IDI Novice Round Up Clinic and Tournament
2022 — NSDA Campus, IA/US
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My preferences for judging a debate are: 1) That debaters not speed spread, if I can't follow your arguments it's hard to persuade me. It also makes for a better Public Forum debate if everyone can follow the main arguments. 2) That crossfire be cordial, being rude and/or cutting a speaker off will lose you points. 3) I prefer that your evidence support your argument, not that it tangentially might apply. I also an extensive background in speech and debate as a high school student and as a high school Speech & Debate Coach and a speech Judge.
I am a relatively new judge to PF. I understand that you have a limited time to present your case so I am fine with speaking fast, so long as you are still understandable.
One of the main things I will be looking for is well sourced evidence. I like data/stats that you can back up with a source. Any evidence or data presented will be accepted as true unless the opposing team can refute it with other evidence or sources. I enter every round as if I know nothing of the topic and the only information I will consider is what is presented during each round.
I do not disclose or give oral feedback after a round and will save all comments for the Tabroom results.
Pronouns: she / her
Style: I respond negatively to speakers who are rude, inappropriate/disrespectful, and grandstanding (my def = talking just to talk / pontificate).
Background: I have been teaching for 24 years in Iowa and Texas, and I am a debate coach. I also have legal assistant training; this, too, informs my perspective as a judge.
While I am relatively new to NSDA, don’t underestimate me; I teach speech, argumentation, and persuasion daily – same concepts, different venue.
I’m here because I prize lifelong learning, and I find these experiences are fun, rewarding, and add insight into my classroom teaching. I hope you, too, find these experiences fun and rewarding and that you learn and improve from each interaction… even if you don't win your round. :)
What I look for in a round:
I view my role in the round mainly as a trained observer and judge as teams do their work; I prefer teams to time themselves (and report the time) and I will rarely interrupt, direct, or ask for a card. However, I will note called cards and how they are subsequently used. If cards aren’t called or if points are left unchallenged, my assumption is your team agrees to their use – barring fundamentally untrue things ("racism good"). Note also that teams should extend the card’s argument and not just shorthand the author’s name.
Teams should independently, explicitly, at the beginning, address and agree upon how the round should be weighed; if not, my assumption is cost-benefit analysis.
I like roadmaps and prefer clear signposting throughout the round as these features allow all parties to be on the same page.
I can follow moderate speed – especially if it’s because you truly have a lot of strong links and evidence to present -- but if you go so fast that I miss your point, that’s on you. Same if you’re spreading or spending a lot of time talking but not actually saying anything, such as entire rounds spent on agreeing on definitions or other minutia.
Additionally, jargon doesn’t impress me; I spend my days breaking down jargon and complex topics for students, so I expect you to practice this real-world skill as well. Seeing your ability to adapt, contextualize, and show mastery without needing to resort to jargon is key for me.
During cross, ask questions to which you legitimately want answers and don't steamroll your opponents by interjecting so they can’t respond.
In your final focus, I prefer the focus to be on your case -- what are the main voters in the round and why your evidence should be preferred, why your impacts outweigh, why you should win, etc. – instead of your opponent’s case.