Big Cat Swing at Cy Creek HS
2022 — Houston, TX/US
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Pronouns: they/them | Email: email@example.com
Seven Lakes '21, University of Houston '24
Howdy! My name is Nine (pronounced like the number). Assistant coach for Seven Lakes. College Policy debater and VP of the team at the University of Houston. In HS, I competed in WSD and speech (OO, Poetry, Extemp). I'm mostly coaching WSD right now but also do a bit of Policy and IE (oo/info and various interp events) on the side.
- update: i am becoming increasingly frustrated with being misgendered at tournaments. my pronouns are they/them. do not use she/her. try not to use "ma'am" or "miss". it's on the tabroom texts, on this paradigm, etc. and yet, people i know/judge frequently who are reading those are still misgendering me. if you mess up, correct yourself. if you hear someone else misgendering ANYONE, correct them. if you have questions or are unsure, ask!
- I do not tolerate racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, ableism, etc. Please respect people's names, pronouns, and identities. Just be respectful, it's really not that hard.
- Debate should be a welcoming and accessible place. If you have concerns, please let me know and I will work with you to try to resolve them.
- feel free to email me with questions! i love talking about speech/debate/interp and am more than happy to answer questions or have conversations about it. even if you have questions about college, debating in college, etc., hit me up!
- if you don't have questions but have a pet, feel free to email me ur pet pics :-)
- Have a good debate! Have a good performance! Have a good attitude! And most importantly, have fun!!!
the following stuff on this part of my paradigm include some of my most common pieces of feedback on my ballots. if you internalize these, it's incredibly helpful for getting my ballot.
if you have 15 minutes before the round and need to know the tldr version, read this stuff:
– i flow and will vote based on what’s on my flow. i would rather vote on content, arguments, and warrants over speaking pretty.
– i value organized speeches!!! messy speeches = sad nine = sad ballot. ways to make sure that you’re keeping your speech organized: 1) enumerate your responses, 2) signpost your arguments, and 3) condense down your arguments into clash.
– i would MUCH rather vote on offensive over defensive arguments. different debate events define offense/defense differently so here’s what i mean: offense = a change to the squo, defense = no change to the squo. if you’re still confused about this, lmk after the round or send me an email. i’ve noticed worlds debaters are really really good at making defensive args, but not necessarily offensive ones. please have offense. i want to vote on your argument's impact!!!
– the most judge intervention i will probably do in a wsd debate is deferring to what i think is the most reasonable interpretation of the motion. this happens ONLY IF debaters have competing definitions/characterizations/interps AND it has NOT been resolved by the end of the round. that interpretation of the motion is probably key to where most of your offense lies. i do not like adjudicating rounds based on what i think is most reasonable, i would much rather the debaters make those arguments in-round.
the non-tldr version:
– format: follow it. that means no spreading, no “off the clock roadmaps” (i start the clock as soon as you say "as an off the clock roadmap"), taking 1-2 POIs, etc. that also means no using heavy debate jargon (topicality, condo, etc.). you’re probably using those words in the wrong context anyway. “fiat” is definitely a word/arg that exists in WSD, but make sure you’re using it correctly.
– please actually debate. that means having impacts to your arguments, weighing those impacts, etc. that also means warranting out your arguments, explaining your world, etc. everytime i walk into a debate round i'm beginning to feel more and more like a grumpy old man because teams are just not doing this. please debate.
– explain and characterize! the best debaters are the ones who can best explain their clash, how and why actors will act a certain way, etc.
– word efficiency: there's a difference between explaining and repeating -- word efficiency is extremely important to me. spending 15 seconds to flag, cross apply, or group arguments (as long as you already did the work to explain them) is good enough for me to apply the same explanation to multiple things on my flow for me.
– strategy and style are important! i highly value strategic debaters (ex. carrying the same arguments down the bench, taking timed POIs, not being contradictory, etc.) and if you have style on top of that, you will get some great speaker points at the end of the round. BUT don’t sacrifice style for content. i’ll always prefer analysis > speaking pretty. the best strategic choices debaters can make in WSD is being explicit and giving me some judge direction, telling me what arguments i should prioritize in the round, and *actually* attacking the other team on their highest ground. the best replies are embedded with good judge instruction.
– issues about the debate can be resolved in round. ex: if there is a debate about whether the team gets fiat or not, make the arguments in round and don't rely on me to default to whatever opinion i have of fiat. or, if you think the team isn't debating the heart of the motion, make those argument in round. i expect a defense of what exactly the heart of the motion is from both sides in that instance. i'll evaluate those arguments based on what's on my flow.
– replies: the replies should be holding my hand and telling me what happened in the debate. tell me what i should be writing down in my ballot. tell me what you're winning and what they're losing. tell me how you've closed off the other team's path to ballot. please please please give me some judge instruction here.
– ideological lean: just because i do policy debate does not mean i lean towards policy style arguments. i truly and genuinely don't care what kind of arguments you run or go for as long as you give me a reason to vote for it. seriously, you do you. i'll vote on any kind of argument.
– principle debates: if it becomes a practical v. principle debate, i'm expecting A LOT of weighing and why the principle outweighs practical or vice versa. i'm also in the camp that principle almost always needs some kind of impact (although it doesn't necessarily need to be utilitarian). for instance, if you're running a principle of democracy, your impact should be... democracy (surprise!). if you're running something about marginalized groups being harmed in someway, the impact could be structural violence or psychic violence to those people, which is on-face, bad and is probably overlooked. i love creative principles and creative impacts here.
– model debates: i'm becoming increasingly skeptical of the strategic value of models/countermodels. partly because i think the better version of this for most motions is just straight up characterizations, counterfactuals, and affirming/opposing the whole motion. and partly because i have yet to see a good model/countermodel debate. i would be very excited if teams actually took up the model/countermodel debate in appropriate motions and did it well by the 3s/4s. here's my more substantive thoughts: both models and countermodels need to be characterized. teams should tell me how they're mechanized, what the incentives are for key actors, and how the model might interact with core stakeholders. prop should fully articulate how they get offense from the model (this is where i usually see prop fail at this). opp's countermodel should articulate how it's mutually exclusive from the prop model AND why it is preferable, i.e. net benefits or what the opp countermodel does better/how it avoids prop's model's harms (and this is where the opp team usually fails). i think model/countermodel debates are appropriate for a few policy leaning motions. if the debate becomes when it is or isn't appropriate to have a model, teams need to establish 1) what in the wording of the motion grants you a model (usually the action verb and applying it to the context of the rest of the motion) and 2) why the model is goldilocks for grounds to debate (why it's not too specific/narrow of a model and why it's not too broad). regardless of what my thoughts are for what's the most strategic way to interpret the motion, i will defer to the arguments made in-round on this question.
(i'm still sorting out my thoughts on my policy debate judging philosophy and this part of my paradigm prob needs a few updates but 99% of this stuff still applies)
tldr version: put me on the email chain. set up the email chain even if i'm not in the room yet. i’ll vote on almost any arg. offense over defense. i’m more than fine w/ spreading, ks, etc. probably not going to vote on condo bad. just defend your model of debate if you’re gonna have a framework debate.
the longer stuff
I'll vote on almost any argument as long as you give me a good reason to give you my ballot. Offense over defense. Weigh impacts. Compare evidence. Have direct clash. I evaluate the round how you tell me to. YOU DO YOU! I will judge and adapt to your style of debate accordingly.
YES, I want to be on the email chain. and PLEASE set up the email chain as soon as possible. I don't like speech drop since it's always funky for me. I try not to look at the doc too much while flowing (read: the Speed section), but I will look back on the docs when prompted, read back on ev at the end of the round if necessary, etc. If I look at the doc it's probably to make sure i'm flowing author names correctly. Signpost -- make my life easier and do yourself a favor by making your speech as organized as possible.
Speed: I am absolutely more than fine with speed. Spread at your top speed if you want, but make sure to slow down (or at least, change out of your "card voice") for tags, authors, and analytics. I flow everything on paper so give me pen time when necessary. Clarity > speed -- I can't flow if I don't catch what y'all are saying. This is especially true for online debate.
even more stuff in no particular order:
tldr: i'll vote for almost any type of arg. i like specificity and telling me why X thing is important.
Framework: Just defend your model of debate and tell me why I should prefer it. You should be able to stick to an interp/counterinterp. You should be able to articulate the specific abuse that happens (or, why it didn't happen and how your model of debate solves that). In general, specificity is best -- just reading some generic blocks probably won't fly. I will evaluate education/fairness impacts based on what happens in the round (i.e. judge instruction, framing points, etc.)
Case: Love watching case debate. Most internal links suck and debaters end up going for generic impacts. Specificity and pointing out ambiguities is key for good case debate. I think a good case push from any angle is just a fun debate to watch. Case turns are cool. Impact turns are cool. Case debate is cool.
Topicality: Yes!!!! Big fan of punishing policy teams for being untopical. I like hearing analysis on (legal) education, how they make debates unfair, why it's important, etc. T debate is best when the arguments are specific to the aff and when you're not just reading generic shells and blocks. The most important thing here is detailing your model and world of debate. I don't just HS Policy nearly as often, so you should ESPECIALLY describe key actors, laws, treaties, etc. here if you plan on going for T.
K: Go for it! I'm most familiar with cap, setcol, and anthro as debate arguments and queer/fem theory in a more general sense. Don't expect me to fill in the gaps for you. You need to tell me what the alt looks like (imo, comparative worlds works especially best for this), have clear links to the aff, and articulate the more intricate parts of the K (don't rely on buzzwords and expect me to know them!). I think well articulated offense against the thesis or the alt of the K are always fun debates. Do not impact turn racism, transphobia, etc. It will result in an auto L.
DA: I love watching policy debates, but similar to case debate, the internal links and/or the link probably suck. Try to have specificity here and link well to the aff. Don't give me a contextless card dump. Make sure to have direct clash here. The more specific you get with how the aff interacts with the DA, the better.
CP: The best CPs come from the aff's solvency advocate. I think uncarded advantage CPs are also fine, but requires a lot more explanation of them and how they solve. uncarded CPs should probably be relatively intuitive.
Theory: I won't vote on condo bad unless you make me care about it. I'll still flow these responses, but my threshold for voting on condo bad is suuuuper high (and my threshold for answering condo good is super low... just point at it and laugh and it's good enough for me). Otherwise, I try my best to set my thoughts on theory aside from the round, so just do what you're good at. Please just make sure you tell me why it's important to the round. Regardless of my opinions on theory, I defer to my flow at the end of the day.
K Affs: Yes! I'm a bit less familiar with these than policy affs but love judging K aff rounds regardless. I'm very sympathetic to the education of K affs and especially love seeing unique and well thought out ways to discuss the K. On the flipside, I am also very sympathetic to the presumption ballot and/or framework here. I think the most fun/interesting K Aff rounds to judge are the ones where the neg has a well thought out strategy with DAs/CPs/Case and make it clear by the block that framework is not part of their main strategy. But of course, you do you!
PF/LD: Most of my policy paradigm applies here. I won’t vote on tricks/blippy theory and definitely don’t want to see them in-round. Strike me if you plan on going for tricks.
If you're a prog debater and tell me the order is "the nc then the ac" ill be annoyed. If you're giving an order, tell me the order of the advantages and the order of the offs. For trad LD, i don't think the neg necessarily needs a value/criterion if they choose to concede the aff value/criterion and just win under the aff framing.
I don't have a preference for either trad/prog. I tend to evaluate trad closer to how I evaluate WSD rounds and I tend to evaluate prog closer to how I evaluate Policy rounds. That being said, I still look for who's winning the offense, what the judge instruction/framing points are, and who made the better articulation of arguments in both settings of debate.
For PF, I have the least experience judging these debates. For the PF rounds that I have judged so far, I feel like I am doing the most judge intervention in this event simply because debaters are not resolving the debate by the 2 minute speeches (also just like. 2 minutes speeches?!?!?!). Please please please give me some kind of judge instruction or at least impact weighing and tell me what impact I vote for and WHY. It is perfectly okay to kick whatever you need to so that you can get the most explanation on the argument you plan to go for.
A Speech/Interp paradigm feels useless sometimes just because y'all have already memorized/blocked out your pieces and there's little my paradigm will inform you about how to better adapt to me as your judge. But I guess my brief thoughts are here in the off-chance someone reads this and gets something out of it:
You do you, just follow the format and perform the best you can!
For extemp, looking for format things (i.e. having a roadmap, using on-tops, following the speaker's triangle, etc.). I prefer content over speaking pretty most of the times, but since it's a speech event, I still take presentation seriously. I don't really care if you do a three or two point speech, but the content should still be in-depth and make sense.
For OO/Info, most of my ballots come down to the implications/why it matters portion. Humor (even attempts at humor) is always a plus.
For interp, I'm mainly looking for clarity of plot (also, if there is a plot to begin with), embodiment and distinctions between characters, and clear blocking/binder "mojo".
Updated Jan 5
Hi I'm Asad!!
Asad/anything except "judge"
George Ranch HS '19 -- Uni of Houston '23 -- Culinary Inst. of America (CIA) '25
I did ld, qualled, and competed on the nat and local circuit, currently i judge/coach when i can or i am at work
For all types of debates ↓↓↓
Whether this is be ld, policy, pf, or worlds every arg is an arg so hence its evaluated the same - that includes progressive args like k/s, larp, shells, etcc... with that being said make sure u explain ur arg give a rzn why it makes sense/warrant it out and do impact analysis/ow -- if you cant do that i cant vote off it -- i dont care about card v card debates if u dont ow and warrant i cant vote off it which means i prefer analytics over random cards -- this is something that im seeing is a new trend by giving defense -- taking something from ur teams masterfile doesnt show ur debate skill at all
For ld and cx prefs ↓↓↓
Short: Im pretty laid back, u do you -- I will do whatever u want me to do as long as you tell me-- signpost, signpost, signpost, signpost, and please for the love of god signpost or I will be lost on the flow!! -- explain the arg and then weigh it -- in the 2ar/2nr write out my ballot for me -- please collapse and ow i cant stress how important it is
(1) K's: Love the K debate but im tired of the same stuff Ive seen in my debate career run something new and exciting - im tired seeing old lit ie cap, sec, etc.. . i ran alot of islamo affs hauntology and fem thats what im most comfortable with and ofc common lit but explain just incase im not familiar w/ it -- framing is important in the k debate dont just drop it and pls dont reread framing in the 1ar/2nr you have to explain it and tie it back to the K -- if u make a perm to the K explain it dont just say "perm" and move on to another part of the debate -- i like seeing new and exciting k lit bc without innovation the debate world would be boring
(1) Larp: majority of my debate space was centered around here whether it be people i hit or myself so im most comfy with larp. cp specific make sure its competitive -- i absolutely hate util but will still vote on 1% chance of extinction -- conflict doesnt automatically mean nuc war pls explain the buildup on how it gets there im not doing the work for u
(2) T/theory: i feel like these can be messy debates alot of time ppl run it just to run it and dont even have any impact on the shells so its meaningless but i love t/theory debates especially since alot of affs arent topical either now these days - i also do vote on multiple condo bad if the neg is running like 4+ off -- i default edu> fairness but i will vote on anything as long as u tell me why -- disclosure theory is not something i usually vote on i think its unfair for the aff already in rds but run if u want
(3) Performance K's: I prefer topical K lit over performance's but I'll still evaluate it the same. I think a lot of performances ive recently seen are either just memes or straight out bad and the person/team doesnt know how to run it properly. Hence, pls know what you're doing or dont do it all
(4) Dense Phil: Very basic knowledge tbh - i was a phil major till my senior year of college so i know most common lit but clarify w/me just incase and dont expect me to fill in the gaps. If youre going into dense phil i probs wont understand it at much unless u explain
(5) Tricks: Strike
Extra stuff you can choose to read ↓↓↓
Some stuff I like: extemping a shell +1 speaks -- having fun -- saying "oopsie my opp conceded__" -- saying "its game over" -- coming in playing some Akon or Eminem +1 speaks -- short prep time -- call me Asad not "judge"
Misc: I write out a pretty easy RFD I assume you can fill in the gaps when I disclose but clarify if you need me to go in depth -- pls ask any question before rd if needed, no question is a dumb question -- use cross wisely its to pick out flaws not for clarifying -- i base speaks on strats, collapsing, warranting, etc... this is debate not interp --ask questions after rd as well ie strats for ar/nrs -- why ur analysis did/did not win -- what would i do and etc... -- u are more than welcome to ask me about case info as well
Conflicts: Alief Hastings
My rankings are usually based on who is able to create the most believable characters and moments. There should be multiple levels within your piece and in the portrayal of your characters ~ not everything should be intense, or fast/slow, or super loud or quiet.
Everything you do in your performance should have a purpose. If you give a character an accent, be consistent with that accent. Make sure that each movement, mannerism, or gesture makes sense within the scope of the story you are telling. Additionally, I should be able to easily differentiate between multiple characters. Facial expressions, moments, and character development are very important for the overall performance.
A clear structure is important: your delivery should be cohesive, and flow logically from point to point. A natural delivery style that allows for your personality to shine is preferable to the “Platform Speaker”. Put simply: avoid speech patterns.
Extemp: The most important thing is that you answer the question! A polished speaking style is important, but I will often default to a speaker that has stronger analysis and evidence over a pretty speech with fluffy content. Do not rely on canned introductions - creativity is important when trying to engage me.
Oratory/Informative: Your attention getter, vehicle, and conclusion should be creative, but they also need to fit well with the topic. Again, I will default to stronger analysis/evidence over fluffy content.
experience: varsity policy debate 2018-2021
2020-2021 HUDL CX Champion (with Angelina Martinez)
CX (Policy) Debate: For policy debate, I look for solid arguments on solvency, time frame, and magnitude. If a team can clearly diminish their opponent's case and extend their solvency, time frame, and magnitude, I will vote for them. Although I look for those three components to cast my vote, the majority of my vote goes on solvency and magnitude since there is no reason why we should favor one plan that starts effectively tomorrow but does absolutely nothing in regard to the resolution. I also vote on "dropped" arguments, for example, if a team mentions topicality or any Kritik at any moment but never mentions it again throughout the debate. If it was clearly diminished in the round, then I will not count it against them. I am okay with spreading, but if it's too fast, I will ask for you to slow down or add me to the email chain so I can keep up as well.
LD: For LD, I vote on their expansion and defense of their framework and morality. I believe that expanding why one's framework and morality should be valued over the other is an effective way for their contentions to hold more ground throughout the debate. Often debaters tend to be on the offensive, and throughout the debate, their case really loses touch. I also vote on the development of their arguments; since LD is shorter in time, the quality of the arguments must be exceptional.
I am conflicted with Cypress Park Hs.
Individual events: I look for strong characterization, rhetorical appeals, vocal variety and inflection, expressive facial/ body movements, clear enunciation, confidence, and creative delivery.
Debate events: I look for conversational tone of voice, clear and average paced speaking (No spreading), Rhetorical appeals, strong reasoning and logic, current and credible evidence, and impactful connections.
- I don't mind a faster pace of speaking but caution should you speak faster than I can type I can't promise I'll hear everything you say. I don't ascribe to the recent practice of emailing opponents and judges your cases and then consequently reading their case rather than hearing what is spoken. I do not accept any evidence outside of what the debater presents orally.
- In a value-debate I'm less likely to vote for extreme values as the average voter is less likely to vote for extreme values. If you advocate for destroying half the world's population that's a hard sell. In policy debate I might be more likely to ascribe to this theory of if it's passable and presents solvency it's valid.
- I'm less likely to vote on topicality and off-topic kritiks. If a case is obviously off-topic I won't weight it in the round.
- I usually don't weigh extreme impacts such as nuclear war, the end of the human race, etc. If both the affirmative and negative sides conclude with nuclear war it tends to lose its impact.
- I spent seven years studying and completing communication research. I tend to have a solid grasp on common philosophy, cultural values, social groups, critical theories, etc. That being said if you utilize an abstract theory and don't define key concepts I will vote as if I don't know those concepts. With the caveat that if you misrepresent those concepts I will note it and not weight it in the round.
Hi y'all! My name is Carlos Diaz and I competed for Spring Woods High School for four years and The University of Texas at Austin Speech Team for four years as well. I am currently the long term substitute for the speech and debate coach at Memorial High School.
My senior year of high school I was the 2016 TFA state champion in DUO as well as the 2016 TOC duo champion. My sophomore year of college I was a finalist in dramatic interpretation at the National Forensics Association tournament (top 6 out of 250 competitors). The following year I was a semi-finalist in persuasive speaking at the same tournament, (top 12 out of 250 competitors). Although I never competed in congress or extemp, my high school was state and nationally ranked in congressional debate, and I had the great fortune of having some of the best extempers in the nation as my teammates during my time in the UT speech team.
First- answer the question. Read the question carefully or you might give an entire speech that ultimately misses the mark.
Credible and great sources.
Strong format and structure. The speech should be able to flow easily and be coherent enough for non-speech judges.
I want a solid structure of the speech. The audience (and I as a judge) must be able to follow along with ease. This means previewing in your intro.
Be sure to use your space, especially between transitions and with hand gestures. This adds another layer to the delivery of the speech and it makes an enormous difference.
For OO- solutions need to be tangible, meaning things that I as an audience member can take up and do. If the solutions are abstract, you are not fulfilling your role as an orator.
For Info- implications are the man thing that make the speech. They need to be out of the box, and make the audience think of something we would not have otherwise.
Preview in your introduction.
You MUST have excellent sources and I will not look favorably upon a point that has no sources at all. How am I supposed to evaluate something that is purely opinion?
To PO's: I pay heavy attention to how you are conducting the round.
Be kind in questioning. Do not be abusive in any aspect of the speech.
I will be the most picky in this event just because it's my favorite and I usually have a lot of feedback to provide.
The intro in interp should always have a strong argument, preferably backed up by sources or studies that support the theme of the performance (and yes, even in HI).
Dramatic/Prose: I am looking for a well developed character. Additionally, it's nice to have a set environment that the audience is able to observe.
Although this event tends to be more dramatic (haha), I also want to see levels throughout. A piece that only has one tone and mood is boring, give me more! Add the humor, the doubt, the regret, the hesitance, the anger, and so much more that makes your character a real person.
Programs: Having a clear argument is imperative. Your literature can be anything as long as it connects with your main theme.
Characters need to be unique. I should not be able to confuse characters, so make them stand out. Things like changes in tone, accents (if appropriate), mannerisms, etc.
Humorous: Although the main point of this event is to be funny, i'd rather see it be clean and easy to follow. HI can tend to focus too much on the humor and ignore the plot of the script. Make sure you don't.
Characters need to be unique but also BIG. The entire point of HI is to be exaggerated and to have no boundaries or limitations (as long as it makes sense and adds to the story rather than distracts from it).
Overall, I am looking for people that are having fun! The amazing thing about interp is that you are given a platform to completely personify a character, an argument, and a story.
Last but not least- CONFIDENCE. If there's something that I've learned from competing in speech for eight years is that confidence is key. As long as you think of yourself as a winner, you will perform as a winner, and the audience will see you as a winner.
Coaching & Competitor History:
(2020-Present): Director of Debate & Speech, Melissa High School
(2019-2020): Assistant Director of Forensics & Head PF Coach, Delbarton School
(2019-2020): Policy Debate Coach, Princeton High School
(2017-2019): Policy Debate Coach, Melissa High School
(2017-2019): Graduate Parliamentary Debate Coach, University of North Texas
(2015-2017): Policy Debate Coach & PF Coach, Southlake High School
(2014-2016): Policy Debate Coach, Prosper High School
(2014-2015): Policy, LD, & PF Coach, Crandall High School
(2013-2014/15ish): Policy Debate competitor, University of North Texas
(2009-2013): Policy Debate competitor, Lampasas
Overview: I view the debate though an offense/defense paradigm. I think that this is the best way for me to grapple with the debate. Throughout my paradigm, I've tried to limit my regurgitation of knowledge or information about debate to you, and instead tell you how I view debate based on specific questions with the specific events. I think that there are some things that I will not change based on the nature of whatever event I'm judging. Theoretical disquisitions and procedural issues are ones in which I evaluate the same. Please see the theory section. If there's a question I do not have within here, please ask me. Finally, the questions that I am answering below are 1.) questions in which people have asked me before that I can remember and 2.) attempting to answer them as best as possible.
Reasons to Strike Me:
3NR's: After nationals in 2019, I have this to say. If you're going to be rude because you lost the debate, and attempt to get me to generate some sort of concession about why I messed up, I think that you're looking for the wrong judge. I make mistakes, but if I wanted to waste my time with some sort of asinine 3NR, I would have stayed home to waste my time doing nothing. If I feel it's going poorly, the 3NR, I'll shut my laptop and tell you the same thing I told the team at nationals in 2019. You should be ashamed of yourselves and your coach should be even more ashamed due to their inability to make you understand that that's not a healthy practice.
Clipping Cards: This is defined as "intentionally or unintentionally skipping over the parts of the evidence that is highlighted, bolded, and underlined." As Louie Petit says, do not be a Lance Armstrong (Petit, 2013).
Ideological Issues: Being racist, sexist, or a biggot is a great way to strike me.
Coaching: if I have coached you in the past 4 years, I will strike you. If I forget to, it is your obligation to strike me.
Cards: If you are paraphrasing and not cutting cards in PF, strike me.
Cards (PF): I'm so tired of people "calling for evidence" and it taking a majority of the round, while in the interim stealing prep. You should either 1.) send the case before you read or 2.) immediately after you're done before cross-fire or prep starts. I will start calling for prep when you call for evidence at a certain point, and if you do not like this, strike me please.
Dumb Theory Arguments: There's a national trend going on in LD indicating that we or judges should vote on frivolous argument (e.g. shoe theory, laptop theory, and so on). These are just absurdly, un-strategic, asinine arguments. Strike me please.
***Policy Debate Paradigm
What does extrapolation mean for you? For me, I think that the 2AR and the 2NR get extrapolation based on previous claims made within the debate. I think that, if this is based off of evidence, and your evidence has some sort of glaring issue that prevents you from generating access to said extrapolation, then I probably won't vote for you.
What do we have to do to flag evidence? Just say look at the evidence or make some sort of evidence contestation that necessitates that I look at your evidence. It just takes a couple seconds.
Extending is important: I think that, if you do not extend the aff or example within the 1AR, I may have a hard time giving the 2AR credit. Even if it is just a shadow extension, I think that that is better than nothing.
Is evidence comparison important? Yeah. I would say that that's probably a good way for me to reevaluate why I should prefer a particular argument over another. I think that engaging in some sort of substantive level (i.e. the warrants, author, and so on) make for good case debate (for example).
Email me: I think that this will help in case I have to go back and re-read a piece of evidence. I try not to waste people's time, thus, I do not want to have to ask if you can send me a specific piece of evidence. If you're looking to get documents from a previous debate, please see the above email.
Do you prefer a specific kind of aff? no. Read a method, soft left, or big stick aff. It's up to you. I grew up going for the big stick aff and coached that the first 2-3 years out of high school, while also coaching big stick 1AC's in PF at Delbarton. I coached pre dominantly soft left aff's at Melissa and Princeton. I coach a kid now in LD reading a historical geneology that discusses why debate is bad. I think that you should do whatever you want. I've judged some great [Coppell DR and Wylie QR] teams going for the method. I've judged some great teams [Greenhill & Jesuit] going for Soft left affs. I've judged some great teams like Highland Park and Jesuit go for some big stick affs. I think that you should be able to read what you want.
Are you okay with speed? Yes. The fastest team I ever saw was the Georgetown team that won nationals twice. Unless you're going faster, I may need you to slow down. If I cannot hear you, I will say clear.
Speaker Points: I generally do not give below a 28.5. I do not know what else to say here.
Does Competing Interpretations come before reasonability or vise versa? I think that it depends on the arguments made within the debate. Absent this sort of debate, I will default to competing interpretations within the grande scheme of this or other competitive venues of debate.
What's the biggest thing people do poorly (in your opinion) on T or any procedural issue? I think that impacting your disads or standards is important to me. For example, on the ground disad, make sure that you're indicating 1.) HOW you're losing the argument (i.e. the link) and 2.) WHAT those arguments generally look like or what they specifically are and 3.) WHY those arguments are important for either topic education and/or competitive equity.
What's generated more ballots for you on T: The limits disad or Ground disad? I think that, while not having any sort of verifiable data via my ballots, I couldn't tell you. However, I have a gut feeling that it is the ground disad. I think that people, whenever making a limits claim, are not contextualizing why a particular limit based on the interpretation or rule set in debate is a better thing or idea.
Is Framework inherently argumentatively racist? I think that it depends on the debate.
Can we impact turn competitive equity and/or topic education? Absolutely.
Does or can a theoretical argument (e.g. Condo, or some other theory argument) come before T? Sure. I've seen these debates, but I've never judged them.
Do I get broad level extrapolation for my interp? No. What do I mean by this? Well, if you just say in the 2NC "conditionality is bad", but then precede in the 2NR or 1NR to clarify this statement by saying "conditionality is bad BECAUSE they can only get dispositional counterplans or advocacies", I am not likely to give you that level of extrapolation. I think that that is too late for me.
Have you ever rejected a Framework claim to a K aff (i.e. you did not vote on framework)? Yes.
Have you voted on a framework claim against a K aff? Yes.
What are things not to do or recommend not to do on Framework? I think that you should attempt to separate the procedural issues from the aff itself. I understand that making state good or bad claims and having research burdens on Framework may come as a result of some sort of argument made on framework. however, if you can separate those two things instead of them bleeding over on the same flow, I would appreciate that. If not, that's not an issue.
If I do not have either a predictability, ground, and/or limits claims within the 2NR for T, are you likely to vote for me? probably not.
Impact turning the aff? Great. I love these debates.
Can I just go for defense, or what some people call the stock issues? No. The only time I have voted on defense was in 2015. The Role of the Ballot was quite literally to vote on defense or what I believe was solvency within that debate.
Can we win the disad absent case in the 2NR? Maybe, but I hope that you either are making claims that 1.) the disad turns the case and/or (depending on the disad) 2.) That you're making disad solves the aff's offense in some manner.
Can we win a link turn absent a uniqueness contestation made? Probably not. Right, if you do not prove why a problem is high now and are concluding that you substantially reduce that problem, absent the first sort of argument, I presume that the problem is not likely happening now (i.e. the uniqueness argument of the disad is true).
Do you prefer to hear disads? Read what you want.
Biggest issue on the disad? Same issue on an advantage; there needs to be a good explanation of the internal link or impact module that describes how we get to the impact.
Absent a disad, can we still win the counterplan? Sure, but you'll need to make either 1.) why the counterplan is just inherently mutually exclusive or 2.) Win some sort of internal net benefit to the counterplan.
What if the disad links to the plan AND counterplan? Making link differential arguments here and explaining why (whichever side's) level of "linking" (so to speak) is not enough to trigger the disad. I also then think that this is a question of the evidence, and how good or bad the evidence is. I think that this also a question of spin, so making sure that you spin the argument is important here (for me at least).
Thoughts on the Politics Disad? Fantastic.
Is conditionality fine? yes.
Are two conditional counterplans fine? I mean sure, i don't care.
What about 3? Look, I'm not the arbiter that determines the number of conditional counterplans or unconditional counterplans that you get to read. I think that at a certain time, there needs to be a limit set within the debate. If the affirmative proves why their limit on the certain number is good or better, then I am more likely to vote for them. I think that this ALSO means having a NON-blanket statement interpretation. Just saying that conditionality is bad is probably not a good interpretation for the debate. I think that there's a whole slew of disads and turns that the interp is going to generate. I think that parametrasizing your interp (i.e. the negative teams gets 1 conditional counterplan and a dispositional counterplan) is probably a better interpretation.
Would you vote on internal net benefits? I would yes. If you have a specific question here that I can better answer, please let me know.
What kind of counterplan do you prefer? I like PICS's. They're really cool. Read a counterplan; i don't know what else to say. Debate is cool. Counterplans are fine.
What are some dumb counterplans? Delay is probably dumb, but I've voted on it (yeah, make fun of me. It's fair). I think that consult counterplans on the wrong topic are dumb, but I've still voted for them on the topic in which they do not make sense argumentatively to be read on.
When's the last time you voted on condo? Plano West Finals, 2020. Before that, I think that it was in 2015. People do not read conditionality in front of me a lot.
What about sufficiency framing? Yeah I guess presumption would err in your direction even if there is not a net benefit or internal net benefit. I'll err this manner if the permutation cannot solve, or if the permutation is not made, or if the permutation argument is not sufficiently explained.
What's a poor permutation? One that is not explained. I also think that good permutations are one's that are thought out and take the part of the counterplan that resolves the disad and combines it with the plan. I think that teams that are strategic with these better forms of permutations are more likely to win.
Issues on permutation debates? If you're going to make assertions that the other team's permutation is either severance or intrinsic, I need some sort of warrant or violation explaining why the other side's permutation is intrinsic or severance. Absent this theorietical or structural argument in your theory argument, I'm willing to note vote on it even if you told me all day why severance or intrinsic permutations are bad. Also, if you want to impact turn severance, go ahead. Finally, explaining to me what the world of the permutation looks like and why it avoids the internal or external net benefit is going to be important to me.
Preferred strategy against a K aff? I don't have one. It depends on the aff.
Method vs. Method debate? Well yeah, I think that these are great debates to be had.
Do you have a preferred literature base of critical scholarship that you would like to see debated? No. I read a lot of gender studies scholarship, but I do not think that this should deter you from reading the arguments that you want to read within the debate. If you're looking to up someone based on the prerequisite knowledge of things like black feminism, islamic feminism, intersectional feminism, womanism, and various other derivatives, I guess I'm that person, but I would hesitate from deeming myself that person.
Is framework against a K aff fine? yeah, absolutely.
What's the biggest issue with the K or K Aff's? Explaining the alt and how it resolves the offense within the specific debate. I think that more tangible alternatives have a better time of operationalizing an explanation for this question. That's not to say that you can NOT read reject alts. I'm just letting you know based on things that I have been judging on the national and local circuits. I think that, like my friend Chris O'Brien, I start with the alternative, look there, and then go up.
Link argument issues? I think that you are better off with doing a couple things in front of me. First, I think that going for just one link (most likley the conceded link) within the 2NR is going to be helpful. I think that good K teams are doing this because it increases the time that they can spend on other things within the debate. Second, putting the evidence or having evidence in the context of the aff is going to get you much farther. I think that these generic state bad links are fine, but just be understanding that if the evidence after reading it is in the context of the status quo and not some new proposal, I think that I am likely to err aff on this question if said arguments are made. I think that kritikal affs to better win framework we/meet arguments should have a kritik that is in the direction (at the minimum) or at least about the topic in some sort of way. Debate bad affs for instance are nice, but if they have nothing to do with immigration, arms sales, or water, then I am more likely to vote on the argument.
Impact issues? I think that whenever judging a K vs. a Soft Left aff or a K vs. K aff, make sure that you are doing sequencing work if both teams have some sort of root cause argument. I think that this level of explanation is going to warrant higher speaker points while also generating a better ballot erred in your direction.
Would you be willing to vote on a K absent us winning the alt? I think that, like my friend Chris O'Brien, I start with the alternative, look there, and then go up. If you do not have some sort of tangible alt, then I am likley to not vote for you i if the other side then makes arguments about why these things are happening in the status quo and/or the offense is just a non-unique disad at this point.
Calling for evidence: please see the strike section above.
Is defense sticky? No. Absolutely not.
Do you have a preference of offense (i.e. scalar offense, or threshold offense)? No? I don't care. If you're reading your scalar offense, I'm not entirely sure why you're reading these uniqueness arguments above your scalar offense. Right, in policy this is just linear (or that is the synonymous term). I think that you are waisting your time for this.
Can I read multiple ethical positions within the pro and con cases? Sure, why not. If LD gets pre and post fiat, I don't understand why you can't read structural violence arguments and util arguments, and then collapse to one within the final focus.
If I don't frontline arguments within the rebuttal, are they dropped? Yeah. The way that I view the rebuttal is that is it similar or analogous to the 2AC in policy debate. Absent some sort of answer to the rebuttal's arguments that they are making probably means that you do not get to respond to them within the summary speech.
Can I shadow extend arguments in the summary and extrapolate in the final focus? Sure. I think that that is a smart move.
Can I read disclosure theory or paraphrasing theory? I'll answer both of these separately. First, I think that paraphrasing theory is inherently not something that I think that is substantive to vote on. Go look up in the theory section of my policy debate paradigm and int he overview. I think that theory here is treated the same in policy. In other words, I think that you need to win some sort of predictability, ground (or predictable ground), and/or limits (or predictable limits) claim for me to vote on your theory argument. If I do not know why paraphrasing destroys or erode one of those standards, I'm not voting voting for you.You can have as many bright line standards, contextual definition standards because you've read some sort of great (not really great) piece of evidence by some camp staffer who published an article, or whatever. That will not get you far enough in my book. Second, sure, read disclosure theory. Again, I think that the above arguments related to this applies here as well (the criticism about offensive vs. defensive standards).
What's your threshold for a warrant or an explanation to an argument within the final focus? Pretty high. Absent a warrant for an argument mean that I am going to discount that argument. It's pretty simple; I evaluate arguments in a vaccum, and just because you explained it in the summary does not mean that you necessarily get to just shadow extend arguments with the same or full weight.
What if we did not highlight our cards? I'm noticing that more and more teams are not highlighting their cards. I'm not sure if you're doing this on purpose, but I think that I will look to the analysis of the card's tag within the final focus, and adjudicate my decision from there. This is not on you. This is on the PF community to establish a set of card norms. In other words, I will hold you to your analysis, not what is on the evidence.
Can I take prep before cross or the opponent's speech? Sure.
Do you prefer Util or Structural Violence Framing? I think that these impact framing debates and risks analysis disquisitions are fun to have. No, it's not abusive for a team to read an alternative util calculus. I think that I am more adverse to giving higher speaker points to the team that goes outside the boundaries, and pushes them, by reading some sort of alternative ethical framework or calculus.
What does collapsing mean for you? I think, collapsing for me, means that you're going for less arguments but in a manner in which you extrapolate and interact those arguments in a manner that does more for you. Whenever I hear this answer, I see some sort of upside down triangle, whereby there's 2 levels (i.e. the aff case and the negative case). Going for all the arguments that you made within rebuttal within the final focus on the opponents case, while also going for all of your contentions, seems like a strategy or easy way to lose.
Why did you say that you recommend I have uniqueness for my warrants? Yeah, you have 3 different warrants (i.e. impact modules or scenarios) about why something is bad. Just asserting that X, Y, and Z will happen does not make a lot of sense absent some sort of uniqueness argument made that postulates that that issue is not happening now.
If I win a pre-req does that mean that I win the debate? Maybe? I think that it depends on the debate. I think that I would need some more context to this question, but you may be giving away some strategy to your opponents by adding context.
Can I read definitions or observations? Sure. Be my guest.
Can I read a kritik? I mean, there's a small amount of time to get through the K within the debate. If you think that you can do it, be my guest. If you don't have certain things, and are just certain you won the debate because you only read a link argument, don't be surprised when I tell you that you lose. I think that a better strategy you be just to read the link and the impact as a case turn, and then contextualize how the aff specifically increases. I think you should see some of the link sections within the kritik section in the policy section of my paradigm.
Does the new 3 minute (or relatively new) summary change how you judge? Not really. It's like going from high school policy debate to college police debate insofar as the time is concerned (i.e. everything increases by a minute). it doesn't change strategy, or largely I should say.
Speaker Point notes: I find that there is this assimilated, similar way of speaking in PF. It sounds great, but you repeating your claims over and over, and getting to the point 10 or 15 seconds in will not necessitate me giving you higher speaker points in PF. I traditionally give higher speaker points to teams that are warranting their arguments, have good word economy, and are efficient.
3NR's: I've noticed that PF has become way worse about 3NR's than even policy debate. While this hasn't happened to me in PF, or really in any event absent the 1 time at nationals, I do want to say this. You berating a parent judge is just absurd. You berating a coach who evaluates the debate differently is not going to help you win the debate back. Tack a breath, because we're all in this together. If you're doing a 3NR because someone said something egregious, I'll be there with your coach and tab to explain the situation. Absent some sort of issue like this, just don't do it in front of me. Why? The next time I see you I'm just going to think back to the unsavory moment of you berating a judge for no reason. If you want to make judges better, have a conversation with them. Ask questions. If you want judges to get better and stick around, talk to them. Also, the other person on the panel who may or may not have voted for you will also remember. Lastly, Yes, parent judges or inexperienced judges or traditional judges are people that you may not like, or would even conclude are not the ideal situation that any competitor would like. I'm probably in the same boat as you, but that doesn't justify asinine discourse.
Evidence indicts: I think that this is great, and becoming even more popular. I think that if you just assert that their evidence errs in your favor, have a compelling reason and a piece of evidence. This is really simple.
Concessions not warranted isn't a ballot: If you go for all the concessions in the final focus, but you have not warranted a SINGLE one of those arguments, I think that I am less likely to vote for you. In fact, I probably won't. Please make sure that you are explaining your arguments.
Presumption: I think that this errs a bit differently than the way that it does compared to traditional PF judges or people that have been brought up into the PF community. If there is an absence of offense from both sides in the debate, I will err aff because I presume that voting aff does something different and changes things nominally better. If you're a coach reading this and think that I need to start erring on the negative insofar as presumption is concerned, that's fine. Please explain it to me.
Can you read arguments attacking the other side's case in the 2nd speech or for the 2nd team during the constructive speech? Absolutely. I see no reason why. This is the equivalent to reading everything within the 1NC in policy debate.
Can I read theory? Sure. I think that you should reference my theory section above.
Can I go fast? I don't care. Go as fast as you want. If I cannot hear you, then I will say clear.
Can I impact turn in PF? Sure. If you. want to read dedev, give it your best. I think that, if you don't have the proper structural components, I'm probably less willing to vote for you.
Should I pref you because I am a Phil Debater? Probably not. I'm trying to get better at having a deeper understanding of phil, but this is not my strong suit. I'm learning more in the process and doing my due diligence to better understand different philosophy and philosophers arguments.
Will you vote on framework? Sure. I think that if you decide to go for framework, please make a mental note of several things. First, if you just want to weigh your framework above the opponent's, that is fine. I think that I need some sort of good reason about why your framework is better than your opponents. Second, I think that if you want to prove some sort of pre-condition argument or pre-req, then that is fine. Just make sure that you do this. However, if you are making these sorts of link turn arguments, and you are also impact turning their framework, just note that I am likely to not vote for you because you have functionally double turned yourself. Right, you are making an argument that your criterion better gets to their value, but that value is bad, well, that means that your framework leads to a bad thing. Just be mindful of this.
Can I go for a link turn on framework and an impact turn on the opposing value? Probably not because you have double turned yourself.
Is reading post fiat and pre fiat arguments in the 1AC Fine? For sure. I don't care or see a reason why you cannot. if the opposing team make theoretical dispositions to why you can't, then that is a different debate to be had.
Can I LARP in LD? For sure.
Can I read spikes and under-views? For sure. I think that these sort of blippy arguments or analytics made within the 1AC and the 1NC that then you extrapolate on latter within the debate, that is fine. However, be mindful that if you do not give me enough pen time to flow it and I miss it, that is not on me. That means that you should slow down.
Theory? In general? Cool. If you end up reading theory, that is fine. I want to make this as specific for LD as possible. I think that there is a difference of what offense looks like on Theory than it does for say in policy debate. If you go for a time skew argument or a bright line argument, that is not offensive. That is an internal link into some sort of offensive standard, which there's universally 3 (predictable, ground, and/or limits, or some sort of derivative [i.e. predictable ground and predictable limits---depending on who you talk to]). Moreover, if you are going to be reading a lot of frivolous theory, I think that’s you need to be discussing these arguments in one of those veins.
Coach in Texas.
Speech - Organized arguments, credible sources, practical solutions, relatability is probably the biggest thing for me. I love speeches where personalities show through and I can see how you are as a person.
Interp - Relatable pieces with big, distinguishable characters
For WSD I like clear argument engagement that includes thoughtful weighing and impact analysis. I prefer debates that have colonial and imperial powers recon with their history (if its germane to the topic). When it comes down to relevancy and impacts/harms, I prefer debates that show how their resolution (whether we're going for opp or prop) will benefit or improve black and brown communities, or the global south.
Interp overall: I pay real close attention to the introduction of each piece, I look for the lens of analysis and the central thesis that will be advanced during the interpretation of literature. When the performance is happening, I'm checking to see if they have dug down deep enough into an understanding of their literature through that intro and have given me a way to contextualize the events that are happening during the performance
POI: I look for clean transitions and characterization (if doing multiple voices)
DI: I look for the small human elements that come from acting. Big and loud gestures are not always the way to convey the point, sometimes something smaller gets the point more powerfully.
HI: I'm not a good HI judge, please do not let me judge you in HI. I don't like the event and I do my best to avoid judging it. If that fails, I look for clean character transitions, distinct voices, and strong energy in the movements. Please don't be racist/homophobic in your humor.
INFO: I'm looking for a well research speech that has a strong message to deliver. Regardless of the genre of info you're presenting, I think that showing you've been exhaustive with your understanding is a good way to win my ballot. I'm not wow'd by flashy visuals that add little substance, and I'm put off by speeches that misrepresent intellectual concepts, even unintentionally. I like speeches that have a conclusion, and if the end of your speech is "and we still don't know" then I think you might want to reassess the overall direction you are taking, with obvious exceptions being that we might literally not know something, because its still being researched (but that is a different we don't know than say, "and we don't know why people act this way :( ")
FX/DX: When I'm evaluating an extemp speech, I'm continually thinking "did they answer the question? or did they answer something that sounded similar?" So keep that in your mind. Are you directly answering the question? When you present information that could be removed without affecting the overall quality of the speech, that is a sign that there wasn't enough research done by the speaker. What I vote up in terms of content are speeches that show a depth of understanding of the topic by evaluating the wider implications that a topic has for the area/region/politics/etc.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Salado High School 18-22 | University of Houston 22-? | he/him/his | call me “hunter” nothing else pls, anything else makes me feel sad and icky inside.
Hi! I'm Hunter. I debated for three years at Salado High School on the UIL, TFA, and National Circuit. I was coached by Tim Cook, so a lot of my thoughts and ideas surrounding debate come from him. That being said am not a trad debater/judge. I am now doing policy debate at the University of Houston.
I'm an offense/defense judge, I am good with anything you want to read just make sure to clash. This means if you are just throwing out conflicting arguments without warranting why you are winning them it’s going to be very hard for me to evaluate the round.
Please warrant and extend arguments throughout the round, I will not be doing that for you. I want you to write my ballot for me, absent that judge instruction, I will most likely be voting on something you don't want me to and no one likes that. I will try and evaluate all arguments as fairly and equally as possible. I sway more on the side of tech vs truth, but that does not excuse you from being silly about it. I love a clean round so if it's messy, that will SIGNIFICANTLY affect your speaks. Most importantly, have fun.
I don't really pay much attention to cross tbh, mostly because I see it as clarification, not a speech. If you make an important stance in cross just point that out in your speech.
**I tend to make faces without knowing, so if you see me making a stank face, you're making silly arguments, sorry in advance. **
Tech --x------ Truth
Voting for policy ----x----- Voting for the K
Will read ev without being told --x------ Tell me what to read
Infinite Condo --x-------- No condo
Reasonability --------x-- Competing Interps
Overviews -------x--- LBL
Fairness -----x----- Education
"Neg on presumption" x----------K affs that do nothing
"It's pre-fiat"----------x Actual arguments
Counter-interp + offense –x-------- Impact turn everything
Policy --x------ Phil
"Judge" ----------x “Hunter"
Pref shortcut -
Identity K's - 2
Other K's – 2/3
LARP - 1
T/Theory - 1
Phil - 3
K-Affs - 3
Tricks – 4
DA’s are very strongly recommended. I love policy debate and would love to keep loving it. Please have a good internal link story. This means it needs to make sense !!!, 3 cards usually don’t cut it on a DA, but it can for some. If your 1n doesn't make any sense ill most likely err aff on the i/l story, sorry not sorry. The less you have to explain on the thesis level, the more time you get to explain the link/internal link story, the better the 2nc is, the better way to my ballot.
Please, please, please do impact calc.
Along with DA's counterplans are a great position and I love to see them. Competition is important, but not always required. I am a sucker for a good consult or adv CP. Please have NB to the CP, if I can’t figure out what that is by the end of the 1nc then your probs not going to be winning the CP. Judge kicking is silly, I'm not doing that work for you, if you don't think you're winning the perm debate then you probs aren't. Condo is good. Perf con is bad, but competing worlds is good.
The more I judge LD the more I realize how much I like FW debates. I think FW is a very important tool for you to win your impacts. For me to evaluate your offense you need to be winning some level of the framing debate. I think a lot of debaters forget this then get mad when I don’t vote for them.
EL-OH-EL. I do not understand phil to the capacity to evaluate high level phil v phil debates. For these kinds of debates, a good overview is greatly appreciated. I am most familiar with Kant, Maslow, and Korsgaard.
I'm comfortable with K debate. Feel free to read them on aff or neg, but don't get silly with them and engage with the arguments the other team is making. If you're reading an identity-based argument please be of that identity, if not I will be very skeptical of your argument.
I will NOT vote on nonblack afro-pess.
Framework is important, it isn't the end all be all of the round. I think it can be a very good tool for both aff and neg. I understand a fair share of most K’s except for pomo, so please explain what you’re alt does if you are using big buzz words only 3 people know the meaning of.
Specific links and explanations of links to either the topic or the affirmative are very important. Even if your link is generic and fits into every shell, that doesn't mean your 2NC or 2AC should sound the same every round. Great link explanation and application is a great way to win the K for me. Impact and alt debates are often very muddy, if it is messy by the 2NR find out how to fix it.
When responding to identity K's be careful of what you say, it will probs be racist, homophobic, or ableist. If it makes me fell icky I just won’t evaluate it.
I think that aff's being T is important, and if T is argued correctly, I will vote on it. I think a lot of T is read as a time suck (guilty), so if that is pointed out I will have a hard time voting for it. I think that limits > ground and education > fairness but can be persuaded otherwise. I default to competing interps. Reasonability is about the counter interp not the aff, at some point reasonability collapses to competing interps. I am not a T hack tbh, but don't let this scare you away from reading T because I will in fact evaluate it.
Theory is cool and a very good argument when it is warranted. I enjoy watching a good theory debate. I default to competing interps but can be persuaded otherwise.
RVI’s are ok, have a counter interp, prove why their model is not good. I will reward good theory debate.
If you want to read these I don’t mind, I will be very skep of unexplained arguments. But if you debate these well, I will vote on it.
Policy v Policy
Love, prefer this type of debate the most. Make sure to do good impact weighing and impact calc towards the end of the round, it’s much appreciated. Be smart and logical about things. I will reward good strategy.
Idk why I have to say this, but a DA with a SV fw is not good strategy. If you want to have a trad debate, please do it, but don’t be mad when you lose to util.
K v Policy
I enjoy watching/judging these debates more than I do having them. Please make sure to do good impact calc and weighing. Like I said before FW is good, specific links are great. Make sure to compare worlds.
K v K
This is where my knowledge starts to fall apart, and you'll have to do a lot of weighing the two worlds for me. I have not seen enough of these debates in my career to evaluate them right, so I would default to this kind of debate if it’s the last-ditch effort to win my ballot.
(This excludes K v Cap)
I think that at the end of the day debate is an educational event, so I will give you speaks on how well you communicate to me and your opponents. That means be strategic and make good args. Speed is fine, I will yell "clear" if you are going to fast for me. I don't care about profanities unless it is used at or about your opponents. I do think how well you sound does play a factor in your speaks, so I would like to hear a more polished side of your speech.
I will start at 28.5 and work up or down, you won’t go below a 28.
29.5 – 30: I enjoyed the round. You should be in deep elims/win the tournament.
29 – 29.4: This round was great but a bit messy, you should probs break.
28.5 – 29: This round was alright and average. You should go even.
28 – 28.4: This round was very messy; you were making silly mistakes and I was frustrated.
26: Yikes, you did something bad.
0: You should be DQ’d, and I’m reporting you to tab.
Few More things
1] Feel free to post round if you don't think I made the right decision, I won’t take offense. I think post rounding can be a good way for both of us to learn. I am human and will make wrong decisions just like you :)
2] +.2 speaks if your doc looks aesthetic.
3] Please add me to the chain, I like to look through cards to give the best decision I can give you. Keep the email formatted as: "Tournament --- Round x --- School v School". Also send a word doc, I don't like PDF's.
4] I'm not the greatest at flowing, if you're going to go full speed on analytics, please send them in a doc.
5] Please explain why a drop matters in the round, don’t just flail your hands and throw a big fit about a drop and then move on. I don’t care that they dropped extinction outweighs, tell me WHY that drop warrants a ballot.
Background: I debated at Memorial High School in Houston for 3 years, graduating in 2018. I mainly competed in extemp in high school, and I qualified for TFA State in FX and the TOC in Extemp and Informative. I also qualified for Nationals in World Schools debate twice and reached the quarterfinals of World Schools in 2018. My main debate events were Public Forum and Congress which I did on and off for the most part. I graduated from Harvard in 2022 with a degree in History, and I'm currently working as a research assistant to a political science professor and a fellow at a think tank; I also have judged pretty frequently on the TFA circuit this year.
General Debate: Don't be rude or aggressive. Don't run anything racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, or I WILL drop you.
On role of the ballot: The role of my ballot is to prove to the tournament that I fulfilled my judging obligations and to offer you critiques on how you are debating. Do not try to tell me that voting for the opponents/yourself will make the world go to hell/turn it into heaven just with my ballot.
Please, for the love of God, PLEASE give me some sort of weighing and impact calculus. Often, I've found that debaters in front of me say "cross-apply case" to rebut a contention and then leave it at that. Tell me why I should prefer your evidence to your opponents' evidence in these kinds of he-said, she-said situations.
I'm going to order this paradigm in the events that I usually judge from most often to least often (for speech events go to the very bottom):
World Schools: I learned the basics of judging WSD based on the general worldwide judging philosophy, so I'm of the mentality that I should award a 70 to an average speech, a 72-73 to a good speech, and a 67-68 to a bad speech. On to my judging philosophy: I like judging WSD because if you run a bad argument, I get to call out your bad argument as a judge, even if the opponents don't! You should also remember that there is no such thing as a low point win in WSD (so style is incredibly important).
In terms of argumentation, first, I expect solid clash. World Schools is not an event where you're trying to come up with a squirrely argument that ends up getting dropped. If an argument gets dropped, let it go and focus on the core of the motion. Second, I expect solid international examples. I'll be a little bit more lenient on this during an impromptu motion, but these shouldn't be too hard to find for a prepared motion. Similarly, I prefer concrete examples rather than theoretical arguments (since impacts in the world of debate tend to be WAY overblown). I've discovered that I tend to dock people in content for making me swim in hypotheticals.
Public Forum: For the purposes of PF, treat me as a lay judge who doesn't know anything about the topic. This also means that you should NOT spread in front of me. Some preferences about arguments:
1) I hate theory in PF, especially disclosure theory.
2) Please limit the time you spend on framework. Framework should probably take up less than 30 seconds of the first speaker's time.
3) I like interesting arguments but not ridiculous arguments. I judge enough PF that by the time a topic is over and done with, I will have heard the basic arguments over and over again, so they get repetitive. At the same time, if your argument requires a link chain with so many links that it's too hard to follow, I'm probably not the judge for you.
Some preferences about style:
1) I already said this (but sometimes people ignore it): do not spread in front of me. I will not write down what you have said if I cannot understand it.
2) Please don't be overly aggressive. I've seen enough aggressive rounds, and they're not fun to watch.
3) I'm also not a big fan of the "throw a million cards at the wall and see which one card gets dropped" strategy. If the argument is refuted generally but a specific card is not, I will probably not give that one single card much weight.
4) PLEASE give me an impact calculus (or at least some sort of weighing). Often enough, both teams are winning on at least one argument, so tell me why your argument is more important than your opponents'.
Lincoln-Douglas: I am about a 6 on speed, so do NOT spread on me. I will not flow arguments if my hand can't write/type fast enough to catch what you're saying. I will not yell clear or anything like that. Remember that LD is a communication activity and you should be able to persuade any judge you come across; while I am more open to progressive arguments than the parent judge or the UIL judge, that does not mean you can lose me in jargon and expect me to fill in the blanks. Clear explanations, warranting, and explanation are key to winning my ballot.
On content (especially progressive content):
1) I'm not a big fan of theory in LD (this extends to tricks as well). I think that most of the theory arguments that get run are rather ridiculous at the outset, and it takes a lot to convince me of your particular theory. At the same time, if your opponent is actually being abusive, then I'll listen to theory.
2) Extinction: I'm tired of listening to extinction-based impacts because they're a little ridiculous. I know it's a high-magnitude impact, but my personal impact calculus defaults to evaluating higher-probability impacts instead. Plus, I've found that the link chains usually suck.
3) Ks: Make sure your alternative actually DOES SOMETHING. If the current system is so bad, then I'm sure you can come up with something that's at least marginally better. Don't assume that I'm familiar with the literature, so please explain jargon to me.
Policy: Please see my paradigm for LD but I don't really judge CX that much so I won't spend my time updating this part of my paradigm. Since I don't judge CX that much, please a) SLOW DOWN and b) EXPLAIN JARGON.
General Speech:I view OO and INFO as public speaking events, not interp events. For these events and extemp, I love a humorous speech that manages to be serious as well, so those type of speeches will often rank high on my ballot. For OO, the quality of solutions is a major factor in my ballot; if these are vague and poorly sourced, chances are that you will not be ranked highly in the round. For INFO, recognizing disparities in resources available to your programs, visual aids are not crucial to a good rank in my round; however, the effort you put into your visual aids shows if you do have them.
Extemp: I'm not sure of the extent to which extempers actually read judge paradigms, but here goes (also, please do not ask me for my paradigm right before giving your speech...). My main priority in ranking competitors is determining the extent to which you actually answered the question you have in front of you, not the question you wish you had. Believe it or not, I have judged finals(!) rounds where the competitors did not actually answer the question.
Beyond that, organization and structure are important to me, especially in the introduction; I also like funny AGDs and speeches that link the conclusion back to the introductory gambit. If you manage to sneak in a Seinfeld reference to your speech, I will be very excited. Finally, make sure your speech is well-sourced.
Oh, one last thing: I regularly keep up with the news, including and especially foreign news. So if you try to BS me and tell me that Boko Haram is invading Egypt or that the FARC is currently plaguing southern Mexico (both wildly incorrect on the geography), you can expect to be ranked in the bottom half of the room.
Interp:Nobody is going to change their piece based on a singular judge's paradigm but in case you are wondering my perspective on judging interp rounds (especially DI since I have gotten a lot of DI ballots recently):
- Yelling does NOT make you sound emotional; you should have tonal variation in your voice, not just volume variation.
- I am not very happy with pieces that are rip-offs of nationals-winning pieces, down to the cutting and the blocking and everything. Usually it is very obvious when this happens and the pieces are not very good, but now it's out in the open.
- I have seen a few pieces that are DIs of podcasts now (???) and this boggles me, since you already have the vocal interpretation laid out for you! These types of DIs have a very high bar to meet to rank highly on my ballot and so far I have not been impressed.
- I have also seen a few pieces that are DIs of "the classics" (think Romeo and Juliet, Fahrenheit 451, etc) and I have generally thought that these pieces struggle to fit the plot and complexities of those pieces into 10 minutes; everybody knows the source material and so I think these pieces have a higher bar to meet than even a written-for-DI script.
- For HIs (and less so for DIs because I think it's less of a problem in that event), remember that "literary merit" is a criterion listed on the ballot. If I think your piece is funny but also really stupid, or does not raise broader societal themes/critiques, I have a harder time ranking you higher on my ballot.
I was a policy debater in the 1990’s and have been coaching since 1999, currently, I am the coach at Bridgeland High School. I know that ages me, but it should also tell you that the debate I grew up with was much different than what is going on today. I tend to default to a policy-making paradigm and prefer traditional debate. As a debater, it is your job to be clear at all times so you don’t lose me.
DON’T BE RUDE
- I DO NOT LIKE DISCLOSURE THEORY OR TRICKS
It’s fine if you flex prep, just don’t take advantage
Keep your own time, I will also keep a clock running just in case there are any issues
I do not consider flashing to be prep, but again don’t take advantage
Do the work for me, it is your job to communicate to me as to why you are winning the debate. Do not make me figure it out myself, that will inevitably leave one of you mad at me, but it won’t be my fault.
Discriminatory or exclusionary language is not okay and not accepted and I will vote you down if you use this language
Speed: I am good with moderate speed, but I can’t judge what I can’t understand. Keep in mind that I am old so you probably need to slow down a bit.
Weighing: Please do it. This will make my job a lot easier, and also make it a lot more likely that I see the round the way that you would like me to. I will evaluate the round as you tell me to. If you don’t weigh for me I have to do it for you and you do not want that to happen.
Please be respectful to one another I hate judging rounds where the debaters are being rude to one another, debate is supposed to be a respectful exchange of opposing views on a topic and when you take the respect out of that equation debate loses its productivity. Also please do the work for the judge, don't make your judge try to piece things together. Remember I am old so I will probably lose pieces along the way.
One last thing, I am old fashioned. You are participating in a speaking event. Stand up during your speeches and CX/CF periods (Grand Cross would be the exception). You need to persuade me as to why I should be voting for you.
Anything under 26 means you were being rude, discriminatory, or exclusionary.
please add me to the email chain
I debate policy at the University of Houston!
I do not have strong preferences for any type of argument as long as you give me a good reason why you should get my ballot. I am far more likely to be persuaded when you clash over warrants rather than card names. Extensions should explain the claim + warrant + impact!
If you are going to spread, it's more important to be clear than fast! I am okay with speed but just understand that I am human and will probably only get about 70% (or less if you're unclear) of what you're saying.
- I like case debate.
- I think plan-specific internal links are very often shoddy. Nevertheless, debaters often ignore this and focus their attention on the impacts / internal links to the impacts. For instance, affs should be able to defend how their plan gets them to the same econ decline impacts read year over year, and negs should look to exploit the ambiguities in the aff's explanation.
- You should probably be going for T. I think topicality has fallen out of favor, such that most policy affs aren't even topical anymore. I think T is often a very smart argument if you can execute on it.
- T/FW is about competing visions of debate. It's not enough to be right about whether the other team violates your interp, you have to tell me why your interp makes debate better. I know this is basic, but I feel like a lot of the time T debates can get lost in the weeds. The big picture is important.
- Just like affs, I think the internal links in most disads are pretty bad. This should be a point of contestation.
- Disad debates can devolve into contextless card dumps. I am more persuaded by more direct clash.
- I won't judge kick for you if there's offense on the CP. Maybe you can persuade me to, but I think that it should be a strategic choice whether or not the take the CP into the 2nr.
- I think aff teams don't read theory enough against the counterplan. However, I struggle to find a situation where I would drop the team as opposed to the argument. I won't vote on condo bad.
- The best counterplans come from the aff's own solvency advocate. This is usually an easy way to win the round on top of being a big flex.
- I'm not as familiar with K debate but I'm not opposed to them. If you want me to vote on the alt, you have to explain to me what exactly that means for the round/world.
- Links are very important. Even independent of the alt, they can often be sufficient to win the round as a case turn. However, it is crucial that they are contextualized to what the aff actually does. Bad links are often shielded by the perm, while good links prove its inefficacy.
-I won't vote on theory unless I think it's important for the round.
-Condo bad isn’t a real argument unless completely dropped.
I am a former CX debater and a tab judge. Not in the sense that I will not evaluate claims based on my own knowledge and experience, but in the sense that you should not assume any one paradigm from me. My philosophy is that each CX round has its own rules and must be evaluated depending on what emerges in-round. You must show why your arguments should be voted on instead of assuming a certain paradigm.
It is not my job to automatically recognize an argument or extend an argument on your behalf. Both traditional and progressive arguments are fine as long as you do them well (soft spot for K args). You frame the round and my flow determines the W. In order to win my ballot, you must 1.) provide a framing mechanism or specify which framing mechanism should be preferred and why 2.) win offense to that framing mechanism and prove that your advocacy has the strongest link to that framework and 3.) provide an impact calculus. Your advocacy suite should be efficient and direct so as to make the decision abundantly clear for me. I want clear extensions, roadmapping, and signposting. If you cut a card, make that clear; If you amend the order of your speech, make that clear. Technique and content are the focus.
I was a long-time high school coach of CX, LD, PF and Congress and was a college policy debater MANY years ago.
If you want to put a title on my debate philosophy, I’d call myself a policymaker.
When I judge a round, I pay attention to my flow. I care about dropped arguments, and I don’t like the neg to run time suck arguments and then kick out. That said, be sure I can take a good flow by speaking at a reasonable rate of speed. If you feel you must speak quickly, at least give me a chance to catch your tag lines and source citations, or, better yet, provide a link to your case.
I have no issues with theoretical debate or critical arguments, so long as you make me understand them. That said, I still prefer to judge a round about the resolution instead of a round about whether or not someone was abusive.
In CX debate, I consider T to be an important argument in the round but will not vote on it unless I judge there has been actual in-round abuse.
LD debate should have a strong value component and avoid overt policy-making.
I judge Congress on content and delivery. This type of debate demands a strong and passionate public speaking style. Questioning is crucial to final score.
In all types of debate, don’t be rude to your opponent. Respect the activity with professional demeanor.
I have a very long history in speech and debate activities as both a coach and competitor. I have coached all formats of debate along with public speaking and interp events over the last 35 years. I attended high school in a small town Texas school back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, where I competed in policy debate, extemp, oratory, dramatic, prose and poetry. I also competed in college at Southwest Texas State University (which is now Texas State University) in NDT and CEDA along with individual events.
I have been the coach at James E. Taylor High School (Katy Taylor) in Katy, Texas for the last 23 years, where I have coached all events.
In public speaking events, I generally weigh 3 things: analysis, organization, and delivery (in that order). In any public speaking event, I expect to hear citations of credible sources. In extemp I normally expect a minimum of 2-3 source per area of analysis (more is fine). In oratory or info, I expect the student to explain a source's qualifications. A clear organizational structure is required. In terms of delivery, there should be an appropriate level of gesture and movement. But all movement should serve to reinforce the content of the speech. Clear diction and intonation are also important.
Extempers--The analysis in the speech should stem directly from the topic question. If the speech doesn't directly respond to the question asked, you will end up with a low rank from me, no matter the quality of the speech itself. My number 1 rule in extemp--answer the question.
When evaluating interpretation events, I tend to look first to characterization. Blocking and use of space are also an important considerations, but I expect all movement to be motivated. Random movement, or movement just for movement's sake, is distracting and confusing. I have no particular preference on the use of a teaser, but I do want to hear YOU in the intro (as a contrast to the character(s) you are creating). In prose/poetry, the rules of the event require the use of a binder, so I expect you to at least pretend to occasionally look at the pages.
I am not offended by the use of profanity as long as it is integral to the selection performed. I am not a fan of using it just for shock value. Along the same lines, I am not easily offended, and willing to give some latitude on content of the performance. However, I am uncomfortable with selections that are extremely graphic and/or vulgar, or bordering on, or completely pornographic. I realize that it is difficult to explain where that line falls, and I do take that into account. Shocking just to be shocking doesn't score lots of points with me. Basically, if the piece would get an X-rating in a movie theater, I don't want to watch it in an interp round.
Online competitors: I will always take into account limited space, technical issues, etc., when evaluating competitors online. I understand that some things are just out of the student's control when competing online and I do not count that against the student.
I am a stickler for good presentation and civil debate. Respect and clear argumentation are important for me in all events. I will be very focused on the flow of argumentation and will judge off of what was presented and how.
Congress: Good use of sources, creative speech writing, persuasive delivery, clash, and adherence to Parliamentary procedure are essential. It is also important that the chamber act respectfully and cooperatively, where civil debate occurs and the conversation is not dominated by any individual or group of competitors.
CX: Affirmative teams will need to address stock issues convincingly. Clash and Extension in later rounds are more important than new arguments. Avoid Kritiks and spreading.
IEs: Do not overcomplicate your performance. I am looking for effective delivery!
PF: I prefer to hear good arguments and sources. Spreading is not encouraged. Good summaries and crystallization are key.
WSD: Clash is key. Crystallize the differences and present mechanisms effectively. Spreading is not encouraged.
Email chain/questions: email@example.com
Background: I did LD for 3 years in high school and started doing policy debate at the University of Houston in 2021
TLDR: Do whatever you're good at and I will try my best to judge it. I will vote on almost any coherent arg.
General: I want judge instruction and will evaluate the round exactly how you tell me to. The winner is the person who gives me the easiest RFD to write. Tech > truth. I try my best to not let my prior knowledge on a topic influence the round. For the most part, If it’s not said in the round, it’s not on the flow and therefore not evaluated as part of the debate. I care more about what the debater says than what the evidence says. This is not an invitation to lie about evidence, but it does mean that I don't care how good your evidence is if you don't debate it well.
I think that almost everything is debatable. The only set rules in debate are the time limits and speech order. I will vote on almost anything with a warrant and impact. I don't care if it's a "stupid" argument. My paradigm is just for you to use as a reference to gauge my knowledge on different types of arguments and do some risk calculation before choosing which arguments to run. It is not set in stone in the slightest and there is a high threshold for me to auto-down a debater just for reading an argument.
K: I’m not very familiar with most Ks, but if you decide to run a K anyway I will try my best to judge it. Tell me what the world of the alternative looks like and how that world is incompatible with the perm. If by the end of the round I don't know what the K does/how the alt in any way changes the squo, I probably won't vote on it. If you kick the alt I may accept individual links as offense against the case if the opponent actively makes the squo worse, but you have to tell me to evaluate the links as such. I prefer Ks that criticize structures (cap, set col, etc.) over identity Ks
CP: I like creative and fun CPs, but I am iffy about CPs with multiple planks and no card or evidence. The CP, just like the AFF, needs to have ev and warrants to prove to me that it can solve or at the very least, be possible to implement. CP needs a net benefit.
DA: Need a clear articulation of the link however, I can vote on risk of a link if you are significantly ahead on impacts.
Theory - Theory is fine. I'd prefer for you to run it when there is actual abuse. I don't love it and don't have much experience judging it. I'd much rather you debate the substance of the round, but if it's you're only viable route to a ballot then go for it.
Framing - I will default to util but I can just as easily vote on structural violence if the debaters tell me to.
Spreading - it's chill, just slow down on tags and analytics. I flow on paper so you need to give me pen time.
Mostly similar to CX/policy
Not familiar with LD theory or tricks but will vote on it if its explained well, run at your own risk
I love philosophy, especially enlightenment period philosophy. Debates about competing philosophies/competing interpretations are amazing. You’ll get high speaks if you tie your philosophy into your case very well. Love the classics, Kant, Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, etc.
Your FW should be the central arg in your case that you’re trying to defend. You must prove that your value/VC and FW is the best way to view the world and answer the resolution. All of your contentions should exist to uphold this central thesis. If you lose your V&VC you can still win if you prove that you meet your opponent's FW/V&C better.
I am a supporter of traditional purposeful debate
I am not a fan of:
-plans/counterplans in debates
-disclosing before the debate starts
-data dump over debate
-aggressive/demeaning towards opponent
-a slower more methodical debate
-actual discussion on the topic/resolution
I am an experienced judge who coached high school for 25 years at Westfield HS in Houston, TX and judge frequently on the TFA and UIL circuits. I tend to be more traditional but will accept theory and progressive arguments if they are well explained. I judge based on quality of arguments, not necessarily quantity. I look for well organized speeches in extemp, with a preview in the beginning and a review of main points in the end. In interpretation I want well established characters who are easily distinguished. Movement is good but shouldn't be to an extreme. In POI I want a clear explanation of your theme as well as distinction when you move from one genre to the next.
In congress, I want organization. I prefer a preview of points but that isn't an absolute necessity if arguments are well developed. I want CLASH. It's important that legislators names are mentioned in clash, not just "the affirmative said" or "the negative said. I judge a lot of congress and except clarity and persuasive style. This is not policy debate so speed is a negative.
I am the Director of Speech and Debate at Alief Elsik High School in Houston, TX. As such, I currently coach and/or oversee students competing in a wide variety of events including all speech/interp events as well as Congress and World Schools debate. My debate paradigm is better explained if you know my history in competitive debate. I was an LD debater in high school in the early 90's. I then competed in CEDA/policy debate just before the CEDA/NDT merger. I started coaching speech and debate in 2004. In terms of debate, I have coached more LD than anything else but have also had a good deal of experience with Public Forum debate. Now that I am at Elsik, we really only have WSD and Congressional Debate in terms of debate events.
When adjudicating rounds, I do my very best to intervene as little as possible. I try to base decisions solely off of the flow and want to do as little work as possible for debaters. I hate when LD debaters, in particular, attempt to run policy positions in a round and don't have a clue about how the positions function. If you run policy stuff, then you should know policy stuff. I am open to the use of policy type arguments/positions in an LD round but I want debaters to do so knowing that I expect them to know how to debate such positions. I am also open to critical arguments as long as there is a clear story being told which offers the rationale for running such arguments and how the argument is to be evaluated in round. I am not a huge fan of a microdebate on theory and I strongly encourage you to only run theoretical arguments if there is clearly some in round abuse taking place. I will obviously listen to it and even vote there if the flow dictates it but know that I will not be happy about it. In terms of speed/jargon/etc, I do have a mixed debate background and I can flow speed when it's clear. I don't judge a ton of rounds any more as I find myself usually trapped in tab rooms at tournaments so I cannot keep up the way I used to. With that said, my body language is a clear indicator of whether or not I am flowing and keeping up. I do see debate as a game in many ways, however I also take language very seriously and will never vote in favor of a position I find to be morally repugnant. Please understand that to run genocide good type arguments in front of me will almost certainly cost you the round. Other than those things, I feel that I am pretty open to allowing debaters to determine the path the rounds take. Be clear, know your stuff and justify your arguments.
The last thing I think debaters should know about me is that I deplore rude debate. There is just no room in debate for nasty, condescending behavior. I loathe snarky cross ex. There is a way to disagree, get your point across and win debate rounds without being a jerk so figure that out before you get in front of me. Perceptual dominance does not mean you have to be completely obnoxious. I will seriously dock speaker points for behavior I find rude. As a former coach of an all women's debate team, I find sexist, misogynist behavior both unacceptable and reason enough to drop a team/debater.
I feel compelled to add a section for speech/interp since I am judging way more of these events lately. I HATE HATE HATE the use of gratuitous, vulgar language in high school speech/debate rounds. In speech events in particular, I find that it is almost NEVER NECESSARY to use foul language. I am also not a huge fan of silly tech and sound fx in interp events. Not every door needs WD40...lose the squeaky doors please. I think the intro is the space where you should be in your authentic voice telling us about your piece and/or your argument - STOP OVER-INTERPING intro's. Sometimes folks think loud volume = more drama. It doesn't. Learn to play to your space. Also recognize that sometimes silence and subtlety can be your best friends. With regard to OO and INFO...I think these are public speaking events. Interpatories generally don't sit well with me. I don't mind personality and some energy but I am finding that there are some folks out here doing full on DI's in these events and that doesn't work for me very often. I am not one that requires content/trigger warnings but do understand the value of them for some folks. I am really VERY DISTURBED by able-bodied interpers playing differently-abled characters in ways that only serve as caricatures of these human beings and it's just offensive to me so be careful if you choose to do this kind of piece in front of me. Also know that although I have very strong feelings about things, I understand that there are always exceptions to the rule. Brilliant performances can certainly overcome any shortcomings I see in piece selection or interpretation choices. So best of luck.
My rankings are usually based on who is able to create the most believable characters and moments. There should be multiple levels within your piece and in the portrayal of your characters ~ not everything should be intense, or fast/slow, or super loud or quiet.
Everything you do in your performance should have a purpose. If you give a character an accent, be consistent with that accent. Make sure that each movement, mannerism, or gesture makes sense within the scope of the story you are telling. Additionally, I should be able to easily differentiate between multiple characters. Facial expressions, moments, and character development are very important for the overall performance.
A clear structure is important: your delivery should be cohesive, and flow logically from point to point. A natural delivery style that allows for your personality to shine is preferable to the “Platform Speaker”. Put simply: avoid speech patterns.
Extemp: The most important thing is that you answer the question. A polished speaking style is important, but I will often default to a speaker that has stronger analysis and evidence over a pretty speech with fluffy content. Do not rely on canned introductions - creativity is important when trying to engage me. Be sure you have several cited sources and have at least 5 quoted pieces of evidence to support your claims.
Oratory/Informative: Your attention getter, vehicle, and conclusion should be creative, but they also need to fit well with the topic. Again, I will default to stronger analysis/evidence over fluffy content. Again, use several cited sources and have quoted evidence for claims you are making in your speech.
I am the assistant debate coach at Taylor High School and was the Mayde Creek Coach for many years in Houston, TX. Although I have coached and judged on the National Circuit, it is not something I regularly do or particularly enjoy. I was a policy debater in high school and college, but that was along time ago. My experience is primarily congress and LD. In the past several years I have been running tab rooms in the Houston area. That said, here are a few things you may want to know:
I am fairly flexible in Congress. I like smart, creative speeches. I rate a good passionate persuasive speech over a speech with tons of evidence. Use logos, pathos, and ethos. Clash is good. I think it is good to act like a member of Congress, but not in an over the top way. Questions and answers are very important to me and make the difference in rank. Ask smart questions that advance the debate. Standing up to just ask a dumb question to “participate “ hurts you. I don’t like pointless parliamentary games (who does?). I like a P.O. who is fair and efficient. The P.O. almost always makes my ballot unless they make several big mistakes and or are unfair. (Not calling on a competitor, playing favorites etc.) . If you think your P.O is not being fair, call them on it politely. Be polite and civil, there is a line between attacking arguments and attacking competitors. Stay on the right side of it.
LD & Policy
Civility: I believe we have a real problem in our activity with the lack of civility (and occasional lack of basic human decency). I believe it is discouraging people from participating. Do not make personal attacks or references. Be polite in CX. Forget anything you have ever learned about "perceptual dominance." This is no longer just a loss of speaker points. I will drop you on rudeness alone, regardless of the flow.
Speed: I used to say you could go 6-7 on a 10 point scale... don't. Make it a 3-4 or I will miss that critical analytical warrant you are trying to extend through ink. I am warning you this is not just a stylistic preference. I work tab a lot more than I judge rounds, and do not have the ear that I had when I was judging fast rounds all the time. Run the short version of your cases in front of me. This is particularly true of non-stock, critical positions or multiple short points.
Evidence: I think the way we cut and paraphrase cards is problematic. This is closely related to speed. I would prefer to be able to follow the round and analyze a card without having to read it after it is emailed to me (or call for it after the round). That said, if you feel you have to go fast for strategic reasons, then include me on the chain. I will ignore your spreading and read your case. However, be aware if I have to read your case/evidence, I will. I will read the entire card, not just the highlighted portion. If I think the parts left out or put in 4 point font change the meaning of the argument, or do not support your tag, I will disregard your evidence, regardless of what the opponent says in round. So either go slow or have good, solid evidence.
Theory: I will vote on theory where there is clear abuse. I prefer reasonability as opposed to competing interpretations. Running theory against a stock case for purely competitive advantage annoys me. Argue the case. I don't need a comprehensive theory shell and counter interpretations, and I do not want to see frivolous violations. See my assumptions below.
Assumptions: I believe that debate should be fair and definitions and framework should be interpreted so that both sides have ground and it is possible for either side to win. Morality exists, Justice is not indeterminate, Genocide is bad. I prefer a slower debate focusing on the standard, with well constructed arguments with clash on both sides of the flow. Fewer better arguments are better than lots of bad ones. I am biased towards true arguments. Three sentences of postmodern gibberish cut out of context is not persuasive. Finally, I think the affirmative should be trying to prove the entire resolution true and the negative proves it is not true. (a normative evaluation). You would need to justify your parametric with a warrant other than "so I can win."
Progressive stuff: I will not absolutely rule it out or vote against you, but you need to sell it and explain it. Why is a narrative useful and why should I vote for it? A K better link hard to the opponents case and be based on topical research not just a generic K that has been run on any topic/debater. If you can not explain the alternative or the function of the K in CX in a way that makes sense, I won't vote for it. I am not sure why you need a plan in LD, or why the affirmative links to a Disad. I am not sure how fiat is supposed to work in LD. I do not see why either side has to defend the status quo.
Conclusion: If you want to have a fun TOC style debate with tons of critical positions going really fast, preference a different judge. (Hey, I am not blaming you, some of my debaters loved that sort of thing cough-Jeremey / Valentina / Alec/ Claudia -cough, It is just that I don't).
Pronouns: she/her | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently a JV Policy debater for the University of Houston.
CX: Run the arguments you like and do it well. Tech > truth but if something is blatantly wrong, then the threshold to take it down is very low. I like voters and impact comparison. Case debate is underrated and people should do more of it.
LD: Framework sets the foundation for the entire round, and I'd like for it to be applied throughout the whole debate. If one debater persuades me that their framework is better, I'll use that to evaluate the round; if neither do, then I'll default to who was argumentatively more persuasive. It's important in this type of debate that you are mindful of the things you say and the implications they may have, both inside and outside the round.
Speech: Always welcome to new perspectives and fun takes on things. Though, it goes without saying that a controversial opinion should never supersede basic respect for others. Really love in-depth research and exploration of different perspectives, but make sure that counterarguments don't detract or distract from the position you take in the speech.
High speaks for all events if you're entertaining.
As a IE judge I look for a clean and polished performance. Good Analysis and Interpretation of characters and a powerful performance.
For Speaking events - Structure and Sources are important as well as a polished performance.
For Debate - LD I prefer a traditional format and value debate. PF I want to see clash, evidence and a clear job going down the flow to show rebuttals of arguments.
I am conflicted with Cypress Park High School
I have countless years of experience as a judge/coach for HS debate, and I was a collegiate competitor back in the day ... Not to mention I have been judging on the local, state and national level around the country.
- circuit level - if you are COVID sticklers, strike me
- now that I don't teach debate anymore ... I totally understand how much judges are needed in modern day debate - but if you treat us judges terrible I will spread your name among the community and encourage everyone to blacklist you
- tournaments that use .5 speaks are VERY bad, .1 all THE way
- remember when J.O.T was a thing? I'm from that era
IE's: MS and HS level - you do you, be you and give it your all!!
Collegiate (AFA) - you know what to do
if you treat this event like its a form of entertainment or reality TV I WILL DOWN you , you are wasting your time, your competitors time and my time
POs: I'm not gonna lie, I will be judging you the harshest - you run the chamber not me and I expect nothing but the best. Please be fair with everyone , but if I feel the PO is turning a blind eye or giving preferential treatment I will document it - ps I keep up with everything.
clash can GO a long way in this event
Competitors: Creativity, impacts, structure and fluency are a must for me.
don't just bounce off of a fellow representatives speech, be you and create your own speech - its ok to agree tho
For direct questioning please keep it civil and no steam rolling or anything harsh, much thanks.
witty banter is a plus
tech > truth
I better see clash
if the resolution has loose wording, take advantage of it!!
When did y'all forget that by using definitions you can set the boundaries for the round?? With that being said, I do love me some terms and definitions
I'm all about framework and sometimes turns ... occasionally links
I don't flow during cross x , but if you feel there's something important that the judge should know.. make it clear to the judge in your following speech
I LOVE evidence... but if your doc or chain is a mess I'M going no where near it!!!
Signposting - how do I feel about this? Do it, if not I will get lost and you won't like my flow/decision
Best of luck going for a Technical Knock Out ... these are as rare as unicorns
Extend and weigh your arguments, if not.. then you're gonna get a L with your name on it
I'm ok with flex prep/time but if your opponent isn't then its a no in round - if yes don't abuse it ... same goes for open cross
When it comes to PF ... I will evaluate anything (if there's proper warranting and relevance) but if its the epitome of progressive PLZZ give a little more analysis
^ Disclosure Theory: if you have a history of disclosure then do it, if not then you will get a L from me, why? Great question, if you don't have a history of promoting fairness and being active in the debate community you have no right to use this kind of T
I'll be honest I am not a fan of paraphrasing, to me it takes away the fundamentals from impacts/evidence/arguments/debate as a whole - it lowers the value of the round overall
Speaker points - I consider myself to be very generous unless you did something very off putting or disrespectful
Easiest way to get my ballot is by using the Michael Scott rule: K.I.S "Keep It Simple"
Am I tech or truth? - With the evolution of LD over the years it's hard to say.... Its best to say I am right in between Tech and Truth
^ if you're reading this ... the tournament you're at decided to make me your policy judge and I am sorry in advance
I expect to see clash
no speed, this needs to be conversational
don't paraphrase evidence/sources
STYLE - a simple Claim , Warrant , Impact will do just fine
its ok to have a model/c.m , but don't get policy debate crazy with them - you don't have enough time in round
not taking any POI's makes you look silly , at least take 1
^ don't take on too many - it kills time
don't forget to extend, if you don't it a'int being evaluated
the framework debate can be very abusive or very fair ... abuse it and you will get downed
as a judge I value decorum, take that into consideration
Should any debate round be too difficult to evaluate as is.... I will vote off stock issues
I like to consider myself a calm, cool and collected judge. I'm here doing something I'm passionate about and so are y'all - my personal opinions will never affect my judgement in any round and I will always uphold that.
If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me or ask before round - whether online or in person.
May all competitors have a great 2022-2023 season!!
PF: I put more weight on crossfire than anything else. Be efficient to get your points across and you will win the debate.
I put more emphasis on your time during crossfire because of the shared time for all four speakers. If you use the time efficiently, you should get the win.
Congress: the key to winning Congress is a simple case of taking the chamber seriously and delivering your speeches to say three things. The first thing that you're saying is that you read the bill completely and understand it. The second thing you want to say is that not only do I understand it but my position is this way because I researched it. And the third thing you want to say is that you want to be able to say that you put the time and the effort to push the bill forward because it's the right thing to do. As long as you move the legislation and you don't bother down the bay with amendments and points of order that are unnecessary you are going to go far. If you aren't designing officer it's almost the opposite of what has to happen because as long as you are not cold out and as long as you stay fair and if you keep yourself practically anonymous during the session you'll also do well.
Being the presiding officer it means that you have to dedicate your life and your time at the chamber to the speakers and making sure everybody speaks when they're supposed to. I compare being a presiding officer in a congress chamber the same way of football offensive lineman in a football game. When they barely know you, you've done your job. When you're constantly being pointed out for the mistakes that you made, then you haven't done your job. Presiding officers will always rank high and in the top half of my ballot as long as the chamber is running well and everybody seems satisfied in his or her control of the chamber and considering it's a thankless job that has you not even being able to speak.
I judge on the premise of what did you do to move legislation forward during a session.
My primary judging experience includes the Northeast and Texas regions.
LD - I would like to see a structured framework because I will flow both cases. I like to see a strong value that ties into your criterion, and I also care a lot about the resolution. I want you to explain to me why I should care and why everything you just said for the last 45 minutes makes sense. I do not like spreading. I want to be able to understand every single part of your case.
Poetry, prose - I care a lot about tone, presentation, eye contact, and overall performance. I want to be able to understand the piece through you.
I believe that everyone has a voice which needs a platform to embrace self-expression, unique personalities, and the social construct of expressive speech in a safe, nurturing environment. As long as we follow the words of Benjamin Franklin, "Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment," ignorance shall not prevail!
It is imperative to be polite, purposeful. and punctual.
IE: I believe that whatever you can bring to your speech or performance that is unique and authentic, while drawing an audience in to be fully present with you displays a certain kind of creativity and skill to be appreciated.
Speech: Structure and content are in focus with an appreciation for originality when possible.
Interpretation: Flow of storyline, depth of character, authenticity, as well as the minute details you’ve added throughout your piece displays how much effort and thought have gone into your performance.
I like clean, clear, concise, warranted arguments and responses. Speed is not an issue as long as you are organized and coherent. Slow down if speed interferes with the flow of ideas. I think conditional arguments are abusive and cause me to intervene. Theory can be a voter if arguments are developed and applied. Generic theory arguments are a waste of time. I appreciate debaters making logical arguments that are specific to the round instead of reading prepared responses. A sense of humor is appreciated. Crystallize issues in rebuttals. Tell me how you want me to weigh arguments in the round and which arguments are voters. Use CX time to clarify issues and to establish your strategy. Flex prep is fine.
Add me to the email chain:
I'm a novice college debater at University of Houston. I'm fine with whatever argument you want to run as long as you give some judge instruction.