TOC Digital Speech and Debate Series 1
2022 — NSDA Campus, US
Lincoln-Douglas (MS-Nov) Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
hi! my name's hafsa (she/her)! i've been doing strictly traditional LD for three years now. my thoughts on things:
♠ please be respectful to your opponent!
♠ please signpost
♠ your arguments should be well-warranted with clear impacts
♠ weighing and extension of impacts throughout the round is so important
♠ have a good balance of offense and defense
♠ framework: please weigh and impact all your arguments under the framework
♠ voter issues are amazing! be as clear as possible on how I should vote
♠ i want you to be as comfortable as possible, so talk in a way that you're comfortable with! (spreading is only okay if your opponent is also okay with it) i'll be giving speaker points based off decorum and efficiency in speeches
honestly don't feel pressured like i'm basically just a tech>truth judge. do what you're comfortable with
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions :) good luck and have fun!!!
Grant Brown (He/Him/His)
Millard North ’17, Swarthmore College ’21, Teachers College '23, Villanova University '29 (Studying Philosophy)
Head of Debate at the Brearley School, Assistant Lincoln-Douglas Coach at Lake Highland Preparatory
Conflicts: Brearley School, Lake Highland Preparatory
Last Updates: 4/11/2023 before TOC
Scroll to the bottom for Public Forum
The Short Version
As a student when I considered a judge I usually looked for a few specific items, I will address those here:
1. What are their qualifications?
I learned debate in Omaha, Nebraska before moving to the East Coast where I have gained most of my coaching experience. I qualified to both NSDA Nationals and the TOC in my time as a student. I have taught numerous weeks at a number of debate summer camps and have been an assistant and head coach at Lake Highland and Brearley.
2. What will they listen to?
Anything (besides practices which exclude other participants) - but I increasingly prefer substantive engagement over evasive tactics, tricks, and theory cheap shots.
3. What are they experienced in?
I coach a wide variety of arguments and styles and am comfortable adjudicating any approach to debate. However, I spend most of my time thinking about kritik and framework arguments, especially those based in early modern (Spinoza), German idealist (Kant & Hegel), and continental (Deleuze, Derrida, Heidegger) philosophy.
4. What do they like?
I don’t have many preconceived notions of what debate should look, act, feel, or sound like and I greatly enjoy when debaters experiment within the space of the activity. In general, if you communicate clearly, are well researched, show depth of understanding in the literature you are reading, and bring passion to the debate I will enjoy whatever you have to present.
5. How do they adjudicate debates?
I evaluate debates systematically. I begin by attempting to discern the priority of the layers of arguments presented, examples include frameworks or weighing arguments which specify which impacts matter, a theory argument, a kritik, etc. Once I have determined the priority of layers, I proceed to evaluating the different arguments on each layer, looking for an offensive reason to vote, accounting for defense, bringing in other necessary layers, and whatever else is necessary to find an adequate resolution to the debate.
The Longer Version
At bottom debate is an activity aimed at education. As a result, I understand myself as having in some sense an educational obligation in my role as a judge. While that doesn't mean I aim to impose my own ideological preferences, it does mean I will hold the line on actions and arguments which undermine these values.
For folks doing preferences for the TOC: I am no longer very actively involved in thinking about varsity national circuit debate and its niche strategies. I primarily help students at Lake Highland with frameworks and kritiks and have little depth of understanding of the topic literature. While I find that I am okay with positions with complicated content when well explained, I understand the technical form of arguments less and less. As a final word of warning, I will not be able to keep up with debates which proceed at maximum speed with dense literature and technical movements. Proceed with caution, I am not the flow I once was!
I like them. I very much value clarity of explanation and stepping outside of the literature's jargon. The most common concern I find myself raising to debaters is a lack of through development of a worldview. Working through the way that your understanding of the world operates, be it through the alternative resolving the links, your theory of violence explaining a root-cause, or otherwise is crucial to convey what I should be voting for in the debate.
I am a receptive judge to critical approaches to the topic from the affirmative. I don't really care what your plan is; you should advocate for what you can justify and defend. It is usually shiftiness in conjunction with a lack of clear story from the affirmative that results in sympathy for procedurals such as topicality.
I really have no interest in judging ridiculous tricks and/or theory arguments which are presented in bad faith and/or with willfully ignorant or silly justifications and premises. Please just do not - I will lower your speaker points and am receptive to many of the intuitive responses. I do however enjoy legitimate abuse stories and/or topicality arguments based on topic research.
I really like these debates when debaters step outside of the jargon and explain their scenarios fully as they would happen in the real world. For similar reasons, good analytics can be more effective than bad evidence - I am a strong judge for spin and smart extrapolation. I tend to like more thorough extensions in the later speeches than most judges in these debates.
I greatly enjoy these debates and I spend pretty much all of my time thinking about, discussing, and applying philosophy. I would implore you to give overview explanations of your theory and the main points of clash between competing premises in later speeches.
If your version of an ethical framework involves arguments which you would describe as "tricks," or any claim which is demonstrably misrepresenting the conclusions of your author, I am not the judge for you.
I usually judge Lincoln Douglas, however I prefer that debaters adapt within the standards of the event at hand. That means I do not necessarily want to see arguments popular in other events - such as theory - in a PF round. However, inevitably many of my opinions above and my background in LD remains part of my perception.
I do not have an opinion on whether the second rebuttal should just respond to their opponents case or both respond and rebuild their own case. Do whatever suites your strategic and persuasive preferences.
Debaters ought to cite evidence in a way which is representative of its claims and be able to present that evidence in full when asked by their opponents. In addition, you should be timely and reasonable in your asking for, and receiving of, said evidence. I would prefer cases and arguments in the style of long form carded evidence with underlining and/or highlighting; I am extremely skeptical of paraphrasing as it is currently practiced in PF.
Speaks and Ethics Violations
If accusations of clipping/cross-reading are made I will a) stop the debate b) confirm the accuser wishes to stake the round on this question c) render a decision based on the guilt of the accused. If I notice an ethics violation I will skip A and B and proceed unilaterally to C. However, less serious accusations of misrepresentation, misciting, or miscutting, should be addressed in the round in whatever format you determine to be best.
30 speaker points demonstrates an exceptional or outstanding performance, passion, and/or argument.
I debated Lincoln-Douglas at Mission San Jose High School (CA) from 1999-2002. I competed at various local and national TOC bid tournaments, sometimes breaking to elimination rounds and occasionally earning a TOC bid. Since graduating in 2002, I have only been minimally involved in the activity, which was mostly limited to judging at the Berkeley and Stanford tournaments during my first couple of years in college. I am returning to the activity now that I have a child that is involved in the activity.
In terms of judging philosophy, I try to be Tabula Rasa and am generally open to all arguments, although claims should be substantiated with evidence or logical reasoning -- blips/assertions without any warrants will carry significantly less weight with me, even if dropped by the opponents. I generally prefer debate on the merits which rely on more conventional substantive arguments, although I am also open to off-the-run arguments, kritiks, and theory arguments. On theory, I view it mostly as a check on abuse, and when I was debating, did not view it as an independent voting issue. However, I will consider it as a VI if the opposing position is extremely abusive.
Kritiks should be very well explained, with clear links to why they should lead to winning the ballot.
In terms of speed, I can handle a moderate amount of speed, but will struggle to understand full-on TOC-level speed. I will try to indicate when I am struggling to keep up.
In terms of speaker points, I follow tournament guidelines. In the absence of guidelines, I think an average debater (expected to go around 3-3 in prelims) is probably around a 27.5-28ish. I reward clarity and good logical explanations. I also don't like jerks, so unnecessary animosity towards opponents will likely lead to speaker point deducts.
I’m fine with both progressive and trad debate. I have some restrictions on progressive arguments, however.
I will not vote on death good, racism good, etc. I will also not vote on trick debate either.
Please be respectful to your opponent. I will drop you/lower your speaks on the grounds of being a jerk.
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Nora Moses (She/Her/Hers)
The Brearley School '23
I am a senior and student leader of the Brearley debate team. I have experience in parliamentary and Public Forum debate and am familiar with the structure of Lincoln Douglas. I keep a flow but prefer a round with clear crystallization and voting issues and clear succinct speaking style.
Please speak clearly and slowly so I can understand the arguments you are making. All the best and good luck for all the participants.
hi! i'm anisha (she/her) and i've been doing LD for the last 4 years at Enloe
add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
a couple things to keep in mind:
- i consider framework debate before weighing the contention-level. however, don't have a values debate if they're essentially the same, move on to weighing impacts.
- i tend to be more traditional, but can judge progressive LD -- willing to entertain theory, K's, progressive case structures, etc. explanation/narrative is still key, i'd like to see that you know what you're running
- fine with spreading, just ensure that your opponent is too
- weigh!!! say your impacts outweigh and explain what weighing mechanisms matter most
- please signpost!
- i like seeing voter issues in the last speeches, use them to concisely and effectively tell me why you win
- be respectful and kind! i will deduct speaks for disrespect
- as for speaks, i'll start on 28, and go up or down based on efficiency, decorum, and attitude
good luck and have fun!