Melissa Cardinal Classic
2022 — Melissa, TX/US
Extemp Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
firstname.lastname@example.org email with questions or for email chain purposes.
Short version: Speed is fine and go for whatever type of argument you want( i.e. I don't care if you go for traditional policy arguments versus a K... just debate well) I find debaters do well in front of me that collapse, extend warrants, do impact calc, and give judge instruction when appropriate.
"If you want my ballot, this is really a simple concept. Tell me 1) what argument you won; 2) why you won it; and 3) why that means you win the round. Repeat."
B.A. University of Texas at Austin 2015
Previously worked at UTNIF (LD), MGC(LD), and coached debaters in out rounds of TFA State in Policy and LD
prior:George Washington University ( where I briefly competed in college CX and went to some local and regional tournaments)
Parish Episcopal (competed in LD and extemp every now and then. Go to my LD section for more about my high school debate career)
I don't judge as much as I used to. Please slow down a bit on theory args, cp texts, etc. I also have dysgraphia, which results in hand cramps if I'm flowing 1 line analytics at top speed.
LD specific update...Arguments I would prefer not to hear include no perms in a method debate, afc, theory args like you should spec status of offs in speech doc, etc. Not a good judge for theory debates with no real abuse story. Speaks will be low if you read these args in front of me.
Some general information
- I am normally somewhat familiar with each topic.
- I am probably not the best judge for hardcore T and theory debates(that doesn't mean I won't evaluate these arguments, but I would prefer the debate be focused elsewhere if possible).
-I am ambivalent about disclosure theory, but will vote on it and have voted on it in the past if won in round.
If you have any questions before the round starts please don't hesitate to ask. I will try my best to articulate my decision at the end of each round and highlight a few things each debater can improve upon.
Paperless stuff- I don’t count time for flashing evidence, but will severely dock speaks if someone is stealing prep time. When someone else is flashing nobody should be taking prep.
LD- When I debated I was in out rounds at TFA state, Churchill, Stanford, Colleyville, and Alta (for LD). I will attempt to keep this as short as possible. Speed is fine and policy arguments are also fine. I mostly ran util and semi critical positions in high school, but I'm fine with whatever type of argument you want to go for( Ie go for the CP/DA if you want to or the K... I'm cool with either strat). Some things I like, but don't often seen in LD include---> debaters conceding to arguments, but still explaining why they win the round, weighing offense( i.e. scope, magnitude, probability etc), and K's with really specific links to the aff. I will increase speaks for debaters who conceded to arguments, weigh well, or run K's with specific and clear links to the aff ( rather than generic backfile link cards)
Policy – If you have questions before the round and want to know anything specific I will do my best to articulate how I view debate and give you any insights into my paradigm. Aff should probably be topical, but its possible to win that T doesn’t matter. I have read some critical literature, but slow down for more obscure authors/ positions. Specific DA’s and counterplans are great. Kritiks that link to the aff are great. Link of omission K’s are not. Word pics, and other random stuff is fine. I'm a big picture kind of guy.
Update Nov 2018- I have noticed more hostility in the debate community and would strongly prefer debaters be civil towards one another. I don't want this statement to discourage individual's from making jokes or having fun in round, but I don't tolerate overly confrontational behavior, hostile behavior, racism, sexism, and discrimination in round. I reserve the right to decrease speaks and in the most extreme cases drop a debater for creating a hostile environment
I am new to judging this event and therefore value a clear delivery. No spreading, please.
I've been apart of the speech and debate community for 22 years and have literally judges every speech and debate event at every level of competition. Many moons ago, I was trained a "traditional LDer" where persuasion was valued above all else (this was before computers in debate). Over the years, I have been trending towards progressive debate. I will gladly listen to critical literature, theory arguments, and anything that you believe to be relevant to the round. Do not assume that I will correctly apply your arguments. Tell me where to flow them and why they are important to this particular round.
Over the last decade, I have been running tournaments more often than I have been in the judging pool, including this year, so I am a bit out of practice when it comes to spreading. If you wish to spread, please include me in the email chain so that I can follow along.
Do not be afraid to ask me any questions prior to the debate so that I can clarify my paradigm.
(Full Update - March 2021)
*Bolded information is for skimming if you're short on time.
**Online Tournament Notes: I'll unmute and let you know if you're having audio problems. Still comfortable with speed, but ask that we slow down a couple of notches from top speed to account for lag.
Feel free to just call me Kay; pronouns are she/her. I did policy for four years at North Lamar High School and have been judging since graduating in 2017.
If you are using an email chain, my email is email@example.com. If you are flashing, I don't want the flash and I'll ask if I need a specific piece of evidence post-round.
Attaching to the flash/email isn't prep unless it's excessive. If you're moving stuff between documents or around inside the document, that should be on the clock. If anything gets excessive, I'll let you know to start prep again.
Philosophy (all events):
Debate should be about the arguments you find "best" for you. I am comfortable and equally happy in well-warranted policy debates as I am in well-warranted kritikal or performance debates. When not given another framing mechanism, I tend to default to an offense/defense paradigm. My general answer to what "should" be allowed in a round is that theory read/answered by the debaters will parse that out.
Speaker Points (all events):
I assign speaker points on strategic decision-making and organization (including signposting and coherent line-by-line). I will dock speaker points for excessive rudeness, demeaning others in the debate, and intentionally making offensive/discriminatory arguments or comments in the debate.
Easy Routes to my Ballot (policy but also everything else really):
1. You should construct the narrative you want on my ballot. This means that I don't want to have to fill in internal links, test truth claims, or filter your offense through the framing that wins the debate.
2. Consistency across speeches is important. That means I'm not voting on 2NR/2AR arguments from the 1AC/1NC that aren't in the block or 1AR. I also have a pretty high threshold for buying arguments that are shadow extended through the block/1AR.
3. I prefer evidence analysis/extension over card dumps. I very seldom find dumping cards onto the flow in the 2NC/2AC compelling if I'm not getting some articulation of how the evidence functions in the round.
I'm fine with everything from more traditional value/criterion debate to more policy-style debates, performance debates, etc. Have the debate you want and are most comfortable having. That being said, some of the less common LD arguments (skep, NIBs, etc.) are pretty out of my wheelhouse and will require some serious explanation for me to understand them enough to feel comfortable voting on them.
One other thing I like to add for LD'ers: winning framework (morality good, util good, etc.) isn't enough to win the debate if you aren't winning a piece of offense through your framing. I won't do the work of weighing your offense for you, either, so please show me how your offense connects to your framing.
PF Note (updated September 2020): I don't judge very much PF, but you all ask this question, so I'll go ahead and make it easy on you: defense isn't sticky.
Feel free to email or talk to me in person before or after the round with any questions that come up!
I have nearly two decades of judging experience, primarily on the UIL policy circuit. I am a policy maker judge and will look for the most pragmatic and real world situations in round.
It is the role of the negative to provide sufficient clash, and I'll vote on most issues in the round if you are believable and persuasive. Feel free to run any argument and make sure you provide impacts to weigh on the ballot.
I am okay with speed in the round but will signal to you if I am unable to flow. However, I am ultimately not concerned with the number of arguments in the round. I am looking for quality, depth of understanding, and educational clash. Make sure both teams are listening to arguments being ran in the round and respond accordingly.
Above all, be respectful to each other.
I like to hear your arguments clearly. No spreading.
NLHS Policy 2013-2017
UT 2017-2021 (just judging, no debate)
A&M Law 2021-
Email for chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email for contact: email@example.com
The easiest thing I can tell you about my paradigm is that I am tab. I'll vote on anything, and I essentially ran anything while I was in high school, so you're not going to lose me in running any of your favorite arguments.
Further in-depth stuff (this is primarily for policy, but can be cross-applied to LD (or PF I guess)):
When I say I'm tab that means that I will vote in any framework you give me, don't mistake that for if you win the framework you win the round (this is especially true in traditional LD). I have voted for teams that lose the framework debate, but still had better offense under the opposing framing. Therefore, you need to both win your framework and meet that framework better than the opponent to win the round. However, if you don't run a framework I default to an offense-defense paradigm where I vote on whichever team has managed to generate the most offense.
Card dumps seriously aren't persuasive or strategic about half the time. If you're card dumping like five new impacts onto a undercovered disad in the 2NC that's chill, but just reading like 5 uniqueness cards that all say the same thing isn't.
Didn't think I'd have to put this in here, but wow. So uh... EXTENSIONS REQUIRE A WARRANT. YOU CAN'T JUST SAY EXTEND AND EXPECT ME TO PUT IT ON THE FLOW.
Like I said, I'm tab, so naturally I'm fine with/a fan of Ks. I am NOT a fan of 2NC/2NR overviews of kritikal buzzwords that do nothing to advance debate in the round. I'm not 100% read on all K literature, so if you're going to use technical terminology - define them, tell me how they relate to your alt, to the link debate, and to the aff.
That being said, I would avoid reading one-off K in front of me. I won't vote down one-off K on face, but I find that it's not terribly strategic, and doubly so if you're the type to concede all of case by going for the one K. All of the eggs in one basket just isn't good strategy, and it's super boring to listen to.
People will talk about how you need a specific link - I'm not that type. If the aff has a good reason that you need a specific link then you should be able to provide one, but a good generic link to the topic, state, or debate will suffice without aff contest.
Stylistically I don't really care what you do. I can handle your spreading if you can handle your spreading. If you're unclear then don't spread. Furthermore, signposting is an absolute must between flows and cards. That can be as a simple as saying "next off" or "onto the K," and between cards inserting an "and." If I miss a card or argument that you didn't signpost clearly where I should've flowed it will not be evaluated, and that's on you.
Offensiveness in round is always bad, and I'll penalize any aggression appropriately depending on severity of the aggression. There are instances where you might just be ignorant which will only result in a minor speak penalty and a stern reprimanding in RFD. Above all, be polite to your opponents. You can be competitive, but don't be rude, especially in CX.
Redundancy isn't great. That means reading a bunch of repetitive cards, putting an explanation under a card that explains the card you just read, or just saying the same thing over and over. I get tired of this quickly and it does harm speaks.
I evaluate speaks through strategy, not presentation. A 30 happens through really good decisions, time allocation, unique argumentation, etc. I can't tell you what exactly gets a 30, nor will I attempt to define it further decisively here, but I know it when I see it.
I don't err anything on any argument before a debate, so all theoretical objections are up for dispute. That being said, I've seen a lot of debates where people read two shells at each other (such as states bad v. good) and don't have any actual clash. If that is the ONLY sort of argumentation being put down on a theory flow before the 2NR/2AR, do not try to convince me to vote for theory because it'll end up being a wash, and I'll vote on presumption.
Speaking of presumption; I tend to vote it on it a lot because many people end up not winning anything. So in the case that there doesn’t seem to be any offense for any team I default to presumption. Most of the time for me that means neg, but if there’s an alternative advocacy on the flow then it goes aff. If you have a different model of presumption in mind - make it an argument, but otherwise that's how I vote.
I wouldn't say that I have a high threshold for T, as in I'm not a college policy debater who thinks ascribing words to meanings is proto-fascist or something. I will vote on T if you win it, but you need to win each part of the T: interp, violation, standards, and voters.
The "all three branches T" is really popular right now. I'll vote on it, but it's the worst T argument. Nothing uses all three branches because that's not how government works.
I don't think you absolutely have to have either of these in the 1NC to win; if you like em, go for em, and if you don't, don't. I'm not a person who's super convinced that things have to be super specific or anything like that - generic links are fine, just try to contextualize to the aff or give a good scenario analysis.
Please, god, do not sit at the door weirdly if I'm in the room waiting for my queue to give you agency. Just walk in. I'm the judge; you are ALLOWED to come in if I'm in here.
I don't care where you sit. I don't want to shake your hand before or after the round (especially true as of March 2020).
“My partner will answer that in the next speech” is NOT a cx answer, and if you use it it’s minus 1 speak.
Same thing goes for asking questions that are prefaced with "in your own words."
This is specifically for UIL tournaments: there's no such thing as "UIL style" and most "UIL rules" aren't actually rules. Any appeal to the UIL that aren't in any UIL handbook will not be flowed and is again, -1 speak.
- I don't judge this event nearly at all, but please just select sides in such a way that pro always speaks first. I get confused when it's reversed.
- Also, there's nothing I hate more than the PF convention of sharing evidence. Please just flash entire cases.
Age of COVID-19 Updates:
- I will not vote on camera theory - I don't care if it's "the rules." It's classist, ruralist, and I'm not here for it. It's very clearly a gotcha.
I have been Judge, Debate Coach for 24 twenty four years now in Texas circuits both UIL, TFA, and NSDA. I did not debate in college but have taught, coached, judged Debate for Rio Vista HS, Burleson High School, Wichita Falls HS, Northwest HS, and Now Mansfield Legacy High School, all in the DFW area of Texas. Have judged outside the area at Harvard U. , Berkley U, and Stanford, as well as colleges in Texas. Taught Policy and LD debate at Cameron University Summer Debate work shop for several years.
My Policy Debate Paradigms fall in the Traditional Debate category. I look for quality of arguments over quantity. Although I classify myself as a Stock Issue judge, I am open to some Negative Kritiks and conterplans but Kritiks and counterplans must be directly linked to the Aff Case. I am not a fan of theory based affirmatives or alternate worlds and really hate performance debate. Spreading will cost you speaker points if not the round if I can not understand your case. No Open CX for me. No Prompting of Partners written or verbal. Make arguments clear. Evidence and cards should be followed by analytics but analytics without evidence is of little value in my book. Show me that you understand what you are reading and not just reading cards.
During my high school career I competed in CX Debate, PFD, Extemporaneous Speaking, Student Congress, Poetry Interpretation, Original Oratory, One Act Play, and a handful of writing events, with both State and National appearances and rankings. During high school and the year after, I assisted with workshops and judging (also judged in LD Debate). Additionally, I was top speaker in college at Model Organization of American States--Political and Juridical Committee 2008. After nearly 15 years of being out of the game, I've recently re-entered the circuit as a judge again. As such, there is a component of brushing off cobwebs.
As a judge, I am fairly open to most all arguments and positions, as long as it can be properly explained/linked. I don't particularly like spreading, purely because I wasn't exposed to it too much while in school, however, I can follow it as long as it isn't too excessive. If you spread, please slow down on tags/linking arguments. If you see me set my pen to the side of my paper, and watch you speak instead of writing, it means I can't follow and you may want to slow down.
I'm a big fan of roadmaps prior to beginning of speeches and will never count a clear roadmap as part of your speech time. On that note, I'm a big proponent of using all your time, in all areas. Make use of your full speech times, CX periods, and prep time--all should serve to make the round as full and educational as possible.
Please be courteous within rounds. I don't have a high tolerance for rude comments or personal attacks that aren't relevant to the subject matter, and will reflect in speaker points. You can be firm, even performative, but not rude.
I'm not hugely familiar with CPs, and Ks, but have no problem with them being run--just be sure you have a well structured argument and can sufficiently link them within the round/rebut them clearly.
I understand now that laptops are able to be used in rounds and that access to evidence is nearly unlimited, however I value the ability to make and link clear arguments. It is apparent when evidence is read, but not understood by the speaker. If you're making use of your laptop and the evidence within, be sure you can freely link the evidence to the appropriate argument.
More than anything, I want to enjoy the round and hopefully come out of it having learned something. I enjoy the game of debate and like a wide variety of approaches. Have fun and be courteous and don't forget, you're speaking to the judge--guide me through the round and try not to leave arguments to me to make a judgement call on.
I am a tab when it comes to CX. I only have a few set ideas on a couple of arguments. First, if you do no tell me otherwise, I consider theory to be procedural. Second, I am cool with framework debate in any capacity. Third, I will vote on anything; you just need to me what lens I need to view the round through.
I am a Tab judge and ok with any style of LD, whether it is progressive or traditional. With that being said, please tell me where I need to vote and spend time telling me the impacts of said voters. I like to see strong substance when it comes to showing how your opponent links into a particular argument. Thus, if you cannot put in the work on a particular link, it would benefit you to go on to another argument. When it comes to theory or any sort of topicality or observational argument, I consider this to be procedural, and I put it at the top of the flow; of course, you do have the opportunity to tell me why the argument is not procedural, you will just need to put in the work. When it comes to K's or any Kritik based arguments, I am good with those; again, just make sure you have a strong link. I would rather opponents not read Kritik based position when competing against someone unfamiliar with these arguments; while it might be an easy win on the flow, you are most likely not going to walk out of the round with good speaks. I am cool with C.P's and D.A's and really have no stipulations, but would remind you to garner the impacts you want from them and let me know what I need to vote on by the NR.
When it comes to a more traditional debate style, I am cool with anything you choose to run as framing. I view impacts through the lens of what your framework says is good; however, if you want to tell me why I need to view impacts through something else, I will vote there. Besides that, you are free to do what you would like, I just need to see voters so I know what to vote on.
I view PF through the lens of mechanics over substance, I like it when competitors can show me how arguments are interacting with one another in an offense v. defense manner. From this, I like to see competitors extend the offense they have and give me voters. If the mechanic's side of the debate is not handled well I will default to substance, this is going to be specifically what is happening on the warrant level of the debate and how it interacts with the impact level of the debate, basically, at this point, the debate has become one of persuasion rather than line-by-line.
I am a high school science teacher and speech and debate coach. I've coached speech and debate for 9 years. I competed in speech and congressional debate in high school, then some speech in college. I am very passionate about the power of communication. Above all, it is extremely important to me that you articulate and enunciate well. This can still be accomplished with reasonable speed. Take care to explain your arguments well. I strongly prefer constructive speeches with resolutional analysis, framework, key definitions, and a standard that I can use to weigh arguments. I should have a solid understanding of what you think are the most important issues in the round. Please use voters! If you want me to vote on it, please make sure it is in your final speech and explain it thoroughly so I can understand it.
Argue on logic, not emotions. Construct well-impacted, well-supported arguments. Quotations have no meaning without explanations. Therefore, always explain the significance of your evidence. The debater that most clearly presents a logical argument AND effectively refutes the opponent will be the victor.
I may ask you to post your case or cards, if a virtual tournament. I may call for cards if your opponents ask me to, if the card is widely disputed during the round, or if it sounds exceptionally sketchy. According to NSDA rules, you can also access the Internet during round if you need to show your opponent the full citation.
Speed and Flowing
Anything below spread speed is fine. If you go fast, you should: SLOW DOWN when using tag lines and signposting. Give clear citations. Make sure you tell me where you are on the flow (off time roadmaps). Please look out for physical cues if you are speed-talking. If I look visibly confused or if my hand isn’t moving, that’s probably because I can’t understand you. While I don’t flow crossfire/cross-ex, I’ll remember anything exceptionally witty or smart you say. Make sure you repeat anything significant from crossfire/cross-ex in your next speeches. Rebuttal speeches should be well organized. Please go straight down the flow.
Don’t be mean. If you’re mean, my brain will naturally find a way to vote against you. Being assertive is valued. Being aggressive is unnecessary. There is a difference between a passionate debater and an abrasive or condescending debater. Crossfires/cross-ex needs to be conducted with civility. You can be civil and still have clash in the round. I enjoy good clash.
Specific to LD
My judging paradigm for Lincoln Douglas (LD) Debate is a clash of values. The value represents a means to an idealistic, just world. The criterion is the standard by which to measure the opposing value and to ultimately define the value that should be upheld. The contentions are used to uphold the value. Impact all your contentions back to your value. Value, criterion, and contentions must be clearly stated by both sides. Therefore, the debater that upholds their value and criteria with the strongest contentions and strongest cross examination will receive the higher points, thus (generally) the win.
30: Excellent job, you demonstrate stand-out organizational skills and speaking abilities. Ability to use creative analytical skills and humor to simplify and clarify the round.
29: Very strong ability. Good eloquence, analysis, and organization. A couple minor stumbles or drops.
28: Above average. Good speaking ability. May have made a larger drop or flaw in argumentation but speaking skills compensate. Or, very strong analysis but weaker speaking skills.
27: About average. Ability to function well in the round, however analysis may be lacking. Some errors made.
26: Is struggling to function efficiently within the round. Either lacking speaking skills or analytical skills. May have made a more important error.
25: Having difficulties following the round. May have a hard time filling the time for speeches. Large error.
Below: Extreme difficulty functioning. Very large difficulty filling time or offensive or rude behavior.
My name is Alisa Weal, and I am currently a student teacher for public speaking, professional communication, and debate at The Colony High School. I am graduating from The University of North Texas in December with my Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies with a Teacher Certification in Speech 7-12.
In high school, I was a competitor in NSDA for LD Debate, Informative Speaking (placed multiple times), Prose (placed multiple times), and Poetry (placed once). I am a novice judge as this will be my first year doing so, but I have experience from not only competing in high school but teaching it as a student teacher as well!
I appreciate a strong, well-developed argument, clear speaking, and an overall great speech! I look forward to judging so many amazing debaters and speakers! :)
I am a parent judge fulfilling, and this is my first tournament to judge.