Director of Forensics at Macalester College (July 2021-) I coach/direct policy debate, ethics/bioethics bowl, mock trial, moot court and ModelUN
Wake Forest GTA (2019-2021)
4x NDT Qualification representing the University of Southern California (2014-2018)
3x NDT Elimination Round Participant (2016-2018)
2x First-round to the NDT (2017-2018)
Baby Jo Debater of the Year (2018)
CEDA Top Speaker (2018)
Updated to NDT/CEDA 2023: If there is a viable non-FW option (DA, K, PIC/K, CP with internal net benefit) in the block vs a K aff, I'd suggest going for it over FW. Please follow your gut if FW is the clear pathway to victory. However, I notice that I vote negative more often in close rounds/elims when the 2NR is non-FW option vs a FW 2NR. Take this advice with two cents.
Also I can't believe I have to say this but you can absolutely read policy strategies in front of me.
I'm familiar with any and all arguments in the activity. I flow cross examination. Be clear about what acronyms are
Use pre-round preparation to lock in your vision for the round over attempting judge adaption. Engage evidence and flag opponent lines in speeches and speech docs
I like FAST PACED CX (you should be making more than 2-3 lines of questioning in 3 minutes) and slightly SLOWER speeches. Gear up on your speed when you begin your first speeches
Please introduce yourself to me before or after the round, I like to think of myself as a friendly judge
Updated for the 2022-2023
I debated at Texas in the late nineties/early aughts. I coach at Boston College; but I'm also a full time attorney and was recently elected to serve in the Maine House of Representatives (so yes, I'm quite literally a policy maker, but keep reading). I like smart and strategic debates. I feel like many debaters are focused too heavily on the trees to the detriment of their ability to focus on the forest, and others are so focused on the forest that they end up losing sight of the trees. I really enjoy debates in which your granular and deep knowledge of the trees allows you to explain the state of the forest. 2NRs and 2ARs who are willing to cut one or some of their trees down to benefit the overall health of the forest, are often most credible and will be rewarded. I've officially tortured the metaphor, so let's move on.
Online debate: I'm adjusting to it. My threshold for verbal clarity is higher, simply because the quality of sound that comes through the mic is worse than it is than if we were in person. Be clear. As always, but more acutely in the online context, it is helpful if you start slower and work your way up. During cross-examination, interrupting each other is super annoying because I can't hear anyone. Even more annoying is filibustering your answer to a question knowing that it's difficult for the other person to interrupt you. I have my eye on speaker points if that happens. I understand that internet quality sometimes precludes you from turning your camera on. I am trying to control for my bias that I'd prefer you turn your camera on so I can visually process what I'm hearing. But I acknowledge that bias exists.
General Stuff: I flow well and on paper. I want to be on your email chain, but I'm not going to look at it until the end of the round. That it exists in a document and on my laptop doesn't mean I will necessarily read it. My flow, not the speech document, will determine what arguments are in the debate. I find that, when debating in front of me, debaters who don't flow have very little idea how to effectively compete against those who do.
Your evidence will only be given weight if it was sufficiently explained and debated.
Spewing through pre-canned overviews or explanations at the rate you would card text is a waste of your time -- nobody is flowing it.
None of this is as an endorsement of one substantive type of debate over another. I have seen T debates, theory debates, K debates, C/P D/A Debates, and case debates I have loved. I have seen T debates, theory debates, K debates, C/P D/A debates, and case debates I have hated. Accordingly, my preference is that you make no adjustments to your preferred method or choice of argument and that I adjudicate the round based on you justifying why that it is preferable to any other proposed by the other team. The key to this is that YOU MUST WIN, which is best done through impact analysis. Absent impact analysis, I will unfortunately be forced to see things my way. If your 2NR or 2AR lacks a moment (or many) in which you talk about why you win, you will likely lose. So, the remainder of this is my way of informing you about my defaults, all of which only come into play if you have not effectively done the above.
Topicality: Competing interpretations makes the most sense to me. However, interpretations that are not meaningfully grounded in the words of the resolution are not, to me, T interpretations. Your interpretation should have net benefits; I feel that the limits debate (either way) usually makes a pretty good one. My senior year (now 17 years ago, I am old) I went for T in about 50% of my 2NRs. I think that “kritikal affs” that say you don’t have to be topical are being lazy. (preface: this next sentence may come off with a certain “back in my day tone" because as we have established, I am old) My partner and I ran an ironic affirmative on the Africa Topic, of course many people went for T, we beat the vast majority of those teams because we had a smart counter-interpretation. The topic does not constrain creativity, being topical doesn’t either. If the neg’s interpretation precludes creativity, doesn’t that seem like an argument against their interpretation rather than the notion that one should be topical? To presume that your aff is already excluded by the resolution is silly. The resolution is a meaningless text only given meaning by being debated. Topicality debates are the opportunity to do that. Consider the rant over, but what you should take away is I love good T debates as rare as they are.
Theory: I’ll vote on it (see Topicality above to see how best to frame it), but would prefer not to. I tend to err negative on counterplan theory, but can be convinced otherwise particularly with the proliferation of multiple counterplan 1NCs.
"Framework": I understand the strategic convenience of calling these arguments "framework" and dealing with them on one flow. Nevertheless, I find it remarkably sad that we are not (after several decades now) capable of recognizing that there is value in the discussion of what happens in the hypothetical circumstances that the Federal Government passes plan and value in the discussion that there are problematic presuppositions that may inform the formation of that plan. I can understand that there is no such thing as fiat, neither I nor anyone else is mistaking you for the President, Congress, or the Supreme Court; however, that does not mean that there is no reason to evaluate the consequences of what happens if the Federal Government does something. Conversely, this does not mean that the ethical ramifications of ideas or words should not also be discussed. In essence, if made in the realm of fairness, ground, and limits, these are better housed under the banner of Topicality. If these are arguments as to how I should evaluate different types of impacts, well it's seldom that anyone wins a 100% victory on that question, and you should just have the debate -- one you will hopefully be having anyway -- about how I should weigh impacts.
Disads: Love em, Uniqueness is important, but not determinative. Yes, it’s hard to win zero risk of the disad, but propensity is as important (your job to debate this) if not more important (again, I’ll leave that to you all in the debate) than magnitude.
Counterplans: Wonderful. But I benefit from a discussion early on of what the neg considers to be the net benefits to the Counterplan. It usually turns out to be the Aff who should be forcing this discussion in cross-ex to protect themselves from late-breaking 2NR claims. It's hard for me to fault the negative for it being late-breaking when the Aff doesn't initiate the discussion. I find multiple counter-plan strategies are more confusing that strategically beneficial, but hey, if you think you're good at it, have at it. I find that Counterplan theory is a lost art form. Yes, I coach Boston College. No, I'm not Katsulas, I'm not anti-Conditionality. But, I find debaters bizarrely unwilling to use hybrid theory arguments (e.g. multiple conditional alts bad/conditional agent counterplans bad/conditional pics bad, etc.) to hedge or theoretically justify some creativity in your permutations.
Kritiks: Went for them very frequently as a Debater and coached and coach them frequently as well. That said, I think far too much time is spent discussing esoteric academic discussion than is done applying it to what we're debating. At the end of the day, your self-satisfaction in being able to talk abstractly about what your authors say will be substantially less useful than your ability to apply what they say directly to the resolution or the aff. Accordingly, I prefer when you make your links specific to the aff (sometimes well done by making arguments on the case debate) and articulate more than just some ethereal concept as the alternative (however i will vote negative for a well articulated reason that the kritik argument turns case). When you do not do this, the Permutation often looks very attractive to me. In addition, it pays to read “disads” to the permutation and for the aff to read “disads” to the alt that do not link to the permutation. See above regarding counterplans as to the absence of theory arguments against alternatives.
Kritikal affs should engage the resolution. My default is that they should be Topical. Again, I am quite open to compelling arguments to the contrary and as to what constitutes a topical engagement of the resolution. As with anything, the debate is going to come down to you telling me compelling reasons why your ideas are better than the other team's. I'm not really cool with, I read a poem…it was about potato bugs of the East Antilles, poems are good, I win. I do not think that because you read something before the other team does, you win. Debate is about debating ideas; I do not care HOW you debate those ideas so long as you do so and do so better than the other team.
Case Debate: No excuse not to have something to say on case. Make what you say interacts well with your off-case strategy. Be able to distinguish between the separate case arguments you make, but also be able to understand their interaction with other case arguments and off case positions.
Do not be a jerk to the other team or your partner, I love a little well placed trash talk especially if it's funny, but don't be a jerk (it's your job to figure out where the line between these two is). Do not steal prep time. I'm pretty nice, so if you have any questions ask me.
Yes, include me on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
Brooklyn Tech: 2011 - 2012 (those three novice UDL tournaments apparently count), 2017 - 2021 (coach)
NYU: 2014 - 2018
The New School: 2018-2020 (coach)
***I used to keep my video off for rounds, but I've since learned that it's a mistake for the morale of the debater as well as for confirming whether or not I'm actually in the room. If my camera is off, I am not in the room. Please do not start speaking***
In case you're pressed for time
1. Do you. Have fun. Don't drop an important argument.
2. If there is an impact in the 2NR/2AR, there's a high chance you've won the debate in front of me. I like going for the easy way out and impacts give me the opportunity to do that. Impact comparisons are good too. NEG - LINKS to those impacts matter. AFF - how you SOLVE those impacts matter. Outside of that context, I'm not sure how I should evaluate.
3. I flow on paper, so please don't be upset if I miss arguments because you're slurring your words or making 17 arguments/minute.
4. Don't assume I know the acronyms or theories you're talking about, even if I do. This is a persuasion activity, so no shortcuts to persuading me.
5. Obviously, I have biases, but I try not to let those biases influence how I decide a round. Usually, if debaters can't accomplish #2, then I'll be forced to. I prefer to go with the flow though.
6. If at the end of the round, you find yourself wanting to ask my opinion on an argument that you thought was a round winner, know that I have one of two answers: I didn't consider it or I didn't hear it. Usually, it's the latter. So try not to make 5 arguments in 20 seconds.
**ONLINE DEBATE**: You don't need to yell into your mic. I can hear you fine. In fact, yelling into your mic might make it harder for me to hear you. Which means you may lose. Which is bad. For you.
**PF ONLY**: I didn't care about your Sunday best in person and I care even less about it online. If you want to keep your camera off when I'm judging, it's fine (particularly if your connection isn't strong). You're not going to lose the round or lose speaks for it. Also, I don't know why asking for evidence isn't done in advance or automatically considered taking prep time. Just know that, in front of me, if it takes more than 2 minutes to ask for evidence, it's coming out of your prep. And 3 minutes is not a lot of prep to begin with.
If you're not so pressed for time
I debated for four years at NYU and ran mostly soft left affs. I think that means I'm a pretty good judge for these types of affs and it also means I'm probably able to tell if there is a genuine want for a discussion about structural violence impacts or if they're just tacked on because K debaters are scary.
I do think debate is a game, but I also think people should be allowed to modify the "rules" of the game if they're harmful or just straight up unlikeable. I guess now would also be a good time to point I'm a game designer, so I like thinking about the implications of declaring debate to be "just" a game or "more than" a game. Now to the important stuff.
Speed: Through a card, I'll tolerate it. Through a tag or analytics, I'll be pretty annoyed. And so will you, because I'll probably miss something important that could cost you the round. When reading a new card, either verbally indicate it ("and" or "next") or change your tone to reflect it.
Planless affs: Even in a game, some people just don't want to defend the government. And that's perfectly okay. But I would like the aff to be relevant to the current topic. I feel like some affs are just random backfile cards put together with slightly altered tags. Not a big fan of those, but I'll still vote for them if I'm convinced enough in a round.
CP: Wasn't really much of a CP debater and I don't really coach teams that run CPs, except the basic novice ones that come in a starter kit. I think they're a fine argument and am willing to vote on them.
DA: You could never go wrong with a good DA. DAs, when run correctly, have a really good, linear story that can be extended in the neg block and could be used to effectively handle aff answers. Feel free to go crazy.
Ks: I can't think of a neg round where I didn't run a K. I've run cap, security, queerness, my aff, and some variations of Black feminism. But please, do not talk to me as if I know your K. If you're running pomo, I most definitely don't know your K and will need to be talked through it with analogies and examples. If you're running an identity K, I probably do know your K but expect the same from you as I expect from a pomo debater. Cap, security - you get the memo.
T: My favorite neg arg as a senior. I'm always down for a good T debate. I do think that sometimes it's used as a cop-out, but I also think that some affs aren't forwarding any sort of plan or advocacy. Just stating an FYI and a neg can't really argue against that. So T becomes the winning strategy.
Framework: Not exactly the same as T, but I still **like** it. If you're a non-Black debater, I do not care what variation of Framework (or T) you're running in front of me. Just call it framework.
Theory: Important, but the way debaters speed through their theory shells makes me question just how important it is. Again, slow down when reading theory in front of me so it's actually an option for you at the end of the round.
Most likely, if you've had me as a judge, then you know my timer. This is where I downloaded it from (and yes, it's wrestling-related): https://youtu.be/-TkA3ObTSLc
I am an average judge to be honest. I do try to do my best but my biggest problem is that I do not really have a stable set of rules or frames for how I judge. Each round is different and I don't always see things in the same way from one round to the next.
Some of the more important things you should know about me as a judge are...
- I am not the fastest flow in the world so make sure you explain your arguments and provide me some idea of how you want me to prioritize your ideas
- I don't have a specific style of debate I prefer but I can probably say that I am a bit more capable contemplating ideas rather than calculating drops on a flow sheet
- I have so much respect for all the work that you all do to become good at this activity so whether you agree with my decision or not please know that I always challenge myself to be fair to you even if we see the debate differently
- I have been judging policy debates for over 17 years now from novice to the ndt
- Have fun and do you. I will try my best to give a decision that accurately reflects the debate I watched to the best of my ability
Hi to be totally honest I'm relatively new to the debate world, but I promise that I will flow and evaluate based on the flow. Please explain things to me, as long as you take the time to explain what your arguments mean to the round and tell me how to evaluate the round I will be a great judge. If you need to contact me my name is Emilio and my email is email@example.com. Thanks!
Removed for privacy. Email if you want to know: hherreramcfarland[AT]gmail
What schools(s) are you affiliated with? Missouri State University & UMKC Law
Were you a competitor when in school? If so, what style of debate did you do and for how many years? No
How often do you judge policy debate? Rarely
How fast can students speak during speeches? I'm not a huge fan of spreading and only reading off of cards. The faster you go, the less I am able to understand you, which means I can't follow your argument. You can speak fast-ish, but don't pretend to be an auctioneer, please.
If a student is speaking too fast or unclear, will you give any cues to them? No, I only make remarks on the ballot forms
In a few sentences, describe the type of debate you would most like to hear or any other things debaters/coaches should know about your judging style. - I really like to see debators follow through in rebuttal and hit hard on the weaknesses in the opposing side's argument. Briefly skirting around the issue shows me that you know the weakness is there, but you need to address it further to get big points from me.
Who is this cat?- I graduated from the University of Illinois in May after doing Parli for three years ('19-'22). I was the assistant coach at Ronald Reagan College Prep in Milwaukee. I debated policy at Reagan for four years, (`15-`19). (he/him/his).
Yes, email chain- firstname.lastname@example.org
TL;DR- Debate is a game. Analysis and argument-making win my ballot. Stay organized, consistent, and strategic and you'll have success in any round. My paradigm is quite lengthy, but don't let it deter you from running what you are the best at. There isn't a single way to win my ballot, there are arguments that I prefer, but that doesn't mean you should run them just to fit my vision of a debate round. A good rule of thumb is to do what you're the best at.
Specific Arguments- Don't get too caught up in all of this, it is just my preferences, I think if you tend to run a specific argument, then look into my preferences on this, but if not, this really isn't all too important. I tend to judge policy, but if you want to look into my preferences in LD, Parli or PF, that's near the bottom.
CP- It isn't too easy to win on a CP unless it is abusive. The debate community, in general, has seemed to forget something- perms are tests of competition. This is a saying that's been said and resaid a hundred times, without much of an understanding of its meaning. Perms do not offer any advocacy. Thus, the affirmative team cannot gain anything offensively from running a perm. One cannot perm a counterplan and make speeches centered around "The world of the perm." A perm is not advocacy, it is merely a test of competition, and a means to hinder the offense that the negative team can gain from running a CP. Also, CPs do not have to be topical. It is difficult to think of a CP that is not mutually inclusive, thus, it does not have to be topical. Presenting a Net Benefit in terms of a DA or a means to solve the Aff's contentions better than they are able to is one of the few ways I believe that offense can be gained by the negative team. A CP needs to have reasons why to vote for it, just CP text isn't going to move the needle for me. I think PICs are pretty cool, but also they're pretty dangerous if you're bad with theory. Related to this, I am a huge fan of theory in response to CP's. CPs tend to be pretty abusive if they aren't permeable, so take advantage of this!
DA- Admittedly, I've become more and more policy since graduating high school. I really like DAs- I think they're the easiest way for the neg to win in any round. With that being said, the ease is double-sided, as this non-complex nature doesn't hide any true motives, meaning they aren't very difficult to respond to. Putting it simply, a reliance on a DA as the neg's sole offense in a round makes my ballot very easy to fill out. Thus, if you plan on, and you want to run a DA, do it well. Missing an argument missed by either side not flowing makes it quite simple for one side to win quite easily. When it comes to big stick impacts, I am not going to bring any personal biases to conflict with the round. You're going to have to do that yourself on framework. Tell me why nuclear war doesn't matter, or why to prefer structural impacts. Please run framework that runs best in line with your impact, as it makes it easier to write my ballot.
Framework- Somehow I've managed to include the importance of framework in almost every single rundown of arguments. I think framework should be a thing in every single round. Run it well, respond to it well, and tell me what viewing the round under your framework means. I think unless it comes down to t or completely dropped arguments, I am going to use framework to decide my ballot on which impacts I see as important, and what mechanism is the most important to vote under. Framework should be the base of any well-built case, even if you are relying on low-probability, high-magnitude impacts. Please run this, as it makes the round make a lot more sense, and it makes it possible to remove any covert biases I have towards arguments or impacts.
K- I was a K debater in high school. I understand that something like Wilderson or any Capitalism K can be run against any affirmative. This is not necessarily a bad strategy, but it relies on the negative team winning and expanding upon the link debate and the alt debate (I don't think I've ever seen a K impact be contested). The weakest part of the K is generally its alternative. I do not require the alternative to be ontological per se for the negative team to win on a K, but I expect that the alt is well expanded upon and actually explained. Unless the aff is losing on case, I find it difficult to vote for a world that I don't really understand, and a muddy alt presents a confusing world. The same ideology about perms for CPs holds true for K's. The affirmative team cannot win on a perm without also winning case. The best-case scenario for the affirmative if their contestation on K/CP is a perm is that this perm is a wash. Because perms are tests of competition and not advocacy, offense cannot be gained by the perming team. Please tell me what voting for the K does. If it isn't anything out round, that's fine, but I want a ROTB on the K.
On Case- I think one of the most important parts of a debate is the affirmative team's framing of the round. To offset the neg getting the neg block, and back to back speeches, the affirmative teams get the first and last speech. Your should make the best use of this by telling me, and contesting what is the most important argument to vote on, or what theoretical lens to view this round through. I think this goes both ways- rounds have the most clash, meaning the best education and competitiveness when on case is responded to thoroughly and throughout the round. I understand it could be a team's strategy to completely disregard case and argue completely for their case or k, but by abandoning any argument on case, the framing of the round needs to be won as well. When it comes down to it- I'm going to go back on my flows and view the framing of the round in the 1ac. Even if case is a nonfactor, framing by the affirmative team, and contestation of this framing is incredibly important. On case proper- I love case turns. It's a lot easier to make turns when they're based off of your knowledge of the topic, and the current political happenings, as teams tend to rely too much solely on reading cards for case. Watch the news, read articles, and stay updated- this makes it easier to base case-specific turns around, and an easy way to take out a ton of aff offense. Flowing is probably the most important when it comes to responding to case. Flowing, and line by lines is what separates good and great debaters, and this is most important on case, as it is what the majority of rounds can come down to.
Speed- Speed is fine. If the other team can't handle it, speak up, please. I understand that rounds being online makes it quite difficult for those who had trouble with speed in person. Feel free to "clear" your opponents during the speech. If they don't change, then this is grounds for in round abuse if you want to run with an argument similar to this. In general, spreading your opponent out of the round isn't a very good strategy, but to each their own. If you start talking prior to the round, and your audio quality is poor, then I might ask you not to spread, because it isn't fair to anyone. If you don't adapt to your situation, then poor speaks should be expected. Just because you can spread, doesn't mean you should.
T- In order to win t, I think you have to be winning the argument convincingly. If rounds are close and the neg goes for t, then it was likely the wrong decision. Neg should go all in on t, at least eight minutes in the neg block and all five minutes in the 2NR. Explain to me what abuse occurred in the round, and have specific standards. I want contextualized abuse and voting issues if you expect me to vote for you on topicality. Is t an RVI? I don't know, but I'd love to find out. Do the work for me.
Theory- Since high school, I've fallen more and more in love with theory. I think that t can be run in basically any round, but it also can very easily be run poorly. One of the most important parts of either running or responding to t is making sure you flow. I don't think a team should go into a round expecting to run theory, but it is something that one may have in their back pocket in a response to a specific argument. One of the best parts about theory is that it hinges on thinking on the spot, as blocks really aren't a thing for most theory analysis. I think very little is off the table for theory, and this goes for the response to it. I'll listen to an RVI, but a lot of it just comes down to the work that you put in, and how well you flow.
-Do what you're the best at
-Frame how I should vote and see the round, I'm not going to do too much work for you
- I don't understand the hullabaloo about being nice, especially in LD; this isn't a manners class. We're here to debate, not to make each other feel better about ourselves and brown-nose the guy who's writing the ballot. Be aggressive, be confident, and just give me a competitive round where you are the best debater version of yourself.
- A climate of judging debaters based on how they dress or present themselves makes me sick to my stomach, please just do what you're the most comfortable with within the round.
-I'll pause POO's but not POI's
-I don't expect either side to accept more than two POI's during a speech; it is your side to advocate for yourself and be specific. Prior to answering a POI, I like to say "One out of two" or "Two out of two," just so I am blatantly consistent.
-If you're more comfortable with policy jargon, don't bother correcting yourself. I still view it as the Aff v Neg, rather than Gov v Opp.
-Give me a weighing mechanism or I'll just vote on net benefits.
-I'm not a big judge intervention guy in a round. I'm not going to step in if belittling is occurring. The majority of you are nearly adults, and I'm sure you can act like it.
-Please don't make me intervene in cross-fire
-Please just keep me posted on where you're going. Do whatever you want honestly.
-Don't interrupt or use crossfire to make arguments; it's not another rebuttal, it is a questioning period.
-Straight policy rounds get dry, throw some crazy philosophy in there if you feel like it.
-I've done PF, but I'm a policy debater at heart, aff is pro and neg is con
-Open cross-ex is fine, utilize this however you want. Debates can be won and lost in CX
-Impact calc in 2NR/2AR
-Splitting the block is a thing
-Don't be an a-hole. I understand that policy is generally one of the more competitive types of debate, but keeping your calm is important in CX. You can be witty without being mean
-Stay organized, signpost
A Final Word
I'm a white male, and debate is a community that has long been monopolized by people of my same race and gender. I have privileges that I may not be completely aware of and I may commit microaggressions within a round. Please tell me, privately or publically if I do something that makes anyone in the round uncomfortable.
Post-rounding is fine, I'm flawed as a person and a judge, and my paradigm is constantly adapting to the experiences I have and the rounds I have. I'll make mistakes, and miss analysis, and I apologize if I do. I try to be a good judge, but I'm a flawed human being just like you. I seem to update my paradigm after every tournament. My paradigm is far from ever complete, and I have rounds and experiences which shape what I value in a round, and what preferences I have.
If you have any questions about my ballot, or you want any extra advice, my email is email@example.com
Debate is a game. Run whatever you want, just win it on the flow. Hit me with your new K, some frivolous theory that you’re worried other judges won’t buy, or literally anything else. Speaks based on execution of strategy.
I'm a recent grad of UC Berkeley who debated in NPDA (tech parli), and now I coach the college team Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley, as well as the high school team at Campolindo HS. My partner Ryan Rashid and I won all three nats in NPDA my junior year, but I have next to no experience outside of parli (just some high school PF and lay LD), so I'm relatively unfamiliar with LD and policy norms. I did and teach pretty much all the stylistic things—equal amount of case, theory, and Ks. I love writing K links, collapsing to tix/elections DAs, and prepping clever T shells courtesy of shoddy resolutions. (The last one is kind of a joke, but also not really.) Point is, I have no preference for what you read, please just do what you're best at. I'd rather see a good K debate with quality clash than a bad case debate, and vice versa.
General note: My philosophy on debate has been primarily shaped by Trevor Greenan, Brian Yang, Ryan Rashid, June Dense, Will White, and Lila Lavender.
- If you're in a hurry you can skip this section—read whatever K you want lol, I don't pick favorites
- My background in academics and debate leans slightly more toward sociology than pomo. I've taken courses (and written Ks) about critical refugee studies, settler colonialism, anthropocentrism, etc., but have yet to truly grasp more than the barest bones of Bataille, for example. That being said, I definitely have experience with pomo—I've read/collapsed to Buddhism, Barad, Foucault, Nietzsche, etc. and competed against Lacan more times than I can count (shout out to the Rice team for that one). So feel free to read pomo if that's your thing, just be a tad gentler with me and don't assume I've read/heard allll the terminology before
- I'm a hoe for really well-warranted links that are specific to the aff and have imbedded DAs/solvency deficits. Also detailed and specific reasons why you solve the aff (if that's an arg you like to go for), either in the impacts or on the alt
- Theses can be helpful for more complex Ks, but def not necessary for your generic cap shell. I often write Ks that draw from multiple lit bases, and for me, a thesis creates a more cohesive story for something that can be kind of frankenstein in nature
- I love theory. I've been told I have a low threshold for frivolous theory (probably a consequence of too many rounds with Ryan and Brian), but my favorite is topicality, or any other interps that are very specific to the resolution/Aff. If it's clear that your interp had to be written during the 2 minutes before the LOC, that's my jam. Ofc you can read generics too, I'll just be slightly more bored and slightly less impressed
- MO and PMR theory will be an uphill battle with me, the latter most of all because it can't be contested by the other team, which makes my job so very hard, and I am lazy. But if the abuse is truly egregious and didn't occur until the MG/block, or if it's a matter of rhetorical violence, read the new arg and I'll do my best to evaluate it. But please weigh the new shell against the other team's remaining offense
- MG theory is fine, I read it all the time, but I'm also comfortable rejecting it if the Neg wins arguments for why it's bad or in-evaluable
- I don't need proven abuse under competing interps (it's about what your interp justifies, not what you actually did)
- Text vs. spirit of the interp should be debated in-round, and I'll evaluate under whichever is won. If somehow it's relevant but completely unmentioned by either team, I'll default to text over spirit
- I default to competing interpretations, but I'll use reasonability if you win args as to why I should AND if you have a briteline for it, cuz I don't feel like intervening. For example, a briteline (that I think works relatively well) is that I should evaluate whether the aff interp is good or bad based on all the offense-defense arguments read about it, and decide theory based on that, regardless of whether there's a counter-interp text. You could have a different briteline, but either way, explicitly tell me what it is, because "evaluate theory using reasonability" means different things to different people. I would prefer not to treat it as just a gut check, but if you don't define it, that's what I'll assume you mean
- I think theory is an RVI if and only if you tell me that it is, provide warrants, and then win that arg
- I default to drop the arg, although drop the arg sometimes = drop the debater, like for T. But obviously, reading "drop the debater" with even just one uncontested warrant is sufficient for me to change this default
- I didn't do circuit LD, so explain slightly more to me the definitions/implications of buzzwords that aren't as common in parli. The best example I can think of is semantics vs. pragmatics: I NOW know what they both mean, but I did NOT a year ago, and that made it difficult for me to render a decision in favor of blippy semantics first args in NPDI finals. Still read arguments like that if you want, just define and implicate them out, don't assume that I know all the things
- I enjoy niche disads, like a hyper-specific tix scenario, or a biod disad about endangered turtles that live near where the plan happens. These can be hard (or impossible) to find though, depending on the res, so don't sweat
- I also definitely understand the value of tried and tested generics - I read a lot of backlash DAs and consult CPs, and inv con, so it's okay to read that too. Read whatever you think is strategic for the rez
- I enjoy technical CP debate. PICs are fun unless I'm read a shell that tells me otherwise. Same thing for consult CPs, delay CPs, agent CPs, etc.
- Perms on CPs. Make them. Any perm is fine, unless the other team gives me a reason why it's not
- In the absence of explicit magnitude/probability/timeframe/etc. weighing, I default to using only strength of link. In other words, I’m more inclined to vote for arguments that are dropped or comparatively under-covered, but you can prevent this by telling me why your impact is high [magnitude/probability/etc.], and why [magnitude/probability/etc.] comes first
- I love clever case strats that exploit a mistake the other team has made, like collapsing to a straight turn or a double turn. Don't be afraid to do something "risky" like that, I can follow along
Here's some miscellaneous beliefs that I have about debate and will utilize by default; however, I'm willing to evaluate otherwise, even in the opposite direction, as long as you give me sufficient reason to in-round:
- I think unconditionality means you *technically* have to defend the advocacy throughout the round, but that could include conceding defense so the sheet doesn't matter anymore
- I believe that perms are a test of competition, not an advocacy
- I'm not game for shadow extensions that aren't at least mentioned in the MG/MO, even if the argument is conceded. In other words, I think the member speeches should have to extend every piece of offense their team intends to collapse to
- I will do my best to protect during the LOR and PMR, but I don't trust myself to catch everything and neither should you, so call points of order please. I'll rule on all of them immediately, to the best of my ability, because you usually need to know my stance for the sake of the rest of the speech
- New weighing is fine in the LOR/PMR, but make sure it's actually weighing, not sequencing or anything else. E.g., saying "fairness is more important than education because debate could survive without education, but not without fairness" is acceptable weighing, but saying "fairness is more important than education because it's the internal link to education and skews the round" is a sequencing argument that should be read before the rebuttal speech
- I think condo's p dope, so run however many off you want, but also I'll drop you if the other team wins a condo bad shell
- I think dispo is condo in a suit, but if you can get a we meet out of it, go off sis. And if you think they might use their dispo status to meet your condo shell, preempt that in the violation please
- Presumption flips neg, unless the neg reads a CP/alt, in which case it flips aff
- I find “truth over tech” arguments incoherent and self-refuting; “truth” in debate is only ever arrived at through evaluation of the flow (or judge intervention, which I will not do), so in order to convince me that truth outweighs tech, you’d have to win that claim via the tech flow…which seems to indicate that tech still > truth
- I will drop your ass for racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. rhetoric or behavior
- Non-Black debaters should not read afro-pess, I will drop you if you do. [Added March 29th, 2023.] Read: https://thedrinkinggourd.home.blog/2019/12/29/on-non-black-afropessimism/
- To pick you up on an IVI, I need reasons why that IVI outweighs all the impacts your opponents are going for
Eric Morris, DoF - Missouri State – 29th Year Judging
++++ NDT Version ++++ (Updated 10-22-2019)
(NFALD version: https://forensicstournament.net/MissouriMule/18/judgephil)
Add me to the email firstname.lastname@example.org
I flow CX because it is binding. I stopped recording rounds but would appreciate a recording if clipping was accused.
Be nice to others, whether or not they deserve it.
I prefer line by line debate. People who extend a DA by by grouping the links, impacts, UQ sometimes miss arguments and get lower points. Use opponent's words to signpost.
Assuming aff defends a plan:
Strong presumption T is a voting issue. Aff should win you meet neg's interp or a better one. Neg should say your arguments make the aff interp unreasonable. Topic wording or lit base might or might not justify extra or effects T, particularly with a detailed plan advocate.
High threshold for anything except T/condo as voting issues*. More willing than some to reject the CP, K alts, or even DA links on theory. Theory is better when narrowly tailored to what happened in a specific debate. I have voted every possible way on condo/dispo, but 3x Condo feels reasonable. Under dispo, would conceding "no link" make more sense than conceding "perm do both" to prove a CP did not compete?
Zero link, zero internal link, and zero solvency are possible. Zero impact is rare.
Large-scale terminal impacts are presumed comparable in magnitude unless you prove otherwise. Lower scale impacts also matter, particularly as net benefits.
Evidence is important, but not always essential to initiate an argument. Respect high-quality opponent evidence when making strategic decisions.
If the plan/CP is vague, the opponent gets more input into interpreting it. CX answers, topic definitions, and the literature base helps interpret vague plans, advocacy statements, etc. If you advocate something different from your cards, clarity up front is recommended.
I am open to explicit interps of normal means (who votes for and against plan and how it goes down), even if they differ from community norms, provided they give both teams a chance to win.
Kritiks are similar to DA/CP strategies but if the aff drops some of the "greatest hits" they are in bad shape. Affs should consider what offense they have inside the neg's framework interp in case neg wins their interp. K impacts, aff or neg, can outweigh or tiebreak.
Assuming aff doesn't defend a plan:
Many planless debates incentivize exploring important literature bases, but afer decades, we should be farther along creating a paradigm that can account for most debates. Eager to hear your contributions to that! Here is a good example of detailed counter-interps (models of debate). http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,2345.0.html
Impact turns are presumed relevant to kritikal args. "Not my pomo" is weak until I hear a warranted distinction. I prefer the negative to attempt direct engagement (even if they end up going for T). It can be easier to win the ballot this way if the aff overcovers T. Affs which dodge case specific offense are particularly vulnerable on T (or other theory arguments).
Topicality is always a decent option for the neg. I would be open to having the negative go for either resolution good (topicality) or resolution bad (we negate it). Topicality arguments not framed in USFG/framework may avoid some aff offense.
In framework rounds, the aff usually wins offense but impact comparison should account for mitigators like TVA's and creative counter-interps. An explicit counter-interp (or model of debate) which greatly mitigates the limits DA is recommended - see example below. Accounting for topic words is helpful. TVA's are like CP's because they mitigate whether topics are really precluded by the T interp.
If I were asked to design a format to facilitate K/performance debate, I would be surprised. After that wore off, I would propose a season-long list of concepts with deep literature bases and expect the aff to tie most into an explicit 1AC thesis. Such an approach could be done outside of CEDA if publicized.
This was too short?
Older, longer version is available here: http://bit.ly/1gchPYx
* Some ethical issues, like fabrication, are voting issues, regardless of line by line.
I debated in CEDA for Kansas State in the early 1990s. Debate was fast, but the topics were non-policy, and topicality was far more common than counterplans or kritiks. I've judged a handful of high school and college rounds since then, including the 2019 Gorlok.
Since I'm out of practice, you should not go TOP speed, but some debaters at the Gorlok slowed down far more than was necessary. The important thing is clear signposting.
Affirmatives should read a topical plan.
I will vote negative on topicality if the negative wins that the plan violates the best interpretation.
Disad + Case debating is a great choice, and impacts are good.
I generally find CP's more persuasive than kritiks. I wasn't impressed with the Death K read in front of me at the Gorlok. If you read a kritik, I will flow it and think about it, but specific links that make it fundamentally refute the aff are important and its hard to persuade me to ignore the aff for impact comparison.
Feel free to ask more specific questions before any debate, and have a good time!
I am a traditional Lincoln-Douglas judge and have been judging / debating since the early 2000s.
Value (V) & Value Criterion (VC) Debate:
The decision-maker & breaker is based on whichever side BEST upholds their Value / Value criterion. Essentially, the winning debater will be able to showcase that in his/her world his/her value is superior and is better upheld. It is always beneficial to attack the logic of the other side's Value / Value Criterion to demonstrate this. For example, say the affirmative has a value of Justice and a value criterion of Equality. A successful attack on the logic here would be to show how Equality and Justice are in conflict such as if we set hiring quotas, affirmative action, etc. (everything will be equal but it is not always fair). Of course, bringing this up in the context of the resolution will bolster the argument (for example, if we are not debating affirmative action). Logic and reasoning hold a lot of weight and can substitute for traditional evidence (statistics, studies, quotes, etc.)
Value criterions are there as such: a weighing mechanism. This is often lost / falls on deaf ears amongst debaters. A weighing mechanism is just that -- a method to determine what is the best determinant for a specific value. Let use this crude example illustrate that. Say we are debating what makes a great UFC fighter. In an LD context, our Values are "Successful MMA Fighter." Well, what determines their success? Is it heart? Is it experience? Is it youth? Speed? Strength? Striking? Wrestling? Resilience? Whichever criterion you think best allows for a successful UFC fighter should be the "VC" in this example.
Burdens and Case Logic:
The affirmative has the Burden of Proof during the round. This means, they must prove the resolution valid beyond a reasonable doubt. Similar to a criminal case, it is the prosecution job to prove the defendant is guilty. It is not the defendant's responsibility to prove his innocent, he simply has to prove that he is not guilty. This applies to the negative as well, he does not have to prove the inverse of the resolution. Please ask me for clarification on this point if you wish.
The negative the burden of initiating clash during the round. I would prefer that AT LEAST SOMETHING is said for each of the contentions and sub-points, even if you are running out of time. It can be something minor.
That being said, just because someone misses a contention doesn't mean that it can make or break a debate. The debater must demonstrate WHY that particular contention matters. Of course, the other extreme is not appropriate either (i.e., a particular side fails to attack anything or misses major parts of the case but has a strong case of their own).
In addition, I like when the contentions relate in someway to the value and value criterion. It clarifies the logic in the case and in general makes it easier for the side to argue their Value/VC.
The Negative's case can be flawed yet still win if the attacks on the affirmative are strong enough. Conversely, the negative can have a much better case than the Affirmative but if it never initiates clash, then I will defer to the affirmative (this hasn't been a problem).
Evidence is great, but evidence is not an argument. Debaters need to explain how/why that piece of evidence matters and relates to their argument. In addition, debaters need to explain the source and why this person's opinion matters. Just throwing "cards" at me, will not sway my decision.
In some ways, I prefer philosophical and logical discussions based on axioms and syllogisms. Stat-bombing me with studies and "cards" are not a substitute for solid argumentation and logical analysis. This may be controversial to some of you. But should we dismiss the arguments of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle simply because they didn't have peer-reviewed studies which fit a certain criteria?
I am a traditional LD debate judge, have been doing this for 20+ years. I generally dislike when you concede frameworks it shows a lack of analysis into the values and criterions themselves and kind of comes off as lazy.
Speaking can be a little quick but if you speak too fast and I miss contentions/sub-points it will negatively affect you (i.e., spreading).
Obviously, sign-posting is a must.
Cross-ex needs to be used strategically. It only matters if you refer back to it in a subsequent speech.
Clear, specific and unique arguments for each contention that are powerful and sub-point is superior. Repeating the same argument over and over again is not a strong strategy for success. Quality over quantity.
Voting issues are best at the end and it helps when the debater provides a clear reason why I should vote for a particular side.
Joe Patten - I make it a point to judge the round based on the evidence provided by both teams, and do not make arguments for teams - in other words, I will vote for teams even if I don't personally agree with their arguments. I can judge speed, but tend to give higher speaks for debaters who speak clearly.
Do what you do best. I will listen to any arguments and vote on any argument as long as I understand them and why they matter. Don't be problematic (i.e. racist, sexist, ableist, etc.) My background is in policy but have experience in LD, PF, congress, and extemp (some more than others). Did mostly K/performance debate in college. My email is email@example.com if you have any questions. Don't spread in front of me, if I can't understand an argument it doesn't matter, and I can't understand spreading. Please don't call me judge, Hannah works great.
I've decided to crowdfund my paradigm, if you have other questions to be answered let me know and I will add them here.
please add me on the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org
I did PF for three years in high school and then policy debate for four years in college. I did two years at the University of Wyoming and then two years and NYU. I was a 2A for three years and a 2N for one. I have about 3 years of experience in judging high school PF (scroll for PF paradigm).
Please run whatever you feel comfortable with in front of me. I will evaluate pretty much any argument.
To win my ballot, you need to concentrate on persuading me. You can to this by:
Articulating your arguments clearly. Big Tent Online will be my first tournament on this topic, so please explain your arguments well.
Engaging with your opponents' arguments.
Utilizing your evidence. Tell me why your evidence is the best. Make comparisons to your opponents' evidence.
Extending your arguments well. I will vote tech over truth, but you must properly extend arguments even if they were dropped. I am not persuaded by arguments that are not fleshed out and impacted out.
Explicitly telling me why you won in the 2NR and 2AR. In the final speeches, tell me a) why you won your argument and b) why it is important in the debate.
Making the space safe and enjoyable. Your language matters. I do not tolerate hatefulness of any kind. If there’s anything I or the other debaters can do to make the space more accessible to you, please let me know.
Not being rude during CX. If you’re winning an argument, then you’re winning the argument. You don’t need to be condescending on top of that. If you’re not winning the argument and being condescending, then you look like a fool.
Do not start any speeches until you have confirmed that everyone is ready. Don’t ask, “Is anyone not ready?” Instead, ask “is everyone ready?” and wait for confirmation.
Keep your camera on when speaking unless you’re having internet issues.
- Case debate and case engagement are always very important
- I won’t evaluate evidence I couldn’t understand, so choose evidence that supports your claims and explain it well
- Impact everything out
Kritikal Affirmatives- I love K affs and have run them before. I do think they should be in the direction of the topic, but could be convinced otherwise depending on how the round plays out. I like when Ks have creative answers to T. Solvency mechanism warrants are important for me.
Topicality/Framework (v. K affs)- You should probably have a TVA that solves the aff offense. You also need to really impact out T.
Ks - A strong link story and good alt solvency is important to me. I am not well-versed in a lot of theory, so make sure your arguments are super clear and explain your evidence if you run that.
Counterplans- I don’t like judge kick. A counter plan is an advocacy. It is entirely your job to choose what you defend and don’t defend.
Disadvantages- Make sure a clear link and impact story established in the 2NC. I don’t like disads with shitty evidence. You can still get away with running them, but I will probably side with the aff if they do evidence quality comparison.
Theory- I like theory. Please slow down so I can catch everything.
- impact out your arguments
- do impact & evidence comparison
- the only work I will ever do impact calc if I'm forced to. If no one mentions impact calc that guarantees low speaks.
- respond to turns before you kick out of an argument
- speak as clearly as you can. This includes me being able to understand the words coming out of your mouth and where you are on the flow. I can handle speed if you signpost.
- I will call for evidence if one of the teams tells me to. I take misrepresenting evidence pretty seriously, but it is the responsibility of the opposing team to bring it to my attention.
- Please don't be rude. This includes cross-x. If your opponent is not answering your questions well in cross-x either they are trying to be obnoxious or you are not asking good questions. Too often, it's the latter. Being rude makes debate inaccessible and unappealing to newcomers. It also tanks your ethos.
- Your language matters. I do not tolerate hatefulness of any kind. If there’s anything I or the other debaters can do to make the space more accessible to you, please let me know.
You'll get bad speaks if you steal prep, get caught blatantly misrepresenting evidence, or make the space unsafe for others. You'll get good speaks for organization, clarity, compelling arguments, and good impact calc.
Below 27.5 - ethical violations, you've made the debate space unsafe
27.5-28.4 - you had some glaring errors
28.5-28.9 - you performed well during this debate
29-29.4 - you are a great debater and I assume you do well in your other rounds
29.5- 29.9 - you are an incredible debater and I am very impressed
I will flow any argument. If you want to run framework, topicality, theory, etc I will evaluate it. Just make sure you have warrants, links, and impacts.
I judge multiple formats of debate, so I will try to provide a baseline for each of events. You can always reach out with questions at email@example.com.
I think LD's continual move to a poor version of 1 on 1 policy debate is probably not for the best, but we are where we are. If you want a traditional V/C framework, great. If you want to have a plan, that's fine too. My background is policy debate, so it's not that I'm unable to evaluate these arguments, it is that I find that there are too many tricks, RVIs, and barely warranted theory arguments that debaters want me to vote for. I will not vote for those arguments unless they have a clearly articulated interpretation, violation, standards, and a voting issue.
Really, I love debate, but I don't like blippy, unwarranted, "crafty" arguments. If your strategy is dependent on tricks or badly formulated theory arguments, strike me. Also, I won't vote on disclosure theory. I find I won't be offended.
I do believe the affirmative should affirm the resolution, but when you are negative you can do whatever you want that negates in whatever way that means to you.
Most importantly, have fun, say smart things, and I'll do the best to evaluate the debate you present to me.
Most important note: If it doesn't appear in summary, it won't be evaluated in final focus.
2nd important note: I prefer FULLY cut cards over paraphrasing. I find that too many cases are a series of citations without warrants. I'm a great judge for you if you cut cards that have warrants. I'm a less than great judge for you if you think stringing together 10-15 word "cards" makes a fully developed argument. Also, tag lines are your friend. All of your evidence should have a tagline.
Having said that, I think the rate of speaking should be moderate to moderately fast. I'm not sure what you are accomplishing in PF with anything faster. If your opponent asks you to slow down, you should make reasonable accommodations to that request. You can look to me to see whether or not I think the team making the request is being ridiculous.
The pro should feel free to affirm the resolution in whatever way you'd like as long as you are actively talking about the resolution.
If you only have defense in the debate, it will be difficult to win my ballot. For example, on the Medicare for All topic, the negative has to prove that the affirmative makes the world worse in a world where it were to become law.
Other than that, be sure to start narrowing the debate in summary. I prefer more line by line until the Final Focus, but I understand that many people will start weighing in summary. That's fine, but your summary should NOT just be weighing.
POLICY: I'm fairly old school when it comes to this event. I think the affirmative should probably be an example of the actual resolution, although kritikal affs are welcome. I was more of a DA/CP debater, so take that for what it is worth. On the negative, feel free to do whatever you want because I think that's the freedom you get being negative. On specific arguments:
Topicality: I don't think you have to prove abuse to win. You can just prove that they aren't topical. Whoever wins the interpretation controls the direction of this debate.
CP: I think everything is conditional, but I can be persuaded otherwise. You can run multiple Cps if you'd like. Have fun.
K: I think if you are running on the aff that it should still be a discussion of the topic. On the neg, I think you should indicate and make as many links to the affirmative as possible and make those known in the most meaningful way possible.
Besides the affirmative being topical even when kritikal, I'm not quite the dinosaur I may appear. You should have fun and make arguments and I'll do my best to evaluate them.
University of Minnesota ‘22. Add firstname.lastname@example.org, and if in college varsity, email@example.com. I think debate should encourage technical argumentation about the topic. I try to be “tabula rasa” when evaluating arguments about the desirability of the plan, but have a high bar for procedurals, and am horrendous for critiques. I will be coaching and cutting cards for the college nukes topic.
- Fairness is good. AFFs must defend a topical plan. NEGs must demonstrate the plan is undesirable or untopical. Policy debate is a game about policy research, which excludes poetry, personal anecdotes, and “my opponent refuting my argument is mean”.
- I will not follow the doc during speeches, but care greatly about evidence quality and comparison. Evidence text should be read clearly and should form clear sentences.
- New arguments about substance will be readily struck when identified; the 1NR gets away with too much.
- Cards from articles translated by debate people and author correspondences do not count.
- I am wary of substance crowd-out, and have a high threshold for T and an exceptionally high threshold for “conditionality bad”.
- I feel comfortable evaluating a nuanced competition debate, and rejecting egregious CPs (private agent, “alternatives”, state+federal fiat, international, etc). I judge-kick by default.
- The NEG does not need offense to win; disproving a stock issue is sufficient.
- 1NCs must read full arguments to establish a burden of rejoinder. If you need more cards to fully explain a dropped 1NC argument, it probably wasn’t complete in the 1NC in the first place.
- Philosophy arguments are relevant when they disprove the plan (shunning DA, libertarianism, death good, etc).
- Non-extinction impacts are relevant. People should talk about them more.
- I care about professionalism when assigning speaker points; please do not be rude during cross-examination or waste time (bathroom, water, etc.) in the middle of the debate.
- “Repugnant” and “absurd” arguments are fair game insofar as they relate to the desirability of the plan. Sometimes it’s try-or-die to lob ICBMs at foreign countries or cook the planet. (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).
my email for email chains is firstname.lastname@example.org
Quick update 2018 - some years ago I drafted the rubric for speaker points that you see below. Since then I have monitored developments in the debate community on typical speaker point distribution across all judges/tournaments, as discussed online by people who keep track of such things. I don't really dwell on this data much, but I do try to be mindful of community tendencies. Also, I notice how my own debaters read judge philosophies in crunch-time right before a round, and realize debaters reading this want a tl:dr.
Therefore, note that I probably now give speaker points that inch higher than what I initially suggested. This means in most cases I'm giving 28 and above, for debaters who seem to be doing elim-level debate it's usually 28.5 and above, and for especially impressive debate it's 29 and above. I do still dip into the mid-to-high 27's in occasional instances where I want to make it clear that I think the particular speeches really could use some work. At the time of writing (Jan 2018) my average speaker points are about a 28.5.
*******Paradigm Edited 11/10/13, prior to Wake Forest 2013 *******
** Scroll past speaker point scale to get a shorter philosophy explanation **
Speaker point scale:
0 = the debater committed some sort of ethics violation during the round (e.g. clipping cards)
26 to 26.9 = one or both of the following things happened: a) the debater made some kind of major tactical mistake in the debate, such as a completely dropped off-case position, without any attempt to address how they might still win the debate even if that argument is charitably given the full weight that the opposing team prefers. (more leeway on this is given to novice debates) b) the debater was hostile or rude towards competitors in the debate such that opportunities for respectful discourse concerning different ideas devolved into a breakdown of communication. Debaters have different personalities and approaches and I encourage you to explore ways of comporting yourself that express these personalities and approaches (be proud, indignant, cunning, provocative, etc), but please at all times also communicate with each other as students from different schools who respect each other for taking the time to have a lengthy debate round, in whatever part of the U.S. where you may presently have journeyed for such an encounter.
27 to 27.4 = the debater's overall strategy made sense, but various parts of the debate could have used more depth when instead those parts were fairly 'paint by numbers' (e.g. addressing certain arguments with generic/block answers instead of dealing with them more specifically). Evidence comparisons were fairly sparse, but the basic story on a given sheet of flow paper was clear enough.
27.5 to 27.9 = the debater did a solid job of debating. A coherent strategy was executed well. For certain key issues, initial clash advanced into higher forms of assessment, including a charitable understanding of why your opponent's arguments might be good yet your argument is ultimately more important/relevant.
28 to 28.4 = the debater did a solid job of debating across all the flows that were alive in the round. The debater focused on what mattered, was able to swiftly discount what did not ('closing doors' along the way), and took initial clash on key points to highly advanced levels. Given what I just witnessed, I would not be surprised if a debater with points like this advanced to early elimination debates (e.g. double octo's)
28.5 to 28.9 = the debater did everything from the previous scale, but was also able to do this with incredible organization: the most important things were in rank order, the crucial arguments were made without repetition/with cogent word economy, and I felt that the debater's communication seemed to guide my flow along with me. If cards/evidence are in question, you're able to speak of the overall ideologies or motivations driving a certain scholarship/movement, thus "getting behind" the card, in some sense. If a point is made without evidence or without a traditional claim/warrant structure, the debater does so in way that requires translation/interpretation on my part, yet the manner in which I should translate/interpret is also elicited from me/taught to me over the course of the debate. Given what I just witnessed, I would not be surprised if a debater with points like this could advance past early elimination debates.
29.0 to 29.4 = the debater did everything from the previous scale, but approached a sort of fluency that amazed me. The debater not only did what they needed to in order to match or outclass their opponents, but I furthermore felt that the debater was connecting with me in such a way where your arguments trigger understanding almost as a gestalt phenomenological experience. Given what I just witnessed, I would not be surprised if you did well in any of your other debates, prelim or elim.
29.5 to 30 = If memory serves, I have rarely if ever given speaker points that inch this close to 30. This is because 30 is perfection, without any umms, ahhs, odd turns of phrase, instances where you just lost me or where, given a rebuttal redo, you yourself would probably have done that part of your speech differently. If you are this close to 30 then you have perfect command of your opponent's position, of whatever gap you have to bridge in order for things to 'click' with me, and you are able to talk about your research and core arguments in a way where you yourself are clearly ready to push the scholarship/performance that you draw upon to its next heights, if you are not doing so already.
Objectivity and consistency is an elusive ideal: the reality is that subjectivity and some variability is inevitable. I think a good judge should be attentive in debates and vigiliant with self-assessments, not solipsistically but in light of evolving encounters with others. One of the biggest lessons I got out of my philosophy work was the extent to which all humans are prone to habits of self-deception, on many levels.
***** Debate experience
- Debated policy 4 years in high school (won the TOC)
- Debated policy 4 years at University of Southern California (4-time NDT qualifier, elims in my senior year)
- I was away from debate while in graduate school for philosophy
- I have coached Policy and PF debate at two high schools (Notre Dame and Millburn)
- I have coached Policy debate at two universities (Binghamton and Cornell)
- I am currently Assistant Director of Forensics/head debate coach at Cornell University
***** Some views on certain arguments
Any kind of argument is fine by me: I wait to see how debaters respond to what happens in the round and try not to import any predispositions concerning the default way that I should evaluate things. There are various harms/impacts that can orient a given side’s concern, plus various meta/framing/sequencing arguments that grant, reorient, or block my access to consideration of those harms/impacts, depending on how these issues play out in a debate.
Various kinds of challenges to the resolution and norms of the community are fine by me.
Kritiks: I ran them often in high school/college. I studied philosophy in graduate school.
Counterplans can take various forms: bring it on. See below about having full cp/permutation text for the entire round (to check against ‘morphing advocacies’).
Topicality debates: if an affirmative is trying to present a topical example of the resolution being true, but the negative thinks the aff is not topical then it is the negative’s right to go ‘all in’ on such an argument.
I debated policy advantage/da/impact debates almost as often as kritiks. Any politics link and link turn debates need to be laid out pretty clearly for me - mind your jargon please. The same goes for impact scenarios: who, what, against what country, etc.
For any asserted advocacy or test of competition, the plan text, permutation, etc needs to be clearly articulated in the round and written down so that it can be evaluated. For any card that you want me to read in last rebuttals, you should be telling me what I will find when I read that card and why it matters for the debate. I won't sift through a series of cards if you have just mentioned them/rattled off the citations without making use of them.
***** final notes
I have an aversion towards 'cloud clash', i.e. rattling off 2-3 minutes of overview and then basically hoping that the judge plucks out whatever applies towards some later part of the debate. Line-by-line debate and the elegance of organization that it offers is in decline lately. This has a lot to do with recent norms and computer-debating. This is at the cost of clash and direct refutation, and can come across as being aloof/wanting the judge to do the work for you. So, overviews should be short and then get on with actually responding to individual arguments.
I prefer the email chain over jumping flash drives, when possible. One click of ‘send’ and there is no longer the agonizing wait of flash drive driver installation, throwing jump drives around, etc.
Please communicate with each other, instead of yelling at each other (see my speaker point scale above for the under 27 range).
At the end of any round, I will vote for one team over the other and indicate this with my written ballot. This will be the case for any debate round that I can presently imagine.
That is all I can think of. Feel free to ask me more questions in person.
I competed in policy, NPDA parli, and NFA LD from 2011-2016 appearing in deep elims of numerous national circuit tournaments. I've read and coached every genre and style of argument so have the debate you want to have. I enjoy technical and nuanced debates that showcase clever and well-researched strategies featuring rebuttals that construct a story detailing how arguments interact with one another. Absent impact framing I evaluate probability, then magnitude and then timeframe. In carded formats, add me to the chain - email@example.com - or start a Speechdrop. For more info on specifics, please see the rest of my paradigm.
I won't vote for: racism/misogyny/ableism/imperialism good; Afropessimism read by non-Black debaters/teams (see Evans 2015 and Dixon, Porter, and Hughes 2019)
An important note: I can handle most speed but I am hard of hearing - taper into your top speed (especially in online competitions) and slow down on your taglines, analytics and overviews. I will say "slow" or "clear" two times; after that, I will stop flowing. I'm not afraid to tell you I didn't vote on an argument because I didn't hear it or wasn't able to get it on my flow so you should prioritize clarity over speed.
---"ANYTHING I SHOULD KNOW BASED ON MY FORMAT?"---
I certainly don't know anything about the newest/trendiest/slayer arg that's been dominating your event, so don't assume I do.
- Parli: Repeat texts/interps twice (or put them in the chat for online debate) and slower than you read your other args. Make sure to number your tags and subpoint your warrants or they will likely get misplaced.
- NFA LD: I don't have any opinions on disclosure theory except for one: I don't like when disclosure theory is used as an easy out against debaters/programs who are new to the competitive national circuit. If you debate like that in front of me, your speaker points will max out at 26.
- CX: I hate one word taglines - stop saying just "Extinction" or "Nuclear War". You should not be reading tags, cites, and analytics as fast as you're reading card text. When you start reading a new off position, give it a name please - say "Next off is the K", etc.
- HS LD: I get the utility of 1AR theory, but you're better off reading one well developed interp with contextualized standards than you are 3 different 25 second shells - 25 seconds of blips will not make a very persuasive 2AR even if they're "conceded".
- PF: The evidence sharing norms in this format are atrocious. You should be sending cards you plan to read prior to the start of your speech. I'll be timing prep to limit opportunities to steal prep, pausing only if cards that were read in the prior speech were not sent.
---"HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT X ARGUMENT?"---
- Affs: I would prefer if you have a stable text advocacy of some kind; despite this preference, I think performance affs are cool and important but you have to tell me how I'm supposed to evaluate them. Case turns are poggers.
- DAs: Uniqueness controls these debates. Tell me how the disads complicate/short circuit the story of the aff, especially during rebuttals. I'm perhaps more likely than other critics to vote on terminal link defense - to win the disad, you have to have a link so analysis of "the risk of a link" should show up in your rebuttals. I'm not sure what it means for "links to be residual offense" if you don't win uniqueness or an impact.
- CPs: My favorite kinds of CPs are smart PICS and advantage CPs. I prefer hearing one well-warranted CP as opposed to multiple 30 second CPs. All CPs are conditional unless otherwise stated. No opinion on multi-plank CPs or the conditionality of certain planks.
- Ks: You should assume I don't know anything about your thesis, your authors, or your alternative solvency mechanism - that means you must be able to explain things in an easy-to-follow manner within your first speech. If I don't understand what your position is saying or how your alternative functions, I give your opponents a lot of leeway in their responses, including in the rebuttals. I place a great importance on link debates - the negative cannot assume they have a link and the aff cannot just say that permutations are able to resolve residual links, so the negative should point out specific components of the aff when articulating links, and the aff should warrant how perms interact with links.
- Theory: I prioritize proven abuse over potential abuse, but I've certainly voted on "the risk of a violation" before. I'm not sure what reasonability is and default to competing interpretations. Topicality debates become much more winnable for the neg when you tell me what the topical version of the aff would be, and much more winnable for the aff if you tell me why there is no topical aff under the neg's interpretation. Make sure you clarify how precisely the aff is extra T/effects T. An important note: while I enjoy unique arguments, I have a high threshold for so-called "frivolous theory" that move beyond traditional questions of topicality, advocacy status, and specification of "normal means" mechanisms; these debates feel infinitely reductive and not useful in establishing meaningful community norms.
Overview: These are my defaults. Everything is up for debate. Please add me to the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
First, I consider myself an argument critic. By this I mean that I might vote on an argument that I do not agree with or one that I think is untrue because in the context of the round one team persuades me. This means that I tend to fall on the side of tech over truth.
Second, I understand debate by argument. There is a trend in debate to replace argument with author names. The community has begun referencing authors instead of the argument that the evidence is meant to strengthen. This is a bad trend, in my mind, and should be limited to necessity.
Third, I will not now, nor will I ever, stop a debate if I think that someone is clipping or cross reading. While I think this is cheating I think it is up to the debaters in the round to make an argument and then for me to judge that argument based on the available evidence and render a decision. However, if you are caught clipping when I judge I will give you a loss and zero speaker points. .
Fourth, Speaker-Points are dumb. Preffing judges based on the speaker points they give is even dumber. It has long been the case that weak judges give high speaks in order to be preffed. It is unfortunate that judges of color have had to resort to giving debaters higher points than they deserve to get into debates. I will do my best to maintain the community norm.
Topicality: Yes, I vote on it. It is always a voter. Topicality debates are about competing interpretations and the benefits of those interpretations. It is incumbent upon the debaters to do impact calculus of their advantages (these are the reasons to prefer aka standards) vs. the advantages of the counter-interpretation and the disadvantages to your interpretation. In other words, to win topicality you need win that your interpretation is better for debate than your opponents. This formula is true for ALL theory arguments if you plan to win them in front of me.
Framework: Yes, I vote on it. Framework is, to me, a criticism of the affirmatives method. What does this mean for you? It means that I am less persuaded by arguments like debate is a game and fairness claims. I tend to think of fairness, strategically, and my default is to say that fairness almost never outweighs education. I have voted on fairness as a terminal impact before and will likely do so again but the threshold to beat a team going for fairness is often very low and this gets even lower when the affirmative rightly points out that fairness claims are rooted in protecting privilege. If you are negative and you are going for framework my suggestion is that you make sure to have as many ways to negate the affirmatives offense as possible in the 2nr; this includes switch side debate solves your offense and topical version of your aff. If you do that and then win an internal link into education you will likely win my ballot.
I default to utilitarian ethics when making judgments about what action/vote is most beneficial. If you would like me to use some other method of evaluation that needs to be explained and it needs to be upfront.
Counterplans-You should read one. Counterplans compete through net benefits.
*Presumption never flips aff. I know there is a redefinition of Presumption as “less change” but this is a misunderstanding of presumption. Presumption, simply put, is that the existing state of affairs, policies, programs should continue unless adequate reasons are given for change. Now like everything in this philosophy this is a default. To say that presumption flips affirmative is just to say that the affirmative has achieved their prima facia burden to prove that the SQ needs change.
*Counterplan theory: My default is that conditionality is the state that counterplans naturally exist. Because I believe counterplans are merely a test of the intrinsicness of the affirmatives advantages it means that I also default to judge kick. This also means that there is little chance that I will vote outright on conditionality bad. Instead, I will assess that the Negative is now “stuck” with a counter-advocacy that alters the debate in corresponding ways.
Criticisms: Criticisms function much like counterplans and disads, insofar, as they should have an alternative and link and impact. I can be persuaded that K’s do not need an alternative. With that being said, if you are going for a K without an alternative then you are going to need to have a lot of defense against the affirmative. Some of that defense can come in the form of the k itself (serial policy failure or impacts are inevitable arguments) but some of it SHOULD also be specific to the plan.
Any questions just ask. Good Luck!
I keep meeting fellow folks in the debate community with my same conditions (migraines, nausea, fatigue, vertigo, chronic spinal pain, neurodivergent and on). I created this doc with stuff that's helped https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vYS4o8JEqE0N1BO-HsaDUEzNz_Ck-gFt4P5jK2WzPT4/edit
& a podcast for my fellow migraineur/chronic pain/chronic illness debaters https://open.spotify.com/episode/3Tk0Pr7MM61JNWFH7RTVtZ?si=DoOOrI8FQr2nrTh3JHW9Sw
BEFORE ROUND PLEASE READ:
Please email me the speech docs before your first speech & any evidence read after each rebuttal (-.5 speaker points if not). If you’re Aff do this before the round so we can start on time & if you're Neg you can do this before your speech but please have speech docs ready so this doesn't take long thanks! Copy & paste this email email@example.com you sent it we’re good, no need to ask a bunch if I got it (internets slow at tourneys but it eventually works:)
I’m always ready, no need to check in with me before each speech (I sit down to flow & have a standing desk so then I don't have to sit and stand over and over messing up my flow :). Ironically, I also get up here & there to stretch (I do this during prep time) as I have Scheuermann's. Time each other including each other’s prep time & CX
Please don't have your timer super close to your mic (the high pitch beep isn't fun for vertigo/migraines thanks :).
Flex &/or running prep is fine. If we’re at a zoom tournament and video is making your audio choppy/etc then it’s fine to emphasize the audio as that’s the key:). Ps Tournaments Please if possible don’t start zoom rounds ridiculously early with the different time zones so debaters can do their best as well:)
PF: Please share the evidence you’re reading with your opponent before the round so half of the round isn’t “can I have this specific card” (it ruins the flow/pace of the round) thanks! Feel free to run disclosure theory every round I judge (aka drop my opponent for not disclosing their cases on the wiki, disclosure makes debate more accessible/educational) when your opponent doesn’t have their case on the wiki https://hspf.debatecoaches.org/ It makes debate more fair & outweighs if someone runs your case against you/your school as you should know how to block it anyway:).
Pronouns: they/them/theirs; genderqueer, no need for judge and please no mister, that’s my cat Mr Lambs. Nicky is fine:). If you insist on last name formalities, students have called me Dr Smith
Your oral RFD can be done as Gollum, John Mulaney or Elmo if you so choose.
I have coached Lincoln–Douglas debate as well as other forms of debate and speech since 2005.
I participated in debate throughout high school, won state twice, and was competitive on the national circuit (advanced far at Nationals and other prominent tournaments like Harvard, Valley, etc) so I understand the many different styles of debate that exist and the juggling you as debaters have to do in terms of judge paradigms. My goal is for you to learn/grow through this activity so feel free to ask any questions.
I studied philosophy at Northwestern, my PhD was in sociology (intersectional social movements/criminal injustice system) at Berkeley/San Diego & have taught many courses in debate/theory at the graduate & secondary level so I love hearing unique arguments especially critical theory/strong advocacies/anything creative. When I judge debate, I flow throughout the round. I appreciate debaters who take time to crystallize, weigh arguments/clearly emphasize impacts (when appropriate), and who are inclusive in their debate style and argumentation. By this I mean debaters who respect pronouns, respect their opponents, and who work to make debate more accessible (as someone who has been disabled/queer since the time I competed, there is a lot more that needs to be done, but it starts with each of us and beyond the activity).
PRACTICES I LIKE:
- Taking risks to advance debate (such as using theory and arguments that are often ignored in debate both in high school and beyond, ie not the same several social contract theorists/arguments for every debate topic/round). Advocating, being creative, showing your passion for something, researching different perspectives, and bettering/supporting your fellow debaters and our community as a whole and beyond are some of the best skills that can come out of this.
-Sharing cases/evidence with your opponent/the judge before your speeches/rebuttals; there should be no conditions on your opponent having access to your evidence.
- Enunciating clearly throughout the round (I can handle speed, but I need to be able to hear/understand you versus gibberish).
-Having explicit voters. Substance is key. Signpost throughout.
- To reiterate, I am open to a range of theory and frameworks and diverse argumentation (really anything not bigoted), but be clear on why it matters. With kritiks and any “non-traditional” case, avoid relying solely on buzz words in lieu of clearly explaining your arguments or linking where needed (and not, for example, jumping to exaggerated impacts like extinction).
- And again, delivery matters and being monotone gets tiring after judging rounds throughout the day so practice, practice.
PRACTICES I DISLIKE:
- Any form of discrimination, including bigoted language and ableist actions (such as using pace as a way to exclude opponents who are new to circuit).
- Also ad homs against your opponent such as insulting their clothing or practices, and attacks against an opponent's team or school. Don't yell. Be kind.
- I have noticed lately more and more debaters trailing off in volume as they go; ideally I don't like to have to motion the "I can't hear you or slow down" sign throughout the round.
- Non-verbal reactions when your opponent is speaking (e.g., making faces, throwing up your hands, rapid "no" shaking).
Be as clear as you can. Uniqueness/making the round not like every other round is nice! Be funny if possible or make the round interesting :)
If there's anything I can do in terms of accommodations please let me know and feel free to contact me after the round with any post-round questions/clarifications (I can give my information or we can speak at the tournament) as my goal is for all of you to improve through this. I see debaters improving who take advantage of this! Good luck!
I have experience in both policy and parliamentary debate. I consider myself a tab judge as I think one of the best parts of debate is that the competitors get to define the terms of the competition. I am happy to vote on any argument including theory, T, RVIs, framework, Kritiks with pre-fiat implications, as well as policy arguments etc. That being said, if you want me to vote on a topic make sure the voters are well-developed and the comparative impact calculus is strong. Because I am open to a wide variety of strategies you need to tell me what matters in the round, why I should vote on it, and how that compares to the other side's voters.
Hello, I'm Jamie Snoddy (pronounced like snotty, but with the [d] sound). I'm a community coach for Patrick Henry HS and also a coach at the University of Minnesota. I did a year of debate at Patrick Henry and debated two years for UMN. I graduated in 2018 with a Bach. in Linguistics (Puns get you extra speaks). Please add me to the email chain with the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning is the main focus of debate. I like arguments to be presented in a clear and logical manner (it can even be flawed logic, as long as it's coherent and feasible, I think it's legit.). So, there aren't many things I'm against teams running. TELL ME WHAT TO VOTE FOR PLZ! Impact Calc and Roll of the ballot args are great.
Place a higher precedence on presenting evidence clearly and consistently (so not reading things incoherently fast unless e.v.e.r.y s.i.n.g.l.e t.h.i.n.g. is in your speech doc. Which it shouldn't be. If I'm not looking at you and typing, you're good. If I'm looking at you and leaned back, I'm waiting for flow-able info. If I'm looking at you and nodding I'm listening to good points that I feel have already been flowed.
Full disclosure: I'm a sucker for wipeout/death good args, idc which side it is lbvs. Maybe it's the high school emo in me. Best way to combat these args, to me, is go all into VTL and some change better than no change and, if applicable, the ppl who are getting effed over by sqou violence still don't want to die... then that gets into cruel optimism, yada yare yare.
I'm fine with no plan affs. You just have to reeeeeally be ready to answer FW and T. You need to convince me of why running this aff w/o a plan will not work within the resolution. I'm a former 2A so sympathize with defending your case baby from the big scary neg lolz jk.
As long as the Neg can keep track of all the CPs they have, have all the cps you want. Just be ready to defend needing all of the cps if the aff chooses to go that route. Condo... is... a thing... I guess. The more cps you have, the high chance I'll believe condo bad args, cuz having that many multiple worlds is sorta abusive. So if you're running 7 or 8 cps, they better be dispo or uncondo, or have really great answers for why having that many condo worlds is necessary...
Fine and necessary args in policy.
Great! I love Ks and really love non-basic Ks. I don't like flimsy, vague alts. Even if it is as simple as Reject "x", I need to know what exactly what the world of the alt will look like and why it should be preferred to the aff's.
Topicality, to me, is different than theory (I flow them sep) and as long as voters are attached to it, I'll consider the args.
Is a prior question and needs to be addressed before talking about anything else. If we can't agree on how we talk to each other, then what does anything we say matter? ROB args are persuasive if voters are attached to it.
Switching between hs and coll. debate sometimes throws me of, but I try to be really generous with them? If you're chill, courteous and not a butt during a round you get higher speaks.
Cutting people off aggressively and being unnecessarily snarky looses you speaks. I get if you're having a bad day or are going through some things that it may get taken out here in our community. If that's the case, just give the people in your round a heads up that you're in a mood.
email@example.com yes please include me in your email chain.
Debate is a game, have fun playing.
Who is this guy?
I debated at Missouri state for 2 years (2015/16 and 2016/17) doing NDT/CEDA and NFA LD. I also coached both formats at Northern Iowa for 2 years (2017/18 and 2018/19). Now I typically judge 2-3 tournaments a year in whatever format is going on during my free weekends. Currently I work in the public sector working on updating welfare (Medicare, Medicaid, Food Assistance, ETC..) systems to accommodate the latest policy changes.
1. I feel like it is my job as a judge to not let my thoughts influence my decision of who did the better debating. However, It will inevitably happen. So you do what you do best and I will try my best as a judge. What I am really saying is I am not an argument processing machine, mistakes will happen.
2. You should debate as if I have little background and experience in the area you are talking about. It seems that it would serve anyone best to take the time and develop clear and well-constructed warrants. This will limit my ability to misunderstand your argument.
3. In my experience, people can take this activity too seriously. Humor will be rewarded.
4. Specificity is good, will be preferred over general claims/arguments.
5. Read Arguments that you enjoy. If you enjoy them I will probably enjoy them more as a judge.
6. I tend to find myself more in line with the tech>truth.
7. One conditional position for the neg is not abusive I will never process this as a reason to reject the team.
8. In T debates I generally think limits are good. Standards should be a way to explain how the debate space should divide the topic, I don't care about "in-round abuse"
9. I am not a big fan of debaters quoting my paradigm in round. This is not a contract, just the current state of my debate thoughts. Those thoughts can change.
10. I do not like any form of speed bad arguments.
11. I flow straight down
12. I prefer you call me by name rather than 'judge'
13. If you call the politics DA the "tix da" ill drop your speaks
14. Email chains are far superior to speechdrop, being quick and effective at emails is one of the most real world skills debate can offer
The following format is stolen from Jeff Buntin (Northwestern)
Read no cards-----------------------X------------Read all the cards
Conditionality good--X----------------------------Conditionality bad
States CP good----------------X------------------States CP bad
Politics DA is a thing-------X----------------------Politics DA not a thing
UQ matters most-------------X-------------------Link matters most
Try or die--------------x---------------------------What's the opposite of try or die
Clarity X---------------------------------------------Srsly who doesn't like clarity
Presumption-----------------------------X---------Never votes on presumption
Longer ev------------X-----------------------------More ev
"Insert this rehighlighting"------------------X-----I only read what you read
Fiat solves circumvention-----X-------------------LOL trump messes w/ ur aff
CX about impacts-------------------------------X-CX about links and solvency
AT: -------------------------------------------------X------- A2:
AFF (acronym)-------------------------------------------X Aff (truncated word)
TLDR: Do whatever you do best, don't be afraid to try new things, and have fun. SPEAK CLEARLY no matter how quickly. Tell me what to write down. I need to know how your alternative works--how it works in the material world. I like the game of debate and value the ethos of good and fair debating. I like to reward topic research. Be a good person.
Who are you, Matt Stannard?
High school and college policy debater for 7-ish years. Full-time debate coach for 16 years coaching and judging mainly policy debate but also other formats. Juris Doctor, full-time organizing consultant, part-time coach for several programs, summer institute instructor, frequent judge.
What arguments should or shouldn't we run?
My general assumptions are: Policy, critical, and procedural debate are of roughly equal value. I am not the state. Life is good, the topic is good, topic research is good. Debate should be challenging but fair. I won't vote for classist, racist, heteropatriarchal or sexist, ageist, ableist, or colonialist arguments. Those are ethical limits, but I will and often do vote for arguments I simply intellectually disagree with.
I don’t like to read a huge amount of evidence after debates, so the more you tell me during the debate, the less chance I’ll reconstruct arguments afterward in ways you might neither predict nor agree with.
What style and rates of delivery should we aim for?
Debate in the style and at the speed you're comfortable with. Please speak VERY CLEARLY and enunciate more than you would during a normal conversation. Please watch me occasionally to see if I'm getting it all down. I may sometimes ask for clarity.
What theoretical defaults should we be aware of?
I live and work at the intersection of grassroots social movements and policymaking. I really like (and need) solvency arguments for/against the kritik alternative that resemble solvency arguments for/against plans or counterplans--at least insofar as they engage with the material world where change is being claimed. Who, what, how, where. I am familiar with how movements and advocacy groups work so tell me how the alt works (or doesn't).
T and other procedurals aren't per se "genocide," but the political and social implications of particular interpretations may be reasons to prefer or reject those interpretations.
I won't kick a counterplan for you to test the status quo: if you don't want to be committed to it in the 2NR, explicitly kick it.
Aff, you needn’t necessarily have a plan (although your opponents might convince me otherwise) but you need a clear statement of advocacy. Neg, it should be clear how your advocacy is a reason to reject the affirmative advocacy.
I have started to selectively flow CX --not as part of the argument flow itself, but more to help me understand teams' argumentative commitments, definitions, distinctions, and what will be dispositive in the decision.
What preferences about in-round technology should we be aware of?
Prep time ends once the email is sent.
All tech should be set up pre-round; remediation of tech comes out of your prep.
File transfer time is grace time, but don't steal prep or I'll steal your speaker points.
What ethical views of debate should we be aware of?
Be chill to each other outside of speeches.
Please ask pre-round or via email if you have any specific questions that aren't addressed in the above.
Missouri State Debater (NDT-CEDA) 2007-2011
Greenwood Lab School Coach 2011-present
Crowder College (NFA-LD) Coach 2015-present
***Covid 2020 update***
I really need to update the rest of this and will do that in the near future.
One of the benefits of the shift to online debating for the semester/year is the ability to join tournaments around the country and debate teams you would otherwise probably never get to debate. I think that is great. However, when entering a new circuit it is your responsibility to understand the norms and the customs that circuit follows. That means you have the responsibility to adapt to that circuits customs and treat their judging pool/debaters with respect. Good debating is good debating no matter the format or customs. I will judge debates in a way that respects both visitors and those that consistently debating in that circuit. Basically, making debates inaccessible to other debaters is unacceptable to me. Debate can be good in lots of formats/speeds/styles and this year provides a unique opportunity to learn those formats. I will always evaluate debates in an offense/defense paradigm and flow. Those things will never change. However, that is all filtered through the lens of regional norms and practices.
I think that having adequate information on the wiki is useful for all parties involved. It is in everyone’s best interest to have information about other teams available in a public space. I have been extremely disappointed by wiki maintenance so far this year. Affirmatives should have not only 1AC’s, but also 2AC’s to negative positions. Negatives should have full 1nc and block cites for all positions. The transition to paperless makes this extremely easy. There is a cite macro. Use it.
I generally believe that affirmatives should be topical and have some defendable plan of action. If you
think that not having a plan is a good idea or that the topic is inconsequential to your debating I am
probably not the right judge for you. Minimally
Though I think affirmatives should be topical I am not the hugest fan of unnecessary T debates. As a 2A
my default is probably reasonability if you do not tell me to evaluate T otherwise. You need to make
sure you are doing a good job proving substantive abuse claims for me to be persuaded.
I am pretty ok with just about any strategy. I often went for heg bad/politics on the neg and a semi-
critical affirmative the rest of the time. That means I probably have a higher threshold for well
explained and developed arguments. I would much rather see a more developed disad/CP debate than
a poorly extended K/T/DA/CP combo.
Cross examination is a way to show the communication skills you have learned in debate. I really hate
when people get unnecessarily rude or angry with their opponents. Being respectful of the other team
no matter what goes a long way with me. Whatever you are yelling about in cross X is probably stupid
and not near as important as you think it is so relax.
please add me on the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org
I have 7 years of experience of debating in policy and I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2021 where I was primarily a 2N.
--- Top Level Notes ---
1. Make the space enjoyable, safe, and educational for everyone. Your language and actions do matter. I think often times, debaters get defensive when their behavior is called out rather than apologize, listen and be reflective of their actions.
2. Do what you do best and go for whatever you feel most comfortable in front of me. I don't have any argument preferences. I am more concerned about you articulating your arguments to me than what the arguments actually are.
3. In the last rebuttals, I am most persuaded by the team that goes for fewer arguments, spends time impacting them out, providing me judge direction, and telling me how it implicates the rest of the debate.
4. Do not expect me to read your evidence after the round unless it's completely necessary. It is your job to thoroughly explain your evidence and how it contributes to your argument in the debate.
5. While I more on the tech leaning side of the tech over truth debate, I will not grant you an argument that is dropped if you do not extend it properly and/or impacted it out. A dropped argument needs to be fleshed out before I consider it true.
--- POLICY ---
At a glance, here are some things that will go far in front of me:
1. Case engagement: I love case debating and am increasingly persuaded by teams that have a great strategy for case. I find that the block does not spend enough time on case, and it makes debates a lot closer than they should be. If you read the k and are going against a policy aff, I get very excited when ya'll read impact defense, solvency takeouts, and evidence indicts to these policy teams.
2. Impacts in the rebuttals: Impacts need to be fleshed out in the final speeches. I need to know how not doing the aff is going to trigger the impact, where some war is happening, why it's uniquely coming now, etc. I find myself voting for teams that spend a lot of time in the final rebuttal giving me specific details on their impacts, how they can be avoided, and doing impact comparison with the other team. Same goes for more structural impacts.
3. Evidence comparison and indicts: I feel like this is super underrated and a great way to discredit any argument. Why are we not calling out the written impacts from military blogs or written by war criminals? Also, as I stated above, pulling the warrants out of your evidence, doing analysis, and tying it to your argument is very compelling and the best part of policy debate.
4. Judge direction and weighing of arguments: This is more related to policy v. kritik debates on the framework page. I have a hard time evaluating this because I don't see a lot of clash. If you want me to vote on a role of the ballot/judge, there needs to be clear weighing and impact extension as to why this plays an important role in the debate.
5. If you want to have some fun with what you read, I am all for it. I read (and have won rounds) on the time K and nuclear war good. Do with that what you will.
--- Specific Arguments ---
I really enjoy these debates. I think they raise questions about our underlying assumptions about change on a social/political level and the topic itself. I always learn a lot and enjoy seeing debaters creativity!
That being said, I think K affs should be somewhat in the direction of the topic. I also find that solvency mechanism warrants are important for me to be persuaded by your argument. Like any aff, the 2ar should clearly extend the impact, how the aff resolves it, and why it's uniquely important.
Versus T or FW debates, I think even if you are impact turning it, I would like to know why your aff was a prior question to their TVA (if they have one).
Topicality/Framework (v. K affs)
There needs to be more clash, weighing, and comparison in these debates. I find policy teams repeating their blocks and not digging in deep as to why policy interpretations are necessary for educational value (or whatever else your impact is) is in debate. I am not really persuaded by fairness impacts, mainly because I do not think teams clash with their opponents arguments but that doesn't mean I won't vote for them.
I find topical versions of the aff very persuasive. If you have one, you need to explain to me why it solves the affirmatives offense on the page. Make sure you impact this argument out and explain why you couldn't engage with the aff (or rather why potential abuse is a voter). I'm down with the affirmative impact turning these arguments so long as there is impact comparison in the rebuttals.
I really enjoy these debates, especially versus policy affs. Link explanations go a really long way in front of me. I am most persuaded by teams that give extensive analysis of their evidence and provide specific examples to contextualize their link with the aff, rather than teams that dump a bunch of cards or shadow extend arguments.
Depending on how the debate is going, I also enjoy alternative solvency explanation and how/why the alternative can solve the impacts the 1AC isolates.
Please note that if you read psychoanalysis or other high theory, I am going to need a lot of explanation on some basic concepts so please keep this in mind.
Love it. If you read a counterplan with more than three planks, please take your speed down to 80% so I can catch what you are saying.
I default to judge kick unless told otherwise.
Make sure a clear link and impact story is established in the 2NC. This makes for better storytelling in the 2NR. I also think quality of evidence on disads are important.
Please slow down so I can catch these arguments. Theory can be an option in the 2AR so long as there is enough substance in the 1AR to grant you your 2ar arguments. Make sure comparison of arguments happens and that your theory arguments are impacted out.
Topicality (v. policy affs)
Give me a picture of what the topic should look like under your interpretation and what the affirmative has done to disrupt this.
I find that some teams forget to impact out their standards. Go further and tell me how your ground and limits arguments are key to fairness and education. Tell me why the affirmative's interpretation has made fairness and education worse and also why those impacts are important. These arguments should be present in the 2NR.
--- Online procedurals ---
1. Follow tournament procedurals for online debate.
2. Keep your camera on while you speak. If you have some internet issues and need to keep it off to maintain sound quality, that is totally fine, you just need to let me know so I won't dock your speaks. Otherwise, if you are keeping your camera off for the whole debate just to have it off, I will give you low speaker points.
3. Holy cow, do not start a speech without me indicating that I am ready. I will keep my camera off for prep but I will turn my camera on and throw a thumbs up/verbally confirm that I am ready. If my camera is not on and if you do not see me throw a thumbs up to indicate that I am ready, do not start your speech. It's not my fault if I don't catch something you say because you did not confirm everyone was ready.
--- LD ---
While I have not competed in LD, I have judged numerous varsity LD rounds from the local to national level. I do not have a preference to a style in which you debate the topic, i.e. philosophical, kritikal, traditional, etc., however, I do care that you debate the topic in some way.
Here are some thoughts that I have about particular arguments but also how I evaluate LD debates:
1. I view the value-criterion as the framing for the debate and typically go to that debate first so I can filter the rest of the debate through this framework. In some debates it matters, others it doesn't (especially if the teams agree on/have similar value-criterions).
2. I am going to take a bit from a former coach's paradigm because I believe this is something I encounter a lot in LD: "too many debaters do not do their evidence justice. You should not expect me to read your evidence after the round and realize it's awesome. You should make sure I know it's awesome while you read it...Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, [by thoroughly explaining their evidence and why it matters in the debate], will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot."
3. I do not like when debaters will read/extend a bunch of arguments that do not provide a good warrant or reason why the argument matters. I would rather the 1NC read 1 less off case position in favor of more developed case analysis, impact calc, or fully complete arguments. I would rather the 1ar make 1 less theory argument in favor of actually explaining what the words "perm do both" mean, why the case outweighs, and sinking time in where it matters.
4. Impacting out your arguments and doing impact/evidence comparison in the final rebuttals is very important to me. Tell me why your arguments matters, why they are a priority, and overall why you won the debate. Ships passing in the night or blippy extensions are not advantageous for you.
5. Conditionality is probably bad in LD, but it's not that hard to defend condo good and I think most of these counterplan issues are best resolved at the level of how competitive they are with the aff, not theory. Again, sink time into arguments where you feel confident in going for them and explaining thoroughly in your final rebuttal.
6. I do not discriminate against certain arguments but if you read Kant, I am probably not the judge for you. I have judge a few of these debates and they are pretty confusing to me. If you are a Kant person who gets me as a judge, I need a lot more explanation on some of these buzzwords. I am also convinced that many students who read Kant don't really go for an impact or tell me how it relates back to the resolution so please do these things.
My general presumption for CP solvency is sufficiency, but I can be persuaded otherwise
I'll will default to not kicking the CP if the 2NR goes for it
If you have evidence that compares your CP to the plan, it's probably legitimate
No solvency advocate – if its an intuitive advantage CP, particularly when based on the aff evidence, that seems reasonable
2NC CPs – they're good and strategic. do them more
I like any critique that makes calls into question some core aspect of the aff. This can be their primary justifications, representations, mechanism, etc.
Good case debating is important. Solvency/internal link presses that aid your link arguments are extremely powerful.
Epistemology or justifications are important but I find myself weighing those as links against the aff instead of as prior questions
I'm probably better for T than most if done well
Limits only matter to the extent they are predictable. Quality evidence should dictate topicality. Community norms shouldn’t be relevant and are subject to group-think and path dependency. T is an important strategic weapon, particularly on large topics and you should go for it when necessary. I’d suggest slowing down in the 2NR/2AR and isolating the debate to a narrow set of relevant questions.
Conditionality is fine within reason. When it seems absurd it probably is, and its not impossible to persuade me to reject the team, but it is an uphill battle. Its hard to imagine voting aff unless there are 4 or more conditional advocacies introduced.
TVAs don’t have to include the affs precise method or the totality of the 1ac, but create access to the affs literature base
The aff needs a strong defense of why reading this particular aff is key (its methodology, theory, performance, etc), why reading this argument on the aff as opposed to the neg is key, and why debate in general is key.
I will not adjudicate anything that occurs outside of the debate.
Please be respectful in round, as this is a learning environment for all :)
Please time yourself.
Remember to not only extend your impacts throughout the round, but also tell me why they matter.
And lastly, have fun :)
In my ideal debate world, the affirmative would read a topical plan and defend the implementation of that plan. The negative would read disadvantages, counterplans, and case turns/defense. Topical research is probably my most favorite part of debate, so I would assume that I would have a tendency to reward teams that I see as participating in the same way I view the game.
I get that my ideal debate world isn't everyone's ideal debate world. I also vote for teams that prefer to run Topicality, Kritiks, or other arguments as their "go to" strategies. Good critical debaters explain specific links to the affirmative case and spend some time discussing how their argument relates to the impacts that are being claimed by the affirmative team. I also think it helps a lot to have specific analogies or empirical examples to prove how your argument is true/has been true throughout history.
I expect that paperless teams will be professional and efficient about flashing evidence to the other team. It annoys me when teams flash large amounts of evidence they don't intend to read or couldn't possibly read in a speech to the other team and expect them to wade through it. It should go without saying that I expect that you won't "steal" prep time in the process of flashing, or any other time really. It also annoys me when teams don't flow just because they are "viewing" the evidence in real time.
I expect that teams will post their cites to the wiki as soon as the debate is over, and ideally before I give my decision and otherwise participate in information sharing efforts.
I like to have a copy of speeches flashed to me as well so I can follow along with what everyone else sees in the debate and because I think it makes the decision making process go faster.
The best way to get high speaker points from me is to be clear, be polite, participate fully in your cross-examinations and use them to your advantage to point out flaws in your opponents’ arguments, try hard, and use appropriate humor.
Ask me questions if this doesnt cover what you need to know or you can't find the answer from someone else that I have judged/coached. Obviously there will be tons of other things I think about debates that I haven't posted here. Have fun.
Do not attempt to appease me. I do not want you to debate to me but rather persuade me to believe you. Stay true to your argument set and do what got you here. That being said, who cares what I personally believe, this is your activity. Below is my process for making a decision in a debate:
Who should I be when evaluating the debate?
What is the main question/issue of the debate?
Who best answered/addressed that question/issue? Note: The characteristics of best should be determined by you not me.
Are there reasons why an approach is dangerous or insufficient that overwhelms its positive potential.
Speaker Points: I give points based on how clear, efficient and engaging you are. What happened to debaters being able to be serious, funny, personable and entertaining simultaneously? You will be rewarded for quality speaking even if you do not win the debate.
Team email: email@example.com (preferred for speech docs in round)
Personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email chain - email@example.com
-Grady (now Midtown)/Atlanta Urban Debate League 2018
-University of Texas of Dallas 2022
-Former Assistant Coach for the Atlanta Urban Debate League which includes Midtown, Decatur, Cross keys, Westlake, Rockdale, and Roswell.
-Currently coach for UTD
Between my times in HS and college I found the most success debating as a flex team but have oscillated from the far right to the far left at different times. I have debated almost every style of (policy) debate, and I have likely gone for more types and genres of arguments than you have. This is to say I have a familiarity with a wide range of perspectives in debate, and will likely understand enough of what you're saying/doing to render a competent decision.
Biases are inevitable I do my best to check most of them at the door, but some degree of intervention is inevitable, below are some you may want to be aware of.
The question I ask myself the most in listening to debates is, "why do I care?" the team who answers this better almost always wins. Everything you say in front of me needs to have a impact attached to it, a reason why this means you win, if the argument you are making doesn't have this odds are its a waste of both our times.
I view my role as a judge first and foremost as an educator. What does this mean? It means I view debate as an inherently educational activity and my role as a purveyor should be oriented to increasing its pedagogical value. My role can change according to appeals made by debators but this is my default.
This means in Theory/T/FWK debates I am less persuaded by fairness and ground claims that rely on some intrinsic value to those things, and that you are going to need to convince me there is some value to your model of debate beyond fairness. Not to say that I won't vote on fairness claims. I have and I likely will continue to in the future, I just will be rather grumpy about it.
A note on community --- because so many of the fwk debates ultimately deal with questions about orientations to debate as a community, here are my vibes. My life is forever changed by people in debate, some of the most important people in my life and my favorite people generally I met through debate. However, trying to find community in debate is bit like finding community on the battlefield or in a warzone. So many of us meet as enemies and competition oversaturates every aspect of this activity. If debate is your only or primary source of community that is problematic, I wouldn't have made it through my career without my communities outside debate. However, debate as a community is hyper competitive, has a number of systemic social problems, and could do with some chilling out.
Please do not make sweeping adaptations in front of me. I would much rather see a debate where two sides are executing what they are best at rather then changing what they are about in some skewed rush to appeal to me. I have, and will continue to, vote for everything.
I come from a technical background so I usually do my best to default to LBL, meaning what the debaters themselves said how they said it. AS opposed to reconstructing debates through reading cards after the fact. I read along as the debate goes on, but I will really only read ev after a round if I've been instructed to, or a core part of the debate hinges on a interpretation/quality of one or several pieces of evidence.
An ethics challenge suspends the debate. If you call for an ethics challenge in front of me that is the end of that debate.
Truth holds a strange place in debate, debate requires a certain suspension of disbelief in order for it to function. As arguments from the real world, be it academia or the public sphere, go through the debate machine and it's various funhouse mirrors they come out distorted and sometimes even unrecognizable from their original counterpart. However, this becomes necessary for us to have the types of debates debate seems to like, given time constraints and the need to make the game operable. While criticisms of this model of debate and its consequences are certainly invited, this is simply where we are. However, what does this mean for truth in debate? Do we throw it out with the baby? As of now I have not come down on a clear answer, and prefer to cop out to deferring to the terms the debaters set for the standard of proof for argumentative claims in the round. Usually this means defaulting to tech over truth since that seems to be the game model most teams choose to play by, but appeals to truth over tech in the 1ac may shift my default.
Considering most the rounds I judge are clash, I have found that in policy aff v K debates I weigh fwk more heavily than other judges. In so far as fwk is a debate about the terms of the debate, what matters in this debate, what this debate should be about, what my role or perspective should be, what kind of decision making process are best for this debate, and the kinds of research that should or should not be promulgated. For me these are filtering/judge instruction arguments that operates as a kind of way to interpret say the link debating alt debate and so on. And it seems I am more conscious of or find arguments about the hat I should wear/lens I should look through more important than others. Aff teams strangely do a bad job of pushing back here opting to a non fwk fwk of I should get my aff, which most K fwks are never really gonna disagree with rather its the terms at which the aff should be understood or debated at. Arguments about fiat being illusionary are not very important to me, which is the only kind of fwk arg this seems to be effective against. It seems more effective for aff teams to defend institutionalism or a games perspective since that is where the debate is happening.
I ultimately want to see that you had a plan for the debate and that you executed it, that plan can differ from team to team but ultimately I want to see effort because the thing that frustrates me most in debates is laziness.
In T v policy aff debates I tend to be a bit more in the reasonability camp in so far as I ultimately see alot of the value of debate is its ability to allow for experimentation which enables new educational opportunities and arbitrarily limiting topics becomes a bit frustrating for me. However on the flip side this also means that I also think there are plenty of policy affs that are unreasonably topical and are therefore easier to win T in front of me with. Ultimately it becomes a question of if T is "true" which I understand is a bit relative. That being said this should really only matter in the closest of debates because I try to default to LBL as much as possible, because I understand T holds more utility for some than for me.
For CP + DA debates competition is through NBs. Even in process CP debates ultimately you still gotta win some typa opportunity cost that creates a da to the aff. I tend to think the negative should be able to experiment to its liking all the different ways it might test vulnerabilities and weakness in a 1ac, ultimately this back and forth between neg terror and 1ac terror is what makes debate engaging. So I tend to let the neg get most types of international fiat/consult/process etc cps. There are some like delay or in some cases 50 state fiat/lopez debates where I can be convinced otherwise. This is also why I tend to let the neg get condo, and condo is a yes no question. Except in the case where negative is reading a cp that is not trying to solve the aff or have a NB attached to it, but to deter the aff from reading offense. This is counter to the spirt of experimentation and innovation in debate as it serves to only deter the aff from reading offense in response to the neg. Not only this an important to check to 1nc that overextend, but ultimately that research is itself valuable because it usually ends up revolving around different questions than in your neg debates. 2nc cp are probably fine. Kicking planks is fine. I default to judge kick.
For email chains:
Background: competed with Parliamentary Debate @ Berkeley. I got 5th place at NPTE with 9th top Speaker and Sems at NPDA as 2nd top speaker. I did NFA-LD as a side hobby lol.
Conflicts: Piedmont, Evergreen/Papaya Valley, DebateDrills, and Campolindo
TL/DR: I will keep my decision focused on arguments made on the flow. I can hang with speed go as fast as you want. Also, I'm cool with frivolous theory. Tech>truth.
Quick pref sheet guide based on what I'm most comfortable with judging. However, I'm happy to evaluate anything and if you get me in the back you should stick to what you're comfortable with since you'll know how to explain it better.
K - 1
Theory - 1
Tricks - 1/2
LARP - 3/4 (I just really don’t like most case debate anymore lol)
Phil - 4 (I just haven't judge a whole lot of Phil rounds but they're cool)
- **I will never vote for rightest capitalist-imperialist positions/arguments. For example: capitalism good, neoliberalism good, hegemony, good, imperialist war good, fascism good, and bourgeois (like US) nationalism**
- Almost never voting on speed bad
- In uncarded events I think a warrant + empirical example tends to hold more weight to me than just a warrant that justifies something in the abstract.
- I try not to read cards unless told to and you should make it loud and clear what you're asking me to evaluate when you're doing evidence comparison otherwise I either won't grant it to you or I'll read the evidence maybe but I can't guarantee I'll interpret the ev in your favor. That being said I’ll probably have opinions and thoughts that might affect my RFD if the evidence is cut unethically bad.
- I can hang with speed but go slower and give me pen time if you're going on to analytics that aren't in the doc and try to number your responses if the analytics you're reading are like a page long *I honestly think just having analytics in the doc is the easiest way to fix this problem though in which case you can go top speed and idc still*
- Don’t care about condo but that also means I’m down to vote on condo bad
- Extension threshold is kinda high. I don’t need you to extend every argument piece one by one but I would say the minimum is an overview of the arguments you’re going for, why, and what their technical implication is
- Default to epistemic confidence
- Also, absent any weighing I default to strength of link>magnitude>timeframe
Ks: Back when I competed I read a lot of postmodernism. I read Ableism, Anthro, Bifo, Bataille, Buddhism, Edelman, Set Col and other lit bases rooted in bourgeois non-sense. These days my politics reflect proletarian class struggle under MLM. However, this does not mean I’ll hack for revisionist positions by authors like Zizek, Dean, Prashad, or other related authors that might have someone forward incoherent positions about epistemology with some lip service to MLM or Marx more broadly. However, this does mean that when a team forwards the proletarian line that I probably have a much higher threshold for voting on postmodernism.
- I'm down for ROB first claims to frame out offense but I need implications to why that matters otherwise I default to assuming its a sort of thesis claim for your framing
- Absent any sort of layering or specific indicts to fiat and policy-making I think I currently default to the aff getting to weigh the plan vs the alt
- Spikes to perms need substantive framing. For example, I don't know what no perm in a methods debate means or why everything isn't a methods debate, why the perm or 1AC is not performance, or why links are DAs to the perm
- Frame outs are a valid path to the ballot
- I think links of omission are a bit of an uphill battle for my ballot but I will not just ignore the K if only links of omission are read.
- I default to perms being tests of competition not an advocacy unless told otherwise
- Don't need a link to the topic assuming you have framing on why we ought to focus on something else
- Absent a voting paradigm I default to competing interps. Need a bright line for reasonability otherwise I will hack for competing interps.
- I also default to text of the interp over the spirit of the interp absent any reason to evaluate one over the other.
- Absent framing claims out of the 1AR/2AC I default to T coming before 1AR/2AC theory
- I default to drop the debater until told otherwise
- I have a lower threshold on disclosure theory for evidence debate but can be convinced otherwise but I have a high threshold for it in parli given it would be non-verifiable.
- I view we meets as a link take outs but think that folks can go for a risk of a violation depending on the arguments made
- I probably have a higher threshold for framework. Would prefer a strict collapse to either fairness skews evaluation of the aff or learning about the state being the i/l to aff solvency.
- I default to Theory coming before the K but am pretty receptive to the K coming first/ out weighing.
- Don’t care about “core generics” and such arguments in a vacuum so I need a little more substantive justification for such a claim
- I default to no RVIs unless told otherwise. I understand RVIs as framing claims for theory i.e., if you lose the standards level debate or the we meet you should lose because of reciprocal consequences. That being said I need the warrants for fairness and/or education to justify an RVI not just "oh no they were a time suck" or else I’m not picking up your RVI
- Fiat is durable
- Kicking planks on counter plans is fine
- Default to no judge kick
- Reading your uniqueness in the wrong direction means I’m not voting on your advantage/disadvantage
- I tend to think in the 2AR/2NR you can do weighing against the positions even if it was not done in the 2AC/1NR but I think reasons why it would function as a link take out would not do it for me
- shadow extensions are new arguments
I have previously coached high school debate in Missouri and Kansas, and I currently assist Lansing and Olathe East. I was a policy debater in high school. I have taught at debate and speech camps and I frequently judge policy debate, LD, PF, and speech.
EMAIL CHAIN: jeriwillard@gmail
Things I like for you to do: send an email effectively and efficiently, speak clearly, and respond to arguments. Communicate TO THE judge.
GIVE THE ORDER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SPEECH.
I flow on paper. Be clear when you are switching args.
The aff should be topical. The aff needs an offensive justification for their vision of the topic. I find the arguments for why the aff should be topical to be better than the arguments against it. (Read: I rarely vote on T. Running T? Go all in.) If you are reading an aff that is not topical, you are much more likely to win my ballot on arguments about why your model of debate is good than you are on random impact turns to T.
Evidence matters. I read evidence and it factors into my decision.
Clarity matters. If you have dramatic tone changes between tag and card, where you can barely be heard when reading the text of evidence, you will get lower points from me and you should stop doing that. If I can't understand the argument, it doesn't count. There is no difference between being incoherent and clipping.
The link matters. I typically care a great deal about the link. When in competition, you should spend more time answering the link than reading impact defense.
I am fine with K debate on either side of the the resolution, although I prefer the K debate to be rooted in the substance of the resolution.; however, I will listen to why non-topical versions of the aff are justified. Methodology should inform FW and give substance to FW args beyond excluding only other positions. Links should clearly identify how the other team's mindset/position/advocacy perpetuates the squo. An alternative that could solve the issues identified in the K should be included with solvency that identifies and explains pragmatic change. K debaters must demonstrate their understanding and purpose of their K lit. Moreover, if you would like for me to vote for the K, it should be the main argument in the round.
Affiliation: Graduate Assistant @ Western Kentucky University
My primary role as your judge is to ensure that everyone has a safe and educational experience. I will not hesitate to drop any debater or team that creates an unsafe environment for others. Outside of that, have fun y'all!
As for experience, I did debate in Kansas for 6 years where I read traditional policy arguments. However, since leaving the activity for a couple years and coming back, I am more familiar with critical literature than I was while competing.
Overall, I view debates through the lens of comparative advantages; put simply, you win if the world you are advocating for is better than the other team's. Tell me what your best arguments are and why they mean you should get the ballot.
Framework/Affirmative Kritiks: I never read affirmative kritiks while competing, so teams that read them in front of me may need to do a little bit more explaining so I better grasp your education model and arguments. I like topicality/framework debates because they display analytical skills of speakers; debaters who go beyond my expectations will get high speaks.
Disadvantages: Affirmatives should read offense against disadvantages. Negatives should apply the disadvantage to the case debate. Impact turn debates are fun for me.
Counterplans: The best 1NC's have case specific counterplans. I like "off the cuff" counterplans, like PICs, so I don't really need a solvency advocate. As for theory, I err negative on most arguments but I still can be convinced to vote aff on extremely abusive counterplans. The best 2AC responses involve add-ons/new offense. Unless there is a reason otherwise, I view counterplans through the lens of sufficiency.
Negative Kritiks: I like negative teams that can adequately explain how their alternative resolves all of the links to the criticism. I like affirmative teams that effectively weigh the impacts of the 1AC against the K
Case debate: Negatives should engage with the scholarship of the 1AC. While generic impact defense is important, it does not suffice as a strategy. Affirmative teams should utilize their 1AC in the 2AC/1AR to hedge against offensive negative arguments.
Conditionality: I generally think that hard debate is good debate and that affirmatives teams should be able to defend the 1AC from all angles
Speaks: Speaks do not explicitly come from logos; I view ethos and pathos as equally important when evaluating overall performance. My speaks range from 27-30, with 28.5 as the median.