Isidore Newman School Invitational
2022 — New Orleans, LA/US
Policy Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
My pronouns are he/him.
Saint Louis UDL policy debater in high school (2015-2018). Former president of NPDA parli debate at Tulane (graduating Dec '21). I began judging LD and PF in 2018. I now work full time doing intake in the housing unit at legal aid and part-time at the Louisiana Children's Museum and Audubon Nature Institute.
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org (also email me here if you have any questions or accessibility needs)
If you feel unsafe at any point in a round or during a tournament, let me know (either in person or via email) and I will do everything I can to get you out of the situation and get the issue handled w tab/equity office/tournament directors etc. Your safety comes first, always
I clap at the end of rounds
Please put cards in docs instead of the body of the email. I don't care if it's just one card - I want a doc.
Spring 2023 Update:
- I no longer think it is particularly useful to list all of my thoughts and preferences on specific arguments and debate styles in my paradigm. It shouldn't matter to you or affect the way you choose to debate. You should debate in a way that feels fun, educational, and authentic to you. I will judge the debate in front of me.
- I am not as involved in debate as I once was. Judging is now a special treat that requires taking off work. This could be good for you or it could be bad for you. Either way, it means I'm genuinely thrilled to be here.
- Be mindful when it comes to speed and jargon. I don't know the all the acronyms or buzzwords and I don't know community consensus or trends when it comes to things like counterplans or topicality.
Some general thoughts:
- TLDR: Read what you like and have fun with it! Whether you're reading a rage aff without a plan text or nine off in the 1NC, if you're into it, I'm into it.
- The best part of debate is the people. Be kind.
- I see my role as a judge as an educator first and foremost
- The best way to win my ballot is to filter arguments through impact framing. Why is your model/disadvantage/advocacy/etc more important? What does it mean to mitigate/solve these impacts in the context of the debate? Why is the ballot important or not important?
- Every speech is a performance. How you choose to perform is up to you, but be prepared to defend every aspect of your performance, including your advocacy, evidence, arguments, positions, and representations
- Tell me why stuff matters! Tell me what I should care about and why!
- If you are a jerk to novices or inexperienced debaters, I will tank your speaks. This is an educational activity. Don't be a jerk
- I don't know what "tricks" or "spikes" are. I judged a round that I'm told had both of these things, and it made me cry (and I sat). Beyond that, I've judged lots of traditional, kritikal, and plan rounds and feel comfortable there.
GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN, LEARN THINGS
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com :-)
**Feel free to ask more specific questions before rounds, but know that your style/ research is more important than my feelings about specific args/ strategies.**
I did policy all through high school, mostly critical/ soft-left stuff. I l still like K stuff, not necessarily more than anything else though. Honestly, I don't tend to vote for T but will if the voting issues are made very clear and important.
Southside is my first tournament judging the 2023-24 topic, if there are specific acronyms, please clarify them. Don't expect me to have super intimate knowledge of NATA/ AI- related legislation. I keep up with the news, but I am an English major.
I pay close attention to role-of-the-ballot and role-of-the-judge args but want to knowwhythose roles are valid/ important/ good.
If you are going to run a K, please demonstrate a good understanding of your methodologies, authors, and foundational philosophies. Running something critical just for the sake of it is not going to win you any points.
Generally, I want to know why things matter and believe in truth over tech. I am not going to catch every minute technical concession. By the end of the round, wrap things up nicely and tell me exactly what matters the most (and why).
I never competed in LD but enjoy judging it and have quite a lot.
Although I don't have super specific preferences, please do flesh out any framing-- do not assume that just because yousay the value criterion is "____" that means I assume it's true. Tell me why!Let me know what matters in/ out of the round.
I pay close attention to the line-by-line and love to see direct clash.
ferris 21 - (CM: arms sales, CJR.) -> west georgia (CF: antitrust. CL: legal personhood. - gap year for nuclear forces)
conflicts: Fox Chapel, Chattahoochee, North Broward Koh-X.
+.1 speaks if you bring me coffee before the debate.
+.1 speaks if you open source - tell me after the 2ar.
I'm very content agnostic. Read whatever you believe is strategic. If you believe the "evil" position is strategic, I won't dismiss it out of hand as such, but am generally very sympathetic to arguments like "reading evil arguments is bad" contingent on the team winning that the argument is evil & wrong. I care a lot about organization because I flow on paper. Number your arguments for me, reference arguments by name and number. Do line by line. Do judge instruction. I care about evidence quality and highlighting. Claims without warrants are not arguments. Qualifications matter. Grammar matters. Bad highlighting and bad cards will lose you debates. I care about the people in debate, and if you treat people poorly then you should strike me. Many people have shaped how I think about this activity. Listing everyone would take far too long, but the most notable people are Adrienne Brovero, Joe Skoog, David Sposito, Campbell Nofsinger, and the current West Georgia Debate team. If you care about records, I cleared at the NDT in 2023 and qualified to the TOC in high school while consistently clearing at other major tournaments in both high school and college. If you care about argument history, I was a Baudrillard 2A in high school and am currently a 2N who goes for the Cap K or topicality in every debate. See team codes at the top for wikis.
tl:dr - do what you want and i will evaluate it fairly and technically.
If this is all you're here for, I'm okay for you. The thing which will sway me either way in these debates is specificity. Reading blocks through the 2AR/2NR without engaging the nuance of the other teams arguments is a recipe for low speaks and a loss. I don't think reading topicality is necessarily evil, but I do think it can be deployed in ways which are far less than ideal. Listening to your opponents and actually engaging their arguments is the most important thing in a "clash" debate. Don't really care either way on the internal arguments like fairness, education, etc. Everyone's here for different reasons. Just win that your model is good for the reasons the other team says as well as some external offense about why their model is bad.
critique vs critique
These debates are cool. Competition is usually weird and I err a little neg on "no perms", but the neg still needs to prove the aff is bad. What that means is up for debate though. There are so many minor disagreements in literature here that I think PIKS/Theory of Power throwdowns are probably the things that make the most sense. Debates about tactics are fun, but debate is literally incapable of accessing the nuance of actual operational planning that could ever be useful in the real world. Also - military terms 101 - Tactics are the things you do (IE - guerilla warfare), strategy is your plan to achieve a goal (IE - defeat military opposition), grand strategy is your goal (IE - revolution), an operation is the combination of tactics within a strategy. Please stop misusing these.
plan vs critique
Framework matters most. I'm generally unconvinced by "only links to the plan" and "they don't get to weigh the plan" but very convinced by the middle ground of "only links to things the aff defended". However, I won't vote on a framework interpretation which is not made in the debate. If "only links to the plan" vs "no plan" is the debate, then I won't artificially create a middle ground. I'm very interested in how competition functions in K debates. If a team says capitalism is good against the cap K, as far as I'm concerned the permutation is not an option. Affs should choose between link turning and impact turning, much like they'd have to do against a disadvantage, but the plan also probably matters and the perm double bind is probably true if the aff wins a convincing functional competition argument. Creative competition arguments on both sides will make me happy. Alternatives should solve things, ideally the links. I'm versed in most literature, with most of my knowledge in "high theory" and Marxism.
Cool. I like specificity and bravery. Generic process counterplans are boring, specific advantage counterplans with case defense and a smart disad or impact turns are extremely entertaining. I appreciate these straight up the middle debates very much though, and good form can make any argument entertaining. I am a theory nerd who will happily listen to weird inherency arguments, competition arguments, etc. Ambivalent on conditionality, there are both good and bad things about it. Topicality is one of my favorite arguments, just have a caselist please. Reasonability is silly. I am a bit of a presumption hack because affs are bad and, generally, 0 risk exists. Good defense is very underrated. The aff has the burden of proof and if the negative demonstrates the aff does not depart from the status quo either by not solving it's impacts or proving it's impact scenarios are incorrect I think that is a sufficient condition to vote negative and saying "1% risk / but MAYBE we do something good" is not a sufficient condition to vote affirmative.
In a world where effective altruism is gaining traction, I'm extremely sympathetic to low impact-high probability arguments when coupled with framing arguments like "extinction first logic is literally genocide because a 0.0000000000001% risk of losing 10^24 future generations justifies the holocaust" (I did this math recently! it is seriously horrifying what "extinction first" justifies as a "reasonable sacrifice" if impact calculus is just "magnitude times probability" and I hope this activity thinks more about ethics outside the Bostrom / utilitarianism death cult). If both teams agree to extinction first / magnitude times probability through, I suppose that is the debate we will have.
---- clipping is an issue for tabroom, if you want to stake a debate on it, have a recording. the debate will stop & I will award the lowest possible speaks to either the accused or the accuser depending on the truth of the accusation. This is the **only** thing I will stop a debate for (barring obvious exceptions for student safety).
In all debates I hope people are having fun and learning; I will do my best to facilitate those things. Slack > Tech > Truth. If you have further questions just email me.
My ballot will be determined by my flow. Technical concessions are taken as truth.
Some random things that may be helpful:
---you can insert re-highlightings, re-cuttings of things not present in the original card should be read.
---please locally record speeches/turn on your camera for online debates.
---line by line is helpful for the purposes of my flow but I will attempt to write down as much of your rant as possible.
---I am generally a fan of creative and interesting strategies.
---"I have a lower bar for a warrant than most. I am unlikely to reject an argument solely on the basis of ‘being a cheap shot’ or lacking ‘data.’ Unwarranted arguments are easily answered by new contextualization, cross applications, or equally unwarranted arguments. If your opponent’s argument is missing academic support or sufficient explanation, then you should say that. I’m strict about new arguments and will protect earlier speeches judiciously. However, you have to actually identify and flag a new argument. The only exception to this is the 2AR, since it is impossible for the neg to do so." - Rafael Pierry
I am a debate coach at Little Rock Central. Please put both on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
You do you. Let it rip. Seriously. A judge does not exist without the debaters, and I view my role as a public servant necessary only to resolve arguments in a round to help empower young people to engage in meaningful discourse. I believe that it is important for me to be honest about the specific things I believe about common debate arguments, but also I find it more important to ensure I am prepared for debaters to persuade me away from those beliefs/biases. Specifically, I believe that my role is to listen, flow, and weigh the arguments offered in the round how I am persuaded to weigh them by each team. I will listen to and evaluate any argument. It is unacceptable to do anything that is: ableist, anti-feminist, anti-queer, racist, or violent.
I think debates have the lowest access to education when the judge must intervene. I can intervene as little as possible if you:
1) Weigh your impacts and your opponents' access to risk/impacts in the debate. One team probably is not most persuasive/ahead of the other team on every single argument. That needs to be viewed as a strength rather than a point of anxiety in the round. Do not be afraid to explain why you don't actually need to win certain arguments/impacts in lieu of "going for" the most persuasive arguments that resolve the most persuasive/riskiest impacts.
2) Actively listen and use your time wisely. Debaters miss each other when distracted/not flowing or listening. This seems to make these teams more prone to missing/mishandling arguments by saying things like, "'x' disad, they dropped it. Extend ____ it means ____;" yet, in reality, the other team actually answered the argument through embedded clash in the overview or answered it in a way that is unorthodox but also still responsive/persuasive.
3) Compare evidence and continuously cite/extend your warrants in your explanations/refutation/overall argumentation. Responses in cross that cite an individual warrant or interrogate their opponents' warrants are good ethos builders and are just in general more persuasive, same in speeches.
Go for it. Your pathway to solving a significant harm that is inherent to the status quo with some advantageous, topical plan action is entirely up to you. There are persuasive arguments about why it is good to discuss hypothetical plan implementation. I do not have specific preferences about this, but I am specifically not persuaded when a 2a pivot undercovers/drops the framework debate in an attempt to weigh case/extend portions of case that aren't relevant unless the aff wins framework. I have not noticed any specific thresholds about neg strats against policy affs.
Go for it. Your pathway/relationship to the resolution is entirely up to you. I think it’s important for any kritikal affirmative (including embedded critiques of debate) to wins its method and theory of power, and be able to defend that the method and advocacy ameliorates some impactful harm. I think it’s important for kritkal affirmatives (when asked) to be able to articulate how the negative side could engage with them; explain the role of the negative in the debate as it comes up, and, if applicable, win framework or a methods debate. I don't track any specific preferences. Note: Almost all time that I am using to write arguments and coach students is to prepare for heg/policy debates; I understand if you prefer someone in the back of the room that spends a majority of their time either writing kritikal arguments or coaching kritikal debate.
This is all up to how it develops in round. I figure that this often starts as a question of what is good for debate through considerations of education, fairness, and/or how a method leads to an acquisition/development of portable skills. It doesn't have to start or end in any particular place. The internal link and impact are up to you. If the framework debate becomes a question of fairness, then it's up to you to tell me what kind of fairness I should prioritize and why your method does or does not access it/preserve it/improve it. I vote for and against framework, and I haven't tracked any specific preferences or noticed anything in framework debate that particularly persuades me.
Overall, I think that most neg strats benefit from quality over quantity. I find strategies that are specific to an aff are particularly persuasive (beyond just specific to the overall resolution, but also specific to the affirmative and specific cites/authors/ev). In general, I feel pretty middle of the road when it comes to thresholds. I value organization and utilization of turns, weighing impacts, and answering arguments effectively in overviews/l-b-l.
Other Specifics and Thresholds, Theory
• Perms: Be ready to explain how the perm works (more than repeating "it's perm do 'X'"). Why does the perm resolve the impacts? Why doesn't the perm link to a disad?
• T: Normal threshold if the topicality impacts are about the implications for future debates/in-round standards. High threshold for affs being too specific and being bad for debate because neg doesn't have case debate. If I am in your LD pool and you read Nebel, then you're giving me time to answer my texts, update a list of luxury items I one day hope to acquire, or simply anything to remind myself that your bare plurals argument isn't 'prolific.'
• Case Debate: I am particularly persuaded by effective case debate so far this year on the redistribution topic. Case debate seems underutilized from an "find an easy way to the ballot" perspective.
• Disclosure is generally good, and also it's ok to break a new aff as long as the aff is straight up in doing so. There are right and wrong ways to break new. Debates about this persuade me most when located in questions about education.
• Limited conditionality feels right, but really I am most interested in how these theory arguments develop in round and who wins them based on the fairness/education debate and tech.
• Please do not drop condo or some other well-extended/warranted theory argument on either side of the debate. Also, choosing not to engage and rely on the ethos of extending the aff is not a persuasive way to handle 2NRs all in on theory.
TOC Requested Update for Congress (April 2023)
Be your best self. My ranks reflect who I believe did the best debating in the round (and in all prelims when I parli).
The best debaters are the ones that offer a speech that is appropriately contextualized into the debate the body is having about a motion. For sponsors/first negs, this means the introduction of framing and appropriate impacts so that the aff/neg speakers can build/extend specific impact scenarios that outweigh the opposing side's impacts. Speeches 3-10 or 3-12 (depending on the round) should be focused on introducing/weighing impacts (based on where you are in the round and where your side is on impact weighing) and refutations (with use of framing) on a warrant/impact level. I value structured refutations like turns, disadvantages, presumption, PICs (amendments), no solvency/risk, etc. The final two speeches should crystallize the round by offering a clear picture as to why the aff/neg speakers have been most persuasive and why the motion should carry or fail.
The round should feel like a debate in that each speaker shall introduce, refute, and/or weigh the core of the affirmative and negative arguments to persuade all other speakers on how they should vote on a pending motion.
Other TOC Requested Congress Specifics/Randoms
Arguments are claim, warrant, impact/justification and data when necessary. Speeches with arguments lacking one or more of these will not ever be rewarded highly, no matter how eloquent the speech. It is always almost more persuasive to provide data to support a warrant.
Impacts should be specific and never implied.
Presiding officers should ensure as many speeches as possible. The best presiding officers are direct, succinct, courteous, organized, and transparent. Presiding officers shall always be considered for ranks, but ineffective presiding is the quickest way to a rank 9 (or lower).
More floor debaters are experimenting with parliamentary procedure. Love it, but debaters will be penalized for misapplications of the tournament's bylaws and whichever parliamentary guide is the back up.
Nothing is worse in floor debate than repetition, which is different than extending/weighing.
- Decorum should reflect effective communication. Effective communication in debate often includes an assertive tone, but read: folx should always treat each other with dignity and respect.
Woo Pig. I am not here to force you to capitulate a paradigm that you find in someway oppressive to what your coach is teaching you to do. I will drop you for clipping/cheating, and I do not reward (and will rank low in congress) bad/no arguments even if they sound as rhetorically smooth as Terry Rose and Gary Klaff singing "Oh, Arkansas."
Please include me on email chains when you distribute evidence.
Before you consider all of my opinions on debate, please understand that I am a Tab judge. I will vote for the team that did the best job in the round.
CX can be open or closed. Just do not drown out your partner. I want to see a real understanding of your argument.
While I am a tab judge, the information below is how to impress me in a round.
Please signpost and stay with your road-map. I will have you start at full speed, but know that if you’re unclear, I will need you to slow down. Always provide a road-map before you begin. I flow the entire round and so if you want to win, be clear in your execution of spreading.
K’s and K affs:
I have at least a passing familiarity with most of the literature bases, but please don’t assume I do. Use more than just buzzwords. It is important that you show a firm grasp on the literature base behind the K and explain how it functions in the context of the round. Your alt shouldn’t be an afterthought. You should articulate a clear idea of how my ballot fulfills it.
Establish a coherent and strong narrative on why your framework must be evaluated before the round.
Put in the time if you want to win it.
Slow down on CP text/perm text.
Don’t just read blocks and move on. Explain it to me.
I was a high school debater in the mid 1990s (in Arkansas)
I've been a debate mom/driver/occasional judge since 2015
My background is in policy debate and that's where I lean as a judge. I like to hear a debate about the resolution, and I like to hear a plan from the affirmative. That being said, I'm willing to listen to any well-articulated argument you'd care to make.
I don't mind some speed - I'll let you know if you're going too fast for me. I'm fine with being on an email chain, but I need to hear/understand you to actually evaluate the argument.
On specific arguments:
Topicality - There's a resolution for a reason, but having plenty of aff ground makes for more interesting debate and I think improves education on the topic.
Theory - I definitely think one conditional counterplan is fine. More than two feels a little abusive, but I'm open to arguments that it's not. Talking to the experienced debater I know, she says I generally lean aff on other theory questions.
Ks - Probably not the best strategy for most novices, but if you're going to go for it, be sure you explain your arguments clearly. I've listened to a fair number of K debates, but don't assume I'm familiar with authors. You can't just say "Baudrillard" and expect me to fill in the arguments. I'd rather a K on the neg have links to the aff than just to the status quo.
Generally, be nice to each other. Attacking arguments is one thing, attacking people is another. Respect people, respect their pronouns, don't use slurs.
Add me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although I am very familiar with NATO, Isidore Newman will be the first time I judge this topic. That being said, if there is anything that I should know (acronyms, programs, important concepts, etc.), use your speeches to explain it.
I'm fine with almost any argument, so long as it is explained coherently and has a claim, evidence, and warrant behind it. Ultimately, just be nice, be prepared, and have fun.
Not sure how big it is on this topic, but I am a big fan of T debates. I think legal precision is probably the best way to win T debates (regardless if you're aff or neg)- I'm persuaded by the argument that legal precision controls the internal link to whatever other impacts there are (fairness, education, etc.). Also, intent to define is key. Don't hesitate to call out your opponent's evidence if it is taken out of context.
Great argument. Agent, conditions, process, etc. are all fine with me as long as it's tied to the rest of the debate. That means that at some point a card needs to be read by the neg that ties the CP to the aff, or at the very least the resolution. Solvency deficits can be devastating if they're explained well, and certainly should be part of your aff strategy. Likewise, having quality evidence on the neg that establishes solvency makes your CP much more viable. Advantage CP's are underused and can be super effective when coupled with a DA. In terms of theory, I am generally neg leaning, but can be convinced otherwise. The only argument I may be aff leaning on, depending on the situation, is condo. Aff, if you're going to go for it, don't make it a generic, theoretical debate over the merits of conditionality. The best way to execute condo is to make it as specific to the round as possible, and provide concrete examples of how the neg's use of condo was abusive.
Any and all disads are fine. I frequently went for DA and case as a 2n and I think it's a strategy that's not used enough. Obviously impact calc is super important, not just fleshing out your own impact but also comparing it to theirs. I can be persuaded to vote aff on defense alone, especially if the case debate is executed well, but you'll probably be more successful if you go for a link or impact turn.
The K can be an extremely effective strategy, and I will definitely listen. While I am familiar with most K literature, the more high theory it gets, the larger the burden is on the neg to explain it. At the end of the day, if I can't comprehend your argument, I'm not going to vote for it. My favorite K to read was set col, but I'm fine with anything. For both sides, be respectful to your opponents and do not personally attack them. Also, be direct about what your argument is and don't be shifty. I'm not going to vote on K results in the aff post-alt or fiat double bind, so your path to victory is much more clear if you focus on the actual substance of the kritik. For most kritiks, I think the neg has a pretty high threshold to establish a link, so make sure you read evidence that puts your K in the context of the aff, and have specific examples of what the aff does that links to your argument. If you're aff, use your c-x and speech time to point out the lack of a link and also attack the alt. A lot of alts are simply buzzwords that can't be explained, or, if they are comprehensible, have clear, significant DA's to them. If you're neg, take the time in your speeches to explain what the alt does, how it solves your impacts, and why it's preferable. I'm ok with K affs, but I think it's definitely an uphill battle for the aff if the neg has a solid framework argument. If you plan on reading a K aff, tie it to the topic, have a good defense of why it should be a part of the debate, and explain why the impacts of your aff matter, both in terms of the "real-world" impacts as well as the impacts that your aff has on debate as an activity.
Updated February 2023
Caveat: This is my perception of what I think I do. Those who have had me in the back of the room may have different views.
The TL;DR version (applies to all forms of debate).
The resolution is pretty important. Advocate for or against it and you get a lot of leeway on method. Ignore it at your peril.
Default policymaker/CBA unless the resolution screams otherwise or you give me a well-reasoned argument for another approach.
“Roles of the ballot” or frameworks that are not reasonably accessible (doesn't have to be 50-50, but reasonable) to both sides in the debate run the risk of being summarily thrown out.
Share me to the speech doc (email@example.com) but I’m only flowing what you intelligibly say in the debate. If I didn’t flow it, you didn’t say it.
Fairness and reciprocity are a good starting point for evaluating theory/topicality, etc. Agnostic on tech v. truth debate. These are defaults and can be overcome.
Rudeness, rules-lawyering, clipping, falsifying evidence and other forms of chicanery all make me unhappy. Making me unhappy reduces your speaker points. If I’m unhappy enough, you might be catching an L.
The longer version (for all forms of debate)
The Resolution: Full disclosure – I have been a delegate to the NFHS Debate Topic Selection Meeting since 2011 (all years for Mississippi except 2022 when I voted on behalf of NCFL) and was on the Wording Committee from 2018-2020, the last of those years as chair. There’s a lot of work that goes into crafting resolutions and since you’re coming here by choice, it should be respected. Advocate for or against the resolution and I’ll give you a pretty wide degree of latitude on method. If you’re just going to ignore the resolution, the bar is pretty low for your opponent to clear to get the W (though I have seen teams bungle this).
File Sharing and Speed – Yes please, but understand I’m only flowing that which comes out of your mouth that I can understand – I don’t flow as fast in my mid-50s as I did even in my 40s. I only go to the speech doc if a) I lost concentration during the speech through no fault of your own, b) I need to read evidence because there is a dispute about what the evidence says, or c) I want to steal the evidence for a future round. If you bust out ten blips in fifteen seconds, half of them aren’t making the flow. Getting it on my flow is your job and I have no problem saying “you didn’t say that in a way that was flowable”.
Arguments: Arguments grounded in history, political science, and economics are the ones I understand the best – that can cut both ways. So while I understand K’s like Cap, CRT, and Intersectionality, I have a harder time with those that are based on some Continental European whose name ends with four vowels in a row who says that not adopting their method risks all value to life. Your job is to put me in a position to be able to make the other team understand why they lost, even if they disagree with the decision. If you don’t do the work, I’m not doing it for you. Regarding “framework” or “role of the ballot” arguments – if what you’re advocating isn’t at least reasonably accessible to both teams, I reserve the right to ignore it.
Deciding Rounds – I try to decide the round in the least interventionist way possible – I’ll leave it to others to hash out whether I succeed at that. I’m willing to work slightly harder to adjudicate the round than you do to advocate in the round (basically, if neither debater does the work and the round’s a mess, I’m going to look for the first thing I can embrace to get out of the round). If you ask me to read evidence, especially your evidence, you’ve given me a tacit invitation to intervene.
Point Scale – Because I judge on a few different circuits that each have different scales, saying X equals a 28.5 isn’t helpful. I use the scale I’m asked to use to the best of my ability.
Things that will cost you speaker points/the round:
Rudeness – Definitely will hurt your speaks. If it’s bad enough, I’ll look for a reason to vote you down or just decide I like to make rude people mad and give you the L just so I can see you get hacked off.
Gratuitous profanity – Saying “damn” or “hell” or “the plan will piss off X” in a frantic 1AR is no biggie. Six f-bombs in a forty second span is a different story.
Racist/sexist/homophobic language or behavior – If I’m sure about what I saw or heard and it’s bad enough, I’ll act on it unilaterally.
Falsifying evidence/clipping cards/deliberate misrepresentation of evidence – Again, if I’m sure about this and that it’s deliberate, I’ll act on my own.
Rules-lawyering – Debate has very few rules, so unless it’s written down somewhere, rules-lawyering is likely to only make me mad. An impacted theory objection might be a different story.
1. Way too much time on framework debates without applying the framework to the resolution question. I’m not doing this work for you.
2. The event is generally in an identity crisis, with some adhering to the Value Premise/Criterion model and others treating it like 1 on 1 policy, some with really shallow arguments. I’m fine with either, but starting the NC with five off and then collapsing to one in the NR is going to make me give 2AR a lot of leeway (maybe even new argument leeway) against extrapolations not specifically in the NC.
3. Too many NR’s and 2AR’s are focused on not losing and not on winning. Plant your flag somewhere, tell me why you’re winning those arguments and why they’re the key to the round.
Public Forum Specific Observations
1. Why we ever thought paraphrasing was a good idea is absolutely beyond me. In a debate that isn’t a mismatch, I’m generally going to prefer those who read actual evidence over those who say “my 100 page report says X” and then challenge the other team to prove them wrong in less than a handful of minutes of prep time. Make of that what you will.
2. I’ve never seen a Grand Crossfire that actually advanced a debate.
3. Another frustration I have with PF is that issues are rarely discussed to the depth needed to resolve them fully. This is more due to the structure of the round than debaters themselves. To that end, if you have some really wonky argument, it’s on you to develop your argument to where it’s a viable reason to vote. I will lose no sleep over saying to you “You lost because you didn’t do enough to make me understand your argument.”
4. Right now, PF doesn’t seem sure of what it wants to be – some of this is due to the variety of resolutions, but also what seems like the migration of ex-debaters and coaches into the judging pool at the expense of lay judges, which was supposed to be the idea behind PF to begin with.
5. As with LD, too many Final Focuses are focused on not losing instead of articulating a rationale for why a team is winning the debate.
Elise Matton, Director of Speech & Debate at Albuquerque Academy (2022–present)
EMAIL CHAIN: firstname.lastname@example.org
· B.A. History, Tulane University (Ancient & Early Modern Europe)
· M.A. History, University of New Mexico (U.S. & Latin America)
· CX debate in NM local circuit, 2010 State Champion (2005-2010)
· IPDA/NPDA debate in college, 2012 LSU Mardi Gras Classic Champion (2011-2014)
· Team Assistant, Isidore Newman (primarily judging/trip chaperoning — 2012-2016)
· Assistant Coach, Albuquerque Academy (LD & CX emphasis — 2017–2022)
· I judge a mix of local circuit and national circuit tournaments (traditional & progressive) primarily in CX and LD, but occasionally PF or other Speech events.
Note Pre-Jack Howe:
· Jack Howe is my 1st national circuit tournament in policy this season — I haven't seen or judged many rounds at all yet this year and definitely not too many fast/technical/progressive rounds on the topic. Do not assume I know Aff topic areas, core neg ground, abstract topic-specific acronyms, etc. Adjust accordingly!
General Notes (this is catered for policy and national circuit LD. PF notes are at the bottom).
· Speed is fine generally so long as it's not used to excessively prohibit interaction with your arguments. I do think there is a way to spread and still demonstrate strong speaking ability (varying volume, pacing, tone etc) and will probably reward you for it if you're doing both well. Go slower/clearer/or otherwise give vocal emphasis on taglines and key issues such as plan text or aff advocacy, CP texts, alts, ROB/ROJ, counter-interps, etc. Don't start at your max speed but build up to it instead. If you are one of the particularly fast teams in the circuit, I recommend you slow down SLIGHTLY in front of me. I haven't been judging many fast rounds lately, so I'm slightly rusty. I'm happy to call out "clear" and/or "slow" to help you find that my upper brightline so you can adjust accordingly as needed.
· Put me on the email chain (email@example.com) but know I don't like rounds that REQUIRE me to read the doc while you're speaking (or ideally at all). I tend to have the speech doc up, but I am annoyed by rounds where debaters ASSUME that everyone is reading along with them. I flow off what I hear, not what I read, and I believe that your delivery and performance are important aspects of this activity and you have the burden of clearly articulating your points well enough that I theoretically shouldn't need to look at the docs at all for anything other than ev checking when it's requested. If someone who wasn't looking at your speech doc would not be able to tell the difference between the end of one card/warrant and the beginning of a new tagline, you need better vocal variety and clarity (louder, intonation change, inserting "and" or "next" between cards etc, etc.
· The most impressive debaters to me are ones who can handle intense high-level technical debates, but who can make it accessible to a wide variety of audiences. This means that I look for good use of tech and strategy, but ALSO for the ability to "boil it down" in clearly worded extensions, underviews, overviews, and explanations of your paths to the ballot. I strongly value debaters who can summarize the main thesis of each piece of offense in their own words. It shows you have a strong command of the material and that you are highly involved in your own debate prep.
· I believe that Tech>truth GENERALLY, BUT- Just because an argument is dropped doesn't necessarily mean I'll give you 100% weight on it if the warrants aren't there or it is absurdly blippy. I also have and will vote for teams that may be less technically proficient but still make valid warranted claims even if they aren't done formatted in a "Technical" manner. Ex: if you run some a theory argument against a less technical team who doesn't know how to line-by-line respond to it, but they make general arguments about why this strategy is harmful to debaters and the debate community and argue that you should lose for it, I would treat that like an RVI even if they don't call it an RVI. Etc.
· Use my occasional facial expression as cues. You’ll probably notice me either nodding occasionally or looking quizzically from time to time- if something sounds confusing or I’m not following you’ll be able to tell and can and should probably spend a few more seconds re-explaining that argument in another way (don't dwell on this if it happens — if it's an important enough point that you think you need to win, use the cue to help you and try explaining it again!) Note the nodding doesn't mean I necessarily agree with a point, just following it and think you're explaining it well. If you find this distracting please say so pre-round and I’ll make an effort not to do so.
· Use Content warnings if discussing anything that could make the space less safe for anyone within it and be willing to adapt for opponents or judges in the room.
Role as a Judge
Debate is incredible because it is student-driven, but I don't think that means I abandon my role as an educator or an adult in the space when I am in the back of the room making my decision. I believe that good debaters should be able to adapt to multiple audiences. Does this mean completely altering EVERYTHING you do to adapt to a certain judge (traditional judge, K judge, anti-spreading judge, lay judge, etc etc)? No, but it does mean thinking concretely about how you can filter your strategy/argument/approach through a specific lens for that person.
HOW I MAKE MY RFD: At the end of the last negative speech I usually mark the key areas I could see myself voting and then weigh that against what happens in the 2AR to make my decision. My favorite 2NR/2AR’s are ones that directly lay out and tell me the possible places in the round I could vote for them and how/why. 2NR/2AR’s that are essentially a list of possible RFDs/paths to the ballot for me are my favorite because not only do they make my work easier, but it clearly shows me how well you understood and interpreted the round.
Part of me really loves the meta aspect of T and theory, and part of me loathes the semantics and lack of substance it can produce. I see T and Theory as a needing to exist to help set some limits and boundaries, but I also have a fairly high threshold. Teams can and do continue to convince me of appropriate broadenings of those boundaries. Reasonability tends to ring true to me for the Aff on T, but don’t be afraid to force them to prove or meet that interpretation, especially if it is a stretch, and I can be easily persuaded into competing interps. For theory, I don’t have a problem with conditional arguments but do when a neg strat is almost entirely dependent on running an absurd amount of offcase arguments as a time skew that prevents any substantive discussion of arguments. This kind of strat also assumes I’ll vote on something simply because it was “flowed through”, when really I still have to examine the weight of that argument, which in many cases is insubstantial. At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to use theory- it’s there as a strategy if you think it makes sense for the round context, but if you’re going to run it, please spend time in the standards and voters debate so I can weigh it effectively.
I love a really good disad, especially with extensive impact comparisons. Specific disads with contextualized links to the aff are some of my all-time favorite arguments, simple as they may seem in construct. The cost/benefit aspect of the case/DA debate is particularly appealing to me. I don’t think generic disads are necessarily bad but good links and/or analytics are key. Be sure your impact scenario is fully developed with terminal impacts. Multiple impact scenarios are good when you can. I'm not anti nuke war scenarios (especially when there is a really specific and good internal link chain and it is contextually related to the topic) but there are tons more systemic level impacts too many debaters neglect.
I used to hate PICs but have seen a few really smart ones in the past few years that are making me challenge that notion. That being said I am not a fan of process CPs, but go for it if it’s key to your strat.
Love them, with some caveats. Overviews/underviews, or really clearly worded taglines are key here. I want to see *your* engagement with the literature. HIGH theory K's with absurdly complicated taglines that use methods of obfuscation are not really my jam. The literature might be complex, and that's fine, but your explanations and taglines to USE those arguments should be vastly more clear and communicable if you want to run it in round! I have a high threshold for teams being able to explain their positions well rather than just card-dump. I ran some kritiks in high school (mostly very traditional cap/biopower) but had a pretty low understanding of the best way to use them and how they engaged with other layers of offense in the round. They weren’t as common in my circuit so I didn’t have a ton of exposure to them. However, they’ve really grown on me and I’ve learned a lot while judging them- they’re probably some of my favorite kind of debate to watch these days. (hint: I truly believe in education as a voter, in part because of my own biases of how much this activity has taught me both in and out of round, but this can work in aff’s favor when terrible K debates happen that take away from topic education as well). Being willing to adapt your K to those unfamiliar with it, whether opponents or judge, not only helps you in terms of potential to win the ballot, but, depending on the kind of kritik you're running or pre-fiat claims, also vastly increases likelihood for real world solvency (that is if your K is one that posits real world solvency- I'm down for more discussion-based rounds as theoretical educational exercises as well). I say this because the direction in which I decided to take my graduate school coursework was directly because of good K debaters who have been willing to go the extra step in truly explaining these positions, regardless of the fact I wasn’t perceived as a “K judge”. I think that concept is bogus and demonstrates some of the elitism still sadly present in our activity. If you love the K, run it- however you will need to remember that I myself wasn’t a K debater and am probably not as well versed in the topic/background/author. As neg you will need to spend specific time really explaining to me the alt/role of the ballot/answers to any commodification type arguments. Despite my openness to critical argumentation, I’m also open to lots of general aff answers here as well including framework arguments focused on policymaking good, state inevitable, perms, etc. Like all arguments, it ultimately boils down to how you warrant and substantiate your claims.
Flash time/emailing the doc out isn’t prep time (don’t take advantage of this though). Debaters should keep track of their own time, but I also tend to time as well in case of the rare timer failure. If we are evidence sharing, know that I still think you have the burden as debaters to clearly explain your arguments, (aka don’t assume that I'll constantly use the doc or default to it- what counts is still ultimately what comes out of you mouth).
I will yell “clear” if the spread is too incoherent for me to flow, or if I need you to slow down slightly but not if otherwise. If I have to say it more than twice you should probably slow down significantly. My preference while spreading is to go significantly slower/louder/clearer on the tagline and author. Don’t spread out teams that are clearly much slower than you- you don’t have to feel like you have to completely alter your presentation and style, but you should adapt somewhat to make the round educational for everyone. I think spreading is a debate skill you should employ at your discretion, bearing in mind what that means for your opponents and the judge in that round. Be smart about it, but also be inclusive for whoever else is in that round with you.
I don't judge PF nearly as frequently as I do CX/LD, so I'm not as up to date on norms and trends.
Mostly when judging PF I default to util/cost-benefit analysis framing and then I evaluate clash and impacts, though the burden is on you to effectively weigh that clash and the impacts.
Final Focus should really focus on the ballot story and impact calc. Explain all the possible paths to the ballot and how you access them.
Compared to LD and CX, I find that clash gets developed much later in the round because the 2nd constructive doesn't (typically?) involve any refutations (which I find bizarre from a speech structure standpoint). For this reason, I appreciate utilizing frontlining as much as possible and extending defense into summary.
Impressive speaking style = extra brownie points for PFers given the nature of the event. Ultimately I'm still going to make a decision based on the flow, but this matters more to me when evaluating PF debaters. Utilize vocal intonation, eye contact, gestures, and variance in vocal pacing.
Grand Crossfire can be fun when done right but horribly chaotic when done wrong. Make an effort to not have both partners trying to answer/ask questions simultaneously or I'll have a really hard time making out what's going on. Tag-team it. If Grand Crossfire ends early, I will not convert the time remaining into additional prep. It simply moves us into Final Focus early.
I have a much lower threshold for spreading in PF than I do for CX/LD. I can certainly follow it given my focus on LD and CX, but my philosophy is that PF is stylistically meant to be more accessible and open. I don't mind a rapid delivery, but I will be much less tolerant of teams that spread out opponents, especially given email chains/evidence sharing before the round is not as much of a norm (as far as I've seen).
I am often confused by progressive PF as the structure of the event seems to limit certain things that are otherwise facilitated by CX/LD. Trying to make some of the same nuanced Theory and K debates are incredibly difficult in a debate event structured by 2-3 mins speeches. Please don't ask me to weigh in on or use my ballot to help set a precedent about things like theory, disclosure, or other CX/LD arguments that seem to be spilling into PF. I am not an involved enough member of the PF community to feel comfortable using my ballot to such ends. If any of these things appear in round, I'm happy to evaluate them, but I guess be cautious in this area.
Please feel free to ask any further questions or clarifications before/after the round!- my email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific questions or need to run something by me. Competitors: if communicating with me by email, please CC your coach or adult chaperone. Thank you!
I am a parent judge, and started in May 2020. I am an author and historian, so critiquing arguments comes naturally to me. I value critical thinking, clarity, knowledge about the subject and focus on the important points, and quality of sources and skillful use of evidence. I look for the connections you make and the conclusions you draw. I am a teacher so I value being objective. Professionalism is key, as is respect. Debates should be interactive, so I look for how you respond to your opponents arguments. I am new to spreading but reasonable with keeping notes. As far as preferences, I'm open, I will vote for any argument if it is made well enough.
"Push me to the edge, econ key to heg" - Lil Uzi Vert // Collin Smith, Heritage Hall - Class of 2020 and University of Denver - Class of 2024
"There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, 'Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again.'"
University of Michigan - Class of 2024
Heritage Hall OKC - Class of 2020
Assistant Debate Coach - Heritage Hall OKC -- August 2021-present
Big shoutout to Bryan Gaston at Heritage Hall for being an amazing debate coach and making me into the debater, judge, and person I am today.
Table of contents:
1. Policy paradigm
2. LD paradigm
3. Oklahoma LD paradigm
4. PF paradigm
5. IE/speech paradigm
6. Parli paradigm
- I am fine with whatever you read in round.
- Please call me Alex and not judge.
- PLEASE SAY "NEXT" BETWEEN ARGUMENTS AND CARDS!!!!! You should do this if you want me to be able to flow you well.
- If I yell clear three times during your speech, I will stop flowing your speech since I cannot understand what you're saying. That's on you.
- Slow down on analytics please. Of course, spread, but don't read off analytics like you're reading the text of a card. If you're gonna do this, your analytics better be in the doc, otherwise, there's no way I'm gonna be able to flow most of your arguments.
- I prefer judging strategies that have specific links to the Aff.
- I am unable to evaluate any out of round links, as I cannot determine whether they are true or not.
- I am not the best judge for complex K debates. The only K I have experience with is settler colonialism. High theory like Baudrillard will be a bit difficult for me to judge. My only preference with Ks is that specific links to the K are better than generic ones, and I am more inclined to vote for the K if the link is specific. If you are running a K, I suggest you read the K section below.
- I will vote on conditionality bad/perf con if it is extended and won in the 2ar, however, my threshold to vote on it is very high.
- I am a sucker for soft left impacts.
- Aff has the burden of proof to why it is topical if topicality is an argument in the round.
- Ground and education are terminal impacts.
- I love a good case debate.
- If you're running 8 off and 4 of them are just 1 card DAs or CPs that have no solvency cards with just a CP text, I'm not a huge fan. I understand the strategic advantage this can give the Neg, but these debates just get boring and non-sensical. These debates just aren't fun to judge since the Aff answers these stupid one card DAs or CP w/o a solvency card with very few answers, then the block just blows it up. I think it skews the debate unfairly and heavily in favor of the Neg. In these debates, I will not hesitate to vote Aff on condo if it is well extended into the 2ar. Also, I will be very lenient on the 1ar reading new answers/cards in their speech.
- This is an educational activity and the judge is a norm setter. At the same time, debate is a competitive game. (ground & edu are a terminal impacts)
- Have fun and be respectful to your opponents. Racism, xenophobia, queerphobia, and sexism WILL NOT be tolerated. If this happens in a round, I will stop it immediately, vote you down, and report you to Tabroom and your coach.
- Add me on the email chain and keep analytics in your doc since online debate is a bit more difficult to judge, especially because it cuts out a lot. email@example.com
- Bonus points if you have a card doc ready for me if/before I ask for it. I like to read cards b/c I consider myself a truth>tech judge. However, tech is still very important to me. More important is the quality of your ev.
- If your style of debate is more traditional, i.e., no spreading, I'm okay with that. I've judged all types of debate and can adapt. Do what you're comfortable with. We're here to learn and have a good time.
Longer paradigm below:
I'll vote and listen to anything, but here are some things you might want to know going into the debate...
Bio: I debated in CX for the University of Michigan during my freshman year and all four years of high school, so I've five years of debating under my belt, plus more if you count coaching. I have been a 2a/1n for 75% of my debate career. The arguments I mostly went for my sophomore year of HS were politics DAs and counterplans when I was constantly switching between being double 1s or 2s, so I've seen both sides of debate. Starting junior year, I became a 2a/1n and flex debater running the settler colonialism K and also some policy DAs and counterplans. My senior year, I was also a 2a/1n and executed mostly policy strategies, i.e, politics & topic DAs and CPs. I will likely be a 2a/1n for the rest of my debate career, running mainly policy arguments.
In 2018, I competed in the Oklahoma 6A State Championship and attended Michigan 7 week program end of sophomore year and Berkeley 3 week program end of freshman year. In 2019, I competed in the Oklahoma 6A State Championship and made it to the semifinals and attended the Michigan Classic Debate program over the summer. In college, I plan on mainly running policy arguments and being a 2a/1n for the rest of my career.
Please add me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want your speech docs please. If possible, flash analytics for online debates. It makes it much easier for me to flow, in case you cut out during your speech.
I don't take flashing/emailing as prep time, but please be mindful of prep time and do NOT steal prep. Please keep your own time.
Clipping cards is bad and = an L.
I'd say I evaluate rounds on a truth over tech basis. I will read cards after the round, so I will ask for a card doc. Tech is still important to me, but ev quality is even more important. Bonus points for you if you have the card doc ready for me before I ask for it.
Any risk of no aff solvency means I vote neg on presumption. However, if the aff answers the no solvency argument just enough in the 2AR to be a valid argument and it makes sense, then they've beaten the no solvency argument. But, if the neg makes a no solvency argument in the 2NR and it's fleshed out and extended JUST enough so I can validly evaluate it at the end of the round and the 2AR cold concedes it in their speech, I automatically err neg on the no solvency argument, meaning I have to vote neg on presumption. That means that if the 2AR drops the no solvency argument and the 2NR extended it just good enough to be a valid argument at the end of the debate, then the aff CANNOT weigh any of its impacts on the off case positions at the end of the round since it CANNOT SOLVE ITS OWN IMPACTS. But if the no solvency argument is strong and both Aff and Neg make good arguments back and forth in the 2nr/2ar, I'll evaluate them fairly.
If there are any theoretical reason(s) to reject the team, I evaluate that prior to any positions in the debate. For example, topicality or conditionality.
I need a clear explanation of what a counterplan does at the end of the round and its net benefit so I can vote for it.
I am a sucker for soft left impacts, but you need to win why I should not evaluate util/extinction first. Also, it seems like I'm a sucker for theory args. (even if they're really bad)
I see a lot of teams only extending either only an internal link with no impact extension or an impact with no internal link extension. I believe this goes for all judges -- both parts need to be extended in order to win my ballot.
A few things people ask me in round that I can just put here:
Are you fine with speed? - yeah but if you're super unclear I will yell CLEAR. After the second time I yell clear I'm just gonna stop flowing and it's totally on you. In online debate, please slow down just a tad. Do not spread analytics like you would the text of a card. If you're gonna do that, put analytics in the doc. Even then, I may not be able to flow you properly.
How are you on Ks? - During my junior year at Heritage Hall, I mainly ran the settler colonialism K, but was a 1N, and have a decent understanding of that. However, I have not run many other post-modernist/structural Ks in my career. Please do not let this stop you from running any other Ks. When running them, please be sure to give me a clear overview of how the K functions and a clear link & alt story. If there is no clear explanation of how the alt functions or what the link to the Aff is, then there will be a slim chance I vote on it. A K without a link explanation is a no go for me. Remember, you can always drop the K alt, but use the link(s) as a case turn, which I would definitely vote on. (if you want to use them as a case turn, remember to tell me that you want to do so.)
Debate is a game, but I also believe it is an educational activity where we foster our advocacy/policy making skills. In order for that to be true, the debate round needs to be fair for both sides. I believe the judge is a norm setter in a debate and in the community. Ground and education are terminal impacts. Limits can be spun to be an impact, but I believe, for the most part, it is an internal link.
I hate long long overviews. At the end of the day, I feel like these really long overviews in the 2ac are just complicated to understand and read, so it seems like I don't really understand what the Aff does until the 1ar or 2ar because the overviews are shorter.
I tend to find that many K debaters like to read a link to the status quo, but not the plan. I think the K should link to the plan, and/or reps of the aff, and/or solid links to the advantages, otherwise it is an uphill battle--
My Golden Rule: When you have the option to choose a more specific strategy vs a more generic strategic, always choose the more specific strategy.
Outside of round links -- I will not vote on them since it is impossible for me to 100% verify what happened out of round.
I am definitely willing to pull the trigger on condo bad and I really empathize with the Aff if there are many conditional advocacies read in the round. I think one conditional advocacy is fine, but if it's like 8 off and there's only one conditional CP but the rest are contradicting ethical positions, i.e., a K and a politics DA, I'm definitely willing to pull the trigger on condo ethics/perf con. Or if it's one CP and 7 DAs, you can definitely make the argument condo bad. Interp for this should be "condo bad -- neg should get zero conditional conditions."
Theory arguments need to have a voting issue and violation if you want me to vote on them. Otherwise, I just judge kick.
The aff has the burden of proof as to why they are topical.
One thing I am definitely heavy on is that I will protect the 2NR. If something is not said in the 1AR, but you shadow extend it in the 2AR, then I will not evaluate it on my flow. At the end of the debate, I will clearly articulate my flow to make sure this is the case.
Please tell me how I should evaluate things for you. I will do very very little if any work for you at the end of the debate to make a decision on your behalf.
FOR OKLAHOMA DEBATE: if you have me on a panel, I recommend you adapt to how the other Oklahoma judges likes to judge debates, unless they're a normal nat circuit judge. I'm very flexible when it comes to different forms of debating, whether it's a parent/lay judge or not. I've seen it all during my time debating in OK.
Speaker points (applies to LD, CX, and PF):
Under 27: You did something really bad, like being discriminatory or were extremely rude to your opponents.
28-28.5: Not a terrible debate, but there are a lot of things you can improve on. I will explain this in my RFD if you got something in this range.
28.6-28.9: Good debate, but not great. I think there are some things you can improve on. Your speaking could have been more clear. If you lost and got these points, this means I believed that you didn't debate terribly, but there was a winning 2nr/2ar. If you won and got these points, this means I believed that you also didn't debate terribly, but you made me piece some things together on my flow to give you the W.
29-29.5: Great debate! I really enjoyed watching and judging it. Sure, there are definitely things you can improve on, but you did great. If all debaters in the round got these speaker points, this means that it was a close debate and tough for me to determine a winner. If you won and got these points and your opponents didn't, this means I believe that it was pretty clear cut who won the debate and I think you did a great job piecing the debate together for me. If you lost and got these points, this means that the 2nr/2ar were both good and that it was difficult to determine a winner, meaning there are very minuscule things you could have done to win the debate.
29.5-29.9: Phenomenal debate. I think you're going to win the tournament, or at least be in late elims. I don't think I've ever given someone who lost these points, so I won't go into that here. But if you won with these points, that means you pieced things well for me, you spoke very clearly, made smart/strategic arguments and decisions, and were just awesome overall.
30: Yeah you're winning the tournament no doubt.
Have fun and learn! Most importantly, this is an educational activity.
**Arms Sales topic notes (the part about K links -- taken from Bryan Gaston's paradigm)***
National circuit LD Paradigm:
For national circuit LD, I would say that my paradigm does not change much from my policy one, so please read my policy paradigm when you're deciding your prefs. I will judge your debate like I would judge a CX debate. If you are not okay with that, then strike me. After asking a few LD buddies about how LD differs from policy, here are some of my preferences.
- I can judges Ks. However, stupid theory arguments on Ks I will not vote on. Of course I am okay with FW, floating PIKs bad, and/or vague alts bad. Anything else I will either not be a fan of or I will vote on ONLY if it goes dropped the entirety of the debate and if it's labeled as a voting issue, otherwise, I just judge kick the arg. If your A strat is running these stupid arguments in front of me, I recommend you strike me before the tournament begins.
- Like I said above, stupid theory arguments will not fly with me. I want this to be an educational debate for all. I feel like theory in LD can evolve into really non-sensical arguments. However, things like conditionality bad I will definitely vote on.
- I will not vote on permissibility, however, I don't mind voting neg on presumption because I love a good case debate.
- In policy, I've honestly never been a fan of anything more than 1 conditional position. As a 2a who isn't the fastest, I get spread out pretty thin, so I empathize with many people in policy and/or LD. If you extend condo bad, I expect it to be the majority of your speech in the 1ar if you want me to vote for it in the 2ar.
- Anything you consider an LD trick -- do not run those BS arguments in front of me. Like I said above, if that stuff is your A strat, please strike me. I don't want to waste my time judging a debate like that.
- I am okay with spreading.
Oklahoma LD Paradigm:
Don’t call me judge. Call me Alex please. you don't need to thank me for judging in your speeches. i've heard this a few times and it's just cringy. i'm not gonna vote you down for it, obviously. but still lol -- it makes me laugh sometimes.
I mainly judge policy debates and only compete in CX, however, I think I will be tempted to judge LD debates like a policy debate, so I recommend you read the notes above.
a few notes:
If the debate comes down to framing, the Aff has to win framing prior to me weighing its solvency against the Neg. If the Aff loses their framing, they can’t solve/weigh the Aff vs Neg args, thus I vote Neg on presumption.
If there are any theoretical reason(s) to reject the team, I evaluate that prior to any positions in the debate. For example, topicality or conditionality.
I want your evidence after the round unless I say I don’t want it otherwise. Send to email@example.com
Evidence quality means a lot to me
Saying racist/queer phobic/misogynistic means I will vote you down immediately, report you to your coach, and tabroom.
i highly recommend you read the section in my policy paradigm about Aff solvency.
if you want to run a K, do it right, but I don’t think Ks are prevalent in OK LD.
if you have me on a panel, I recommend you adapt to how the other Oklahoma judges likes to judge debates, unless they're a normal nat circuit judge. I'm very flexible when it comes to different forms of debating, whether it's a parent/lay judge or not. I've seen it all during my time debating in OK.
Please don't call me judge. Call me Alex. I highly suggest you read my tl;dr version of my policy paradigm.
I tend to judge these debates like a policy debate, so that means I flow on a policy debate template on Excel or on paper like policy debate (more likely on Excel when judging). I will hold the line on arguments dropped in speeches then brought up in the last speech. I am a truth>tech judge, meaning I will likely call for pieces of evidence during the round, if not after the round.
I tend to see a lot of PF debaters telling me "My opponents dropped X argument! That means you should vote for me!" Even if it is true, you need to tell me why it matters in this round. I hate having to piece things together like this at the end of the round, and it ultimately leads to me piecing together an RFD that you probably won't like. Also, see the part above about internal link/impact extensions.
I am okay with spreading in PF, but please be clear. If you don't want to spread, that is okay.
Please keep track of your own prep time. I'll likely be timing your speeches, CX, and prep time, but there's a decent chance I get off track.
FOR OKLAHOMA DEBATE: if you have me on a panel, I recommend you adapt to how the other Oklahoma judges likes to judge debates, unless they're a normal nat circuit judge. I'm very flexible when it comes to different forms of debating, whether it's a parent/lay judge or not. I've seen it all during my time debating in OK.
Paradigm for speech/drama events:
my only preferences is that you don’t be racist, queerphobic, and/or misogynistic. Don’t call me judge, call me Alex. the purpose of the speech/drama events is to sound nice, persuasive, and performative, so do just that.
(just a side note about these speech/drama events: I have no clue why judges make you all dress up in fancy suits/dresses. I think debate/speech/drama should be fun and enjoyable activities where you should not have to be in fancy clothes for >12 hours/day. Basically, I believe that you should feel comfortable when debating. I don't care what you wear.)
I flow these debates the same way I flow policy debate because it's the easiest way for me to organize and judge all arguments at the end of the round. I also want the debaters to control the round, meaning I want them to keep track of time and control the direction of the debate. I mainly judge policy debate, otherwise, I follow normal conventions of parli.
Please try not to go over speech times. I know there may be grace periods, and that's fine, but don't be disrespectful/unfair to your opponents by going over time. If I'm timing and notice you go over by a lot, I WILL dock your speaker points.
If I'm torn between two really good args about the same thing, I will default to the side who has the evidence backing their arg vs the side who doesn't. If there's no ev involved, it will be evaluated best I can.
If you can't tell, ev means a lot to me. The more ev the better.
From the beginning, I think debaters need to understand that I was never a policy debater myself. I took over a successful team at Caddo when they needed faculty support, and the debaters and alums taught me the activity. Over the next fifteen years I learned enough to teach it to novices and intermediates. I judged actively for about fifteen years, but since bringing a new coach to our school seven years ago, I have not been in many rounds. If you want someone who is going to understand clipped references to acronyms or core camp affs that you think everyone already knows on the NATO topic, I am not that guy. You are going to have to break things down and explain. I am a flow judge, but very rusty.
Now, Caddo has been known as a fairly critical team over the last decade, and I have learned to appreciate those arguments a good bit. As someone who teaches sociology, psychology, and philosophy at my high school, I am sympathetic to many identity arguments, critiques of epistemology, etc. However, I am not going to be down with a lot of jargon-filled blocks on framework—you must explain why I should weigh your project or method against fairness arguments of the policy world. I like the kind of literature discussed in critical rounds, but I have voted for policy affs outweighing a critique in different debates, especially where the aff won the framework and the neg did not.
That being said, I am very comfortable listening to case, disad, counterplan rounds. I think topicality sets important rules of the game & so if you plan to flout those rules, you better have a compelling reason. I certainly value the kind of knowledge and skills that policy debaters learn through the activity.
Ethos matters. We all know how important cross-ex is to establishing a confident position, but don’t be rude. If you can have a really competitive round and still treat your opponent—and your partner!—with respect, then that goes a long way with me on speaker points.
Email chain—yes. firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not a proficient enough typist to flow on the laptop, but if you signpost your arguments well enough, I should be able to flow a debate at speed. Being able to read the evidence during the speech certainly helps me though.
Do what you do best in front of me, give full explanations of why I should vote for you, and you will be ok. Make blippy arguments that claim you won because of something that was barely in the debate and dropped by the other team—then no matter how pissed you act when “post-rounding” me at the end, you will still have lost.
This is a great activity. Have fun with it & don’t take yourself too seriously, then we all win.
Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.
T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen AND CAN BE PERSUADED TO VOTE FOR IT I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.
Also, very very important! Affirmatives have to do something to change the squo in the world in debate etc. If by the end of the debate the affirmative cannot demonstrate what it does and what the offense of the aff is T/Framework becomes even more persuasive. Framework with a TVA that actually gets to the impacts of the aff and leverages reasons why state actions can better resolve the issues highlighted in the affirmative is very winnable in front of me.
DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly
CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit
K- I am familiar with most of the k literature
CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at
In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).
First let me explain how to get a Hot L:
So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L
THE SAME IS TRUE FOR QUESTIONS RELATED TO GENDER, LGBTQ ISSUES ETC. ALSO WHITE PEOPLE AND WHITENESS IS NOT THE SAME THING
Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean
Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples
I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc
I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating
Law Magnet High School: 2012-2016
The University of Texas at Dallas: 2016-2019
Assistant debate coach at Coppell HS: 2018-now
email@example.com - I would like to be on the email chain :)
Case: You should read it. Lots of it. It's good, makes for good debates and is generally underutilized. Impact turns are best when they are debated correctly.
Topicality: I enjoy T debates. If you're looking for a judge willing to pull the trigger on T, I'm probably a good judge for you.
DAs: DAs are a core debate argument and I love judging DA(& CP) v. case debates. Specific DAs are always a plus, but obviously that's not always possible. I tend default to an offense/defense paradigm.
Counterplans: A well thought out specific counterplan are one of the strongest debate tools that you can use. I will vote on almost any cp if you can win that it is theoretically legitimate and that it has a net benefit.
Kritiks: I have a pretty good grasp of a lot of the more popular Kritiks, but that isn't an excuse for a lack of explanation when reading your argument. But be aware that if you are reading more PoMo/high-theory args, you might have to explain the arg a bit more.
K AFFs: I have no problem with teams running untopical affs but this doesn't mean that I wont pull the trigger on FW, you still have to win the affs model ow the negs model of debate.
Theory: I have no problem voting on theory if it is well warranted. I honestly believe affirmative teams let the negative get away with a ton of stuff, and shouldn't be afraid to not only run theory but to go for it and go for it hard.
*Note for online debates: I'm very forgetful and my keyboard is loud af, so if I forget to mute, remind me to mute myself if the keyboard noise is being bothersome.
First off, thanks for taking the time to stop by and read my paradigm. This will help you immensely in your debate!
I was a policy debater in high school. I understand the "game." I was a state champaign and have competed on the national level. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org
I would define myself as a stock issue judge with tabula rasa tendencies.
Topicality, to win on a Topicality argument you must satisfy these standards
Violation – What word(s) in the resolution have been violated? – How should these words properly be defined?
Impact – Why is this a voting issue?
Please keep this argument debatable, do not offer an obscure definition of an article adjective to prove your point. I hate to vote solely on topicality but I will.
Inherency, I need Structural vs Attitudinal.
Solvency, I will vote on 3 things here. Impracticability, insufficiency, and counter-productivity. Lay these out for me.
K is OK but please keep your link clean.
Finally, I love a competitive argument for Advantages/Disadvantages. Keep this line by line and you will be in the clear.
Please spread to your heart's content! I will stop typing when you need to slow down. Keep your tags, and dates clear. Please do not pass out, that is a lot of time and paperwork.
To answer you, before you ask me in the round. I do not want a copy of your case. I truly believe it is your job to sell it to me completely. It is not my job to read and follow along. It is on you and your partner to make sure I understand your case. I really hate how this is the new debate culture.
I will award a win to a team with lower speaker points if their point was proven. Dependent on tournament rules.
I will offer critique on your speech style and gestures if asked. I will not offer a verbal opinion on your case, until after the results are posted. This may differ depending on tournament rules.
Please include me on the email chain at email@example.com. Feel free to ask questions always.
I competed for Barbe High School, McNeese State University and Western Kentucky University. I competed in IEs in both high school and college. I debated L-D and policy in high school on the local, Louisiana circuit. I also competed nationally in college in IE’s, Parli, NFA L-D policy and some CEDA/NDT. I have judged in Louisiana and around the region for the last 15 years.
TLDR: I was a policymaking type debater. Weighing net-benefits is what I am most familiar with. I try to be as “tab” as possible and will evaluate any argument. It needs to be well warranted, well impacted and well weighed against the rest of arguments in the round. You might need to do slightly more work fleshing out newer forms of argumentation with me, but I will vote on them if I feel like you are winning them.
I am self-professed “lazy” judge. I want to feel like I am doing the least intervening possible at the end of the round. I would love for you to tell me which arguments are important enough for me to vote on, what their comparative impacts are and why you are winning those arguments. I appreciate you telling me how I should sign my ballot.
I am still somewhat old school around paperless debating- it just wasn’t a thing yet when I was competing or judging the first go around. I use e-mailed/flashed evidence mostly for reading internal warrants. I will use this to follow along the speech, however I’m not a fan of reading speech docs/blocks in a vacuum. Signposting and clear organizational structure are important for me and I tend to award higher speaker points for them.
K/Kritikal Aff- I have a pretty good familiarity with critical theory/thought. I am probably less familiar with the intricacies of Kritik debate theory. You would probably be helping yourself out with me to spend a bit more time on setting up your framework and giving really clear impact stories. Explicit arguments about “how we win” or “the role of the ballot” would help me better understand how/why to vote for you on these types of positions. This is especially true if there are situations like perms put on the alternative. I want to know why the alternative alone solves best on its face, in addition to any theoretical objections to the perm. I also appreciate clear pre-fiat/post-fiat analysis. If the impact is post-fiat (“turns case”) and the alternative is pre-fiat (“discourse/radical space/etc”) I want you to tell me how to navigate the multiple levels of your advocacy.
T/Procedurals- I tend to have a slightly lower threshold on procedurals. I do not need an iron clad in-round abuse story necessarily. I will evaluate these more often than many.
I tend to vote on framework first. That is just how I was taught. But with more progressive styles I will evaluate framework in light of case advantages/disadvantages. As with the Kritik info above, you may need to do a little more hand holding with me around the alternative and/or role of the ballot. I tend to prefer crystallization at the end of the round with clear impact analysis and tend to give higher speaks to those that show good round vision and can ‘boil down’ the round effectively.
I’m comfortable with the newer trend of giving an explicit framework at the top of case. If you don’t give me one then I’ll default to something like policymaking/comparative advantages. I tend to appreciate probability over magnitude in PF because of the lack of depth of evidence. Things that are intuitive and make sense on their face seem like a more natural fit to this style of debate. I will evaluate anything that is argued in front of me, though. It needs to be well warranted, well extended (including extending the warrants), well impacted and well leveraged against the other argumentation in the round for it to be most persuasive. I like final focus speeches that crystallize the round for me and give me good impact analysis. Feel free to take the ballot out my hands by telling me what arguments are most important, how they function in the round and why you are winning on them.
I tend to think about most IEs in terms of argumentation. This is more obvious for events like Extemp, Impromptu and Original Oratory. But even interp events use a text to craft a narrative with a unique point of view for each competitor. I usually evaluate IE’s on the clarity of your thesis (argument) and then how well you do at expressing/supporting it (advocacy). The more you can distill down an idea into its clearest form and then use multiple rhetorical tools to express it, the better chance you will have of getting higher ranks and higher speaks from me. FYI I’m a big fan of variety as a rhetorical tool (fast and slow rate, loud and soft volume, high and low intonation, etc). These tend to keep me more engaged in the speech/performance and tend to make me trust you more as a speaker/performer.
TL;DR: Check Bolded
I wanna keep this relatively simple, so: Hi, I'm JD Swift. I am a former competitor and former coach of Holy Cross School, currently an Assistant at The Delores Taylor Arthur School for Young Men (New Orleans, La). I'm too old to use this platform as an ego boost so I won't bother re-putting my qualifications, accolades, etc. I have either judged, coached, or competed (or done all of the above) in nearly every event under the sun, so I'd call myself pretty familiar.
My resting face may not prove it, but I am always approachable. If you have any questions about stuff before or after around, and you spot me, please don't hesitate to have a conversation, its why I still do this activity.
+ I do not tolerate any forms of: racism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia, or ableism. This activity is special because it is the most inclusive activity that I know of. This space actively works to include all members of society and I will not stand for any tarnishing of that. I do not believe that you will be any of those things, but if it happens in round, I will stop the debate, give you a loss with the lowest possible speaks, and have a conversation with your coach.
+ I prefer an email chain, please add me:firstname.lastname@example.org
+ I prefer to disclose. You won't be able to adjust from round to round if you don't know exactly how you won or lost a round. That being said: if any competitor in the round would prefer me not to disclose, I will not.** I also don't disclose speaks, that's just kinda weird to ask **
+ On Postrounding: I'm absolutely down to answer any and all questions as long as time permits. I take pride in the notes I take alongside the flow to give back to debaters. However, if you begin to challenge my decision, or (yes, this has happened before) you get your coach to challenge me, you can finish postrounding with the empty chair I left behind.
+ I know you care about speaker points. I don't give a whole lot of 30s (you can fact check me on this) so if you get one from me, I will be speaking high praises to others about your stellar performance. 2 rules of thumb for if you have me as a judge: 1. Make the debate accessible, 2. Let your personality shine through. No, I won't clarify on what those things mean. ;)
+ My face is very readable. This is semi-intentional. If I'm confused, you will see it. If I'm impressed, you will see it.
+ If you don't see me writing, specifically if my pen is obviously away from the paper/iPad (usually palm up) and I'm just staring at you, then I'm intentionally ignoring your argument. (I only do this when you are clearly over time, or if you are reading new in the 2)
+ In terms of intangibles such as: Your appearance, dress, how you sit or stand, etc. I do not care at all. A wise man once said: "Do whatever makes you comfortable, I only care about the arguments." -JD Swift, (circa 20XX)
+ I hate information elitism, meaning, if any jargon or terms in my paradigm confuse you-- please, please, please ask me for clarification.
+ Debate is a competitive activity, but it is foremost an educational one. If you see me in the back of the room, please do not feel intimidated, we as coaches and judges are here for y'all as competitors.
For LD & Policy:
+ Run whatever you like, please just explain it well. If you don't trust your ability to provide quality warrants on an argument, do not run it.
+ Please extend full arguments, most importantly the warrants. Not just impacts, Not just card names, but all of it.
+ No amount of signposting is too much. The more organized you are, the better I can give you credit.
+ Speed does NOT impress me. I can hang, but if you're sacrificing clarity for speed, I won't strain myself trying to catch the argument. If you want to go fast, go for it, just make sure you're clearly distinguishing one argument from the next, and that your tags and authors are clear.
+ Please do not reread a card, unless the card is being re-read for a different purpose(re-highlighting, new warrants, etc.). You're killing your own speech time.
+ If an argument or concession is made in cross, and you want credit for it, it has to show up in speech. I'll listen out for it, but if I don't hear it, in speech, it didn't happen.
+ Not a fan of petty theory at all. If there is real, round impeding abuse, I'll vote on it in your favor. If the theory argument is petty, I give RVI's heavy weight.
+ I don't like tricks. This is not a forum for deception.
+ If you're gonna kick the alt on the K, and use it as a disad, please articulate why the disad is a sufficient reason to not pass the plan.
+ Framework is important, otherwise I believe topic areas get too broad for this format. Win your framing and then use that to win your impact calculous. That's the fastest way to my ballot.
+ I have little patience for paraphrasing. If you want credit for evidence, read the card and give context.
+ I hold PF to the same evidence ethics and standards as Policy and LD.
Most importantly: please have fun; If what you are doing is not fun then it's not worth your time.
Virtual Debate Updates:
I am almost always using two computers so I can watch you speak and flow/look at docs. I would prefer that you debate with your camera on so that I can watch you speak, but PLEASE do feel free to turn it off if doing so stabilizes your audio.
Do NOT start at top speed. You should start a little slower anyway to allow judges to get acclimated to your speaking style, but I think this is especially important in virtual debate.
Do I understand why you don't want to flash theory/overviews/analytics? Of course. Do you have to do it? No. Will I be mad at you if you don't? Of course not. Would it help me flow better in many virtual debates? YES.
Do what you do and do it well. I will vote for who wins. Over-adaptation is exhausting and I can smell your soft-left add-ons a mile away. My voting record is a pretty clear indication that I judge a wide variety of debates. Who/what I coach(ed) are generally good indications of what I am about. Update: I've found myself recently in some seven off rounds. I really hate to say I am bad for any kind of debate, but I am bad for these rounds. Late-breaking debates make me tired and grumpy, and I find myself having to do way too much work in these debates to resolve them. If seven off is your thing, and I am your judge, do what you do I guess, but know this is probably the only explicit "don't pref me" in this whole paradigm.
I care a lot about quality of evidence. I would much rather hear you read a few well-warranted cards than a wave of under-highlighted evidence. Same goes for redundant evidence; if you need six cards that “prove” your claim with the same words interchanged in the tag, your claim is probably pretty weak. Evidence does not (alone) a (winning) argument make.
I think I flow pretty throughly. I often flow in direct quotes. I do this for me, but I feel like it helps teams understand my decision as we talk after a round. I reward organized speakers and meaningful overviews. I am easily frustrated by a messy card doc.
I listen closely to cross-ex.
Neg teams lose when they don’t demonstrate how their arguments interact with the 1AC. Winning that the affirmative is “flawed” or “problematic” does not guarantee a neg ballot. In my mind, there are two ways to win the k versus a policy aff: either win that the effects of the plan make the world significantly worse OR win framework and go for epistemology/ontology links. Know when framework is important and when it’s not. Give analysis as to how your links implicate the world of the aff. This is where case mitigation and offense on why voting affirmative is undesirable is helpful. These debates are significantly lacking in impact calculus. Also - the alt needs to solve the links, not the aff - but if it does, great! If you win framework, this burden is lessened. Don’t spread through link explanations. I am seeing more debates where teams kick the alt and go for the links as disads to the aff. This is fine, but be wary of this strategy when the alt is what provides uniqueness to the link debate.
Conversely, affs typically lose these debates when there is little press on what the alternative does and little analysis of perm functions. However, some teams focus on the alt too much and leave much to be desired on the link debate (especially important for soft-left affs). Defend your reps. Your framework shell should also include a robust defense of policymaking, not just procedural fairness. The 1AR should actually answer the block’s framework answers. More impact turning rather than defensive, no-link arguments.
Also, running to the middle will not save you. Some Ks are going to get a link no matter what, and tacking on a structural impact to your otherwise straight policy aff will likely only supercharge the link. So. Read the aff you'd read in front of anybody in front of me. You're probably better at that version anyway.
K Affs vs. FW
For affs: I’m good for these although I do think that oftentimes the method is very poorly explained. Neg teams should really press on this and even consider going for presumption. Side note: I absolutely do not think that critical affs should have to win that the ballot is key for their method. Against framework, I most frequently vote aff when the aff wins impact turns that outweigh the neg’s impacts and have a counter-interp that resolves the majority of their offense. I can still vote for you if you don’t have a counter-interp in the 2AR but only if the impact work is exceptional. I prefer affs that argue that the skills and methods produced under their model inculcate more ethical subjectivities than the negative’s. The best aff teams I’ve seen are good at contextualizing their arguments, framing, and justifying why their model and not their aff is uniquely good. I am most frequently preffed for K v K debates. Judge instruction is extremely important I would rather evaluate those rounds based on whose method is most relevant to the debate rather than k tricks.
For neg teams: I like to see framework deployed as debate methodologies that are normatively good versus debate methodologies that are undesirable and should be rejected. Framework debates should center on the impact of certain methodologies on the debate space. “Your argument doesn’t belong in debate” is not the same thing as “your argument is hindered by forum” or “your argument makes it functionally impossible to be negative.” (fun fact: I read a lot of judges' paradigms/preferences..."debate is a game" does not = debate is a good game, and participation in that "game" does not = can't say the game is bad). I prefer more deliberation & skills-based framework arguments rather than procedural fairness, but I will vote on either as long as you have warrants and comparative impact analysis. If going for skills & research impacts, the internal link debate is most important. TVAs are great as defense against the aff’s impact turns. They do not have to solve the aff but should address its central controversy.
I feel similarly about theory debates in that they should focus on good/undesirable pedagogical practices. Arguments that explain the role of the ballot should not be self-serving and completely inaccessible by a particular team.
Topicality is a voting issue and never a reverse voting issue. T debates are won and lost on the standards level. If the affirmative wins that their interpretation solves the impact of topicality, then I see no reason to vote negative. Thorough T debates are about more than fairness. The idea that you have no game on an aff in this era is just not as persuasive as the idea that the aff’s interpretation negatively impacts future debates.
No real issues here. Specific links to case obviously preferred to generic arguments. Give me good impact analysis. As a debater, counterplans weren’t really my jam. As a judge, I can’t say that I get to vote on CPs often because they are typically kicked or are not competitive enough to survive an affirmative team well-versed in permutations. A CP should be something to which I can give thoughtful consideration. Don’t blow through a really complicated (or long) CP text. Likewise, if the permutation(s) is intricate, slow down. Pretty sure you want me to get these arguments down as you read them, not as I reconstruct them in cross. I vote for theory as much as I don’t vote for theory. No real theoretical dispositions.
1. I’m not going to bump your speaks for thanking me and taking forever to start the round because you’re asking “opponent ready? judge ready? partner ready? observers ready?” for the first 20 minutes.
2. If you do not take notes during my RFD, I will leave.
3. Don’t clip. Why do debaters in Arkansas clip so much? Answer: Because I don’t judge very much in Arkansas.
4. Keep your own time.
My name is Darius White and I debated at C.E. Byrd High School for 4 year and debate for the University of Oklahoma currently.
Speaker Points: I generally give fairly high speaks, and I understand that their is going to be some rudeness in the debate, but try not to over-do because that will be a speak-point decrease. Also stealing prep, and speaking CONSTANTLY during your partners speech will drop your speeches quite a bit, but I usually try to be generous with the speaks.
Cross-X: I defer c-x being binding (unless told otherwise but they need to be nuanced, not tag line extensions of theory shells) and tend to flow c-x
After-round evaluation of evidence: I will try as best as possible to not call for evidence unless you are highly reliant on one piece of evidence in your last speeches, and/or evidence is into question (i.e. if you call for me to look at a piece of evidence after round), but other than that I tend to try to judge the debate on the actually speeches given by the debaters.
Theory: I have a high threshold for theory arguments and hate when teams spray through your theory blocks; I usually default to reasonability and reject-the-arguments-not-the-team
unless you win the abuse story i.e. I don't think one conditional advocacy destroys aff ground so just try to be reasonable and very persuasive when going for theory.
Disads/CP's: Impact calculation is always a good idea, and even though I am more on the K side of debate, I am down to listen to a really technical CP/DA as a net-benefit debate, so don't be shy to run these arguments in front of me. But, I feel that the CP does need a net-benefit for me to vote for it, so if the 2NR is just CP with no net-benefits, I will have a hard time finding reasons why I should vote for the CP. Turns case arguments on the DA are always tight.
Impact Turns: I really enjoy these types of debates, and they are very persuasive in my opinion, so if you got any in your files, I am down to listen.
Kritiks: I hate when teams read a random K that they have no idea what it means or says, and that is always a pet peeve. Don't run a K in front that you are not comfortable going for, but if you are very well at going for a specific criticism then do your thing because I am more familiar with this side of the debate. I feel that the alternative portion of the K is very under utilized and would like to be a debate I would want to see, but if your thing is going to turns case, then do your thing.
Framework: This is the argument I least agree with but if will listen and flow if required.
Flashing: I don't count flashing as prep unless you are taking hella a lot of time in which I will inform you that I am about to start your prep time; PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, do not steal prep.
Random shit: I like jokes, and making me laugh usually gets you some where speak point wise. Using historical references is always a good idea and paints a better picture on the impact calc. Remember to jump your cards over before the speech, and if you read any new cards that aren't on the flash, flash them before c-x or before the next speech is about to start, this is not prep time.
If you have any other questions feel free to email me: email@example.com
Caddo Magnet 22'
email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I did policy debate in high school for all four years. I did Zoom debate for a while, if possible, please have cameras on.
Tech over truth
Speak as fast as you want
More clash = better debate
Please do impact calculus
Good Line by Line will win you the round
Evidence quality matter a lot. I do read evidence after the round, and I see too often debaters power tagging entire arguments and getting a way with it. If the argument is dumb call it out. If you want me to read certain pieces of evidence after the round say it in speeches.
I read a variety of K and Policy oriented arguments in high school. I'm familiar with most critical literature bases. I do not have a strong preference towards either argument style.
What I like to see:
1) collapsing down in the 2NR/ 2AR to the best points and explain warrants in details
2) Going away from blocks and engaging with the other teams arguments fully
3) Confidence, not arrogance, control the room/round
What I do not like:
1) Teams asking if X card was read or waiting absurd times for cut copies
2) Everyone knows you're stealing prep! So be slick about it
1) collapsing down in the 2NR/ 2AR to the best points and explain warrants in details
2) Going away from blocks and engaging with the other teams arguments fully
3) Confidence, not arrogance, control the room/round
What I do not like:
1) Teams asking if X card was read or waiting absurd times for cut copies
2) Everyone knows you're stealing prep! So be slick about it
Topicality - go for it. If you are 2n, it should be all 5 minutes of the 2nr.
After hearing a lot of T debates on the NATO topic, I do not wanna hear T in the 2NR. This is not my preferred negative argument on the topic. Please feel free to read it though
Kritks: I love a good K debate. Links to the affirmative are the most persuasive to me. Other links are fine if explained properly. If you are not going for the alternative, you should win framework. If the framework page gets too messy don't expect me to do the work for you. I have a base level understanding of most literature bases. I read a K aff my senior year of HS. If you know your K then there should be no problem winning.
Framework: Debate is a game, but that is up to interpretation. Fairness is an impact. Clash is more persuasive to me. I think affirmative teams should be creative when responding to FW. I am more open to different models of debate than most judges. The 2NR shouldn't be five minutes of fairness comes before their arguments. Answer what the other team is saying.
I like K v. K debates. I can't promise I will flow perfectly in these rounds, so rebuttal speeches that clearly clarify the role of judge and ballot are crucial.
CP: I love a good CP debate. I can be convinced by any theory here. Unless it's condo its most likely a reason to reject the arg not the team.
DA: The best of the debates are with good impact calculus and resolved with good impact cal. Yes on impact turns. Link debate work is nice.
I give higher speaks than average. 28.6 is what I expect out of most rounds. If you are unclear and give bad, uncreative arguments, your speaker points will reflect that.
- I end up judging lots of LD rounds. I have never done LD only judged rounds on it. I am best suited for LARP and K args. Anything outside of that I am probably not the best judge for you. I can handle a theory debate, buture.
Read my policy paradigm
RVIs are dumb. I don't like voting on them.
just do impact cal
Based on my experience, this event is a pain to judge. Please do not paraphrase. Please engage with each others arguments. Please do not send out a card doc if its just a bunch of quotes from NYT and Vox.
I believe that excellent debaters should be passionate, clear, efficient, persuasive and well-prepared. Well-structured reasoning and argument are always key to success. Debate can be challenging, but in the end all debaters benefit from the debates and improve their oral and written communication skills which are very much needed in many fields, including STEM.
I want to see people debating each other, rather than talking past each other without having much line clash or engagement.
I have a PhD degree in Marine Science and am an associate professor at Louisiana State University. I have been teaching ocean, earth and environmental topics in the science field for about 15 years.