Wku Fall Tournament
2022 — Online, KY/US
Lincoln Douglas Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
TLDR: Former NFA-LD debater. Make the arg, tell me why it matters. Tabula Rasa. Make me laugh and your speaks go up. Have fun!
I'm tabula rasa and use an offense-defense paradigm. Show me impacts, and win your link story. I like smart args- make them!
I love most theory and have a standard threshold when voting on it. Vagueness is (very) cool, Topicality's cool, condo's cool, vague CP theory cool, etc etc. I have a difficult time voting on disclosure theory as it's outside my jurisdiction as a judge of this round alone, but that's an arg you can have if you see fit. I judge tech over truth
Unless the debaters tell me otherwise- I default to the NFA-LD rules.
I think CPs/Alts should be mutually exclusive and net beneficial. If you think I'm wrong, make the argument.
I'm a philosophy nerd. I love K debate but hate debates when the K doesn't link. Please give me a link to the aff, and argue the K well. Tell me why ur alt solves.
I think T in all its flavors (effects, extra, etc.) is a voting issue; it'll be a battle trying to convince me otherwise- win the interp/violation level.
I really prefer affs with plans and am highly receptive to the TVA- if your aff has no plan you better know how to hang in the framework debate. Please interact with the theory sheet.
For most policy-style rounds: tell me why your impacts matter and win your story. I like clean debates and rebuttals, so your organization is key.
Run whatever you want at whatever speed you like, I just ask that a speech drop be provided and that you listen to your opponent if they ask you to slow.
(i hate that i have to say this) i will intervene if you sexually harass your opponent- public shaming of someone's sexuality is not a winning strategy- concede the round.
please make a speechdrop
I am very comfortable with Ks, Theory, Speed, and Topicality debates. Will vote on stock issues if you tell me why it matters. Don't spread your opponent out, if they say "speed" and you keep going, i will be receptive to speed Ks and procedurals.
High School LD and PF
i didn't compete in PF or LD but I'm comfortable with these debates in theory, walk me through event-specific rules if you want them upheld. I want IMPACT COMPARISON!! Feel free to spread but only if ur opp is comfortable
Debate is an amazing activity. I enjoy debate when arguments are clear. Numbering your arguments and explaining what your argument means for the round will help you win.
1. If you are rude I will vote against you. This means using profanity or abusive language. It also means not making disrespectful non verbals to your opponent.
2. I am pretty much open to most approaches for the aff and the neg, it is up to you to convince me that your advocacy should win.
3. As for conditionality, I am really open to the neg doing anything to try and win, including kicking positions or dealing with contradictions of different positions.
4. I will vote on Topicality, with or without abuse.
5. I believe counterplans should be non-topical, net beneficial, and mutually exclusive. When the neg assumes aff ground I frown.
6. I also frown at outdated evidence.
7. I will vote on dropped arguments, mainly if they are extended, but for rounds with minimal coverage of the opponents arguments I may have to intervene and vote where I see fit.
8. Rebuttal speeches should tell me why you win, give me voting issues and number them. In fact, number all of your arguments during the round.
9. I believe the neg can win one argument and win the round, I will also grant the neg presumption in round. Weigh solvency always.
10. I do not like critical affirmatives, if your opponent just blips the word framework I will vote against any critical affirmative as well as on Topicality if it is pressed against a critical affirmative.
11. I will put my head down and frown again if you run a performance affirmative.
12. Key on my non verbals, I will let you know if I am buying an argument or not. It doesn't mean you lost the round, just that argument is not logical or beneficial to your winning.
13. Be organized, signpost, let me know where you are on the flow!
14. Speed is fine, but you better cover everything if you are going fast, and slow down on the tags for me.
15. I will vote on relevant kritiques with strong links. Due to my race and most of my life experiences I will NOT vote on kritiques that make the debate unfair for the affirmative, force the affirmative to debate as the negative, and I will frown at positions that call into question my personal or political beliefs as an adjudicator. If you believe that debate is inherently damaging and capitalism is flawed, then don't show up for a debate, or try and win anyway but don't make your entire advocacy about debate=bad/racist etc. If you are screaming "black bodies" before you have asked me if I prefer to be called an African American, I will not like it and most likely will take your advocacy as just a ploy to win.
16. Have fun, show some energy, and be respectful. Lastly, do what you know how to do best and show what you have been taught. Just because I have an approach to judging, doesn't mean you cannot change it or out debate your opponent. I believe standing or sitting gives you real practice for the corporate world. Be yourself, use cross ex wisely, it will weigh in the round for me.
Yes, put me in the email chain. But also speechdrop >>> email chains.
Experience: My personal competitive experience is mainly in IEs, though I have competed nationally in debate events and coached LD, Policy, and IE students. My debate background is primarily policy and NFA-LD.
In all forms of debate, my primary concern as a judge is to remove as much subjectivity as possible. In the interest of this goal, I vote almost exclusively off of the flow. This is not to say, however, that I will blindly flow your arguments without thought. Ex: if your opponent drops an interpretation in their T flow, that does not mean you can define the word to mean whatever you want.
In the interest of being flow-centric, I try not to make assumptions and do the work for you. I will judge based on what actually happens in the round, not what I assume you meant should have happened. If you want credit for running an argument, I need you to actually run that argument.
I really appreciate debaters who give clear overviews in the final speeches. I want to be explicitly walked through the round so far, and told step-by-step what arguments I should prioritize and why. If you make it easy for me to vote for you, you will be happy with the vote.
I believe Kritikal argumentation is a vital cornerstone of inclusive debate practice, and I generally consider the K to be a priori. However, as with everything, if you can provide me with a solid argument why the K is bad and you debate on that flow better than your opponent, I will still vote against the K. It's not about what I believe, it's about who is the better debater in that round.
As long as you are supporting your arguments with strong evidence and you are debating well, I will not vote against you simply because I disagree with your claims. If your opponent doesn't disprove it analytically, I will not vote against it simply because of preference.
(NOTE: there are obviously exceptions to these rules. I will not vote in favor of something like "slavery good" or "women's suffrage bad." Any argument that is inherently problematic or harmful to others will not get my vote, even if you argue it better than your opponent. You don't get to hurt other people for a ballot.)
This is not my own words; it was shared with me by a teammate and I believe in the system as a method of removing subjectivity in scoring. (Updated as of 11:22 AM on 12/12/2015.)
27.3 or less-Something offensive occurred or something went terribly wrong
27.3-27.7- You didn't fill speech times, didn't flow, didn't look up from your laptop, mumbled, were unclear, or generally debated poorly
27.7-28.2- You are an average debater in your division who based on this rounds performance probably shouldn't clear but didn't do anything wrong per se...
28.2-28.5- Based on this rounds performance you might clear at the bottom.
28.5-28.9- You probably should clear in the middle/bottom based on this rounds performance. Same rules as above on moving in to this bracket from above or below.
28.9-29.3- You probably should clear in the middle/top based on this rounds performance. Same rules as above on moving in to this bracket from above or below.
29.3-29.7- You probably should clear at the top based on this rounds performance. Same rules as above on moving in to this bracket from below.
(You can also be moved in to this bracket from an above or below point bracket by debating someone in this bracket and performing well or debating someone in the lower point bracket and performing poorly. Or you can move up in brackets by doing stuff that was compelling in the round, such as reading arguments I liked, made me think, were technically proficient, or generally did something interesting.)
Version for tournaments that force whole-number speaks:
25 - Something went awry
26 - Probably won't clear, but nothing was wrong
27 - Should clear at the bottom
28 - Should clear in the middle
29 - Should probably clear at the top
30 - Exceptional
If both speakers fall into the same category, the winner will bump up 1 point. A few random notes (I update these as things come up)
About Specific Issues (I update these as things come up in rounds)
Re: in-round abuse. I am extremely sympathetic to in-round abuse. If you treat your opponent's poorly and they read a theory shell about why that's a reason to reject the team, odds are fairly good that I'll buy into that line of argumentation. You can avoid this by not being a jerk to your opponents.
Re: post-rounding. I do everything in my power to give a clear and thorough explanation of the round and why I voted the way I did. I am happy to answer questions about the round and do what I can to give you a sense of how to improve moving forward. I am happy to spend as much time after the round as you need answering questions and discussing the round. HOWEVER, I guarantee that debating me post-round will not change my ballot. I always submit my ballot before disclosure. Post-round debating just creates a hostile space for judges and debaters alike, and it's not the image of debate that I want to create.
Re: evidence sharing. In ALL FORMATS I want to be included on the email chain or the speechdrop. Particularly in PF, I don't like the community norm of asking for evidence after the speech and taking a bunch of time off the clock to find and share evidence. Your speech docs should be put together before the speech, and you should send your speech to the email chain or send it in the speech drop before you speak.
Re: speed. I am completely fine with spreading, but YOU are responsible for clarity. I will call clear twice in a speech. After that, if I don't get it on the flow, then I don't get it on the flow. Speed is only okay as long as it isn't excluding anybody from the round. If your opponent asks for a slow debate, don't spread them out of the round, be inclusive first and foremost. But I personally love speed, so don't slow down for me, certainly.
I will vote for the team who debates better, regardless of what techniques are used to do so (so long as those arguments are not harmful to others.) WHAT YOU ARE MOST COMFORTABLE AND CLEAN DEBATING WITH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT I LIKE. If you have any questions, coaches and students can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Affiliation: Lafayette College, Northern Tier Debate Conference
Years in Policy Debate: 3 years HS Policy, 4 years NFA-LD, 1 year coaching CEDA/NDT, 20 years coaching NFA-LD
-The NFA-LD rules
-Using standards to actively demonstrate why I should prefer your interpretation
-Reading a plan text and defending its implementation as a policy in good faith
-Even/if statements in rebuttals
-Moderating your speed based on opponent
-Slowing down during analytics so I can actually flow your warrants
-Weighing and comparing impacts
-Comparing warrants in cards
-Internal Link arguments
-Doing the work to actually apply the framework to the impact discussion
-Slower rebuttals because you collapsed
-Case specific CPs and DAs
-Explaining and annotating where the Kritik links are on the aff flow
-Card dumps with no contextualization
-Being rude and overly aggressive
-Using language and/or tactics intent on excluding your opponent
-Factually incorrect arguments about the topic
-Completely ignoring inherency
-BS theory arguments, like "perms are wrong"
-I won't vote for an argument just because it is conceded, you have to justify WHY that argument is relevant to my ballot and decision. Arguments that are 'bad' don't get any better because they are conceded.
-I prefer rounds that are quick and smart to rounds that are fast and dumb
-I think the 1NR should collapse a lot - you should have time to say why you win the argument, why the argument is relevant to the round, and why it deserves consideration for the ballot.
-If you go for everything in the 1NR, I will NOT do extra work for you to answer the questions above. I will also be more likely TO do work for the 2AR as they struggle to keep up and cover everything.
-I believe that in NFA-LD, Topicality is primarily jurisdictional and prefer competing interpretations. Using standards to adjudicate which interp to apply is more important to me than proven abuse. If you win that your interp should be preferred AND that they violate it, I will vote on T without abuse.
I have judged in one previous tournament, and I like persuasive arguments that are delivered clearly with a good deal of evidence provided.
I do not mind fast speakers, but please be clear.
Background: I am currently the Director of Debate at Illinois State University. I have been involved in debate since 2001. I was awarded the 2020-2021 Fulbright Award to coach debate in Taiwan.
DISCLOSURE THEORY IS LAZY DEBATE AND I WILL GIVE YOU NO HIGHER THAN 15 SPEAKER POINTS IF YOU RUN THIS POSITION (this means at best you will get a low point win). I will also NOT evaluate it OR flow it. If you run this I will take a selfie and mock you on social media for being a lazy debater.
I believe that the debate is yours to be had, but there are a few things that you should know:
1. Blippy, warrantless debates are mind numbing. If you do not have a warrant to a claim, then you do not have an argument even if they drop it. This usually occurs at the top of the AC/NC when you are trying to be "clever." Less "clever," more intelligent. I do not evaluate claims unless there are no real arguments in a round. Remember that a full argument consists of a claim supported by warrants with evidence.
2. I CANNOT flow speed due to an issue with my dominant hand. I will give you two verbal "clears" OR "speed" if you are going too fast or I cannot understand you. After that I quit flowing and if I do not flow it I do not evaluate it. Additionally, I do believe that the speed at which you go should be accessible to everyone in the round, this means your competitor, other judges on a panel, AND audience members. I am open to voting on accessibility and/or clarity kritiks. SPEED SHOULD NOT BE A TOOL OF EXCLUSION!!!!!!
3. I often vote for the one argument I can find that actually has an impact. I do not evaluate moral obligations in the round (if you say "Moral Obligation" in college LD Debate I stop flowing, take a selfie, and mock you on social media). This does not mean I will not vote for dehumanization is bad, but I need a warrant outside of just telling me I am morally obligated to do something. Moral obligations are lazy debate, warrant out your arguments. HIGH SCHOOL LD DEBATERS- IGNORE THIS, I will vote for moral obligations if they are explained and well warranted.
4. Run whatever strategy you want--I will do my best to evaluate whatever you give me in whatever frame I'm told to by the debaters--if you don't give me the tools I default to policy maker/net benefits, if it's clearly not a policy maker paradigm round for some reason I'll make something up to vote on...basically, your safest bet is to tell me where to vote and why to vote.
5. If you are rude, I will not hesitate to tank your speaker points. There is a difference between confidence, snarkiness, and rudeness.
6. When running a kritik you need to ensure that you have framework, impacts, links, an alternative text, alt solvency, and role of the ballot (lacking any of these will make it hard for me to vote for you)...I also think you should explain what the post alt world looks like. I'm very easily persuaded by arguments about the post-alt world not being possible if the debater running the K does not explain the post-alt world to me.
7. If you are going to run a CP and a kritik you need to tell me which comes first and where to look. You may not like how I end up ordering things, so the best option is to tell me how to order the flow.
8. Impact calc is a MUST. This is the best way to ensure that I'm evaluating what you find to be the most important in the round.
9. Number or letter your arguments. The word "Next" or "And" is not a number or a letter. Doing this will make my flow neater and easier to follow and easier for you to sign post and extend in later speeches. It also makes it easier for me to make a decision in the end.
10. I base my decision on the flow as much as possible. I will not bring in my personal beliefs or feelings toward an argument as long as there is something clear to vote on. If I have to make my own decision due to the debaters not being clear about where to vote on the flow or how arguments interact, I will be forced to bring my own opinion in and make a subjective decision rather than an objective decision. I do reserve the right to intervene when any -ist argument is made or advocated for.
11. If you advocate for a double win I automatically vote for the other person, issue you 1 speaker point, and leave the room. This is a debate, not a conversation. We are here to compete, so don't try to do something else.
12. Wilderson has stated that he does not want his writings used in debate by white individuals. He believes that the use of his writings is contradictory to what he overall stands for because he feels like you are using his arguments and black individuals as a tool to win (functionally monetizing black individuals). So for the love of all that is good please stop running these cards and respect the author's wishes. If you are white and you run his evidence I will not evaluate it out of respect for the author.
13. I will allow you ONE counterplan or ONE kritik in a round. I do not believe that multiple counterplans in NFA-LD are educational or beneficial based on the time allotments we have. If you run more than one I will only flow and evaluate the one you read FIRST.
14. I will give you auto 30 speaker points if you read your 1AC/1NC out of a black book with page turns. (this is still offered for digital debates)
Really, I'm open to anything. Debate, have fun, and be engaging. Ask me any questions you may have before the start of the round so that we can all be on the same page :) I also believe this activity should be a learning experience for everyone, so if after a round you have any questions please feel free to approach me and talk to me! I truly mean this because I love talking about debate and the more each debater gains from a round will provide for better rounds in the future for me to judge. If you ever have questions about a comment or RFD please ask. My email is email@example.com
- Did college NFA LD for 4 years
- I like talking to debaters. Feel free to come chat.
- If I make a face at an argument, I'm confused. It's never personal.
- Note: I'll vote on any of the arguments below if you win the flow but you may have to work harder depending on your choices. Here are some of my biases.
- I like real-world policy action. My favorite debates affirm or negate a material action/policy to reduce suffering.
- I'll vote on the K but I like alternatives that do something. Any alt that meditates on the nature of human suffering kinda sucks. I'm easily persuaded to disregard it.
- I don't hate philosophy debates but if it's not relevant to the rez, join a book club.
- Don't like pessimism arguments.
- Won't vote on death good/racism good/etc
- Please FRAME THE ROUND! I really don't want to decide which impact I like more.
- Tech > Truth but my BS detector is pretty good too.
- If you want me to look at your opponent's evidence, call it out in your speech
- No sticky defense. If it's dropped and you wanna go for it, extend the warrants. I'm not going to do it for you
- I can do basic cross-application of arguments (not the same thing as warrant extension). That also means contradictions deck overall offense.
- I like Double binds or "Even if" argumentation
- Warrant debates are the best debates. Evidence is good and necessary but you shouldn't hide behind it.
- Speed is fine but proportional clarity is required. I'll yell clear a few times. If you go fast, you better use up all the time.
- If you want to be super aggressive and condescending, you better not suck fam. Don't yell. Ad hominem = 25 speaks
- Don't make faces or talk during the opponent's speech
- A trigger warning for sensitive arguments is good but opponents can't prevent you from reading an argument
- If you bring outside drama into the round I will listen very very closely so I can gossip in the judge's lounge but I won't vote on an accusation I can't verify. If it's an ethics issue contact the tournament.
- K: Not super familiar with most of the literature but walk me through the argument and explain why alt solves the aff. Some kind of material action in the alt is probably recommended. I will vote on a vague alt-bad provided the warrants are good(time skew/allows aff pivot/etc).
- DA: Not much to say here. Win the link. Win the impact. Weigh/Frame. 2 good DAs > 4 bad DAs.
- AFF: Pretty much an auto-lose on T if you aren't doing a material action through the actor of the rez. Neg just needs to say you are stealing neg ground and robbing everyone of topic education.
- T: No proven abuse needed
- No new evidence in summary. New analysis based on evidence that has been read is acceptable
- 2nd Rebuttal is expected to attack and defend. I believe that having all new arguments in rebuttal makes the round clearer, and more educational saving grand cx for final clarifications
- If you wanna read theory in PF, I'll listen but it better be clear and good.
- Don't talk to your partner during their speech
TLDR: Read what you want, explain it well, do not forget about offense, make a clean collapse, and be respectful to your opponents.
I competed in parliamentary debate for 3 years at St Mary's College of CA, and I also competed at CEDA my last year of debate. My favorite argument to read towards the end was the settler colonialism K both on the aff and the neg. Feel free to read any K you want in front of me, but especially if it is high theory, do not expect me to know the literature. I am comfortable with speed; however, if your opponents ask you to slow down and you do not I will tank your speaks. Feel free to read topicality in front of me, but I am very skeptical of fairness and education as voters. If they are well fleshed out and unresponded to, then I will have no choice but to vote for them. Procedural arguments are not my favorite, feel free to read a conditional CP in front of me just make sure it is competitive with the aff. Furthermore, do not forget about offense. I love debates that have clean collapses at the end. Please be respectful to your teammates, have fun, and if you have any questions feel free to ask me before round!
I competed in UIL Policy for four years in high school and 3 years of NSDA Policy. After graduating, I went to Texas A&M and competed in NFA-LD for 3 years. Last year, I began coaching for a 2A High school in Texas. This year I am a Grad Assistant at WKU.
You do you. Debate in your style. Run the arguments you want to run. As long as the arguments are warranted and you can give me clear voters on why the argument matters, I am willing to vote for nearly anything. Don't be racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc.
T- I was a very heavy T debater and am willing to hear just about any T argument that is imaginable. I just ask that you make it reasonable. FX and Xtra T are arguments that I like and enjoy hearing on both sides of the round. If you are going to debate T, explain the voters more than just saying "Fairness and education." Explain why those things matter in debate.
DA- Please explain why the disad outweighs the aff and impact it out. Affs, respond to more than one part of the disad. Don't lose because you only put defense on the flow that the neg was prepared for.
K- I am open to almost any and all k's. I am not super well read in a lot of k lit so if you are able to inform me of the lit, I am okay with you running it. I have ran as a competitor and am willing to vote on arguments like death good.
CP- I will listen to and vote on CP's if they are run well, but they are my least favorite argument overall. I feel that CP's don't have a lot of ground that is given and most rounds with CP's boil down to a perm. This doesn't mean that you cannot run them. On some topics, CPs are necessary and I understand that. My feelings towards CP will not interfere with any round decisions.
TL;DR: I am open to just about anything as long as it is done well and warranted. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. Run what you feel is best for the round. Please don't be rude or problematic in your speeches or arguments. I will vote you down if you say something that is blatantly problematic or offensive. Just because it is an argument does not excuse any racism, homophobia, sexism, etc.
I am a reformed policy debater. I love theory but hate speed. I believe that debate is a communication activity, and that speeding makes the activity inaccessible and less valuable. That said, I am usually OK with critical positions run on the Aff or the Neg (though Aff K need to have substantial "role of the ballot" discussions). Topicality, along with other procedurals, is always a fun position; I especially prefer good debate on the standards/reasons to prefer level. Counterplans do not have to be non-topical (with theory to support), but mutual exclusivity is important to avoid a permutation, which usually does not have to be understood as advocacy (but this can be challenged).
The two areas, besides my distaste for speed, that might be understood as more conservative would be regarding the neutrality of political assumptions and my skepticism of performative advocacy cases. I am open to political arguments from anywhere on the political spectrum. I will not take as an assumption "Trump bad," nor the contrary "Trump good." Defend these positions. For performance, perhaps my skepticism comes from the fact that I haven't yet heard it run well. Perhaps you can convert me. Identity positions have a higher threshold to clear.
With value-based debate, I expect clear discussion of the value and criterion. I enjoy getting into the philosophical weeds. I am a philosophy professor who specializes in 19th and 20th century continental philosophy. I also have an economics background, so feel free to get wonky.
Updated for LD judging
Truman State University
TL/DR - I'm fine on the K. Need in round abuse for T. I'm fine with speed. K Alts that do something more than naval-gazing is preferred. Avoid running away from arguments. Actual dropped arguments will win you the round. I vote a lot on good CP/DA combinations.
I debated high school policy in the early 90’s and then college policy in 1994. I also competed in NFA-LD for 4 or 5 years, I don't recall, I know my last season was 1999? I then coached at Utica High School and West Bloomfield High school in Michigan for their policy programs for an additional 8 years. I coached for 5 years at Wayne State University. I was the Director of Forensics at Truman State University for 7 years and now am the Director of Debate at UNLV and started in 2022.
Dropped arguments can carry a lot of weight with me if you make an issue of them early. This being said, I have been more truth over tech lately. Some arguments are so bad I'm inclined to do work against it. If its cold conceded I will go with it, but if its a truly bad interpretation/argument, it won't take a lot to mitigate risk of it happening. I have responded well to sensible 'gut check' arguments before.
I enjoy debaters who can keep my flow neat. You need to have clear tags on your cards. I REQUIRE a differentiation in how you say the tag/citation and the evidence.
With regard to specific arguments – I will vote seldom on theory arguments that do not show significant in-round abuse. Potential abuse is a non-starter for me, and time skew to me is a legit strategy unless it’s really really bad. My threshold for theory then is pretty high if you cannot show a decent abuse story. Showing an abuse story should come well before the last rebuttal. If it is dropped though, I will most likely drop the argument before the team. Reminders in round about my disposition toward theory is persuasive such as "You don't want to pull the trigger on condo bad," or "I know you don't care for theory, here is why this is a uniquely bad situation where I don't get X link and why that is critical to this debate." Intrinsic and severance perms I think are bad if you can show why they are intrinsic or severance. Again, I'd drop argument before team.
I don't judge kick. If the CP is in the NR, the SQ isn't an option anymore.
I don’t like round bullys. If you run an obscure K philosophy don't expect everyone in the room to know who/what it is saying. It is the duty of those that want to run the K to be a ‘good’ person who wants to enhance the education of all present. I have voted for a lot of K's though so it's not like I'm opposed to them. K alternatives should be able to be explained well in the cross-x. I will have a preference for K alts that actually "do" something. The influence of my ballot on the discourse of the world at large is default minimal, on the debate community default is probably even less than minimal. Repeating jargon of the card is a poor strategy, if you can explain what the world looks like post alternative, that's awesome. I have found clarity to be a premium need in LD debate since there is much less time to develop a K. Failing to explain what the K does in the 1AC/NC then revealing it in the 1AR/NR is bad. If the K alt mutates into something else in the NR, this is a pretty compelling reason to vote against the K.
Never run from a debate. I'll respect someone that goes all-in for the heg good/heg bad argument and gets into a debate more than someone who attempts to be tricksy in case/plan writing or C-X in order to avoid potential arguments. Ideal C-X would be:
"Does your case increase spending?"
"Darn right, what are you gonna do about it? Catch me outside."
I will vote on T. Again, there should be an in-round abuse story to garner a ballot for T. This naturally would reinforce the previous statement under theory that says potential abuse is a non-starter for me. Developing T as an impact based argument rather than a rules based argument is more persuasive. As potential abuse is not typically a voter for me and I'll strike down speaker points toward RVI's based on bad theory. Regarding K's of T, it is a high bar and you probably shouldn't do it.
Anything that you intend to win on I need to have more than 15 seconds spent on it. I won't vote for a blip that isn't properly impacted. Rebuttals should not be a laundry list of answers without a comparative analysis of why one argument is clearly superior and a round winner.
Performance: Give me a reason to vote. Make an argument still with the performance. I don't typically want to do extra work for a debater so you need to apply your performance to arguments your opponent makes. I don't place arguments on the flow for you through embedded clash.
Speaker Points -
Upon entering the LD community, I was informed that my previous speaker point distribution was akin to Santa Claus on a meth binge. It has now been revised.
Floor- 25 - you might have said something offensive about the other team or my family. I may have had to think about whether or not to stop the round. You didn't complete a speech and conceded. You were racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic and unapologetic.
26-26.5 - There were noticable and glaring flaws in your strategy. You went for Condo Bad without a unique reason why I should vote and there was only 1 K or 1 CP in the round. You have problems with fundamentals of making arguments
26.5-27 - You made some tactical errors that I noticed perhaps went for the wrong NR, or you asked a bunch of questions in C-X that never came up in the speech. Or you lacked confidence, you looked like you were behind. You dropped a lot on the flow.
27-27.5 - Meh. Middle of the road.
28-28.5 - Odds are you made the correct strategic decisions, outcarded your opponents or did not drop round-winning arguments and tooks advantage of your opponents dropped arguments. You might get a low speaker award at a regional.
28.5-29.5 - You have noticed a double turn or a speech act by your opponent that is a round winner. You also have reminded me of items in my paradigm for why you are going for the items that you are. You should get a low speaker award at nationals.
29.5-30 - I could not find a flaw in your performance to incredibly minor flaws that there is little way to realize that they even happened. You should be top 10 to top 5 speaker.
Small note: If you're totally outmatching your opponent, you're going to earn speaker points not by smashing your opponent, but rather through making debate a welcoming and educational experience for everyone.
Card Clipping addendum:
Don't cheat. I typically ask to be included on email chains or ideally a speechdrop so that I can try to follow along at certain points of the speech to ensure that there isn't card clipping, however if you bring it up I in round I will also listen. You probably ought to record the part with clipping if I don't bring it up myself. Also, if I catch clipping (and if I catch it, it's blatant) then that's it, round over, other team doesn't have to bring it up if I noticed it. If its obviously unintentional then I'll warn you about it. (like you're a novice or you skipped a non-strategic line by mistake).
2011-15 – Lawrence Free State, KS, Policy (Space, Transportation, Latin America, Oceans)
2015-17 – JCCC, KS, NDT/CEDA (Military Presence, Climate Change); NFA-LD (Bioprospecting, Southern Command)
2017-20 – Missouri State University, MO, NDT/CEDA (Healthcare, Exec Authority, Space); NFA-LD (Policing, Cybersecurity)
2016-17 – Lawrence High School, KS, (China engagement)
2017-19 – Olathe West High School, KS, (Education, Immigration)
2019-22– Truman High School, MO, (Arm Sales, CJR, Water)
2020-22– Missouri State University, MO, (MDT Withdrawal, Anti-Trust); NFA-LD (Climate, Endless Wars)
2022-Present - Truman State University, MO, NFA-LD (Elections)
2022-Present - The Pembroke Hill School, MO, (NATO).
Always add: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also add - College NDT/CEDA: email@example.com
If I walk out of the room (or go off-camera), please send the email and I will return very quickly.
Email chains are STRONGLY preferred. Email chains should be labeled correctly. *Name of Tournament * *Division* *Round #* *Aff Team* vs *Neg Team*
You do you; I'll flow whatever happens. I tend to like policy arguments more than Kritical arguments. I cannot type fast and flow on paper as a result. Please give me pen time on T, Theory, and long o/v's etc. Do not be a jerk. Debaters work hard, and I try to work as hard as I can while judging. Debaters should debater slower than they typically do.
Evidence Quality X Quantity > Quality > Quantity. Argument Tech + Truth > Tech > Truth. Quals > No Quals.
I try to generate a list of my random thoughts and issues I saw with each speech in the debate. It is not meant to be rude. It is just how I think through comments. If I have not said anything about something it likely means I thought it was good.
If you can prove to me you have updated your wiki for the round I am judging before I submit the ballot I will give you the highest speaker points allowed by the tournament. An updated wiki means: 1. A complete round report. 2. Cites for all 1NC off case positions/ the 1AC, and 3. uploaded open source all of the documents you read in the debate inclusive of analytics. If I become aware that you later delete, modify, or otherwise disclose less information after I have submitted my ballot, any future debate in which I judge you will result in the lowest possible speaker points at the tournament.
In "fast" online debates, I found it exceptionally hard to flow those with poor internet connections or bad mics. I also found it a little harder even with ideal mic and internet setups. I think it's reasonable for debates in which a debater(s) is having these issues for everyone in the debate to debate at an appropriate speed for everyone to engage.
Clarity is more important in a digital format than ever before. I feel like it would behoove everyone to be 10% slower than usual. Make sure you have a differentiation between your tag voice and your card body voice.
It would be super cool if everyone put their remaining prep in the chat.
I am super pro the Cams on Mics muted approach in debates. Obvious exceptions for poor internet quality.
People should get in the groove of always sending marked docs post speeches and sending a doc of all relevant cards after the debate.
I enjoy politics debates. Reasons why the Disad outweighs and turns the aff, are cool. People should use the squo solves the aff trick with election DA's more.
I generally think negatives can and should get to do more. To me, CP's test the intrinsic-ness of the advantages to the plan text. Affirmatives should get better at writing and figuring out plan key warrants. Bad CP's lose because they are bad. It seems legit that 2NC's get UQ and adv cp's to answer 2AC thumpers and add-ons. People should do this more.
Judge kicking the cp seems intuitive to me. Infinite condo seems good, real-world, etc. Non-Condo theory arguments are almost always a reason to reject the argument and not the team. I still expect that the 2AC makes theory arguments and that the neg answers them sufficiently. I think in an evenly matched and debated debate most CP theory arguments go neg.
Kritiks on the Negative
I like policy debate personally, but that should 0% stop you from doing your thing. I think I like K debates much better than my brain will let me type here. Often, I end up telling teams they should have gone for the K or voted for it. I think this is typical because of affirmative teams’ inability to effectively answer critical arguments
Links of omission are not links. Rejecting the aff is not an alternative, that is what I do when I agree to endorse the alternative. Explain to me what happens to change the world when I endorse your alternative. The aff should probably be allowed to weigh the aff against the K. Clash debates with solid defense to the affirmative are significantly more fun to adjudicate than framework debates. Floating pics are probably bad. I think life has value and preserving more of it is probably good.
Kritical Affirmatives vs Framework
I think the affirmative should be in the direction of the resolution. Reading fw, cap, and the ballot pik against these affs is a good place to be as a policy team. I think topic literacy is important. I think there are more often than not ways to read a topical USfg action and read similar offensive positions. I am increasingly convinced that debate is a game that ultimately inoculates advocacy skills for post-debate use. I generally think that having a procedurally fair and somewhat bounded discussion about a pre-announced topic helps facilitate that discussion.
Debates in which the negative engages all parts of the affirmative are significantly more fun to judge than those that do not.
Affirmatives with "soft-left" advantages are often poorly written. You have the worst of both worlds of K and Policy debate. Your policy action means your aff is almost certainly solvable by an advantage CP. Your kritical offense still has to contend with the extinction o/w debate without the benefit of framework arguments. It is even harder to explain when the aff has one "policy" extinction advantage and one "kritical" advantage. Which one of these framing arguments comes first? I have no idea. I have yet to hear a compelling argument why these types of affirmative should exist. Negative teams that exploit these problems will be rewarded.
Short blippy procedurals are almost always only a reason to reject the arg and not the team. T (along with all procedurals) is never an RVI.
I am super uninterested in making objective assessments about events that took place outside of/before the debate round that I was not present for.
Things that are bad, but people continually do:
Have "framing" debates that consist of reading Util good/bad, Prob 1st/not 1st etc. Back and forth at each other and never making arguments about why one position is better than another. I feel like I am often forced to intervene in these debates, and I do not want to do that.
Saying something sexist/homophobic/racist/ableist/transphobic - it will probably make you lose the debate at the worst or tank your speaks at the least.
Send docs without the analytics you already typed. This does not actually help you. I sometimes like to read along. Some non-neurotypical individuals benefit dramatically by this practice. It wastes your prep, no matter how cool the macro you have programmed is.
Use the wiki for your benefit and not post your own stuff.
Refusing to disclose.
Reading the 1AC off paper when computers are accessible to you. Please just send the doc in the chain.
Doing/saying mean things to your partner or your opponents.
Unnecessarily cursing to be cool.
Some random thoughts I had at the end of last season: .
1. I love debate. I think it is the best thing that has happened to a lot of people. I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out how to get more people to do it. People should be nicer to others.
2. I was worse at debate than I thought I was. I should have spent WAY more time thinking about impact calc and engaging the other teams’ arguments.
3. I have REALLY bad handwriting and was never clear enough when speaking. People should slow down and be clearer. (Part of this might be because of online debate.)
4. Most debates I’ve judged are really hard to decide. I go to decision time often. I’m trying my best to decide debates in the finite time I have. The number of times Adrienne Brovero has come to my zoom room is too many. I’m sorry.
5. I type a lot of random thoughts I had during debates and after. I really try to make a clear distinction between the RFD and the advice parts of the post-round. It bothered me a lot when I was a debater that people didn’t do this.
6. I thought this before, but it has become clearer to me that its not what you do, its what you justify. Debaters really should be able to say nearly anything they’d like in a debate. It is the opposing teams’ job to say you’re wrong. My preferences are above, and I do my best to ignore them. Although I do think it is impossible for that to truly occur.
I took this from Chris Roberds who said it much more elegantly than myself.
I have a VERY low threshold on this argument. Having schools disclose their arguments pre-round is important if the activity is going to grow/sustain itself. Having coached almost exclusively at small, underfunded, or new schools, I can say that disclosure (specifically disclosure on the wiki if you are a paperless debater) is a game changer. It allows small schools to compete and makes the activity more inclusive. There are a few specific ways that this influences how ballots will be given from me:
1) I will err negative on the impact level of "disclosure theory" arguments in the debate. If you're reading an aff that was broken at a previous tournament, on a previous day, or by another debater on your team, and it is not on the wiki (assuming you have access to a laptop and the tournament provides wifi), you will likely lose if this theory is read. There are two ways for the aff to "we meet" this in the 2ac - either disclose on the wiki ahead of time or post the full copy of the 1ac in the wiki as a part of your speech. Obviously, some grace will be extended when wifi isn't available or due to other extenuating circumstances. However, arguments like "it's just too much work," "I don't like disclosure," etc. won't get you a ballot.
2) The neg still needs to engage in the rest of the debate. Read other off-case positions and use their "no link" argument as a reason that disclosure is important. Read case cards and when they say they don't apply or they aren't specific enough, use that as a reason for me to see in-round problems. This is not a "cheap shot" win. You are not going to "out-tech" your opponent on disclosure theory. To me, this is a question of truth. Along that line, I probably won't vote on this argument in novice, especially if the aff is reading something that a varsity debater also reads.
3) If you realize your opponent's aff is not on the wiki, you should make every possible attempt before the round to ask them about the aff, see if they will put it on the wiki, etc. Emailing them so you have timestamped evidence of this is a good choice. I understand that, sometimes, one teammate puts all the cases for a squad on the wiki and they may have just put it under a different name. To me, that's a sufficient example of transparency (at least the first time it happens). If the aff says it's a new aff, that means (to me) that the plan text and/ or advantages are different enough that a previous strategy cut against the aff would be irrelevant. This would mean that if you completely change the agent of the plan text or have them do a different action it is new; adding a word like "substantially" or "enforcement through normal means" is not. Likewise, adding a new "econ collapse causes war" card is not different enough; changing from a Russia advantage to a China, kritikal, climate change, etc. type of advantage is. Even if it is new, if you are still reading some of the same solvency cards, I think it is better to disclose your previous versions of the aff at a minimum.
4) At tournaments that don't have wifi, this should be handled by the affirmative handing over a copy of their plan text before the round.
5) If you or your opponent honestly comes from a circuit that does not use the wiki (e.g. some UDLs, some local circuits, etc.), I will likely give some leeway. However, a great use of post-round time while I am making a decision is to talk to the opponent about how to upload on the wiki. If the argument is in the round due to a lack of disclosure and the teams make honest efforts to get things on the wiki while I'm finishing up my decision, I'm likely to bump speaks for all 4 speakers by .2 or .5 depending on how the tournament speaks go.
6) There are obviously different "levels" of disclosure that can occur. Many of them are described above as exceptions to a rule. Zero disclosure is always a low-threshold argument for me in nearly every case other than the exceptions above. That said, I am also willing to vote on "insufficient disclosure" in a few circumstances.
A. If you are in the open/varsity division of NDT-CEDA, NFA-LD, or TOC Policy your wiki should look like this or something very close to it. Full disclosure of information and availability of arguments means everyone is tested at the highest level. Arguments about why the other team does not sufficiently disclose will be welcomed. Your wiki should also look like this if making this argument.
B. If you are in the open/varsity division of NDT-CEDA, NFA-LD, or TOC Policy. Debaters should go to the room immediately after pairings are released to disclose what the aff will be. With obvious exceptions for a short time to consult coaches or if tech problems prevent it. Nothing is worse than being in a high stress/high level round and the other team waiting until right before the debate to come to disclose. This is not a cool move. If you are unable to come to the room, you should be checking the wiki for your opponents email and sending them a message to disclose the aff/past 2NR's or sending your coach/a different debater to do so on your behalf.
C. When an affirmative team discloses what the aff is, they get a few minutes to change minor details (tagline changes, impact card swaps, maybe even an impact scenario). This is double true if there is a judge change. This amount of time varies by how much prep the tournament actually gives. With only 10 minutes between pairings and start time, the aff probably only get 30 seconds to say "ope, actually...." This probably expands to a few minutes when given 30 minutes of prep. Teams certainly shouldn't be given the opportunity to make drastic changes to the aff plan text, advantages etc. a long while after disclosing.
Competed in: BP, CX, PF
Judged: BP, Civic, CX, LD, PF
Currently an Assistant Coach @ Vanderbilt
MPP from Georgia State University in ‘23
BA in Communication Studies from Vanderbilt in ‘20
email chain: Brandon.M.James@vanderbilt.edu
If you see me in the back of the room, then that probably means that I am essentially being paid to listen to you speak and adjudicate a round based on the arguments you’ve made. To me, part of that duty requires keeping an open mind. I’ve run, debated against, and judged a variety of events and argument styles. Absent any behavior that negatively impacts my ability to get paid or my ability to foster an inclusive environment, I don’t particularly care what you run or how you debate.
With that said, to make things easier for all of us, here are some things to keep in mind:
Topic Knowledge: I’m more of a “team judge” than a “team coach”. I likely haven’t done a lot of research on whatever topic you’re speaking about, so I won’t know what each acronym means or instantly recall what each card you read says. Try to explain terms that may not be intuitive, and if you’re extending evidence be clear about what you’re extending.
Kritikal Knowledge: I spent the most involved portion of my debate career running Kritikal Affs/Negs about antiblackness against some combination of framework, a policy advocacy, and a capitalism kritik. This isn’t an invitation to run these arguments or me saying that I am happy with less explanation in these debates, but it is to say that I probably feel at “home” here and understand the terminology. For K’s outside of this domain you shouldn’t assume I’m as familiar with the literature as you are.
Non-Traditional Argumentation: In general, the further you stray from the norms/expectations of the activity you’re participating in, the stronger your justifications for those shifts need to be. I have no problem listening to these arguments, but also have no problem listening to how these arguments may be bad for fairness or education, particularly when the rationale for these arguments being run is weak.
Delivery: You should be going at a speed at which the slowest flower involved in the debate can understand, and a volume at which everyone involved at the debate is comfortable. If I ask you to change how you’re speaking, it won’t impact your speaks unless you seem to continuously refuse.
1. I’m a believer in the idea that ridiculous arguments require minimal responses. This doesn’t mean I won’t vote on your trolly argument or sneaky trick, but it does mean that the bar for a substantive response is lower here. If you’re stomping on the flow here or need a Hail Mary, feel free to go for it, but if there’s at least decent engagement here please look elsewhere.
2. I have a tendency to vote against teams who fail to actually describe what they defend, even when they may be more technically proficient. Trying to dodge every cross-ex question or refusing to say what you advocate for so you won’t “link” to things is lazy to me and creates bad debates.
3. Do not force me to listen to a definition debate where the two terms are not meaningfully different, or a debate about a trivial distinction/clarification point. A pointless debate somehow becoming a sticking point of the round is probably the pettiest reason I will drop speaker points.
Accommodations: Please let me/the competitors know how we can make this space more accessible, as soon as possible.
RFDs: My RFD style is very conversational. I will walk you through my decision while also highlighting any issues/confusions I had during the debate. I may ask you questions about why certain choices were made in the debate, even if they aren’t directly related to my decision, if I think they could be issues in other rounds. If you have questions you should ask them. If I’m not making sense you should tell me so. You’ve given up an hour or more of your time, so you should leave the room feeling like you know why I voted how I did.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
Prepping outside of prep time and being disorganized is not okay.
I believe it's your burden to tell me how and WHY (very important part) I should vote. If you give me a reason to vote on an RVI, and it goes dropped (I have a very low threshold for beating an RVI), and you go for that warranted RVI in your last speech... I will vote for it, despite the smack-talking I will endure from your opponent and their coaches. If neither team does the work to tell me how and why I vote, and I have to do a lot of work for you, don't be mad if that vote doesn't swing your way.
On LD rules:
For the sake of consistency, you have to tell me if something is in the rules if you want me to vote on it. So if you're going for "that type of counterplan isn't allowed in LD," then you obviously (and inherently) tell me that it's in the rules. The same thing goes for T... I don't NEED other voters, but you do have to tell me it's the rules. Also, I guess you can tell me the rules are bad, but you have to warrant it well.
Speed is also addressed in the rules, but I think that "conversational rate" is an arbitrary term. I'm fine with speed but I prefer that you annunciate. If your speed costs you your clarity, then slow down.
Absent you telling me, I defer to competing interps and potential abuse. That's just how I see debate, and is how I find myself evaluating rounds where no one tells me how to vote but the round clearly comes down to theory.
On Stock Issues:
It's technically in the rules that you have to have these stock issues, so if you're going for "no inherency" or "no propensity to solve" all you really have to do is cite the rules. Refer to my take on the rules.
On the K:
I'm comfortable with critical arguments. I often find that the Alt isn't explained well, and it's a pretty important part of the K because absent the Alt, your K is a nonunique DA. I still think you can claim K turns case absent the Alt, but of course that can be refuted back and forth so it's better to try to win your alt.
On 1AR/1NR/ Theory:
I never see it debated well because of time constraints in LD but sure, I'm open to it. If you're going for it in the 2AR, I imagine you'd really have to go for it.
Justin Kirk - Director of Debate at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
(3/13/21 addendum) Disclosure disclosure - While I am not an ideologue, I am a pedagogue. If you fail to disclose information about your affirmative or negative arguments on the wiki and then make a peep about education or engagement or clash in the debate, you better damn well hope your opponent does not mention it. Its about as close to a priori as I will get on an issue. If your argument is so good, what is the matter with a well prepared opponent? Disclosure is a norm in debate and you should endeavor to disclose any previously run arguments before the debate. Open source is not a norm, but is an absolutely preferable means of disclosure to cites only. If your opponent's wiki is empty, and you make a cogent argument about why disclosure is key to education and skill development, you will receive high marks and probably a ballot from me.
General philosophy – Debate is primarily a communications based activity, and if you are not communicating well, your arguments are probably incoherent, and you are probably not going to win many debates in front of me. It is your responsibility to make quality arguments. An argument consists of a claim, a warrant, and an impact. Evidence supports argumentation, it does not supplant it. However, analytic arguments and comparative claims about argument quality are essential to contextualizing your evidence and applying it to the issues developed throughout the debate. Quality arguments beat bad evidence every time.
I flow every debate and expect teams to answer arguments made by the other team. You should also flow every debate. That does not mean start flowing after the speech documents run out. Cross-examinations that consist mostly of "what cards did you read" or "what cards did you skip" are not cross examinations and do you little to no good in terms of winning the debate. If you have questions about whether or not the other team made an argument or answered a particular argument, consult your flow, not the other team. The biggest drawback to paperless debate is that people debate off speech docs and not their flows, this leads to shoddy debating and an overall decline in the quality of argumentation and refutation.
Each team has a burden of refutation, and arguing the entire debate from macro-level arguments without specifically refuting the other side's arguments will put you at a severe disadvantage in the debate. Burden of proof falls upon the team making an argument. Unwarranted, unsupported assertions are a non-starter for me. It is your responsibility is to make whole arguments and refute the arguments made by the other side. Evaluating the debate that occurred is mine. The role of my ballot is to report to the tab room who I believe won the debate.
Online Debate - everyone is adjusting to the new world of online debate and has plenty of burdens. I will be lenient when judging if you are having technical difficulties and provide ample time. You should record all of your speeches on a backup device in case of permanent technical failures. Speech drop is the norm for sharing files. If there are bandwidth problems, I will ask everyone to mute their mics and videos unless they are talking.
Paperless Debate – You should make every attempt to provide a copy of the speech documents to me and the other team before the speech. The easiest way to resolve this is through speech drop. I suspect that paperless debate has also led to a substantial decrease in clarity and corresponding increases in cross-reading and clipping. I have zero tolerance for cheating in debate, and will have no qualms about voting against you, assigning zero speaker points, and speaking to your coaches about it. Clarity is a must. You will provide me speech documents to read during the debate so I may better understand the debate that is occurring in front of me. I will ask you to be clearer if you are not and if you continue to be unclear, I will stop flowing your arguments.
Topicality – Is good for debate, it helps to generate clash, prevents abusive affirmatives, and generally wins against affirmatives that have little to no instrumental relation to the topic. Topicality definitions should be precise, and the reasons to prefer your topicality violation should be clear and have direct relation to your interpretation. Topicality debates are about the scope of and competition generated by the resolution. I usually default to competing interpretations, as long as both sides have clear, contextual, and well warranted interpretations. If your interpretation is missing one of these three elements, go for another argument. Reasonability is a winnable argument in front of me as long as you offer specific and warranted reasons why your interpretation is reasonable vis-à-vis the negative. I vote on potential abuse and proven abuse.
Kritiks – Should be based in the resolution and be well researched with specific links to the affirmative. Reading generic links to the topic is insufficient to establish a link to the affirmative. Alternatives should be well explained and evidenced with specific warrants as to the question of link solvency. A majority of kritik debates that are lost by negative teams where they have failed to explain the link debate or alternative adequately. A majority of kritik debates that are lost by affirmative teams when I am judging are ones where the affirmative failed to sufficiently argue for a permutation argument or compare the impacts of the affirmative to the impacts of the criticism sufficiently. I firmly believe that the affirmative gets to weigh the advantages of the plan against the impacts of the criticism unless the link to the criticism directly stems from the framing of the Affirmative impacts. I also believe that the affirmative can usually win solvency deficits to the alternative based upon deficits in implementation and/or instrumentalization of the alternative. Arguments that these solvency deficits do not apply because of framework, or that the affirmative has no right to solving the affirmative, are non-starters for me.
Counterplans – Yes. The more strategic, the better. Should be textually and functionally competitive. Texts should be written out fully and provided to the other team before cross examination begins. The negative should have a solvency card or net benefit to generate competition. PICs, conditional, topical counterplans, international fiat, states counterplans are all acceptable forms of counterplans. NR counterplans are an effective means of answering new 1AR arguments and add-ons and are fair to the affirmative team if they are responses to new 1AR developments. I believe that counterplans are the most effective means of testing the affirmative's plan via competitive policy options and are an effective means of solving for large portions of the affirmative. Counterplans are usually a fair check against new affirmatives, non-intrinsic advantages, and affirmatives with bad or no solvency evidence. If you have a theoretical objection to the counterplan, make it compelling, have an interpretation, and win offense. Theoretical objections to the counterplan are fine, but I have a high threshold for these arguments unless there is a specific violation and interpretation that makes sense in the context of competitive demands in debate.
Disads – Yes and yes. A likely winning strategy in front of me usually involves going for a disadvantage to the affirmative and burying the case with quality arguments and evidence. Disadvantages should have specific links to the case and a coherent internal link story. It is your job to explain the causal chain of events that leads to the disadvantage. A disadvantage with no internal links is no disad.
Case Debate - Is a lost art. Most affirmatives are a hodgepodge of thrown together internal links and old impact evidence. Affirmatives are particularly bad at extending their affirmative and answering negative arguments. Especially new affirmatives. Negative teams should spend a substantial portion of the debate arguing why the affirmative case is problematic. Fewer and fewer teams invest any time in arguing the case, at the cost of a criticism or disadvantage that usually isn't worth reading in the first place. Time trade-offs are not nearly as valuable as quality indictments of the 1AC. Spend those three minutes answering the advantages and solvency and don't read that third criticism or fourth disadvantage, it usually doesn't help you anyway. Inidict the 1AC evidence, make comparative claims about their evidence and your evidence, challenge the specificity or quality of the internal links.
Evidence - Qualifications, context, and data matter. You should answer the evidence read in the debate because I will read evidence at the end. One of the largest problems with paperless debate is the persistence of reading cards to answer cards when a simple argument about the context or quality of the evidence will do. It takes less time to answer a piece of terrible evidence with an analytic argument than it does to read a card against it. It is useless to throw good cards after bad.
Speaker Points - Are a reflection of the quality of speaking, arguments, and strategic choice made by debaters in the debate – no more, no less.
One final note - I have heard and seen some despicable things in debate in the past few years. Having a platform to espouse your ideas does not give you the right to make fun of other debaters' limitations, tell them to die, blame them for other's deaths, threaten them with violence (explicitly or implicitly), or generally be a horrible person. Debate as an activity was designed to cultivate a community of burgeoning intellectuals whose purpose is the pedagogical development of college students through a competitive and repetitive engagement of complex ideas. If you think that something you are about to say might cross the line from argument into personal attack or derogatory statement do not say it. If you decide to cross that line, it is my interpretation of the event that matters and I will walk out of your debate and assign you an immediate loss.
Hello, my name is Anisa and I debated for 2 years as an undergraduate at Florida State University. Currently, a master's student at Florida State University whose debate background was mainly in Parliamentary and Civic Debate.
As, I never competed in LD, spreading and faster speaking paces are not familiar to me. Simply, if I cannot hear your argument due to your pace, I won't count it nor remember it. Please, speak at a moderate pace so I can clearly hear your argument.
I want a respectful debate and when in cross please use your time effectively. Additionally, I love signposting as it helps me, as the judge to flow correctly.
If you have any questions, please let me know before rounds begin.
tell me how i should evaluate the round. tell me why you win if i choose to evaluate the round that way.
whatever style of debate you feel best doing: go for it. i usually flow by hand so please pop your tags.
keep it lovely. i take speaker points when debaters are mean.
copied from a former coach:
*I think 'previous debate experience' sections of judging philosophies are mostly for peculiar in group fronting and/or serve to reify fairly problematic norms of treating debate 'expertise' or whatever like a value neutral concept, so.
First and foremost to contextualize the rest of this paradigm: Debate is a game, nothing more nothing less.
I'm autistic and have been struggling to keep up with people at speed in online debate. Typically my audio processing is good enough to keep up but there is something about the additional audio noise from the computer or something thats made it difficult for me. Prioritize clarity please. Make it very clear where you're at and what you're doing. I've been doing just fine recently (I think I became accustomed to it) but it never hurts to disclose these sorts of things
About Me and Debate: I have been doing competitive debate in some capacity since 2007. In terms of reading me: Generally if I look confused, I am. If I am holding my hands in the air and staring at you that means I think you're making a brand spanking new argument in the NR or 2AR that I have no idea what existing argument to put it on. So if that's happening, please make sure I understand why this isn't new (so why its an extension of an existing arg or in the NR's case a response to an Aff arg). Reading your judge is a good skill to have. Ultimately I think the debaters are in charge of their own destiny and I’ll vote wherever/however you tell me I should. I like offense. I am willing to vote on defense, but I will be unhappy about it. There are exceptions to this rule, they are in the K aff section.
Good line by line argumentation is always awesome. Good analysis will beat just reading a card (a good card PLUS good analysis is even better). I prefer not to read cards after a round unless there is contention on what that cards actually says.
Speed: I am fine with speed, but (especially in this activity) clarity is KEY, if both your opponent and myself can understand then we're all good. I have judged too many rounds where debaters will try to go quickly not because they can do it clearly/efficiently, but because I'm fine with it so why not. That is a terrible reason to spread and I will dock speaks accordingly. Additionally please slow down on your theoretical positions, no one can write that fast. If I don't get all those sick T arguments you're making then my ballot will probably reflect it. Most important thing is everyone in the round understanding you, but don't be that person who says 'clear' just so slow someone down then go that speed yourself. No one should be winning rounds strictly because one person was much quicker than the other or because one debater can't understand the words another is saying.
I will say clear once, and that it all.
Ethos: For the most part, your ethos will only effect your speaker points and not whether or not you win the debate. Just because I think you're a jerk doesn't mean you're not a jerk who won. Though keep in mind that often the things that ruin your ethos ALSO lose you rounds (like assuming arguments are stupid and not explaining why or not finishing your argument because the implications are clear enough to you). I will usually let you know if you have done something that damaged your ethos.
There is another surefire way of damaging your speaks with me in the back of the room: I can get a bit angry when debaters I know are smart make stupid decisions.
General Theory: The voting issue "The NFA-LD rules say X" holds exactly no weight with me. I do not follow/enforce rules simply because they are rules. You should at least explain why that particular rule is good. In fact, if you wish for me to judge based on what the rules say, then I can. Please disregard the entirety of this paradigm, I am now a stock issues judge. If you want me to the follow the rules I will.
There are SO MANY other reasons T is an a priori issue and I never hear most of them.
Topicality: Topicality is my jam. It is quite possibly one of my favorite arguments in debate. I have fairly low threshold for voting on reasonability on marginally topical affs. I think debaters are the ones who set the realm of the topic. Tell me why your aff deserves to be topical. Tell me why your definition is the best one for this topic. Tell me about it. If your aff deserves to be considered topical, TELL ME WHY. For my negatives, remember to tell me why the Aff is taking the topic in the wrong direction. Make sure you think through your position and all of its implications. Make sure you tell me why this aff hurts you. Try to force them into showing their true colors. Run that DA you claim they will No Link out of, worst case is they don't make that argument but now you have a DA with a conceded link. My brain breaks when you refer to things as limits DAs or education DA. Say links.
Kritiks: The Kritik is a special animal, in my opinion. If you run the K like the NDT/CEDA people do I think you’re doing it wrong. In fact, there is a good chance you will lose the debate if you just pull an NDT/CEDA K out of some backfile and read it. Keep your implications tied to policy action and try to avoid flowery and long tags on evidence.View the K as if you are a lobbyist for X cause and you want to convince congress (me) to vote against a policy currently on the floor (the aff) due to a negative assumption that policy is making. Explain to me what happens when we keep making policies that make this bad assumption. Reject the Aff is a fine alt, just keep the above in mind. If you start reading a K and look at me and I look extremely annoyed, its probably because you aren't adapting to me. Not an auto loss, just a rough go. DO NOT RUN LINKS OF OMISSION. I am extremely partial to the 'we can't talk about all the things all of the time' argument.
To my Affs: Kritikal affs are my favorite thing. I think they're a lot of fun and are super educational. If your K aff doesn't have a plan text that is relevent to the rez you will never get my ballot, preferably it should be fiated but I have softened on this issue. Consider my position on the K in the paragraph above this one. There are plenty of excellent examples of this. Once I read a position that changed the definition of torture to include mental anguish as a form of torture as a staunch rejection of Cartesian Dualism. This both helped the people we're doing terrible things to in Gitmo and other places, but also began the break down of dualistic rhetoric in the government (and yes, my card did say that. It was a sick card). What I'm trying to stress here is that we are a policy making role play activity. To defend a position you do not believe in is to become more educated on that position.So I do not care if you 'like' the government or not.
However, to the negative against the K aff reading this. The above all being true. Please make arguments in round and actually debate. Your speaks are on the line.
Also debate is good and I like it. If you don't thats ok, theres tons of activities that surround us you can do instead. So I dont want to hear debate bad.
Please note all of my personal views on competitive equity and having fiated affs can be ignored if your opponent should not even be at the tournament. See: Is a predator.
Roles of the Ballot: The role of the ballot functions as a round framing and a focus. If you think that a particular minority group is underrepresented within the topic and you'd like the debate to be solely about their betterment, make THAT the role of the ballot. Use it as offense on that generic nonsense test the neg didn't bother to make more specific to your position. We can have the debate on whether or not that framework is a productive one. Hell, the neg can agree that you're right about that minority group and tailor their position to operate within it. And isn't that what we should all want, assuming we truly care for said minority group and the role of the ballot is not simply to box the neg out of all of their ground?
Speaker Point Assignment: My speaker point assignment system is mostly gut based to be perfectly honest with you, but there are a couple tips and tricks I can provide to get your 30. Ultimately the assignment is a combination of debate style, organization, ethos, and clarity of speech. A perfectly clear speaker with poor organization won't get a 30, but neither will an unclear speaker with perfect organization. In terms of priority, I suppose, it goes Clarity, Ethos, Organization, Style.
My Flow and You: I would describe myself as a good flow. If you have any experience that statement should ring a few alarm bells and I get that. I have trouble getting cites at times, especially if you're of the 'full citation' mentality where the author and the date are 20 seconds apart. To be honest I prefer people actually extending their positions instead of "Cross apply XY in ## " and it definitely helps with my flowing. If you're flying through things like theory or don't clearly enunciate your tags I will miss things and you may lose because of it. You have been warned.
Things I think are dumb/Pet Peeves: Disease extinction impacts, "The rules say so", State links, Kritiks without impact D, "99% of species that ever existed are now extinct" logical fallacies, the rest of the logical fallacies, Putting the burden of proof on the negating position, blatantly asking your opponent how they'd respond to a potential argument you may make in your next speech (like come on, have some nuance), caring about white nationalists and their feelings. "Just read my evidence" in cross ex.
You'd have thought living through a global pandemic would have put the kabosh on disease extinction impacts. It has not. :(
Other Thoughts: Debate is my favorite thing and happy rounds full of debaters who also love debate is my other favorite thing. Remember, THIS IS A GAME. As the great Abe Lincoln once said in a fictional movie "Be excellent to each other. And... PARTY ON, DUDES!"
History: This is my sixth year out from undergrad and my second year judging NFA-LD on the regular. 2 years of CEDA/NDT debating, 2 years of NFA-LD debating. High school; Congress and Mock Trial.
Dear Trans Debaters (and judges): Please feel free to approach me at any time over any medium for any reason. I am happy and honored to give any support you may need. Seriously, do not hesitate or think you are being a bother or a burden. You are important and deserve support.
NOW LETS TALK ABOUT DEBATE
New Thoughts: I feel in the last few years Ive gotten a better idea of where I lean on a few things.
In round: You should generally ignore faces I make, I make them a lot. The one thing you should not ignore is if I make a point to lean back in my chair, cross my arms, and frown at you. I am making it obvious that I am not flowing because you are either a)making a completely brand new argument when you shouldn't be b) repeating yourself or c)being offensive.
KRITIKS: Kritiks to me are about questioning and attacking the assumptions inherent in the 1AC and proving that those assumptions cause policy failure and/or significant harms. Note that this does not mean I think the K needs to solve for the case. In fact, most Kritiks that attempt to do so *usually* have terrible Alternatives. Your evidence probably turns case, takes out solvency, or outweighs on impact on its own. Your alternative should be well supported by your evidence. Reject Alts usually don't. I prefer Ks to be as focused on policy making as possible.I probably won't vote for Ks based on links of omission 99.99% of the time, they put an obscene burden on the aff.
COUNTERPLANS: Counterplans are great for education and fairness in debate. Topical counterplans are BEST for these things. If you run a counterplan, you should probably go for it because they take a lot of time to just not go for in an LD structured round. That said, if you somehow have another viable position, you should be able to kick the counterplan as long as you don't use the affs own answers to it against them ? Thats abusive and the one thing I will vote you down for regardless of how poorly the aff explains the abuse.
THE AFFIRMATIVE: I love both traditional policy affs and kritikal affs. K Affs should keep my K section in mind as it applies to them. You should be topical and you MUST specify an actor within the resolution. Technically its not impossible to get me to vote for an untopical aff, but you should be relevant enough to be able to pretend you're topical, and defending yourself as such, or at least that the educational importance of your aff justifies the deviation from the topic. But it needs to at least incorporate some core aspect of the topic, like bare minimum. If you aren't relevant enough to do that, you shouldn't be running this. If you're not heavily involved in the topic, and/or you are refusing to use the USFG, you are blocking your opponent out of the round. Switch side debate is vital for fairness and education and rejecting the USFG cuz its evil is firmly neg ground. This is a game. Without fair rules it devolves into madness and national tournaments where Affs win 90% of their rounds (lookin at you CEDA (yeah that actually happened)). Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, there is always radical lit discussing these issues within the topic, and that radical lit does not preclude USFG usage/topicality as much as everyone thinks it does.
Ultimately running the same thing every round is only robbing yourself of the educational value of switch side debate and learning about the system we are stuck in right now (valuable knowledge for a radical as well). If your opponent does not want to go for the arguments Ive stated preference for here, or doesn't actually win that debate I will still vote for you. It is very easy though to get me to vote on switch side debate good, fairness k2 debate survival. The fairly low number of statism/reject usfg affs does not justify my intervention on this matter, but I will definitely re-evaluate that position if it starts to crowd out topical traditional affs.
ROLE OF THE BALLOT: Roles of the ballot can be used as a great way to open up debate about priorities and whats important. They can also be used to box the neg out of their fair share of ground. The neg should be able to critic it's productiveness and/or work within it. Forcing the neg to run a counterproposal probably means I hate your FW/Role of the Ballot
TOPICALITY: The best way to get my ballot on topicality is a really good brightline and a really good argument on the lost ground and why you should have it. You MUST talk about fairness and education and the topic as a whole. Refer back to General Theory below. If you are going to run it, you should probably mean it.
GENERAL THEORY/PROCEDURALS: In order to vote for a theory/procedural and treat it as a voter I need a clear description of what they did wrong, a brightline/what they should have done instead, and why it matters. It should detail exactly why it is abusive, and how it effects fair/equitable ground and education in this round and debate as a whole. I am not against voting on potential abuse and in fact, you should probably have some examples of it in your impacts. HOWEVER, it is more of an uphill battle.
If all you say is "its abusive and a voter" with no abuse story and no impact on debate as a whole I will not consider it a voter and you couldn't convince me to vote for it even if they drop it. If you can't make a full procedural for whatever reason, don't be afraid to use the word abusive though. It could still make me more likely to drop the arg if you do it right.
Don't rely on the Da Rules. It will eventually come back to haunt you because the rulebook does not distribute ground fairly and is outdated (#sorrynotsorry). Its also a lazy non argument that doesn't develop your critical thinking skills and will lose you speaks.
FLOWING: My flowing capability is decent. I will write everything you say down, and will *probably* put it in the place you want me to, but you should *definitely* be clear about where that is just to be sure. I do not always (or often) catch citations (ya'll mumble them...I did too tho) so you probably shouldn't use just the cite and assume I know exactly which card you are referring to. Tags/Parts of the argument are preferable.
SPEED: I will understand most of what you say no matter how fast you go, but don't push my mediocre flowing to the brink ESPECIALLY if I am flowing on paper. I can only type/write so fast. If I can not understand you its probably an issue of clarity not speed. If I say CLEAR you need to CLEAR. If that requires you to slow down so be it.
You have the right to ask your opponent to slow down, but do not abuse this. I expect you to be able to keep up with above average conversing speed at bare minimum. If you ask someone to slow down, do not dare go any faster than that.
SPEAKS: There is not a very consistent speaker points range in this community. I am probably a bit of a fairy in this regards. Good oration skills will get you higher speaks. Good clear fast talk will get you higher speaks. Making it easy to flow will get you VERY good speaks. Best way to get good speaks is debate well and show you read this paradigm (or at least skimmed it).
Email Chain: email@example.com
Please include relevant information (tournament name, round, team codes, ect.) in the subject line and when naming speech docs.
I debated at Wichita East (2015-19) and Washburn University (2019-2021). I coached at Shawnee Heights (2019-2022). I don't coach anymore and rarely judge - I know nothing about the topic.
I don't have a strong preference on speed or argument style - debate using whatever speed and arguments you are most comfortable with and I will adapt to you.
I care a lot about disclosure.
New LD Judge.
Convince me that your value is 1. Vitally important 2. Feasible in real life application 3. Your contention needs to support your value
Convince me that the AFF's plan will not work, or that their argument for their value is weak. Clearly show me why your value is better.
This is a professional setting, be polite and professional.
Hello! I am Rebecca! I graduated from McKendree University (2017-2021) and debated all four years, mostly in Parliamentary Debate however I also did NFA-LD for two years on and off and have some limited speech experience (mostly extemp). As a debater I solely ran policy based arguments on the affirmative however I was more varied on the negative in terms of critical arguments however my experience is limited to mostly Marx, Nietzsche, Biopower, and some Thacker.
Advantages/Disadvantages: I love case debate, this was my bread and butter as a debater and am more than comfortable judging policy based rounds. I prefer these arguments to be set up as uniqueness, link, internal link, and impact however you do you in terms of how you want to set these arguments up. I am totally down for politics disads and love hyperspecific advantages and disadvantages to the topic.
Ks: I will be upfront and say I am not as comfortable in a critical debate as a policy debate, however I do not want to use this to discourage your teams from running these arguments, however I do need some top level thesis explanation of what the world of the K looks like versus the world of the affirmative (or if it is a K AFF what the world post-aff looks like) these will help me to better contextualize your arguments and how they interact with the rest of the debate. I am very comfortable with Marx or any critiques of capitalism but beyond this I am not aware of the literature.
Theory: In terms of topicality please run it, I need a clear interpretation, a violation, standards, and voters at the end of the debate in order to vote for it. Beyond that I am not a huge fan of spec but run it if you must, however be warned that I will not be happy if you go for it.
Framework: As it is my first year out I am not 100% sure on how I vote on framework vs K AFFs, however as I debater this is an argument I ran frequently and am familiar with the argument broadly. However the direction I vote in these debates varies debating on the strategy teams deploy and comes to a question of what the world looks like depending on if I vote for Framework or the AFF.
Speaker Points: 27-30, obviously don't be mean and do not say anything offensive.
Overall do you have fun, again this is slowly evolving and will likely change as the season goes on and I gain more experience judging.
I will give you 30 speaker points if you wish me Happy Birthday at the WKU Tournament
I judge multiple formats of debate, so I will try to provide a baseline for each of events. You can always reach out with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think LD's continual move to a poor version of 1 on 1 policy debate is probably not for the best, but we are where we are. If you want a traditional V/C framework, great. If you want to have a plan, that's fine too. My background is policy debate, so it's not that I'm unable to evaluate these arguments, it is that I find that there are too many tricks, RVIs, and barely warranted theory arguments that debaters want me to vote for. I will not vote for those arguments unless they have a clearly articulated interpretation, violation, standards, and a voting issue.
Really, I love debate, but I don't like blippy, unwarranted, "crafty" arguments. If your strategy is dependent on tricks or badly formulated theory arguments, strike me. Also, I won't vote on disclosure theory. I find I won't be offended.
I do believe the affirmative should affirm the resolution, but when you are negative you can do whatever you want that negates in whatever way that means to you.
Most importantly, have fun, say smart things, and I'll do the best to evaluate the debate you present to me.
Most important note: If it doesn't appear in summary, it won't be evaluated in final focus.
2nd important note: I prefer FULLY cut cards over paraphrasing. I find that too many cases are a series of citations without warrants. I'm a great judge for you if you cut cards that have warrants. I'm a less than great judge for you if you think stringing together 10-15 word "cards" makes a fully developed argument. Also, tag lines are your friend. All of your evidence should have a tagline.
Having said that, I think the rate of speaking should be moderate to moderately fast. I'm not sure what you are accomplishing in PF with anything faster. If your opponent asks you to slow down, you should make reasonable accommodations to that request. You can look to me to see whether or not I think the team making the request is being ridiculous.
The pro should feel free to affirm the resolution in whatever way you'd like as long as you are actively talking about the resolution.
If you only have defense in the debate, it will be difficult to win my ballot. For example, on the Medicare for All topic, the negative has to prove that the affirmative makes the world worse in a world where it were to become law.
Other than that, be sure to start narrowing the debate in summary. I prefer more line by line until the Final Focus, but I understand that many people will start weighing in summary. That's fine, but your summary should NOT just be weighing.
POLICY: I'm fairly old school when it comes to this event. I think the affirmative should probably be an example of the actual resolution, although kritikal affs are welcome. I was more of a DA/CP debater, so take that for what it is worth. On the negative, feel free to do whatever you want because I think that's the freedom you get being negative. On specific arguments:
Topicality: I don't think you have to prove abuse to win. You can just prove that they aren't topical. Whoever wins the interpretation controls the direction of this debate.
CP: I think everything is conditional, but I can be persuaded otherwise. You can run multiple Cps if you'd like. Have fun.
K: I think if you are running on the aff that it should still be a discussion of the topic. On the neg, I think you should indicate and make as many links to the affirmative as possible and make those known in the most meaningful way possible.
Besides the affirmative being topical even when kritikal, I'm not quite the dinosaur I may appear. You should have fun and make arguments and I'll do my best to evaluate them.
elijahjdsmith AT gmail.com
My General Thoughts on Debate
Debate is what you make it. I have an extensive history in circuit policy/ld and college policy debate. I care about education more than fairness, good cards over the quantity of positions, and quality arguments over the number of arguments in a debate.
An argument has a claim, warrant, and impact in a single speech.
The role of the affirmative is to affirm and the role of the negative is to negate the affirmative in an intellectually rigorous manner. However, I would personally like to hear the affirmative say we should do something. I would prefer to hear about an actor outside of the folks reading the 1AC (Nonprofits, governments, the debate community as a whole, etc) do something but that is not a requirement. Most of it sounds good to me.
Please don’t say racist, sexist, ableist things or things that otherwise participate in -isms . Sometimes these are learning moments. Sometimes these are losing moments.
If there was an accessibility, disclosure, or other request made before the debate that you plan to bring up in the debate please inform me before the debate. I would like to evaluate the debate with this information ahead of time. More personal issues/things that someone did last year are difficult for me to understand as relevant to my ballot.
I decide debates by figuring out 1. framing issue 2. offense 3. good defense 4. if the evidence is as good as you say it is 5. deciding which world /side would result in a better outcome (whatever that means for the debate in front of me)
These thoughts are fairly general yet firmly how I think about debate.
My RFDs have been less "little c, little d mattered to my ballot" and "let's talk about the conceptual, big-picture things that both sides missed that will help you win the next debate". If you want the small line-by-line issues to matter as much you have to give them weight in your final speech. That requires time, investment in explanation, and comparative claims.
Tricks, silly arguments, etc. Please skip. I haven't read your ethics phil but I've voted on it when it makes sense. 4+ off is grounds for a condo debate. K links require longer than 15 seconds to explain.
If you already know what evidence you are going to read in the debate/speech you have to send a document via email chain or provide the evidence on a google document that is shared with your opponents before the debate. Those cards have to be provided before the speech begins.
You don’t get unlimited prep time to ask for cards before prep time is used. A PF debate can’t take as long as a policy debate. You have 30 seconds to request and there are then 30 seconds to provide the evidence. If you can’t provide it within 30 seconds your prep will run until you do.
The Final Focus should actually be focused. You have to implicate your argument against every other argument in the debate. You can’t do that if you go for 3 or 4 different arguments.
Hey y’all, Nadya here, I’m glad that I’m getting the opportunity to judge you in this round! For the sake of a pre-round TL:DR-
I want my opinion to come into play as little as possible during the round. I would like to be told how to vote and why, by the end of the rebuttals I will almost always pick the easiest simplest route to ballot possible. You can do this through Impact Calc, Framing debates, link directionality claims, etc. I don’t particularly care what the debate ends up being about, topical or in total rejection of the resolution I’ll be fine either way. I am fairly familiar with Policy, Kritik, and theory debate, do what you want. I will give you the best possible feed back I am capable of at the end of the round. I am most familiar with NPDA and NFA-LD.
Some more specific things for when you have time to read more -
General Things -
- I find that people have gotten less interesting clear in their impact calculus as of late, I would like more explicit and clear articulations as to why I should care about what impact. Absent being given this context in a round I will default to probable over high magnitude impacts.
- My experience with debate, I was the Director of Debate at Lewis and Clark College for the last 5 years. Before that I competed in NPDA and NFA-LD for 5 years in college. I read a little bit of everything as a debater but had some particular favourites (Queer Pes, D&G, DeCol, Impact Turns)
- I have no problem voting on terminal defense if the round comes down to it, but I am always much more excited to get to actual vote offense in a round.
- I’m fine with you going fast if you want, its not really a huge problem so long as you aren’t weaponizing speed to exclude other people in the round go wild. I have a pretty low threshold needed to be met to vote on speed theory
- I don’t vote on disclosure, don’t take this as a challenge, I DO NOT VOTE ON DISCLOSURE, I do not care if its conceded, I do not care if you think you’ve got the version of the argument to get me to finally change, I will not vote for it under any circumstances.
- Please please please, read analytics, be smart, just saying an argument isn’t an argument because it doesn’t have a piece of evidence immediately attached to it doesn’t mean that an argument wasn’t made, as long as its explained an analytic is a perfectly valid argument and needs to treated as such.
- I like creative extensions of the aff, I like well structured overviews, and in general am always excited to see what weird new things you all come up with, so please show me what you’ve got, I love seeing the limits of what debate is capable of
- It’s something I never really thought to put but after judging with a few folks and some convos with other judges I think it bares stating, I don’t auto presume presumption flips aff just because a counter advocacy of some type is read, I believe that the negative always has the status quo as an option, you are welcome to make arguments to the contrary and I’ll happily listen but if I don’t vote for your presumption trigger it’s probably because you didn’t make the argument.
- Theory Specifics
- I will vote on theory read in basically any speech within reason, I think that if abuse happens in the 1NR than the 2AR has a right to read arguments about it happening, it doesn’t mean I will automatically vote on it, but I will at least flow and eval it.
- Some jurisdictional issues regarding theory. Theory is by default Apriori, you can always make the argument that it isn’t or that I should evaluate something else first. “This is an NFA-LD rule” is not a voter its a statement, the action of them breaking a rule has a result, that is your voter. Fairness and Education are bad voters, please contextualize them, what kind of fairness, education about what? Please make sure you have a clear interpretation, please please please make sure its clear, I will hold you to the interp you read out of the first speech it is read out of. I will default to competing interpretations as an eval mechanism unless told explicitly not too.
- - lighting round, Yes I’ll vote on 1AR theory, Condo is fine until it isn’t, Dispo is okay until it isn’t, Pics are good until they aren’t, Floating pics are great until they aren’t, CP theory is always a good option, I’ll vote on spec but I won’t be happy about it, Potential abuse is fine but proven abuse last forever.
- I am familiar with most common critical authorship that has been popular in the last decade or so. This includes; Cap of all flavours, Queerness stuff, Blackness lit, Decol and Set Col stuff, PoMo stuff like D&G, Ableism stuff, and a few fringe things. Feel free to read whatever kind of kritik you want to in front of me and I will evaluate it to the absolute best of my ability.
- I’m not super picky about how you read a kritik, but I do think that every kritik needs to functionally make three claims in order to function. First, a Kritik must make some kind of evaluative claim, what should my ballot focus on and what impacts should be prioritized. Second, a Kritik must have a link to the specific actions either advanced explicitly or methodologically endorsed by the aff plan. Third, there needs to be a clear and explicit alternative that has a clear solvency claim.
- If you want to read a K Aff go wild, I did it a lot when I was a debater, I am usually sympathetic to them and enjoy a good K Aff, that being said, I do still expect you to fill your time and be strategic. If you’re rejecting the topic wholesale fine, but tell me why, give me a reason why the topic should be abandoned. Make sure that you are advancing a clear methodology in your 1AC as well, I don’t so much care what that method is just make sure you stick to it, I find that I am exceptionally compelled by a a good contextualization or warranted analysis of the 1AC vs theory etc. out of the 1NC. A sneaky 1Ar/2AC restart will almost always net you high speaks in my book, its a hard thing to do well but if you can manage a tricky restart to the debate in the second aff speech I won’t shut up about it.
- Rapid Fire, Links of omission are bad and warrant link turns of omission please be specific on your link sheet, you can read a K and theory at the same time I find that I not super compelled by “you read theory which is a form of X violent practice so it links to your K” like if you want to go for the double turn go for it but like its not a strong arg, K and theory operate on different levels which I evaluate comes first is up to you and your opponent, floating pics are fun please read them strategically but make sure you can answer the theory sheet first.
- I am fine evaluating a good Case vs CP and DA combo. In fact a good DA/PIC combo is one of perhaps the most fun strategies that exists in the negative tool box. I am fine with any sort of case argument. I will vote on terminal defense, the sqo is neg ground and if the aff can’t solve than the aff doesn’t change the sqo, so I vote negative. I am not happy to vote on terminal defense, but as they say, the status quo is always an option I guess.
- I find that too often people read uniqueness args at each other but never think about the way those arguments actually interact with each other. I think that the best way to win a policy debate is to win the uniqueness level. Who cares if the aff solves an impact if the sqo already solved it right? I think that too often we focus on impact debate and link debate and forgo some of the fundamentally important arguments that are needed to win these claims. If you’re reading this now, take it as a reminder, when was the last time you updated your 1AC uniqueness? Cutting updates should happen before every tournament, don’t let yourself lose because you didn’t stay on top of your research.
- Straight Case is perhaps the best thing a 1NC can read, if you read straight case in front of me you will almost certainly net 30 speaks no questions asked. I’ve almost never not voted on this strategy, just case defense and impact turns or link turns is such a compelling strategy and as you’ll find out, a lot of people are a lot less ready to actually defend their case than you may think.
Some last minute fun things -
- Try to have fun, I love voting on goofy stuff and am fine to have a good time. The only argument that has a 100% win rate in front of me is Wipe Out so like who cares what I think anyway right?
Search Judge Paradigms:
Please include me on the email chain at email@example.com. Feel free to ask questions always.
I competed for Barbe High School, McNeese State University and Western Kentucky University. I competed in IEs in both high school and college. I debated L-D and policy in high school on the local, Louisiana circuit. I also competed nationally in college in IE’s, Parli, NFA L-D policy and some CEDA/NDT. I have judged in Louisiana and around the region for the last 15 years.
TLDR: I was a policymaking type debater. Weighing net-benefits is what I am most familiar with. I try to be as “tab” as possible and will evaluate any argument. It needs to be well warranted, well impacted and well weighed against the rest of arguments in the round. You might need to do slightly more work fleshing out newer forms of argumentation with me, but I will vote on them if I feel like you are winning them.
I am self-professed “lazy” judge. I want to feel like I am doing the least intervening possible at the end of the round. I would love for you to tell me which arguments are important enough for me to vote on, what their comparative impacts are and why you are winning those arguments. I appreciate you telling me how I should sign my ballot.
I am still somewhat old school around paperless debating- it just wasn’t a thing yet when I was competing or judging the first go around. I use e-mailed/flashed evidence mostly for reading internal warrants. I will use this to follow along the speech, however I’m not a fan of reading speech docs/blocks in a vacuum. Signposting and clear organizational structure are important for me and I tend to award higher speaker points for them.
K/Kritikal Aff- I have a pretty good familiarity with critical theory/thought. I am probably less familiar with the intricacies of Kritik debate theory. You would probably be helping yourself out with me to spend a bit more time on setting up your framework and giving really clear impact stories. Explicit arguments about “how we win” or “the role of the ballot” would help me better understand how/why to vote for you on these types of positions. This is especially true if there are situations like perms put on the alternative. I want to know why the alternative alone solves best on its face, in addition to any theoretical objections to the perm. I also appreciate clear pre-fiat/post-fiat analysis. If the impact is post-fiat (“turns case”) and the alternative is pre-fiat (“discourse/radical space/etc”) I want you to tell me how to navigate the multiple levels of your advocacy.
T/Procedurals- I tend to have a slightly lower threshold on procedurals. I do not need an iron clad in-round abuse story necessarily. I will evaluate these more often than many.
I tend to vote on framework first. That is just how I was taught. But with more progressive styles I will evaluate framework in light of case advantages/disadvantages. As with the Kritik info above, you may need to do a little more hand holding with me around the alternative and/or role of the ballot. I tend to prefer crystallization at the end of the round with clear impact analysis and tend to give higher speaks to those that show good round vision and can ‘boil down’ the round effectively.
I’m comfortable with the newer trend of giving an explicit framework at the top of case. If you don’t give me one then I’ll default to something like policymaking/comparative advantages. I tend to appreciate probability over magnitude in PF because of the lack of depth of evidence. Things that are intuitive and make sense on their face seem like a more natural fit to this style of debate. I will evaluate anything that is argued in front of me, though. It needs to be well warranted, well extended (including extending the warrants), well impacted and well leveraged against the other argumentation in the round for it to be most persuasive. I like final focus speeches that crystallize the round for me and give me good impact analysis. Feel free to take the ballot out my hands by telling me what arguments are most important, how they function in the round and why you are winning on them.
I tend to think about most IEs in terms of argumentation. This is more obvious for events like Extemp, Impromptu and Original Oratory. But even interp events use a text to craft a narrative with a unique point of view for each competitor. I usually evaluate IE’s on the clarity of your thesis (argument) and then how well you do at expressing/supporting it (advocacy). The more you can distill down an idea into its clearest form and then use multiple rhetorical tools to express it, the better chance you will have of getting higher ranks and higher speaks from me. FYI I’m a big fan of variety as a rhetorical tool (fast and slow rate, loud and soft volume, high and low intonation, etc). These tend to keep me more engaged in the speech/performance and tend to make me trust you more as a speaker/performer.
TL;DR I have some experience and am a progressive judge, so you can do whatever as long as you make sure you explain things and have warrants. The best way to get my ballot is generating lots of offense and doing good weighing / impact comparison. If you're looking at this right before a round trying to decide on your strategy, run whatever you want.
-3 years Parli at Ashland HS (Oregon); broke at TOC my senior year
-4 years NFA LD (basically solo policy) at Lewis & Clark; 2022 National Champion
-3 years as head coach at Catlin Gabel HS
-Well over 100 rounds judged; 36-5 on the winning side when judging on elim panels.
Main Judging Philosophy:
Progressive/Flow judge. I vote on the flow and will vote for you if you win. Do that however you want; just make sure you sufficiently explain your arguments so they are actual arguments rather than claims with no warrants.
Please collapse in your final speeches! It makes things so much cleaner, and if you give me a clear path to the ballot instead of trying to messily go for everything, it will only help you. Same for weighing: if you weigh your impacts things will be so much cleaner and easier for me to vote for you.
Ks are fine on the aff or neg. Framework is fine. T is fine. Theory is fine. DAs and CPs are fine. Tricks are fine. It's all fine just make the arguments you want to make.
Speed is fine. I'd like to be on the email chain or file sharing if applicable. For Parli, please slow down on tags and important texts (e.g., plan texts, topicality interps, etc.)
Disclaimer: if you say anything blatantly racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic or generally bigoted I will give you zero speaker points and you will lose. Just be nice please.
Note that I do not always flow author names, so when extending cards, please give me the tagline or reference what the card actually says rather than just saying "extend Smith 21." I don't want to have to look for it in the doc.
Happy to answer detailed questions before the round! Just trying to keep this short.
Last Edited for 2022 NSDA
I did speech in high school at local tournaments and competed nationally in college. I made it to finals in Impromptu 2x and Extemporaneous Speaking 1x. I also competed in After Dinner Speaking, Prose Interpretation, Persuasive Speaking, Rhetorical Criticism, and Informative Speaking.
I care about arguments and refutation. Your delivery should have varied tonalities and emphasis. Intros do not make your point about the legislation any stronger. SIGNPOST, tell me the tags of your args before you do it, or tell me to expect refutation. I care about quality evidence that strengthens your points, do not claim causality when your evidence does not either.
If you're a PO, I expect you to run a tight ship.
firstname.lastname@example.org Put me on the email chain or on the speech drop!
My paradigm used to be long and extra, I've lost a lot of these opinions.
Background: I did LD at Cy-Fair High School in Houston, TX for 4 years (2014-2018). I did TFA 4x, TOC x2, UIL x2, and broke at every bid tournament attended except 1. I got 5 career bids and 3 bid rounds. I graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2022 as the National Forensics Association Runner Up and Second Speaker.
I don't think any judge is truly tabula rasa, but I do my best to not push a certain form of debate. I'm comfortable with LARP, T/theory, framework, and some K debate. Don't be a jerk or offensive. Make sure you pause in between arguments or signal transitions. Signpost and extend your arguments. Frame theory for me.
I'm not the best flower. Analytics need to be slower and have pauses in between them and flashing them would do me good if you don't want to slow down on them.
If you are reading something of a sensitive nature, please give a trigger warning to the room. I have triggers and you don't know if your opponent/ any audience member does too. A trigger warning should be delivered as “I’m reading arguments about X, is everyone okay/comfortable with that?” If someone is not comfortable with arguments of that nature, you must read something else.
//Don't Be Offensive\\
Please do not say things offensive – racism good won’t persuade me, and if you get called out for saying something morally reprehensible, you’re likely to lose. I reserve the right to give the lowest speaks tab will let me and drop debaters for this.
I like it. If you don't like it, explain why your arguments come first. If you are collapsing to it, I want an overview of what you think is necessary for me to vote for you. EX "Competing interps is conceded which means all I need is to win a risk of offense on the shell and you negate." If not contested, I default competing interps, drop the debater, semantics before pragmatics, and fairness and education are voters.
I like innovative arguments as well - I often read theory shells in the bottom of my affs and I need an extension of the interp, a standard, and voter to vote on something conceded.
I think disclosure is good and I think people should disclose first and last three words of positions read, except those that involve personal narratives. Debates that are about disclosure practices that go above and beyond first and last three are fine but are not as egregious.
I don't mind tricks debates. But I'm not the best flower which means I need you to slow down through heavy tricks analytics.
K's are fun, but using buzzwords with no explanation means you aren't saying anything. Please read arguments you understand and can explain. I place the burden on you to explain what your literature talks about.
I like non-T K affs but most don't have a good defense against framework.
I love framework, but I don't assume I know what you're talking about. Explain each step and what the syllogism means.
*If you are reading an analytic framework, PLEASE number the steps and subpoints, rather than blocks of text. I have difficulty flowing a block of text.*
**You should also have verbal separations from the steps and subpoints**
Please say "and" or "next" or do something whenever ending a card and starting a new tag.
I will say clear, slow, or loud as many times as needed at no punishment to the debater as long as there is a change in clarity, pace, and volume.
I base speaks off of arguments and strategy and view the round as a way for you to prove to me how you should do. The below list is how I approach speaks and they're adjusted for the type of tournament and competition.
30 - should be able to beat all of the competitors
29.5 - should be able to beat most of the competitors and be in late elims
29 - should be able to get a positive record and break
28.5 - likely to get a positive record and high speaks
28 - should have a close or even record
27.5 - showed improvement is necessary, struggled to make strategic decisions likely to win a couple of rounds
27 - showed a lack of understanding of concepts or made very poor strategic decisions.
anything below that means something egregious happened - ie 6 shells in the 1ar and trying to go for all of them in the 2ar or being racist, sexist, ableist....
Affiliation: Graduate Assistant @ Western Kentucky University
My primary role as your judge is to ensure that everyone has a safe and educational experience. I will not hesitate to drop any debater or team that creates an unsafe environment for others. Outside of that, have fun y'all!
As for experience, I did debate in Kansas for 6 years where I read traditional policy arguments. However, since leaving the activity for a couple years and coming back, I am more familiar with critical literature than I was while competing.
Overall, I view debates through the lens of comparative advantages; put simply, you win if the world you are advocating for is better than the other team's. Tell me what your best arguments are and why they mean you should get the ballot.
Framework/Affirmative Kritiks: I never read affirmative kritiks while competing, so teams that read them in front of me may need to do a little bit more explaining so I better grasp your education model and arguments. I like topicality/framework debates because they display analytical skills of speakers; debaters who go beyond my expectations will get high speaks.
Disadvantages: Affirmatives should read offense against disadvantages. Negatives should apply the disadvantage to the case debate. Impact turn debates are fun for me.
Counterplans: The best 1NC's have case specific counterplans. I like "off the cuff" counterplans, like PICs, so I don't really need a solvency advocate. As for theory, I err negative on most arguments but I still can be convinced to vote aff on extremely abusive counterplans. The best 2AC responses involve add-ons/new offense. Unless there is a reason otherwise, I view counterplans through the lens of sufficiency.
Negative Kritiks: I like negative teams that can adequately explain how their alternative resolves all of the links to the criticism. I like affirmative teams that effectively weigh the impacts of the 1AC against the K
Case debate: Negatives should engage with the scholarship of the 1AC. While generic impact defense is important, it does not suffice as a strategy. Affirmative teams should utilize their 1AC in the 2AC/1AR to hedge against offensive negative arguments.
Conditionality: I generally think that hard debate is good debate and that affirmatives teams should be able to defend the 1AC from all angles
Speaks: Speaks do not explicitly come from logos; I view ethos and pathos as equally important when evaluating overall performance. My speaks range from 27-30, with 28.5 as the median.