ONW Debate Invitational
2022 — Olathe, KS/US
Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Please add me to the email chain: Brenda.firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated for Washburn Rural for four years between 2014 and 2018. I debated for the University of Kansas last year, but am not debating this year so I can focus on my nursing degree. Generally speaking, I am not picky about arguments and speed. Do what you want and I’ll do my best to keep up.
T: I believe that topicality is a question of competing interpretations. I like to see good explanations of each team’s offense on the flow, how their offense interacts with the other team, and why their interpretation creates a better model for debate.
Disads: I’m a big fan, especially when you have a specific link. I think impact calculus and turns case arguments are important. I always enjoy listening to a good agenda or election disad.
CPs: Delay counterplans are cheating. I’m willing to judge kick a counterplan unless the affirmative gives me a reason not to. I prefer specific solvency advocates.
Ks: I didn’t read a lot of Ks in high school. I am most familiar with neolib and cap, but I am willing to listen to pretty much anything as long at it is explained well. I will NOT listen to death/extinction good kritiks. These arguments can be triggering for me and for other people that may be competing in or watching your round. When it comes to links, I like when they are specific to the affirmative and describe how the aff increasing/makes worse whatever it is that the neg is critiquing. If you’re going for your alt, you need to prove that it solves, as well as clearly explain to me what a world of the alternative looks like. The framing debate should be more than a block reading competition, especially if the neg isn’t going to go for the alt. The neg’s interpretation should be meaningful and not just “whoever best challenges (whatever the K is critiquing)”
Theory: I believe theory is usually only a reason to reject an argument, not a team, especially considering most theory debates are block reading contests where no one really explains or understands the argument. That being said, I might be willing to vote on condo if you really explain your interpretation and impact the argument out.
Some other things to note: I enjoy a good case debate. Please be kind and respectful to one another. If you are horribly rude and disrespectful I’ll probably vote against you
Avery Amerio (she/her)
Updated March 2023 to incl. Congress
ONW Debate (2016-2019)
KU'24 - History/Political Science
Default policymaker. Frame the round for me and I'll evaluate it. I assume probability > time frame > magnitude on impact calc if you don’t tell me otherwise.
Tech > Truth, reject the argument not the team.
Please ask me questions, I will try to give you as much feedback as I can!
-I flow on paper (please signpost) + I flow framing separately for organizational purposes. If you're just extending tags and not tags + warrants, you're really not doing a lot on the flow.
-You can speed if your opponent is okay with it. Please slow down for tags and theory so I can catch everything!
-If you ask the aff to disclose, I think it is fair for the neg to do the same.
-Any argument that involves a postmodern/post-industrial world (aka spark, dedev, wipeout, extinction-good, etc) is not my vibe.
-I don't know if it's a recent phenomenon but I'm not a fan of debaters referencing my paradigm in speeches.
T: I believe that the aff has the burden to relate to the resolution, and the neg has to argue and explain why the plan is harmful for xyz reasons. I default competing interps. My T flow usually tends to lack ink so I rarely vote for it, but never say never.
DA: I love DAs, I will listen to any. Politics scenarios are a personal favorite. Link chains and impacts turns are underutilized in my opinion.
CP: I’m neutral on these. I like seeing a DA + CP in a strat. Just saying that "the counterplan does it better" doesn't really do anything for me.
K: I’ll listen if you walk me through it. Debaters have a tendency to say that an alt/the world of the alt is "waiting, creating something else, or rejecting the aff. I'm not going to vote on the K if that's the case because it hasn't proven anything. If you have a specific alt/world of the alt that includes a strategic move or impacts that will happen, then I am all ears.
Theory: Having theory on the flow from surface level work makes it difficult for me to evaluate it the way you want me to, so take the time to give me more w/ the argument. The tendency to read theory blocks but not give more substance to why it's relevant to the round is common, and it makes me a little sad.
-This was my main event and I competed locally and on the TOC circuit on the random occasion.
-I recognize that Congress needs flexibility and can be unpredictable, but it is up to the competitors in the room to maintain efficiency throughout. I understand needing to take 5 and talk it out, but it should not occur consistently.
-Crystallization speeches are good, IF you are bringing new arguments/analysis on the bill. It doesn't make sense to repeat what previous reps have said just to say you gave one speech.
-A good P.O. will be rewarded. Neutrality, effectiveness, and being able to maximize how many bills you get through on the docket is what I look for.
I use she/her pronouns.
I debated in college. I have worked with high school policy debate for three years.
I believe debate is a forum for advocacy. I believe it should be accessible to all audiences. I am not lay, but I prefer styles that cater to lay audiences (big pictures, clear impacts, clear explanations, clear voters, etc.)
-Both teams must share speech docs: forgetting to share will result in docked speaker points, refusal will result in an auto-win to your opponent
-I don't flow or vote on new arguments in rebuttals--responsive evidence to support previously made arguments are okay though. If you intend to split the block, you need to articulate that.
-Ad hominem attacks, offensive rhetoric, and any other forms of abuse/violence will not be tolerated. At a minimum, I will dock speaker points. I reserve the right to end a round early due to excessive inappropriate behavior. No one should ever be personally attacked, bullied, or made to feel like they as a person don't matter. Be professional and respectful. Leave it in the ring.
-I'm fine with moderate-fast speeds. Once you have to go way up in your head voice to spread, you're gonna lose me. Enunciation is key no matter the speed. The clearer you are, the faster you can go for me.
-I could not care less about planks. I view plank complaints and arguments as a time-suck rather than proper clash. Debates that focus on the substantive content of the topic are going to automatically get higher speaker points from me than those that don't.
-Roadmap and signpost. Don't leave me searching my flow to figure out what you are talking about. I like titles, tags, and clear delineation between points.
*Framework is a priori.
I will vote how teams tell me to vote, regardless of my real-life opinions. Give me weighing mechanisms. Give me voters. Give me standards.
If you tell me to weigh the round using impact calculus, I need to know how to weigh impacts (magnitude, timeline, probability, etc.).
All conceded frameworks will stand. All competitive frameworks need to be justified.
*Persuasion is key.
I do not flow jargon. "Extend BlahBlahBlah" should be followed with a brief summary/explanation.
"They dropped BlahBlah" should be followed with an explanation of why that is important and why that is beneficial to you.
I like analytics. I love analytics backed up with a card.
Sure! If you can solve better, do it. I'm cool with viable perms, too. Win the links and impacts, win the CP/Perm.
Not my favorite, but if there is a strong argument for loss of ground/education, then sure! But you have to make the argument; I won't make it for you. I need clear standards and voters. Answer the "so what?"
If an AFF team reasonably convinces me that either they meet a NEG definition or their counter-interpretation is preferable, I will give it to the AFF. There are few instances where I will award the NEG a T win on predictability/ground if I have seen the AFF before. Making ground claims and then running specific DAs or using specific link scenarios moots your grounds argument for me.
Sure! Clear alt. Clear world of the aff vs. alt impact calc. Clear links. Clear explanations. Don't assume I am familiar with the literature (remember I prefer lay styles), but don't get caught misconstruing the literature (keep in mind I am experienced).
I'm not going to vote for time-sucks. Walk me through the links and impacts. Weigh the impacts. If you don't have the time to explain it, you probably shouldn't be running it.
I flow. If you tell me that the other team dropped something and I clearly have it on my flow, you will not win any of your extensions.
My Experience: Three years of Debate and two of Forensics at Olathe Northwest High School. Most common round type: slow flow. Enjoyed both policy and congressional debate. However, I didn't participate in policy debate in college.
Overall: I default to a blend of Stock Issues and Policymaker. For example, if you have a huge impact but cannot convince me that it's likely to happen, I am not going to weigh it as much as a pure policymaker might. If the Neg proves that the Aff's plan has already been enacted in full, I would consider that as basically a Neg win, even if the Aff claims massive advantages. I could be persuaded to view the round differently, but it will be harder than with a pure Tabula Rasa judge. I also work as a software developer, so it might be harder for me to avoid leaning on my own technical knowledge when evaluating a case that touches on software. I like to see clash and would prefer the round be dominated by specific, creative arguments with in-round impacts.
Speed: I didn't spread very much when I debated and am even more rusty now. I will be able to keep up if you speak faster than normal, but I won't be able to keep up if you go all-out. Please signpost, slow down for tags, and ask me if you would like me to give you a sign if I am not understanding you.
Cross Examination: I'm fine with open or closed, but will default to the most restrictive preference from the four of you. If we end up with open Cross-X, I still expect that the majority of questions and answers come from the debaters who would be speaking.
Behavior: It's important to remember that debate is a contest, not a battle. Make sure to be courteous towards others and to presume their good faith. Let's make the round fun for you, your opponents, and me. Thanks!
Topicality, Theory, and Kritiks: I tend to group T, Theory, and Ks together because they often have out-of-round impacts. On all of these, I default to rejecting the arguments, not the team. When I debated, I tended to like T a lot, Theory and Framework less, and Kritiks even less, and that is still generally how I think about them.
On T, I tend to default to competing interpretations, but could be persuaded otherwise. Otherwise, make sure you can articulate why your standards matter for the debate round. Don't just read a T block once; make sure to do your work here on all parts of the argument. Overall, I tend to like T and think it can be done very well (by both teams), but would prefer to avoid hearing T on a case that's obviously topical.
On theory, I'll need to see your opponents violating your framework for it to matter in the round. If you read theory or framework in the 1AC or 1NC without your opponent having violated it already, I likely won't interpret it as favorably. On the other hand, if you make the argument after they have done so and demonstrate the negative consequences (such as with vagueness), that feels better to me. On the other (other) hand, I tend not to like theory if the debate devolves into only a discussion of out-of-round consequences (although this is necessary in a few cases). A good theory debate for me will often act similarly to a T debate: I would like standards work, voting issues, etc.
On kritiks, I typically don't like them unless you do the work. If the Kritik doesn't have an alt or an out-of-round impact, it's a DA (which is great!). If it does have an out-of-round impact, I think you'd really need to walk me through the lit and how you get to an impact outside of the debate carefully to earn my vote.
Inherency, Solvency, and Other Case: Great! I think it's kind of cool when a lot of debate ends up on case. See the overall section above for some examples of how I evaluate this. It's fine if the Aff doesn't have much here in the 1AC in order to focus on the advantages, but make sure to be ready to defend them from the Neg in further speeches.
Disadvantages and Counterplans: DAs and CPs are great too. For DAs, I like specific links, but understand that you sometimes have to use generic ones (especially if you have T on the flow). If the Aff's only response to the link is that it's generic, that will not be enough to get me to disregard the DA. If you run a Politics DA, make sure you have updated cards. I assume that CPs are conditional unless otherwise specified, but would hear out a theory argument about this (see theory above). I enjoy creative perms, turns, etc.
Framing and Impacts: Please elaborate at least a little on which impacts are the most important. I will not change my default framing with a one sentence argument, even if the other team doesn't respond. However, I'm open to almost any impact framing if elaborated on.
Questions? Please ask!
\I am a former 4 year debater from Olathe Northwest.
I'm a policymaker judge, if the affirmative does not successfully defend against the impacts proposed by the negative then I simply cannot vote in favor of the plan. This can be accomplished by attacking the stock issues of the plan, or a good DA and/or CP.
Kritiks are not my favorite arguments by a long shot, but, I do evaluate them in a decision, and overall I default to impacts so I'm not going to get angry if I see one, just don't abuse it, and have it make sense.
I like slow flow rounds, and do not like spreading or speeding. If you go a bit faster than the average debater then I will most likely be able to understand you, but more than that is unnecessary.
How to win as aff with me as your judge: Make sure your advantages link to your solvency, defend Solvency, Inherency, and Topicallity with your life, and answer DAs, CPs, and Ks.
I love to watch clash, don't just ignore your opponent's arguments.
On a personal note, just don't be rude? I want to be able to evaluate a round without bias, but if one team is being unnecessarily aggressive or condescending then I'm going to be biased towards the other team, which is something I don't want to have happen. Also, if you personally insult or are in any way discriminatory against another team then I will feel no remorse in siding against you, this activity should be kept cordial and should be open to everyone, not just people you decide should be allowed to compete.
Generally i'm Tabula Rasa, but will default to a policymaker who values stocks if I'm not told how I should evaluate the round.
POLICY DEBATE PARADIGM
Name: Jamelle Brown
Current Affiliation: Sumner Academy of Arts & Science High School - Kansas City, KS
Debate Experience: 20+ years as a Head HS Coach, Debated 4 yrs in High School and 1 semester during college
List types of arguments that you prefer to listen to.
1. I appreciate real world impacts.
2. I love the kritical arguments/AFF’s with this year’s resolution. Make the debate real and connect to the real social issues in the SQ.
3. For T, neg if you want to prove that the AFF is untopical, provide valid standards and voters. AFF, then correctly answer these standards and voters. However, don't expect to win a ballot off T alone.
4. Know and understand what you are reading and debating. Be able to explain your card’s claims.
List types of arguments that you prefer not to listen to.
1. Every impact should not equal nuclear war. I want to hear realistic/real world impacts.
2. Generic disadvantages without clear links to the AFF.
List stylistics items you like to watch other people do.
1. I prefer medium-speed speaking. Completely not a fan of spreading.
2. Label and signpost for me. I like to keep a very organized flow!
3. Let me see your personalities in CX.
4. Impact Calc – I want to know why you want me to vote for you and weigh the round.
5. I am excited about performance teams!
List stylistics items you do not like to watch.
1. I dislike unrecognizable speed.
2. I am a Communications teacher, please allow me to see valuable communication skills. (Pre-2020 comment) For example, don’t just stare at your laptops for 8 minutes. Hello, I'm your judge – engage me!
In a short paragraph, describe the type of debate you would most like to hear debated.
Debate is a slice of life. I appreciate seeing a variety of styles and “risk takers.” Debate is also an educational venue. I enjoy K debate and appreciate high schoolers tackling K lit. There are so many important social justice issues that debaters can explore. As your judge, engage me into the round. I will not tolerate rude debaters or disrespectful personal attacks. I am a current high school Speech & Debate coach – please don’t forget about the value of communication skills! I coach all of the speech and debate events, so I love to see kids fully engaged in this activity by utilizing the real-world value it brings.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
-Debated for 3 years at Olathe Northwest, 2 of those in DCI. Didn't debate in college.
-I'd like to think I'm pretty tab, I like to be told what to vote for, so framing is very important to me. Make my job as easy as possible.
-Speed is fine, but please signpost and allow for clear transitions! Again, I'll want to default to the path of least resistance, so don't make my job any harder than it has to be.
-tech>truth (in most cases), I'm not gonna do your job for you.
-Just extending the tag of a card without explaining any warrants isn't sufficient, I won't extend it across my flow if there's not any depth, huge pet peeve of mine.
-Ask me questions about any specifics, but I'm down for pretty much any type of arg.
-I don't judge very often, so please explain any topic-specific acronyms.
Most of all, be kind to each other :)
(Updated September 2022)
I approach judging from a largely tabula rasa place. That said, without other direction from the teams I will default to policy maker. Weight the advantages and the disadvantages for me as that calculus is critical. I prefer well thought out arguments that are well presented over a huge number of generic arguments. I almost never vote on Topicality. Speed is fine as long as the quality of your speaking, presentation, or argument doesn't lag as a result.
Coach at Kansas City Piper (Kansas)
Please include me on the email chain. kdeneaultATpiperschoolsDOTus
Let me start this by saying that I kind of hate paradigms. I actively try not to have one. That said, certain preferences are inevitable despite my best efforts, so here we go...
I'm a coach. This is an educational activity above everything else. That's important to me. I will naturally vote for the team that does the work in the round. In the end, my entire philosophy revolves around your work. Pick a position and advocate for it with whatever skills you have. It's not my job to tell you what those skills are or should be.
I'll vote truth over tech every time. Your execution of technicalities won't make up for fallacious argumentation. I really crave clash in a round where we really examine what is at the core of our understanding. That said, I do love pretty tech. Feel free to be clever, but be aware that clever is not the same thing as cute.
I prefer communication over speed. At least go slower on your tags and analysis. On this vein, you are responsible for the words that come out of your mouth. Speech is always an act of advocacy.
I wish I could tell you preferences about CPs, Ks, and what the debate space means, but the truth of it is that I will vote how you tell me to. Provide me a meaningful framework (and you know... tell me why it's meaningful) and actual clash, and I'll follow along.
I am a LAY judge.
I did not do debate in high school and this is my 1st year judging debate.
Make sure your arguments are clear and you talk at a pace I can understand.
I'm an assistant coach at Blue Valley West. I also debated in high school a million years ago.
Don't speak super fast. I need to be able to understand what you are saying.
I will be flowing the debate. I should see you flowing the debate as well.
Please label ALL off-case arguments in the 1NC. It's confusing and bothersome to me if you don't.
I don't like disclosure debates- you should always disclose before the round starts unless breaking new.
CPs and DAs are fine- the links should be clear.
I usually don't vote on T.
Framework- Tell me why I should frame the debate the way you tell me to.
K- I am okay with you running one as long as it's explained really well.
Dropped arguments in the round- please try not to do this.
Avoid saying the other teams arguments are "abusive".
I value quality over quantity. Please don't read cards the whole time!
If you have questions, please ask!
Former Policy Debater, Shawnee Mission East
Former University of Kansas Mock Trial Competitor
Former Policy and Mock Trial Coach, Shawnee Mission East
Former Policy and Mock Trial Coach, Blue Valley Northwest
Former Policy, LD, PF and Mock Trial Coach, Olathe North
Former Policy, LD, and PF Coach, Louisburg
Current Policy, LD, and PF Coach, Piper
I have no speed preferences, debate to the style you are best at. I have heard only a few people too fast for me to understand, but if you choose to spread and you are unclear I will stop flowing.
A few tips to prevent this from happening:
Slowing down on tags, dates, authors, important lines in evidence and important analysis. Higher speed is more appropriate for cards and less so for analysis and theory. If you speed through your 8 one-line points on condo I probably won't get them all (this also happens a lot on perm theory). If it's super important it's worth slowing down. It is you and your partner's responsibility to make sure I am following what's happening. If you're stumbling, slow down and then speed back up when you're back on track instead of trying to push through, which just makes everything messy.
Open CX, flashing, off-time roadmaps (this is much prefered for me to flow) are all fine if both teams are ok with it.
There is a line you can cross of disrespect. What you say and how you say it matters. Although I do not consider this a voting issue unless the other teams argues that it should be, it's harder for me to vote for you if I think you're a jerk. Wit is great, rudeness is not.
Argumentation Preferences for Policy:
I'm fine with any and all forms of argumentation. Just justify why I should vote on it. Be the better debaters in the round and you will win. I vote on what I hear in the round and what is persuasive. Substance is much more important than style.
I generally default policy maker and will need offense to vote, however, if you argue framework and win it I am happy to change the roll of the ballot. Please do not leave it up to me what impacts are most important, if you don't weigh the round for me it is at your own peril.
K debate is fine, but do not assume I have read the philosopher/theorist you are using in depth. It's your responsibility to explain the theory to me. I am much more persuaded by alts that solve the K or have real world impacts.
CP debate is fine, topical CPs are a very very hard sell for me, but if the other team doesn't tell me it's abusive and should be rejected or does not effectively answer Topical CPs good theory I will still vote for it. Generally advocating for the CP is severance and abusive (although I'm open to being persuaded otherwise), but again I need to hear the argument and be told it's a voting issue to vote on it.
I generally view T as an abuse check. If there's no in-round abuse I will rarely vote on it, however if it's answered poorly I'll vote on the better augmentation. Again if you argue that I should change my evaluation to competing interp, etc. and win that argument I will vote accordingly.
Realistic impacts are more effective. I don't mind long chain link stories to get there as long as they are well explained.
New in the 2 is only abusive if teams are spreading
I've tried to cover everything here, but if there is something else you would like to know or need clarification please ask before the round.
Please don't lose focus of the round being about a position on a moral issue. While policy and realistic results of a moral position are important for showing the impact of the value, this is not a policy round. Please choose a value and criterion that you can explain and that work well with your contentions.
The line by line argumentation is important, but don't get so caught up in it that you lose sight of your overriding position. One dropped point won't lose you the round if you access the value the best.
I don't need you to win the value to win the round, but you do need to access the winning value best to win the round.
Please please please engage with the other team's arguments. Don't just say it didn't make sense or didn't apply or that your previous card answers it. Explain why what they say is incorrect. Substance is much more important than style.
You need to have a warrant that supports your claims effectively. Pretty talking will not be enough to win my ballot. The team that best utilizes empirical examples, logic, and (most effectively) evidence to support their claims is typically the winner. At the same time, reading a bunch of cards and providing no analysis will also not serve you well. I'm not a huge fan of emotional personal examples, because they cannot be verified they feel manipulative so I would avoid them.
In my experience sometimes PF rounds get a little snarky. There is a line, and like I said above your demeanor is not a determining factor unless the other team argues that it should be and justifies why you should lose the round over it. But because I am a person, it's hard for me to vote for you if you're a jerk. Wit is appreciated, rudeness is not.
Previous Olathe Northwest debater for 2 years (Including quarterfinals at Novice State)
Overall, debate is an educational event. Every competitor should actively participate and contribute to the argumentative landscape. This means promoting a environment that is inclusive of everyone (ie. being polite during CX and other team's speeches), yet competitive to decide a clear winner of the round. The first thing I look for in round is professionalism.
Topicality: While Topicality is meant to establish a more educational definition, I understand topicality as a time skew. When explaining topicality, I want to see all parts of the argument (Counter Interp, Violation, Standards, Voters). Without the key parts the entire argument can be lost. As the Aff team, meeting the interpretation of the Neg is good, but I strongly urge the Aff to provide the interpretation they used to develop their case to promote the educational aspect of topicality. Tell me why to prefer the definitions, debate the definitions. Use education and fairness as your reasons to prefer the counter interpretation.
CP / DA: I prefer a traditional negative argument including CP's and DA's. I look at DAs in four parts UQ, Link, Internal Link, and Impact. I prefer argumentation on the Link and Internal links as it directly brings the DA into relation with the AFF case, but if they have been already debated, Impact debate is the next best option. If the round consists of several different types of impacts (Dehumanization, poverty, war ...etc) I want to see framework on which Impact should be preferred. This can be in the form of Impact Calculus (Magnitude, Time Frame, and Probability), card evidence by an author, or both. Addressing framework should use impact calculus as the reason to prefer the other interpretation. CP's don't need to be topical. If they are topical, that is perfectly fine, but explain why it can't be achieved under the AFF plan. Also, if a CP does not have any net benefits, then I will not vote on it as you shouldn't prefer the CP. I will vote against the argument, and not the team. As long as you run other arguments, I will continue to look at your other arguments not apart of the CP.
K's: I'm not familiar with K debate. I am open to hear it, but you must explain the importance of each piece of evidence and type of argument. If you run a K and the other team drops the argument, Obviously it is an easy vote for the team that ran it. If you want to run a K-AFF, same thing applies.
Theory: I support arguments with Theory about Fiat, Topicality of CP's, and other arguments. The largest piece to win my ballot with theory is to explain why debate overall is better with it being changed. Use Fairness and Education as the voter.
Inherency/ Solvency/ Advantages: Inherency is why you should be passing the plan. If a Neg team can prove that the plan has either already happened or the problem doesn't exist, then the NEG will win. While advantages are benefits to passing your plan, they are not the reason to pass your plan. I will vote NEG if the plan doesn't solve. If the NEG shows that the case will not solve, then your plan no longer has advantages. Circumvention is a viable argument, but the NEG must prove all of the solvency is gone and not just a small part of it. Even if the AFF still solves for some substantial amount, they will win on Solvency. For any governmental circumvention case by the NEG, I am open to listen on how the plan will be circumvented after it's implementation. On Advantages, I look to see that the AFF prevents the largest impact in the round (look at how I measure impacts in CP / DA section). I also look to see if the advantages you claim are probable. Maintaining the link story is the most important part for an AFF team to maintain their advantages in round.
Flowing / Judge Requests: I often cross apply several arguments when flowing. The evidence used in one argument will be compared to the other evidence used in the round. I also please ask don't speed read. I think it completely devalues the entire point of debate. Obviously talking fast is perfectly fine, but if the goal is to run a ridiculous amount of off-case arguments just so you can say that the other team forgot to address 1 of your 5 arguments, that will reflect on your ballot.
I ask that you please provide me with a copy of evidence before speeches. This enables me to better listen to arguments and look into accusations of inaccurate claims by teams. I also ask for closed cross examination as it provides the most education for individuals during the activity. I strongly encourage teams to communicate with each other and track each others time. Unless specifically stated by the tournament, prep times should not include putting evidence on a flash drive. The most important thing I ask is for coherent road maps. If a team brings up new arguments in the rebuttals, I will not vote on them. A response by the other team directing me to the new argument would be appreciated, but not required.
While judging the largest thing I look for is sportsmanship. During my time in debate, I have seen the good, ugly, and bad. Don't make arguments personal attacks on other competitors. At the end of the day, you have to debate both sides of an argument at a tournament. After that, the best way to my ballot is preventing solvency. If the AFF solves, explain why the disadvantages overwhelm solving the problem.
I debated for 4 years in Kansas in the late 80s and early 90s.
I have been a head coach in high school for 19 years.
I can listen somewhat quickly…but not very fast. I’m a very traditional policy-maker.
I want really good explanation of all arguments. I try hard not to do analysis work for you. Overviews really help me!
Topicality- If the case is clearly non-topical, please run the argument and I’ll pull the trigger on it pretty quickly. If it is probably topical…I am very slow to pull that trigger.
Kritiks- Not really a fan. I am very policy-maker in this regard. If you choose to run a K, I will listen and try and understand it. However, the way my brain works in a debate context is that I will probably weigh the impacts of the K against the other team’s impacts…you know…like a policy maker would.
Counterplans – probably a good thing to have. Not a fan nit-picky word pics, but agent counterplans and others like it are a good thing for me..
Kritikal affs- Not a fan…they typically confuse me…
Ana-Sofia Lahovary (she/they)
Assistant Coach for Shawnee Mission East High School
firstname.lastname@example.org add me to the chain:) email > speech drop
About me: Currently a Sophomore at KU Honors studying Political Science and Global&International Studies with minors in Public Policy and Latin American&Carribean Studies. This is my second year coaching for Shawnee Mission East High School (graduated in '21). I debated at SME for four years and three on the TOC circuit. As for my argumentative history, I read both kritikal (Abolition, afro-pess, cap) and big stick policy affirmatives in high school and look forward to judging debates in both areas. I am also currently coaching teams who read both types of arguments.
Research interests: Russian foreign policy, Latin American Politics, and environmental policy.
Top Level: Be kind to each other and read whatever you like! I think condo and pics are generally good and theory-based arguments are a reason to reject the argument, not the team. Detailed impact calc is very important, contextualize it to the round. I value well-explained internal link chains, quirky disad/cp debates, and just overall efficient speeches. Judge instruction is important and use cross x to your advantage. Also just do what you want I do not have huge preferences, my job as a judge is to adapt.
Pet peeves: "3,2,1 starting NOW", talking over your partner, wasting time, not logging into wifi until round start time and then taking forever <3
- Let me know how I can be helpful to you, judging is a privilege.
- Evidence comparison and ethos are good and will be rewarded
- Clipping/cheating/any type of bigotry will guarantee a loss
- Disclosure is good (pls do)
- I will not vote on things that happen outside the round
- I like quirky disads and efficient impact calc
- Tech > Truth
- Pretty neg biased on most theory - reject the arg not the team
- Keep track of your own prep, although I will also keep track and keep teams accountable
- Framework should be contextualized to the round - don't just speed through general blocks
- Have fun! Debate is a super competitive space and I hope I can be helpful to you! Always happy to chat after! <3
- I'll default on competing interps
- TVA's = good
- predictability >
- the more specific the links the better
- condo is good
- pics good process meh
- impacts of solvency deficits
- err on the side of over-explaining
- engage with them!! - generic blocks with no contextualization to the debate will not win you the round especially if your fw arg boils down "k affs are bad for debate"
- roj args are valuable
- cite specific parts of the 1ac that link
- go for whatever impact you prefer
- planless affs - I'll vote for you, prove that your model of debate is the better one
- How does your lit base interact with others? How does your discourse better the debate space?
- only need to extend a couple of links in the 2nr
Feel free to email me if you have any questions always happy to help the best I can!
Updated January 2023.
Yes I want to see your docs, so include me on the email chain (if you’re using one and not just doing speechdrop which is easier IMO). email@example.com
I flow on my laptop
My pronouns are they/them
I recommend reading this whole thing but I know it's long so TLDR; DO NOT SPREAD I will not flow it, likes Ks and K affs but they can be abusive if you're just trying to confuse the other team, prefs specific (not generic) DAs, CPs can be abusive, T is meh (mostly because people don't run it right), other theory is ok. Framework debates will be prioritized over my personal preferences mostly. I don’t tolerate harassment/abuse of any kind, have warranted args, don’t clip cards, flow every speech in the round. Ethics philosopher cares about ethics so be ethical please. If you need to stop the round because of mental or physical health reasons, just tell me, I've been there
I did policy all four years of high school at Olathe Northwest, but I am not doing it in college because of accessibility. However, I am a philosophy and psychology major at KU with a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies. My favored branches of philosophy are ethics, political, and metaphysics and I’m specializing in abnormal psychology. I am familiar with a lot of theory as a result of my majors and experience, but I do have trouble remembering exact details like authors. I catch on quickly to new theoretical arguments and I thoroughly enjoy k debate. I’m not very familiar with the older style of debate (plan planks and contentions).
Truth informs tech. I’m not going to be voting on warrantless arguments or blatant untruths, that’s an abusive way to try and win the round and I think judge intervention is necessary. I think this applies most frequently to theory blocks, since a lot of times there isn’t an established internal link between the structural harms you’re citing (eg. neg block side skew) and the proposed solution (eg. aff sets framework). If you establish that internal link, it should be fine. My logic here is that you wouldn’t expect me to vote on a DA without an internal link, so why would you do that with theory? Additionally, I’m a strong believer that technical nonresponses to unreasonable arguments don’t outweigh winning substantive arguments and, because debate is about clash and education and discussion, I will always prefer to see discussion of important topics rather than arguments that are just there as distractions.
Overall, explain the things you’re saying because I’m not going to vote on an argument you don’t actually make (but I also won’t vote on warrantless args).
I think the idea that debate is a game and the goal is to win is extremely harmful. Just trying to dump cards on your opponent to make them slip up and not respond to something is slimy, same with running stuff and banking on the fact that the other team just won't understand what you're arguing. You're not helping yourself get better at analysis and argumentation by avoiding clash to win on technicalities and misunderstandings. I view debate as a space to have conversations and expand knowledge bases, a place for high schoolers to engage in political philosophy, and that requires everyone understanding what's going on and everyone operating fairly. Winning is nice, but unethical strategy in the name of winning is a major problem in debate. If this comes up as a meta argument in round, know I will not buy your debate as a game good theory, I simply won't budge on this one area.
Don’t clip. It’s pretty simple to say “cut the card there” and send out a marked copy once your speech is done (I recommend spamming tab on your laptop to mark where you stopped because it can be easily done mid speech and makes sure your marked doc is correct and sent in a timely manner after your speech). I realize that, especially since I’m asking you not to spread, that you’re going to need to cut things off, but just take the two seconds to make me aware of it so I don’t have to get you disqualified for clipping (I really don’t want to have to do that). If your evidence is fraudulent or altered in any way, I will probably find out, and it will cost you the round and maybe the tournament, and I’ll chat with your coach about it. Just don’t do it, there’s plenty of evidence out there and it’s unethical to be making your own.
Aff has the burden to relate to the resolution, but this doesn’t exclude k affs. Obviously, the easiest way to do this is to do a policy aff, but that’s not always what people go with. Relating to the res in an abstract way is valid if you can explain that. Be prepared to defend why your approach is best for debate and why your take on the resolution is necessary. If the debate ends and I’m unclear what an aff ballot means, I’ll vote neg on presumption.
A neg ballot is usually whatever you pull through to the 2NR. If you want to argue judge kick for a CP to also have the squo as an option, you’re going to have to do some theory lifting in order to get me there because I lean toward multiple worlds existing on the neg ballot being inherently abusive. Explain why it’s not. K alts and CPs are functionally the same to me, the difference is in the complexity, so just make sure your alt and what it means for the ballot is clear. If you're running a k with no alt you're gonna have to explain why you don't need one.
Do not spread. I will not flow your arguments if I cannot understand them. I have an auditory processing disorder. You don't need to spread to win. I get that you may find it annoying, but you need to be able to adapt to judge preferences and this is what I’m asking of you. I’m asking for speech docs for accessibility and to monitor for clipping, not to fill in gaps on my flow. You have to make connections and read off the args for them to get on there.
Keep track of what you read and what you don’t read and where you’re marking cards. Sending impossibly long speech docs (like whole camp files) that you know are more than you can read is bad practice. Essentially, not explicitly, trying to trick your opponent/the judge into believing you read a card you didn’t read is extremely unethical and over the line where I start to find ways to vote against you. Explicitly falsely claiming to have read a card in a previous speech is a round loss. You should be flowing your own speeches to avoid this happening.
You need to be running full arguments in your speeches. Starting a DA or T in one speech and saving the impact/voters for the block is abusive and not having those things at all means that you've wasted your own time because I can't vote on that argument. DAs need uniqueness, a link, and an impact (sometimes and an internal link). T needs an interpretation, violation, standards, and voters.
I love kritiks. This is probably not surprising as a philosophy major, and I do a lot of theory in my classes (I don’t just take major related classes so I’m familiar with economic oriented theory as well). I probably won’t have read exactly what you’re reading, but I’m familiar with a wide range of concepts and am comfortable with my ability to understand complicated arguments. The stuff I’m most familiar with is queer theory, biopower, settler colonialism, afro-pessimism, feminism, and anything relating to ethics. However, this is not a freebee to just run something because you think it'll confuse the other team (that's abusive and slimy). Philosophical discussions go both ways and I'm going to like your K a lot more if you're being diplomatic and helping the other team get your point so they can actually respond. In K debates you should be focusing on having a productive, fair philosophical debate with your opponent and that gets really muddled when all anyone cares about is the W. A fair warning about Ks, I will probably understand your lit better than you do, 9 times out of 10 this is the case, and this means I will notice if you don't understand the argument you're running, so best to run Ks you're comfortable with and not just something you pulled from open ev just for this round.
I will vote on topicality, but I think running it when you know an aff is topical is tacky (in a roll my eyes kind of way not a vote you down kind of way). However, I get that sometimes you don’t have anything else to run because you’re not a k team. Reasonability to me is more about there being multiple acceptable interpretations of a word, so if you’re not meeting any definition in the round, you’re probably not reasonably topical. I’m less lenient to obscure policy affs than to k affs on t and that’s a personal preference that you should be aware of (this is based on how useful I think each are to debate; the former not at all and the latter extremely). I’m probably not going to buy into t isn’t apriori to my decision but if you think you can convince me, go for it by all means. You don’t need 5 minutes of t in the 2NR for it to be convincing, but sometimes you need that five minutes to cover everything that’s happened on the t flow, so play it by ear. I don’t really enjoy t debates, they get really reductive a lot of times because it devolves into semantics for semantics' sake. I know some people are really into them, but I personally think there’s more important discussions to be had and throwaway t args are a waste of time. However, recall that I will vote on t because it is important.
DAs and CPs aren’t super interesting unless you have something that’s not generic. You can win on them, like everything, but I find big stick, low probability impacts dull and they’re one of my least favorite parts of debate. Politics DAs need to be updated to be relevant and even then, they’re a lot of speculation and fear mongering so be careful how you’re arguing. CPs are a whole can of worms and can easily be annoying to judge and abusive to the aff. PICs are iffy for me since the aff isn’t just coming up with the best possible plan, it’s the best possible plan and fitting in the resolution, but if you can argue theory for them then, as with most things, be my guest.
I prefer structural impacts because big stick impacts feel like sensationalized news headlines IMO, but it's not a hard preference in any way.
Theory is fun but needs to be clear and have internal links, as stated above. I don’t really have much more to say than don’t use theory as a time waster because it usually means it’s argued poorly, doesn’t apply, and makes you look bad.
A lot of people assume they’re winning every flow, but you’re probably not, so I recommend using the “even if” layering of argumentation in rebuttals to have flows interact with each other. Best to not assume you’re winning and built contingencies into your speeches for me.
You should be flowing, even if it’s from the speech doc for accessibility reasons (another reason why marked copies are important, I did this all the time). If you respond to arguments that weren’t presented, your speaks will suffer for it, and obviously, not responding to a core argument because you weren’t flowing could cost you the round.
Apparently, y’all have decided prewritten overviews are the new hip thing. It doesn’t sound like a great idea to me, mostly because overviews should be short summaries of what you’re extending in the speech in the context of the current round (exception to this is aff case extensions, go ahead and prewrite those to your heart’s content). Every round shakes out different, so you should be adapting your extensions to what’s going on in front of the judge. Line by lines are very nice but I recognize they require a lot of organization. It’s usually better to go through each individual argument rather than doing each flow as an argument, since a lot of detail can be lost. Prewritten overviews that aren’t for unaddressed, pure extensions will be affecting your speaks.
I’m not going to tolerate any harassment, abuse, insulting, or exclusion in rounds (this is for extreme cases, which do happen, unfortunately). As someone who has experienced those things and been frustrated by judge apathy in the name of intervention philosophy, the debate space has to be accessible and equitable for everyone who is participating and that is the most a priori thing in a round. If someone is having a breakdown or is uncomfortable in ways I can’t visibly recognize, let me know and we can take a break. Your mental health and sense of belonging in the debate space is the most important thing to me and I won’t let other people compromise that for you. I will not tolerate violent, bigoted rhetoric being used in round. I’ve had people say I shouldn’t be allowed to participate in debate, to vote, or to make my own decisions because of aspects of my identity and I will absolutely not allow you to make these arguments. Any version of ableism, sexism, racism, homophobia, etc being used as an argument will make me stop the round and check everyone’s mental state and you will probably instantly lose. I am hard zero tolerance about this. You do not have the right to make the debate space unsafe.
Disclosure should be reciprocal in order to be ethical. If you wiki mined the aff’s case, you should disclose negative positions. In rounds where there’s a disagreement about disclosure, it’s unlikely to be the topic of my RFD, but I will probably have some criticism if there’s clear unfairness. Hold yourselves accountable for ethical practices.
I don’t believe in taking off speaks for stuttering, fidgeting, lack of eye contact, etc, because there’s a lot of ableism there and having to mask every round is exhausting. If you’re comfortable, feel free to not focus on masking “unprofessional” habits that the circuit is trying to train out of you.
The only time I will reject a team instead of an argument is on abuse/harassment/exclusion. If you’re okay with continuing the round and grilling them with a k about how they’re detrimental to the debate space, you’ve probably already won but feel free to do so if you want to make a point to them.
4-year debater from Pittsburg graduated 2019. Currently assistant coach at Olathe South
Experience in high-flow rounds both as a debater and a judge
Don't care how evidence is shared, but I personally want speech docs
I will evaluate the round in whatever lens you tell me to, I'm very very open to most arguments. Only thing I will say to be careful of is that I will not do work on the flow for you, I expect you to tell me where to vote, why I'm voting, and what the ballot means when I sign it.
Tech vs Truth - I'm pretty middle ground on it, I find it hard to believe that tech outweighs truth completely and vice versa
If you want vote on cheating or anything like that, you need to give me a quality block and undeniable proof. Sending a picture in an email chain where I can barely see the whats happening because it is so blurry will not cut it at all. If you're accusing a team of doing something that should lose them the round then you are going to have an extremely high burden and you better not have done anything shady during the round as well.
No new in the 2 please
If you keep the flow clean there's a 90% chance that you'll get my ballot from that alone.
Ks - Open to all types of literature and args, I'm not as well-versed as I would like to be, but I do love the lit and spend time outside of the debate sphere studying it as well so I won't be completely lost. I'm very well-versed with Cp Ks, Set-Col, Imperialism, and some nihilism. Most other lit I'm comfortable with and will understand, you'll have to keep the flow clean and explicitly state where you want everything to go.
DAs - Pretty much every DA will fly, Trade-Off DAs will have a harder time finding my ballot I think there's a ton of thumpers on them and you'll have to give me a pretty specific chain here otherwise I'm probably going to err aff. Tix DAs are 100% acceptable and you can get my ballot a good chunk of the time, only thing I'll say on them is don't blow up some random super tiny piece of legislation it needs to be something that actually matters and can have an impact on the world around us. Outside of that I'll just evaluate it based what you explicitly state.
CPs - Open to all CPs, just be prepared to argue theory if you run 3 CPs with condo on all of them, severance CPs you'll have to do a ton of work on the flow with as well so just be smart and use them strategically rather than just as an arg you can throw out at any time.
T - Love T debates, I will judge them harshly though, I was a big T debater so if you aren't pulling through and debating your standards/voters then it'll be really hard to pick up my ballot
K Affs - For the most part the same opinion I have on Ks applies here, I like the lit, I find it interesting, and I'm always open to the arg as long as you can justify on the flow or you can win the framework debate
Theory - Need a good reason for it or you need to provide real quality argumentation or I will not vote on it
I'm an assistant coach for debate and forensics at Blue Valley North. As a theater and English teacher of nearly 20 years, interp. events are probably my strongest area. I know enough to help out some novice and open policy teams with their rounds or cases they work on with their head coach and summer camps, however, you should probably see me more as a community judge with some background in the event rather than someone that pays close attention. I'm more of a sponsor than a coach most weekends that just makes sure students get to their rooms. As of November 2022, I've judged three or four rounds policy rounds. That said, here's what may be helpful for you.
I've scored a few rounds in Kansas invitationals over the years. Probably 5-10 rounds. I've used Congress as a model for various classroom activities and projects in my English and Speech classes and worked with students here and there on some speeches. I enjoy an efficient and respectful chamber with obvious connections and clash between speeches to show active listening. Yes, speeches will be prepared with credible evidence and relevant sourcing, but there should be clear sections responding to the debate in the room. Strong POs will be considered in ranking. As a theater director for 10 years, I'm used to watching the entire stage. You are always "on" in a session. A congressperson who is listening, engaging, efficient, and respectful will be rewarded over one who is simply domineering.
Policy and other background...
1. I'm a theater and English teacher first. What this means for you in the debate, is that the communicative issues and telling the story are still important. I'm not going to try to listen or flow speed. If you are still going to go there, read the evidence fast but definitely pull out the warrants and clearly repeat what you want me to pay attention to and how it works in this round. Honestly, I'm tired of people reading a powertag with a whole bunch of stuff they don't really understand or not linking it to the round we're in. TLDR: Don't just read at me. Don't assume
2. I'd like to think that I'd listen to just about anything in the room and be willing to vote on it. Since I primarily judge novice, JV, and Open rounds, I probably lean policy maker. I haven't had a lot of Ks to consider or vote on so I'm not sure how I feel about them philosophically. I'm not a games player that will vote a team down for missing one minor arg. on T in the 1AR. I don't like ridiculous spreading args. from the neg. that then kicks everything that doesn't stick. I'd rather have a couple speeches debating the merits of an argument and find some depth than shell out ten things that don't matter.
3. Be sure to link your arguments to the round and explain to me why I should be voting a certain way. I'm not going to be reading every sentence of your evidence and make the arguments for you. I'll listen, and you will bring out what I need to hear.
4. If you open the abuse story in the round, you better not be doing it elsewhere. I think new in the 2 is typically slimy if off case, but I'm primarily talking anything running a ton of T you plan to kick in the 2NR, turning CX into a speech, stalling finding a timer and prep time, fiddling with the file share, et al. If you waste time on an abuse story when you could have used that time to debate this issue, or your opponent points out you were just as or more abusive in the round, I'll vote you down for wasting our time discussing it. Debate the topic.
I know this isn's succinct and what advanced debaters are going to want to hear or debate to, but I hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions, I'll be happy to answer them. However, if you aren't going to adapt to my preferences, don't bother asking and just do your thing.
LD - I've judged these rounds here and there and at the national tournament, but it has been awhile. I do have a handful of rounds in this year. Be sure to take care of the value and VC debate as that is the framework that lets me know how to vote in the round. Evidence to show how real world examples have worked are great, but don't forget the values work. This is why I like this style of debate. We aren't focused primarily on the policy but the ideas and values. If you keep that in mind and can explain it for a theater/English teacher that prefers a communicative style, you'll have a better chance at the ballot.
PFD - Well, this is something I haven't seen a lot of, so I'd encourage you to look at the other comments regarding LD and Policy and cross apply to this event. Haven't coached it. Only seen a few rounds of it.
Grant McKeever – he/him – firstname.lastname@example.org (put this on the email chain and feel free to ask questions)
Experience: Current coach for Lincoln Southwest. Current NFA LD debater (1v1 policy) for UNL - did DCI/TOC style stuff senior year and was on the trad/KDC circuit in Kansas prior (at Olathe Northwest HS) so I’m most likely familiar with whatever style you’re going for
I don't care how evidence is shared just that 1. it is shared and 2. I am shared it
TL;DR: Run what you run best. I’m open to mostly whatever, specifics down below. Default to policymaker. Give me judge instruction, explain arguments, and tell me how to vote because that’s probably how I will.
Don’t be disrespectful. Just don’t.
Pref Sheet (mainly for LD, but works for policy too)
LARP/Policy - 1
K - 1/2
Phil - 3/4
Tricks - strike
Other: probably somewhere throughout the paradigm - or just ask
Tech>truth, though sticking with the truth usually makes the tech easier
Prep Time - not a big fan of people stealing prep. If it gets bad enough I will start to just dock prep time as you're stealing prep so steal at your own risk. I also give verbal warnings, if I tell you to stop please just stop I don't want to be grumpy. TIMES TO NOT TAKE PREP: while someone is uploading a speech doc, as someone is going up for cross, after your prep time has expired, etc.
Speed – Spreading is fine. Make sure everyone in the round is okay with it though before you do. If you spread make sure it’s clear. If you’re super fast I probably can't understand your top speed, and especially slow down on analytics/tags. I'll clear you a few times, but if the keyboard ain't clacking I'm not recording your arguments.
Framing – it’s good. Please use it, especially if there’s different impacts in the debate. Impact calc is very good, use it to the best of your ability. I'm a policymaker after all you’ll win the round here.
2NC/1NR – please split the block. I’ve judged and have been in an alarmingly large number of rounds where the neg doesn’t split the block, and I don’t fancy judging one. You also shouldn't take prep before the 1NR; the 13 minute neg block vs 5 minute 1AR is your biggest asset, use it to overwhelm and make the 1ar difficult. Using prep for the 1NR decks any advantage you could have gained since your prep time lets the 1AR prep the 2NC for free. It’s up to you, but it’s a large strategic advantage that gets surprisingly underused. Not a fan of new in the 2NC. If you didn't run an off case or address case in the 1NC it's probably too late to do it then. The only exception is theory that relates to events during the debate.
I wouldn’t try more than 8 off, for a lot of reasons. That's not a challenge for you so please don't.
Ks – I probably don’t know all of your lit. As long as you explain I should be fine and am more than willing to vote on them. I'm once again reminding that you should either send your analytics or slow down otherwise else my flow WILL be a mess. Judge instruction is key here - give me ROB and impact stuff out.
Topicality – I love a good T debate. Not a fan of T as a time suck; it's legitimately so good. If the aff is untopical/topical/exists go for it. That being said, I need good violations on T. Slow down a bit on the standards/voters piece of things. I default to competing interps, but can evaluate on reasonability if it's won.
CPs – Mostly good. Not a big fan of Process CPs and Delay CPs. Though I probably prefer rejecting the arg, I'll still evaluate Process CPs, I'll just be sad. CPs theory is highly underused, so as long as I can flow them (slow down on them) you can win here. Condo is usually good but I default a bit to reasonability here - especially if the aff points out specific abuse from condo (perf con, multiple planks, etc) then I won't mind voting on it. I default to framing this debate as a scale of "if the CP solves ___ much of the aff, what does the risk of the net benefit need to be to outweigh" - so pairing good case defense and net benefit debate is crucial.
DAs – Good. Please just have at least a somewhat reasonable link chain. I feel like structural violence DAs are underused, don't be afraid to go for these impacts.
Theory – I'm fine with it. I heavily lean towards drop the argument and not the team unless it's egregious/discriminatory. Still will default to competing interps. Disclosure (for an example): I think disclosure is good and you should disclose, but I am less likely to reject the team and instead probably default more towards leaning neg on generic links/args. Condo/Topicality are probably the only ones that I reject the team on, but even then your condo violation has to be pretty hefty (and usually coupled with things like perf con). Outside of those 2, theory should never be your only 2nr/2ar option.
Case – I feel that case debate is highly under-utilized. A strong case debate is just as, if not a slightly more, viable way to my ballot. However, please pair it with some sort of offense; case defense is good but if there's no offense against the aff then I vote aff. Especially with a CP that avoids the deficits heck yeah.
K Affs – probably don’t know all of your lit, just explain it. Refer to the K section. Probably more comfortable with policy arguments but do what you do best.
Extinction Impacts – have a probable link chain and make sure aff is substantial. I highly doubt Biden implementing *insert tiny, unsubstantial policy change* will solve 4 scenarios of extinction, and if that is reflected on the tech in round be careful.
Case stock issues are what they are, they probably aren't enough to win my ballot alone but are helpful paired with CP/DA stuff.
I'm a policy kid, circuit norms and evaluations can fly over my head. I did a couple years on the trad circuit so I know some things but it's not my forte - refer to the policy stuff and ask questions before round. Judge instruction is still CRUCIAL.
I don't know philosophy and I won't pretend to know it. You can run it but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE explain it and how I evaluate it - odds are LD time constraints make it an uphill battle.
Not a fan of tricks.I have low threshold for responses to it and actually considering it in the round. Couple this with the theory section above.
You still should be cutting evidence in PF with good, clear cites.
I still will judge this event like any other - judge instruction and impact calc are critical.
I probably will just follow whatever the tournament says but generally a 28-28.5 is my average.
Good luck, and have fun!
Last Major Update 5/27/2023
I am a LAY judge, this paradigm is meant to give you just a bit of guidance on my judging.
I did not do debate in high school or college, and this is my 3rd year judging debate.
Make sure your arguments are clear and you talk at a pace I can understand.
Don’t be rude, discriminate, or do anything else like it.
Kritiks: Do not run these. You will lose me and most likely lose the round.
Theory/Topicality: I would prefer you not run these arguments but if you feel there truly is a need for these arguments make sure to clearly and thoroughly explain these.
CPs: I’m okay with these, just make sure to give an overview/underview to walk me through it.
DAs: I appreciate these arguments, brief overview/underview is helpful.
Framing: I prefer bigger impacts (focus on magnitude).
Case: I think case is very important, make sure you are debating as much case as you can.
Email chain: email@example.com
I am the head coach at De Soto (KS). Before that, I was an assistant for Maize (KS). I have been involved in speech/debate in some capacity for a decade.
I will listen to and evaluate Ks (including performance affs). I have become a lot more K-friendly over time, but please don't interpret that statement as a green light to read something you don't understand just because you can. Accessibility is a very important part of any kritik. As such, be very explicit on what the role of the ballot is and what the intended impact of the alt and/or performance is. I will vote on no link to the K and I will default to policy impacts unless the framing debate is done well. Don't be a moving target or change advocacy stances between speeches (obviously you can kick out of the K but some of those things might haunt you on other flows). Perf con arguments are very persuasive to me. I don't particularly love K v. K debates but do what you must.
Tech/Truth, Ev Quality
For both of these things, I try to limit judge intervention as much as I possibly can. I'm probably 70/30 tech v truth and I think your evidence should actually say what you claim it says. That being said, because of my intervention philosophy, you need to call this out deliberately in the round for me to evaluate it. I will absolutely vote on "untruthful" arguments if there are no responses claiming otherwise.
CPs and DAs
I think CPs are super fun and I think you have a lot of decent options on this topic but please be competitive. I like PICs bad arguments and I will often vote on them unless the neg can prove competition/lack of abuse in round. Be sure to have a clear net ben (internal or external) and articulate what it is: I've seen far too many CPs without them gone for. For the aff, I don't love hearing a laundry list of every perm you can think of. Read and articulate perms that actually test competitiveness (i.e. "perm do the aff" isn't a thing) and explain how the actions can coexist. DAs should be unique: generics are good but ev quality is important.
I have no threshold for the amount of conditional CPs or Ks or whatever the neg wants to run. However, if the aff wants to read abuse or condo bad I will certainly listen to it. Watch out for those pesky perf cons.
Explain your definitions and make sure the card you use has warrants that actually state (or strongly imply) your interp. Competing interps need to be evaluated in terms of both the definition's contextual value to the resolution as well as the warrants of the definition read. Explain your limits/ground. No laundry list here, articulate how exactly in-round abuse has occurred or how what the plan text justifies is bad. Explain your voters. If you want to read and actually go for T, I need to see contextual work done early and often. Avoid using buzzwords unless they actually mean something.
In terms of other theory arguments like framing, disclosure, etc. I need to have voters. If a teams wins on the theory level but does not provide adequate voting reasons why this is important or does not provide reason as to why theory evaluation should predicate policy, I will ignore the theory debate in favor of policy impacts. Make sure to articulate the sequential order of evaluation when multiple theoretical stances are being taken. On this note, RVIs are a *silly* thing and I will *begrudgingly* vote for them but they need to be weighed against the initial theory claim.
CX isn't binding unless you say it is. I'm fine with asserting arguments during this time but, if it's clear you're using this time to have an 11 minute speech, I won't be very happy with you. Don't make this a shouting match please, otherwise I'm just going to ignore both teams and nobody wants that. We're all friends here.
I am okay with speed in basically every instance except for when we get to theory args made on the flow that need explanation. If it's intricate and not in the speech doc slow it down a bit; it will help you if I can understand what's going on. That being said I'd prefer you be organized, clear, and slow instead of messy, unintelligible, and fast. I won't ever give up on your speech if you have a hard time with clarity, but just know I may not pick up all of your arguments (obviously a bad thing for you).
⭐ I'm a former college policy debater (2 years) & 4 years in High School.
⭐ You can really throw anything at me argument-wise. Speed is fine as long as you are still articulate (a big influence in speaker points is clarity).
⭐ I want to be in the email chain. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
⭐ I read evidence throughout the round, so know that I am paying attention to important warrants, and will only vote on something if there is evidence backing it and it's extended properly throughout the debate.
I debated four years in high school and four years in college. But it was many years ago. Since then I have judged debates over the past 30 years. But it is probably wise to consider me a lay judge. I was trained as a stock issues debater. The slower the better, including 1AC. Look at me as much as possible. We did not use a lot of counterplans and critiques were not a thing then. I am a dinosaur.
I debated in high school and college but that was in the 1980s; I have coached the past 35 years but at a 5A or 4A school in Kansas. With those two pieces of information, I'm pretty traditional in my approach to debate. I am a policymaker. I like communication, but I will try to keep a good flow if you will PLEASE signpost and label arguments; real words make it easier for me to flow than big gasps and high-pitched droning noises. I try to avoid being interventionist in the round, but I will struggle with believing things that are unrealistic. I don't care for a lot of theory discussion; I would prefer to hear about this year's resolution. I LOVE direct clash!
im a first-year out, ex-DCI debater from Lawrence.
i would like to be on the email chain - email@example.com
i will listen to and believe any argument assuming you can sell it. that being said, i think that actual discussion and debates about the aff are better than running like twenty da's and wacky t args.
i don't believe in tabula rasa. stock issues don't matter to me as much as a coherent argument. i won't vote you down if you don't "prove" harms or inherency.
if you tell me that you don't understand what USFG or some other acronym stands for, you've lost my ballot.
truth = tech, its more about the framework, in my opinion. you could honestly convince me either way, but i tend to lean towards truth > tech. i think there is an inherent value to the debate space but that's a different tangent.
i am most read on kritikal arguments and enjoy watching them but do what you do!
if you say anything sus i will vote you down.
if you have any questions feel free to ask.
Last Updated: Winter 2021
Assistant Debate Coach for 10 years, 8 of those at Olathe Northwest
Debated at Olathe South – didn’t debate in college
Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions!
Overall: I default policymaker and typically prefer debates in that style. Impact work is the way to win my ballot. In general, I believe that the affirmative should provide a resolution-based advocacy, and the negative should support whatever is advocated in the 2NR. Tech>truth, but obviously there’s a line there somewhere. Racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, etc. are unacceptable.
Speed: I can generally keep up with you as long as you slow down for tags / cites / theory (or other things where you want me to flow every word) and give me time between transition points. I’ll give you one “clear” before I stop flowing.
Topicality: I default to competing interpretations, but I’ll accept reasonability if it’s uncontested. For me, most T debates come down to the standards. Reading your “Limits Good” block against their “Limits Bad” block does nothing for me if you don’t actually engage in the debate happening with specificity.
General Theory: I don’t perceive myself to lean Aff or Neg on most theory arguments. Similarly to T, a good theory debate will include work on the standards that is not just embedded clash. If you feel that a theory arg is a reason to reject the team, I need more work than just literally that on my flow.
Framework: I prefer to flow framework on a separate sheet of paper as I want clear explanations / clash for why your framework is better than the other team’s.
Disadvantages / Impact Turns: I’ll listen to any DA, specific or not, though clearly a more specific link story will increase the probability of your argument. I will also listen to any impact scenario and will vote on terminal impacts. DAs / impact turns are generally strategic arguments to run in front of me as your judge.
Counterplans: If you don’t have a CP+DA combo in the 1NC, you’re probably making a strategic mistake in front of me as your judge. I’ll listen to any CP, but I like Advantage CPs in particular. I also enjoy a good perm debate, especially when Aff teams use creative perms.
Kritiks: I am open to hearing any Ks. That said, I'm not familiar with a ton of the lit base or terms of art, so please walk me through the story. While I’ve voted for them in the past, I think “reject the aff” or “do nothing” alts are not particularly persuasive. For me to vote for a K, you need to clearly articulate the alt and spend some time there.
Questions? Just ask!
I enjoy a good debate. I dislike unnecessary rudeness (sometimes rudeness is called for) and I dislike lazy argumentation. Run whatever makes you feel comfortable and I’ll evaluate it in the context of the round to the best of my ability and not the context of my own personal preferences. Of course, removing all implicit bias is impossible but I encourage all forms of effective argumentation. As long as you are persuasive and educational, you’ve got a fair shot. That being said, I do enjoy a nice critical debate, just make sure you’re not lazy with it and clearly articulate the arguments. Otherwise, I love to see folks having a good time in a round. Don’t be so uptight! We gotta spend at least an hour with each other in a little room. If we’re not all relaxed it’s gonna be painful.
T- I never ran this so I don’t have much experience on the argument just like anything else flesh it out and articulate all areas like the definition, violation, voters etc. Overall, not something I default to reasonability unless you convince me otherwise.
DAs- Dope arguments, depending on how they’re framed can be super devastating or just ok.
CPs- Fine with me all the way.
K’s- Love ‘em but don’t be lazy just cuz you think you can win me over with one.
Condo- Up to the round, tell me what’s up and I’ll evaluate accordingly. However, if your strategy involves running a K and a traditional FW arg, then you're digging a deep hole for yourself.
Framework- I have a high threshold for a traditional FW argument. You really gotta go all in and be way better than your opponent to convince me that they should have stuck to traditional policy structure.
Experience: I debated for 4 years at Sumner Academy and have debated a few years at KCKCC. I believe that debate is a dope activity through which people can shape their own realities.
Impact calculas is the most important. At the end of the day how should I weigh solvency deficits, links and impacts.
Offense-deffense: this is the second most important issue. Realize that winning a bunch of deffensivs arguments at the end of the day will not lead to a win if your opponent has offense against you.
Nexus question: what is the most important thing to evaluate a debate.
Prep time starts when cross x ends.
Cliff notes: I am a closeted K-Hack (meaning they aren’t my fav, but a well poised one is nice) posing as a tabula rasa. On that note, spreading for the purpose of outspreading the other team is no different than word vomit. I am okay with speed if args (and your tags) are EXTREMELY clear and well developed, I am not okay with speed when it is solely for out-reading the other team. Tell me where to flow, how to vote, and why it is important. If you’re going so fast I can’t flow, I won’t.
For Email chains: email@example.com
I've evolved as a judge which has unfortunately been interpreted as I'm inconsistent or unpredictable. As an assistant coach I understand that creates frustration, which I want to avoid, so if there is anything below that is not 100% clear, please ask me prior to the round. I would much rather have a brief discussion and give you some sense of understanding my thought process than you walk away from the round thinking you don't know what you could have done to win my ballot. I assure you, there have been people who have asked and learned how I evaluate, and those individuals found me to be consistent even if it wasn't always in their favor (though it often was).
Let's start with the foundation. Once upon a time I would give myself the label of "games player" because I appreciated good strategy. I still evaluate if I think a team is being strategic or clever, but I am strongly TRUTH OVER TECH. If you tell me that the Sun revolves around the Earth, and your opposition does not respond, that DOES NOT mean I accept something that is not true. I think it is especially critical in an environment of "fake news" or "relative facts" that we champion the truth above spin. So you will find that if your argument is only theoretically plausible, it is going to be much less persuasive than if you stick to simple truths.
This leads me to two conclusions you should be able to draw about how I evaluate a round. 1st, magnitude does NOT overwhelm probability. In fact magnitude rarely plays any part in my decision. I have listened to the same authors for 25+ years predict the next war will be over water or food or that we're all going to starve or that terrorists are moments away from having nuclear weapons. Empirically all of these authors are wrong. The have no credibility with me. Which means I give zero weight to an impact that I have zero probability of believing it will happen. You hear judges say all the time that they are tired of nuke war impacts. You want to know why? Because I have lived my entire life with the doomsday clock at least 7 minutes to midnight. The "experts" have cried wolf for far to long to be believed. The only chance you have to win on magnitude is if you extend very detailed warrants about why this time is different and the facts your author has looked at to draw the conclusions. If you don't know what facts the author looked at, don't bother.
2nd, links and link stories matter much more than uniqueness. I believe students like to debate uniqueness because it is easy. It is eacy to try to find evidence about the current state of the world. What is hard is predicting the consequences of taking any action. This is why solvency and link turns on case are extremely effective as well as indicting internal links on a D.A. to make it go away. I will assign 0% solvency or 0% risk of a link so defense can make an entire flow seemingly go away. This is especially apparent on politics scenarios! Pundits who try to predict elections or votes on legislation are less accurate than the weatherman! I will not assume that just because the Affirmative plan is topical that it will lead to any consequence other than the ones that are by fiat. I have listened to debaters who were incredibly informed on specific congressional leaders and how certain pieces of legislation are being used as a political football, and those debaters were persuasive. If you just aren't that debater, there is no shame in that, but you will find your politics scenario just isn't persuasive.
Let's shift gears and talk a little about topicality. Here is my single belief: the affirmative team must affirm the resolution. When I write affirmative on the ballot that means the affirmative team has successfully convinced me the resolution is true. The affirmative plan is an example of the possible reasons the resolution is true. The affirmative doesn't have to prove all instances of the resolution are true, but at least the affirmative plan should be adopted and if the affirmative plan is an example what could be under the resolution, then the resolution is true. This view of the resolution is nearly non-negotiable (we'll talk about K's in a minute). This means the affirmative plan is a proof of the resolution or it isn't. Period. I don't evaluate if it is fair because that is subjective. There will be an interpretation that I either believe or don't believe, it is always all or nothing. When it comes to competing interpretations, I will walk into the round with an interpretation in my mind (no one is a blank slate) and that will be my default. I can be persuaded that there is a different interpretation, but the reason must be more compelling than an appeal to emotion and warranted in facts. I will admit, topicality is the one place that I will suspend the truth until it is argued. There are countless rounds in which the foundation of an affirmative plan hasn't been established, it isn't prima facia topical, and I don't get to pull the trigger because the negative is silent. That frustrates me because I don't get to vote on what I see is the truth. That doesn't mean run topicality no matter what, because you hurt your credibility by running the wrong violation or running it to run it. It's not a strategic time suck. Both the affirmative and negative need to ask themselves if they would vote on if the affirmative is topical and make their best case. It probably goes without saying, but I believe the plan text must be topical, not the solvency of the plan. I believe the plan text must be sufficient to justify the resolution. If you need to do something in addition to the resolution to show the plan should be adopted, then you have shown the resolution should not be affirmed because it is insufficient.
I said I'd talk about K's, so lets get it over with. For years I said I didn't like them or worst wouldn't even listen to them. I'm much more open minded now, but here is the truth. You have 26 minutes to convince me of some philosophical position that I might not agree with. That is ridiculously hard when I've studied most of these positions for entire semesters, or life long, and have true biases. Flat out, I believe in Capitalism. I've studied Marx, and I happily participate in a Capitalist society. I have voted on Cap Bad because the round called for it, but my default is Cap Good. I could go through several popular K's, but you get the point. You will either 1. have to get lucky and preach to the choir on something I already believe or 2. knock me off my preconceived notion about the world. That's either luck or quite difficult. And I will caveat all of this with one big factor. If you are making a social criticism, you better walk the walk. You cannot be a hypocrite. If you performatively contradict your position, your link to the K will be far stronger than anything you say for your opponents because you should have known better. For example if you say animal suffering is always immoral and you are wearing leather shoes, you better be able to prove the cow died of natural causes! I LOVE to vote against the team who presents a K and link back into it. Speaking of K links, I will not assume the K links, you need to have a story (see my take on D.A.'s). And your alt must actually solve (see my take on solvency).
From K's to their cousins the CP. I am old and still believe that a counterplan must be an opportunity cost to the affirmative plan. We can't do the CP and the Aff (mutually exclusive) and the CP is better than the Aff (competitive) so we should do the CP instead of the affirmative. Futhermore the CP must be non-topical or else the affirmative gets to simply say the counterplan is one more example of why the resolution is true. See, the affirmative could present 2 or more plans to prove the resolution is a good idea. They don't do that because it puts them more at risk because they must advocate for everything they present, but they can just freely have the CP if the CP is topical. This is a strong belief of mine so theory to tell me otherwise is not persuasive. This isn't to say PIC's are off limits, it just means the PIC must be extra topical (see my take on why extra T doesn't justify the resolution). There are plenty of strategic CP's that work with this paradigm, but ultimately it needs to be an opportunity cost to the affirmative. CP's can be permed, thus they are not mutually exclusive and therefor not an opportunity cost to the affirmative plan. A CP can link to a D.A. so it isn't competitive. I appreciate counterplans and their usage, but they need to be that opportunity cost to the resolution.
The rest of theory type stuff is a coin flip and situational. I've voted on condo good and bad. I'm willing to pull the trigger on something, but you need to explain it and warrant it. I don't fill in the gaps for blips.
To be clear, I don't fill in anything. Just saying a couple of key words like "perm do both" or "pull the impacts" may not be sufficient. If I understood what you said earlier, perhaps, but I'm not going to insert what I think you mean by shouting out debate jargon. This leads to the overused question of speed. This is a verbal activity. I almost never read cards because I want to evaluate what I heard. If I hear the warrants in a card, great. If I'm not able to process the warrants then all you've done is make a claim in your tag. Speed is very rarely the issue, it is a matter of clarity. And it is unusually pretty obvious if I've given up on flowing. The only time I usually ask for evidence is when I personally am questioning myself on what I heard and I think it is my fault I'm unsure. As far as I'm concerned the authors are there to lend credibility, you are making the arguments, so I'm not going to evaluate what your author said, I'm going to evaluate what you said. If you author lacks credibility, you might as well just say things in your own words. Which honestly is often not a bad thing. I think debaters are way too dependent on quoting an author and treating it like a fact. If your author makes a claim but doesn't warrant it, just because they are an author doesn't make it true. This is more common in K debates where quoting a philosopher is treated like an absolute truth, but it can happen anywhere in the debate. Again, I want the truth over tech, so facts with logical analysis will outweigh a card in most situations.
Finally, I am human. I am biased. I have emotions. Why is this relevant? Because my bias and my emotions can make somethings seem more persuasive than others. Your credibility matters. If you destroy your credibility, you might say you won on the flow, but I'm not believing you so what is on the flow carries no weight. Treating your opponents poorly lowers your credibility. "Put away your impact defense, my card beats them all" is insulting because it shows that you care more about what your opponents think about how cool you are than persuading me that your argument is actually sound. Tag team cross ex tells me through your actions that "I don't trust my partner. My partner is stupid so I'll speak out of turn. What I have to say is more important." That is pretty damning to your partners credibility and frankly makes you a jerk. Prompting arguments says the same thing. Prompting "slower" shows you are trying to assist with something they might not realize in the moment but giving an argument and having them parrot it word for word so it "counts" is about the worst ways to attempt to persuade me. If you cause logistical issues such as being late to the round because what your assistant coach had to say was more important than my time, or stealing prep time while you fiddle with your computer, or take significant time to pass evidence, all of these things I notice and leaves an impression on me. You might be shocked by this, but humans like to reward people they like and punish those they don't like. That isn't to say I'll immediately vote against you because you rearranged the entire room so you could plug in your laptop, but it makes your job harder if I'm rooting against you. Just don't give me a reason to want to vote against you and we'll be fine.
Oh, and I don't shake hands. I'm not as adverse as Howie Mandel, but I prefer not to physically touch strangers. I just don't see any reason to do it. I know you respect me as a human and I respect you as a human without our hands touching.