Hoosier Invitational Tournament 2023
2023 — Bloomington, IN/US
Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hey y'all. My name is James Allan. My email is email@example.com if there's anything here that's not clear. Please put me on the email chain.
The 2022 Cougar Classic will be my first tournament judging on the water topic. Please assume I have literally zero knowledge of the major pieces of legislation, regulatory schemes, or general issues with the US' water supply.
4 years at Lakeland Central School District, 4 years at Binghamton University, 2 years of grad fellowship at Baylor University, 1 year coaching Desert Vista, first year coaching for the University of Houston.
I received a first round at large bid to the NDT my senior year, the first in binghamton university history.
Previously coached at/conflicted with: Lakeland, Binghamton University, McQueen, various ADL debaters, Baylor University, Desert Vista, University of Houston.
how i make decisions
i flow on paper, it helps me retain more information. it is in your best interest to go at about 85% of what others would consider "top speed" in front of me so i can write down more warrants, examples and analysis for your argument.
i don't look at cards during or after debate unless there is an interesting debate about how i should interpret or read specific pieces of evidence.
i like judge instruction, i like well engaged framework debates that tell me how to view how the debate is going down, i like rebuttals that start with "vote (aff/neg) to (explanation of what the aff/neg ballot does/means/signifies) which solves these impacts. these impacts outweigh and turn my opponents' impacts because..." you catch my drift.
i determine the competing thesis-level/key/framing/whatever-you-want-to-call-it questions presented and determine which team sufficiently answered theirs/their opponents' framing questions and work backwards from there.
i generally give more weight to dropped arguments if the impact to the argument is adequately contextualized (you can say i lean towards tech over truth but it's debatable obviously).
randomly how i feel about different arguments
k aff v. framework: debate is cool because you get to actively debate about the rules
i am indifferent about framework as a strategy to negate affs that don't hypothetically defend a topical plan text. in my mind, if negatives don't successfully insulate the framework page from case offense (win a convincing "framework comes first" arg, in other words) or use standards to turn the aff method or impact, i very rarely vote negative in those debates. i like standards that defend the topic, not just topical debate in the abstract. i am pretty sympathetic to the very simple argument "don't maintain fairness, if fair debate produces X bad thing". both teams should point out that the other team is grossly misrepresenting how their model of debate actually doesn't go down the way it is described.
k aff v. k neg: debate is cool because you get to test different explanations of how power is distributed and how it operates
presumption is an underutilized neg argument in these debates and too easily dismissed by affs. how does competition function and why should i care/not care about it? what is your theory of power and how does it differ/overlap with your opponents'? explain, analyze and develop in your constructives but you should be crystallizing your big dense words for me in your rebuttals in terms of impacts and impact comparison. what is your method/theoretical approach/critical approach/alternative and how should i think about "solvency".
policy aff v. policy neg: debate is cool because even seemingly hyperbolic and contrived internal link chains teach the participants about logic processing and decision-making
show me unique, topic research that is specific and interesting. i have a low threshold for rejecting process/consult/sunsets/other weird cp's on a theoretical basis. low threshold for voting on presumption, with smart, warranted analytical arguments even without cards. i like politics disads. i don't like cp's that randomly first strike asian countries. i like T.
policy aff v. k neg: debate is cool because forms of rhetoric and knowledge employed by the debaters is up for debate.
neg teams usually win debates by impact turning the education/worldview/representations/justifications introduced by the affirmative (framework) or by winning that the plan emboldens/worsens/justifies the impact/social system that outweighs and turns the affirmative. i very much make sense of the world of policy aff v. k neg debates in terms of pre/post fiat debates. policy affs should be ready and willing to defend the scholarly underpinnings of their affirmative. i am very susceptible to aff tricks (util, negative state action link turns, alt solvency presses). i am very susceptible to neg tricks (floating pik, framework turns, epistemology indicts, serial policy failure). judge instruction is a necessity in these debates.
random list of great debate minds i have learned from, competed against, was judged by, worked with:
(basically who shaped the way i think about debate to give you a better insight into how i make decisions)
Amber Kelsie, Vida Chiri, Tj Buttgereit, Jeff Yan, Geoff Lundeen, Ben Hagwood, Stefan Bauschard, Carlos Astacio, Willie Johnson, Kevin Clarke, Jesse Smith, Reed Van Schenk, Brianna Thomas, Michael Harrington, Jacob Hegna.
I really like debate
this is my tenth year in the activity and i love participating and learning and teaching in every individual debate. what i am now realizing from the grad student side of things is how much the community is dependent on unrecognized and uncompensated labor from grad students, mostly feminized bodies, people of color, black people and disabled people. be nice to grad students, we are trying our best lmao
I. Biographical Information:
I am in the second year of a doctoral program in Communication and Rhetoric at the University of Pittsburgh. I helped coach at Kansas State University for two years while earning an MA. I debated for 5 years at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
II. The Big Picture
First, this is a competitive academic activity and I expect the evidence you introduce into the debate to meet a certain level of intellectual rigor. This does not mean that every piece of evidence needs to be from a peer-reviewed source (although it is often preferable) but it should contain a coherent argument (i.e. claim and warrant). Hint: one line cards rarely (read: never) meet this standard.
Second, quality always trumps quantity. The “strategic” decision to read a bunch of cards that either come from questionable sources or fail to make a coherent argument will never beat one well-warranted card. This shouldn’t be controversial yet somehow debate has conditioned otherwise intelligent people to think otherwise.
Third, question your opponent’s sources. This is a quick way to get favorable speaker points from me. Do your opponent a favor and tell them that their sources are unqualified. Do me a favor and explain why I should disregard certain pieces of evidence because they aren’t academically credible and unfit for this academic community. Bottom line: read unqualified/bad evidence at your own risk.
Paperless Information: Prep time stops when you pull the flash drive/send the email. If you are doing an email chain then you should include me in it (my email is aallsup[at]gmail.com).
Good Speaker Points 101:
- Make an complete argument (claim, warrant, and impact).
- Clarity: If I cant hear/understand your argument I will not flow/evaluate it
- “Extinction” or “Nuclear War” is not a tag. Tags include claims AND warrants
- Author name extensions are insufficient. Don’t do it. Make an argument and use the evidence to support it
- Cross-X is a speech and it will factor heavily in speaker point distribution. I reward good questions and responses.
- Get to the point: focus on the core issues of the debate
III. Argument Specific:
First, I am not the judge for you to stake the round on arbitrary interpretations. You need to be able to defend that your interpretation presents a useful norm that should be universalized within debate. That being said, I default to competing interpretations but have a decently low thresholds for critiques of topicality/theory when interpretations are wholly arbitrary.
Second, if you want to win a critique of topicality/theory you must prove that the exclusion of the affirmative is worse than the negatives ability to expect a fair, limited, or predictable debate.
Third, I tend to side with the idea that conditionality is a beneficial and educational tool in debate. The affirmative will have to win a decisive and tangible impact in order to get me to vote against conditionality. That being said, there is a point at which conditionality can be abused and that abuse trades off with good scholarship. I’m not the person to read nine conditional advocacies in front of. At a certain point there is an inverse relationship between number of advocacies and good arguments that demeans the purpose of engaging each other in this competitive academic forum.
Fourth, you can read your agent/actor counter plans and I will evaluate them fairly but I certainly will not be happy about it. My belief is that the negative should only be allowed to fiat the agent of the resolution. I don’t think competition based on the “certainty” of the plan is productive or interesting.
Fifth, my default is that most theory is a reason to reject the argument and not the team. If you think you can win a reason to reject the team then go for it. I guess we will find out what happens.
Counterplans: I’m not a fan of conditions/consultation counterplans. I think they should be both textually and functionally competitive. The negative should only be allowed to fiat the agent of the resolution. If you’re affirmative, don’t be afraid to go for theory. However, as mentioned before, I often find theory to be a reason to reject the argument not the team. As a former 2a I am not even in the ballpark when it comes to word pics/floating pics. Reading it as a critique solves your pedagogical net benefit. QED.
Disadvantages: Higher risk almost always beats a higher magnitude. You should always make disad turns the case arguments. You must provide some sort of impact calculation in order to have me interpret your strategy favorably.
First, the story has to match. Please don’t make me listen to a scenario that doesn’t have matching parts. If the uniqueness and link evidence don’t assume the same politician/group of politicians then you lose.
Second, explain the implication of core defensive arguments. If Obama has no political capital or if the negative is missing a crucial internal link then you need to explain how that affects everything else they are saying.
Third, surprisingly I find myself enjoying politics debates more and more. Don’t hesitate to go for it when I’m judging. Just be smart about it – put your logical-analytic skills to work and make the debate worth listening to.
Critical Affirmatives and Framework:
First, I don’t think framework is a voting issue. Framework is a means by which I determine how to evaluate the round.
Second, topicality is absolutely essential to winning a framework debate when you’re negative.
Third, you need to prove that your interpretation can offer the possibility for the same education as the affirmative has provided to emerge. The best way to do this is to offer a topical version of the 1ac. Another way to do this is provide other topical examples that produce the same pedagogical effect as the 1ac.
Fourth, you also need to prove some competitive reason why the negative has been disadvantaged by the affirmative. More importantly, you need to prove why this violation of competitive equity impacts or implicates their education impacts.
First, the worst thing you can do is read a critique that you have little-to-no knowledge about or practice debating. Critiques are hard to win. I loved debating them. They’re all I debated. However, my experience has led me to conclude that I should have a high standard for those who wish to read critical arguments. It’s better for you (because you learn more about an absolutely fascinating literature base) and it’s better for me (because I don’t have to listen to bad scholarship).
Second, framework against the negative critique is rarely a winning strategy. Reading a bunch of cards is rarely a good strategy. Find the 2 or 3 crucial issues you need to win and win them with good arguments. For example, instead of telling the negative they need to provide a policy option, why not just win that policymaking is the best way to solve the impact to the critique?
Maggie Berthiaume Woodward Academy
Current Coach — Woodward Academy (2011-present)
Former Coach — Lexington High School (2006-2008), Chattahoochee High School (2008-2011)
College Debater — Dartmouth College (2001-2005)
High School Debater — Blake (1997-2001)
firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains, please.
1. Please be nice. If you don't want to be kind to others (the other team, your partner, me, the novice flowing the debate in the back of the room), please don’t prefer me.
2. I'm a high school teacher and believe that debates should be something I could enthusiastically show to my students, their families, or my principal. What does that mean? If your high school teachers would find your presentation inappropriate, I am likely to as well.
3. Please be clear. I will call "clear" if I can't understand you, but debate is primarily a communication activity. Do your best to connect on meaningful arguments.
4. Conduct your own CX as much as possible. CX is an important time for judge impression formation, and if one partner does all asking and answering for the team, it is very difficult to evaluate both debaters. Certainly the partner not involved in CX can get involved in an emergency, but that should be brief and rare if both debaters want good points.
5. If you like to be trolly with your speech docs (read on paper to prevent sharing, remove analyticals, etc.), please don't. See "speech documents" below for a longer justification and explanation.
6. I am not willing or able to adjudicate issues that happened outside of the bounds of the debate itself — ex. previous debates, social media issues, etc.
7. In debates involving minors, I am a mandated reporter — as are all judges of debates involving minors!
8. I’ve coached and judged for a long time now, and the reason I keep doing it is that I think debate is valuable. Students who demonstrate that they appreciate the opportunity to debate and are passionate and excited about the issues they are discussing are a joy to watch — they give judges a reason to listen even when we’re sick or tired or judging the 5th debate of the day on the 4th weekend that month. Be that student!
9. "Maggie" (or "Ms. B." if you prefer), not "judge."
What does a good debate look like?
Everyone wants to judge “good debates.” To me, that means two excellently-prepared teams who clash on fundamental issues related to the policy presented by the affirmative. The best debates allow four students to demonstrate that they have researched a topic and know a lot about it — they are debates over issues that experts in the field would understand and appreciate. The worst debates involve obfuscation and tangents. Good debates usually come down to a small number of issues that are well-explained by both sides. The best final rebuttals have clearly explained ballot and a response to the best reason to vote for the opposing team.
I have not decided to implement the Shunta Jordan "no more than 5 off" rule, but I understand why she has it, and I agree with the sentiment. I'm not establishing a specific number, but I would like to encourage negative teams to read fully developed positions in the 1NC (with internal links and solvency advocates as needed). (Here's what she says: "There is no world where the Negative needs to read more than 5 off case arguments. SO if you say 6+, I'm only flowing 5 and you get to choose which you want me to flow.") If you're thinking "nbd, we'll just read the other four DAs on the case," I think you're missing the point. :) It's not about the specific number, it's about the depth of argument.
Do you read evidence?
Yes, in nearly every debate. I will certainly read evidence that is contested by both sides to resolve who is correct in their characterizations. The more you explain your evidence, the more likely I am to read it. For me, the team that tells the better story that seems to incorporate both sets of evidence will almost always win. This means that instead of reading yet another card, you should take the time to explain why the context of the evidence means that your position is better than that of the other team. This is particularly true in close uniqueness and case debates.
Do I have to be topical?
Yes. Affirmatives are certainly welcome to defend the resolution in interesting and creative ways, but that defense should be tied to a topical plan to ensure that both sides have the opportunity to prepare for a topic that is announced in advance. Affirmatives certainly do not need to “role play” or “pretend to be the USFG” to suggest that the USFG should change a policy, however.
I enjoy topicality debates more than the average judge as long as they are detailed and well-researched. Examples of this include “intelligence gathering” on Surveillance, “health care” on Social Services, and “economic engagement” on Latin America. Debaters who do a good job of describing what debates would look like under their interpretation (aff or neg) are likely to win. I've judged several "substantial" debates in recent years that I've greatly enjoyed.
Can I read [X ridiculous counterplan]?
If you have a solvency advocate, by all means. If not, consider a little longer. See: “what does as good debate look like?” above. Affs should not be afraid to go for theory against contrived counterplans that lack a solvency advocate. On the flip side, if the aff is reading non-intrinsic advantages, the "logical" counterplan or one that uses aff solvency evidence for the CP is much appreciated.
What about my generic kritik?
Topic or plan specific critiques are absolutely an important component of “excellently prepared teams who clash on fundamental issues.” Kritiks that can be read in every debate, regardless of the topic or affirmative plan, are usually not.
Given that the aff usually has specific solvency evidence, I think the neg needs to win that the aff makes things worse (not just “doesn’t solve” or “is a mask for X”). Neg – Please spend the time to make specific links to the aff — the best links are often not more evidence but examples from the 1AC or aff evidence.
What about offense/defense?
I do believe there is absolute defense and vote for it often.
Do you take prep for emailing/flashing?
Once the doc is saved, your prep time ends.
I have some questions about speech documents...
One speech document per speech (before the speech). Any additional cards added to the end of the speech should be sent out as soon as feasible.
Teams that remove analytical arguments like permutation texts, counter-interpretations, etc. from their speech documents before sending to the other team should be aware that they are also removing them from the version I will read at the end of the debate — this means that I will be unable to verify the wording of their arguments and will have to rely on the short-hand version on my flow. This rarely if ever benefits the team making those arguments.
Speech documents should be provided to the other team as the speech begins. The only exception to this is a team who debates entirely off paper. Teams should not use paper to circumvent norms of argument-sharing.
I will not consider any evidence that did not include a tag in the document provided to the other team.
I want to receive the speech docs, mcbonitto at gmail.com.
This year (2022-2023), I am working as a licensed psychologist in Seattle, WA, in a community health center providing low-cost/free integrated behavioral/mental healthcare to teenagers. I also judge occasionally at both the high school and college levels.
Prior to this year- For debate- I was an assistant coach, then the Assistant Director, and later Interim Director of Debate at Wichita State. Prior to that, I was an assistant coach at several high schools in Kansas, including Washburn Rural, Wichita East, and Kapaun. Not debate- I was an assistant clinical professor of education and psychology at Wichita State University. My academic work focuses primarily on psychological assessment.
I did policy debate in both high school and college, I graduated from Wichita State University in 2011. I have a wide background in debate arguments. I have debated and coached almost every style of argument. I firmly believe that you will do best in debate by reading what you are best at, and that is what I want to hear. I want this debate to be about you. I respect you, and I value your education in debate. I will try VERY hard to listen to anything you have to say and vote for whichever team did the better debating.
Across both high school and college, I have judged at least 3 tournaments a year since graduating undergrad 12 years ago. This year (2022-2023), I do not do topic work. The thing I find myself asking for more than anything else in decisions is fewer arguments and more focused explanations.
I have a full-time job outside of debate. I choose to stay involved with debate because it matters to me. I care about being a good judge and a good coach. I view myself as a constant learner, and I enjoy learning about and thinking about all sorts of debate arguments. If I don't know something in a debate, I will usually try to learn about it by the next time I see you.
I think participation in debate is important for all marginalized groups, and I believe in the importance of debate as a community of activists and a tool of empowerment. That being said, yes, I will still vote for your framework arguments, your T debates, your theory arguments, your CP's, or your disads (I really do want to hear what you're best at).
Don’t talk down to or threaten your partners or the other team. I spend more than most people in this activity in healthcare settings working with people with disabilities, many of whom are actively suicidal, depressed, and/or anxious. If you are someone who needs someone in your corner who has that experience during the tournament, I'm happy to try to be that person. If someone is visibly emotionally upset in a debate, before starting prep time, I will usually stop the debate to check in and may encourage a break. I care about people infinitely more than I care about who wins or loses. Also, I am likely not a good judge for final rebuttals that center around arguments that life has no value, death is good, or arguments that encourage suicide or are explicitly violent.
Speaker Points: Norms keep changing with points, and I'm trying to be attentive in giving points consistent with the community norms. I have been told that my points are both wildly too high and wildly too low at various points throughout the years I have been around judging debates. Know that I honestly am trying, and I do apologize if I mess it up. I don't memorize names well, so I am not good at knowing the points you are "supposed" to get. I base points on what I thought of that round and what I perceive to be the norms of that tournament.
Forfeits: Assuming that a tournament gives me the discretion and power to do so, if a person/team in a round that I am judging are clearly interested in and attempting to complete a debate, in the event of a forfeit for reasons that the team cannot control or otherwise make them unable to compete, I will give the round loss to the team that forfeits but will do my best to award fair speaker points to both teams.
Online Debate: For clarity's sake- Please try to slow down a bit and keep your cameras on if possible.
Email Chain: email@example.com
Education: PoliSci BA: IU ‘21; MPA: Policy Analysis/Public Finance: IU ’23
Debate Career: HS: N/A College: Novice/JV
Job: Financial Analyst – DFAS (DoD)
I am not actively coaching. I will read cards if I need to catch up on background knowledge, though I will work to view the round in the way it was debated.
Debaters do best when they do what they do best. Do that.
Debate’s Value – Debate’s Value comes from the process of debate (i.e., reading academic journals, learning how to effectively communicate various arguments/literature bases, traveling to universities across the country, etc.). Post-college your topic knowledge will fade, but the skills you develop, people you meet, and memories you create will enhance your career and enrich your personal life.
Communication – Debate, at its core, is a communication activity. Too often debaters hide themselves behind their laptops, flows, and slews of cards. The best debaters are those that can debate technically and actively engage with their opponents and judges.
Cx – Enthrall me in the drama of debate. Cx is the perfect time to flex your topic knowledge and rhetorical skills. Ask smart questions, give the best answers. Make me laugh, cry, and feel alive. It is heartbreaking to watch a team get a solid Cx concession and for it to die there.
Speaks – I reward topic/academic knowledge, smart/strategic choices, rhetorical prowess, and growth. Speaks are a combination of how technically clean the ballot was won and how effectively you communicated.
easonable sass, snark, or shade are fine. I am not a good judge for more hostile approaches, such as belittling opponents or interrupting opponents mid-speech.
Judge Role – I am an educator and adjudicator. I am evaluating arguments to determine who did the better debating based on in-round judge instructions.
Disparate line-by-line blips are frustrating and
(Ex. debates over quality or how evidence should be read, etc.). Typically, this means the card is explicitly flagged in the 2NR/2AR. I have limited time and don’t want to re-create the round from a slew of cards. No card docs please, I will ask where a card is if needed.
Post-Rounding – During the RFD, you have the right to my thought process in adjudicating the round, not my belittlement. If I feel that I am being post-rounded I reserve the right to immediately end the RFD and direct you to my email.
Post-RFD Qs – Please email me your post-RFD questions. The sooner the better
Flowing - Tech over truth, but if I don’t understand an argument coming out of the round then I can’t vote on it. By “coming out of the round”, I mean the way the 2NR/2AR articulates an argument that can be traced back across the flow. At the end of the round, I prefer to recall speeches through the flow, I only look at docs if needed.
debaters would benefit from slowing down 5-10% when reading tags, long blocks/overviews, making important analytics, and transitioning arguments/flows. I will “clear” you once or twice if needed.
– Give your speech structure (Ex. Verbal cues, speed changes, argument flagging). Force my hand – make it impossible for my flows to not look like yours.
Crystalized links are important; If I don't understand how the aff triggers the DA then I can't vote for it.
K – An invaluable tool in a debater’s toolbox to test the resolution, affirmative, and debate space. I am less familiar with these arguments/literature bases. Explain advocacies, alternatives, and terms of art. I am less inclined to vote for arguments that are unclear, shifty, utopian, or hide behind buzzwords.
K Aff – The aff should at least be germane to the resolution in some intelligible way
FW - Can be done well, usually frustrating
Big picture things to do:
1. Robust Model of Debate – How do you view debate? Why is that important/preferable?
2. Crystalize the ROB/ROJ – What is my role? What does the ballot do? Why does this matter?
3. Terminal Impacts – Fairness? Education? How does your model/ROB/ROJ resolve these?
Open debaters, slow down to 70% of your top speed when reading the
that you want me to flow in these rounds. Especially during the block/1AR. Too often people zoom down their analytics and I find myself struggling to keep up on the flow. If this is the case, you risk me flowing straight down. I will be frustrated.
My prior is that debate is an educational activity and a game, and that fairness and education are both terminal impacts.
Quality over quantity. Give me typing time. A “dropped” argument is only true if it was properly explained and flow-able in the first place. Theory debates frustrate me when the teams are just reading their blocks back and forth without clashing. If your standards, perms, reasons to prefer are un-flowable, I am increasingly likely to write “theory party”.
1. Clarity is key – technology leaves many failure points, and I may miss something. Be clear – especially in the final rebuttals.
2. If my camera is not on, I am not present and/or not ready to start the speech
3. Please locally record your speeches to ensure we have a copy in the event of tech failure
Yes, go ahead and put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
A lil bit about me:
I was a policy debater at Alpharetta High School for 2 years. I currently am in my second year of Policy debate at Samford University.
I will vote on pretty much anything I am open to all types of arguments from afro-pess to the ptx DA. I don't like to do extra work for you, actually i won't do extra work, if you want it on the flow make sure I know that. I think minimal judge intervention is good. I love a strong crossesx, and a solid speaking style, it will deff have some influence your cred with me. I like to see the use of solid analytics applied and incorperated into the debate and ANALYSIS of the cards not just a tag line. Overviews, are fantastic,i don't want a novel... but by the rebuttals I want a lot of clash and impact comparisons so I can see your arg of how all of the arguments interact with each other. The more your off case interact with aff and the more comparison you do is what turns an aight debater into a bomb asfk debater.
Topicality-- love - If your expecting to win a round on T, your entire 2NR better be Topicality... debate is about making choices, and you should constantly be evaluating the round and deciding the args you can win the round with and args you can loose the round because of and make A CHOICE!!
Kritiks: love them. You need to really be explaining. I feel as though I am pretty well versed in various types of literature. But make sure you are explaining your specific K and contextualing it to your opponents args.
FW: not hella sympathetic to FW, but you know do what you gotta do homie. If you can, I would run your aff on the neg instead of FW.
Novice Notes: (TBH so many novices don't do this... dont be one of them)
- Extend your aff, if you don't come out of the round winning some part of your case your doing something wrong
- KNOW YOUR EV= better crossex and better round (boosts speaks)
-flow, it's important to get that skill down now
-CX is a speech, have a purpose
-clarity over speed PLS
- time your shit
Hello reader, my name is Joel Brown (he/him/his)!
I competed in Policy and Parli on a very lay circuit in high school, and then I competed in Parli and LD in college at Chabot College and at the University of the Pacific. I was also an assistant Parli coach at Washington High School for a year. Altogether, I have a fair amount of experience with policy-style debate.
I try to be impartial about what arguments or strategies you choose to deploy in the round, but I do care that you deploy them well - provide warrants for your arguments, and provide clear decision calculus in the rebuttals. Specifically, don't just link your arguments to x impact, there needs to be an explicit weighing of the impacts in the round.
I'm able to keep up with spreading for the most part, but don't sacrifice clarity for speed as this often impacts your argument quality and consequently your speaker points too.
I'm game for theory debate, but I expect a clear abuse story outlined in the standards that relate to your impacts in the context of the round. I'm not predisposed to either proven or potential abuse threshold, as both have real impacts - hash out the threshold question in the round and then explain your abuse story from there.
Disad/Counterplan debates are also a great option - go with whatever you think fits the round best or what you're most comfortable with. All counterplans MUST be functionally mutually exclusive with the plan or else the perm is terminal defense that I will vote on as the easiest out in the round.
I also think case debate has become something of a lost art, meaning that you can win terminal defense in front of me so long as you frame it correctly and pair it with turns. When it comes to case debate, I won't automatically vote on a risk of offense if that offense is predicated on a claim with missing/dubious warrants.
I frequently ran kritiks as a competitor and I enjoy judging rounds where critical arguments are made on either side, but that doesn't mean I automatically know the lit base you're citing inside and out - my flow benefits from 1) slowing down when introducing your thesis and/or framework at the top 2) presenting a well-developed link story that indicts the specific actions of your opponents case 3) explaining how your alt solves the K per the framework. I am most familiar with critical arguments pertaining to capitalism, race, gender, colonialism, biopower, and the environment. I am less well-versed in other literature, but I can usually track a well-explained and cohesive thesis for the most part.
Round vision is key to wining in front of me - PLEASE COLLAPSE IN THE BLOCK/PMR OR ELSE IT BECOMES OBJECTIVELY DIFFICULT FOR ME TO VOTE FOR YOU. It is both easier and more compelling for me to vote for the team that identifies and collapses to a few points of key offense than for the team that keeps doing line-by-line in the rebuttals without providing coherent impact calculus.
Feel free to ask any further questions before the round!
Background: I competed in parli and a little policy in college and have been coaching debate (mainly Parli some dabbles in NFA-LD and policy) for almost 10 years.
Policy/CEDA and NFA-LD: I do not have speed over the internet. Go as fast as you want through your cards but please slow down for your tags/cites/analytics/per-written blocks. Yes I want to be in the speech drop or email chain ([first letter of my first name] L [first letter of my last name] 11 at stmarys-ca . edu) I flow on paper so I also need pen time. (I will call slow in prelims. I will NOT call slow in outrounds unless asked to)
Please give me judge instructions. I take forever to make decisions because there often a bunch of arguments that I don't know what to do with. I want to judge the round the way you want me to so please lay that out/tell me what I should evaluate first, which arguments matter, etc. The is especially important for K/performance debate.
Kritiks/K-affs/Performance debate Love all of it (even when I don't understand it)! My favorite kind of debate! K v K is especially awesome! That said, please assume I know nothing about your lit/authors/performance/etc. Alternatives need offense against the perm (I've voted for a lot really terrible perms because defense alone isn't strong enough)
Policy affs/DA/CP. It's cool, do your stuff. Please assume I know nothing about the topic.
T/Framework I'll vote on either way in policy v policy rounds, debate it out. In T/FW v K, the easiest way for the K to get ahead in front of me is impact turns. I'll almost always buy that the aff can use their case as offense/weigh against against the K. Beyond that, something has to go very wrong for me to vote on FW against the K. I'm much rather you went had offense against the K-aff/K than tried to argue why it's bad here. (Side note: the more I'm in academia the more I want alternate epistemologies/methodologies. That means good analytics can take out carded evidence in K debates for me).
The later in the day we are the worse my explanation of the RFD becomes.
Don't do/say racists/homophobic/transphobic/sexist/ableist/etc stuff or I reserve the right to vote you down.
Happy to answer any other questions.
Bakersfield High School class of 2017
Cal State Fullerton Class of 2021
2x NDT Qualifier
NDT Quarterfinalist - 2021
CEDA Semifinalist - 2021
Cal State Fullerton Assistant Debate Coach Fall 2021-Present
Peninsula Assistant Coach Fall 2023-Present
Previously Coached by: Lee Thach, LaToya Green, Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Max Bugrov, Anthony Joseph, Parker Coon, Joel Salcedo, John Gillespie and Travis Cochran
Debate Influences: Jonathan (Leo) Meza, Vontrez White, David Dosch, Danielle Dosch, Gordon Krauss, Curtis Ortega, Jay-Z Flores, Rayeed Rahman, Beau Larsen, Brayan Loayza, Oscar Rosas, Deven Cooper, Scott Wheeler, Taylor Brough, Amber Kelsie, Iggy Evans, Azja Butler, Cameron Ward.
If there is an email chain I would like to be on it: (if you could put both of these emails on the email chain)
College: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions feel free to email me
Dont call me judge I feel weird about it, feel free to call me Jared
I did four years of policy debate in high school mostly debating on a regional circuit and did not compete nationally till my junior and senior year, debated at Cal State Fullerton (2017-2021)
New for 2023-2024:
Fiscal Redistribution: 5
Nukes : 0
LD Total: 16
There is not much new this year, I spent the summer doing a bunch of research with what should be the Jan/Feb topic for LD working at TDI and working closely with CSUF on producing things for them.
I think i will find myself judging LD more and a lot of the LD-esque things like RVIs and Tricks to me are not a thing so not trying to hear those things in a debate.
But I have gotten increasingly frustrated with the lack of explanatory power in K debates where there is not a sufficient link argument. I wouldn't say that I have a high threshold for the link debate but I genuinely think that this is the one part of the K that you cannot screw up. If you do well you will probably lose.
If your 2AC/1AR strategy when you are reading a K aff is to say that only this debater matters then you shouldn't pref me. This is not to say i don't enjoy critical affirmatives but I think that the aff needs to provide a model of debate (Counter interpretation), a role of the negative, and an impact turn to the negatives standards, absent those things in the 1AR/2AR strategy it becomes difficult for the affirmative to win.
I have gotten increasingly irritated of Ks not making a specific link because most 1NC cards yall read are ok and most 2NCs don't know how to make a link arg, so I have been defaulting aff more on a link level vs the K
As I am a full year removed from debating I have increasingly voted for fw more and more often and for me its just because the 2AC doesn't have the best answers and 1ARs miss important pieces of offense that are difficult to come back from, and most of the ground and clash args to me have some of the time just became true.
K: Love the K, this is where i spent more of the time in my debate and now coaching career, I think I have an understanding of generally every K, in college, I mostly read Afro-Pessimism/Gillespie, but other areas of literature I am familiar with cap, cybernetics, baudrillard, psychoanalysis, Moten/Afro-Optimism, Afro-Futurism, arguments in queer and gender studies, whatever the K is I should have somewhat a basic understanding of it. I think that to sufficiently win the K, I often think that it is won and lost on the link debate, because smart 2Ns that rehiglight 1AC cards and use their link to impact turn of internal link turn the aff will 9/10 win my ballot. Most def uping your speaker points if you rehighlight the other teams cards.
For Critical Affirmatives: I like them, in college and in high school I have read them if you're going to read them though I need a clear understanding of the method that is the most important to me. I find that most K affs lose their method throughout the debate and most times I usually end up voting on presumption because I am not sure what the aff does. I think as ive gotten older this is really true and I really hate it when the aff doesn't have any tangible examples of what their method looks like to hang my hat on which is how i feel that alt/aff methods are won.
K affs VS Framework: I think that the aff in these debates always needs to have a role of the negative, because a lot of you K affs out their solve all of these things and its written really well but you say something most times that is non-controversal and that gets you in trouble which means its tough for you to win a fw debate when there is no role for the negative. In terms of like counter interp vs impact turn style of 2AC vs fw I dont really have a preference but i think you at some point need to have a decent counter interp to solve your impact turns to fw. If you go for the like w/m kind of business i think you can def win this but i think fw teams are prepared for this debate more than the impact turn debate
Plan Based Affirmatives: For teams in HS, some of you are not reading a different aff against K teams and I think you should, it puts you in a good place to beat the K, I have seen some teams do it on the water topic but for the most part you are just reading your big stick policy aff against K teams. I enjoy judging the heg good aff vs 7 off debate, policy aff you do you.
Framework: Yall need to go for what is the role of the negative (RotN) to me I think this is more persuasive than like any type of fairness argument because really RotN is the internal link to any impact argument you are going to make and it means that all of their offense that they are going to go for about their education being better and why your model is bad its all internal link turned by making the arg that they dont have a role for the negative so their revolutionary testing doesnt matter with out a RotN
DA: 1NR on disads have become card dumps and i hate it, explanation is better than just reading a ton of cards like yes read your uq cards on politics but use your link evidence to have a deep explanation of the link. The more specific the disad the better which is not to say i hate the politics disad brovero was my lab leader and drilled me on the ptx disad but I do enjoy the politics throwdown
CP: kind of the same notes for disads the more specific the better, planks are not conditional, condo most of the times is probably good, unless is like 4 or more
1. Clash of Civs are my favorite type of debates.
2. Counterplan should not have conditional planks -theory debates are good when people are not just reading blocks - that being said - theory cheap shots are not always persuasive to me but given they are warranted and isolate a clear violation then it means you probably win the debate
3. Who controls uniqueness - that come 1st
4. on T most times default to reasonability
5. Clash of Civs - (K vs FW) - These are fun debates, 2ACs need the standard meta DAs to policy making and policy debate of course counter interpretations and other specific offense vs their standards. FW teams yall always have these long overviews at the top of the 2NC which I do enjoy but yall need to do more work on the line by line in some of these debates because simply cross-applying from the overview does not answer the 2ACs args.
6. No plan no perm is not an argument
7. FW teams need a TVA - this is not necessary but affs need to have some type of framing question on the TVA
8. Speaker Points: I try to stay in the 28-29.9 range, better debate obviously better speaker points.
Ideal 2NR strategies
1. Topic K Generic
2. Politics Process CP
3. Impact Trun all advantages
4. PIC w/ internal net beneift
5. Topic T argument
I expect to be judging LD a lot more this year with working most of the stuff applies above, but quick pref check.
1 - Larp/K
2. K affs
4-5. I do not like tricks or Phil
Most times i listen to music while writing my RFD and its most likely Drake --- +.1 if you make a Drake reference in your speech.
Email chains: email@example.com
Coach at Mason (2016-Present)
If my camera is off, I am not ready. Please do not start your speech yet or I will likely miss things. Thanks!
Top Level Things:
Tech > truth (most of the time)
Depth > breadth
Strategic thinking/arg development/framing of args > 10 cards that say X
I won't take prep for flashing/emailing, just don't steal it.
If a paradigm is not provided for me to evaluate the round, I will default to util.
I don't keep track of speech time/prep. Please keep your own.
Unless I am told not to judge kick by the 2AR, I will default to judge-kicking the CP or alt (in open).
I won't vote on things that have occurred outside of the round (ie pre-round misdisclosure).
Do not include cards in the card doc if they were not referenced in the 2NR/2AR but they do answer arguments your opponents made in their speech. If you didn't make the arg, I'm not going to read the card.
2:15 judge time is the bane of my existence. I apologize in advance for going to decision time in nearly every open debate. I like being thorough.
Please. Please. Please. Start slow for the first 5 seconds of each speech. It is sometimes so hard to comprehend online debate, especially if you are even slightly unclear in person.
Make sure to occasionally check the screen when speaking to make sure we aren't frozen/showing you we can't hear you.
I am very understanding of inevitable online tech failures.
Main things I end up looking to cards for:
- To clarify questions I have about my flow based on arguments made in the 2NR/2AR.
- To compare the quality of evidence on well-debated arguments. If both teams have done a good job responding to warrants from opponent ev + explaining their own ev, I will look to evidence quality as a tie breaker for those arguments.
- To determine if I should discount a card entirely. If a card is bad, say that. I will then validate if the ev is bad, and if it just doesn't make arguments I will not evaluate it in my decision. If I'm not told a card is bad and the arg is dropped, I'll give the other team full weight of it regardless of ev quality to preserve 2NR/2AR arg choice on arguments dropped by the other team.
- I will NOT use evidence to create applications that were not made by debaters to answer the other team's arguments.
2021 update: I'm fine with unlimited condo. I am very unlikely to vote on condo but will if it is certainly won.
Other theory stuff:
If theory comes down to reasons that the specific CP is a voter, I view it as a reason to reject the arg and not the team. To be clear, I will not vote someone down for reading a certain type of CP or alt based on theory args alone. Independent CP theory args are highly dependent on whether there is quality evidence to substantiate the CP.
There can be 0 percent risk of a link.
Bad DAs can be beaten with analytics + an impact defense card.
Uniqueness isn't given enough credit in a lot of 2NRs/2ARs.
Link typically precedes uniqueness. You should do framing for these things.
DA turns case/case turns DA gets dropped A LOT. Try not to do that.
I miss judging politics debates.
Ks v Policy Affs:
I prefer line-by-line debates and very much dislike lengthy overviews and convoluted alt explanations. I will not make cross-applications for you.
I prefer Ks that have specific links to the topic or plan action significantly more than Ks that have state or omission links.
It is important for you to win root cause claims in relation to the specifics of the aff rather than sweeping generalizations about war. This is especially true when the aff has arguments about a certain countries' motives/geopolitical interests or reasons behind corporate/governmental actions.
Outside of something that was blatantly offensive, I believe that all language is contextual and words only mean as much as the meaning attached to them. Thus, args like "we didn't use it in that context" are convincing to me. I can be persuaded to vote them down, but I am going to be more biased the other way.
Some of the below section is also relevant for these debates.
K affs v Policy Team:
The aff should at minimum be tied to the resolution. Novices should read a plan during their first semester.
Honestly, I would just prefer to resolve a debate that is aff v. case defense + offense specific to the aff (reform CP w/ net benefit, etc) over framework. If you go for framework/if you're giving a 2AR v it, below are some random things I think about clash debates. This is not exhaustive, nor does it mean I will automatically vote on these arguments. I will vote for who I think wins the flow, but in close debates, these are my leanings:
- I dislike judging debates that solely come down to structural v procedural fairness. I find them nearly impossible to resolve without judge intervention.
- Fairness is an internal link. There are multiple impacts that come from it.
- K affs are inevitable and we should be able to effectively engage with them in ways other than fw/t when they are based in discussions of the resolution.
- Ground and stasis points in debate are important for testing and arg refinement.
- Arg refinement can still occur over the process of the aff even w/o a plan if it's in the area of the resolution. Everyone should have X topic reform good cards to answer these affs/go against the K.
- Being topical is not the end of debate.
- Affs that are directly bidirectional are not a good idea in front of me and T should be the 2NR.
- Creativity can exist with plan texts and is not precluded by defending one.
- Affs garnering solid offense from sequencing questions is one of the best ways to win my ballot in these debates.
- Debate itself is good. Gaming is good. W/L inevitable. The goal of a debate is to win.
K v K:
If you happen to find me here, give me very clear judge instruction.
They're arbitrary. I've given up trying to adapt to a scale but I do try to give speaks based on the division and tournament. Here's some important things to note:
- Confidence gets you a long way.
- If you prevent your opponent from answering in cross ex, that won't bode well for speaks and I will be annoyed.
- I will not give you a 30 because you ask for one. Though I will give birthday and Senior last tournament boosts.
- If I'm not flowing something, and you notice I am staring at you, you are being redundant and should move on.
Updates as of 2/04/21
Things to know off the top:
1) I am not persuaded by new affs bad theory arguments, and while I appreciate open source and disclosure those things are norms that are practiced by the community, not rights guaranteed by the activity.
2) I've been in the activity since 2006 and competed both in High School(UDL and nationally for Baltimore City College HS) and College (2 time NDT Octofinalist, 10th Place Speaker, 2015 CEDA Semifinalist) So I'm generally comfortable judging all styles of debate.
3) While old the information below is still mostly relevant. If you need me to clarify anything either shoot an email or ask before the round.
Online Debate Stuff: While I will try to do my best to listen and follow along with the round, if you insist on spreading, I would like it if you include analytics in the speech doc(I watch everything with subtitles. I've noticed slight audio processing/latency issues listening to people talk fast in the few online debates I have either watched or judged. If you choose not to do so, I will in no way hold it against you. But "YMMV" in terms of what I get on my flow ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Feel free to debate, just make it interesting although i specialized with critical scholarship I am familiar with the fundamentals of debate across styles . Don’t call me judge.
Speaking: General Clarity over speed paradigm that most people have, It's a good determinate of speaker points and important for effective communication.When you make an argument clearly I'm more likely to follow its development and depending on the how the round goes works well for you. Versus If i miss and important argument and it costs you the round and then you ask "what about x argument " then people are sad.
Style: Is also very important and i think that can become lost in debate rounds, although some people shoot arguments as if they are a machine they still have personalities that I believe should be shown in a debate round. If you are funny, show it, if you can make being "assertive" work more power to you, if you are a geek I'll probably get your references, and so on. Style is not mandatory and should come naturally, but if shown will definitely improve your speaker points.
Cross-X: Can be a very useful tool and can be both a fun and entertaining experience for me as a judge and a place for people to express some aspects of "style". Cross-X belongs to the person asking questions, so if it seems like someone isn't asking a question let them ramble it really isn't your concern. Of course there is a threshold that will become really clear, in that i'll probably stop paying attention and start finding something else interesting to pay attention to.
Evidence: Pieces of evidence are like a bullets to a gun. They can be devastating only when aimed properly, I think evidence is a tool to support your arguments and the way you articulate them. So if you extend evidence with little to no explanation to how it functions you are shooting blanks that can probably be easily refuted, evidence comparison is also really important in this regard as it allows you to control the framing of the debate which leads us into. . .
Macro-level issues and Framing: I think these are very important in both debate as they ultimately determine how i look at the flow(s) and situate who is controlling the direction of the debate. So if someone has an overview that contains an impact calculus,framework, "politics" or frontloads an argument on the flow and it doesn't get answered either directly or somewhere else on the flow then it becomes damming to the other team. This is even more essential in the last two speeches that ultimately determine how i should look at the round. Good framing also should happen on the line-by line as well and will also help me write the ballot.
Theory: As someone who's into competitive games I've grown to like theory a lot. It's probably something that should be argued in a CLEAR and COHERENT manner, which means you probably shouldn't speed through your condo bad and agent cp blocks as if you are reading cards, I'll vote on dropped theory arguments as long as there is a clear impact to it when extended. Otherwise it should be developed throughout the debate. General question that should be resolved in theory debate for me is "What does it mean?" i.e If you say best policy option, what does that mean in terms of what a policy option is and how does it work in terms of debate.
Topicality: Its very situational depending on the violation and how the definitions are played out. I think a lot of T interpretations can be contrived especially if they are not grounded in codified law or precedent. Interpretations that come from legal academics serve to help lawyers in the event in which they feel they must argue a certain interpretation in front of a particular judge and may not necessarily good for debate(although a certain level of spin and framing could connivence me otherwise). Topicality comes down to clash and ground, and is normally resolved by several questions for me; "Is there clash in round?" "What ground does BOTH sides have?" and "How does ground function to create educational debates?" I tend to have a very high threshold for fairness. Just because a K Aff makes a no link argument to you politics disad doesn't mean that its unfair, negative ground isn't something that is so clearly drawn out. I think there are better arguments that can be made in those situations. That being said I am very sympathetic to aft weighing their case against topicality and see k's of topicality as substantial arguments on the flow.
Just saying you are reasonability topical isn't an argument and makes their competing interpretation clams all the more legitimate. Like all things you have to make a warrant to why you are reasonably topical, may it be that you are germane to the resolution or that you still allow for alternative ways for the neg to engage the aft.
Counter Plans, PICs, and DA's: Not really a generic counterplan person, I think counter plans when researched properly and specific to the aff with a good net-benifit can become a good interesting debate that I would love to see. I don't really like silly PICs and think people can make very convincing, smart arguments about how stupid they are, but I'll still vote for them. It's question of how the counterplan competes with the aff and makes better room for theory arguments on the aff. I really don't like the politics DA and generally think the link arguments are contrived, strong attacks on the link story of the DA are very convincing and will probably help you on the CP debate.
"Perfomance": **http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_n1FHX3mBw** Just do your thing
K's: I would love seeing a good critique debate more than seeing a bad one that does surface level work. A good K debate includes specific links to the aff that go beyond " you do state action dats bad judge" or "you sed observation= ablest discourse" as it allows affs to use simple questions to make you links seem stupid and their framing arguments stronger. A strong defense of the alternative, and realistic impacts that are explained and benefit the neg. I really like K's that deal with politics and how we formulate political action and agency in relation to institutions or the State, a good framing of the alternative politics and how that politics can function through the debate round and the ballot is very. Smart questions and simplification of the alt/ K will probably allow to be more persuasive and stop the k from becoming the blob it normally becomes.
please put me on the chain! - firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Coach at Niles West
Argument Coach at Baylor University
5 years at Baylor
4 years at Caddo Magnet
wearing masks is good and should be done if you are not the one speaking.
In general i'm fine for you to do whatever you want to do. I've read and coached both policy and K things from variety of literature basis so do what you do best and I'm sure to enjoy it! Please don't be overly aggressive, rude, or dismissive of your opponents or speaker points will reflect it
Framework v K affs: More of an uphill battle given the arguments i predominately read and coached but fairness is an internal link to the integrity of debate which still requires you to win the value of maintaining debate as it currently exists. Clash is by far the most persuasive standard, TVA's don't need to solve the entire aff if there are framing arguments in place or additional tools such as switch side debate to deal with what it doesn't solve, examples of ground, either lost or enabled is helpful on both sides!
K: Links to the plan are nice but not necessary, Alts don't have to solve the link if they are able to avoid them and solve the aff. I do not think you need an alt to win a debate if you have the appropriate framing tools however I need instruction on what to do with offense related to the alternative in a world you are not extending it.
CPs: Comparison between deficits/net benefits is key, can be persuaded for or against "cheating" counterplans, solvency advocates are preferred but not needed if pulling lines from the aff.
DAs: Nothing incredibly innovative to say here! I enjoy internal link comparison, and speaker points will reflect great impact debateing
Theory: Condo is fine, argumentative tension is okay but can be convinced on contradictions being bad.
David Cram Helwich
University of Minnesota
27 years judging, 40-ish rounds each year
Quick version: Do what you do best and I will try to check my dispositions at the door.
Topic Thoughts: The topic lit base seems really shallow, "nearest person" is a tank, the "Terminator DA" is winning a surprising number of rounds, and I have yet to hear a good T debate. I have no strong thoughts on any T questions so far, and am increasingly worried about the aff.
Online Debate: It is "not great," better than I feared. I have judged quite a few online debates over the past 3 years. Debaters will benefit by slowing down a bit if that enhances their clarity, avoiding cross-talk, and actively embracing norms that minimize the amount of "null time" in debates--watch for speechdocs and download them right away, pay attention to the next speaker as they give the order, be efficient in getting your speechdoc attached and sent, etc.
Evidence: I believe that engaged research is one of the strongest benefits of policy debate, and that judging practices should incentivize such research. I am a bad judge for you if your evidence quality is marginal—sources, recency, and warrants/data offered. I reward teams who debate their opponent’s evidence, including source qualifications.
Delivery: I will provide prompts (if not on a panel) if I am having trouble flowing. I will not evaluate arguments that I could not originally flow.
Topicality: I vote on well-developed procedurals. I rarely vote on T cheap shots. T is not genocide—however, “exclusion” and similar impacts can be good reasons to prefer one interpretation over another. Debaters that focus interpretation debating on caselists (content and size), division of ground, and the types of literature we read, analyzed through fairness/education lenses, are more likely to get my ballot. I tend to have a high threshold for what counts as a “definition”—intent to define is important, whereas proximity-count “definitions” seem more valuable in setting the parameters of potential caselists than in grounding an interpretation of the topic.
Critical Arguments: I have read quite a bit of critical theory, and will not dismiss your argument just because it does not conform to ‘traditional’ notions of debate. However, you should not assume that I am necessarily familiar with your particular literature base. I value debating that applies theory to the ‘artifact’ of the 1AC (or 1NC, or topic, etc). The more specific and insightful the application of said theory, the more likely I am to vote for you. Explaining what it means to vote for you (role of the ballot) is vitally important, for both “policy” and “K” teams. Absent contrary guidance, I view ‘framework’ debates in the same frame as T—caselist size/content, division of ground, research focus.
Disadvantages/Risk: I typically assess the ‘intrinsic probability’ of the plan triggering a particular DA (or advantage) before assessing uniqueness questions. This means that link work is very important—uniqueness obviously implicates probability, but “risk of uniqueness” generally means “we have no link.” Impact assessments beyond shallow assertions (“ours is faster because I just said so”) are an easy pathway to my ballot, especially if you have strong evidentiary support
Theory: I will not evaluate theoretical objections that do not rise to the level of an argument (claim, data, warrant). Good theory debating focuses on how the operationalization of competing interpretations impacts what we debate/research and side balance. Thought experiments (what would debate look like if the neg could read an unlimited number of contradictory, conditional counterplans?) are valuable in drawing such comparisons. I tend to find “arg not team” to be persuasive in most cases. This means you need a good reason why “loss” is an appropriate remedy for a theory violation—I am persuadable on this question, but it takes more than an assertion. If it is a close call in your mind about whether to go for “substance” or “theory,” you are probably better off going for “substance.”
Counterplans: The gold standard for counterplan legitimacy is specific solvency evidence. Obviously, the necessary degree of specificity is a matter of interpretation, but, like good art, you know it when you see it. I am more suspicious of multi-conditionality, and international fiat than most judges. I am probably more open to condition counterplans than many critics. PICs/PECs that focus debate on substantive parts of the aff seem important to me. Functional competition seems to make more sense than does textual competition. That being said, I coach my teams to run many counterplans that I do not think are legitimate, and vote for such arguments all the time. The status quo seems to be a legitimate voting option unless I am instructed otherwise.
Argument Resolution: Rebuttalists that simply extend a bunch of cards/claims and hope that I decide things in their favor do poorly in front of me. I reward debaters that resolve arguments, meaning they provide reasons why their warrants, data, analysis, sources etc. are stronger (more persuasive) than those of their opponents on critical pressure points. I defer to uncontested argument and impact comparisons. I read evidence on questions that are contested, if I want the cite, or if I think your argument is interesting.
Decorum: I believe that exclusive practices (including speech acts) are unacceptable. I am unlikely to vote against you for being offensive, but I will not hesitate to decrease your points if you behave in an inappropriate manner (intentionally engaging in hostile, classist, racist, sexist, heterosexist, ableist etc. acts, for example). I recognize that this activity is very intense, but please try to understand that everyone present feels the same pressures and “play nice.”
Paperless: Email chains are faster--establish one before the round, and please include me on it (email@example.com) . Prep time ends once the speechdoc is saved and sent. My default is that debaters may use prep time during a speech to resolve “tech issues” (crashes, freezes, etc). I do not have a strong opinion on the acceptability of mid-speech prep for other purposes, aside from any tournament policies on "tech time".
If you have specific questions, please ask me before the round.
Put me in email chains or feel free to email me questions: JamieSuzDavenport@Gmail.com
I probably need to do an overhaul of my paradigm; it will likely not happen until I'm out of grad school. Seriously just AMA if it will help you going into the round.
MPA-MSES @ IU Dec ’23, hoo hoo hoo Hoosiers. GA since '21. Please note this is an environmental science degree. I have a very low tolerance for climate denial or global warming good and would recommend not going for those args.
BA: IR, Fr, Arabic @ Samford, May ’20, ruff ‘em, CX and novice coaching
HS: LD in GA, ‘16
A note: I won't read cards unless instructed or seeking clarity (and if this is the case, I will be grumpy). All comments will be typed in the ballot and am open to questions immediately following the round and via email afterward. I do my best not to intervene or let personal biases cloud my judgment. I do have a deep appreciation for friendly competition and will generally be happier while giving out speaks or making decisions if I think the people in the round embodied that spirit. Conversely, am not afraid to have a come-to-Jesus meeting for unnecessary antagonism.
For eTournaments: I'll need a little more time than normal to adjust to your style of speaking/spreading because online anything gets tricky. Try to keep that in mind for your speeches so my ears can adjust. I'll default to having my camera on.
Zoom debate: PLEASE double-check your mic settings so that background noise suppression is not on. Zoom decides that spreading is background noise and it messes with the audio.
Do what you want. I'm pretty go-with-the-flow and will try to adapt to what the round is versus making you adapt to me. The main thing to consider with me is my personal debate experience and potential knowledge gaps because of it. I'm not a great judge for high theory because I simply don't get it and it takes more explaining for me to understand and take it seriously (@ Baudrillard, semio-cap, etc.). There's some k lit that I'm not fully versed in but I try to keep current on major issues. Otherwise go nuts but make good choices.
2AR/NR: I more and more find myself telling debaters to tell me a story so I think I should put it in here. Whether you're going for a K, FW, DAs, extinction - whatever - start the speech telling me what your scenario is and why it's preferable to the other team. This is especially true if going for a perm or in a KvK debate, having a nuanced explanation clearly at the top of the speech frames the rest of the lbl and interactions you go for.
This was formerly organized by each event that I judge but that was getting unmanageable and ugly. If you have specific questions about anything event-specific or otherwise, just email or ask before the round starts.
Topicality/FW - I'll default that fairness is k2 education – if you want a different standard to be my primary metric, just tell me to do the thing. Might need more explanation of how I can apply the standard but that’s mostly for the atypical ones. Err on the side of over-explaining everything. Please please please explain your (counter)interp and what standards I should apply to favor yours - if there are a bunch of standards, which one do I evaluate first? Why? To reiterate: err on the side of over-explaining everything.
Fiat - I'll imagine it's real for policy v policy debates but more than willing to be sus of it, just tell me why.
Condo – dispo is an archaic interp and I think you can get better offense from other brightlines (2, what they did minus 1, etc.). I’ll vote on dispo but it’ll take more for you to win it than you need to do. Generally, think condo gets to its extremes when in the 3-4+ area, but new affs could change that yadda yadda, do what you want.
Other theory – whatever, just make the interp/counter-interp clear and tell me what to do with it.
RVI’s – please strike me or pref me real real low if this is your thing. I just don’t like it. This is one of if not the only hard-line I draw on content. They’re a time suck to play weird chess instead of engaging in the substance of the debate. Also, the majority of the time, horribly explained/extended.
No huge preferences here
Cross-ex - I don’t flow cx unless something spicy grabs my attention and it’s usually obvious when that happens based on my reaction. Bring it up in a speech to remind me. Open cross, flex prep, is fine – I for real check out for flex prep.
Card clipping – you’ll lose. Might report it to tab/your coach if I’m feeling zesty that day.
Love a good joke, wordplay, or reference. I currently am trying to incorporate “slay”, “yeehaw”, “gaslight gatekeep girlboss” and more into my regular debate vernacular. Feel free to also use these and I’ll at least laugh, maybe boost speaks, who knows – depends on how much of a silly goofy mood I’m in.
Last updated 9/11/2020
9th year involved in policy debate
Grad student at Indiana University studying public affairs & environmental science with a concentration in energy & policy analysis (Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!)
Indiana University '19
New Trier High School '16
firstname.lastname@example.org -Email, add to email chains
Infinite condo--x----------------A reasonable amount of condo
Having Fun--x----------------Angry Debate
CX answers are binding, and I flow them- no take backs in the next speech.
"Insert this rehighlighting into the debate" doesn't count- read the new highlighting or I'm not evaluating it.
If you can't/don't crystallize your K's thesis in 4 sentences max, it's going to be a hard sell for me.
Line-by-line--x----------------9 minute O/V
Solvency advocates are good.
Judge kick---------------x---2NR gets one world
Core of the topic---------------x---Actually having an argument
Winning Reasonability means I will judge your aff based on whether I like it or not.
Things I find persuasive: Predictability/Arbitrariness, Fairness (Debate’s a game), Iterative testing.
Things I find less persuasive: USFG education good.
If your aff does not have an advocacy statement and a clear mechanism and blueprint for what voting aff means, I am not the best judge for you.
*If you are scanning this philosophy as a nonmember of the community, seeking out quotes to help your political "culture war" cause you are not an honest broker here and largely looking for clickbait. I find your endeavors an unfortunate result of a rage machine that consumes a great deal of quality programs without ever helping them thrive or grow. Re-evaluate your life and think about how you can help high schools and middle schools around this country develop speech and debate programs, core liberal art educational, to improve the quality of argumentation, that otherwise is lacking. In the end, as an outsider looking in, you are missing a great deal of nuance in these philosophies and how they operate in the communities (multiple not just one) around the US and the world.
If you have landed here as a representative of Fox News or an ally or affiliate, I would like to see the receipts of the bias that has and continues to perforate your organization from Roger Ailes to Tucker Carlson and more. Here is my question, when you learned about the Joe McCarthy era of conspiracy theory, along with the hysteria and demonization of potential Americans who are communist (or sympathizers) and "pinko" (gay or sexual "deviants"), is your gripe with McCarthy that he had a secret list without evidence, or do you recognize that a core problem with McCarthy is his anti-democratic fear that there actually ARE communists, gay, trans, bisexual, Americans?
My next question is when and where you think it is acceptable for a person with strong beliefs to exist in democratic spaces. Bias is inevitable and part of this debate game. Organizations attempt to manage types of bias and coaches and debaters learn how to adapt to certain bias while attempting to avoid problematic bias. What do you think? Would right leaning presidential candidates vote for an argument that affirms trans athletes in sports? Should a trans judge leave their identity entirely at the door and embody a leading republican presidential candidate who is against medical care for trans persons? Both answers are no. The issue you seek to lambast for viewership clickbate is much deeper and more complicated than a 3 minute video clip can cover. Thank for reading.
Background: Indiana University Director of Debate as of 2010. Background is primarily as a policy debater and policy debate coach.
Email Chain: Bdelo77@gmail.com
The road to high speaker points and the ballot
I reward debaters who have a strong knowledge of the topic. Those debaters who can articulate intricacies and relationships amongst topic specific literature will meet what I believe are the educational benefits of having a topic in the first place.
Using evidence to assist you with the argument you are trying to make is more important than stringing evidence together in hopes that they accumulate into an argument. “I have a card judge, it is real good” “pull my 15 uniqueness cards judge” are not arguments. Ex: Obama will win the election – a) swing voters, Rasmussen poll indicates momentum after the DNC b) Washington post “Romney has lost the election” the base is gone… etc. are good extensions of evidence.
Less jargon more eloquence. I get bored with repeated catch phrases. I understand the need for efficiency, but debaters who recognize the need for innovation by individuals in the activity will receive more points.
Speed: I expect I can digest at least 70% of your speech. The other 30% should be general human attention span issues on my part. I firmly believe debate is a communication event, I am saddened that this has been undervalued as debaters prepare for tournaments. If I agree with X debater that Y debater’s speech on an argument was incoherent, I am more and more willing to just ignore the argument. Computer screens and Bayesian calculus aside, there is a human in this body that makes human decisions.
Should affs be topical?
Affs should have a relationship to the topic that is cogent. If there is no relationship to the topic, I have a high standard for affirmatives to prove that the topic provides no “ground” for a debater to adapt and exist under its umbrella. Negatives, this does not mean you don’t have a similar burden to prove that the topic is worth debating. However personally I think you will have a much smaller hill to climb… I find it disturbing that debaters do not go further than a quick “topical version of your aff solves” then insert X switch side good card… Explain why the topical version is good for debate and provides argument diversity and flexibility.
Policy debate is good: When I prep our files for tournaments I tend to stay in the policy-oriented literature. This does not mean that I am unwilling to cut our K file or K answers, I just have limited time and job related motivation to dive into this literature.
K Debate: Can be done well, can be done poorly. I do not exclude the arguments from the round but nebulous arguments can be overplayed and abused.
(Updated 3-2-2022) Conditionality:
1) Judge Kick? No. You made your choice on what to go for now stick with it. 2NRs RARELY have the time to complete one avenue for the ballot let alone two conditional worlds...
I tend to believe that one conditional substantive test of the plan advocacy is good (agent CP, process CP, or ?) and I am open to the idea of the need for a second advantage CP (need to deal with add-ons and bad advantages) or K within limits. I'm not a fan of contradicting conditional advocacies in how they implicate 2AC offense and potential.
Beyond 1-2 conditional arguments, I am torn by the examples of proliferating counterplans and critiques that show up in the 1NC and then disappear in the negative block. There is a substantive tradeoff in the depth and quality of arguments and thus a demotivation incentive for the iterative testing and research in the status quo world of 3+ conditional advocacies. The neg's, "write better advantages" argument has value, however with 2AC time pressure it means that 1ACs are becoming Frankenstein's monster to deal with the time tradeoff.
Plans: I think the community should toy with the idea of a grand bargain where affirmatives will specify more in their plan text and negs give up some of their PIC ground. The aff interp of "we only have to specify the resolution" has pushed us in the direction where plans are largely meaningless and aff conditionality is built into core 2AC frontlines. The thing is, our community has lost many of its fora for discussing theory and establishing new norms around issues like this. Debaters need to help be the change we need and we need more in-depth theory discussions outside of the rounds. Who is the Rorger Solt going to be of the 2020's?
I find myself more willing to judge the evidence as it was debated in the round (speeches and cx), and less willing to scan through piles of cards to create a coherent understanding of the round. If a debate is being had about the quality of X card, how I SHOULD read the evidence, etc. I will read it.
Sometimes I just have an interest in the evidence and I read it for self-educational and post-round discussion reasons.
I will work extremely hard to evaluate the debate as the debaters have asked me to judge it.
Sawyer Emerson (he/him) – email@example.com
TLDR: Minimal Topic Knowledge, Topical Action Good, Non-Contradictory Condo Good, Disclosure Good
I am a first-year out debater from Samford University. I qualified to the NDT all four years that I debated in college. I am currently working in Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence Software Development in Huntsville, AL.
Since graduating, I have done zero topic research, and I have zero topic knowledge. As of the season opener, I didn't even know the resolution until Friday aside from personhood. In-depth topic-related arguments are going to need some background for me, and topic-related acronyms are not preferable. To an extent, this will remain consistent throughout the season. I have no plans of being deep in the topic at any point in the near future.
Below I have some major points of my takes on debate, they will not change.
1. The affirmative must affirm the topic - how you want to do that is up to you but be prepared to defend your aff through the topic. Being "in the direction of the topic" is not sufficient.
2. The pairings are binding as is on Tab. If the first speech is not from the school assigned affirmative, I will auto-vote for the negative.
3. Condo is good - contradictory and unlimited condo is not. Perf con is not condo and is definitely bad
4. I will vote negative on presumption for solvency or internal link takeouts. I think there is a possibility of 0% risk of a DA or an Advantage. I would definitely vote for presumption against an AI aff that totally mischaracterizes AI.
A couple of other notes you may find useful:
- I went for separate sheet impact turns frequently. I think these debates are really fun when executed, not so fun when disorganized or mishandled.
- Debaters are too hesitant to litter pages with analytics.
- I default to consequentialism and utilitarianism, but the tech could lead me to use a different standard. I will not reject util if you don't provide an alternative. Reading 10 util is evil/bad cards is not an alternative weighing mechanism.
- Disclosure in debate of broken arguments is good. Using the wiki is good. I will vote on disclosure theory in these instances. Sending analytics is nice, but in no way required.
- If your cap k is anything other than How the World Works by Bo Burnham on repeat for every speech, I probably don't want to hear it
I debated at Missouri State for three years and had moderate success. I am now a graduate student studying communication.
I slightly prefer policy arguments more than critical ones. I want to refrain from intervening in the debate as much as possible. Extinction is probably bad. I think debate is good and has had a positive impact on my life. Both teams worked hard and deserve to be respected.
-Aff needs a clear internal link to the impact. Teams often focus too much time on impacts and not enough on the link story, this is where you should start.
-I like impact turns that don't deviate from norms of morality.
-Condo is good.
-Fairness is not an impact within itself but could be an internal link to something.
-Kritiks are interesting. Explain your stuff.
-Weighing impacts, evidence comparison, strategic decisions, and judge instruction can go a long way.
-Any argument that disproportionately targets minority populations will result in an automatic loss, conclusion of the debate, and a reporting to tabroom as well as your coaches.
Put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously worked as the ADOD at North Broward Prep. Debated at Indiana University and Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, IN. I’m usually coaching or assisting with some program on the side – so I’ll have a decent understanding of topic literature. I also worked as a political research consultant and have a public policy degree, so tend to follow the wonkish debates pretty well.
Top of the paradigm is for Policy, with PF and LD afterward.
Debate is primarily a competition. It’s one that teaches us many values and influences how we develop as people, but is still a game with a winner and a loser at its core. That central truth produces debate’s best and worst outcomes. It can result in thorough, well-researched debates that delve into the nuances of a specific issue. Or it can produce scattershot 57-off strategies that rely on mistakes to have a chance of victory. I’ll evaluate both debates all the same, but enjoy one a whole lot more. That same truth can also make us view competitors with respect and admiration for their commitment to the activity. Or it can make us view them as our opposition, to be steamrolled and reduced to nothing whenever possible. I’ll evaluate the content of the arguments all the same if you’re rude and unkind to your competitors, but you’ll enjoy your speaker points a whole lot less.
No argument is ‘too bad’ to win in front of me. If it’s truly so egregious, it’s the burden of the opposing team to explain why in the debate. I try hard not to intervene and inject personal biases, but I do still have them and they influence the decisions I make. That being said – I’m still an educator at the end of the day, and debate is an activity for students in an academic setting. If you are actively hostile and bigoted during the round towards your opponents or a group of people, you will lose for that reason.
It's not too hard to get high speaks in front of me. Have a clear strategy, execute it well, and make the debate enjoyable for all involved.
I prefer critiques to include research about the topic, but it’s not required. Clear impact turns to the core negative standards on framework are vital – spewing nebulous and blippy arguments titled things like ‘Plasticity DA’ to T in the 2ac is terminally unpersuasive. If you’re not contextualizing your impact turns as direct answers to fairness, clash, etc. you’re in a hole from the start. Ideally, you will also present a straightforward and well explained vision of debate and develop reasons why it can preserve a limited argumentative venue.
I’m more persuaded by presumption arguments vs. K affs than most judges. 2AR’s tend to mishandle offensive, cruel optimism-style arguments and get themselves into trouble.
You need to explain how the aff’s C/I explodes limits and to what extent, same as you would against a policy affirmative when going for T. What style affirmative does it allow for? Why is it bad for debate, and how bad?
When I vote affirmative it’s usually because of a sequencing claim about dropped case arguments or an unclear response to the aff’s impact turns to framework impacts.
When I vote negative it’s usually because you win fairness is a priori and the only thing the ballot can resolve, that a limited model of debate internal link turns aff impacts through improved research/iterative testing, or that the Aff’s scholarship is included in your model.
iS fAirNesS aN inTernAL LiNK oR iMpaCT? Both. I don't care.
Not a fan of heavy theory debates, but I’ve judged quite a few. Definitely lean neg on conditionality – but willing to vote for it if competently extended and technically won by the affirmative. As a 2a, process counterplans were not my favorite argument in debate, and I tend to lean aff on competition arguments here. That being said, the topic is massive and there’s a ridiculous amount of affirmative ground – which does make me sympathetic to neg claims about their centrality + importance. Still not afraid to vote neg quickly and easily if you’re ahead on the technical aspects in this portion of debate.
Theory debates that rely on me to fill-in arguments where you have just said random technical debate jargon - nonstarter. You should slow down on your theory analytics as well – I often find myself missing nuance when it’s extended by reading blocks as fast as possible.
*** Public Forum Debate ***
I competed in Indiana in high school, and very much understand the frustrations of losing debates on new arguments, evidence spin, ‘I just don’t believe you,’ etc. in front of lay judges. I’ll try my hardest to purely evaluate the debate off of the flow, which means giving equal weight and consideration to arguments that are not traditionally made in Public Forum. I think judges should approach debate with an open mind, and be ready to listen to students who put just as much effort and thought into their non-traditional strategies as other teams have.
Indicating an openness to theoretical and critical arguments does not mean that you should necessarily try reading these arguments in front of me for the first time. I find myself judging very poorly executed strategies in these lanes pretty often, and the speaker points reflect it. Please stick with what you’ve been practicing, as this is the best way to win my ballot. Trying to punk another team on theory if you never go for it will usually not work out well for you.
Competing in policy for 4 years in college has left me with many, somewhat negative, opinions on the pedagogical quality of argumentation in PF. Research is often not presented to me in a clear and digestible way (read: cards), and I’ve been handed a 20+ page PDF as the ‘source’ for an argument too many times to count. Saying ‘nuclear war doesn’t happen, MAD checks that’s Ferguson,’ and then handing me a piece of evidence with 2 minutes of highlighted text will not go your way. I won’t read deep into evidence that has not been explained and warranted during the debate, as I think that leads to pretty sizable judge intervention and more arbitrary decisions than one that remains flow-centric.
I’m a big advocate of disclosure in PF. The best debates are ones where one team has a thoroughly prepared strategies against a case, and the other team really knows the ins and outs of their own contentions. I’m not sympathetic at all to arguments about prep-outs – I’m terminally convinced that they’re good. I’m not convinced by arguments about how they hurt small schools – I competed at a very tiny college program that ONLY survived because of the wiki. I’m not sympathetic to arguments about people ‘stealing research,’ because it’s obviously not ‘stealing’ and lazy debaters that download wiki cases usually get beaten because they don’t know the nuances of the arguments they’re reading. If you disclose on the wiki, you will get a slight speaker bump. If you disclose pre-round, same deal. Note: this does not mean that disclosure theory is an auto-win by any means. You will have to technically execute it and win that disclosure is good during the debate – I won’t copy and paste my paradigm into the ballot.
Nitpicky other thoughts that may be helpful:
· Don’t take forever finding your evidence – especially if it’s in your own case. If it drags on too long (3-4 minutes) I will begin to run prep time. There’s clearly a reasonable window of time in which you can find a piece of evidence you claimed to have literally just read. If you can’t find it, you probably didn’t actually cut/read it.
· Don’t ever go back to your own case in first rebuttal just to ‘build it up some more.’ I will not be flowing if you are not making new arguments, and it’s a complete waste of time to rebuild a case they have not yet answered. There are some exceptions to this if you have framing arguments or whatnot – but 99% of the time you should just be answering your opponent’s case. To me, it reads as a clear sign that someone is a relative beginner in Public Forum when this occurs.
· Second rebuttal should frontline their case.
· Summary should include defensive and dropped arguments, but time should be allocated according to the other teams’ coverage.
· Impact framing arguments that are simply ‘X issue is not discussed enough, so prioritize it’ are not convincing to me in the slightest. You need to have a clear and offensive reason why not prioritizing your impact filter is bad, not just say that it’s important and people never give it notice. Ask yourself this question: what is the impact of your framing being ignored?
· Warrants beat tagline extensions of cards 99% of the time.
None of the above are ‘rules’ for how to go about earning my ballot. You could violate any one of the above and still win, but it’s likely only going to happen if your opponent is making major mistakes. Lastly, I think that topic knowledge wins just as many debates as a cleverly constructed case does. You should try your best to be the most knowledgeable person in the room on any given PF topic, because you’ll usually have what it takes to flexibly respond to unpredicted arguments and embarrass your opponents in cross.
**** Lincoln Douglas ****
Not gonna lie - much of the current state of this activity annoys me. An overreliance on missed tricks, opponents misunderstanding nonsensical K's, and underdevelopment of most arguments in the round seem to be how the LD rounds I judge go. I guess I'm a great judge for the activity since I flow and can keep up with speed pretty easily, but your speaks are going to suffer if what I described above is your primary strategy in the debate.
I prefer smart, nuanced arguments that are developed well throughout the debate, not 7-off with 4 theory shells sprinkled throughout the speech. Very open to and aware of most K literature - but be cautious of reading multiple K's or a K + DA strategy that contain clearly contradictory arguments. I'm not a big fan of perf con in LD, since I think the limited time window in the 1ar makes it pretty abusive for the aff to actually grapple with.
I'm not going to be familiar with the super in-the-weeds K or theory argument that is only a thing in LD. I come from Policy/PF world, and you should debate with this in mind.
Speaker point scale:
29.5+ - You’re debating like you’re already in the final round, and you deserve top speaker at this tournament.
29-29.5 – Debating like a quarterfinalist.
28.5 – 29 – Solid bubble/doubles team
28-28.5 – Debating like you should be around .500 or slightly below
27.5-28 – Serious room for improvement
Below 27.5 – You were disrespectful to the extreme or cheated. Probably around here if you just give up as well.
Minneapolis South '17
University of Minnesota '21
Coach at Minneapolis Edison HS Fall '17 - Spring '20
Part-time Coach at UMN Fall '21 - Present
Email: email@example.com Yes put me on the email chain, some of these thoughts haven't been changed in a while so feel free to email me to ask any questions. I have a full-time non-debate job now so I have less knowledge about the topics than in past years.
HS: Minimal topic knowledge, Judged 1 round on the topic so far this year.
College: Some topic knowledge, have been doing a small amount of work for UMN, judged 0 debates so far.
Speed, good if clear, warrant dense and slow > fast nonsense, I flow on paper so I need pen time.
Favorite 2NRs, DA and Case, T, impact turns, adv cp + ptx, (but go for what you are good at, will vote for most anything).
FW v. k aff, yes fairness is an impact, but often a small one. K aff can win, but probably needs some explanation of the role of the negative (and how they can reasonably accomplish this role).
I debated about 592 rounds (30 middle school, 275 high school, 287 college) and have judged about 278 (59 middle school, 126 High School, 73 College), best result: octa-finalist at the 2021 NDT.
Debate is an educational activity and I take my role as a judge to include that of an educator. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you feel welcome and safe.
I value clarity over speed, I should be able to hear just about every word that you say including the card text. but if you are clear I can keep up with any amount of speed. If you are unclear I'll flow as much of your speech as I can understand, if it isn’t on my flow it isn’t on my ballot. Clear communication on what you want me to write down is a plus. Organization is a plus, but otherwise I'll just flow straight down. My role as a judge is up for debate, so tell me how I should be evaluating impacts.
I vote off the flow. Default to tech > truth, though truth often determines how much tech you need to win the argument. I usually evaluate based on offense (broadly defined) vs defense, so comparisons between each sides offense are a major plus, otherwise I will have to do those comparisons and you might not like how they end up.
Don't clip, I shouldn't need to say this, if you clip and don't correct it you get zero speaks and a loss based on my discretion. if you say mark the card actually mark it, I follow along with the speech doc to check for clipping. (Note: this section applies for everyone but is included mostly from me judging local high school rounds.)
FW vs K affs - Yes. Fairness is probably a real impact, though a fairly small one, clash about the only other impact worth saying when going for fw. the neg probably needs some way to mitigate aff offense either a TVA, switch side or process over content. Aff’s should probably have a model of debate, as it is much more difficult to convince me that an activity that you devoted your time to is wholly bad. A very clear model of debate with a clear role for the negative can sometimes solve much of the negs fairness and clash offense. Procedure based DAs to FW are better than content based ones.
K vs Policy - If you are choosing which K to go for in front of me the Cap K is probably the best option. I’m fine for most of the generic Ks (i.e. security, cap, biopower). I’m fine for specific Ks also, but make sure you explain them because I haven't read much of the lit in depth. I’m ok for many identity Ks (antiblackness, gender, queerness) in that I have a base level of understanding of them but have a somewhat high threshold for ontology claims being true. I’m not good for Baudrillard, Bataille, D&G or Nietzsche, etc, I don't understand why they answer the aff. I have a high threshold for no Ks FW on the aff, easily win that you get to weigh the aff, though what that means is up for debate, and should be explained. Please impact out what I should do if you win your interp on FW. My favorite argument for a policy aff against a k fw is " the best way to evaluate the ethics/epistemology/method of the aff is to judge it based on the effects it would have if it implemented a policy."
Topicality (not against K affs) - T is about a model for debate. Abuse isn’t needed and it isn't abuse that something doesn't link, unless they shift what they defend, which then isn’t about T. I default to T a priori. Standards with warrants are needed in the 1NC. Tell me what reasonability means and why it is good beyond the generic one liner if you want me to vote on it (ie 1-2 minutes of the 2ar + 2-3 sentences in each speech before then). Think of reasonability as going for presumption, you shouldn't do it often and when you do it should be the focal point of your speech.
PIC/Ks - The aff should be able to defend all parts of their plan/advocacy, other pics are debatable. (subject to debates about textual and functional competition-see below).
Theory/CP - most condo is probably good, types of CPs, and solvency advocates matter more than just the number of condo, though I will vote on condo. 2NC counterplans out of straight turns are probably bad. - I have found myself voting aff on condo more than I would like - 2nr please include neg flex, fairness outweighs and dispo fails.
Perm do the CP is good against process CPs, Textual functional good as a justification for the perm. Default to reject the arg except for condo. International fiat probably isn't real, multi actor is debatable. Most theory args like consult bad are best used as a justification for perm do the CP. I default to judge kick if the neg losses the perm or that CP links to the net benefit, though if 1ar and 2ar say I shouldn't and the 2nr doesn't have a justification for it I won't kick it. Perm do both usually needs a net benefit, often a solvency deficit. Probably good to compare this NB to the DAs to the perm.
DA - I evaluate probabilistically, so unlikely to win zero risk unless major drop, need to do impact calc. Uniqueness controlling link makes more sense to me, but can be convinced otherwise. Threshold for thumpers is determined by the broadest link argument extended, so if you have a more specific link it can backfire to extend the more general one.
Impact framing - Util is probably the best frame, though with broad conception of value of life, and more based around a model than each action. Risk = Magnitude x Probability, so low probability extinction isn't always larger than structural violence (because future lives are broadly discounted based on alt causes/unknown thumpers), probability is usually determined based on how well it is debated out.
Case - Most affs have logical inconsistencies, being able to exploit these is always a plus. Good case answers are underutilized and usually winners. UQ is a squo solves/solvency deficit unless there is a theory arg, unlikely to be zero risk of solvency, so you should have some offense, or a robust defense of why presumption goes neg.
Cypress Bay High School
Wake Forest University
Good speaks for good debating, great speaks for being funny and/or just great.
I'll vote for anything, just turn up. What follows are my existing thoughts/biases on how to win in front of me.
CX Paradigm: NDT Updates 3/29
T: Pretty vanilla, I don't judge many of these debates but I guess I'd say I'm more likely to default to competing interpretations than not. It would have to be a pretty clear case for me to vote on reasonability. End of year thoughts: nothing is AI and everything is nature; T-subsets is mostly valid.
FW: You can go for it. Thoughts: Unlike other judges, I think to win you need to prove your model is better than any model that includes the aff, which means you should probably prove that a solely plan-based model would be better than the mixed status quo.
I default to thinking of these as debates about models. That means I prefer that the aff have a counter-interp, even if that counter-interp is totally unlimited. What matters is that both teams have a vision of what their model looks like. No counter-interp is also valid and often strategic so feel free to do that too.
I won't say whether fairness is an impact because that depends on any given debate, what I will say is that proving that debate is a game does not strongly imply that fairness is an intrinsic good (i.e. inherent side bias in chess does not ruin the game). Fairness is also a sliding scale, so I expect nuance about the magnitude of the internal link between the violation or the counter-interp and the fairness impact.
I think that FW teams would benefit from incorporating some kind of uniqueness argument or warrant into their skills modules that substantiates why the skills we learn from plan-based debating are valuable in the current political moment. I find that teams lose debates where they are winning their limits arguments by failing to justify the value of this fair game.
K: Do whatever, odds are I've read something you are reading or someone citing else citing the same people as your authors. That means jargon is fine as long as it's used meaningfully. Big words are meant to convey even bigger ideas in less time so using jargon precisely can really elevate the quality of your speech, but on the other hand, just stringing words together without much thought may really hurt your speech. Performance debate is great, all kinds of art can be evidence as long as I can flow it (unless there's a reason I shouldn't flow I'm up for that too).
CP:I guess this is more about conditionality than anything, I'd rather not have to deal with more than 4 or 5 conditional advocacies or I might actually vote on condo. I think most counter-plans should have solvency advocates, I can't think of an example that wouldn't off the top of my head but I'm hesitant to say I wouldn't be convinced by ANY CP without one.
DAs:I think the spill-over DA is just a bad argument. If you win it you win it but I feel like I have to be upfront about thinking this argument is doodoo gargabe.
I'm down with anything, except for really outlandish tricks. I have a very deep background in critical theory and philosophy so Phil, K debating, and Skep are all fine by me.
These are most of the predispositions I have about arguments that I can think of, these are not ironclad as my views on debate are constantly in flux. However, without being instructed otherwise, the below points will likely influence how I evaluate the debate.
-Please add me to the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org and please make the subject something that is easy to search like "NDT 4 - Michigan DM v UCO HS."
-I prefer to flow on paper, but if you would like me to flow on my computer so I can share the flow after the debate, just ask.
-I read along with speech docs and prefer clear, relatively slow, and organized debates. I am still trying to hone flowing in online debate.
-I cannot emphasize enough how important card quality and recency should be in debates, but it requires debaters to frame arguments about that importance.
-If you break a new aff and you don't want to share the docs, I will chalk it up to academic cowardice and presume that the aff is largely a pile of crap.
-Evidence can be inserted if the lines were read in CX, but otherwise this act is insufficient. I will only look at graphs and charts if they are analyzed in the debate.
-I generally think war good arguments are akin to genocide good. I also think dedev is absolute nonsense.
-The past year of my life has been filled with the death of loved ones, please don't remind me of it while I'm judging a debate. I categorically refuse to evaluate any argument that could have the thesis statement of death good or that life is not worth living.
-Affs should be willing to answer cross-x questions about what they'll defend.
2021-2022 Topic Thoughts:
-I am more involved in argument coaching than I have been in the past view years, but I am not an anti-trust lawyer so a lot of the terms and concepts that debaters distort are lost on me. I sense that I will give a series of RFDs this year that are premised around, "you might be upset with this decision, but this concept was not adequately explained to me."
-I hope the affirmative holds the negative accountable for the expansive interpretation of fiat. For the most part, I do not understand how the states CP legally functions. CPs that are premised on a distinction without a difference do not excite me.
-T arguments about terms that are not in the topic are interesting, but why?
How to sway me:
-More narrativization is better than less
-Ev quality - I think higher quality and recent ev is a necessity. Make arguments about the qualifications of authors, how to evaluate evidence, and describe what events have happened to complicate the reading of their evidence from 2012.
-The 2nr/2ar should spend the first 15-20 seconds explaining how I should vote with judge instruction. If you laid a trap, now is the time to tell me, because I’m probably not going to vote on something that wasn’t flagged as an argument.
-I can flow with the best of them, but I enjoy slower debates so much more.
-More case debate. The 2ac is often too dismissive of case args and the neg often under-utilizes them.
-If reading cards after the debate is required for me to have comprehension of your argument, I’m probably not your judge. I tend to vote on warranted arguments that I have flowed and read cards to evaluate particular warrants that have been called into question. That said, I intend on reading along with speech docs this year.
-I think internal links are the most important parts of an argument; I am more likely to vote for “Asian instability means international coop on warming is impossible” than “nuclear war kills billions” OR “our patriarchy better explains x,y,z” instead of “capitalism causes war.”
-I like when particular arguments are labeled eg) “the youth-voter link” or “the epistemology DA.”
-If you're breaking a new aff/cp, it's probably in your best interest to slow down when making highly nuanced args.
Things I don’t like:
-Generally I think word PICs are bad. Some language obviously needs to be challenged, but if your 1nc strategy involves cntl-f [insert ableist term], I am not the judge for you.
-Overusing offensive language, yelling, being loud during the other team’s speech/prep, and getting into my personal space or the personal space of others will result in fewer speaker points.
-If you think a permutation requires the affirmative to do something they haven’t, you and I have different interpretations of competition theory.
-Old evidence/ blocks that have been circulating in camp files for a decade.
-This topic is poorly written and lets the aff get away with murder. Given that, I want to see debates that have coherent stories for violations and interpretations. I voted neg frequently on the NHI topic on limits, which charts many of my views on this topic.
-I am probably a better judge for the K than most would suspect. While the sample size is small, I think I vote for critical args around 50% of the time they're the center of the debate.
-A debate has to occur and happen within the speech order/times of the invite; the arguments are made are up to the debaters and I generally enjoy a broad range of arguments, particularly on a topic as dull as this one.
-Too often I think critical affs describe a problem, but don’t explain what voting aff means in the context of that impact.
-Is there a role of the ballot?
-Often I find the “topical version” of the aff argument to be semi-persuasive by the negative, so explain to me the unique benefit of your aff in the form that it is and why switching-sides does not solve that.
-Framework: Explain the topical version of the aff; use your framework impacts to turn/answer the impacts of the 1ac; if you win framework you win the debate because…
-Links should be contextualized to the aff; saying the aff is capitalist because they use the state is not enough. I'm beginning to think that K's, when read against policy affs, should link to the plan and not just the advantages, I'm not as sold on this as I am my belief on floating pic/ks (95 percent of the time I think floating PIC/Ks aren't arguments worthy of being made, let alone voted on)
-Alternative- what is the framework for evaluating the debate? What does voting for the alternative signify? What should I think of the aff’s truth statements?
-I’m not a fan of high theory Ks, but statistically vote for them a decent percentage of the time.
-When reading the K against K affs, the link should problematize the aff's methodology.
Answering the K:
-Make smart permutation arguments that have explained the net benefits and deal with the negatives disads to the perm.
-You should have a framework for the debate and find ways to dismiss the negative’s alternative.
-Overviews that explain the story of the disad are helpful.
-Focus on internal links.
-Your CP should have a solvency advocate that is as descriptive of your mechanism as the affirmative’s solvency advocate is.
-Consult and conditions counterplans are probably illegitimate on most topics, on this one [shrug emoticon].
-Conditionality is cheating a lot like the Roth test: at some point it’s cheating, otherwise neg flex is good.
-Affs should explain why the negative should lose because of theory, otherwise I’ll just reject the arg.
-I'll likely be unsympathetic to args related to ADA rules, sans things that should actually be rules like clipping.
-I’m generally okay with kicking the CP/Alt for the neg if I’m told to.
Yes, email chain. email@example.com
Debater--The University of Michigan '91-'95
Head Coach--Oak Park and River Forest HS '15-'20
Assistant Coach--New Trier Township High School '20-
--Old School Policy.
--Like the K on the Neg. Harder sell on the Aff.
--Quality of Evidence Counts. Massive disparities warrant intervention on my part.
--Not great with theory debates.
--I value Research and Strategic Thinking (both in round and prep) as paramount when evaluating procedural impacts.
--Utter disdain for trolly Theory args, Death Good, Wipeout and Spark. Respect the game, win classy.
Advantage vs Disadvantage
More often than not, I tend to gravitate towards the team that wins probability. The more coherent and plausible the internal link chain is, the better.
I can and will vote against an argument if cards are poor exclusive of counter evidence being read.
Not a big fan of Pre-Fiat DA's: Spending, Must Pass Legislation, Riders, etc. I will err Aff on theory unless the Neg has some really good evidence as to why not.
I love nuanced defense and case turns. Conversely, I love link and impact turns. Please run lots of them.
I am largely okay with a fair amount of condo. i.e. 4-5 not a big deal for me. I will become sympathetic to Aff Theory ONLY if the Neg starts kicking straight turned arguments. On the other hand, if you go for Condo Bad and can't answer Strat Skew Inevitable, Idea Testing Good and Hard Debate is Good Debate then don't go for Condo Bad. I have voted Aff on Conditionality Theory, but rarely.
1. I have grown weary of vague plan writing. To that end, I tend think that the Neg need only win that the CP is functionally competitive. The Plan is about advocacy and cannot be a moving target.
2. Perm do the CP? Intrinsic Perms? I am flexible to Neg if they have a solvency advocate or the Aff is new. Otherwise, I lean Aff.
PIC’s and Agent CP’s are part of our game. I err Neg on theory. Ditto 50 State Fiat.
No object Fiat, please. Or International Fiat on a Domestic Topic.
International Fiat is a gray area for me. The Neg needs a good Interp that excludes abusive versions.
Solvency advocates and New Affs make me lean Neg on theory.
I will judge kick automatically unless given a decent reason why not in the 1AR.
If you lean on K Affs, just do yourself a favor and put me low or strike me. I am not unsympathetic to your argument per se, I just vote on Framework 60-70% of the time and it rarely has anything to do with your Aff.
That said, if you can effectively impact turn Framework, beat back a TVA and Switch Side Debate, you can get my ballot.
Topic relevance is important.
If your goal is to make blanket statements about why certain people are good or bad or should be excluded from valuable discussions then I am not your judge. We are all flawed.
I do not like “debate is bad” arguments. I don't think that being a "small school" is a reason why I should vote for you.
Kritiks vs Policy Affs
Truth be told, I vote Neg on Kritiks vs Policy Affs A LOT.
I am prone to voting Aff on Perms, so be advised College Debaters. I have no take on "philosophical competition" but it does seem like a thing.
I am not up on the Lit AT ALL, so the polysyllabic word stews you so love to concoct are going to make my ears bleed.
I like reading cards after the debate and find myself understanding nuance better when I can. If you don’t then you leave me with only the bad handwriting on my flow to decipher what you said an hour later and that’s not good for anybody.
When I usually vote Neg its because the Aff has not done a sufficient job in engaging with core elements of the K, such as Ontology, Root Cause Claims, etc.
I am not a great evaluator of Framework debates and will usually err for the team that accesses Education Impacts the best.
Because it theoretically serves an external function that affects other rounds, I do give the Aff a fair amount of leeway when the arguments start to wander into a gray area. The requirement for Offense on the part of the Affirmative is something on which I place little value. Put another way, the Aff need only prove that they are within the predictable confines of research and present a plan that offers enough ground on which to run generic arguments. The Negative must prove that the Affirmative skews research burdens to a point in which the topic is unlimited to a point beyond 20-30 possible cases and/or renders the heart of the topic moot.
Plan Text in a Vacuum is a silly defense. In very few instances have I found it defensible. If you choose to defend it, you had better be ready to defend the solvency implications.
Limits and Fairness are not in and of themselves an impact. Take it to the next level.
Why I vote Aff a lot:
--Bad/Incoherent link mechanics on DA’s
--Perm do the CP
--CP Solvency Deficits
--Framework/Scholarship is defensible
--T can be won defensively
Why I vote Neg a lot:
--Condo is lame
--Weakness of aff internal links/solvency
--Offense that turns the case
--You actually had a strategy
PUBLIC FORUM SUPPLEMENT:
I judge about 1 PF Round for every 50 Policy Rounds so bear with me here.
I have NOT judged the PF national circuit pretty much ever. The good news is that I am not biased against or unwilling to vote on any particular style. Chances are I have heard some version of your meta level of argumentation and know how it interacts with the round. The bad news is if you want to complain about a style of debate in which you are unfamiliar, you had better convince me why with, you know, impacts and stuff. Do not try and cite an unspoken rule about debate in your part of the country.
Because of my background in Policy, I tend to look at things from a cost benefit perspective. Even though the Pro is not advocating a Plan and the Con is not reading Disadvantages, to me the round comes down to whether the Pro has a greater possible benefit than the potential implications it might cause. Both sides should frame the round in terms impact calculus and or feasibility. Impacts need to be tangible.
Evidence quality is very important.
I will vote on what is on the flow (yes, I flow) and keep my personal opinions of arguments in check as much as possible. I may mock you for it, but I won’t vote against you for it. No paraphrasing. Quote the author, date and the exact words. Quals are even better but you don’t have to read them unless pressed. Have the website handy. Research is critical.
Speed? Meh. You cannot possibly go fast enough for me to not be able to follow you. However, that does not mean I want to hear you go fast. You can be quick and very persuasive. You don't need to spread.
Defense is nice but is not enough. You must create offense in order to win. There is no “presumption” on the Con.
While I am not a fan of formal “Kritik” arguments in PF, I do think that Philosophical Debates have a place. Using your Framework as a reason to defend your scholarship is a wise move. Racism and Sexism will not be tolerated. You can attack your opponents scholarship.
I reward debaters who think outside the box.
I do not reward debaters who cry foul when hearing an argument that falls outside traditional parameters of PF Debate. Again, I am not a fan of the Kritik, but if its abusive, tell me why instead of just saying “not fair.”
Statistics are nice, to a point. But I feel that judges/debaters overvalue them. Often the best impacts involve higher values that cannot be quantified. A good example would be something like Structural Violence.
While Truth outweighs, technical concessions on key arguments can and will be evaluated. Dropping offense means the argument gets 100% weight.
The goal of the Con is to disprove the value of the Resolution. If the Pro cannot defend the whole resolution (agent, totality, etc.) then the Con gets some leeway.
I care about substance and not style. It never fails that I give 1-2 low point wins at a tournament. Just because your tie is nice and you sound pretty, doesn’t mean you win. I vote on argument quality and technical debating. The rest is for lay judging.
Relax. Have fun.
Coached for 28 years
Broad Strokes: I have voted for and against just about every kind of argument in the activity. While my background and research interests are primarily in the policy side of the equation, I have frequently been convinced to vote for critical arguments. I’m rewriting my philosophy to be more basic, as I feel diving too much into specific feelings of arguments would not reflect how I vote on them. I love debate and am happy to be judging you. Debate requires a lot of work and effort on your part, and I plan on returning the favor by working hard to reward your effort in the debate.
Framework: The most important thing I could say about debating this issue, or virtually any other issue, is to listen carefully to what the other team says and to answer it specifically. I find that teams on both sides of the equation become block dependent and fail to answer the nuance of what the other team says. Before last year’s NDT, I thought I was a good judge for the negative, but at the NDT I voted affirmative twice in framework debates. I would recommend more line-by-line from both sides, and less overview dependent arguments.
Topicality: I tend to be a good judge for contextualized definitions from either side. My ideal topicality debate would be one more about what the word means in context than arbitrary definitions from both sides with appeals to limits and ground. I am more amenable to appeals to reasonable interpretations than most judges.
Kritiks generally: I tend to be good for identity arguments and arguments that attack the solvency of the affirmative. The more specific you can make your argument to the affirmative you are debating, the better off you will be. I tend to be poor for high theory kritikal arguments that seem detached from the realities that people confront. I tend to not be well versed in either kritikal literature or kritikal thinking, so holding my hand and walking me through your argument is your best bet. I tend to be skeptical of arguments relying upon what happened outside the round. I tend to dislike authenticity testing.
Disads and risk: Framing arguments on risk are very important to me. I flow them and will try to evaluate the debate on the terms that you set up. I try to not have a pre-planned position on how to evaluate these arguments. As with most arguments, less overview and more line-by-line is better. I like when teams use their evidence, even if it is not specific, to make link arguments specific to the affirmative. I view evidence as part of the tool-kit that you have, and the specific arguments you make about your evidence are very important to me.
Counterplans: I enjoy nuanced counterplan debates made specific to the plan/counterplan in the debate. I dislike littering the flow with permutations and generic theory arguments. I like smart counterplans that solve the internal link of the affirmative. I like theory debates where either team responds to what is happening in the debate they are engaged in, as opposed to abstractions. I lean pretty heavily for the neg on conditionality.
Novice Debate: I love novice debate and am so happy to be judging you. Novice is my favorite division to judge. I tend to reward novices who make smart arguments using their own logic to attack the other teams’ arguments. I tend to also reward specific line by line debating, so answer what the other team has to say specifically. Feel free to ask me lots of questions at the end of the debate about style, arguments, the decision, etc.
I have eased off some of my prior criticisms of the way novice is coached, but I will still tend to reward substantive arguments as opposed to arguments I view as cheap shots. I enjoy when novices are taught skills that will benefit them throughout their debate careers.
1. I prefer if you number your arguments.
2. I prefer clear labels to arguments—no link, non-unique, turn, etc.
3. I prefer specific line by line debating to doing most of the work in the overview.
4. I don’t read speech docs as the debate goes on and I flow what you say, not what’s in the doc.
5. I am very concerned about how stylistic and demeanor norms in the activity marginalize non-cis-dude debaters. Please don’t cut off, mansplain to, talk over, berate, or not listen to non-cis-dude debaters. It is shocking to me how much this still goes on.
6. I try to judge the debate, and not the quality of the speech docs after the debate is over. I strongly disagree with judges who read all the cards and decide the debate from that.
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!
Affiliation: University of Houston
I’ve been judging since 2011. As of January 2nd, 2022 I am the third most prolific college policy judge in the era of Tabroom. Ahead of me are Jackie Poapst and Armands Revelins, behind me are Kurt Fifelski and Becca Steiner. Take this how you will.
Yes, I want to be on the E-mail chain. Send docs to: robglassdebate [at] the google mail service . I don’t read the docs during the round except in unusual circumstances or when I think someone is clipping cards.
The short version of my philosophy, or “My Coach preffed this Rando, what do I need to know five minutes before the round starts?”:
1. Debate should be a welcoming and open space to all who would try to participate. If you are a debater with accessibility (or other) concerns please feel free to reach out to me ahead of the round and I will work with you to make the space as hospitable as possible.
2. Have a fundamental respect for the other team and the activity. Insulting either or both, or making a debater feel uncomfortable, is not acceptable.
3. Debate is for the debaters. My job, in total, is to watch what you do and act according to how y’all want me. So do you and I’ll follow along.
4. Respond to the other team. If you ignore the other team or try to set the bounds so that their thoughts and ideas can have no access to debate I will be very leery of endorsing you. Find an argument, be a better debater.
5. Offense over Defense. I tend to prefer substantive impacts. That said I will explicitly state here that I am more and more comfortable voting on terminal defense, especially complete solvency takeouts. If I am reasonably convinced your aff does nothing I'm not voting for it.
6. With full credit to Justin Green: When the debate is over I'm going to applaud. I love debate and I love debaters and I plan on enjoying the round.
Online Debate Update:
1. Please slow down a little. I will have high quality headsets, but microphone compression, online compression, and then decompression on my end will almost certainly effect just how much I hear of your speeches. I do not open speech docs and will not flow off of them which means I need to be able to understand what you’re saying, so please slow down. Not much, ~80% of top speed will probably be enough. If a team tries to outspread a team that has slowed down per this paradigm I will penalize the team that tried for said advantage.
1A. If you're going too fast and/or I cannot understand you due to microphone quality I will shout 'clear'. If after multiple calls of clear you do nothing I will simply stop flowing. If you try to adapt I will do the best I can to work with you to make sure I get every argument you're trying to make.
2. I come from the era of debate when we debated paper but flowed on computers, which means when I’m judging I will have the majority of my screen dominated by an excel sheet. If you need me to see a performance please flag it for me and I’ll rearrange my screen to account for your performance.
3. This is an echo of point 1, but it's touchy and I think bears repeating. The series of audio compressions (and decompressions) that online debate imposes on us has the consequence of distorting the high and low ends of human speech. This means that clarity will be lost for people with particularly high and low pitches when they spread. There is, realistically speaking, no way around this until we're all back in rooms with each other. I will work as hard as I can to infer and fill in the gaps to make it so that loss is minimized as much as possible, but there is a limit to what I can do. If you think this could affect you please make sure you are slowing down like I asked in point 1 or try to adapt in another way.
4. E-mail chains, please. Not only does this mean we don't have to delay by futzing around with other forms of technology but it also gives us a way to contact participants if (when) connections splutter out.
5. The Fluffy Tax. If during prep or time between speeches a non-human animal should make an appearance on your webcam and I see it, time will stop, they will be introduced to the debaters and myself, and we shall marvel at their existence and cuteness together. In the world of online debate we must find and make the joy that we can. Number of times the fluffy tax has been imposed: 3.
6. Be kind. This year is unbelievably tiring, and it is so easy to both get frustrated with opponents and lose an empathetic connection towards our peers when our only point of contact is a Brady Bunch screen of faces. All I ask is that you make a conscious effort to be kind to others in the activity. We are part of an odd, cloistered, community and in it all we have is our shared love of the activity. Love is an active process, we must choose to make it happen. Try to make it happen a little when you are in front of me.
Politics - If you're running politics in a post-January 6th world you better have a really good uniqueness and internal link story. Internal links should assume the direction of the impact.
Terminal Defense - Most Disads (FTC, DOJ, etc.) do not link. Most counter-plans on this topic are built around paper thin solvency claims that would be laughed out of real world discussions of antitrust and would not realistically avoid the tenuous link claims made by the net benefit. I am very comfortable looking at these arguments and declaring "No." if a 2A makes that push.
States Counterplan - Frankly speaking, the barriers to the States CP on this topic are overwhelming in my mind. I do not know how the States CP overcomes the commerce clause, the supremacy clause combined with the doctrine of preemption, or the dormant commerce clause. If you read a States CP without cards explicitly discussing this in the context of the 1AC plan my threshold for rejecting the CP for lacking solvency will be incredibly low. (The educationally bankrupt view of "fiat solves" will get no play unless you have cards that say A. overturning basic constitutional doctrine is good and B. that those actions overturning it will be enforced by the courts.) If you think you have the cards for this, run the counterplan. If you don't then maybe you should rethink whether or not this should be in any 1NC you run.
The standard argumentative thoughts list:
Debate is for the debaters - Everything below is up for debate, and I will adapt to what the debaters want me to do in the round.
Aff relationship to the topic - I think affirmatives should have a positive relationship to the topic. The topic remains a center point of debate, and I am disinclined to think it should be completely disregarded.
"USFG" framework: Is an argument I will vote on, but I am not inclined to think it is a model that best suits all debates, and I think overly rigid visions of debate are both ahistorical and unstrategic. I tend to think these arguments are better deployed as methodological case turns. TVAs are very helpful.
Counter-plan theory: Condo is like alcohol, alright if used in moderation but excess necessitates appropriate timing. Consultation is usually suspect in my book, alternative international actors more so, alternative USFG actors much less so. Beyond that, flesh out your vision of debate. My only particularly strong feeling about this is judge kick, which is explained at the bottom of this paradigm.
Disads: I have historically been loathe to ascribe 0% risk of a link, and tended to fall very hard into the cult of offense. I am self-consciously trying to check back more against this inclination. Impact comparison is a must.
PTX DAs: For years I beat my chest about my disdain for them, but I have softened since. I still don't like them, and think intrinsicness theory and basic questions of inherency loom large over their legitimacy as argumentation, but I also recognize the role they play in debate rounds and will shelve my personal beliefs on them when making my decision. That said, I do not think "we lose politics DAs" is a compelling ground argument on framework or T.
Critiques: I find myself yearning for more methodological explanation of alternatives these days. In a related thought, I also think Neg teams have been too shy about kicking alts and going for the "link" and "impact" (if that DA based terminology ought be applied one-to-one to the K) as independent reasons to reject the Affirmative advocacy. One of the most common ways that other judges and I dissent in round is that I tend to give more credit to perm solvency in a messy perm debate.
Case debate: Please. They are some of my favorite debates to watch, and I particularly enjoy when two teams go really deep on a nerdish question of either policy analysis or critical theory. If you're going down a particularly deep esoteric rabbit hole it is useful to slow down and explain the nuance to me, especially when using chains of acronyms that I may or may not have been exposed to.
Policy T: I spend a fair chunk of my free time thinking about T and the limits of the topic. I used to be very concerned with notions of lost ground, my views now are almost the opposite. Statistical analysis of round results leads me to believe that good negative teams will usually find someway to win on substance, and I think overly dramatic concerns about lost ground somewhat fly in the face of the cut-throat ethos of Policy Debate re: research, namely that innovative teams should be competitively rewarded. While framework debates are very much about visions of the debate world if both teams accept that debate rounds should be mediated through a relationship to policy action the more important questions for me is how well does debate actually embody and then educate students (and judges) about the real world questions of policy. Put differently, my impulse is that Framework debates should be inward facing whereas T debates should be outward facing. All of that should be taken with the gigantic caveat that is "you do you," whatever my beliefs I will still evaluate warranted ground arguments and Affirmative teams cannot simply point at this paradigm to get out of answering them.
Judge Kick: Judge kick is an abomination and forces 2ARs to debate multiple worlds based on their interpretation of how the judge will understand the 2NR and then intervene in the debate. It produces a dearth of depth, and makes all of the '70s-'80s hand-wringing about Condo come true. My compromise with judge kick is this: If the 2NR advocates for judge kick the 2A at the start of 2AR prep is allowed to call for a flip. I will then flip a coin. If it comes up heads the advocacy is kicked, if it comes up tails it isn't. I will announce the result of the flip and then 2AR prep will commence. If the 2A does this I will not vote on any theoretical issues regarding judge kick. If the 2A does not call for a flip I will listen and evaluate theory arguments about judge kick as is appropriate.
i read a k aff for the last 3 years, before that i read a plan in kansas. read what makes you comfortable at a pace you can maintain. feel free to ask me any questions before the round.
University of Minnesota, NDT-CEDA 2017-2021 (Healthcare, Exec Authority, Space, Alliances). Anoka High School, (lay) LD+PF 2015-2017.
For the email chain: please put the tournament and the teams in the subject line, it makes organization and scouting easier. College rounds: Please put firstname.lastname@example.org on the email chain for me.
If you have questions: don't email debatedocs, email email@example.com. Please do not put this on the email chain, I don't want that nonsense in my inbox, and I will forward it to debatedocs anyway so this won't stop you from getting scouted.
Feel free to record/stream/publish the round (pending the consent of other participants). In the interest of transparency, here is my comprehensive judging record, with wiki-style round reports and a summary of each RFD. My Tabroom ballot will likely contain detailed written feedback beyond the oral RFD. Novice/JV debaters: I know it's hard to step back and see the round impartially during the RFD, so you in particular should go back and read the feedback after you've had time to digest a long tournament weekend.
I wish negative teams understood that with great power to write counterplan texts comes great responsibility in self-restraint. I wish case defense was answered as well as defense on disadvantages. I wish competitors were less cowardly in cross-examination and more willing to defend what they said in their speech.
I appreciate debaters who enjoy debating! I appreciate when teams point out their opponents' mistakes in a speech, and I am very reluctant to do that work for debaters who do not do so. I appreciate when strategic concessions made in one place are leveraged in others. I appreciate in-depth case defense. I appreciate mundane arguments executed well. I appreciate when teams exploit tension among their opponents' arguments.
I strongly dislike time-wasting. I strongly dislike use of the first negative rebuttal as a third negative constructive. I strongly dislike kritiks, and in general only vote on them when the risk of the affirmative's impacts is zeroed by external case defense. I strongly dislike arguments that dispute the value of an activity we all choose to do. I dislike counterplans that do not have predetermined outcomes. I dislike argumentative cowardice: introduction of underdeveloped positions with core components sandbagged to the negative block, evasiveness in cross-examination, and so on.
I am a very expressive judge -- if I look confused during your speech, you have confused me; if I look frustrated during your speech, it is probably your fault; if I laugh when you make an argument it is not because I will not vote on it or because it is a bad argument, it is because the argument is funny. I am bad at evaluating topicality debates, this is a skill at which I have been actively seeking to improve. I am in general very slow at deciding debates. I am more willing than many to assign zero risk to positions. I am confident I am in the top five percent of all judges for topicality against kritikal affirmatives. I am unconvinced that there is any meaningful numerical limitation on conditionality: If it is good, it is good; if it is bad; it is bad.
Novice and JV debaters are strongly encouraged to simplify the debate in late rebuttals. This will improve both your speaker points and your likelihood of making sufficiently complete arguments to win the debate.
Unless you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing, your counterplan should not be unconditional -- you are more likely to lose a debate because the 2AC can ignore multiple disads than on conditionality.
Flow the debate -- I will be very disappointed if arguments that were not read in the 1NC get answered in the 2AC, and your speaker points will suffer.
I will evaluate evidence that was inserted but not read only if the mere existence of the evidence constitutes a warrant. I will evaluate silly or offensive arguments, but these arguments are typically very easy to answer. I will kick counterplans for the negative if I am instructed to do so, but my threshold to overturn this presumption is low. I will run a prep timer for teams who need things removed from a speech doc (this is distinct from asking for marks in marked evidence).
An ethics violation (evidence, clipping, etc) introduced as a voting issue will either end the debate or not constitute a reason to reject the team, at the sole discretion of the team introducing the violation. I have a high threshold for identifying malice or competitive advantage gained from introducing improperly attributed evidence.
A forfeit will occur if one side does not wish to debate. I will consult the tabroom staff, if they award a forfeit/bye I will not submit a ballot. If I am instructed to submit a ballot, the side withdrawing from the debate will recieve the minimum speaker points allowed. The partnership not withdrawing will have an opportunity to give one constructive and one rebuttal each, to which I will arbitrarily assign speaker points. I will not participate in any arrangement to give sham speeches to avoid the consequences of a forfeit.
Competition rooms are public spaces, and spectators are welcome to watch or take notes as they see fit.
Plan texts should describe what the aff does. Plan texts should contain all of the things the affirmative wishes to fiat: If your solvency advocate calls for an insurance mandate, you probably already have enough offense against the PIC out of an insurance mandate to win without perm do the counterplan.
Old antitrust thoughts:
I have noticed that topicality interpretations seem exceedingly contrived and largely silly, and I don't know what is limiting this topic. I have noticed that in case-DA or counterplan-case-DA debates I vote negative an astounding amount of the time. This tells me that affirmative teams need 1) better 1ac answers to states and regs, 2) offense against net benefits, and 3) better case coverage in the 2ac.
Please use the restroom and fill up your water bottle before the round, in prep time after your speeches have finished, or during my decision time. The longer I have to make a decision, the better my decision and my feedback will be.
During dead time, I have literally nothing to do but watch competitors. You may think you can get away with stealing prep, but you cannot. I will notice, I will complain about it, I may punish you, I may complain to your coach about it.
The number of conditional worlds is two to the power of the number of advocacies, not the factorial of the number of advocacies.
All of the evidence you read in a debate should be formatted the same.
Put arguments in a useful order: If the first advantage has two scenarios, answer scenario 1 then scenario 2. If the 1AC has a solvency page, put circumvention there rather than on whichever advantage you take first. If it doesn't, you can create a solvency page for the affirmative.
Performative contradictions are double-turns or conditional arguments, not independent voting issues.
The speech doc is not a record of what happened in the round, it is a tool to share evidence. Sending too few things in the doc is a problem; sending too many things in the doc is clown-tier but will only cost you speaker points, and even then only if it's egregious.
The abbreviations 'aff' and 'neg' are shortenings of "affirmative" and "negative" and are ergo words not acronyms.
Current coach at Kent Denver School, University of Kentucky, and Rutgers University-Newark. Previous competitor in NSDA CX/Policy, NDT/CEDA, and NPTE/NPDA. Experience with British Parliamentary and Worlds Schools/Asian Parliamentary.
> Please include me on email chains - firstname.lastname@example.org <
TL;DR - I like judge instruction. I'll vote for or against K 1ACs based on Framework. Clash of Civilization debates are the majority of rounds I watch. I vote frequently on dropped technical arguments, and will think more favorably of you if you play to your outs. The ballot is yours, your speaker points are mine. Your speech overview should be my RFD. Tell me what is important, why you win that, and why winning it means you get the ballot.
Note to coaches and debaters - I give my RFDs in list order on how I end up deciding the round, in chronological order of how I resolved them. Because of this I also upload my RFD word for word with the online ballot. I keep a pretty good record of rounds I've judged so if anyone has any questions about any decision I've made on Tabroom please feel free to reach out at my email above.
1. Tech > Truth
The game of debate is lost if I intervene and weigh what I know to be "True." The ability to spin positions and make answers that fit within your side of the debate depend on a critic being objective to the content. That being said, arguments that are based in truth are typically more persuasive in the long run.
I'm very vigilant about intervening and will not make "logical conclusions" on arguments if you don't do the work to make them so. If you believe that the negative has the right to a "judge kick" if you're losing the counterplan and instead vote on the status quo in the 2NR, you need to make that explicitly clear in your speech.
More and more I've made decisions on evidence quality and the spin behind it. I like to reward knowledgeable debaters for doing research and in the event of a disputable, clashing claim I tend to default to card quality and spin.
I follow along in the speech doc when evidence is being read and make my own marks on what evidence and highlighting was read in the round.
Most rounds I judge involve Framework. While I do like these debates please ensure they're clashing and not primarily block reading. If there are multiple theoretical frameworks (ex. RotB, RotJ, FW Interp) please tell me how to sort through them and if they interact. I tend to default to policy-making and evaluating consequences unless instructed otherwise.
For theory violations - I usually need more than "they did this thing and it was bad; that's a voter" for me to sign my ballot, unless it was cold conceded. If you're going for it in the 2NR/2AR, I'd say a good rule of thumb for "adequate time spent" is around 2:00, but I would almost prefer it be the whole 5:00.
In the event that both teams have multiple theoretical arguments and refuse to clash with each other, I try to resolve as much of the framework as I can on both sides. (Example - "The judge should be an anti-ethical decision maker" and "the affirmative should have to defend a topical plan" are not inherently contradicting claims until proven otherwise.)
Winning framework is not the same as winning the debate. It's possible for one team to win framework and the other to win in it.
Procedural Fairness can be both an impact and an internal link. I believe it's important to make debate as accessible of a place as possible, which means fairness can be both a justification as well as a result of good debate practices.
3. Debate is Story Telling
I'm fond of good overviews. Round vision, and understanding how to write a singular winning ballot at the end of the debate, is something I reward both on the flow and in your speaker points. To some extent, telling any argument as a chain of events with a result is the same process that we use when telling stories. Being able to implicate your argument as a clash of stories can be helpful for everyone involved.
I do not want to feel like I have to intervene to make a good decision. I will not vote on an argument that was not said or implied by one of the debaters in round. I feel best about the rounds where the overview was similar to my RFD.
4. Critical Arguments
I am familiar with most critical literature and it's history in debate. I also do a lot of topic specific research and love politics debates. Regardless of what it is, I prefer if arguments are specific, strategic, and well executed. Do not be afraid of pulling out your "off-the-wall" positions - I'll listen and vote on just about anything.
As a critic and someone who enjoys the activity, I would like to see your best strategy that you've prepared based on your opponent and their argument, rather than what you think I would like. Make the correct decision about what to read based on your opponent's weaknesses and your strengths.
I've voted for, against, and judged many debates that include narration, personal experience, and autobiographical accounts.
If you have specific questions or concerns don't hesitate to email me or ask questions prior to the beginning of the round - that includes judges, coaches, and competitors.
5. Speaker Points
I believe that the ballot is yours, but your speaker points are mine. If you won the arguments required to win the debate round, you will always receive the ballot from me regardless of my personal opinion on execution or quality. Speaker points are a way for judges to reward good speaking and argumentation, and dissuade poor practice and technique. Here are some things that I tend to reward debaters for:
- Debate Sense. When you show you understand the central points in the debate. Phrases like "they completely dropped this page" only to respond to line by line for 3 minutes annoy me. If you're behind and think you're going to lose, your speaker points will be higher if you acknowledge what you're behind on and execute your "shot" at winning.
- Clarity and organization. Numbered flows, references to authors or tags on cards, and word economy are valued highly. I also like it when you know the internals and warrants of your arguments/evidence.
- Judge instruction. I know it sounds redundant at this point, but you can quite literally just look at me and say "Nate, I know we're behind but you're about to vote on this link turn."
I will disclose speaker points after the round if you ask me. The highest speaker points I've ever given out is a 29.7. A 28.5 is my standard for a serviceable speech, while a 27.5 is the bare minimum needed to continue the debate. My average for the last 3 seasons was around a 28.8-28.9.
University of Chicago '24 (MPP with concentrations in International Development and Urban Policy)
Indiana University '21 (BS in Business Economics & Analytics)
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com. Feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or concerns before/after the debate. Please send me a doc at the end of the debate with the relevant cards referenced in the 2NR/2AR, though do not count on me reading them all. Decision times are tight and I find myself having little to no time to read cards.
I try my best not to let outside knowledge affect my decision of the debate. Overall, you do you and I will work hard to make the best decision I can. If I looked confused during CX/your speech, I probably am and you may want to clarify your point. If you have me for a format other than policy, go to the end.
Spreading - Dial back to 70% of your top speed. I am not actively involved with debate and my ears are slow to adjust. Please be clear on the tags, long blocks/overview, important analytics, or a theory debate so that I can flow it. I don't read along with speech docs since this is a communication activity. I flow on paper so a quick pause in between flows is appreciated.
I will not evaluate re-highlighting that's inserted into the debate. You have to read it in your speech.
Online debate: Please slow down and make sure to adjust your microphones. If the audio is distorted, my ears ring which will cause me to miss arguments and I can't flow. I will try to say "clear" but obviously this can be tough over Zoom.
I'm open to most types of counter plans. I love intuitive CPs that are logically based on 1AC internal links/1AC CX. You should probably have a solvency advocate (or otherwise a defense of why you don't need one).
PICs are cool if they are functionally competitive. Not a big fan of word pics.
I won't automatically judge kick in the 2NR. Please make it explicit if that should be an option, although winning this is an uphill battle.
I'm pretty middle leaning for theory. Condo is probably fair game for the aff after 3ish conditional advocacies. Just slow down on these debates. Otherwise, I default to "reject the argument not the team".
If the neg lies about theory (i.e. says they can't kick planks but still does it), I would encourage affs to capitalize. I will vote against that.
I think affs should be related to the topic. I have a hard time voting for critical affs that don't engage with any topic literature. If you're reading a critical aff, you are better off impact turning framework in front of me instead of going for "we meet". It's strange when teams go for "we meet" and then no link topic DAs.
Not a good judge for you if your strategy relies on debate bad/is a rejection of the activity or your arguments orient around "survival strategy".
Negs should focus on what voting negative means and what my ballot can resolve. Fairness can be an impact or an internal link. TVAs are good (not necessary though) but they need to be specific. I think oftentimes 2Ns say a plan text but never explain how that engages with the aff's literature or why that model of debates is better. TVAs from re-highlighted 1AC evidence are very compelling to me.
Unless you're reading cap or security, I probably am not familiar with your literature. Make sure you slow down in the overview and talk about the specifics of the aff and why your stuff is more important (this includes having a specific impact). Please explain buzzwords or high-theory concepts.
If your overview is more than 30-40 seconds, I'm not the right judge for you. Not a fan of "cloud clash" where the 2N just cross applies the overview to the line by line. I'm fairly sympathetic to the aff in debates (1AR especially) where the neg relies on that strategy.
Something that always annoys me is when teams can't explain their alternatives in CX. You should be able to explain what the world of the alternative looks like and why it's better than the status quo.
I don't think a team needs specific link cards to every argument in the block as long they do specific analyses using historical and contemporary examples of their theory and how it interacts with the aff.
I love a good T debate. Just make sure to have clear impacts, of which fairness can be one. Please slow down and make sure to not go for the "buffet" in the 2NR - pick your best argument and sit on it. And please don't forget the case list, something I think it's underutilized by negs.
Impact calc is important here. Spend some time in the 2NR/2AR on how I should evaluate the impact, turns case, magnitude, etc. The more you write the ballot for me, the easier it is for me to vote for you.
Read uniqueness. If the 2AC says "they didn't read uniqueness so we get new 1AR answers", I'm pretty sympathetic to that.
Politics DAs are cool, especially if there are real topic links. Not a fan of rider DAs or anything of that sort.
I don't have a ton of experience coaching/judging in this format outside of some work at camp. That being said, I'm definitely not a "lay" judge. In terms of judging, please start the beginning of your final speeches with impact calculus and how I should write my ballot. Oftentimes these debates get very messy and it's tough to resolve them. Every argument does not need to be there. Pick your best and sit on it.
Most of my stuff from policy applies here. Like with PF, don't have a lot of experience with it outside of camp. My biggest advice is to focus on narrowing the debate down by the final rebuttals. The cleaner the rebuttals, the easier it is for me to write a ballot.
I competed in the activity for 4 years so please don't treat me like a lay judge. A lot of these thoughts are borrowed from my former coach, Ryan Andersen. For the most part, you do you but a few thoughts/pet peeves I have:
- Evidence should preferably come from peer-reviewed journals, books, & articles. When that's not possible, it should be considered credible and you should be able to defend your source in CX. There seems to be a trend of people quoting random blogs or students who don't have qualifications relative to the debate.
- Don't paraphrase evidence. Please read directly from the article but also make sure to choose the best line or two to save time.
- Focus on the analysis more than the evidence. I think too often people let the evidence do the talking for them and spend much less time on the impacts of a given argument. Explain the short-term and long-term implications of different warrants present in your evidence.
- I find roleplaying introductions/antics to be silly. You all are high schoolers, not actually in congress.
- CX should be spent asking targeted questions about the specific arguments made in the speech. I tend to see a lot of time wasted here by trying to set up a question that's not actually important. I think this is an area where average and excellent debaters can distinguish themselves.
- Every speech after the first affirmative speech should have refutations. These should be as specific as possible. This means not only refuting others by name, but contextualized "line-by-line" style debating where you engage with the substance of why the argument is incorrect. Debaters who are able to do evidence comparison, embedded refutations, etc. are ones that I will rank higher. This is a debate event, not speech, so I would like to see lots of clash.
- If no one is standing up to speak on a bill, move to previous question. This activity can get frustrating (more so in Zoom) when there are a bunch of parliamentary antics (including excessively long recesses) instead of fostering debate
Liberty University '19
Baylor University '21
Current DoD at Towson University
Honestly, do what makes you happy! I still believe my job is to learn from you all because your research practices are educational opportunities as well! If there is anyway I can help you all grow as intellectuals, that is my main priority. Arguments are going to be made on both sides, but please remember those arguments have real power. Flush out your arguments because any ounce of confusion never plays in anyone's favor well.
The only thing I ask is that you not only keep the debate entertaining and fun, but be respectful of your opponents. Flush out your arguments &
***I will fill this in or UD this when needed – I’m learning about my judging as the year progresses***
- Let me preface this w/ saying the 2019-2020 year (Space topic) is my first year out from debating, so do as you will with that.
- Yeah add me to the chain…Please don’t use my old email that some of you know—use this one: firstname.lastname@example.org
- ***I seek to judge the round that occurred in front of me & to not only give feedback, but to also learn from you all [because you’re valid & you work hard on your arguments]. Every judge should come into a round with the openness to listen to the debaters b/c it isn’t their career #iSaidWhatiSaid. But if you saying something racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist or problematic to anyone, then it’s a no-go. Other than that, DO YOU because you can’t let NO haters stop you from doing what you want in your career and that’s on period.***
- I’m a graduate student at Baylor. I debated four years at Liberty starting as a novice until my senior year where I ended my career as a 2x NDT octafinalist, CEDA quarterfinalist, & a first-round recipient. I did policy my novice year & more critical stuff my last three years. 1A/2N.
- Here’s how I would pref me if I was still debating (1: good – 4: eh).
Kritiks (identity politics): 1
Kritiks (high theory tingz): 4
Policy (Soft left): 2/3
Policy (Heg): ¾
- If you’re reading this before the round & you just need the basics: Big picture stories are my jam (i.e.- here’s the main story and how the aff implicates xyz OR how the aff does xyz bad thing). I LOVE ballot framing (i.e.- what we here for?). Condensed debates are always more nuanced (i.e.- sitting on a particular arg). I typically work backwards (i.e.- I evaluate the debate from the 2ar/2nr and circle what’s important/key args…So if it is important in the 1NC/1AC- make sure you have it in the 2NR/2AR). Don’t assume I know your lango on the K or the latest updates on the DA (i.e.- *insert big words* without explaining b/c you assume I know it won’t be the best thing to do). Last thing, have fun & be petty (not rude) – I know debate sometimes forces people to take everything so seriously all the time, but I promise it’s SO much better if you just doing you & having a good time!
Here’s the tea on your particular args:
· I actually love a good disad debate! I think that a good link wall in the block is killer & it puts the aff in tougher positions.
· I think empirics that prove the story-line of the DA is SO helpful & slept on. (i.e.- this happened previously when X, which resulted in Y, but the distinction now is Z).
· To make these debates more juicy, I do think that there needs to be more impact distinction and framing than typical (i.e.- if y’all are both going for war scenarios, I need you to tell me more about why your scenario comes first or is more probable).
· Ehhhh, if counterplans are you’re thing, I think you need to make sure you’re highlighting a few things for me: why it competes, (if there are) what parts of the aff do you do, & explaining the nuances/planks(if any) of the CP. I think having an overview that is precise & slowing down on that portion would be very beneficial if you’re going for the CP.
· Internal NBs are good, tbh (obvi external ones are as well). Just make sure you explain how the CP avoids said NB.
· If you’re going for/answering theory args, slow down! If you think you’re going to win a theory argument that was 5 seconds of speeding through your block, then lololol no.
Kritik (Identity based args) aff/neg-
· If this is your thing, do you! These debates are best when you isolate an understanding of how power operates in a simplistic way.
· If you’re going for “it’s a question of orientation” or “what we do in the face of X” – I’m good for you, but don’t shy away from explaining why that orientation is important, along with why the aff is necessary.
· I just think making sure you explain your stories interaction with the power you claim puts you in a better position—along with a way to navigate and/or solve said issue.
Kritik (POMO, etc) aff/neg-
· High theory? Make it low. I understand that some of y’all are deep-deep-deep in the archives with whatever lit base you come from, but remember that we aren’t. If you can’t explain to me in translation what you’re saying in the most basic form possible, then I may not be the best for you.
· Make applications, please. The way I can process something that is complex is by making sure I understand it in conjunction to said example.
· Mmm, yeah just explain everything v. simple & you’ll be fine.
Kritik (Security, Cap)-
· These are both viable options that I think are strategic. I think most policy-sided teams get so used to the DA debate that they don’t do well on explaining the theory of cap. I think a little more time on this in relation to the aff will do y’all justice.
· I do think that having/making contextualized links will make it more useful for you in the long run. (i.e.- having an identity ptx link, but then utilizing that in the block to explain how the aff manifest said link *we know they are this b/c the 1ac/2ac said….which means that…)
· **[THIS APPLIES TO ALL THE KRITIKS PORTION THOUGH] Make sure if you’re going for the alternative, you explain how that alt is able to overcome the links you’ve made. (If you can’t articulate why the alt solves the link, then you’re in a rough spot).
· No, they aren’t the same. But it is up to you to explain the difference to me.
· So one of the things that I clearly wait/listen for in the 2NR is a clear interpretation extension. In my career, I found that for critical debaters its always an uphill battle versus FW & they have to explain everything so thoroughly – but somehow fw/t debaters can win on these arguments b/c “we know what they meant” or “its clear what their interp is”…yeah, no! If it ain’t there & the aff points it out, then that’s not good for you. I do think T can be done and done good versus critical debaters (think Michigan GW or Harvard CM/MS), but I think mediocrity shouldn’t be tolerated.
· Fairness is an impact.
· Insofar as T goes, make sure you have definitions that are clearly extrapolating what your interpretation would justify/mean.
· TVA’s are poppin’—so yes, have some.
· I also think you should contextualize everything to the particular aff and CONTEST THE AFF on some level, please.
· Slow down on them, please. I’m not going to get all 17 points in twenty seconds if you blazing through them.
· Can be strategic for final speeches, but time needs to be allocated there earlier if that will be your option in final speeches.
· Read your blocks, but also answer their particular theory arg about why what you did/do is bad.
If something is unclear or you want to ask me a question about a particular argument, email me! I enjoy talking about how we think about debate. Have fun!
Harris, Scott (University of Kansas)
Please add me to the email chain.
I am a critic of arguments and an educator not a policy maker. I view my role as deciding who did the better job of debating and won the arguments based on what was said in the debate. I have voted for and against just about every kind of argument imaginable. I will read evidence (including non highlighted portions).
I expect debaters to be comprehensible and I have no qualms about telling you if I can’t
understand you. I try my best to resolve a debate based on what the debaters have said in
their speeches. I try not to impose my own perspective on a debate although there is no such thing as a tabula rosa judge and some level of judge intervention is often inevitable to resolve arguments in a debate. Any argument, assumption, or theory is potentially in play. The purpose of my ballot is to say who I think won the debate not to express my personal opinion on an issue. You make arguments and I decide to the best of my ability who won the arguments based on what you said in the debate. I prefer to follow along with your speech docs to double check clarity, to make sure you are reading all of your ev, and to enhance my ability to understand your arguments.
My speaker points tend to reward smart creative arguments and strategies, smart choices in the debate, high quality evidence, the use of humor, the use of pathos, and making the debate an enjoyable experience. My points rarely go below 28 but you need to really impress me to get me into the 29-30 range. I am rarely impressed.
Absent arguments in the debate that convince me otherwise I have some default assumptions you should be aware of:
The aff should be topical and topicality is a voting issue. What it means to be topical is open for debate and for anyone who wants to build their strategy on framework you should know that I often vote aff in framework debates.
The affirmative must win a comparative advantage or an offensive reason to vote affirmative.
Presumption is negative absent a warranted reason for it to shift.
The affirmative does not need a net benefit to a permutation. The negative must win that a counterplan or critique alternative alone is better than the plan or a combination of the plan and counterplan/alternative.
Permutations are a test of competition and not an advocacy.
Teams are culpable for the ethical implications of their advocacy. This means that framework arguments on K's that say "only consequences matter" have an uphill climb with me. Means and ends are both relevant in my default assessment on critical arguments.
TLDR: You do you. I do what you tell me.
I strive to judge like a "blank slate" while recognizing that I will never actually be one. Keep this in mind as you read the rest of this paradigm.
If there is an email chain I will want to be on it. I would be glad to answer any questions you have.
Disclose as much or as little as you want to me or anyone else in the room. Either way, I am committed to making the debate rounds I judge safe and accessible.
I competed in LD in high school (2009-2013) in Wyoming and northern Colorado with some national circuit exposure.
I competed in policy at the University of Wyoming (2013-2018) and qualified to the NDT twice. I loved reading complicated courts affirmatives, bold impact turns, and Ks with specific and nuanced justifications for why they are competitive with the aff. I wish I had had the courage to go for theory in the 2AR more often. I studied (mostly analytic) philosophy and some critical disability theory to earn my bachelor's degree.
All debate is performative. I can be persuaded that one performance is contingently more valuable (ethically, aesthetically, educationally, etc.) than another, but it would be arbitrary and unethical on my part to categorically exclude any particular style.
That being said, I am not agnostic when it comes to form. An argument has a claim, a warrant, and an impact. I do not care how you give me those three things, but if you do not, then you have not made an argument and my RFD will probably reflect that. This cuts in many directions: I hate K overviews that make sweeping ontological claims and then describe implications for the case without explaining why the original claim might be true; I equally detest when anyone simply asserts that "uniqueness determines the direction of the link".
Organization matters. However, I do not think organization is synonymous with what a lot of people mean when they say "line by line". It means demonstrating a holistic awareness of the debate and effectively communicating how any given argument you are making interacts with your opponents'. Therefore, when adjudicating whether something is a "dropped argument" I will parse between (a) reasonably predictable and intelligibly executed cross-applications and (b) superficial line-by-line infractions. Giving conceptual labels to your arguments and using your opponents' language when addressing theirs can help you get on the right side of this distinction.
Evidence matters. A lot. Again, I do not mean what a lot of people mean when they talk about evidence in debate. It is about a lot more than cards. It is also about personal experience and preparation, historical consciousness, and even forcing your opponents to make a strategic concession (by the way, I flow cross-examination). I read cards only when I have to and tend to defer to what was said in the debate regarding how to interpret them and determine their quality. Thus, I will hold the 2NR/2AR to relatively high thresholds for explanation.
I flow on paper. This means I need pen time. It also magnifies the importance of organization since I cannot drag and drop cells on a spreadsheet. Because I flow the "internals" of evidence (cards or otherwise), you will benefit enormously from clarity if you are fast and will not necessarily be at a disadvantage against very fast teams if you are slow but efficient with your tag lines.
Substance: mostly agnostic.
Hate and disrespect are never conducive to education and growth. I presume that the need to disincentivize abusive speech and other behaviors overrides my desire to reward skill with a ballot, but it never hurts for debaters to remind me of why this is true if you are up to it. This includes card clipping and other ethics violations. In general, I will stop the round if I notice it on my own. Otherwise, you have two options: (1) stop the round, stake the debate on it (you may lose if you are wrong, but they will certainly lose and receive no speaker points if you are right), and let me be final arbiter or (2) keep the issue alive throughout the debate, but leave open the option to go for substance. I think this is the most fair way for me to address this as an educator, but please do not think option two gives you license to go for "a risk of an ethics violation" in the final rebuttals or to read a generic "clipping bad" shell in every one of your 1NC/2ACs. That's icky.
There is no right way to affirm the topic. There are wrong ways to affirm the topic. I can be sold on the notion that the aff did it the wrong way. I can also be convinced that the wrong way is better than the right way. It may yet be easiest to convince me that your counter-interpretation of the right way to affirm the topic is just as good as, or better than, theirs.
Theory is mis- and underutilized. You get to debate the very rules of your debate! Current conventions regarding negative fiat, for example, will inevitably make me smirk when you read "no neg fiat." Still, if you invest enough thought, before and during and after debates (not merely regurgitating somebody else's blocks at an unintelligible rate), into any theory argument I am going to be eager to vote on it.
Currently a coach and PhD student at The University of Kansas.
Add me to the chain plz and thank you DerekHilligoss@gmail.com
for college add email@example.com as well
TL;DR do what you do and do it well. Don't let my preferences sway you away from doing what you want.
The biggest thing for me is that I value good impact framing/calc. If you aren't explaining why your impacts matter more then your opponents you are leaving it up for me or the other team to decide.
Framework: Go for whatever version of framework you like but I tend to think it should interact with the aff at some level. If you give the 2NC/2NR and make no reference to the aff you will find it harder to win my ballot.
Planless affs: The one note I wanna make outside of FW notes is that you have to be able to answer the "what do you do" question no matter how silly it may seem. If I don't know what the aff does after the 1AC/CX that's gonna put you in a rough spot. I don't think this means you have to do anything but you should have a good justification for why you don't have to.
Theory: condo (probably) to a certain extent is good and counterplans should (probably) have solvency advocates. I have no strong opinions just tell me how to feel.
Topicality: limits for the sake of limits probably bad?
Counterplans: cool? Do it
Disads: The only thing I wanna note here is highlight your cards better. I don't wanna have to read 30 crappy cards to get the story of the disad and it makes it easier for the aff to win with a few solid cards.
Kritiks: Specific links go a long way. This doesn't mean it has to be exactly about the plan but your application will do better than a generic "law bad" card. Applying your theory to the aff's advantages in a way that takes out solvency will make your lives so much easier.
For the aff FW I think a well developed FW argument about legal/pragmatic engagement will do more for you than fairness/limits impacts.
If you are unclear I'll yell clear twice before I stop flowing. I'll make it apparent I'm not flowing to let you know you need to adjust still.
If you clip you will lose.
"reinsert card here"- nope :) read it- this is a communication activity not a robot activity.
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-Present– Missouri State University, MO, (MDT Withdrawal, Anti-Trust, Rights/Duties, Nukes); NFA-LD (Climate, Endless Wars)
2022-23- Truman State University, MO, NFA-LD (Elections)
2022-Present - The Pembroke Hill School, MO, (NATO, Economic Inequality).
Always add: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also add IF AND ONLY IF at a NDT/CEDA TOURNAMENT: 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 debate 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. 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.
I am often not a very good judge for CP's that require you to read the definition of "Should" when answering the permutation. Even more so for CP's that compete using internal net benefits. I understand how others think about these arguments, but I am often unimpressed with the quality of the evidence and cards read. Re: CIL CP - come on now.
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. I think arguments centered on procedural fairness and iterative testing of ideas are compelling. 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, and democratically selected 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. I am not qualified nor empowered to adjudicate debates concerning the moral behavior of debaters beyond the scope of the debate.
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 my first year judging NDT/CEDA:
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 it is not what you do, it is what you justify. Debaters really should be able to say nearly anything they’d like in a debate. It is the opposing team’s 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 and relevant 1AC advantages etc. before the round. If thats a local tournament, that means as soon as you get to the room and find your opponent.
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 opponent's 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.
Currently working towards my PhD at Wayne State University in communication studies. Competed for Wayne State during my undergraduate degree, qualified to the NDT twice. Assistant coach for West Bloomfield High School’s public forum and IE team.
Include me on emails chains please: DouglasAHusic@gmail.com
I flow on paper, please give me pen time. Preference is always towards a speaker starting slower and settling into top speed instead of missing parts early on. I care about clarity more than who reads a few more cards that I didn’t catch because I’m not following the doc. CX is a speech, I flow it in every debate format.
Pre-NDT 2022 Personhood thoughts -
-The comments I have below about my opinions on TVAs I think have been misinterpreted to mean don't make TVAs if Doug is in the back. My point was never a press to stop making the argument, I think as I emphasize there my issue is more with the context it is often deployed. It is not a worthless argument, but I also don't think it acts as the catch-all debaters often make it out to be.
I think TVAs are most useful when either a super specific articulation of a 1ac which synthesize aff theory with policy expressed with a really good or a few really good pieces of evidence, or a diversity of plans which alone don't encompass all of the aff themes but in totality allow us to over the course of a season test multiple premises of the aff in new and interesting ways in combination which a description of how your model can negotiate defense on the style of questions that promotes through the resolution. At best though it is always defense to whatever the affirmative's impact turn is.
I also seem to differ on layer of explanation necessary for a TVA to interact with themes of the 1ac, i'm not good for do RON with this author's book as your impact framing solves. I am great (read as: better contextually) for here is a policy aff which has incorporated theory on the front end from construction or have a theory of the law which supports this style of change, with novel impact framing or advantages the break from the norms of policy framing. More detail and engagement with aff stuff the better and more likely I am to vote for you.
-I miss impact turn debates
-And 1ars that tried to win the debate.
-Bring back theory debating,
i'm sympathetic that the aff should have to specify resolution dependent stuff or terms in the plan. Not as a voting issue but as a circumvention arg.
-I miss aff teams willing to impact turn a bad DA to mess with block strategy, or straight link turns with like good evidence. Too many debaters reaching for death by a thousand defensive cuts.
Pre-NDT 2021 thoughts:
-I've discovered I'm not a very good judge for framework teams who assume I agree that things like research, iteration, fairness, etc. are all inherently good things and don't need like any unpacking. Iteration is probably the worst offender. "3rd and 4th order testing" isn't a warrant/impact in my mind it's an empty signifier. All research is iterative - because it builds on the research conclusions of previous academics/authors/researchers (standing on the shoulders of giants and all that). Does this mean there is no impact to iteration in the world? No, but when you describe it as a process of testing conclusions - its not really an exclusive impact because the affirmative is also (whether you acknowledge it or not) attempting to test conclusions about the world. So what is an avenue you would find more persuasive? Well most simply its not a question of who iterates. But the types of questions/conclusions we iterate upon. I wanna hear what the iterative process looks under your method and not like just like "it's a predictable stasis" but what truths do we get to test more often under your model. is there a benefit to your model making policy affs vs the K the primary way we engage in critical literature? Does their alternative model also utilize problematic research standards? is K v K debate a sustainable controversy even with a focal point of the resolution? These are questions I never hear in framework debates but are ones I'd be way more interested in hearing then every one's copy-pasta explanation of iteration.
First Semester Alliance Thoughts:
1) I try to keep my camera on while you're speaking universally so you know whether or not I'm there. I've only had one issue of dropping out of a call due to my computer crashing this year. In that instance my user never fully disconnected from the call but just showed as if I turned my camera off. If my camera ever turns off in the middle of someone's speech assume I've dropped from the call and try to pause.
2) Framework on this topic:
a) negative teams have been good at explaining impacts in front of me but less good on the link - I've been persuaded in a lot of instances that affs that defend the end to a particular alliance regardless of their agent or method reasonabley meet the negs interp - especially when coupled with arguments about the topic paper predicting this as an approach to reducing alliance commitments. I don't think I'm un-persuadable on this issue but definitely need a more robust push-back on this arg from the neg when the aff relies heavily on it in the 2ac. Debates about extra-T could also be a useful avenue.
Whoever controls the framing of how to evaluate relevant offense in a debate generally wins my ballot this is universally true for all arguments and how I look at my flow at the end of the debate. Specifics for arguments will be listed below. But generally absolute defense is a hard sell absent drops, strategic concessions, or the argument was poorly constructed to begin with.
Debate is a persuasive and communicative activity first and foremost driven by student research. As a debater research was my favorite part of the activity so I certainly appreciate quality evidence production on unique and different arguments. But communicating and persuading me on the importance of evidence is most relevant to how I evaluate it at the end of the debate. A sick card that is undersold and not well explained and applied will get my appreciation but not my ballot. If it’s not on my flow, it doesn’t register for my decision, and, if the warrant is on my flow and uncontested, it won’t matter if the evidence supporting it is weak. Obviously contested argument backed up by quality ev favors the team with the quality ev.
I won't evaluate evidence that is "inserted" but not actually read as part of my decision.
You'll get a lot of return investing time in minimizing the other teams thesis. Probability > Magnitude (unless you fall into a "try-or-die" trap).
Thoughts on framework:
I went for this argument for the majority of my career as a one-off position and am compelled by arguments that there should be some limit on the topic and that affirmative teams should have some relationship to the topic for the purpose of predictable negative ground. So take that for what you will.
However, I can also be persuaded that there are alternative interpretations for the resolution that are beneficial for the purposes of inclusion and are equally as debatable. Teams that have a well thought out counter interpretation and vision for what their model of debate looks like are often in a strategically good place for my ballot. For the aff It resolves what I often find to be a core issue with aff offense on framework is that it is very compelling but the aff doesn’t solve it through the 1ac. Impact turns alone can still win my ballot though.
I think teams focus too much on the need for a TVA. They’re useful contingently but teams waste so much time trying to make something that isn’t even trying to be topical be T. You’d be better served developing better explanations for how SSD resolves their offense or talking about how the communicative model you promote still accesses the relevant pedagogical skills from their literature.
K’s vs Policy teams:
I’m a fan. I like when there is a lot of interaction with the case. I'm an ok judge for specific philosophical criticisms of the plan. I'm a substantially worse judge for "you defend [use] the state." The alternative tends to be the focus of my decision (is it competitive, what does it do to resolve the links, etc). I'm a pragmatist at heart, I believe in real-world solutions to problems and I'm often persuaded that we ought to make the world a better place. How your alternative deals with affirmative attacks of this genre matters a lot to me. I've voted for more pessimistic or alt-less Ks, but, again, mostly due to technical errors by the affirmative. I find myself caring less about alternative solvency when the negative team has spent time proving to me that the aff doesn’t solve their impacts either.
Aff teams are most successful when they have a clear approach to the theme of the negatives K from the 1ac. Either be the impact turn alt doesn’t solve team --- or be the link turn plus perm team --- wishy washiness just gets the aff into more trouble then its worth often allowing the negative a lot of narrative control on what the aff is or isn’t about.
Unless told specifically otherwise I assume that life is preferable to death. The onus is on you to prove that a world with no value to life/social death is worse than being biologically dead.
I am skeptical of the pedagogical value of frameworks/roles of the ballot/roles of the judge that don’t allow the affirmative to weigh the benefits of hypothetical enactment of the plan against the K. You're better served making arguments which elevate the importance of the impacts you've described and undercutting the ability of the aff to resolve their own. I'm totally open to disproving the affirmative's model of predictions - I just think you have to do the work to have my skepticism outweigh their narrative. I don't think its a particularly hard sell for me when the work is done. But I rarely see teams engage the case enough to decrease risk.
I tend to give the aff A LOT of leeway in answering floating PIKs, In my experience, these debates work out much better for the negative when they are transparent about what the alternative is and just justify their alternative doing part of the plan from the get go
Links control the direction of the DA in my mind absent some explanation to the counter in the debate
You should invest neg block time into the link story (unless it's impact turned). A compelling link argument is very powerful, and can cover holes in your evidence. "Impact turns the case" is a bit overrated, because it normally lacks uniqueness. Not making the arg is a mistake, but banking on it can also be a mistake.
theory arguments that aren't some variation of “conditionality bad” aren't reasons to reject the team. That being said, I don't understand why teams don't press harder against obviously abusive CPs/alternatives (uniform 50 state fiat, consult cps, utopian alts, floating piks). Performative contradictions matter less to me in the 1nc especially if they’re like a reps K (stuff like the Econ DA and Cap is more suspect). Performative contradictions carried through as a position in the block grinds my gears and should be talked about more. Theory might not be a reason to reject the team, but it's not a tough sell to win that these arguments shouldn't be allowed. If the 2NR advocates a K or CP I will not default to comparing the plan to the status quo absent an argument telling me to. New affs bad as a policy argument is definitely not a reason to reject the team and is also not a justification for the neg to get unlimited conditionality (something I've been hearing people say).
By default, I view topicality through the lens of competing interpretations, but I could certainly be persuaded to do something else. Specification arguments that are not based in the resolution or that don't have strong literature proving their relevance are rarely a reason to vote neg. I will say though lack of specification often annoys me on both sides have a debate, cut some offense, defend something please. It is very unlikely that I could be persuaded that theory outweighs topicality. Policy teams don’t get a pass on T just because K teams choose not to be topical. Plan texts should be somewhat well thought out. If the aff tries to play grammar magic and accidentally makes their plan text "not a thing" I'm not going to lose any sleep after voting on presumption/very low solvency.
Points - My average point scale is consistently 28.2-29.5. Points below 27.5 are reserved for "epic fails" in argumentation or extreme offensiveness (I'm talking racial slurs, not light trash talking/mocking - I love that) and points above 29.5 are reserved for absolutely awesome speeches. I cannot see myself going below 26.5 absent some extraordinary circumstances that I cannot imagine. All that being said, they are completely arbitrary and entirely contextual. Things that influence my points: 30% strategy, 60% execution, 10% style. Saying "baudy" caps your points at 28.7.
Cheating - I won't usually initiate clipping/ethics challenges, mostly because I don't usually follow along with speech docs. but if i notice it i reserve the right to call you out when especially egregious If you decide to initiate one, you have to stake the round on it. Unless the tournament publishes specific rules on what kind of points I should award in this situation, I will assign the lowest speaks possible to the loser of the ethics challenge and ask the tournament to assign points to the winner based on their average speaks.
Director of Debate at Weber State University - presently
Assistant Coach at Western Washington University. 2020-2022
Graduate Assistant Coach at the University of Wyoming 2018-2020
I debated for Gonzaga University 2014-2018
Do what you do best and feel most comfortable and confident forwarding in the debate- I judge a myriad of styles and types of arguments in debates- while my paradigm gives you a sense of how I view decision-making calculus- I first and foremost view my role as a judge as an ethical educator.
Kritiks- I enjoy critical debates. Feel free to run them on both sides. I am well versed in feminist/queer, postmodern, and gender theory, although I am also familiar with other critical literature bases. The link debate is the most important part of a critique for me. Really good impact analysis does not matter if there is no link to the 1AC. I also think that performative links are valid arguments and can be used as reasons for why the permutation does not solve. I generally think the aff should get perms although can be persuaded otherwise in an instance where the aff is not about the resolution or in pure methods debates.
Role of the Ballot - I think the role of the ballot is to vote for who wins their arguments and does the better debating. If you have an argument otherwise, I will be more persuaded/default to a functionality/interpretation of how my vote works if both teams get a chance of receiving that vote. I do not find a "Role of the Ballot" claim that is to "vote for us" to be persuasive. I think it's dishonest and transparently one-sided to interpret the role of a ballot through one team's participation.
Aff framework versus the K- Your interpretation should probably say you should get to weigh your impacts vs. the K. I prefer debates about the substance of the arguments over debates that end up being exclusively about aff framework, if your framework argument ends up mooting the substance of both the aff and the K (aff solvency and alt solvency) then it becomes a messy debate that I will not enjoy adjudicating.
Performative/Non-Traditional Debates - I think the aff should be about something pertaining to the topic and recommend something be done that is different than the status quo (does NOT have to be a plan or involve the United States Federal Government). If the aff chooses to not do this, they'll have to win why the topical version of the aff can't solve for the performance/discussion that the aff began and win an impact turn to framework. In terms of impact analysis. You should be able to explain what reasonable neg ground exists versus your aff that is within the realm of topic-related research. That said, I'll still vote for an aff that is not about the topic if they win their impact turns to framework/accessibility questions.
Framework versus Performative/Non-Traditional Affs- I think that the negative either has to win that there is a ‘topical’ version of the aff that can solve for the substance and performance/discussion of the affirmative, or that their interpretation of debate can allow for better access to the solvency mechanism/ address the impacts of the affirmative. I say ‘topical’ because I am generally unpersuaded that the aff must defend the “hypothetical enactment of the plan by the USFG”, I think that the negative has to prove that the affirmative either justify an interpretation of the topic that makes it impossible to be prepared to debate this particular aff, or that the affirmative is not grounded in a methodology that changes something in the status quo or the lives/experiences of the debaters in the round. I think that the best deliberative model of debate is one in which the affirmative presents a strategy that can generate effective deliberation on a topic because it is something that is contestable and allows for a debate to occur regarding the desirability and effectiveness of two competing strategies/methods to address the affirmatives impacts/concerns.
Topicality- If the debate becomes a large T debate, please slow down so I can get the nuances and particularities of the arguments and debate. I flow on paper so keep that in mind. Limits and predictability are not impacts they are internal links. Discussing how limits and predictability impact debate/ research/ neg prep and what that means in terms of education etc. (This also goes for framework)
Theory- Generally, I think reasonable conditionality (example: 1 Kritik and 1 CP) is a good thing but conditionality bad arguments can be used strategically. I generally err neg on theory arguments that are not conditionality, but I am open to persuasion by either side of the debate.
Counterplans- I generally will vote on a counterplan if you win that you solve the aff, which means you don’t particularly need to win a big risk of your offense to win.
Disads- You need a good disad turns case argument or a case take out to be a round winning strategy. Most of the time I will filter my decision for case versus the disad debates through impact calculus.
Coach for the University of Houston, Langham Creek High School, and Memorial High School
A couple of thoughts before I address specific arguments
for Wake/UT - I haven't judged very much this year and don't know what the norms/args are yet
If it’s important say it more than once, I don’t necessarily mean that you should just repeat yourself, but make the argument in more than one place with more than one application.
Highlighting should be able to be read - I think that your evidence should be highlighted in a way that makes at least some grammatical sense - this is kind of subjective but if its a true abomination of words slapped together I won't read around your highlighting to understand what you're trying to say.
please time yourselves
I would like to be on the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org
T debates (and theory debates) are already very blippy, if you want me to evaluate it, slow down. I like it when teams use T strategically in other areas of the debate.
DA's: good spin > sepcific ev > generic ev. I like intuitive turns case arguments and I love when you can implicate the aff’s internal links and solvency using other parts of the disad. I think that
CP's: These are fine, if you want to know my thoughts on judge kick see Rob Glass's paradigm.
K’s: As long as you approach the debate assuming I won’t understand your version of baudrillard we’ll probably be fine. 2nr (and 2nc to some extent) explanation of what the alt world would look like, how the alt solves the links to the aff, and how the alt solves the impacts are important to me, I find myself to be much more persuaded by neg teams that can do this well.
K affs v fw: I think your aff should in some way be related to the topic, that's not to say that you have to be, just that it will make it easier for you to win those debates.
K affs v k's: this is by far the debate that I have the least experience with, something that's really important to me in these debates is clarity of how the alt/aff functions and how it interacts with the links to your opponent's argument, I tend to find myself being persuaded by detailed alt analysis.
if you’ve noticed a common theme here, it’s that I think the alt debate is important
Theory: Default neg and reject the argument, you should give me reasons to do otherwise, don't expect me to vote on it if you don't slow down and explain your argument, most debaters spread blippy blocks that make it difficult to flow and evaluate, if the 2nr or 2ar want to go for theory in some form or fashion you're going to have to do a modicum of work, saying severance perms bad for 10 seconds at the top of your 2nr is not enough to get me to vote on it as long as the 2ar makes any sort of response.
Counterplans bad is probably not a reason to vote aff
I don’t judge this event as often so I may lack a more nuanced understanding of how things function in LD compared to policy, but with that being said I’m open to however you want to do it, be it traditional or progressive. Your phil and theory debates are a little alien to me coming from how we approach similar arguments in policy, so if that’s what you think you’ll be going for in your 2ar or nr be super clear. Most of my thoughts about args in cx will color my analysis of the arguments you make in LD.
I dont consider the time it takes for your opponents to provide you their evidence as prep time, and I don't think you need to take cx time for it either. If you can’t tell, I am primarily a policy judge and as such I probably have a higher standard for evidence quality and access than your average judge.
other than that I don't have strong opinions when it comes to what arguments you want to read as long as you justify them (read: impacts matter!)
im not familiar with pf norms when it comes to whether you should or shouldn’t answer opponents args in summary or 2nd constructive. And sometimes I feel like I’m inconsistent in trying to figure out and apply what they are in my rounds judging it. As such I will treat it as I would a cx round unless you tell me otherwise - new args can be made in first two speeches, summary should not be new args (but can if they are answering a new argument, ie 1st speaking team makes an argument that directly answers a new arg made by 2nd speakers in the last constructive speech) in terms of extensions through to ff I don't think that saying something in grand is enough for me to weigh it at the end of the debate if you dont extend it through your last speech.
I will probably call for evidence. If you paraphrase, expect me to not treat your evidence with the same level of veracity as someone citing specific parts of their cards.
I debated at Coeur d’Alene High school for 3 years and Gonzaga University for 4 years.
My email is email@example.com
I haven’t been heavily involved in debate for a few years as I was working abroad.
Essentially, do whatever you want and I’ll do my best. I try my absolute hardest to pay 100% attention while a debate is happening. This means that I try to make eye contact, listen attentively, and catch all of the arguments the best I can. This also means, however, that I flow on paper. As such, please give me some pen time especially if you have a really important argument you want to get across. **This is 10x more true for theory arguments/T debates - you must slow down.
Also, I really hate interrupting a debate. I don’t yell clear, please just…be clear?
Updates as of Kentucky
1. Line by line is important to me - I understand we're on a time crunch, but I have to know what you're answering. Numbers are great, use them consistently.
2. I like research - I love this aspect of the activity a lot. That said, I think that the way a lot of teams highlight cards is odd. I'm naturally more skeptical of a piece of evidence if you've made 1 sentence from 15 lines of text by highlighting a few words. I also really don't like the size 2 font on cards.
3. Compare your cards! I think every debate I've watched in recent memory could have been improved if no one said "their card is really bad". I'm more persuaded if you first tell me what makes your evidence so persuasive and why the opponent's evidence can't meet that threshold.
4. That said, CX needs to extend beyond just evidence. Asking "where in you card does it say 'x'" for 3 minutes isn't persuasive to me.
5. There is no clarification period. If you are asking a question, that is CX.
I don’t like obnoxious people. I have a pretty good sense of humor and I know when being funny crosses a line. I’m also not persuaded when debaters tell others to do harm to themselves or others. It won’t necessarily cost you the debate (unless I’m instructed otherwise) but I will tell you now; it’s a waste of breath that will probably lose you speaker points. I also do not enjoy debates where debaters don't defend the things they have said/read. If you read Irigaray, you have to defend Irigaray. If you try to weasel out of it, I'm either going to think you a) are unprepared/don't understand your evidence b) are a weasel c) are an unprepared weasel.
I lean neg, but everything is open to debate. This was never my favorite kind of debate and it is definitely not my strength. I don’t consider most things reasons to reject the team unless you tell me and give a good reason. I tend to lean negative on conditionality.
Love it. Read it, but be honest with yourself. You and I know both know that T – Sub isn’t the best argument ever, but I’ve won on it and voted on it, so here we are. An important note: I find it easier to vote for/against T when I know what exactly a debate round looks like on average. What are the affs? Are they winnable? What are the DAs? Are they winnable?
Love them. If you’re going to have a super long, complicated text, please read it slowly. I try to write it down the best I can. If you have a lot of planks, you should probably have solvency cards for all the planks.
Love these too.
Go for them if they’re your thing. I was a philosophy student, but the K lit most kids read was never my jam. I like a specific link story and I would like to know how the alt solves or why, if it doesn’t, I still shouldn’t vote aff. Something that often confuses me about K debates is that I don’t know what to do with the things I am told, so please impact things clearly and let me know what to do with the information you provide.
I’m not a big fan of the dead-on-the-inside stuff as it all sounds like gobbledygook to me, but if it’s your thing and you want to shine, shine on, friend. I’ll do my best.
The more about the topic they are, the happier I am. That said, I don’t hate things that have nothing to do with the topic. Just explain the aff well and try to be as clear as possible. I will say, if all of your cards have paragraph-long tags, it will be harder for me to flow.
Please don’t hesitate to ask me questions before/after the debate. I really love debate and want everyone to do well and get better.
**Clarification questions about the speech doc are CX time**
Yes email chain-- firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently a coach at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. I debated in high school at Washburn Rural and in college at the University of Kansas.
Fiscal redistribution topic thoughts I have (post-greenhill 2023)
-If I don't know what the plan does and how it is financed by the end of 1ac cx (preferably by the end of the 1ac), the affirmative will have a very hard time winning my ballot.
-I have a degree in and teach economics. I don't know everything about the economy, but I am interested in and capable of adjudicating wonky, technical debates about the economy. (Post-greenhill update: I judged several econ da vs link turn debates and they were so fun!)
-Theory should come back with a vengeance. That doesn't mean I want to watch a theory debate, but trying to substantively answer 4 counterplans that do the whole aff seems borderline impossible. Don't go for theory just because I have this in my paradigm. This just means don't be deterred from going for well thought out and meaningful theory arguments.
- I do not have strong opinions on t-tax. It is a viable, but not unbeatable, t argument in front of me.
Things on which I am unlikely to change my mind
-I will not evaluate arguments about an individual's character or behavior that occurred outside of the debate. I am an adult and I feel uncomfortable and unwilling to decide the moral worth of high schoolers. Introducing ad hominem attacks, screenshots, or other arguments that require me to adjudicate the moral worth of somebody's actions outside of a debate will not only be unsuccessful, they will result in a loss. Serious, good faith concerns should be brought to the tournament administration, not to the judge of a debate.
-Debaters should flow (preferably on paper) and use that flow to make arguments in a line-by-line fashion that responds directly to what the other team said. Debaters should not just read into a speech document for 8 minutes.
-If an ethics challenge is introduced, the debate stops immediately and is decided solely on this ethics challenge. There is no ethics "violation" and the presumption is on the side of the accused. The negative must prove bad faith and that the only acceptable remedy is to lose the debate.
-Somebody must take prep to send a marked doc. If I deem the speech to have marked an excessive number of cards, the marking team must take prep. If I deem the speech to have been reasonable, then the requesting team must take prep.
-Have fun! I more often vote for and give higher points to teams that have fun and are nice. If you are mean or look like you are here against your will, voting for you will be a challenge.
Opinions I hold strongly but could be convinced to abandon if debating is overwhelmingly lopsided
-The best way to maximize debate’s educational potential is to maximize fairness. Giving both sides of the topic as equal of a chance as possible to win incentivizes debaters to innovate and creatively think.
-I prefer debates in which debaters defend well developed, well researched, core of topic arguments. I do not prefer debates in which debaters rely on deception, trickery, or clash-evasion to win. I am very tired of process counterplans.
-I am a better judge for policy arguments than k arguments, but I have voted for well developed k's.
-I would prefer to judge a debate about the outcome of the plan rather than about potential processes of enacting the plan.
- My judging record indicates that I am historically a far better judge for the negative going for t/framework than I am for the affirmative arguing that they do not need to be topical.
SHORTEST VERSION: THINGS I BELIEVE ABOUT DEBATE
Lawful Good -----|----Neutral Good -----|----Chaotic Good
1AC Plan Texts, ----|----- Case Debate,------|----Performance Debate,
Open Debaters -----|----Novice Debaters----|----JV Debaters
Lawful Neutral ---|---True Neutral------|---- Chaotic Neutral
Topicality -----------|----Counterplans ------|------Dispositionality
Lawful Evil -------|----Neutral Evil ------|-----Chaotic Evil
Framework args ---|----Standard Nuke ----|----- Baudrillard
from 1996 that ----|---- War Disad
say no K's
You are prepping and don't have time to read everything, or interpret. So this is the stuff you most need to know if you don't know me :
1) I run The New School program. The New School is in the Northeast, around the corner from NYU where I actually work full time. (CEDA has Regions, not Districts. The NDT and the Hunger Games have Districts.) I care about things like novice and regional debate, and pretty much only coach for resource poor program. You need to know this because it affects how I view your ETHOS on certain "who are we" arguments.
2) Email: email@example.com. Skip the rant below about want/need to be on chain.
3)SLOW THE HELL DOWN ONLINE. I flow on paper. I need PEN TIME. I am not reading along with the doc unless the connection gets bad or I have serious misgivings.
4) Do what you need to do to make the tech work.
5) Do what you do in this activity. Seriously, especially in novice, or on a panel, you are not 100% adapting to me, so change how you debate those things a bit maybe, but not what you debate. To help with that:
6) Yes, my threshold for "is there gonna be a nuclear war" is WAY higher than it is for "what we talk about in the debate round going to affect us personally". I will vote on the wars, but I don't enjoy every debate about prolif in countries historically opposed to prolif. That isn't "realism" - that's hawk fetish porn. So if this IS you, you gotta do the internal link work, not read me 17 overly-lined down uniqueness cards.
7) I am more OFTEN in K rounds, but honestly I am more of a structural K person than a high theory person. Yes, debate is all simulacranow anyway, but racism and sexism - and the violence caused by them - ARE REAL WORLD. Your ability to talk about such things and how they relate to policies is probably one of your better portable skills for the modern world in this activity.
8) Performance good. Literally, I have 2 degrees in theater. Keep in mind that it means I am pretty well read on this as theory. All debate is performance. (Heck, life is performance, but you don't have time for that now...). My pet peeve as a coach is reading through all the paradigm that articulate performance and Kritikal as the same thing. It.Is.Not. Literally, it is Form vs. Content.
9) Winning Framework does not will a ballot. Winning Framework tells me how to prioritize or include or exclude arguments for my calculation of the ballot. T is NOT Framework (but for the record I err towards Education over Fairness, because this activity just ain't fair due to resource disparity, etc, so do the WORK to win on Fairness via in round trade offs, precedents, or models.)
10) Have fun. Debate can be stressful. Savor the community you can in current times.
PS: I am probably more flow focused than you think, BUT I still prefer the big picture. Tell me a story. It has to make sense for my ballot.
Last Year's Version
The 2020 Preamble:
1) Bear with my tech for September for the first round of each day - I work across multiple universities and I am still sorting out going across 3 Zoom accounts, 5 emails accounts, and 2 Starfish accounts for any given thing. Working from home for 6 months combined my day-job stuff into my debate stuff, so I may occasionally have to remember to do a setting. This is like the worst version of a Reese's peanut butter cup.
2) Look, it would be great if I COULD see you as you debate. I am old - I flow what you say and I don't read along with the speech doc unless something bad is happening (bad things include potential connection issues in 2020, concerns over academic integrity/skipping words, and you don't actually do evidence comparison as a debater when weighing your cards and theirs). I don't anticipate changing that in the online debate world. But also, tech disparity and random internet gremlins are real things (that's why we need so many cats in the intertubes), so I ALSO understand if you tell me the camera is off for reasons. That's cool.
3) Because of connections and general practices - SLOW DOWN. CLARITY is super important. (Also, don't be a jerk to people with auditory accommodation needs as we do this). Trade your speed drills for some tongue twisters or something.
4) Recording as a back up is probably a necessary evil, but any use of the recording after a round that is shared to anyone else needs explicit - in writing, and can be revoked - permission of all parties present. PRACTICE AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT. See ABAP statement on online debate practices.
5) I have never wanted to be on the email chain/what-not; however, I SHOULD* be on the chain/what-not. Note the critical ability to distinguish these two things, and the relevance of should to the fundamental nature of this activity. Email for this purpose: firstname.lastname@example.org .
(Do not try to actually contact me with this address - it’s just how I prevent the inevitable electronically transmitted cyber infection from affecting me down the road, because contrary to popular belief, I do understand disads, I just have actual probability/internal link threshold standards.)
((And seriously Tabroom, what the F***? First you shill for the CIA, and now you want to edit the words because "children" who regularly talk about mass deaths might see some words I guarantee you then know already? I was an actual classroom teacher....debate should not be part of the Nanny State. Also this is NEW, because the word A****** used to be in my paradigm in reference to not being one towards people who ask for accessibility accommodations. ARRGGHHH!!!))
Things I am cool with:
Tell met the story
Critical Lit (structural criticisms are more my jam)
Performative strategies - especially if we get creative with the 20-21 format options.
CP fun times and clever intersections of theory
A text. Preferable a well written text. Unless there are no texts.
Not half-assing going for theory
You do you
Latin used in context for specific foreign policy conditions.
Teaching Assurance/Deterrence with cats.
Things that go over less well:
Accidentally sucking your own limited time by unstrategic or functionally silly theory
Critical lit (high theory … yes, I know I only have myself to blame, so no penalty if this is your jelly, just more explanation)
Multiple contradictory conditional neg args
A never ending series of non existent nuclear wars that I am supposed to determine the highest and fastest probability of happening (so many other people to blame). You MAY compare impacts as equal to "x number of gender reveal parties".
Not having your damn tags with the ev in the speech doc. Seriously.
As a general note: Winning framework does not necessarily win you a debate - it merely prioritizes or determines the relevancy of arguments in rounds happening on different levels of debate. Which means, the distinction between policy or critical or performative is a false divide. If you are going to invoke a clash of civilizations mentality there should be a really cool video game analogy or at least someone saying “Release the Kraken”. A critical aff is not necessarily non Topical - this is actually in both the Topic Paper for alliances/commitments and a set of questions I asked at the topic meeting (because CROSS EX IS A PORTABLE SKILL). Make smarter framework arguments here.
Don't make the debate harder for yourself.
Try to have fun and savor the moment.
*** *** ***
*Judges should be on the chain/what-not for two reasons: 1)as intelligence gathering for their own squad and 2) to expedite in round decision making. My decisions go faster than most panels I’m on when I am the one using prep time to read through the critical extended cards BEFORE the end of the debate. I almost never have the docs open AS the debaters are reading them because I limit my flow to what you SAY. (This also means I don’t read along for clipping … because I am far more interested in if you are a) comprehensible and b) have a grammatical sentence in some poor overhighlighted crap.) Most importantly, you should be doing the evidence comparisons verbally somehow, not relying on me to compare cards after the debate somehow. If I wanted to do any of that, I would have stayed a high school English teacher and assigned way more research papers.
I would like to be on the email chain if there is one. my email is email@example.com
Every time I try and cut down my paradigm it gets longer. So here's a brief summary:
I haven't judged much on the nukes topic, so keep that in mind
Spread full-speed through your blocks and all their wonderful sub-points at your own risk
Tell me why it matters that you won an argument (even a conceded one)
I don't have strong argument preferences, do whatever you want. I've put my general proclivities for each argument below
An author name (alone) is not an extension
I'm not well-read on most kritikal literature these days, so if your argument has a lot of terms of art I probably don't know them. That being said I'm used to not being well-read and generally can figure it out from context, but the more specific, concrete examples you can give of how your impact manifests itself, the better off you will be.
Don't take my paradigm to heart, use it as a general reference. You can see how long it is and I've probably already forgotten half of it
I am not the fastest flow-er in the world. Slow down a bit or enunciate your tags/ argument names so that I know they are special, and it shouldn't be too much of a problem. As long as I have enough of your argument flowed down to jog my memory, you should be fine.
I debated at UT and debated for 4 years at Grapevine in highschool. I'm currently a lawyer (not an expert on personhood). I really like well-researched PICs.
Try to be clear on what arguments you are winning and why you are winning the round because of it. What this means is that when you make an argument, make sure you explain the larger implications it has on the debate. This doesn't mean make everything a voting issue, but rather that your arguments should all fit together in a neat and understandable way. If I have to do a lot of this analysis myself, you might not like how I end up evaluating your arguments.
An author name is not an extension, and I think debaters tend to breeze over conceded arguments without impacting them out in the way I talked about above. If you think an argument is conceded or mishandled, it still needs to be explained in the final speeches.
I'm not too familiar with a lot of the kritikal literature bases besides Virilio and anthropocentrism (and somewhat Buddhism. Daoism because I've been on a mindfullness binge recently), so keep that in mind when explaining your arguments. I still love hearing kritiks, just be sure to make your arguments as clear as possible.
I haven't heard a lot of debates on this topic, so try and keep that in mind if you were planning on throwing around a lot of acronyms at a fast pace. Making your arguments clearer can only be good for your speaker points.
I like hearing specific disads, generic ones are fine too if you can contextualize the link to your argument to the affirmative. Same thing with kritiks.
I'll be glad to answer any more specific questions you have before the round.
I prefer specific disads, but of course that's not always possible. I find that disad links can be pretty awful, and think that it can be a great place for an aff to gain some ground against the disad. However, I think that disads with strong and well-explained links can be extremely convincing. Politics disads can either be underwhelming if extremely generic, or very solid arguments if your link story is a bit more nuanced then "some people in congress hate the plan, so congress will suddenly decide they hate immigration reform.".
I did mainly kritikal debate in college, but in highschool I was more policy oriented, so don't be afraid to lean more policy infront of me. I actually find 8-off debates to be pretty interesting sometimes; I think that they force interesting strategic decisions and require a certain skill to both answer and execute well.
I am not a fan of conditions counterplans, or any other counterplan that causes a very small change in the process the aff goes through (consult counterplans also fall under this category). I tend to think that they form boring and repetitive debates. I will still vote on them if you are winning the argument, but I find the theoretical objections to them to be pretty convincing. I am a huge fan of specific pics. Any well-researched and well debated pic will likely give your speaker points a boost. I am not a fan of generic pics, or some of the old-fashioned word pics, such as the "the" pic. I think advantage counterplans can be extremely strategic, especially when paired with a strong disad.
Kritiks are great, but I am not very familiar with a lot of the more complex kritikal literature. This means you have to make your explanation of the argument clear to me, or I'll have a hard time voting on it. I have no problem with affirmatives that don't defend government action as long as they are relevant to the topic or have a convincing reason not to be, but at the same time I have no problem voting for framework if the negative gives me convincing reasons why debates about government action are more useful than what the affirmative performance is trying to do. I would prefer negatives use well thought-out counter-advocacies over framework as those debates tend to be more interesting, but I do believe that framework has its place in debate.
I generally prefer that your link arguments prove that the aff makes the world a worse place in some way, rather than only prove that they are complicit in certain structures. I think that really talented kritikal debaters are proficient at framing their link arguments in offensive ways that show how an aff replicates problems in the world, rather than just claiming that the aff doesn't acknowledge a problem. The exception to this is if you can win substantial framing arguments that mean I should ignore the aff entirely.
I find anthro to be one of the most persuasive arguments in debate, and mourn its disappearance.
I'd generally prefer a DA or K, but I think that topicality debates can be interesting in their own way. I think that high school debaters tend to expand the topic a little bit too far, and get away with affs that might not necessarily be topical. Running topicality against a clearly topical aff will most likely not get you anywhere, and should probably be replaced with more viable arguments.
I decided to make a separate section for this, since I've been judging it a bit more and have more thoughts about it now. I think that sometimes teams forget that when i vote on framework, I'm voting on an interpretation of how debate should be, rather than voting on whether a team broke some "rule" of debate or not. Your argument could of course be that I should vote them down because they broke a rule, but I find this less convincing than arguments about what debate ought to be. I think that ways of mitigating the other team's offense is vital in these debates. For the neg, those would be SS args, TVA args, or any other argument about how your interpretation doesn't exclude their education. For the aff, this usually takes the form of criticisms of the neg's ideas of education.
A lot of the framework debates I've judged seem to focus on the aff alone, rather than the entire interpretation. I think that this is a mistake, and I would like to see teams tying their arguments back to their interpretations rather than just ignoring the interpretation after extending it and proceeding to talk about how unfair the specific aff is. I find a lot of aff interpretations to be very vague, take advantage of this when you make your predictability and limits arguments.
As a final note on framework, I think that novel and strategic aff interpretations could get you further than just "teams have to talk about the topic".
I find that there are certain arguments in debate that seem polarizing, as far as if they are beneficial arguments that should be used in debate or not. For these arguments that do seem to spur disagreement, I think that theory can be a fantastic argument against them, and would enjoy seeing an in-depth theory debate about them. On the other hand, theory arguments arguing that you shouldn't speed read, that counterplans are bad for debate, or that kritiks belong in LD, I do not find convincing. You're not likely to win on these arguments unless the other team severely mishandles them, so you might as well actually engage in their arguments instead of trying to just ignore them. A questionable argument that has been well-researched and has specific evidence is much more likely to look legitimate to me than a generic counterplan that just pushes the aff back a year and claims a politics net benefit. I think that clash is one of the most important parts of debate, and that if an argument disagrees with the actual content of the 1AC in a substantial matter, it should be permitted in debate. If an argument tries to avoid clash in unhealthy ways (mostly in ways that don't promote topic-specific research), then I am more likely to decide that these arguments are illegitimate.
I think that more than two conditional arguments is pushing it, but I do not think there is much merit to saying that the negative cannot get even 1 conditional argument. If there's one conditional argument your time is probably better spent on debating the substance of the debate. I also think that you should make your argument as nuanced as possible, for example instead of saying just conditionality is bad, say that multiple contradictory conditional worlds is bad.
Speaker Points - I haven't judged enough rounds to have a well though-out system of giving speaker points, but in general better arguments will get better speaker points, and more persuasive speakers will get better speaker points. I also enjoy hearing novel arguments, especially in areas of debate where you often hear the same arguments over and over again, such as theory debates.
I rarely judge this event. Assume I know nothing about the topic, but I am probably somewhat familiar with the critical literature base you're drawing from. I have a hard time voting aff in LD debates because of the huge time discrepancy that makes it seem as if there are a lot of dropped arguments. To get around this, I suggest grouping arguments often as the affirmative, and making it clear how your impacts outweigh any risk of what the negative is talking about, bringing up at least a few specific examples in the process.
After the debate ends, please send a document containing all evidence extended in the last speech.
Current affiliations are Interlake and Northwestern. My involvement with debate this year (2023-2024) will likely be rather low; any knowledge I have of either the high school or college topics has been gleaned through osmosis.
When I debated I read arguments of many 'styles' at a nationally competitive level; I don't have super strong feelings about argument content.
That said... please slow down substantially compared to your top speed! I don't think that my hearing is very good. The practical outcome is that I often just end up voting for whoever I can comprehend more, which I imagine is frustrating for everyone involved. Reducing rate of delivery will aid me in both understanding the literal words being said and figuring out what arguments are being made.
Neither snark nor pettiness nor overt aggression register as particularly powerful persuasive tools to me - they generally just make me feel awkward. I get that debates often become heated for a variety of (good, or at least understandable) reasons... but I prefer when they don't, and remain mostly cordial.
Some smaller proclivities:
- Conditionality is good
- Unless told otherwise, I will 'kick' advocacies for the negative
- I prefer that re-highlighted portions of the other team's evidence be read, rather than 'inserted into the record'
- If your partner interjects with something short during your speech, I don't think you have to parrot it - I will flow it regardless
Good luck \o/
Updated for NU 22
NOTE: I have not thought about debate since the 2022 NDT. I am excited to be back but know that these rounds will be the first time I am hearing about Legal Personhood.
Yes Email Chain firstname.lastname@example.org
The short version
I am a judge who will vote for essentially any argument. I am as likely to vote on FW versus K affs than I am to vote for impact turns on FW. Simply put, run whatever arguments you are the most comfortable with and dont feel the need to change your style for me.
I will say that because of my debating style I am much more experienced in Policy v Policy and Policy v K debates but I still view K v K debate as amazing and will be excited whenever I get a chance to judge one of those rounds! NOTE: I am super inexperienced at Pomo debates. I have and will continue to vote for them IF I can understand them, pref me if you read those arguments at your own risk.
I think it is important as I judge more rounds to note areas that I have noticed that have become more important to me. The biggest thing I have noticed is debate is a communication event as a result I place a higher premium on communication than some other judges do. Don't read great evidence and leave it at that but rather connect it to the debate round as a whole. I am a judge who loves judge instruction and telling me how I should evaluate arguments or impacts is going to put you in a much better position than simply hoping that I will follow your same line of thinking.
The long version: Most of these comments below are my specific thoughts. Things like DA's and CP's are pretty straightforward. Have a link for the DA and be able to solve some or all the aff with the CP.
Tech over truth: If an argument goes conceded and you impacted it well enough and explain why I should vote for it, I will.
Speed: I have a high threshold for speed and will yell clear out twice in a speech before I stop flowing. That being said with this year most likely being all on Zoom it is important to go at a speed that everyone can understand online. I recommend 80% of your normal speed but you know what works best for you.
K-affs: This is an area where I have experience in but was never my main focus during debate. K's and K affs are the areas where I am the most likely not to vote on an argument because I did not understand it. All that means is to make sure to explain your argument and dont assume that I will fill in the gaps with the same level of knowledge that you all have.
I prefer affs that are in the direction of the topic (that doesn't mean defending USFG action) but affs that are not in the direction of the topic are still able to win my ballot if it is well debated.
K-aff's Vs T/FW: My opinion of what arguments against framework that I find persuasive is still very malleable. All that really means is answer framework in whatever way you think is the most strategic. Reading my advice on T/FW vs K-aff's will give you a good idea of what I find important and being able to beat those arguments will put you in a good place in the debate. Affirmative teams usually win against T/FW in front of me when you prove that the neg's interp excludes the possibility of being able to discuss your scholarship (got to beat the TVA), combined with offense.
After judging multiple framework vs K aff rounds I have come to find that I am more persuaded by whatever team does better impact comparison (why does fairness outweigh education or vice versa?). I will also say that I am less persuaded by general debate bad arguments. I agree that the community is messed up and there is a lot we can do to improve it but saying that debate provides no benefit is a harder sell. If that is your A strat you are not out of luck instead it just requires you to invest more time in this argument if you would like to win it. In general impact turning, T/FW is very viable in front of me.
T/FW vs K-aff's: Im relatively open to all type of negative impacts for framework. I am much more persuaded by T impacts that are centered around skill-building or resolution focus good compared to impacts such as fairness but again am open to any impact. TVA's are pretty much must haves and at the very least make your odds of winning much higher.
K's: Just like above I have some experience but it was not my main focus. Having links to the aff and winning impact calc and/or framework will put you in a good spot.
Going for CP's: I default to no judge kick unless told otherwise.
Theory: Theory is a tool that is underutilized by a lot of aff teams Neg's get away with a lot and needs some checks. Condo theory I view as a reason to reject the team. I am more lenient on reject the arg with everything non-condo but I can be convinced why reading those CP's in the first place is a reason to reject the team. I enjoy theory debates less typed out/reading blocks and more engaging on the line by line and vision of debate.
Topicality for policy affs: Having a specific violation and examples of in round abuse puts you in a better place than just a generic T-shell. Also in the later speeches if you are still going for it, make sure to explain what a world of your interp looks like (What affs are aloud, why are only those affs good for debate, etc)
Impact Turns: Love them and think they are underutilized as well. I have had experience with impact turns from Heg bad to Nuke war good.
Prep: I do not count flashing/emailing as prep, as soon as your document is finished you can stop prep. If I see you stealing prep I will call you out once and then start the clock for your prep.
Language: Your language matters racist,homophobic,abelistic,misgendering language is probelmatic just be kind to people.
Clipping cards: If someone is accused of clipping cards the round will stop, you must have video evidence and make the claim in the round. Clipping cards causes an instant loss and low speaks. Accidents happen just make sure you are reading everything you said you read. Mark where you said to mark.
If you have any questions before the round don't be afraid to ask!
Policy debate coach at Como Park Senior High.
CARD coach and policy debate judge at the University of Minnesota.
I am beginning to judge more events other than just policy but I have almost zero experience with other forms of debate.
Please include me on the email chain: email@example.com. Everyone gets plus .1 speaks if I'm not asked to be put on, and I'm just automatically put on the chain. Ask me any questions about my paradigm in person or via email, although I do try to update it regularly with the most important stuff.
Ks on the neg are obviously always fine and for what I think about T-USFG/FW, see the very bottom below the fairness slider. But bottom line, I don't really care what you read as long as you convince me to vote for you, I will.
Stuff related to online debating:
Don't delete analytics from the speech doc, please. I'll probably dock your speaks if I remember to. Online debate is harder to flow than in-person so it's good practice if you want me to catch everything you're saying.
Please slow down a little (especially on T and theory*) because the number of arguments I flow is rarely equal to the number of arguments the speaker actually makes, and those numbers will be much closer to each other if everyone prioritizes clarity and slowing down a bit. Don't just read this and think you're fine. Slow down, please. I know half of all judges ever have something like this in their paradigm but I'm a slower flow than average because I flow on paper.
Read a plan--------------------------x--------------Do whatever (probably at least sorta related to the topic)
Tech--------------x----------------------------Truth -- I hate myself for it, but I am kind of a truth-orientated judge in that I really don't want to vote for silly args, and the worse an arg is, the more leeway I give to answering it
Theory-------------------------------------x--------- Substance -- condo is really the only theory arg that gets to the level of "reject the team", I simply feel that most other theory args are reasons to reject the arg, not the team. Unless the negative goes for the CP/K to which the theory applies in the 2nr, it's a tough sell for me to vote on, "They read [insert abusive off-case position], they should lose".
Conditionality good--------x---------------------Conditionality bad -- this being said, I would much rather see 4-6 good off, than a 7+ mix of good and bad
States CP good (including uniformity)-----------x----------------------50 state fiat is bad
Always VTL----------------x---------------------Never VTL
Impact turn (*almost) everything-x-----------------------------I like boring debate -- to add to this, I'm huge sap for impact calc and specifically rebuttals that provide a detailed narrative of the impacts of the debate and how they interact with the other team's. Impact comparison and impact turns are often the deciding factors for me in close debates
*Almost meaning I'll vote on warming good, death good, etc. but obviously not on args like racism good or sexism good
Process CP's are cheating----------------------x---------------Best fall-back 2nr option is a cheating, plan-stealing CP
Lit determines legitimacy-------x-----------------------Exclude all suspect CPs
Yes judge kick the CP--x-------------------------------------------Judge kick is abusive -- as long as the 2nr says to kick the CP, I'm gonna kick it and just analyze the world of the squo vs the aff and I'm pretty sure there's nothing the aff can really do if condo bad isn't a thing in the round. Heck, I judged a debate where the CP was extended for 30 seconds and not kicked but I still voted neg because the neg won a large risk of a case turn. What I'm saying, is that when you are aff and the neg goes for more than just the CP with an internal NB, beating the CP doesn't equate to winning the debate outright
Presumption----------x--------------------------Never votes on presumption
"Insert this rehighlighting"---------------------x--I only read what you read
I flow on my computer ---------------------------------------x I'm gonna need to borrow some paper
I try to give out speaker points that are representative of how well you performed in the round compared to the tournament as a whole. I try to follow the process detailed here, but I often find myself handing out speaks sort of indiscriminately. Getting good speaks from me includes being respectful and making good choices in the rebuttals (smart kick outs, concessions, and flow coverage).
Clash! I like judging debates where the arguments/positions evolve in relation to one another as opposed to simply in vacuums.
Fairness is an impact---------------x--------------Fairness is only an internal link -- My threshold is usually how close your aff is to the topic in the abstract, i.e. personhood and NATO. I do feel like in the end the main goal of doing debate is to win. The activity obviously serves a ton of other purposes but at the end of each debate, one team wins, and one team loses. This doesn't mean that I think reading a planless aff is unfair and can definitely be convinced that a "fair" debate produces something bad, but it's going to be very hard to convince me that debate is not a game.
Topic education is decent for an education impact but policymaking and policy education are meh. Critical thinking skills can also be extracted from debate and critical skills about calling out state action and for revolution planning.
If you don't read a written-out advocacy statement: Impact turn framework----------x---------------------------Procedural
Debate and life aren't synonymous but I understand that many of your lives revolve heavily around debate, so I will respect any arg you go for as long as you make smart arguments to support it.
tldr: read whatever you want but policy is my forte - feel free to email me if you have questions
put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
call me dom and use they/them pronouns
wichita state university: 2018-now
coach at maize high school
certain issues can and should supersede tech such as clipping cards or egregious ethics violations - however, most debates i judge don't involve those issues - i default to tech over truth - initially evaluating presented arguments at equal merit is the most consistent, impartial mechanism i've found to provide competitive equity - evidence matters a lot to me - i tend to think specificity and author qualification should act as a filter for claims/warrants
clash is crucial - how you prioritize arguments alters how i connect the dots to determine a decision - provide judge instruction and organization - the more you focus on explicitly characterizing the direction of the debate, the more my rfd will sound like your 2nr/2ar
i reward nuance and depth - more pages covered tends to mean less time developing substance/structure - narrowing the debate allows for greater engagement - impacting out warrants makes comparison for me much easier
insert graph joke here
i tend to think resolutional action is good but i can be convinced otherwise - capacity to debate matters to me - it's why clash is possible - limits and grounds are good - they provide the foundation for clash - portable skills/subject formation are important, but i'm not sure i understand why it's unique to debate - the interp is your model of debate - defend it - definitions are vital in helping me understand your model's mandates/effects
for the aff: explaining how your counterinterp uniquely generates offense (e.g. explaining why affs under your interp are important) and generates defense (e.g. quantifying affs under your interp) help me conceptualize weighing clash vs your model - i appreciate the "no perms and you get links to your disads" strategy - it seems to resolve a substantive portion of clash offense but becomes less convincing the more generic neg ground is eliminated
for the neg: explaining internal link turns are important - quantifying limits/grounds to demonstrate loss of clash is helpful - procedural fairness/switch side is often a compelling way to frame decision-making, but i'm not opposed to the mechanism education style fw if that's your expertise - the tva is a useful defensive resource but requires development and evidence
many of my preferences for fw apply here
reasonability makes little sense as an argument in and of itself - read it as a limits bad arg (argument diversity, topic development, research innovation, etc) - arguments for interp precision are often pretty compelling
i like detailed link/impact explanations - focus on evidence comparison will be rewarded
i like solvency advocates (someone who proposes a process of achieving an action to fix a problem) - read them - the more specific, the more legitimate and likely to solve
it's probably safe to assume i lack familiarity with the nuances of your chosen field of critical theory - do not read suffering/death good - specific link application (e.g. circumvention/internal link turns) and alt explanation will help guide my decision calculus - the aff should get to weigh the plan
-soft left affs-
the cohn card alone will likely never convince me disads should go away - it makes a lot of sense to me to go for critiques of da's/cp's - critical strategies (e.g. technocracy bad) and scenario planning indicts (e.g. tetlock and bernstein) are applicable - i have more experience with the latter
actually engaging in their theory block results in better args, lends credibility, and will be rewarded - most theory doesn't justify rejecting the team - whatever your proposed remedy is, providing a justification for it will be appreciated
condo is maybe good - i like the idea of reciprocity, but aff variety makes being neg tough - if you're aff, i find substance args more compelling than advocacy stuff - if you're neg, i find strategic flex args more compelling than critical thinking stuff
misc - don't worry about visual feedback - i'm always tired - i will clear you however many times i feel necessary - please try to increase volume/clarity in front of me as much as you can - feel free to alert me of any concerns about structural impediments you experience that could implicate how i evaluate the round so i can accommodate accordingly
cross-ex - i think anything goes in cross-ex as long as it's the 'asking team' - reading cards, taking prep, bathroom break, whatever - i think the 'responding team' is generally obligated to answer questions if asked - if you ignore and it's not reasonable, you will lose speaks
inserting arguments - generally fine as long as you explain thoroughly - graphs/diagrams/screenshots are cool - i'm far more skeptical of rehighlighted evidence
new arguments - they're almost always justified in response to new args - i grant more leeway to 2nc shenanigans than the 1nr - i think that 1ar's get the most leeway bc of structural time disadvantages and inevitable block creativity
Things I would have wanted to know as a debater:
-I have judged a total of 0 rounds at tournaments this year. I judged one round in 2021 (I think). Consider me a total lay judge for topic knowledge and any arguments that reference previous community developments this season (stuff like "X team is running this aff" in T debates).
-I was not a very technical debater and won't be a very technical judge. I won't be good at following dense technical rants and I flow by hand w/ a heavy reliance on shorthand. Because of this, I'll err towards clearly explained on the tech vs. truth question.
-Please curb your speaking speed a bit. As mentioned, I flow on paper and I'm not 100% at auditory processing.
-Please add me to the email chain! email@example.com .
-I debated for three years with Indiana University. The pandemic ended debate for me, so I've never debated digitally or judged college digitally (much). I don't really know the norms for digital debate.
-I work in ecosystem restoration and land management. I have decent-ish background knowledge in climate policy, food policy, and social safety net policy.
-While I debated, I stayed mainly in policy-oriented literature and had some limited experience with K literature (really only Cap K stuff, small Ks around the executive powers nukes topic, and gender/queer theory). I'm probably not a good judge for literature that relies heavily on author names or prior in-depth knowledge.
-My thoughts on framework debates are really similar to Jacob Bosley's and I'd recommend reading his paradigm for clarification - with the BIG caveat that I will not be as good at judging it. Whenever I debated framework, I was notorious for dropping things and I'm guessing that judging framework will go very similarly for me.
-I really really like T debates and think definitions are cool. This (and picky procedural args) was my favorite part of debate. I probably have a very low threshold for voting on T arguments that you deem squirrelly in the 1NC but get extended, explained, and impacted out properly. I probably also have a low threshold for questionably topical affs if they're justified with adequate ground. That being said, don't go for fairness as an impact to T if you don't tell me why it matters.
-DAs, CPs, theory, etc. are all fine. Conditional stuff is fine.
-In general, I think debate is an educational activity with a lot of value. I won't be a fan of arguments that insist "it's just a game" and stop at that level without explaining why this does/doesn't mean what we do in round matters. I think it's a good idea for everyone, regardless of what type of debater you are, to understand what your ideal model of debate is and how/if engagement with the activity can create the type of community norms you'd like to see.
University of Wyoming
Last updated: 9-12-22
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb 2022 update: If your highlighting is incoherent gibberish, you will earn the speaker points of someone who said incoherent gibberish. The more of your highlighting that is incoherent, the more of your speech will be incoherent, and the less points you will earn. To earn speaker points, you must communicate coherent ideas.
If you want to read far more than necessary on my judging process: https://wyodebateroundup.weebly.com/blog/reflections-on-the-judging-process-inside-the-mind-of-a-judge
I put a pretty high premium on effective communication. Too many debaters do not do their evidence justice. You should not expect me to read your evidence after the round and realize it’s awesome. You should make sure I know it’s awesome while you read it. I find many debaters over-estimate the amount of ideas they believe they communicate to the judge. Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, not just entering arguments into the record, will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot far more often than those who don’t. I have tended to draw a harder line on comprehensibility than the average judge. I won’t evaluate evidence I couldn’t understand. I also don’t call clear: if you’re unclear, or not loud enough, I won’t intervene and warn you, just like I wouldn't intervene and warn you that you are spending time on a bad argument. Am I flowing? You're clear.
Potential biases on theory: I will of course attempt to evaluate only the arguments in the round, however, I'll be up front about my otherwise hidden biases. Conditionality- I rarely find that debaters are able to articulate a credible and significant impact. International actor fiat seems suspect. Uniform 50 state fiat seems illogical. Various process counterplans are most often won as legitimate when the neg presents a depth of evidence that they are germane to the topic/plan. Reject the arg not the teams seems true of nearly all objections other than conditionality. I will default to evaluating the status quo even if there is a CP in the 2NR. Non-traditional affirmatives- I'll evaluate like any other argument. If you win it, you win it. I have yet to hear an explanation of procedural fairness as an impact that makes sense to me (as an internal link, yes). None of these biases are locked in; in-round debating will be the ultimate determinant of an argument’s legitimacy.
Clock management: In practice I have let teams end prep when they begin the emailing/jumping process. Your general goal should be to be completely ready to talk when you say ‘end prep.’ No off-case counting, no flow shuffling, etc.
Cross-x is a speech. You get to try to make arguments (which I will flow) and set traps (which I will flow). Once cross-x is over I will stop listening. If you continue to try to ask questions it will annoy me- your speech time is up.
Pet-peeves: leaving the room while the other team is prepping for a final rebuttal, talking over your opponents. I get really annoyed at teams that talk loudly (I have a low threshold for what counts as loudly) during other teams speeches- especially when it’s derisive or mocking comments about the other team’s speech.
It has become extremely apparent to me as my hearing loss has worsened that I benefit immensely from slower debates both in-person and online. However, this is especially true of online debates. I have discovered that I have a very hard time following extremely fast debates online. I'm not looking for conversational speed, but I do need a good 15-20% reduction in rate of delivery. If you can't or don't want to slow down, I would really prefer you don't pref me. I cannot stress enough how important for me it is for you to slow down.
I have tinnitus and hearing loss and both have gotten worse over the past few years. What this means for you is that I have a hard time getting tags and transitions when everything is the same volume and tone, so please try to make those portions of the debate clear. I also have an extremely hard time hearing the speech when people talk over it. If you're worried about this stuff, please just slow down and you'll be fine.
Here's the stuff I'm guessing you want to know about the most:
1. Please add me to the chain: email@example.com
2. I follow along with speech docs to help me make faster decisions. If you think clipping has occurred, bring it up because I'm not watching for that.
3. Yes, I will vote on framework. Yes, I will vote on impact turns to framework. Along these lines, Affs can have plans or not.
4. I love CP/DA debates. I'm generally open to most CPs too, except for conditions CPs. I really hate conditions CPs. I vote on them, but it's usually because no one knows what artificial competition is anymore. But, yes, please CPs. Veto cheato, con-con, national ref, consult, unilat, etc. But beware of...
5. Read more theory. Go for theory more. No one expects it. You win because of theory and sometimes you even win on theory.
6. Impact turns > Link turns
7. I think there's such thing as "no risk of a link."
8. I try really hard to vote on what happens in the debate, and not on what I know or think I know. I am generally very expressive, so you can often tell if I understand a thing or not. Along these lines, though, I often need help in the form of you explaining to me how to read a piece of evidence or what an argument means for other arguments in the debate.
9. All that said, please just do what you're good at and we'll all be fine.
Note about points: Unless I tell you in the post-round that you did something worth getting bad points for, my points aren't actually an attempt to punish you or send a message or anything like that. Historically I've given high points and I want to make sure I keep up with the community because points are arbitrary and silly so I don't want anyone to miss because I'm just out of touch or whatever.
Please put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
a few virtual debate things:
-audio is less intelligible than in person -- go a lot slower and make sure you're really clearly enunciating -- i'll yell clear 2-3 times and my facial expressions will be obvious if i can't flow you, and i won't give up after that, but don't expect me to understand or vote for arguments i couldn't flow
-MAKE SURE you get a thumbs up or a yes that I'm ready before you start seriously i don't know how to make this more clear. every tournament ppl keep starting without confirming i'm ready. "is anybody not ready?" is not a question that works in virtual debate.
-prep stops when you've attached the document to the email just be reasonable. it shouldn't take you more than 10 seconds from after you've said stop prep to have pressing send on the email
-debate can be overwhelming in a lot of ways -- let me know if there's anything i can do to help make it more accessible for you
My pronouns are they/them and my last name is pronounced "MACK-oo."
I have judged close to a million rounds
debate history: -HS GBN (2x TOC elims, RRs) - College Texas (2x NDT elims, RRs) -Colleges coached: WSU, UCO, Emory, NU -HSs coached: bronx science, edgemont, GBS, westwood, damien -taught/directed at many camps every summer over the last 12 years -currently assistant coach for NU and work full time at the Chicago Debate League + judge/direct lots of tournaments
Even though I read as arguments and studied critical literature about race, gender, colonialism, and sexuality in college, my HS background was exclusively "policy," and I continue to do research and coach in both areas.
In the post round, if you'd like to seek advice or challenge components of my thinking or note your disagreement or be grumpy or try to get my ballot in the future or try to understand my decision, I would love to discuss my decision with you! If you are into post-rounding as some weird ego thing where you need to demonstrate that you couldn't possibly have lost a debate by berating the judge, then you should not pref me.
My argument preference is whatever you're passionate about and really know in depth.
I take a while/my time to decide debates, so time-wasting during a debate is truly to your detriment.
After the 2XR, please send me a judge doc with the (marked version) of ONLY the cards you extended.
Things I am really interested in:
--lots of evidence comparison!! this often shifts my decisions
--framing arguments and judge instruction
--even if arguments -- recognizing where you might be losing
--beginning the 2XR with what you want the RFD to be
--in depth explanations -- more warrants, less tag lines
--strategic concessions + cross applications
--thoughtful and consistent analytics
--attentive line by line
--(hate to have to say this) 2NRs that take advantage of 1AR dropped arguments. It will hurt your speaker points a little if there's a clear path to victory that you ignore entirely
Things I am not interested in:
--long overviews - LINE BY LINE is where those overview arguments fit my friends. i promise you can find a spot if u look
--being rude to your partner
--scholarship/behavior that is morally reprehensible
--"if you vote X you'll have to look me in the eye and explain..., etc." type of inefficient judge strong-arming
--multiple paragraph tags
--mumble spreading on the text of cards
--things that happened outside of the round
--highlighting into sentence fragments
When cx time is over, both teams need to stop talking unless someone wants to take prep.
Make sure you time yourselves, because I WILL forget at some point
Pointing out that something was conceded is not the same as extending that argument. Author names or claims without warrants are not arguments. I think I have a higher standard than most for this. A conceded assertion is still not an argument. Yes ofc, your burden of explanation is substantially reduced, but there's gotta be something.
Things I am interested in:
--the solvency mechanism of the aff, whatever solvency means in the context of the affirmative
--clash impacts in the context of skills gained from debate
--whether the aff is contestable
--a good ol' topical version of the aff that addresses impact turns
--impact framing arguments
--line by line refutation
--well developed impact turns to the neg's interpretation/TVA that don't apply to a counter interpretation
--counter interpretations that address some of the neg's clash/limits arguments
--slowing down when reading consecutive paragraphs of text you have typed for 2nr/2ar
Things I am less interested in:
--affs that are descriptive but not prescriptive -- it's easy to say something is bad, even in a very theoretically dense, educational, interesting way. the more difficult question is determining the best method (not picky about what this is) for addressing or approaching the problem described
--clash/fairness as an impact in and of itself -- it's an internal link to an impact (in my default view, though I end up voting for it more frequently than i would've thought bc people don't answer it)
--long, pre-written "overviews" where you address none of the line by line (both sides are very bad about doing this)
(As an aside, if the aff says they'll defend they link to DA(s), I would always strongly prefer the neg take them up on a substantive debate. That's not to say the neg shouldn't go for framework if that's their heart's desire, only that I find a substantive debate more interesting.)
Whatever is fine. Do what you want, but make sure you can defend it. I truly have no strong feelings/beliefs about conditionality either way, other than it'll be tough to win 1 is bad. But, I decide that like I decide all things: based on the arguments actually presented in the theory debate.
Exception to that -- perms are just no link arguments to the opportunity cost of the CP, so I will probably never vote that dropped perm theory arguments are a reason to reject the team.
See plea for evidence and impact comparison above. When I get a stack of cards at the end of the debate, it's going to be annoying for both of us that I now just have to render judgment on each of them with no guidance.
Please make more smart, warranted analytics about why the DA is nonsense. A lot of DAs don't pass the test of being a complete argument if the full text of the cards are read and you just take a second to actually think about it.
I expect a high degree of technical proficiency in these debates.
Neg needs SPECIFICITY in your explanation of the aff. Highly specific cards to the aff are not necessary, though helpful, to make specific links, alt solves, turns case, root cause arguments etc. Reference the aff's 1ac ev maybe. Use historical examples maybe. Make logical arguments maybe. All important things. What is the impact to the link in the context of turning the aff? The more contextual your explanation of every facet of the k is to the aff, the more likely you will win that part of the debate and the higher your speaker points will be.
Against policy affs, you will likely win a link, so focus your attentions on defeating the impact turns/case outweighs arguments from the jump. Opposite for k affs -- less focus on impact, instead focus on in depth contextual explanations of the link and how it turns the aff, the alt solves aff impact better, DAs to the perm that aren't just links to the aff, etc.
I almost always find the framework debate to be a huge waste of everyone's time. Both sides get to weigh their stuff. Please just spend this time clashing over the substance of the debate. This is my perhaps most biased opinion, in that it's the only place I consider intervening -- I will almost always err towards allowing both teams to access their substance, even if one team isn't doing very well on the fw debate. If I'm the only judge, feel free to spend very little time here.
Finally, almost every argument in the overview should/could be on the line by line.
Sure. Not really the debate I want to be deciding because folks rarely do comparative impact calc. Debates about reasonability are usually so shallow as to be meaningless. I have judged (too) many rounds on the topic, though many of those debates did not contain topic specific arguments.
Let me save you time:
You: "What did you think about [x argument/author name]"???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Me: "I didn't think about it that much because you didn't tell me to/you didn't speak about it enough or in a way that made it relevant to my decision making process."
I do try to be thorough. Debaters have worked hard to get here, so it's my obligation to work hard to assess the debate.
This is the best cx I've ever seen and a very important video to me:
Debate Coach - University of Michigan
Debate Coach - New Trier High School
Michigan State University '13
Brookfield Central High School '09
I would like to be on the email chain - my email address is email@example.com.
A few top level things:
- If you engage in offensive acts (think racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.), you will lose automatically and will be awarded whatever the minimum speaker points offered at that particular tournament is. This also includes forwarding the argument that death is good because suffering exists. I will not vote on it.
- If you make it so that the tags in your document maps are not navigable by taking the "tag" format off of them, I will actively dock your speaker points.
- Quality of argument means a lot to me. I am willing to hold my nose and vote for bad arguments if they're better debated but my threshold for answering those bad arguments is pretty low.
- I'm a very expressive judge. Look up at me every once in a while, you will probably be able to tell how I feel about your arguments.
- I don't think that arguments about things that have happened outside of a debate or in previous debates are at all relevant to my decision and I will not evaluate them. I can only be sure of what has happened in this particular debate and anything else is non-falsifiable.
- The 1AC not being sent out by the time the debate is supposed to start
- Asking if I am ready or saying you'll start if there are no objections, etc. in in-person debates - we're all in the same room, you can tell if we're ready!
- Email-sending related failures
- Dead time
- Stealing prep
- Answering arguments in an order other than the one presented by the other team
- Asserting things are dropped when they aren't
- Asking the other team to send you a marked doc when they marked 1-3 cards
- Asking me if I need a card doc - I will ask you if I want you to start putting a card doc together.
- Disappearing after the round
Online debate: My camera will always be on during the debate unless I have stepped away from my computer during prep or while deciding so you should always assume that if my camera is off, I am not there. I added this note because I've had people start speeches without me there.
Ethics: If you make an ethics challenge in a debate in front of me, you must stake the debate on it. If you make that challenge and are incorrect or cannot prove your claim, you will lose and be granted zero speaker points. If you are proven to have committed an ethics violation, you will lose and be granted zero speaker points.
*NOTE - if you use sexually explicit language or engage in sexually explicit performances in high school debates, you should strike me. If you think that what you're saying in the debate would not be acceptable to an administrator at a school to hear was said by a high school student to an adult, you should strike me.
Organization: I would strongly prefer that if you're reading a DA that isn't just a case turn that it go on its own page - its super annoying because people end up extending/answering arguments on flows in different orders. Ditto to reading advantage CPs on case - put it on its own sheet, please!
Cross-x: Questions like "what cards did you read?" are cross-x questions. If you don't start the timer before you start asking those questions, I will take whatever time I estimate you took to ask questions before the timer was started out of your prep. If the 1NC responds that "every DA is a NB to every CP" when asked about net benefits in the 1NC even if it makes no sense, I think the 1AR gets a lot of leeway to explain a 2AC "links to the net benefit argument" on any CP as it relates to the DAs.
Translated evidence: I am extremely skeptical of evidence translated by a debater or coach with a vested interest in that evidence being used in a debate. Lots of words or phrases have multiple meanings or potential translations and debaters/coaches have an incentive to choose the ones that make the most debate-friendly argument even if that's a stretch of what is in the original text. It is also completely impossible to verify if words or text was left out, if it is a strawperson, if it is cut out of context, etc. I won't immediately reject it on my own but I would say that I am very amenable to arguments that I should.
Inserting evidence or rehighlightings into the debate: I won't evaluate it unless you actually read the parts that you are inserting into the debate. If it's like a chart or a map or something like that, that's fine, I don't expect you to literally read that, but if you're rehighlighting some of the other team's evidence, you need to actually read the rehighlighting. This can also be accomplished by reading those lines in cross-x and then referencing them in a speech or just making analytics about their card(s) in your speech and then providing a rehighlighting to explain it.
Affirmatives should have a solvency advocate. What that looks like is up for debate. I think debates that stray too far from what a reasonable person would constitute an advocacy for a policy change distort the literature base in ways that make it impossible for the negative to respond to the aff. This is compounded by excruciatingly vague plan texts that enable the aff to "no link" out of what are obvious disads to the affirmative. If your style of debate is built around manipulating and bastardizing literature to create affs that say and defend nothing, I'm probably not the judge for you. I think this vision of debate disincentivizes in-depth negative research. If you refuse to specify what your aff does, I am probably not the judge for you. If you think that saying "a thing is bad" constitutes an aff without saying what your aff does about it, I am a bad judge for you.
Topicality: I enjoy judging topicality debates when they are in-depth and nuanced. Limits are an an important question but not the only important question - your limit should be tied to a particular piece of neg ground or a particular type of aff that would be excluded. I often find myself to be more aff leaning than neg leaning in T debates because I am often persuaded by the argument that negative interpretations are arbitrary or not based in predictable literature.
5 second ASPEC shells/the like that are not a complete argument are mostly nonstarters for me. If I reasonably think the other team could have missed the argument because I didn't think it was a clear argument, I think they probably get new answers. If you drop it twice, that's on you.
Counterplans: Counterplans are more about competition than theory. While I tend to lean more neg on questions of CP theory, I lean aff on a lot of questions of competition, especially in the cases of CPs that compete on the certainty of the plan, normal means cps, and agent cps.
I think that CPs should have to be policy actions. I think this is most fair and reciprocal with what the affirmative does. I think that fiating indefinite personal decisions or actions/non-actions by policymakers that are not enshrined in policy is an unfair abuse of fiat that I do not think the negative should get access to. For example: the CP to have Trump decide not to withdraw from NAFTA is not legitimate, while the CP to have Trump announce that a policy that he will not withdraw from NAFTA would be. The CP that has the US declare it will not go to war with China would be theoretically legitimate but the CP to have Trump personally decide not to go to war with China would not be.
Disads: I am not very sympathetic to politics theory arguments (except in the case of things like rider disads, which I might ban from debate if I got the choice to ban one argument and think are certainly illegitimate misinterpretations of fiat) and am unlikely to ever vote on them unless they're dropped and even then would be hard pressed. I'm incredibly knowledgeable about politics and enjoy it a lot when debated well but really dislike seeing it debated poorly.
Conditionality: Conditionality is often good. It can be not. I have found myself to be increasingly aff leaning on extreme conditionality (think many plank cps where all of the planks are conditional + 4-5 more conditional options). Conditionality is the ONLY argument I think is a reason to reject the team, every other argument I think is a reason to reject the argument alone. Tell me what my role is on the theory debate - am I determining in-round abuse or am I setting a precedent for the community?
Kritiks: I've gotten simultaneously more versed in critical literature and much worse for the kritik as a judge over the last few years. Take from that what you will.
Your K should ideally be a reason why the aff is bad, not just why the status quo is bad. If not, you're better off with it primarily being a framework argument.
Yes the aff gets a perm, no it doesn't need a net benefit.
Affs without a plan: I generally go into debates believing that the aff should defend a hypothetical policy enacted by the United States federal government. I think debate is a research game and I struggle with the idea that the ballot can do anything to remedy the impacts that many of these affs describe.
I certainly don't consider myself immovable on that question and my decision will be governed by what happens in any given debate; that being said, I don't like when judges pretend to be fully open to any argument in order to hide their true thoughts and feelings about them and so I would prefer to be honest that these are my predispositions about debate, which, while not determinate of how I judge debates, certainly informs and affects it.
I would describe myself as a good judge for T-USFG against affs that do not read a plan. I find impacts about debatability, clash, iterative testing and fairness to be very persuasive. I think fairness is an impact in and of itself. I am not very persuaded by impacts about skills/the ability for debate to change the world if we read plans - I think these are not very strategic and easily impact turned by the aff.
I generally am pretty sympathetic to negative presumption arguments because I often think the aff has not forwarded an explanation for what the aff does to resolve the impacts they've described.
I don't think debate is roleplaying.
I am uncomfortable making decisions in debates where people have posited that their survival hinges on my ballot.
Feb 2023 Update: I will be adjusting my points based on the assumption that >29.1 is required to clear.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (I ALWAYS want to be on the email chain. please do email chains instead of sharing in the zoom chat/NSDA classroom)
Past Affiliations: Niles West High School, Wayne State University, Seaholm High School, Birmingham Covington School, the School of Hard Knocks, the School of Rock, a school of fish
The short version -
Tech > truth. A dropped argument is assumed to be contingently true. "Tech" is obviously not completely divorced from "truth" but you have to actually make the true argument for it to matter. In general, if your argument has a claim, warrant, and implication then I am willing to vote for it, but there are some arguments that are pretty obviously morally repugnant and I am not going to entertain them. They might have a claim, warrant, and implication, but they have zero (maybe negative?) persuasive value and nothing is going to change that. I'm not going to create an exhaustive list, but any form of "oppression good" and many forms of "death good" fall into this category.
Non-traditional – I believe debate is a game. It might be MORE than a game to some folks, but it is still a game. Claims to the contrary are unlikely to gain traction with me. Approaches to answering T/FW that rely on implicit or explicit "killing debate good" arguments are nonstarters.
1) I'm not a very good judge for arguments, aff or neg, that involve saying that an argument is your "survival strategy". I don't want the pressure of being the referee for deciding how you should live your life.
2) The aff saying "USFG should" doesn't equate to roleplaying as the USFG
3) I am really not interested in playing (or watching you play) cards, a board game, etc. as an alternative to competitive speaking. Just being honest.
4) Name-calling based on perceived incongruence between someone's identity and their argument choice is unlikely to be a recipe for success.
Kritiks – If a K does not engage with the substance of the aff it is not a reason to vote negative. A lot of times these debates end and I am left thinking "so what?" and then I vote aff because the plan solves something and the alt doesn't. Good k debaters make their argument topic and aff-specific. I would really prefer I don't waste any of my limited time on this planet thinking about baudrillard/bataille/other high theory nonsense that has nothing to do with anything.
Unless told specifically otherwise I assume that life is preferable to death. The onus is on you to prove that a world with no value to life/social death is worse than being biologically dead.
I am skeptical of the pedagogical value of frameworks/roles of the ballot/roles of the judge that don’t allow the affirmative to weigh the benefits of hypothetical enactment of the plan against the K.
I tend to give the aff A LOT of leeway in answering floating PIKs, especially when they are introduced as "the alt is compatible with politics" and then become "you dropped the floating PIK to do your aff without your card's allusion to the Godfather" (I thought this was a funny joke until I judged a team that PIKed out of a two word reference to Star Wars. h/t to GBS GS.). In my experience, these debates work out much better for the negative when they are transparent about what the alternative is and just justify their alternative doing part of the plan from the get go.
Theory – theory arguments that aren't some variation of “conditionality bad” are rarely reasons to reject the team. These arguments pretty much have to be dropped and clearly flagged in the speech as reasons to vote against the other team for me to consider voting on them. That being said, I don't understand why teams don't press harder against obviously abusive CPs/alternatives (uniform 50 state fiat, consult cps, utopian alts, floating piks). Theory might not be a reason to reject the team, but it's not a tough sell to win that these arguments shouldn't be allowed. If the 2NR advocates a K or CP I will not default to comparing the plan to the status quo absent an argument telling me to. New affs bad is definitely not a reason to reject the team and is also not a justification for the neg to get unlimited conditionality (something I've been hearing people say).
Topicality/Procedurals – By default, I view topicality through the lens of competing interpretations, but I could certainly be persuaded to do something else. Specification arguments that are not based in the resolution or that don't have strong literature proving their relevance are rarely a reason to vote neg. It is very unlikely that I could be persuaded that theory outweighs topicality. Policy teams don’t get a pass on T just because K teams choose not to be topical. Plan texts should be somewhat well thought out. If the aff tries to play grammar magic and accidentally makes their plan text "not a thing" I'm not going to lose any sleep after voting on presumption/very low solvency.
Points - ...are completely arbitrary and entirely contextual to the tournament, division, round, etc. I am more likely to reward good performance with high points than punish poor performance with below average points. Things that influence my points: 30% strategy, 60% execution, 10% style. Being rude to your partner or the other team is a good way to persuade me to explore the deepest depths of my point range.
Cheating - I won't initiate clipping/ethics challenges, mostly because I don't usually follow along with speech docs. If you decide to initiate one, you have to stake the round on it. Unless the tournament publishes specific rules on what kind of points I should award in this situation, I will assign the lowest speaks possible to the loser of the ethics challenge and ask the tournament to assign points to the winner based on their average speaks.
I won't evaluate evidence that is "inserted" but not actually read as part of my decision.
Eric Morris, DoF - Missouri State – 29th Year Judging
++++ NDT Version ++++ (Updated 10-22-2019)
(NFALD version: https://forensicstournament.net/MissouriMule/18/judgephil)
Add me to the email - my Gmail is ermocito
I flow CX because it is binding. I stopped recording rounds but would appreciate a recording if clipping was accused.
Be nice to others, whether or not they deserve it.
I prefer line by line debate. People who extend a DA by by grouping the links, impacts, UQ sometimes miss arguments and get lower points. Use opponent's words to signpost.
Assuming aff defends a plan:
Strong presumption T is a voting issue. Aff should win you meet neg's interp or a better one. Neg should say your arguments make the aff interp unreasonable. Topic wording or lit base might or might not justify extra or effects T, particularly with a detailed plan advocate.
High threshold for anything except T/condo as voting issues*. More willing than some to reject the CP, K alts, or even DA links on theory. Theory is better when narrowly tailored to what happened in a specific debate. I have voted every possible way on condo/dispo, but 3x Condo feels reasonable. Under dispo, would conceding "no link" make more sense than conceding "perm do both" to prove a CP did not compete?
Zero link, zero internal link, and zero solvency are possible. Zero impact is rare.
Large-scale terminal impacts are presumed comparable in magnitude unless you prove otherwise. Lower scale impacts also matter, particularly as net benefits.
Evidence is important, but not always essential to initiate an argument. Respect high-quality opponent evidence when making strategic decisions.
If the plan/CP is vague, the opponent gets more input into interpreting it. CX answers, topic definitions, and the literature base helps interpret vague plans, advocacy statements, etc. If you advocate something different from your cards, clarity up front is recommended.
I am open to explicit interps of normal means (who votes for and against plan and how it goes down), even if they differ from community norms, provided they give both teams a chance to win.
Kritiks are similar to DA/CP strategies but if the aff drops some of the "greatest hits" they are in bad shape. Affs should consider what offense they have inside the neg's framework interp in case neg wins their interp. K impacts, aff or neg, can outweigh or tiebreak.
Assuming aff doesn't defend a plan:
Many planless debates incentivize exploring important literature bases, but afer decades, we should be farther along creating a paradigm that can account for most debates. Eager to hear your contributions to that! Here is a good example of detailed counter-interps (models of debate). http://www.cedadebate.org/forum/index.php/topic,2345.0.html
Impact turns are presumed relevant to kritikal args. "Not my pomo" is weak until I hear a warranted distinction. I prefer the negative to attempt direct engagement (even if they end up going for T). It can be easier to win the ballot this way if the aff overcovers T. Affs which dodge case specific offense are particularly vulnerable on T (or other theory arguments).
Topicality is always a decent option for the neg. I would be open to having the negative go for either resolution good (topicality) or resolution bad (we negate it). Topicality arguments not framed in USFG/framework may avoid some aff offense.
In framework rounds, the aff usually wins offense but impact comparison should account for mitigators like TVA's and creative counter-interps. An explicit counter-interp (or model of debate) which greatly mitigates the limits DA is recommended - see example below. Accounting for topic words is helpful. TVA's are like CP's because they mitigate whether topics are really precluded by the T interp.
If I were asked to design a format to facilitate K/performance debate, I would be surprised. After that wore off, I would propose a season-long list of concepts with deep literature bases and expect the aff to tie most into an explicit 1AC thesis. Such an approach could be done outside of CEDA if publicized.
This was too short?
* Some ethical issues, like fabrication, are voting issues, regardless of line by line.
FOR COLLEGE TOURNAMENTS: email@example.com
My name is Devane (Da-Von) Murphy and I'm the head coach of the University of Kentucky. My conflicts are Newark Science, Pace Academy, University High School, Rutgers-Newark, Dartmouth College and University of Kentucky. I debated 4 years of policy in high school and for some time in college, however, I've coached Lincoln-Douglas as well as Public Forum debaters so I should be good on all fronts. I ran all types of arguments in my career from Politics to Deleuze and back and my largest piece of advice to you with me in the back of the room is to run what you are comfortable with. Also, I stole this from Elijah's philosophy and agree with it
"If you are a policy team, please take into account that most of the "K" judges started by learning the rules of policy debate and competing traditionally. I respect your right to decide what debate means to you, but debate also means something to me and every other judge. Thinking about the form of your argument as something I may not be receptive to is much different from me saying that I don't appreciate the hard work you have done to produce the content"
***Emory LD Edit***
I'm a policy debater in training but I'm not completely oblivious to the different terms and strategies used in LD. That being said, I hate some of the things that are supposed to be "acceptable" in the activity. First, I HATE frivolous Theory debates. I will vote for it if I absolutely have to but I have VERY HIGH threshold and I will not be kind to your speaker points. Second, if your thing is to do whatever a "skeptrigger" is or something along that vein, please STRIKE me. It'd be a waste of your time as I have nothing to offer you educationally. Another argument that I probably will have a hard time evaluating is constitutivism/truth testing. Please compare impacts and tell me why I should vote for you. Other than that, everything else here is applicable. Have fun and if you make me laugh, I'll boost your speaks.
DA's: I like these kinds of debates. My largest criticism is that if you are going to read a DA in front of me, please give some form of impact calculus that helps me to evaluate which argument should be prioritized with my ballot. And I'm not just saying calculus to mean timeframe, probability or magnitude but rather to ask for a comparison between the impacts offered in the round. (just a precursor but this is necessary for all arguments not just DA's)
CP's: I like CP's however for the abusive ones (and yes I'm referring to Consult, Condition, Multi-Plank, Sunset, etc.) Theoretical objections persuade me. I'm not saying don't run these in front of me however if someone runs theory please don't just gloss over it because it will be a reason to reject the argument and if its in the 2NR the team.
K's: I like the K too however that does not mean that I am completely familiar with the lit that you are reading as arguments. The easiest way to persuade me is to have contextualized links to the aff as well as not blazing through the intricate details of your stuff. Not to say I can't flow speed (college debate is kinda fast) I would rather not flow a bunch of high theory which would mean that I won't know what you're talking about. You really don't want me to not know what you're talking about. SERIOUSLY. I will lower your speaker points without hesitation
FW vs. K-Affs: I'm usually debating on the K side of this, but I will vote on either side. If the negative is winning and impacting their decision-making impact over the impacts of the aff then I would vote negative. On the flip side, if the aff wins that the interpretation is a targeted method of skewing certain conversations and win offense to the conversation I would vote aff. This being said, I go by my flow. Also, I'm honestly not too persuaded by fairness as an impact, but the decision-making parts of the argument intrigue me.
K-Affs/Performance: I'm 100% with these. However, they have to be done the right way. I don't wanna hear poetry spread at me at high speeds nor do I want to hear convoluted high theory without much explanation. That being said, I love to watch these kinds of debates and have been a part of a bunch of them.
Theory: I'll vote on it if you're impacting your standards. If you're spreading blocks, probably won't vote for it.
DOD - Baylor University
Yes please on email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR TEAMS PRE-ROUND:
Hello! The very short version of this is "do what you're best at and tell me why things matter in relation to other things." Historically, I have tended to be almost exactly 50/50 AFF/NEG in "framework"/"one off" debates, without much variance in which side is which. My personal academic research leans more critical but I mostly cut policy/case cards for Baylor, so I may not have read your specific counterplan advocate but I have a good sense about what is encompassed in the topic. I don't care what you do and I hope that you do what makes you most comfortable and you feel gives you the best chance to win. I'd much rather you make the arguments you think are best instead of you trying to adapt to some assumptions you think I may hold. My goal is a tabula rasa approach to adjudication, which we know is impossible, but I generally seem to vote for teams who keep the flow clean and isolate the central questions of the debate. That said, being tab only extends to arguments and argumentation that does not personally impact, harm, or otherwise exclude folx, especially those with marginalized identities.
Affiliated with college debate from visas (2010-11) through warming (2016-17), left and got a PhD in rhetoric, and became Baylor Director of Debate from rights (2022-23) to present.
I'm excited to be back in the activity. My goal is a tabula rasa approach to adjudication, which we know is impossible, but I generally seem to vote for teams who keep the flow clean and isolate the central questions of a debate. That said, being tab only extends to arguments and argumentation that does not personal impact, harm, or otherwise exclude folks, especially those with marginalized identities.
My primary goal is to write down everything you say, but walls of text or implicit arguments make that much tougher, especially since I LOATHE to have to read speech docs during a debate. Debaters that explicitly tag arguments/headers (the ontology debate, the access DA, etc) or do actual line by line (and by this i do mean on down the flow) make my life easier and it tends to reward you in both ballots and speaker points.
Teams that win structural framing arguments and apply them down the flow also tend to help shape how I evaluate parts of the debate, and virtually always in your favor.
RFD-giving is a learned skill and I continue to strive to improve my practice of it in order to both relay my thinking and give feedback.
1) Do what you're best at. Judges should adapt to debaters, and not vice-versa
2) Argument = claim + warrant + impact. Any argument that has all three (this certainly does not mean carded) can win my ballot.
3) Dropped args are virtually always true, excepting when the arg does not meet #2, which gives the other team leeway in new answers. Tech creates "truth". What is "truth" is entirely contingent to the round and arguments that are made (and won). I will vote for arguments I personally disagree with or seem silly when one side executes better.
4) I think people forget that this is ultimately a communication and persuasion activity, so clarity matters. Evidence text should be audible/discernable. Also please don't just talk into your laptop or, if you're online, spread too fast for your mic to properly sort sound. Arguments that don't make it onto my flow don't exist. Sorry not sorry.
5) I plan on flowing almost exclusively on paper. I'm better at it and it keeps the debate cleaner in my mind, but that does mean you should allow for a little pen time while making a quick wall of arguments (like, say, a theory block).
1) Speaker Points: I am an argument critic. Points received from me reflect the debating done in front of me and are neither punished, nor rewarded, by particular ideology, style, or approach to debate, with the standard caveats from before about obvious exceptions vis-a-vis discourse or actions that make debate actively harmful, unsafe, etc. Argument selection, persuasion, clarity, wit, approach to opponents, specificity of examples, and explantation of argumentative import are just some of things that go into my speaker point scale. This is both a communication activity and a persuasion activity, and both matter for better or worse.
My scale is constantly evolving and subject to the whims of fate. 29 is the new 28 apparently.
2) "Clock management:" I am inclined to give a speech time out under the reasonable conditions if requested (asthma attack, coughing fit, speaking stand collapses, etc).
3) Judge Kick: Is this still a thing? It seems silly. I will assume the 2NR is going for what the 2NR went for unless otherwise instructed. That said, if "judge kick" first appears in the 2NR, the 2AR definitely gets to answer it.
4) Clipping: I will not proactively call out clipping; it must be done by one of the debaters in a round. Round stops, either the clipper or false accuser gets a 0. You do need evidentiary support of clipping (i.e. recording) in order for me to adjudicate that question. Clipping is defined as intentionally portraying cards or words as having been read into the debate when they have not.
The best framework debaters focus more on the testing/debatability arguments or a traditional limits/fairness DA. Debaters should focus on meta-questions like "what is debate?", "why does this round/activity matter?", and which interpretation creates a better/more sustainable version of debate now and in the future, etc. I often think about these debates as being competing advocacies of what debate should look like with a collection of ADV/DA to each. Debaters that organize and condense these effectively in the 2NR/2AR will be rewarded with ballots and speaker points. The best affs are ones that are "about the topic," in whatever capacity, and these are the affs that teams will have the hardest time winning FW against.
For the record, I think most education impacts to FW are silly and a much harder path to victory. I see many more debaters and coaches go into the academy or public life as opposed to becoming tiny Eichmann policy folks who care about Schoolhouse Rock stuff. And frankly, given white supremacy and other ongoing issues, it seems wild to think that critical theory has no place in understanding how arguments and policy work in the real world.
When the affirmative is ostensibly trying to be topical, T is usually a priori until debaters win arguments otherwise. Debaters have a history of blasting through walls of text here without actually analyzing anything, which is hard to flow and harder to evaluate. Examples of what affs are justified or excluded, what ground is added or lost, etc are incredibly helpful. Potential abuse is a voter if you win it should be. You need a reasonability claim to win a 'we meet' or counter-interp or I default to a competing interp paradigm.
Just because I liked the K does not mean I understand what you're talking about, so please explain what argument you think you're making. The best critical debaters tie the links of the K into the aff to implicate solvency and/or the adv's. Isolate your offense, how you access it, and how it turns or outweighs or solves the aff.
What does the alt do? How does it solve the links? 2N's seem insistent on not answering these questions, to my endless frustration. Buzzwords like "endless wars" is not an impact on its own; its a claim. Implicate how and why these things occur, preferably in the context of the aff.
My personal research sits at the intersection of gender, sexuality, identity, and race, usually historically situated in archives. Does this mean I'm a better judge for those arguments or that I have a higher threshold for good quality arguments? Historically, neither.
They're great and I like them. Baylor has historically had a diverse squad in terms of arguments so I may have heard of your acronym or process counterplan, but probably not. Counterplans should be competitive. I defer to functional competition being important and textual competition being up for debate, but am easily shifted by quality argumentation.
Theory is best used as a tool to justify things rather than as a reason for decision. I am normally unlikely to vote on theory, but mostly this is because people are bad at debating it, and spew blocks and then move on. Good theory debating, like T debates, is nuanced and provides specific lists of examples of things that included/excluded/justified and so forth, and defends this in order to further a definition of what debate should entail. If it's your thing, do it, but it needs to be done well and clearly. I'm much happier analyzing theory as a way to help frame my adjudication of the substance, but do what you gotta do to win.
Coach at Michigan State 2019-
Coach at Wayne State 2010-2019
Below is a compilation of thoughts. Some are argument related, some are decision-making related. I update it periodically to keep it fresh, but nothing important has changed since you last read this.
- Slightly more truth > tech than the median judge. Once indicts are made your rejoinder burden grows depending on the strength/weakness of the original argument. Bad arguments can lose to bad arguments. Your argument got what it deserves.
- I value my decision time, and I'd hope you would value my decision time too. Judges normally get around 30 minutes of decision time assuming everything in the round ran promptly. This is not an unreasonable amount of decision time, but ask yourself if the minute(s) it takes to get that marked copy before CX, or the "econ decline doesn't cause war" card before starting prep > subtracting those minutes from decision time. Please be prompt in making and sending a post-round doc.
- I think I carry the try-or-die flag higher than anyone else in the judge pool. I find I get sat on this argument more than any other. This probably won't bother you on a panel, but may be a tad more frustrating in a prelim debate. Ensuring that the world you're advocating for has a chance at sustainability is important. This isn't applicable to how I think about impacts generally (see below), rather, I think of it as a win condition of the game. If voting for you means there's a 100% chance of everyone dying, but voting for the other team means there's a 1% chance of everyone staying alive you lose, regardless of solving an impact. I'm open to teams who find themselves in a try-or-die trap arguing for rejecting this as a win condition, but debated out equally, or not debated out at all, well, you can't say you weren't warned.
- A bit inconsistent with the above, but once the conditions for try-or-die are not met, I find that put greater emphasis on the link than many of my colleagues. When I get sat for non try-or-die reasons, it is often because I thought the link was small despite the impact being large.
- I don't flow "stream of consciousness" well. I encounter this a lot in 2NRs where the 1N typed up a thing for the 2NR to blitz through. I don't have an issue with speedy delivery communicated in a way that allows for the listener to digest the content, but if you're just speed reading through a long chunk of text I'm probably missing 50+% of it.
- We don't "debate out" ethics challenges. If you want to stop the debate and have me adjudicate an ethics argument, the debate ends and if I find a team engaged in an unethical practice, they lose and get 0 speaker points. Conversely, If I find that a team wrongly accused someone else of engaging in an unethical practice, they lose and get 0 speaker points. We cannot restart the debate from the alleged infraction, and the winner of the debate cannot be decided on "who did the better debating"
-Critical / Critique-
- I struggle weighing "planless affs" (broad interpretation) impact turns vs topicality. I REALLY struggle with the impact turns if there is no accompanying "counter-interpretation" that serves to reduce the scope of neg offense. I equally struggle when that counter-interpretation does not come from redefining words in the resolution, but is like "our aff plus..." or "neg on the aff." I struggle with arguments that "case outweighs T."
- Most critique debate is way too fast for me. I have very little experience with the literature outside of debate. Given speed + short decision times, I look for shortcuts to help me make a decision. My instinct, absent a technical errors, will be to apply the links as disads and weigh them against the probability of aff harms + solvency. If you debate the case well and your links apply in this framework, I think my experience may outweigh my ignorance of the literature. If your critique doesn't really work in this framework, my experience is not very likely to assuage your frustration with the RFD.
- Critiques of "impact magnitude" are generally unpersuasive to me. I often time think the time spent critiquing impact magnitude would be better served beating the link to the impact.
- Perhaps more relevant for this topic than others in the recent past, but I've struggled with the security K as a judge. I've pretty consistently been persuaded that inaccurate reps = an argument for lowering the weight of, or even rejecting, the advantage, but not as independent offense.
- My decision will probably reflect evidence quality / evidence specificity more than the median judge.
- I value good evidence with coherent highlighting. Nonsense highlighting makes me want to read for flaws in your evidence and have it reflect in my decision making even if not brought up in round.
- While I used to be ardent that judges ought not read a speech doc until a debate ends, truncated decision time has made this no longer reasonable. I don't love it, but asking debaters to be clearer with things like CP texts and solvency deficits appears to be Sisyphean.
- I don't have an issue with "insert re-highlighting" as long as its accompanied by an actual argument, and the insert has merit. If your "inserting" is actually just misreadings on your end, I won't care if it's "dropped". Likewise, if you're inserting stuff but haven't introduced context for an actual argument, the other teams burden of rejoinder is low to nil.
-Theory / Competition-
- More neg than the median judge on conditionality, but more aff than my colleagues on "judge-kick" . Debated out, 2NR is one world. Slightly more neg than the median judge on neg fiat (states, international, multi-actor). I can't see myself ever rejecting the team for non-conditionality theory arguments, even if dropped in every speech.
- "Perm do CP" means the plan and the CP can be the same thing. "Perm do both" means doing the plan and CP at the same time resolves all the NB, or enough of the NB that the solvency deficit outweighs. If you are making a different perm than either of these, you need to say more in the 2AC than "do both" or "do CP"
- I'm not gonna vote on disclosure args (new affs bad, you disclosed to use wrong, you're not on the wiki, you only gave us a paper copy, you only read this in X spot, etc.). I'm here to judge a debate, not be the disclosure police.
- I don't really have a model. I suppose my scale goes from 28-30, but realistically my range is probably 28.5-29.5. That doesn't mean if you get a 28.5 you're the worst debater I've seen, it means you did an adequate job and I expected debaters I judged at this tournament to fall in that range. #BringBackTies
Nic D Nave
The N in Rutgers MN
2017 Crowns United!
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First, Energy is essential to me. Everyone must be respectful of the speaker and the participants in the round.
Background-I debated for the St.Louis Urban debate league in high school in college. After that, I debated for Rutgers University Newark. I'm the first Black Woman to win the NDT and Unite the Crowns. I debated primarily in the D3, which means I know the actual structure of argumentation. Like many "K" debaters, I learned the foundation of debate inside and out to critique it. When I'm preffed, I typically judge K debate, and I think that's cool, but I also think that I would love to expand my reach. I also feel that debate isn't the same as when I did it.... some things don't sound the same anymore......
I have coached critical/performance teams but truly value the benefits of engaging in policy making. As an Energy Equity Strategist, I am tapped into the Energy/Oil industry and love the idea that technology can save the planet! I firmly believe in energy efficiency as solvency to combat climate change and anti-blackness. I am willing to debate this for the right price$$$.
Policy Debate Proper
Speed-Do you, I'm here to support all styles and genres!
T- This is probably one of my favorite arguments in debate, the idea that I can be so petty to review a word or process makes me so happy! The pettier, the better!
DA's-Literally the first negative argument i learned in debate I love Enviorments and Climate change impacts anything with EV and mobility is also interesting to me. Politics obviously should be unique and have solid impacts!
CP's-I believe in condo also the states arent terrible...
K's,K Affs- I love learning new things! Teach me something i DON'T KNOW! I would love to hear the latest authors and see some creativity I find myself bored by some of the K debate thats been happening and think the style is declining and policy is just as entertaining at this point but thats just my take... Who am I ?
K Aff's VS Framework
Beat the procedural and win your impacts, I believe framework is one of the easiest arguments a K Aff can answer but also one of the hardest if your aff doesnt actually do anthing. Make it make sense
Director of Debate at George Mason University.
Please add me to chain: email@example.com
5+ Random Things that Annoy me:
1. Hostility - I am too old, too cranky, and too tired to hear undergraduate students treating opponents, partners, or me like trash. I literally can't handle the levels of aggression some rounds have anymore. Please just stop. Be community minded. You are debating another person with feelings, remember that. Opponents are friends on the intellectual journey you are having in debate, not enemy combatants. Give people the benefit of the doubt and try to practice grace in rounds.
2. Debaters who act like they don't care in debates. If being a troll or giving some performance of apathy about debate is your shtick I am absolutely not the judge for you. Debate is a privilege that many individuals do not have the ability to participate in due to lack of collegiate access or financial well being, and I think we should treat the opportunity we have to be in this activity with respect.
3. Multiple cards in the body of the email.
4. Yelling over each other in cx - everyone will lose speaks.
5. Interrupting your partner in cx - I am seriously close to saying I want closed cx, I am so annoyed at how egregious this is becoming. I will deduct speaks from both partners.
6. Extending Cross ex past 3 minutes. I will actively stop listening in protest/leave the room. Anything past the 3 minutes should be for clarification purposes only.
7. Wipeout, Baudrillard, Malthus, Con Con CPs, Strike 'x' country CPs, trivializing the holocaust, reading re-prints of books from 1995 but citing it as the reprint date, fiating mindset shifts.
The nukes topic is great for the negative and I do not think I will be persuaded on sub-sets arguments against NFU. This topic is too small give the aff a break.
If cross ex actually checked for specification questions (i.e. "who is the actor" - and they tell you "Congress") - that is the only argument the 2ac needs to make against a 1NC spec argument.
NOVICE NOTE: I think it is ridiculous when novices read no plan affs - do whatever you want in other divisions, but these kids are just learning how to debate, so providing some structure and predictability is something I think is necessary. I err heavily on framework in those debates for the negative in the first semester.
Besides conditionality, theory is a reason to reject the argument and not the team. Anything else is an unwinnable position for me. I genuinely do not know how I lean in condo debates. Some rounds I feel like the amount of conditional positions we are encouraging in debates is ridiculous, others I wish there were more. Open to being convinced in either direction.
Are awesome. The trickier, the better. I’m okay with most of them, but believe that the action of the CP must be clearly explained at least in the 2NC. I don’t vote on something if I don’t know what my ballot would be advocating. I shouldn’t have to pull the CP text at the end of the round to determine what it does. I err to process/agent/consult cp’s being unfair for the aff (if you can defend theory though, this doesn’t mean don’t read them). Also, I think that perm do the cp on CPs that result in the plan can be rather persuasive, and a more robust textual/functional cp debate is probably necessary on the negative's part.
**Delay and consultation cp’s are illegit unless you have a specific solvency advocate for them. Agenda DA Uniqueness cp’s are too – I’m sorry that the political climate means you can’t read your politics strat on the negative, but that doesn’t mean you should be able to screw the aff’s strategy like that. Have other options.
Important CP Judge Kick Note: I always judge kick if the negative would win the debate on the net benefit alone. However, I will not judge kick to vote on presumption. Going for a CP forfeits the negative's right to presumption.
Wonderful. Disadvantages versus case debates are probably my favorite debates (pretty much every 2NR my partner and I had). I love politics disads, however, I can be very persuaded by no backlash/spillover answers on the internal link – in so many situations the internal link just makes NO sense. I think there is such a thing as 100% no link and love thumper strategies. Like elections DA's - not a huge fan of impact scenarios relying on a certain party/candidate doing something once they get in office. Think shorter term impact scenarios are necessary.
2023 update: For the past several years my work with Mason Debate has primarily focused on research and coaching of our varsity policy teams and novices. I am not keeping up with the K lit as I was a few years ago. Please keep this in mind. Everything below is from a few years ago.
I wrote my thesis on queer rage and my research now focuses on a Derridian/Althusserian analysis of Supreme Court rhetoric - but that does not mean I will automatically get whatever random critical theory you are using. Due to who I coach and what I research for academics, I am most familiar with identity theories, biopower, Marxism, any other cultural studies scholarship, Baudrillard, Derrida, and Deleuze. If your K isn't one of those - hold my hand. I think the most persuasive kritik debaters are those who read less cards and make more analysis. The best way to debate a kritik in front of me is to read slower and shorter tags in the 1NC and to shorten the overviews. I find most overviews too long and complicated. Most of that work should be done on the line-by-line/tied into the case debate. Also, debating a kritik like you would a disad with an alternative is pretty effective in front of me. Keep it structured. Unless your kritik concerns form/content - be organized.
Note for policy v K regarding the "weigh the affirmative or nah" framework question - basically no matter how much debating occurs on this question, unless the affirmative or negative completely drops the oppositions' arguments, I find myself normally deciding that the affirmative gets to weigh their aff but is responsible for defending their rhetoric/epistemology. I think that is a happy middle ground.
Nukes note: I think the affirmative should *at least* defend that the US' reliance on nuclear weapons for military policy is bad. Some type of critique in the direction of the resolution. Inserting the word "nuclear" or "weapons" into your aff is not enough of a topic relevant claim imo. In general, I believe affirmatives should defend some universalized praxis/method and that deferral is not a debatable strategy.
Overall Framework update: Procedural fairness IS an impact, but I prefer clash key to education. I find it difficult to vote for impacts that preserve the game when the affirmative is going for an impact turn of how that game operates.
Generic Case Update: I find myself voting neg on presumption often when this is a large portion of the 2nr strategy. I recommend affirmatives take this into account to ensure they are explaining the mechanism of the aff.
I find judging non-black teams reading afro-pessimism affirmatives against black debaters an uncomfortable debate to decide, and my threshold for a ballot commodification style argument low.
Individual survival strategies are not predictable or necessarily debatable in my opinion (i.e. "This 1AC is good for the affirmative team, but not necessarily a method that is generalizable). I enjoy critical methods debates that attempt to develop a praxis for a certain theory that can be broadly operationalized. For example, if you are debating "fem rage" - you should have to defend writ large adoption of that process to give the negative something to debate. It is pretty difficult for a negative to engage in a debate over what is "good for you" without sounding incredibly paternalistic.
I am partially deaf in my left ear. It makes it difficult to decipher multiple sounds happening at the same time (i.e. people talking at the same time/music being played loudly in the background when you are speaking). I would recommend reducing the sound level of background music to make sure I can still hear you. Also means you just have to be a smidge louder. I'll let you know if sound level is an issue in the debate, so unless I say something don't let it worry you.
I love flowing. I do my best to transcribe verbatim what you say in your speech so I can quote portions in my RFD. I do NOT flow straight down, I match arguments. I most definitely WILL be grumpy if speeches are disorganized/don't follow order of prior speeches. If you ask me not to flow, the amount I pay attention in the debate probably goes down to 20% and I will have mild anxiety during the round.
Debate should be fun - don't be jerks or rhetorically violent. This includes anything from ad homs like calling your opponent stupid to super aggressive behavior to your opponents or partner. Speaker points are a thing, and I love using them to punish jerks.
I am extremely expressive during round and you should use this to your advantage. I nod my head when I agree and I get a weird/confused/annoyed face when I disagree.
Please put me on the speech thread! Thank you.
Titles: Director of Debate at Samford University (AL).
Assistant Coach at The Altamont School (AL).
I’m not the smartest human. You’re maybe/likely smarter than me. Please do not assume I know anything you are talking about. And I would honestly love to learn some new things in a debate about arguments you researched.
Debaters are guilty until proven innocent of clipping cards. I follow along in speech docs. I believe it is judges job to police clipping and it is unfair to make debaters alone check it. I will likely say clear though, it's nothing personal.
I keep a running clock and "read along" with speech docs to prevent clipping. At the end of the round, I find myself most comfortable voting for a team that has the best synthesis between good ethos, good tech/execution, and good evidence. I will not vote on better evidence if the other team out debates you, but I assign a heavy emphasis on quality evidence when evaluating competing arguments, especially offensive positions.
Alabama Law School: 2015-2018. While in the legal world, I clerked for EPA Region 4, two Federal Judges, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and Alabama Attorney General Environmental/Consumer Protection Prosecution Division.
Wake Forest University: 2011-2015. Top Speaker at ADA Nationals my Junior Year. 2x NDT First-Round Bid at Wake Forest. 2x NDT Octofinalist. 2x Kentucky Round Robin. Dartmouth Round Robin. Pittsburgh Round Robin.
Mountain Brook High School: 2007-2011. 3x TOC Qualifier. 2011 Winner of Emory's Barkley Forum in Policy Debate. Greenhill and Harvard Round Robin. Third Place at NSDA Nationals in 2011. Seventh Place NSDA Nationals 2010. Winner of Woodward JV Nationals.
Tl;dr: Offense/defense, the algorithm, cards are currency, did I mention offense. UQ determines link unless otherwise said. Very willing to pull the trigger on T/theory.
Flow: Most debaters should make analytics off their flows, especially in digital debate. Conversely, if you include analytics on your speech doc but I do not find you clear but I recognize where you are on your speech doc, I will not consider them arguments. Death to digital debate. I will say clear though, don't worry.
Condo: 3 against a basic/big stick aff is about my ceiling. 3 contradictory condo and I can easily be persuaded to vote on condo. For new affs, I think at most 5 condo is permissive. Anymore and I think you risk losing on theory. I do not like dispo as a counter-interp. I am a much bigger fan of a CI is non-contradictory conditional options as a CI.
CP Theory: If the 2AC straight turns your disad, no amount of theory will justify a 2NC CP out of/around the straight turned DA. 2NC CP's vs addons are different and chill/encouraged. Generic Process/ Conditions/ consult CPs cause me to lean aff on theory/perm, unless you have a fire solvency advocate specific to their plan text which can prove its predictable and important for that area of debate. But I’m persuaded that a generic/predictable aff posted on the wiki can win a theory debate/perm do CP against a generic process/ conditions/ consult CPs. This is especially true with any Con Con CP. Con Con is the worst.
I hate judge kick. Do you want me to flow for you too? Maybe compose your speech doc while you're at it? I don't give the affirmative random permutations. Don't make me kick your trash counterplan for you.
T: My "favorite" standards are predictable limits (debatability) and real-world context (literature/education). I think a topicality interp that has both of those standards I will err on. Evidence that is both inclusive and exclusive is the gold standard. I tend to be more moderate with reasonability. I am not in the cult of limits. I err aff if I believe your interpretation is "reasonable" and that the negative did not prove you made debate impossible even if their interpretation is slightly better.
Framework: I lean very heavily neg on FW v K affs. Debate is an educational game we play on the weekend with friends. I think the affirmative has the burden of proof to defend the resolution and the negative has the burden of rejoinder to disprove the affirmative. Fairness is an impact and intrinsically good. Yes debate is structurally unfair (the world is), no I do not think that means there is no impact to making it more unfair. I do not believe the ballot has material power to change the means of production/structures and thinking it does may even be problematic. I think switch-side debate is pedagogically valuable and one round does not a referendum on an individual's subjectivity. I think a good topical version of the affirmative is the best argument on FW. The role of the judge is to vote for the team who does the better debating.
Kritikal Debate: I view most modern kritikal debate similarly to how I view generic stale process CP's/ Con Con CP's in how they are deployed and how I lean against them in most theory or substantive debate issue in an equal debate. I vote for K teams that are best able to identify what offense that voting for them solves, whether that be through FIAT or non-FIAT means, that voting for the other team does not solve. I also think the modern critique has potentially been co-opted by larger and wealthier programs which undermines its revolutionary promise and may even go so far as to further contribute to resource inequities for smaller programs in debate.
PS- Please do not read global warming good. Global warming is real and will kill us all. And I am particularly persuaded by the argument that introducing these arguments in debate is unethical for spreading propaganda and should be deterred by rejecting the team. I'm way more persuaded by inevitability and alt cause args.
I am largely engaged with college policy debate levels of debate. I will flow every word you say. Speed is a weapon in debate. LD is often one big K debate which is fine in LD but I err towards util/consequentialism FW's. I can be persuaded pre-fiat impacts are extra-topical and can be rejected as such (likely not a reason to reject the team). But I do love me a good ol' fashioned value premise throw down from time to time, I must admit. It is the premise.
I'm increasingly frustrated with the liminal space public forum operates in. I'm so happy to see the progress made in terms of substance and clash, but am frustrated at the lack of norms that should accompany these progressive improvements. Here are my thoughts when judging a PF debate:
- Public Forum, if you're looking for your paraphrasing theory gatekeeper, you've found them. I will vote on paraphrasing bad theory ONLY IF the you read properly cited and highlighted cards that are sent out prior to your speech. Please dear god people, let's stop this spreading "Reuters '19" and "Forbes '19" non-sense. Atleast policy has to read long cards, that's WHY they have to spread. Paraphrasing makes debate impossible for both debaters and judge to genuinely test the veracity of evidence sources. This is an increasingly important issue too in our modern age of disinformation, fake news, and propaganda. Let's all work together to continue the progress being made in PF.
- I DO NOT CONSIDER URL/ARTICLES EVIDENCE. if you have to google/search for an article after I call for a card I will not evaluate the evidence and will treat it as an analytic. A CARD HAS TO BE CUT. There has to be some norm to reward actual research and preperation.
- I do not want to be a "policy judge" in PF. Please do not unload the canon and spread at 110%. If you want to do that, just come to policy debate and I'll be happy to judge it. I feel like my experience in policy debate/another debaters experience asymmetrical tilts the debate in a way that is unfair to debaters who do not have policy experience or experience spreading. You can make a ton of arguments while still going at 60-70% of your top speed. How do I plan to enforce this? I'm not entirely sure. It will definitely be reflected in speaks and will feel empathetic to the other team, but past that I'm not entirely sure. I have judged enough PF rounds now where debaters come in and spread that I feel like I am unfairly skewing the debate in one teams favor. Please do not make me feel like this! If you wanna spread, do policy/come do policy for me at Samford.
- Disclosure norm. I'm a BIG advocate of open source/wiki, but I'm not entirely sure I'm willing to vote down a small local school who maybe didn't know there was a wiki against a big school reading disclosure theory "to help small schools." It almost seems counter-productive. I think it can be an easy win if the other team drops it, or if its two big schools debating, I could consider it. But I literally judged a round where a team from a the reigning TOC policy champion school read disclosure theory against a small rural school with no coach and said it would help small programs. I'm not the biggest fan there.
If you've made it this far---
I've always loved the movie Ratatouille, specifically the end speech of Anton Ego. I find it appropriate to the role of a debate judge:
"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extra-ordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: 'Anyone can cook.' But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more."
A great debater can come from anywhere! Bring me something new and fresh!
they/them pronouns only
Experience: Policy debate - 4 years at UNLV, 4 years before at McQueen HS; started judging LD 2020; currently at KU Law.
I am very open to hearing any arguments at any speed. I am willing to vote for nearly anything. Anyone can beat anyone anytime. Do what you do best.
Specific updates (last update: 03/09/2023)
-- 10-ish years in the activity have taught me that long paradigms are often showing off or sometimes flat-out lies, so when I say "run whatever" I DO mean it and any specifics written are things I find particularly importantI
- If you put your hands on another debater without their permission, I do not care if it is part of the argument. I will stop the round, you will get an automatic loss and 0 speaks.
- I am very unlikely to vote on stuff like "death good" without a compelling reason; cross-apply to arguments about someone's prefs, interactions that happened before the round which I did not witness, giving someone perfect speaks, etc. If you want to do something in round besides debate (color, play supersmash, etc.) that's great, but I am in the back to judge a debate. If you do not make arguments, it will be very hard to win my ballot. "Argument" can be incredibly broad, and there isn't a clear/normative limit on it per se.
- Topicality needs an impact. If a team is not topical, but there is no impact, there is no reason to care and I'm more likely to vote on reasonability if being untopical does nothing. This includes T-USFG (Framework). This is also applicable to theory arguments like condo - I am not unsympathetic but the threshold is high.
- Kritikal affs need specific explanations of offense, and what the aff does, by at very least the 2AR -- if you do not know what the aff does, then I don't either, which makes it harder for me to weigh any of your offense -- on that note, err on simplifying/over-explaining terminology or lofty concepts.
The same is true of policy affs: policy affs with a lot of reliance on technology that is developing or doesn't exist yet need robust explanations compared to known technology that many people understand. I am not an AI or hypersonic missile expert, so throwing out relevant acronyms w 0 explanation will do exactly nothing to convince me you know what you're talking about. I am also inherently skeptical of claims about dangerous technology eventually existing when there are other arguments that will inevitably happen sooner than (e.g.) self-replicating AI can be achieved.
Generally don't assume I am an expert on what outside of debate might be considered a niche topic, even if you think it is widespread knowledge in the activity.
- I will not vote on something just because the other team dropped it. I need an explanation of why it matters that the other team dropped it, and (if you're gonna go for it as the A-strat in your last speech) why it outweighs any of their other arguments.
- Similarly, I will not do work for you to explain why you win. Explicit explanation and contextualization is necessary; you control the direction of the debate and I would prefer to intervene as little as possible.
--------Here is an example: reading a bunch of "extinction fake/DAs bad" cards matter very little to me unless they are explicitly used to frame out the extinction claims of the other team and are compared as a method of viewing the world as well as my role in the debate. Ask yourself before you do framing: Why should Max care about the cards I have read/extended and their corresponding extensions? I will also admit I have a bias towards extinction framing because if we die we're dead, but disproving the DA and extending framing will easily change this for me
Some other minor things to note:
- Online debate: a good thing to do in case your tech fails is to record your speeches so they can be sent out in case the Zoom Room goes dead mid-speech. You don't have to have your camera on; I will have mine on for speeches until the debate is over, and then turn it back on after I submitted a ballot. THAT said, also still check to see if I am there, sometimes I forget to mention I am stepping away during prep.
- My brain and ears aren't really friends with one another, so if you're unclear I might miss something. I will yell clear twice -- that's it.
- Be a decent human being! Debate is competitive, but that doesn't mean you should make someone feel bad about themselves as a person.
- I'm not going to time you. I think people are or should be capable of timing themselves and not cheating. Time your opponents too if you want.
- please don't call me "judge", it's weird -- "you can't x" is more efficient and less impersonal. You can even call me Max if you want idc.
- Do whatever you want, I do not have any opinions on how you debate unless you violate others or cheat in any way/shape/form. Circuit debaters take the time to read anything from my policy debate-based information that may be applicable to your style of debating (speed, argumentation style, etc)
Judging Experience: 19 years
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, include me on the email thread)
Big Picture: There is no one right way to debate. We all have our biases and preconceptions, but I try to approach each round as a critic of argumentation and persuasion. Some people will define themselves as being more influenced by either “truth” or “tech.” For me, this is a false binary. Tech matters, but it doesn’t mean that I will focus on the ink on the flow to the detriment of argument interconnections or ignore the big picture of the debate. Truth matters, but pretty much every debate I will decide that both teams win arguments that I don’t necessarily believe to be true. In my view, “argument” falls into a third category that overlaps with tech and truth but is distinct from them. Make your argument more effectively than your opponent and you’ll be in good shape. For me, that means making clear claims, developing warrants for those claims, and explicitly identifying what’s important in the debate, how it’s important, and why. Use logos, ethos, and pathos. Look like you’re winning. Your adaptation to the stylistic/technical comments below is far more important than your adaptation to any particular type of argument.
Comment about debate ethics: By debate ethics, I mean both what has been conventionally called “ethics violations” – like clipping cards, evidence fabrication, etc – as well as the interpersonal dynamics of how we treat one another in debate. I group them together here because they are both areas where somebody has crossed a line and upset the conditions necessary for debate to occur. For me, neither of these things is “debatable” in the sense I used above (“making clear claims, developing warrants…,” looking like you’re winning, etc). If a team is suspected of clipping cards, the debate stops and we do our best to resolve the issue before either ending the debate or moving forward. Similarly, if there is a concern that a team made racist, sexist, or otherwise bigoted – or even just excessively mean-spirited or rude remarks – the debate should not continue as normal. I have zero interest in watching a competitive debate in this context about what was said, whether an apology was sincere, the terminal impact of discourse, whether the ballot is an appropriate punishment, etc. In this, I aggressively fall into the “truth over tech” crowd.
What this means for me is that I will try to be attentive to these things happening. I do not believe that a debater has to say something for me to vote on an ethics violation. At the same time, there is a lot of gray area in interpersonal relationships and we all draw our own boundaries.
What this means for you is if you believe one of your ethical lines has been crossed, I need you to point it out *outside of speech time* and not treat it like you would other debate arguments. As we all know, there are different ways of arguing that the other team has said offensive things. An argument that the Aff’s Economy advantage is based in colonial & white supremacist logic seems to fall squarely “within the game” as a debatable position. On the other hand, if a debater refers to another debater with an offensive racial epithet, this seems to pretty clearly transcend the game. There’s a million miles of microaggressions and not-so-micro aggressions in between. My working presumption is generally that if you are debating about it, then you consider it debatable and that I should evaluate it within the context of argumentation, persuasion, and competition. But if you feel that the other team has crossed a line and that I should not continue evaluating the round as I would a regular competitive debate, say something – again, *outside of speech time* – and we will work together to reach an understanding and figure out the best resolution to the situation.
Stylistic/Technical Issues: I am a medium flow. My ear for extremely fast speech is not particularly great, and my handwriting is not particularly fast. Extremely fast debates oriented around the techne of the flow are not my forte. There is a fairly clear inverse relationship between the speed at which you speak and the amount that I get written down on my flow. This greatly rewards debaters who give fewer – but more fully developed and explained – arguments. I will probably not read very many cards at the end of the debate, so don’t rely on your evidence to make your arguments for you. At the same time, I do generally try to attend to the quality of cards and bad cards can definitely undermine your arguments. I categorically do not want to be forced to reconstruct the debate by rereading all of the cards. This means that explanation and prioritization in the final rebuttals weighs more heavily for me than it might for other judges. Attend to the big picture, make direct comparisons showing why your arguments are better than your opponents’, and most important, find the hook that allows you to frame the debate in your favor.
Theory Debates: This is the area where my thinking has evolved the most as I’ve aged. There are many theory issues that I can be persuaded by. However, I will say that many theory debates that I have seen are vacuous. The key question for me is what kind of world is created by each side’s interpretation – is it good for debate or bad for debate. The impacts that I find most persuasive are the ones that are less about whether the other team made debate hard for you and more about what their interpretation does to argumentation and whether that’s an educational and constructive vision of what debate should be. Generally, impacts like “time skew” or “moots the 1AC” are pretty empty to me. But an argument that uniform 50 state fiat is an artificial debate construct that’s not rooted anywhere in the solvency literature and distorts the “fed key” debate so wildly as to make it meaningless is maybe something that I can get behind. A short list of a few of my current theory pet peeves: the States CP, object fiat, vaguely written – and downright misleading – plan texts, and nonsense permutations. While I wouldn’t necessarily call it a pet peeve, I may be growing increasingly persuaded that excessive conditionality is not good for debate.
Critical Stuff / Framework: I regularly vote both ways in framework debates. I evaluate these debates much like I would a debate over the "substance" of the case. Both sides need to play offense to amplify their own impacts while also playing defense against their opponent's impacts. In most cases where I have voted against critical affirmatives, it is because they have done a poor job answering the negative's debatability/fairness impact claims. In most cases where I have voted against traditional policy frameworks, it has been because they have done a poor job defending against the substantive critiques of their approach. My general set of biases on these issues would be as follows: critical (and even no-plan) affirmatives are legitimate, the aff needs to either have a defensible interpretation of how they affirm the topic or they need to full bore impact turn everything, a team must defend the assumptions of their arguments, critiques don't need (and are often better served without) alternatives (but they still need to be clear about what I am actually voting for), debate rounds do not make sense as a forum for social movements and “spill up” claims are vacuous, and most of the evidence used to defend a policy framework does not really apply to policy debate. However, to state the obvious, each of these biases can be overcome by making smart arguments.
Speaker Points: Since Tabroom stopped making speaker points accessible, I honestly don’t really even know what they mean anymore. I try to give them careful consideration, but I admit that often it becomes a gestalt thing. I intend somewhere around 28.7 or 28.8 to be my median. I will occasionally dip into the high 27s for debaters that need significant improvement. Good performances will be in the low 29s. Excellent performances will get into the mid 29s. This was generally close to how things broke down the last time I was actually able to run the numbers on speaker point data.
Here are the things I value in a good speaker. I love debaters that use ethos, logos AND pathos. Technique should be a means of enhancing your arguments, not obfuscating or protecting them. Look like you're winning. Show that you are in control of yourself and your environment. Develop a persona that you can be comfortable with and that shows confidence. Know what you're talking about. Answer your own cross-ex questions. Use an organizational system that works for you, but communicate it and live up to it (if you do the line-by-line, then *do* the line-by-line). Avoid long overviews with content that belongs on the line-by-line. Overviews should have a clear and concise purpose that adds something important to the debate. Be clear, which includes not just articulation & enunciation. It also includes the ability to understand the content of your evidence. If I can't follow what your evidence is saying, it will have as much weight in my decision as the tagline for that evidence would have had as an analytic. Debaters who make well thought out arguments with strong support will out-point debaters who just read a lot of cards every time.
Updated - Pre-NU - 09.12.23.
On balance, J Philosophies should prob cut to the chase - but I'm gonna violate my own rule this time:
We exist in an era where being unfiltered gets glorified.. where the smartest person in the room is also encouraged to be the loudest.
Every now and again, someone arrives in our small pond - and they have all the characteristics of a great judge. They are quietly brilliant. They are thoughtful. They hold the community's respect for the simplest reason of all: they are undeniably good at what they do. It doesn't need to be broadcasted - it finds itself on display in each oral critique.
I won't be the guy that pretended to know Brian McBride on a deeply personal level. Our interactions were often limited to those panels that finish their task at 2am.
... but I know enough to say this with confidence. I learned a great deal by letting that guy go first in the post-round. He rarely called attention to himself. I am hopeful that our community finds ways to honor his contribution - even if he would've bashfully declined such praise.
I had a great deal of respect for who he was in this community.
Yes - speech Doc.
Side note - I often miss non-speech doc correspondence sent to that address bc I only use it for judging.
** New - Topic Specific - Nuclear weapons, 2023-4
With all the asterisks that often accompany this, I'll say I'm not going to deeply break-down my thoughts on hyper-generics and the kind of K's that tend to get run on every Res. I do have thoughts on these matters - but I am much more apt to be placed in a Policy-Policy round... this is bc clash/K teams have (correctly) concluded that there are many judges in the pool where their win% would be higher.
I have sneaking suspicions that Topicality will arise more in Policy-Policy rds - what follows is designed to be helpful:
- As a general proposition, I am more Aff than most on T - but I do think the Framer's worded things in a manner that gives the Neg something to argue here. Enough will come down to execution that some of what follows could be overread.
- I do not enter into the T Debate presumptively assuming Negs are structurally hosed on *this* Res. This ain't the water or CJR Res - there's at least room to argue that this Res= atypically good for Negs. I often judge on panels where the lone conception of "ground" is Neg. Absolute kudos to the Neg if they can pull of that framing - you should (as ever) run with the premises your opponents concede. But - in an evenly matched debate - I do think there's space for the Aff to push back on the some of the classic Neg ground claims.
- While I can certainly imagine hypotheticals where one side's interp is noticeably imprecise (i.e. old school "substantial" defs about a Court case involving a kitchen measurement), I tend to think most prepared teams read a reasonably precise interp. Once the opponent's interp has exited the theater of the absurd, I am open to threads that argue that we should consider defaulting to other RTP various interps. Better put - if you're trying to win that an inch of precision >>> a mile of balanced ground/limits, I would recommend you have technical execution on your side.. bc I am going to need to read the opponent's interp and chuckle at how non-applicable it is. If your lead on precision is NOT an inch - I am very good for your side.
Deterrence and Assurance are a thing. If/when the Neg blends them together, they create Aff openings where "thumping one" can "thump both".
Revisionism has become the Policy equiv of ontology. The 2N uses the fact that "Russia has revisionist tendencies" to lower the threshold for the link, the impact, the "turns case" thread, etc.... OK - I suppose it's somewhat helpful to the cause - but let's not overdo this. No one would pretend that reading a card that "X nation is revisionist" is - by its lonesome - a link to the NFU Aff... The best K research takes the ontology claim and contextualizes it to the Aff in question. The best disad research takes the revisionism premise and applies it to the NFU Aff. I find no dissonance here - it feels logical (to me) to demand scholarly contextualization from both revisionism claims and ontology claims. And - to be candid - I suspect I have a higher bar for Neg contextualization than most.
*Older stuff starts here - I'd only read through it if you needed more than the basics
I'm somewhat correctly stereotyped as a "good judge to break a new aff in front of". And, certain broad strokes will not change between now and Monday:
- I am bad for some Neg generics that get run in these spots (process CP, many K's)
- I will do enough "reading" in the post-round to at least try and comprehend a novel Aff or Neg arg - and, as these things go, that can open room for a prepared new Aff to win on various appeals to specificity
- I get that Neg's adore the Cap K... but the way this is getting deployed in the modern era is just so far from what I feel is a complete reason to Negate. I could break down my creative Cap K 2.0 blueprint ..or go on some rant - but, unless your Cap K has some very unique twists, I'd say that I am the second worst judge in the pool for your Cap K (behind Katsulas). This is meant to be helpfully honest as you make pref decisions;
- I am one of the better judges in the pool for "the impact turn doesn't link". Let me unpack - as this might read as illogical. Just bc the Aff said "heg" doesn't mean that *the way* the Aff enhances Heg auto-links to your backfile... similarly, just bc the Neg read an impact module that loosely referenced "ag" or "econ" doesn't mean the camp backfile is simply greenlit. Often times the OG impact is about "preventing a future decline in Heg"... or helping a sector of the econ that may solely be a piece in the dedev puzzle. I'll obviously "play ball" if both teams opt to ignore this int link minutiae. But I do sometimes find myself on the bottom of a 4-1 bc I strongly consider analytic threads appealing to whether the impact turns applied in the first place. This is not intended to full-on dissuade. Teams seeking to impact turn should invest some time connecting the "top-level" dots between the opponent's impact claim and their impact turn. Impact turn strat can also wind-up defending a squo that's very messy (transitions, other Aff impacts). Think about more than the narrow impact turn itself - and the broader system being defended.
- I differ from many judges on "disad turns case". I was recently asked to recount an NDT elim I judged a few years back. In it, Aff slams on Adv... Neg slams on Disad... Aff is bad on "disad turns case"... neg is silent on "Aff solves case"... 8 out of 10 judge vote neg here: after all, Neg turns Aff. I regularly vote Aff on "aff solvency claim is every bit as dropped as the neg's claim to turn solvency". There are some exceptions where I would vote Neg - suppose the neg's "turns case" arg is couched as comparative to the 1AC solvency... OR maybe the neg claim simply makes more sense than the OG Aff solvency.. etc... but I tend to not punish the Aff for lacking large re-explanations of (dropped) swaths of their case. Negs would do well to make comparisons that bake-in the particulars of the Aff.
- there is a risk of overcorrection to all of this. I have voted on "PIKs bad" at the NDT - and it was the correct 2AR choice.. I voted on a "meh" human innovation disad earlier this season bc the Neg tailored it so well to the opponent's solvency claims. There have been other decisions that might surprise a third party coach - unless they watched the debate itself. I do understand that debate is a game. All of this advice assumes situations where both sides have the time to evenly execute on a position - but sometimes that hasn't taken place. Capitalize accordingly.
--- Everything below this is older stuff... all of it still applies - but may be more than you need ------
TLDR - general
More apt to be placed in Policy v. Policy rounds. A great deal of the research that I do is on critical/culture theory. And, a lot of outcomes are possible in a world of imbalanced coverage/attention to detail.
That said, I have a poor track record for planless Affs. I have enough "argumentation teacher" in me to give a range of oral critiques. But, I do think K of this Res/Topicality struggles vs. standard (policy) boilerplate responses.
If your pref decisions hinge on post-round academic convos, I will be an engaged critic. But if a big component of your pref decisions are about the grizzled bottom line of winning (which is 1000% understandable, IMO), I think much of the pool has a better track record on behalf of the K.
Seems like there's two sets of Policy judges on this particular Res:
Camp 1.0 - summer pleasure reading was about Bostrom, gray goo bloggers, and meta-physical q's posed by British scholars.
Camp 2.0 - not that.
I'm more in camp 2.0. I have cut policy cards on the topic. I am not dismissive existential risk. I think the Sci Fi impacts are fine - strategic even....
And, I am (quite fairly) accused of letting your ev do some work for you. But there's a wave of oral critique out there that's akin to: "the sub-text of the Aff entropy claim rests on Toby Ord's The Precipice - which is hardly viable without a deeper defense of hypercomputation".
... huh ?..
I can get there - but you'll need to at least start me down that journey.
TLDR - process CP, compete on "should"
Anything is poss in the land of wildly disparate in-rd execution/coverage - but I am quite Aff here
Where are you good for the neg ?
Disad, CP of non-process flavor... the 1AC itself = often pretty silly.
For me, I am judging INP for the first time in a minute - mostly bc it would not be great if I brought COVID back to my household.
I am appreciative of the efforts the tournament and the participants are making to reduce the risk of COVID. I mean that quite genuinely
... this simple statement could be over-read or cause students to overreact when I am judging. I understand that sure-fire solutions are rare... and I do not need to 2A to debate outdoors or something. Just a friendly - not judgmental - reminder that I will be on the cautious side of this one.
--wrote this pre '21 NDT - I'll leave it up a bit longer, but it has little to do w. arg preferences ----
This strikes me as an audience where one can make a bold claim... and be granted an opportunity to back it up.
One of the strongest people I know is only 3 yrs old.
... I've watched her figure it out.
When the six yr old points and stares.
When the family switches lanes in swim class.
When they ask why her mask is the kind that ties in the back.
...and I've watched in amazement. Somehow, she channels her exasperation into thoughtfulness. Somehow, these aftermaths are productive.
A few years ago, I heard rumor that a student was thinking of foregoing her final NDT - ending her career after her Junior season. This student had challenged MSU Debate ...in the best ways possible. Judging policy rds as I do, I knew this debater. I decided to drop her a note. I thanked her for the hard work she'd put in.... for the indirect ways in which she'd made our program grow. One never knows what to expect once the send key is hit. I do think she was a little surprised to receive it. But I came to learn it made a small difference... that it landed with the right timing.
Later that season, I wrote a similar note - this time to a non-traditional debater. The same premises held. This student pushed our program and drove us to be more prepared. I extended an overdue "thanks". I imagine they were more than a little surprised to receive it. Judging policy rds as I do, I had even less of an idea how it may land. I was glad to learn it landed well.
The days leading up to the NDT are an especially good time to keep one's head down.
...But when the dust settles... when the inevitable frustrations grow distant... consider crafting a simple note. Consider sending it to a judge... a rival... a teammate.
Above all, consider sending to someone that may not expect it.
In doing so some will accuse you of being weak. Why extend energy to your rivals ?.. Why breathe life into the foe ?
But - in doing so - you will be anything but weak.
You will exit a challenging season... perched atop a most-challenging 12 months... and you will have done something genuine.. something unexpectedly thoughtful.
And - in doing so - you will show strength.
Strength similar to the strongest girl I know.
A girl who is Earless... and Fearless.
A girl named Robin Jane Repko.
Thanks - and best of luck to each of you this weekend.
---------old stuff here-------------------------
A - Teams that joke-y or playful about death or trauma - esp as part of some high-theory attempt to illustrate a point. I was early to this train - but I think a lot of people in the community are ready to close this chapter.
B - Consult Cplan in almost any variety - it's quasi comeback is surprising.
I'm overwhelmingly Aff on "contrived" interps bad. In general, I think I am more Aff than most on T in policy rounds. If it helps, I did not happen to judge the elim between UGA AR + KU HM on the Exec Authority. Here - by all accounts - the neg did a dazzling job on a T thread that amounted to "you gotta be a big Aff".
I cannot know - but I suspect I would have been an above-average judge for UGA in that spot. It has nothing to do with the debaters - all four were/are magnificent. It's more that I find T interps of that ilk tend to break-down under strict scrutiny.
I don't mention this example out of nowhere. I am writing in 2021 bc I suspect it could be instructive for this yrs college topic. I would not be shocked if I voted Neg on T - hard work has dividends. By this is a game of inches - and this is me being transparent about an inch.
Just be honest, please:
In an evenly matched-debate where all the best args are on the table (two important caveats), rate yourself on the following items relative to the field of possible policy judges:
A - CPlan competition theory.... Aff (esp vs. "resolved", "should", etc).
B - Kritik - even the flex variety - Aff by a considerable margin.
C - Truth or tech.... truth by a decent amount..
D - Are you lying - lots of judges just lie in these philosophies ?..
Not really... I'm pretty ardent - but I will say that anything is possible in the land of wildly-disparate in-round execution. I did vote on PICs bad (dropped) last season.
-------------- old philosophies start here -------------
I wrote this a few years ago - it still holds:
Often, the K struggles on the alt... and can be a little over-reliant on the checklist for someone (like me) that's a bit of a truth-seeker and post-round ev reader.
To give a concrete example:
Suppose a (policy) Aff said "a Small Modular Rector will *solve* for a nuclear accident". Further suppose that the Neg did not engage this claim in any way.
Then suppose the Neg said "interrogate our relationship to neolib -- as it may *solve* neolib". Suppose the Aff was comparably inattentive to that alt.
I would start the post-round evaluating competing solvency claims. Both teams 100% won their original statement -- but the word *"solves"* in both sentences does not get at questions of magnitude/likelihood. "Solve" was not posited as a 100% affair in either the ev, the tag, or under any standard of logic.
So, yes, both teams "solve", but the degree to which an SMR could prevent an accident is miles ahead of the degree that individual interrogation might solve neolib. I acknowledge that not everyone judges these args in this manner -- in part because they fear being labelled "interventionist". I happen to feel it "intervenes" to impose magnitude onto either team's claim (as stated).
I can imagine a future time where the K more assertively attempts to have Alts that inform policy praxis or generates non-institutional collectives... And if you think your arg is novel in that regard, then I might be a better judge for you... But, the odds are that you've learned to run the K based on the prevalent community norms that have developed over the previous 15 years... Over that time, your predecessors did an exceptionally mediocre job of helping the K inform praxis and be PART (not all) of negating an Affirmative.
- I rarely think "literature" alone makes a cplan competitive. I consider the two as wholly unrelated and I struggle to grasp this line of thinking. Some are aghast if the two options that are compared by a think tank article are somehow not auto-competitive. This borders on laughable - as there's lit that defends plan-plus cplans....Sometimes I have judged literature that demonstrated that the perm severs - that might be germane.
- I think "judge kick" needs to be flagged early and often - not merely implicitly as part of a conditionality answer in cx - for it to be a presumptively strong arg for the Neg. I consider "conditionality" to be a question of whether multiple strategies can/should be carried through the middle of the debate - and *not* whether the Neg should ultimately be afforded multiple choices at the end of the debate. I will assume that you went for the one damn strategy that you did extend in the 2NR unless you play your "multiple options" card earlier in the debate.
If you have specific questions about how I'd evaluate an item, feel free to ask. I'll strive to respond with candor.
I'm healed now run it all back
Please put me on the e-mail chain: email@example.com
**Highschool peeps: I've been told by my coach friends, my debaters, and students I've judged that I come off mean in RFDs because of how blunt I am. I don't mean to be rude or anything like that but if that seems like I am, it's most likely not you.
***Well done*** Naruto references get you speaker point boosts.
Greetings Comrades, I debated four years of varsity debate in high school at East Kentwood competing nationally and then debated for five years at Wayne State. Now I'm a grad assistant at Baylor. I have been almost exclusively a K debater. Some of the areas include anti-blackness, settler colonialism, cap, Edelman, and Chicanx arguments but I also have read and coached policy arguments so throw em at me. (Random impact turns like bootlicking China).
College: Oh wow nukes can't wait to hear all the same impacts from the last five years.
High School: BIG MOOONEY
Evidence sharing and disclosure is good. Do it.
Tag teaming is okay but I'd rather it kept to a minimum or zero.
Did you read a? Did you skip b? What cards did you read? Are cross ex questions I will enforce that time on a one judge panel. Don't like it? Get good at flowing, sorry but not sorry.
Don't be oppressive or violent in the round, I'll let the other team roast you in their speech if they want to dunk and gain speaker points, if they don't take the opportunity to do it I will do it post round including lower speaks and an L.
I've noticed now more that I am an expressive judge so you will often know how I feel about something in the debate. So do with that as you will.
I've started to hate large overviews because honestly most of that work can/should be done on the line by line portion of the debate. I am also personally fine with the 1AR or block foregoing and overview and just tear up the opponents arguments directly.
More hostility in debate. Like why are we treating bad or silly arguments and the people that run them as serious. This isn't like been mean and call people names, but like you just called their epistemology racist and you're friends or cordial with someone reading that racist stuff? That's weird... Enter the room with that mamba mentality, that's all.
***Online Debates. I would love and prefer your cameras on at all times as I think it checks back cheating, helps me see you and allows you to use non-verbal's to persuade me and absent that build a sense of community and friendship :). If you can't or it's important to your argument and/or have another reason for not using a camera I get it, just my preference.
If you have a fringe argument that some deem as silly, funny, goofy, weird, and/or obscure read that ish I like weird impact turns and all kinds of funky DAs. Spark, rouge AI, aliens, or whatever have fun.
I think post-rounding is silly because debate is communicative and if you failed to articulate your round winning argument then I’m sorry but I’m not going to go crying to tab changing the result. But waste our time if you really feel that way I won't think about the round ever again likely so no clue what you want to be the result of it. I've only had this problem
once twice so let's keep it that way.
Perms need a deeper explanation than you just rambling off four perms in hopes that the neg drops one it likely won't be developed enough by the 1AR/2AR to get my ballot
Aff has the burden of proof, prove a change is needed or what you do is the change + is good. Neg has the burden of rejoinder respond any way you want. Lots of times I feel that I vote neg because I lose sight of what the aff does as the 1AC slowly decomposes into nothing-ness at the end of the round. Explain what your aff does, why you are doing it, and how. Neg people don’t let affs shine light on their arguments and you have a hot shot at getting a win or a presumption ballot at the least.
First slow down on the violation, standards, and voters people blaze through it at top speed please relax let me flow it, damn. I feel like well done policy affs vs. T debates are some of my favorite but also could be really really generic and mid debates. So don't be boring. The impact level needs to come down to what specific abuse or education loss happened not something abstract.
Borrowing from Pirates of the Caribbean, "The [Resolution] is more what you call guidelines, than actual rules."
Aff teams should prove a reasonable way, form, and or model of engagement or have significant impact turns to the neg arguments, I'm not convinced by some generic bs like "policy bad" we can do better y'all. Neg teams not gonna hold you IDGAF about fairness in the abstract. You need to prove the specific abuse in the round not just some lofty fairness claims. You need to contextualize your offense to the specific aff you debate and if you can do that you'll most likely be good absent something external in the round.
Rez connection is appreciated and desired although not mandatory ig, please make sure you have thought through why you have completely rejected it. If you are just gonna say debate bad but have no other juice aside from that why we here?
So I've come around and like a good theory debate so go for it. I'm most open to disclosure theory, condo in a world of 4+ off (i.e. time skew claims and ability to generate offense on the net benefits). I also will flow on paper so like depth over breath for me. Y'all really need to levy perf-con against teams that read Ks and then have some policy defense/args. In a world of two perf con policy CPs I'll lean more neg flex but in a world of K v Policy stuff it shows bad K debating and I lean aff.
TBH not a fan of most politics DAs because they seem boring and repetitive. If I had a dollar for every time something was supposed to shift a vote or election I would have more money than Bezos so you either need really good specific link evidence or you should read something else. If you decide to read a new disad in the block make sure you have a warrant as to why you did.
Make sure you outline the net benefit pretty please? However, how much fiat the teams want to grant the CP will be up to y’all. I love a tricky PIC but don't love 4 plank long counterplans.
Real world impacts are good and are grounded in more reality thus I feel are easier to believe than most. In addition to the arguments I mentioned in my background I dappled with a broad range of other arguments but that does not mean I'm neck deep in all the literature of everything so explain. Going for alt? Explain how it solves the links. No alt? Fine K’s can also function as disads without alts and be a reason to not do the aff but you will have to win how the aff increases said bad thing not just they use the state. In general I think the state link is probably the weak “link” of k links, see what I did there ;). I’d rather you contextualize your argument to the aff. Or to win the K you need a good FW/epistemology connection so make sure to have that if you aren't going the material route.
Ummmm... why ain't we fiating alts around here we really letting the policy crew have a monopoly on the tools of imagination?
**HS in particular: Please don’t be like “He’s a K debater so reading the K is how we win” If you would like feedback I can probably provide that for you as an educational opportunity but don’t read it just for the sake of it. I don’t like buns K debates and if you think you have that FW or DA fire instead just read that.
Director of Debate @ DePauw University
University of Georgia, PhD
Communication Graduate Student, Assistant Debate Coach, Wake Forest University '15-'17
I competed for Humboldt State University in Worlds style (or Brittish Parlimentary) for 4 years.
Please add me to your email chains (as proof that you read these things)- firstname.lastname@example.org
Top level things
I will reward debaters with better speaker points for a good cross-x that helps their overall strategy in the debate.
If you describe graphic violence (sexual or otherwise) a trigger warning would be greatly appreciated by me, and the other debaters.
Rebuttals are for story-telling, if I'm not interested in buying what you're selling I'm probably not voting for you.
I don't feel personally responsible to read all of your evidence after the debate. Your job is to explain to me why certain pieces of evidence should be considered/read, if you don't do that, I won't take the time to read them. This is debate, not Sammi's research hour.
Love em, read some cards, make some args. I am pretty persuaded by reasonability, especially when the aff has a community norm argument behind them, but I'm not wedded to the concept enough that you can't persuade me otherwise. If we can avoid spec-type violations, that would be nice (but hey you do you).
Counterplans and Disads
Love em. The more specific they are to the aff, the more I am willing to buy negative spin/negative sufficiency framing arguments. Impact calc is super important, but don't confuse the timeframe or probability of your impact with that of your internal links. Most teams do, and that's not fun. Make sure you don't lose sight of your disad (and conversely, your aff) by the end of the debate, it's not only about comparing terminal impacts so don't lose the story for what you're selling me.
I don't have a strong preference on any particular theory arguments, but I will vote on them if well impacted and debated beyond the annoying re-reading of blocks in the 1ar and 2nr. The caveat to this, however, is that I will not kick a CP for the negative if it is extended in the 2nr. You forfeited your right to the status quo, deal with it. I'm not against multiple counterplans being read in the same debate, but I do believe the enjoyment of a debate correlates to how well crafted (wink-wink) the negatives strategy is. Do not see what sticks.
Most of my thoughts from the next two categories apply here. I will say, have links specific to the plan, with impacts to those link arguments. Root cause arguments aren't super persuasive to me, unless you can prove that the root cause prevents the aff's specific internal link from solving whatever impact is in question.
My general feelings about them is that they should be in the direction of the topic, and they should change something in the status quo. While this doesn't necessitate a plan text, the aff should have a method that defends some action/change. I am not a fan of affs that don't do anything, or believe that just pontificating is enough to win the round. You have to prove that your aff is important and creates positive change, not just that it analyzes something (what does that analysis do? And why should I vote for it as a positive change to status quo?). I am very persuaded by presumption when the aff hasnt proven that they do anything.
These debates can often can be good, but generally are not. You all read blocks like it's your job, and they are way too generic. I'm really persuaded by specific link arguments for things like limits or ground da's that point to in round examples to validate them, and TVA's that are well developed and actually specific to either the aff's method or the impact the aff is attempting to resolve. I do not believe fairness is an impact on it's own, it's an internal link to variety of other impacts.
These are persuasive, you should not be violent with your language. If you go against a team that you feel has been violent with their word choice, you should make it an argument in the round. Performative consistency is important. You do have to be clear about what the impact of their bad language is, and why I should care about it. You can't just say "this is offensive" with no impact and expect me to fill in the blanks.
Put me on your email chain (all of them, even if I'm not judging. I just want to be included): dar298@Cornell.edu
Less involved in debate than previous years. I don't read the wiki like I used to, so I may be confused about certain acronyms and shorthand that others could get. That said, my research does involve animal personhood and I did contribute to the animals K neg section of the topic paper, so I am familiar with the RoN/animal topic.
I am less familiar with the AI topic than the personhood topic, but I am willing to listen and learn.
I've become more dissatisfied with the presumption that debate arguments follow the narrow exceptions to make them justified unless "beaten" (e.g. First Strike an enemy of the US because it could be justified under consequentialist grounds if certain things are met--counterforcing works, war coming now etc., which is supposed to lessen the vileness of that thought experiment). I have trouble distinguishing the universally agreed areas outside these limits (spark, death good, homophobia good, etc.) from things currently accepted that I see as similarly pedagogically harmful (first strike US enemy, US heg good, warming not real). Do whatever you may with that info.
Overview/Long of it
Started as a novice in college and I love novice debate! Don't talk badly of it in my presence.
Started policy debate running xo and politics every round, devolved into reading one off Ks most rounds (mostly anthro and disability [as 2n/1a], sometimes various strains of afropessimism [not as 2n])
Do NOT assume that because I read critical arguments you are better suited to read critical stuff in front of me- do what you do. I love policy research and did a lot of it for various squads over the years so please don't be afraid to go for it in front of me.
I enjoy critical affs, especially if it's something that you have put thought into/challenges how I think of the world. It's some of the best and most educational part of debate.
This does not mean I am opposed to voting on FW or T arguments- it's a large amount of what I debated against so I am well aware of when a team does it well. I think a lot of affs mishandle T/FW and it can be a very strategic choice for the negative - especially when T/FW implicates the aff's knowledge production/method.
I am very line by line and flow centric- I don't think this is at all opposed to "big picture debate" or in-depth argumentation but that's just my style that will be represented in my judging- i dislike implicit "overview" clash that doesn't flag what your argument does or how it functions in relation to their argument.
I would rather not read every card referenced in the debate after it ends- debate is a game about communication and spin can beat evidence if you do it well enough- I don't vote on whether or not your or your coach cut a good card, I vote on the way you articulate the importance and weight of an argument the card makes (or comes close to making).
Skip here if you don't care to read above/Specific arguments:
Case: Debate it more- most cases don't make sense and can be dismantled with analytic arguments/a small amount of cards.
DA: I probably have a higher threshold for internal link explanation to impacts than other people - especially advantage extensions in the speeches like the 1AR- too often the 1ar runs through a scenario without an internal link and it pops back up in the 2ar again magically.
FW: FW is a K, defend your alternative view of the world/debate and the relative disads to the counterinterp/aff and how you capture/mitigate/outweigh/turn their offense. No feeling one way or another, either side can win- debate it.
T: Do your thing, but I'm probably extremely unfamiliar with norms of T/shorthand, etc.
K: Familiar with most lit bases in debate, in particular animal studies, afropessimism, disability etc. Don't assume my familiarity with the K- explain the arguments in depth and their importance as if I had no idea what you were talking about.
CPs: Impact out your solvency deficits or else it's hard for me to compare relative deficits/advantages in solvency
Reading afropessimism is all the rage for non-black people in debate but if you are not black I will be very sympathetic to arguments about that from the otherside- - years of seeing in this debate has made me very uncomfortable with this. (Christina Sharpe and Selamawit Terrefe in Rhizomes- "The only people who can be and embrace it are particularly these white, male, young academics who are so excited. They're excited by it. And it's an invigorating theory because it's a purely intellectual enterprise for them. This is something we have to experience and re-experience viscerally when we read Frank and Jared's work. It's a traumatic experience. But it's not a trauma that is being imposed by us— by the theory or by those of us who write and critically engage with the work. It's a trauma that we're reliving because we're never outside of this trauma. So I think Black people's responses, Black academics' responses in particular...it's not a foreclosure the way white or non-Black academics would respond. If it's a negative response it's foreclosing on their own...ethical relationship—")
The one exception to this is I can think of is if you have a partner that is black and wants to read that argument, but I am willing to hear args for and against that. (This does not mean don't discuss race/colonialism/your relation to that if you are white but be critically aware of how you are situated in relation to identity and the dangers involved.)
Please respect people's pronoun choices.
As a disclaimer- I will not vote on arguments that I feel are blatantly racist/heteronormative/transphobic/ableist (ie. calling people r-words good). This does not include disagreements about what constitutes racism(ie. you can win reformism good vs. wilderson) unless it crosses the line into arguments that are blatantly violent (ie. racism good/reverse racism real and o/w's the aff). This also includes impact turns such as anthro good. Arguing that you have a better method to resolve violence or that humans can solve other violence against animals does not fall under that, but I will not vote for an argument that says that animal death/suffering does not matter in relation to human suffering. Debate shapes what we think is ok to think and how we live and I don't want to contribute to the normalization of mass murder and torture against animality in debate rounds, even if it's inevitable outside of it.
That twitter account is not me, it's some impersonator.
Overview: These are my defaults. Everything is up for debate. Please add me to the email chain email@example.com
First, I consider myself an argument critic. By this I mean that I might vote on an argument that I do not agree with or one that I think is untrue because in the context of the round one team persuades me. This means that I tend to fall on the side of tech over truth.
Second, I understand debate by argument. There is a trend in debate to replace argument with author names. The community has begun referencing authors instead of the argument that the evidence is meant to strengthen. This is a bad trend, in my mind, and should be limited to necessity.
Third, I will not now, nor will I ever, stop a debate if I think that someone is clipping or cross reading. While I think this is cheating I think it is up to the debaters in the round to make an argument and then for me to judge that argument based on the available evidence and render a decision. However, if you are caught clipping when I judge I will give you a loss and zero speaker points. .
Fourth, Speaker-Points are dumb. Preffing judges based on the speaker points they give is even dumber. It has long been the case that weak judges give high speaks in order to be preffed. It is unfortunate that judges of color have had to resort to giving debaters higher points than they deserve to get into debates. I will do my best to maintain the community norm.
Topicality: Yes, I vote on it. It is always a voter. Topicality debates are about competing interpretations and the benefits of those interpretations. It is incumbent upon the debaters to do impact calculus of their advantages (these are the reasons to prefer aka standards) vs. the advantages of the counter-interpretation and the disadvantages to your interpretation. In other words, to win topicality you need win that your interpretation is better for debate than your opponents. This formula is true for ALL theory arguments if you plan to win them in front of me.
Framework: Yes, I vote on it. Framework is, to me, a criticism of the affirmatives method. What does this mean for you? It means that I am less persuaded by arguments like debate is a game and fairness claims. I tend to think of fairness, strategically, and my default is to say that fairness almost never outweighs education. I have voted on fairness as a terminal impact before and will likely do so again but the threshold to beat a team going for fairness is often very low and this gets even lower when the affirmative rightly points out that fairness claims are rooted in protecting privilege. If you are negative and you are going for framework my suggestion is that you make sure to have as many ways to negate the affirmatives offense as possible in the 2nr; this includes switch side debate solves your offense and topical version of your aff. If you do that and then win an internal link into education you will likely win my ballot.
I default to utilitarian ethics when making judgments about what action/vote is most beneficial. If you would like me to use some other method of evaluation that needs to be explained and it needs to be upfront.
Counterplans-You should read one. Counterplans compete through net benefits.
*Presumption never flips aff. I know there is a redefinition of Presumption as “less change” but this is a misunderstanding of presumption. Presumption, simply put, is that the existing state of affairs, policies, programs should continue unless adequate reasons are given for change. Now like everything in this philosophy this is a default. To say that presumption flips affirmative is just to say that the affirmative has achieved their prima facia burden to prove that the SQ needs change.
*Counterplan theory: My default is that conditionality is the state that counterplans naturally exist. Because I believe counterplans are merely a test of the intrinsicness of the affirmatives advantages it means that I also default to judge kick. This also means that there is little chance that I will vote outright on conditionality bad. Instead, I will assess that the Negative is now “stuck” with a counter-advocacy that alters the debate in corresponding ways.
Criticisms: Criticisms function much like counterplans and disads, insofar, as they should have an alternative and link and impact. I can be persuaded that K’s do not need an alternative. With that being said, if you are going for a K without an alternative then you are going to need to have a lot of defense against the affirmative. Some of that defense can come in the form of the k itself (serial policy failure or impacts are inevitable arguments) but some of it SHOULD also be specific to the plan.
Any questions just ask. Good Luck!
Current affiliation: director at Purdue & assistant at Head Royce.
Did you know Purdue is a public University with over 40,000 undergraduate students? Despite our excellent reputation for our engineering and computer science programs, as well as our success in the NCAA basketball tournament, we are in fact a public land-grant university in West Lafayette, IN. Tuition is less at Purdue than it is at Indiana University.
Past affiliations: Weber State, Wake Forest, Loyola Marymount, Idaho State, West Georgia, as well as College Prep, Georgetown Day, Bishop Guertin, Chattahoochee, and many other high school programs.
I love debate. I chose to return to debate after spending a few years working at a consulting firm. I make less money now, but enjoy the work much more. I appreciate your participation in the activity and will do my best to determine a winner, as well as help you improve in the time I spend judging your round.
I will default to flowing on paper. I appreciate efforts to be organized and go line-by-line; I will reward speakers that make flowing easier.
I will not read along with the speech doc. I believe debate should be a persuasive activity. I think following along with the speech doc is a poor practice, and I feel some type of way about it. I would like to be on the doc chain; firstname.lastname@example.org& email@example.com
If the round has started and there is no timer going, please don’t prep. I’ll kindly ask you to stop prepping if I notice you prepping while no timer is running. I think remote debate may have contributed to lax prep time standards, and I feel some type of way about it.
I’m a fan of multiple flavors of debate. I’m somewhat of a dinosaur at this point, but I still appreciate attempts at innovation. I’ve voted for and against all sorts of arguments. I’ve coached teams on various flavors of arguments. I’m generally agnostic. My best piece of advice for debating in front of me, or any other judge; debate powerfully, make the judge adapt to you.
I love cross ex! It’s generally my favorite part of the round. I usually flow it. I always pay attention to it. If you make gains in cross ex, please leverage those gains in your speeches. I will reward speakers for a well executed cross ex. I prefer you don’t treat prep time as cross ex time, I frequently leave the room during prep time and appreciate these opportunities.
I will reward speakers that focus on clarity over speed. If I ask you to be clear, please make an effort to adjust.
I start the process of deciding who won by establishing the most important issue(s) in the debate and determining who won the core controversies. I ask myself who won the round if both teams win their package of arguments. I frequently write a rough draft of a ballot and then try to argue against that decision to check against overlooking something. I try to edit my many thoughts to keep things more brief in delivering my RFD, particularly when on a panel. Sometimes when I sit I ask to give my RFD last - sometimes this is so I can get a sense of where the other judges are at, sometimes it’s to circumvent judges from editing their decisions when I’m confident in my RFD.
Currently - Director at the University of Oklahoma
Previously – Director at James Madison and Univ. of Central Florida
Way previously – graduate student coach at Univ. of Kansas
Long long ago – debated for the Univ. of Central Oklahoma
My default way of viewing a debate is as follows – I am deciding between hypothetical worlds. In general debates are either about the world at outside of our activity (fiated plans, CPs, and critical advocacies that are about what society at large should do or think or change). Or debates are about debate as an activity (topicality, theory, critical advocacies that are about endorsing or rejecting particular kinds scholarship or argument or forms of presentation).
In either case I assume I am being asked what is the preferrable world? The world where the aff plan is enacted into law? The status quo? The world of debate where everyone meets your version of the topic? The world of debate where no one reads conditional advocacies? Etc.
Arguments that directly challenge this are things like reject the team for reasons of fairness or because they did something problematic. I have and am certainly willing to vote on those reasons but they need to be clear and specific to what has gone wrong in the debate you are in. Ideally not a generic set of reasons (at least by the last rebuttals).
I can certainly be persuaded to understand debate in a different way or to evaluate your arguments from a different perspective but just so you know that is where I start.
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES
- - A drop matters if you make it matter and if it actually implicates the round
- - I am not offense defense oriented. You can win on defense alone particularly against poorly written advantages and disadvantages.
- - It is hard but not impossible to win you link you lose style debates. You are better off with some version of an alt or a more specific framing argument in front of me.
- - I flow on paper. I can generally keep up with speed but the less you sound like a person reading fast and the more you sound like a robot spitting out random words with no rhythm or cadence the harder it is for my brain to process what you are saying. So if you know you are in the wordwordwordwordwordword spreading habit either slow down a bit or work on getting some normal speech patterns into the reading.
- - I’m old so I try to line arguments up on my flow. This makes me annoyed with overviews and people who don’t do the line by line. I will still flow it but I will try to line things up until I can’t keep up with you and line things up. Then I will flow straight down but it makes my decision take longer at the end so be warned.
Case – more case debate is good. Always. In every kind of debate. The more specific and in depth the better. I think that is coldest take in debate at this point.
T – I mostly judge clash debates and I don’t hate judging them or T. If the aff can be used as offense against your topicality argument you would do well to have specific arguments to neutralize that (not all TVAs or do it on the neg etc. are good and having a bad one is a waste of time). You can win fairness comes first. Again it helps to have some specificity about why this round or affs like this one are so bad. I am not convinced affs have to have a counter interpretation to win. Impact turning the neg. interpretation can be enough.
Kritiks – framework against the K from the side of a traditional policy aff is generally meh. You get to weigh your impacts if you win that those mechanisms are good. Util? policy making? Extinction? If those are good things to value when I make a decision win that. Fairness is useless as a standard. They get a K. Stop it. See above for alts are preferable. Floating PICs are generally useless. Most K tricks are tricks for a reason they don’t work in the face of answers. I still have no idea what no perms in a method debate is supposed to mean.
CPs – I love theory and think it is absolutely crucial for most 2As (including critical affs) to help fend off counter advocacies and counter plans. CPs are probably the easiest way to neutralize the aff – I probably care more about how they solve than most judges so more time on solvency deficits in both directions is a good idea.
Disads – great arguments with often terrible evidence and spin. If your ev is bad debate well enough that I don’t have to read it. You are better being honest about your evidence and making up for it with spin and common sense than pretending your cards are amazing only for me to figure out that’s not true.
"Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world." - Arthur Schopenhauer
I debated at Brophy College Prep and then debated at Gonzaga University.
I now coach at Gonzaga in Spokane, WA.
Everything under this are my defaults but obviously any argument that is contrary to any of these override my presuppositions. I'll try not to intervene to the best of my ability.
I don't like when teams read evidence from debate coaches. It is absurd and self-referential.
Tech over truth
I'll call for ev, but only if it is a key part of the debate or I have been told to look at it. I put a lot of stock into the quality of evidence when deciding debates.
I default to reject the arg for everything except conditionality unless told otherwise.
Awesome strategic moves will be rewarded.
For the love of Przemek Karnowski, please don't cheat.
I'm not particularly expressive, but it doesn't mean I hate your argument, I'm just thinking to myself.
Keep your shoes on in the round.
Read warrants please. I will reward fantastic ev. Quality outweighs quantity. Use spin and compare your evidence to theirs.
I do tend to default to less change and think that there is such thing as zero risk of the aff. Using very smart case defense arguments is awesome. Internal link defense and solvency arguments are, in my opinion, underused. That makes me sad. So please use them.
I'm a huge theory nerd so I'm down with being convinced something is competitive. HOWEVER, I do think that a lot of counterplans that are commonly run are not competitive. Granted, I ran Reg Neg and Consult Russia a lot, and I understand why they are necessary sometimes, but I will reward case specific counterplans with net benefits that justify the status quo. To be clear: Artificial net benefits be dumb, yo. Counterplans should have solvency advocates--preferably normative one--which will go a long way in defending the theoretical legitimacy of the advocacy.
Against big stick affs, don't read stupid PICs like "the" or "should" because then I will cry. And I am an ugly crier.
I won't kick a conditional CP in the 2NR unless I'm explicitly told to in the debate.
For politics, gotta have the goods evidence-wise.
Political capital key cards should say that political capital is key.
I think that an aff shooting apart the internal link chain of a stupid scenario is sufficient.
I would really like it if your DA was an actual opportunity cost to the plan.
Link controls direction of uniqueness.
I exclusively went for the K almost all of college, so I know a lot of the literature. I've read a lot of Foucault, Baudrillard, Nietzsche and Deleuze but I won't pretend I know all K authors equally. Please explain it in relation to the aff, not just in high theory terms.
I don't think I'm the federal government. I am a sleepy coach judging a debate. However, I can be persuaded differently by args made in the debate.
Getting to weigh the aff is distinct from a "role of the ballot" argument because Role of the ballot determines how/what I am voting on or evaluating.
I love highly technical K debate ie. LINE BY LINE and clash.
Well researched and case specific Ks will make me smile.
I really do enjoy theory debates if it is delivered at a rate consistent with the arguments. For example, if you are saying conditionality is bad in the 1AR don't speed through it because it is difficult to flow in its entirety. I will vote on unconditionality good, or 5 conditional CPs good. Debate is debate. If a theory violation is well impacted and explained, I will vote on it.
I default to competing interpretations unless told to evaluate it differently. I love when people read a lot of cards on tea, or have a hyper specific topicality argument. I evaluate it like a DA, so impacting things such as limits and ground is important.
Framework vs K affs:
I'm down to listen to really anything, and I was usually on the side of the team answering framework for most of my career. That being said, I really really enjoy framework debates. I think that "no Ks" isn't very convincing, but there should probably some agreed upon stasis point. This doesn't mean you need to defend the hypothetical implementation of plan in front of me, but if the other team wins that fiat is a good model of education, I will vote on it.
4 yrs - East Kentwood High School
4 yrs - Indiana University
Grad Coach @ Wayne State
Yes on the email chain: wayneCXdocs@gmail.com
Don't be an ass. Please respect pronouns. I understand debate is taxing and we speak fast and it is rarely intentional - doesn't change the fact that being misgendered makes it harder to debate effectively. I'm trying to be less invested in punitive paradigms, so I will now approach this issue by factoring affect and dysphoria into my evaluation of the argument and performance of the person that was misgendered (by being more lenient), rather than punishing the person that made the mistake. If the incident is triggering to the point of disrupting the debate, presumption will fall with the person that was misgendered. Trust me, trans people in debate would rather have a substantive debate than squeak a W out of a moment of trauma. We should all work to make this activity less traumatic than it already is. We can all do better.
Debate is a game but the only rule is that I have to submit a ballot at the end with one winner and one loser. I expect debaters to try to win the game. I'd rather you make a controversial and innovative argument then suggesting that there were other debates or conversations to be had. I find that ethos is often much more important to my decision then the flow.
Debate is already traumatic. We are all here to win. Please presume good faith from others who are speaking their truths, unless they prove to be problematic. I dislike judging debates about the character of individual debaters, but will obviously do so if thats what the debate is about. My decision will ultimately rest on who did the better debating, and any judgement rendered is not final nor is it a judgement on the character of individual debaters.
Please email me your speech documents. I have judged over a 1000 HS and College Debates over the last 18 years. I am a lawyer and lectured this past summer on this year's HS topic at Institutes for the NY UDL and the DC UDL Coaches Workshop and at Summer Institutes at the University of Michigan, Gonzaga, Georgetown and Harvard.
If you run a K, and actually have an ALT that can be proven to SOLVE a problem - - - any problem - - - it would be the first one I have heard that does solve a problem in 18 years of judging debates and then you might get my ballot, but probably not depending on how well the AFF does. If you are AFF and have a Plan that SOLVES a problem without creating more or larger problems - - - you might well get my ballot, depending on how well you debate during the round.
I listen to arguments, favor clash to determine who does the better job of debating, and no matter the chosen framing or style of either or both teams, I judge the debate based on what is said during the DEBATE by the Debaters.
I began high school judging in 1973.
I started judging college debate in 1976.
Between 1977 and 2002, I took a vacation from debate to practice law and raise a family.
Since 2002, I have judged between 40 and 80 Rounds a year in High School and had brief stints judging college and professional debate while "coaching" for the University of Redlands, my alma mater, in, I believe, 2010.
You can debate your own stuff, but I am not a theory fan.
I believe I have voted NEG on topicality four times in 18 years, twice in non-traditional AFF debates and once at the Kentucky RR when I thought the AFF made a mistake and I also thought the NEG made them pay, although a very competent and distinguished judge who was also judging the same round felt differently. So, even in the one traditional debate round where I voted NEG on T, I was probably wrong. I believe in AFF creativity, reasonability which guarantees predictability.
BUT (and and this is a CAPITAL BUT) I like/strongly prefer substantive debates ABOUT the topic area, so long as the Plan is a reasonable illustration of the Resolution.
People who listen and answer arguments well get great speaker points. People who are nice and friendly and not jerks also like their speaker points.
I have had teams run K's and all kinds, types and nature of CP's. The PERM Debate really makes a difference in a K and CP Round. I am not the most philosophically literate humyn being on the planet, so please explain your esoteric K and your even more esoteric K responses.
Cross-Examination is IMPORTANT, so please ask questions, get answers and ask more questions. When responding, please listen to the question that is asked and ANSWER it. No need to fight or argue. Ask questions, Get Answers, move on.
For the clash of civilization people who want to know more about my feelings and leanings, perhaps the best information I can give you is that I listened to a recording of the final round of the 2013 NDT and would have voted for Northwestern had I been judging. The framework debate in my mind flowed Negative.
I enjoy DISADS and case debates. I am particularly fond of hidden Case Turns that become huge Disads.
I know how hard you work and will attempt to work just as hard to get things right.
2023 Nukes Rewrite
Please add me to the chain, I do not usually read along during speeches but I like to able to check things during cx/prep and it makes post-round evidence collection easier. I prefer when teams send analytics (especially for online debates) because I think normalizing the practice makes debate more accessible for people who might struggle to process policy debate speed without forcing people to ask for that accommodation.
Debated at Binghamton for 2.5 years (college novice), coached at Baylor for two, and am now in my 5th year as a coach/gta for the University of Kansas.
I love debate and promise to put my full effort into the rounds I judge.
This philosophy is very long because I would rather over explain and give more insight into how I think of my judging then less. Ultimately, you should do what you do best, everything below is a preference but I do try my hardest to adapt to the debate in front of me.
Broad Debate Thoughts
I think I'm generally in line with most of the community in the sense that I think specific debate is better than generic debate, clarity is really important but undervalued, and most rebuttal speeches could use more comparative impact calculus.
In terms of areas where I might differ a little/require stylistic adaptation, the most important is that I tend to really value/give significant weight to spin and the explanation of arguments. Part of my goal as a judge is to base a decision as much as I can on the words of the debaters in the 2NR/2AR. That means that I'm looking to the story or narrative you are creating and reading your arguments through that lens as opposed to looking at what your cards say. A lot of my decisions in close debates come down to the question of who was more explicit in constructing a story that not only framed why they won arguments substantively but also how they won the debate at a meta level. Story telling in debate is everything for me and I try to reward teams who do that work as opposed to teams hoping that I will construct a ballot or narrative for them.
Functionally, my focus on explanation and spin means that I am not a great judge for 2nr 2ar's that attempt to identify everything each team conceded and ask me to construct a ballot from those concessions. I am better for teams who explicitly identify the ballot they want me to write and then frame the remainder of the speech by explaining how various arguments support that particular ballot. As a side note, generally, I'm of the opinion that the word conceded (or their equivalents) should be used minimally in 2nr/2ars because it ends up serving as a placeholder for comparison and the narrative construction I am discussing. The over use also makes it harder to emphasize the actual important drops that teams may have made as they get lost within the 20 things you claim they never answered.
I tend give a lot of leeway in terms of how teams apply and expand on evidence which means that I think I'm certainly a better judge for the team that reads a couple of good cards and focuses on spin and narrative with those cards that I am for the team that reads a lot of cards but never really tells me what I should do with them. I am also better for teams that are explicit in applying their arguments to different parts of the flow, than I am for teams that hope I will pick the embedded clash out of an overview. If one team is doing the work to explain a piece of evidence and its implication while the other team is implicitly answering the argument in an overview I tend to side with the team doing the more explicit analysis.
None of this is to say that I do not care about evidence quality, especially if you make arguments as to why evidence quality matters in your particular debate but that I think I am more willing then a lot of judges to give credence to analytics and explanation because in my mind that leads to less intervention
This preference means that clarity is really important, I can keep up with fast debate, but the more explanation I get/words I understand the better it will be for you, so try to find a balance. I'm also not the most technical flow, even though I tend to be very tech over truth in how I evaluate rounds, so be aware of giving me time and being clear with transitions and packaging especially.
I have a substantial neg bias in my voting record, I think that this true for several reasons, some of which come down to chance/variance and some meta things about how clash debates play out. However, I do think I tend to be better for the negative because in a lot of debates, I usually find myself feeling like the neg block overwhelms the 1ar and that I am reluctant to give the 2ar much room to spin out of those concessions. I am much better for affirmative teams that are willing to go for less arguments (1/2) and explain how the rest of the debate is implicated by those arguments. However, I often feel like 2ars think they need to match every 2nr argument which makes it difficult to produce a narrative or story for my ballot.
Framework v K affs
My record in these debates has increasingly shifted towards the neg. That is less of an ideological question and more a question of how the meta of these debates has changed. I often think negative teams do a better job (it is also easier for them) of controlling a lot of framing and uniqueness issues that I find important. Affs often struggle against arguments like "debate is a game so that means fairness is the most important impact" or the "affs offense is non-unique because it is a criticism of the content of the resolution but the ci can't solve it" or "debate does not shape subjectivity at all".
At a truth level, I believe that K-affs are good for debate and lead to some of the most important/relevant discussions in our community but I do find myself feeling like K teams might be a bit behind in terms of dealing with those framing arguments.
You need an argument about the purpose of debate and the question of "what we are doing here". Ideally that argument needs to be based in your 1ac and you need to leverage it against the neg claims that debate is just a game or that subject formation does not happen in these spaces. I'm very persuaded by the argument that if the activity is unethical then who cares if it is fair, but I think affs often struggle to have an explanation that actually implicates the activity/form of debate.
I wish aff teams would be more willing to challenge neg teams on questions of debates relation to subject formations. I often think, neg teams get away with an almost nihilistic depiction of debate as absolutely valueless. Aff teams should argue that even if individual rounds do not shape subjectivity, the type of activity we create and norms of research do have an impact on how we think and move throughout the world. I also frequently find myself thinking that the argument current "debate does not shape subjectivity"should be an aff argument not an neg argument because it seems like that is something k affs would say is the problem. Maybe we should attempt to construct a model of debate that does try to shape how we think and educate rather than focusing on being a pure competitive game with no regard for the types of people we produce.
I also wish affs would more push back against the internal link that just because debate is a game it means we should fully maximize fairness, (or even what it means to maximize fairness) There are a lot of great games that do not require fairness in the way debate discusses it. Games are also often more about education and learning then competitive equity but generally we've defaulted to the idea that debate is a game and the thing that matters for games is that they are fair.
I'm a good judge for arguments that draw on the utility of kvk debate and the conversations that are had there. I think fw teams often pretend those debates don't exist or devalue those arguments in ways that could generate significant offense for the affirmative but affs sometimes fail to take advantage of those arguments.
I think overall I'm better competitively for more impact turn styles of answering framework because those have been increasingly the meta and I'm more used to them. However, I do really enjoy teams that articulate alternative relationships to the resolution that are more nuanced then 'res bad/unethical" and discuss in-depth alternative models of debate .
When I vote aff, it is frequently because the aff won the case page, which made structural claims as to how debate, contestation language, etc operate and those claims shape how I view the framework page. Thus, for me, you must engage the case, either by isolating fw from it, or with various case defense arguments.
Good fw debating is good case debating, if you are not talking about the aff, on both pages, (ie how fw relates to the affs impacts and structural claims) you are losing the debate. I think the question of how specific the fw is to the aff is what differentiates great fw debaters from good fw debaters.
That is also true for explaining impacts like fairness/clash, If you are able to describe to me how their aff/interpretation specifically makes it impossible to be neg/ruins models of debate and provide examples in round it will always go further than general rants about the necessity of limits. I can go either way on the question of fairness being an impact and it most often comes down to which team is controlling spin on what debate is/what is the goal of our activity. The more the narrative of "debate is a game, fairness matters for games, therefore fairness matters here" is clear to me, the more I am likely to think of fairness as an impact.
I understand the strategic utility of more procedural based arguments and impacts. However, I will say I enjoy fw debates where the neg defends the possibility of what plan based debate can do or why it is educationally valuable, far more then the current trend of making neg claims as small as possible. However, in the end do what you have to do.
Policy aff v K
The fw debate is incredibly important for me.
I do not like the trend of kind of deciding that the fw debate is a wash and constructing some weird compromise outside of what the interpretations/views of the debate actually were.
I think fw interps/arguments should be as explicit as possible in terms of instructing judges as to what you think the implication of winning your frame work is. I often think teams are very unclear on this question and leave it to judges to fill in blanks. I think that is particularly true for aff fw interps that often stop at "weigh the plan" with very little explanation of what that means or how the K prevents weighing the aff/the plan. Similarly you have to tell me how the neg moots the 1ac and not just assert that it occurs.
Neg teams need to recognize that winning framework is not game over, but a way of shaping how the rest of the debate plays out. As such your links and even alternative should be contextualized to the framework interpretation you are going for/winning. If your framework is about research practices, then your links better explicitly explain why the aff research practices are bad. If your framework is about competing political imaginaries your criticism of the aff should use that language.
A lot of my neg decisions start with some variation of "I thought the neg was winning a structuring (often theory of power) claim that shaped how I came down on a lot of the close issues in the debate. A lot of my aff decisions start with I thought the aff won that they should get to weigh the plan and that the aff outweighed links that were relatively non-unique.
Generally, the team that is able to package their arguments into a clearer narrative/story wins the debate. That goes beyond just being right about the content of the arguments but focusing on explaining how that content converts into a ballot
I'm not great for aff teams that just try to permute everything because I tend to think more structural Ks will always find a link. You are better of challenging the neg's view of the world and defending how your aff approaches politics.
I'm pretty willing to listen to arguments about what competition should look like in kvk debates, i.e. how much of the aff should one have to disagree with to earn a ballot is often a relevant question in a lot of these debates since both teams often agree on a lot of premises. That means I'm also better than a lot of judges for arguments about whether the aff should get a perm.
In terms of K familiarity, I'm very familiar with the ableism literature used in debate. I'm also very comfortable with the cap arguments generally read in debate, though I often think teams deploy them pretty poorly, especially against K teams. I have a working knowledge of the more structural ks in debate though I'm not particularly well-read. I do not feel very confident in my knowledge of the more "high theory" arguments deployed in debate. Those require more explanation and examples with an emphasis on explaining the applicable elements of those criticisms.
Policy v Policy
I don't judge too many of these debates, and I still probably judge more than I should. The biggest thing to think about is my discussion of explanation at the top. In policy v policy debates there is a tendency to forgo that storytelling element of debate in the name of efficiency because it is assumed that judges will somewhat fill in those gaps. That ends up being difficult for me because my lack of experience with these debates makes it hard to fill in the gaps and I just generally don't like doing so. That means the team that focuses more on explicitly instructing me as to how I should understand the debate at the meta-level will do better.
That is especially true for counter plan competition debates and topicality debates because I have virtually no experience in either and can struggle to process what is going on as I attempt to keep up with the block spewing. The more work you can do to make me understand, even if you feel like you are overexplaining the better you will do.
Random side notes
I think I'm a decent judge for arguments that challenge the form of debate (think spades, coloring etc) as long as you are being explicit in explaining why you are doing what you are doing, you have an actual argumentative backing for what you are doing and you are trying to win the round.
I don't really know where I fall on most theory issues because I judge them so rarely, I would say that I'm fairly agnostic on conditionality in general, but I do think there is an increasing prevalence of a style of run and gun argumentation that I really dislike. In my mind, the style of reading like 8 bad arguments, going for the least covered one in the block (or just kicking all of them in the 1nr and talking about t for 9 minutes against k teams) creates shallow antieducational debates. I don't think that practice is intrinsically tied to conditional argumentation but that it does seem to go hand in hand and I could probably be convinced condo is bad because it promotes this model. Read this as you are better off constructing 1ncs with arguments you will actually go for/discuss and not trying to just outspread the aff with random nonsense.
I have an absurdly awful poker face while judging debates. You will see me react to things. I will say that if push comes to shove you should always prioritize your view of an argument/the round over what you perceive my reaction to be, because I might be reacting to something totally different then what you think. Furthermore, I vote for arguments that I dislike all the time and vote against arguments I do like as well, so my reaction might not be tied at all to the competitive element of the debate.
If you are some one who finds facial expressions/reactions distracting and unhelpful feel free to let me know and I will do my best to limit them
There are very few arguments that I will refuse to consider on face, but please do remember if you are the type of team that enjoys the wipeout, spark or death good, genres of argumentation, that debate is ultimately a persuasive activity and the burden of work you will have to do to win/be persuasive for those arguments will likely be higher than normal.
Hello, I'm Jamie Snoddy (pronounced like snotty, but with the [d] sound). I'm a community coach for Patrick Henry HS and also a coach at the University of Minnesota. I did a year of debate at Patrick Henry and debated two years for UMN. I graduated in 2018 with a Bach. in Linguistics (Puns get you extra speaks). Please add me to the email chain with the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning is the main focus of debate. I like arguments to be presented in a clear and logical manner (it can even be flawed logic, as long as it's coherent and feasible, I think it's legit.). So, there aren't many things I'm against teams running. TELL ME WHAT TO VOTE FOR PLZ! Impact Calc and Roll of the ballot args are great.
Place a higher precedence on presenting evidence clearly and consistently (so not reading things incoherently fast unless e.v.e.r.y s.i.n.g.l.e t.h.i.n.g. is in your speech doc. Which it shouldn't be. If I'm not looking at you and typing, you're good. If I'm looking at you and leaned back, I'm waiting for flow-able info. If I'm looking at you and nodding I'm listening to good points that I feel have already been flowed.
Full disclosure: I'm a sucker for wipeout/death good args, idc which side it is lbvs. Maybe it's the high school emo in me. Best way to combat these args, to me, is go all into VTL and some change better than no change and, if applicable, the ppl who are getting effed over by sqou violence still don't want to die... then that gets into cruel optimism, yada yare yare.
I'm fine with no plan affs. You just have to reeeeeally be ready to answer FW and T. You need to convince me of why running this aff w/o a plan will not work within the resolution. I'm a former 2A so sympathize with defending your case baby from the big scary neg lolz jk.
As long as the Neg can keep track of all the CPs they have, have all the cps you want. Just be ready to defend needing all of the cps if the aff chooses to go that route. Condo... is... a thing... I guess. The more cps you have, the high chance I'll believe condo bad args, cuz having that many multiple worlds is sorta abusive. So if you're running 7 or 8 cps, they better be dispo or uncondo, or have really great answers for why having that many condo worlds is necessary...
Fine and necessary args in policy.
Great! I love Ks and really love non-basic Ks. I don't like flimsy, vague alts. Even if it is as simple as Reject "x", I need to know what exactly what the world of the alt will look like and why it should be preferred to the aff's.
Topicality, to me, is different than theory (I flow them sep) and as long as voters are attached to it, I'll consider the args.
Is a prior question and needs to be addressed before talking about anything else. If we can't agree on how we talk to each other, then what does anything we say matter? ROB args are persuasive if voters are attached to it.
Switching between hs and coll. debate sometimes throws me of, but I try to be really generous with them? If you're chill, courteous and not a butt during a round you get higher speaks.
Cutting people off aggressively and being unnecessarily snarky looses you speaks. I get if you're having a bad day or are going through some things that it may get taken out here in our community. If that's the case, just give the people in your round a heads up that you're in a mood.
***PLEASE, I BEG YOU, if nothing else, read my note about speed/clarity!!! This issue is paramount in online debate!***
"Accept that you're a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace - and maybe even glory." - Tom Robbins
Hello! I'm Skye. I graduated from Concordia College where I debated on their policy team for 4 years. I am a CEDA scholar and 2019 NDT participant. In high school, I moved around a lot and have, at some point, participated in every debate format. I have a degree in English Literature and Global Studies with a minor in Women and Gender Studies.
I have experience reading, coaching, & judging both trad policy arguments and Ks.
I have been coaching going on 3 years and judging for 6. I am currently the head policy coach at Wayzata HS in Wayzata, MN. I occasionally help out the Harker School in San Jose, CA and UMN debate in Minneapolis, MN. My full time job is at the Minnesota Urban Debate League, where I am serving my second Americorps VISTA service year as the Community Debate Liaison.
I love debate and I have loved taking on an educator role in the community. I take education very seriously, but I try to approach debates with compassion and mirth, because I think everyone benefits from it. I try to be as engaged and helpful as I can while judging, and I am excited and grateful to be part of your day!
My email is email@example.com for email chains. If you have more questions after round, feel free to reach out :)
Top 3 Notes!
1. I FLOW ON PAPER AND HAVE POOR HEARING. I am OK with spreading, I think speed makes for much more in depth and rigorous debates, but with great speed comes great responsibility…
- please use a microphone in a headset/headphones if you have the tech, the laptop mics also pick up echoes and it makes it way harder than it needs to be for my ears
- please send out analytics if you are at all willing
- please send out marked docs at the end of your speech
- please SIGN POST & give me 1 second to move onto the next flow
- please use different intonation and sign posting to indicate you are going onto the next argument on the flow to give me the cue to finish up and move along with you so I can keep an organized flow. Not all speeches will be organized the same way, but if I know where to put things so they line up, then we are all in a better place.
- In the 2A/NC & rebuttals, spreading your way through analytics at MAX SPEED will not help you, because I won't be able to write it all down, or even really process the very dense argumentation and smart things you are saying.
If it gets to the RFD, and I feel like my flow doesn’t incapsulate the debate well because you did not accommodate me, I am very sorry for all of us, and I just hate it. I am not afraid to tell you I did not get everything or missed something. To me, that is on the debater, not the judge. There are way too many people in this activity that like to pretend they can hear every word no matter what. I am not one of those people. This is still a communication activity, and I earnestly believe the debaters should keep that in mind.
2. When it is time for the RFD, I go to framework first. If any framework arguments were extended in the rebuttals, I will reach a conclusion about who wins what and use that to dictate my decision making. I will always do this, without fail, I promise you. If there aren'y any, or the debaters were unclear, I will default to a very classic policy debate style cost-benefit analysis.
3. I default to evaluating debates from the point of tech/line by line, but arguments that were articulated with a warrant, a reason you are winning them/comparison to your opponents’ answers, and why they matter for the debate will significantly outweigh those that don’t.
"tag teaming cross ex": sure, just know that if you don't answer any CX questions OR cut your partner off, it will likely affect your speaks.
Clash debates, K aff: Fairness is probably not your best option for terminal impact, but just fine if articulated as an internal link to education. Education is very significant to me, that is why I am here. I think limits are generally good. I think the best K affs debate from the “core” or “center” of the topic, and have a clear model of debate to answer framework with. So the side that best illustrates their model of debate and its educational value while disproving the merits of their opponents’ is the side that wins to me.
Clash debates, K on the neg: As I’ve mentioned previously,framework will really guide my decision, so I encourage debaters to invest time there. The links are really important to me, especially giving an impact to that link. I think case debate is slept on by K debaters. I have recently started thinking of K strat on the negative as determined by what generates uniqueness in any given debate: the links? The alt? Framework? Both/all?
K v. K: Framework, friends, framework. Without framework we are but scurvy-ridden sailors in a sea of K goo. It may be helpful to know that I think of perms as a test of the links/competition, and not so much as an advocacy.
Ks, general:I feel that it can be easy for debaters to lose their K and by the end of the debate, I’m not sure what critical analysis actually happened in the round.No alt needed if you're worried about that, as long as there is framework/framing that supports it. I also think situating your K in/to the context of debate clarifies things for me quite a bit.
Condo/Theory: I am not opposed to voting on condo bad, but please read it as a PROCEDURAL, with an interp, violation, and standards. Anything else just becomes a mess. The same applies to any theory argument. I approach it all thinking, “What do we want debates to be like? What norms do we want to set?”
T: Will vote on T, please see theory and clash v. K aff sections for more insight, I think of these things in much the same way.
Plans/policy v K: Although I am personally ideologically predisposed to critical arguments in the ~real world~, I increasingly do not feel this is the case in debate. I also think there is an artificial polarization of k vs. Policy ideologies in debate; these things are not so incompatible as we seem to believe. Policy and K arguments are all the same under the hood to me, I see things as links, impacts, etc.; these worlds are not so polarized to me. I do think it is a good idea to clue me into what all your acronyms, initialisms, and topic jargon means, though.
policy, general:I am a simple soul here. I like refutation, LBL, evidence analysis, and collapsing down in rebuttals. You know, good debate.
LD, random arguments about wearing shoes or whatever: Please don't read ridiculous things that benefit no one educationally, that is an uphill battle for you.
Read no cards-----------x------------------------Read all the cards
Conditionality good---------------x---------------Conditionality bad
States CP good-------------------------x---------States CP bad
Federalism DA good---------------------------x--Federalism DA bad
Politics DA good for education --------------------------x---Politics DA not good for education
Fairness is a thing----------------------------x--Delgado 92
Try or die------------------------------------x-----What's the opposite of try or die
Clarityxxx--------------------------------------------Srsly who doesn't like clarity
Presumption----------x----------------------------Never votes on presumption
Resting grumpy face-------------------------x----Grumpy face is your fault
CX about impacts----------------------------x----CX about links and solvency
AT: ------------------------------------------------------x-- A2:
TLDR: Do whatever you do best, don't be afraid to try new things, and have fun. SPEAK CLEARLY no matter how quickly. Tell me what to write down. I need to know how your alternative works--how it works in the material world. I like the game of debate and value the ethos of good and fair debating. I like to reward topic research. Be a good person.
Who are you, Matt Stannard?
High school and college policy debater for 7-ish years. I was a full-time debate coach, assistant director and director for 16 years. I then went to law school and graduated with my Juris Doctorate and spent a few years as a full-time organizing consultant. Then, back to debate: I'm currently a coach, summer institute instructor, and frequent judge.
What are some important things to keep in mind about how you view debate?
Policy, critical, and procedural debate are of roughly equal value. I am not the state. Life is good, the topic is good, topic research is good. Debate should be challenging but fair. I won't vote for classist, racist, heteropatriarchal or sexist, ageist, ableist, or colonialist arguments. Those are ethical limits, but I will and often do vote for arguments I simply intellectually disagree with.
I don’t like to read a huge amount of evidence after debates, so the more you tell me during the debate, the less chance I’ll reconstruct arguments afterward in ways you might neither predict nor agree with.
What style and rates of delivery should we aim for?
Debate in the style and at the speed you're comfortable with. Please speak VERY CLEARLY and enunciate more than you would during a normal conversation. Please watch me occasionally to see if I'm getting it all down. I may sometimes ask for clarity.
What theoretical defaults should we be aware of?
I live and work at the intersection of grassroots social movements and policymaking. I really like solvency arguments for/against the kritik alternative that resemble solvency arguments for/against plans or counterplans--that engage with the material world where change is being claimed. Who, what, how, where etc. I am familiar with how movements and advocacy groups work so tell me how the alt works (or doesn't).
T and other procedurals aren't per se "genocide," but the political and social implications of particular interpretations may be reasons to prefer or reject those interpretations.
I won't kick a counterplan for you to test the status quo: if you don't want to be committed to it in the 2NR, explicitly kick it.
Aff, you needn’t necessarily have a plan (although your opponents might convince me otherwise) but you need a clear statement of advocacy. Neg, it should be clear how your advocacy is a reason to reject the affirmative advocacy.
I will selectively flow CX to help me understand teams' argumentative commitments, definitions, distinctions, and what will be dispositive in the decision.
What preferences about in-round technology should we be aware of?
Prep time ends once the email is sent.
All tech should be set up pre-round; remediation of tech comes out of your prep.
File transfer time is grace time, but don't steal prep or I'll steal your speaker points.
What ethical views of debate should we be aware of?
Be chill to each other outside of speeches.
Please ask pre-round or via email if you have any specific questions that aren't addressed above.
Hello, and welcome to LaTonya Starks’ judging philosophy for the 2022-23 debate season! Please note that I have NOT JUDGED A DEBATE IN TWO YEARS, so if you're thinking of yelling at me about a decision, don't. You've been warned.
I hope that this document will provide you with sufficient answers to your questions on how I view the activity and the game that is debate, as well as how I tend to judge certain arguments. If this document does not answer your questions, or perhaps leaves you with more questions than you began with, please ask me in-person or contact me via email.
My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
For those of you who are in a hurry, here's a quick rundown of what I have written below:
- I approach debate with n open mind. I believe that I can fairly adjudicate any kind of debate, be it policy/plan-focused or critically-oriented.
- My approach to judging debates, on every level, greatly revolves around the art of communication and the idea that in order to win a debate, you must be the team who most effectively and efficiently communicates why your your arguments should be given credence before and/or valued above your opponent’s arguments.
- I love Topicality and/or Framework debates! It is one of my favorite arguments to parse through. I will say that my love of T does not mean that I will vote for it automatically, without a clear delineation of how the Aff is not topical, using evidence and detailed arguments about negative ground, the ability or inability to have meaningful clash, limits, predictability, fairness and, especially, the argument’s impact on debate, both as an activity and in that particular round.
- I am pretty liberal about counterplans. I believe that counterplan competition is incredibly important. Also, I do believe that counterplan competition can be gleaned from cross-examination.
- I prefer critical arguments to be well-defined from the beginning. The more grounded, specific, discerning, conscious and, most importantly, responsive to either the 1AC, the 1NC or the debate community and/or topic at issue this year.
- Please tell me what it means for me to vote for you, and whether that has implications in the debate round, or has larger implications on debate as a whole.
Now, let me begin by saying that I had one of those, “Wow, I am old,” moments when I was asked to produce a judging philosophy for the first tournament of the year, and I began by conducting a bit of research. I found my judging philosophy from many years ago. For a little context, that document was written when I had just graduated from college and was coaching college debate for the first time. I read it and I thought, “What the hell are you talking about?!” It just boggles the mind how little experience I had back then. I wrote all of that prologue to say that opinions change, people learn, and hopefully grow, and all of those experiences not only shape a person, but they influence how that person thinks and approaches debate.
I now approach debate with a far-more-open mind. I believe that I can fairly adjudicate any kind of debate, be it policy/plan-focused and or critically-oriented. In the end, I believe that I can judge pretty much any type of argument because I firmly believe that there is a reason why ballots changed their rhetoric to include the words, “The better debating was done by…” My approach to judging debates, on every level, greatly revolves around the art of communication and the idea that in order to win a debate, you must be the team who most effectively and efficiently communicates why your your arguments should be given credence before and/or valued above your opponent’s arguments. Honestly, whether your style of debate is centered around making policy arguments or you want to critique the topic and/or the ideas and institutions behind and within debate, the most important thing is that you be clear and consider, and that you communicate effectively.
My more open approach does not mean that I have changed my mind on how I evaluate all arguments. I am very much still all about the evidence. Debates about evidence are great, and when done properly, can be met with a reward in the form of speaker points. Please take the time to compare your evidence to that of your competitor. In doing so, be sure to compare warrants, qualifications, the source of the research and whether or not a sentence or whole article has been taken out of context. I also care greatly about the quality of your evidence. I am more likely to give a team a bit more leeway if their arguments are supported by superior evidence.
Here is a bit of information about how I view particular strategies and arguments in debate rounds…
I love Topicality and/or Framework debates! It is one of my favorite arguments to parse through. I will say that my love of T does not mean that I will vote for it automatically, without a clear delineation of how the Aff is not topical, using evidence and detailed arguments about negative ground, the ability or inability to have meaningful clash, limits, predictability, fairness and, especially, the argument’s impact on debate, both as an activity and in that particular round. So I will rephrase -- I love good Topicality debates. To me, Topicality is like a disadvantage. You need to control the link debate and make it clear that your interpretation has an impact in the round and on debate as a whole, and/or debate as a game and an activity.
I am pretty liberal about counterplans. I believe that counterplan competition is incredibly important. Also, I do believe that counterplan competition can be gleaned from cross-examination. I am fine with plan-inclusive counterplans, process counterplans, agent counterplans, etc. I will assess affirmative arguments which articulate the need for limits to what the negative can do in terms of fiat or agents. Please make your counterplan theory, or any theory really, more that just quick bullet points. While most theory debates often end in a wash for both sides, it seems that would not be the case if theory arguments were well-developed from the original block, and given impacts that would influence the debate round and/or debate community.
Please do not assume that I am so familiar with your critical arguments that you can gloss over the importance of the link, or simply refer to your arguments by the last name of the Author. Like anything else in debate, I prefer critical arguments to be well-defined from the beginning. The more grounded, specific, discerning, conscious and, most importantly, responsive to either the 1AC, the 1NC or the debate community and/or topic at issue this year. Please tell me what it means for me to vote for you, and whether that has implications in the debate round, or has larger implications on debate as a whole.
Now here is where my outlook has not completely changed from so long ago. I still believe that the framework of critical arguments is very important. Teams, at a minimum, should be able to defend why I should or should not view the debate through a particular lens. Simply put: prove why the debate you’d like to have is more beneficial than the debate the other team wants to have. For the neg, framework shouldn’t just be a discussion of why a certain kind of debate is bad but should have a specific application to the assumptions or implications of the harms of the 1AC. I also think that affirmative teams should get to weigh their impacts against the K, unless the negative can prove why this should not be true. Once again, a discussion of the links to your argument is vital. This should include more than a generic claim that, for example, capitalism is bad. I think it is persuasive when a team can point to specific instances from the the other team’s rhetoric, evidence, or plan action to prove a link. Also, I think all kritiks should have a clearly defined alternative with a text that will not change throughout the debate. Most affirmative teams seem to have a difficult time proving that they don’t link to a K at all. As such, a solid framework defense, the use of a permutation, and discussion of the impacts of the affirmative plan, or a just a straight up impact turn of the K, seem to be most convincing strategies.
I love them. I’d like to see a lot more of them. On the negative, make sure to properly explain each component of your disad and how it interacts with the case.
To Do and Not To Do
- Be on time and be prepared. That means that you should have things like pens, paper, timers, etc. at the ready.
- Be aggressive without being obnoxious.
- Be respectful of your opponents.
- Be respectful of the space in which you get to debate. This means that you should try your best to be neat and organized, and that you should clean up after yourself.
- Make comparative evidence arguments.
- Use cross-ex wisely and as a means to setup your strategy or to poke holes in your opponent's evidence or arguments.
- Have fun! If you love what you do, it shows!
- Clip cards and/or read evidence which was cut out of context. At best, it will hurt your speaker points; at worst, it could cause you to lose the debate.
- Be rude to your opponents.
- Steal prep time and/or take forever to get your paperless house in order.
1. Yes, include me on the doc chain – email@example.com
2. No, I am not ok with you just putting the card in the text of the email
3. Idk if the aff has to read a plan. I would obviously prefer it because I'm used to it, but I also would prefer if I were in for zero rounds, so…
4. No, you should not try to read Baudrillard or other post-modern theories against me. This is not a challenge. It's not a threat, it's a warning.
5. Yes, you should (please) slow down while debating if you are online. There are glitches in streaming and it’s hard enough to understand you. For a while, I tried following along with the docs when I missed something, but we all know that just leads to more errors. This is your warning: if you are not clear enough to flow I will not try to flow it. I will give two warnings to be clear (and one after your speech in case you didn’t hear me). If you choose to keep doing you, don’t expect to win or for me to know what you said. On the flip side, if you are actively slowing down to make the debate comprehensible, you will be rewarded with a speaker point bump.
6. JESUS CHRIST PLEASE stop trying to debate how you think I want you to. It's never a good look to over-adapt. The only exception isis you want to go for Baudrillard and somehow ended up with me as a judge. Then please over-adapt. I cannot stress enough the importance of adaptation if you are trying to tell me post-modern theory or that death is cool.
- I am chronically ill. If you pref me, there is a chance I have a flare up while judging you. This means I will finish the debate with my camera off but am still there. I just want some privacy while sick/you really don't want to see my face if I turn my camera off.
- I am a blunt judge. If you choose to pref me, that’s on you. Blow me up and I might say some harsh things. I wont call you out of your name, but I will be very clear about your skills (or lack thereof) in the debate.
- I also might cry...I'm clinically hypersensitive from PTSD. If I cry and you weren't being a total jerk, don't over-apologize and make the RFD about me, lets just plan on a written RFD in that case.
The longer version:
I've been told you need to average a 29.2 to clear nowadays. Because of that:
-a learning speech will be 28.4-28.7,
-an average speech will be 28.8-29.1,
-a clearing level speech will be 29.2-29.5,
-a top ten speaker will be 29.6-29.9.
I'm not giving 30s. Ya gotta be perfect to get a 30, and Hannah Montana taught me that nobody's perfect.
If you get below a 28.4 you probably severely annoyed me.
If you get below a 28, you were probably a problem in the debate, ethically.
-I’ve rarely judged a planless debate where the neg has not gone for framework. In instances where I have, the neg was policy style impact turning a concept of the aff, not going for a K based on a different theory of the world.
-I generally went for framework against planless affirmatives when I debated, and therefore am a bit deeper on the neg side of things. That being said, I also have a standard for what the neg needs to do to make a complete argument.
-I don’t think topicality, or adhering to a resolution, is analogous to rape, slavery, or other atrocities. That doesn't mean arguments about misogynoir, pornotroping, or other arguments of that nature don't work with me. I understand the logic of something being problematic. It's just the oversimplification of theory into false comparisons I take issue with.
-I don’t think that not being topical will cause everyone to quit, lose all ability to navigate existential crises, or other tedious internal link chains. That being said, I love an external impact to framework that defends the politics of government action.
-I would really prefer if people had reasonable arguments on topicality for why or why they don’t need to read a plan, rather than explaining to me their existential impact to voting aff or neg. In the same way that I'm not persuaded the neg will quit or extinction will happen if you don't read a plan, I also don't think extinction will happen if you lose to topicality. Focus instead on the real debate impacts at hand. Though, as said above, I love a good defense of your politics, and if that has a silly extinction impact that's fine.
-I find myself persuaded that the case can not outweigh topicality. Arguments from the case can be used to impact turn topicality, but that is distinct from “case outweighs limits” in my mind. T is a gateway issue. If the neg goes for T, that's what the debate is about. This is why I think many planless 1ACs are best when they have a built-in angle against framework.
Neg K v plans:
-Generally, the alt won’t solve when the aff does a serious push, but the aff will let the neg get away with murder on alt solvency.
-Generally, the alt doing the plan is a reason to reject the alt/team absent a framework debate, which is fine.
-Generally, contradictions justify severance
-Generally, the neg is allowed to read Ks
-I'm getting more and more persuaded the neg needs a big push on framework to beat the perm. If the alt is fiated and not mutually exclusive with the plan, there is almost no way to convince me that the perm won't solve.
-Framework debates are won by engaging the theory aspect and is pragmatism/action desirable, not just one. Typically the neg spends a bunch of time winning the aff is an unethical method, while the aff is talking about fairness and limits.
K v K debate:
I tend to find myself thinking of things in terms of causality, so if that’s not your jam you gotta tell me not to think in that way. I have *technically* judged a K v K debate, but I'm pretty sure it was a cap debate that was more impact turn-y than theory of power-y.
I'm interested in seeing debates like this despite my lack of experience.
K stuff in general:
-My degree is in math. While y’all were reading a lot of background lit, I was doing abstract algebra. You might have to break it down a bit. I'm reading a bit more of the stuff y'all debate from in grad school, but it's still safe to eli5.
-I am more persuaded by identity or constructivism than post-modernism.
-I DO NOT recommend reading Baudrillard, Bataille, etc. You might think "but I'm the one that will change her mind;" you aren't. I will be annoyed for having to judge the debate tbh. You have free will to read it if you want, but I have free will to tank your points with ZERO remorse. If this third warning doesn't do it for you, you are responsible for your speaker points.
General: I don't like to read cards as a default. If a card is called into question or my BS meter is going off, I will read the card. Absent that, I'm mostly about the flow and ethos. Tell me what warrants in your card you want me to know about. Point out the parts in the other team's evidence that are bad for them. That makes my judging job easier AND gives you a sick speaker point boost.
-Tell me if I can (or can’t!) kick it for you. I may or may not remember to if you don’t. I may or may not feel like you are allowed to if you don’t.
-Reading definitions of should means the perm or theory is in tough shape. It's not unwinnable, but I was a 2A… Tricky process counterplans that argue to result in the aff by means of solvency, but are *actually* competitive (more than just should and resolved definitions), game on. If that means you have to define some topic words in an interesting way, I'm fine with that. Also, despite being a classic 2A, I find myself holding the aff to a higher standard sometimes. Maybe it's because I went to MSU, but a lot of times I find myself thinking "this CP obviously doesn't solve. why doesn't the aff just say that or try to cut a card about it???"
-Make the intrinsic perm great again
-Links to the net benefit is usually a sliding scale. But sometimes links have a certain threshold where it doesn’t matter which links less. Please consider this nuance when debating.
-TBH – y’all blaze through theory blocks with no clarity and then get confused when I have no standards written down. These debates are bad. Be more clear. Speak at a flowable pace. Maybe make your own arguments. Idk.
-It is debatable whether an argument is a reason to reject the argument or team.
-2ACs that spend 15-plus seconds on the theory shell will see a lot more mileage and viability for the 2AR. One-sentence blips with no warrants and flow checks will be treated as such.
-impact comparison and turns case are lost arts in theory debates.
-Yes, there can be zero DA. No, it’s not as common as you think.
-answer turns case!!!
I debated for 8 years. In college, I debated mostly parli, some LD and Policy, for Saint Mary’s College of California. My partner and I dropped in octos of NPDA in 2019. I have been coaching debate both at SMC and at KCKCC since then. In college, My debate partner and I mostly read critical arguments. So I’m cool with Ks, and a well-written K will make me happy. Make sure you can explain how you link and how your alt solves. I also know my way around a plan debate, so read whatever draws you. Make sure your Aff is inherent, and have a clear, consistent story through uniqueness, links, and impact. I’m also down to hear your CP/DA and think condo is probably good. I would be equally happy to vote on a theory or framework argument as long as you tell me how it wins the debate. I can handle speed, just slow down for your alt/plan and interps and don’t use it to exclude people, that will make me fussy.
I also reserve the right to vote teams down for being overtly oppressive (saying something racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, ablest, Islamophobic, etc.), generally or directed to competitors.
Bring me a chai and you get block 30s
Overall: Read offence. Use more warrants. Do impact calc, the more work you do for me explaining how you win the better your chances are of winning. Be nice to each other.
please add me on the email chain, firstname.lastname@example.org
I have 7 years of experience of debating in policy and I graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2021 where I was primarily a 2N.
--- Top Level Notes ---
1. Make the space enjoyable, safe, and educational for everyone. Your language and actions do matter. I think often times, debaters get defensive when their behavior is called out rather than apologize, listen and be reflective of their actions.
2. Do what you do best and go for whatever you feel most comfortable in front of me. I don't have any argument preferences. I am more concerned about you articulating your arguments to me than what the arguments actually are.
3. In the last rebuttals, I am most persuaded by the team that goes for fewer arguments, spends time impacting them out, providing me judge direction, and telling me how it implicates the rest of the debate.
4. Do not expect me to read your evidence after the round unless it's completely necessary. It is your job to thoroughly explain your evidence and how it contributes to your argument in the debate.
5. While I more on the tech leaning side of the tech over truth debate, I will not grant you an argument that is dropped if you do not extend it properly and/or impacted it out. A dropped argument needs to be fleshed out before I consider it true.
--- POLICY ---
At a glance, here are some things that will go far in front of me:
1. Case engagement: I love case debating and am increasingly persuaded by teams that have a great strategy for case. I find that the block does not spend enough time on case, and it makes debates a lot closer than they should be. If you read the k and are going against a policy aff, I get very excited when ya'll read impact defense, solvency takeouts, and evidence indicts to these policy teams.
2. Impacts in the rebuttals: Impacts need to be fleshed out in the final speeches. I need to know how not doing the aff is going to trigger the impact, where some war is happening, why it's uniquely coming now, etc. I find myself voting for teams that spend a lot of time in the final rebuttal giving me specific details on their impacts, how they can be avoided, and doing impact comparison with the other team. Same goes for more structural impacts.
3. Evidence comparison and indicts: I feel like this is super underrated and a great way to discredit any argument. Why are we not calling out the written impacts from military blogs or written by war criminals? Also, as I stated above, pulling the warrants out of your evidence, doing analysis, and tying it to your argument is very compelling and the best part of policy debate.
4. Judge direction and weighing of arguments: This is more related to policy v. kritik debates on the framework page. I have a hard time evaluating this because I don't see a lot of clash. If you want me to vote on a role of the ballot/judge, there needs to be clear weighing and impact extension as to why this plays an important role in the debate.
5. If you want to have some fun with what you read, I am all for it. I read (and have won rounds) on the time K and nuclear war good. Do with that what you will.
--- Specific Arguments ---
I really enjoy these debates. I think they raise questions about our underlying assumptions about change on a social/political level and the topic itself. I always learn a lot and enjoy seeing debaters creativity!
That being said, I think K affs should be somewhat in the direction of the topic. I also find that solvency mechanism warrants are important for me to be persuaded by your argument. Like any aff, the 2ar should clearly extend the impact, how the aff resolves it, and why it's uniquely important.
Versus T or FW debates, I think even if you are impact turning it, I would like to know why your aff was a prior question to their TVA (if they have one).
Topicality/Framework (v. K affs)
There needs to be more clash, weighing, and comparison in these debates. I find policy teams repeating their blocks and not digging in deep as to why policy interpretations are necessary for educational value (or whatever else your impact is) is in debate. I am not really persuaded by fairness impacts, mainly because I do not think teams clash with their opponents arguments but that doesn't mean I won't vote for them.
I find topical versions of the aff very persuasive. If you have one, you need to explain to me why it solves the affirmatives offense on the page. Make sure you impact this argument out and explain why you couldn't engage with the aff (or rather why potential abuse is a voter). I'm down with the affirmative impact turning these arguments so long as there is impact comparison in the rebuttals.
I really enjoy these debates, especially versus policy affs. Link explanations go a really long way in front of me. I am most persuaded by teams that give extensive analysis of their evidence and provide specific examples to contextualize their link with the aff, rather than teams that dump a bunch of cards or shadow extend arguments.
Depending on how the debate is going, I also enjoy alternative solvency explanation and how/why the alternative can solve the impacts the 1AC isolates.
Please note that if you read psychoanalysis or other high theory, I am going to need a lot of explanation on some basic concepts so please keep this in mind.
Love it. If you read a counterplan with more than three planks, please take your speed down to 80% so I can catch what you are saying.
I default to judge kick unless told otherwise.
Make sure a clear link and impact story is established in the 2NC. This makes for better storytelling in the 2NR. I also think quality of evidence on disads are important.
Please slow down so I can catch these arguments. Theory can be an option in the 2AR so long as there is enough substance in the 1AR to grant you your 2ar arguments. Make sure comparison of arguments happens and that your theory arguments are impacted out.
Topicality (v. policy affs)
Give me a picture of what the topic should look like under your interpretation and what the affirmative has done to disrupt this.
I find that some teams forget to impact out their standards. Go further and tell me how your ground and limits arguments are key to fairness and education. Tell me why the affirmative's interpretation has made fairness and education worse and also why those impacts are important. These arguments should be present in the 2NR.
--- Online procedurals ---
1. Follow tournament procedurals for online debate.
2. Keep your camera on while you speak. If you have some internet issues and need to keep it off to maintain sound quality, that is totally fine, you just need to let me know so I won't dock your speaks. Otherwise, if you are keeping your camera off for the whole debate just to have it off, I will give you low speaker points.
3. Holy cow, do not start a speech without me indicating that I am ready. I will keep my camera off for prep but I will turn my camera on and throw a thumbs up/verbally confirm that I am ready. If my camera is not on and if you do not see me throw a thumbs up to indicate that I am ready, do not start your speech. It's not my fault if I don't catch something you say because you did not confirm everyone was ready.
--- LD ---
While I have not competed in LD, I have judged numerous varsity LD rounds from the local to national level. I do not have a preference to a style in which you debate the topic, i.e. philosophical, kritikal, traditional, etc., however, I do care that you debate the topic in some way.
Here are some thoughts that I have about particular arguments but also how I evaluate LD debates:
1. I view the value-criterion as the framing for the debate and typically go to that debate first so I can filter the rest of the debate through this framework. In some debates it matters, others it doesn't (especially if the teams agree on/have similar value-criterions).
2. I am going to take a bit from a former coach's paradigm because I believe this is something I encounter a lot in LD: "too many debaters do not do their evidence justice. You should not expect me to read your evidence after the round and realize it's awesome. You should make sure I know it's awesome while you read it...Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, [by thoroughly explaining their evidence and why it matters in the debate], will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot."
3. I do not like when debaters will read/extend a bunch of arguments that do not provide a good warrant or reason why the argument matters. I would rather the 1NC read 1 less off case position in favor of more developed case analysis, impact calc, or fully complete arguments. I would rather the 1ar make 1 less theory argument in favor of actually explaining what the words "perm do both" mean, why the case outweighs, and sinking time in where it matters.
4. Impacting out your arguments and doing impact/evidence comparison in the final rebuttals is very important to me. Tell me why your arguments matters, why they are a priority, and overall why you won the debate. Ships passing in the night or blippy extensions are not advantageous for you.
5. Conditionality is probably bad in LD, but it's not that hard to defend condo good and I think most of these counterplan issues are best resolved at the level of how competitive they are with the aff, not theory. Again, sink time into arguments where you feel confident in going for them and explaining thoroughly in your final rebuttal.
6. I do not discriminate against certain arguments but if you read Kant, I am probably not the judge for you. I have judge a few of these debates and they are pretty confusing to me. If you are a Kant person who gets me as a judge, I need a lot more explanation on some of these buzzwords. I am also convinced that many students who read Kant don't really go for an impact or tell me how it relates back to the resolution so please do these things.
Ashe Tippins - they/them pronouns (she/her is not preferred but i'm not gonna correct you if you use it, just try to like not)
email@example.com // please include me on any email chain that is created for the round
First a little about me as a debater: I debated in college parli debate for four years at Western Washington University off and on between 2010-2016 (yes i'm old, but hey at least i've seen a lot of rounds lmao). I coached high school policy debate for two years. In the six years since I debated, I have coached and judged rounds in a variety of formats; I, now, coach policy and CARD debate at Western Washington University.
How I evaluate a round: My evaluation of a round does not change based on the arguments presented in the round. The only exception being debate performances that present sufficient cause to abandon the guidelines I have listed below. Such performances are; arguments that have won on the flow but are morally reprehensible (i.e. arguments that advocate for transphobia, antiblackness, colonialism, misogyny, antifatness, ableism, etc.), ad hominin based arguments*, and arguments that preclude another debater's ability to compete (i.e. triggering arguments). My bright line for abandoning the evaluation method outlined below is; 1) the performance of one of the listed behaviors above being present within the debate round, and 2) the argument is made that the team must be voted against for their performance within the debate. I would prefer that teams collapse to the performative exclusion type arguments however, a collapse is not necessary for me to vote on the argument. I do not enjoy voting on these arguments and I prefer to default to my stated evaluation method; i do not think a minor performance of these listed behaviors will be enough for me to exclude an entire team rather than simply excluding the argument**. *Ad hominin based arguments about public figures, authors, or rapists are not performances I would include within this designation. **this does not apply to performance-based arguments, simply arguments concerning the performance of the debaters’ opponents in the round.
A Note About Misgendering Your Opponents: DON'T DO IT! You are not always gonna know ahead of time, so ASK and never assume. If your opponent lets you know that you have misgendered them and you do not stop misgendering them, I WILL VOTE YOU DOWN. This functions the same way that the performance-based reasons to evaluate the round differently function; the only differing factor is that I have a zero-tolerance policy for continued misgendering within the debate round.
1. FRAMEWORK: By the very nature of framework, it must come first in any evaluation. Comparison work must be done between competing framework interpretations; simply giving further examples of your own framework is not sufficient. Framework decides which impacts must be solved for and which types of arguments I should prefer when making my decision. Role of the ballot arguments also need to be a full argument [claim-warrant-impact] as opposed to an assertion.
2. INTERNAL LINKS/SOLVENCY: After determining which impacts must be solved (the point of framework debates), it is a question of who solves the impacts best. This is; CP solvency vs. Plan solvency – Alt Solvency vs. Plan solvency – Plan solvency vs. Status Quo Solvency – Standards internal link vs. counter standards internal link.
a. If the framework and uniqueness are agreed upon, then my decision will be for the team that best solves for the agreed upon impacts.
b. If the framework is won by either side, my decision will be for the team that best solves for the impacts that the winning interpretation prioritizes.
c. Under the winning framework, if solvency of the impacts is sufficiently contested and justified by each team, it is a question of uniqueness and the evaluation continues.
3. UNIQUENESS: There is all types of uniqueness – link turn uniqueness, uniqueness overwhelms the link, disad uniqueness, internal link turn uniqueness, etc. – and justifying sufficient uniqueness for your offense is the way to edge your way out of a close debate in front of me.
a. If the team wins that their instance of solvency is unique in some way - i.e. there's an opportunity cost or solving for a problem now allows future problems to have greater solvency - then the team that has the most unique solvency will have my ballot.
b. Conversely, if a team wins that there is no uniqueness for the other teams solvency - i.e. the problem could be solved later or will be solved by enacting some alternative to the presented advocacy - then the question becomes what percentage of the impact did each team win and which type of solvency should be preferred. This is where impact calculus comes in - magnitude, probability, reversibility, and timeframe. Realistically these are just impact framework arguments however, if there is no uncontested or cleanly won uniqueness for either sides impact solvency and there is nearly equal claim to solvency then it is ONLY a question of what type of solvency is best. These questions are answered by impact calculus and impact comparison. Too many times debaters leave this last question to the judge - which results in unhappy debaters and judges - if you want to be in control of the decision in front of me - then simply tell me how to vote and i'll follow you like jazz.
Iowa City High school 2012-2016
Northwestern University 2016-2020
Northwestern University Coach 2020-???
I want on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
--I generally know more about policy arguments, but I'm happy to vote for the K/think it is very strategic and usually answered badly.
--In K debates, both sides need to do a much better job of: 1) using examples/contextualizing their offense; 2) debating the other team's argument instead of a caricature of their argument; 3) evidence based debating
--I care a lot about evidence quality. I'll usually read a good chunk of the cards during the debate.
--I think a lot of debates are determined by which team has the better strategic vision/ability to weave the different pieces of a debate together into a win. I do not like having to piece together a debate without instruction from debaters on how to do so.
--I will be very quick to ignore evidence composed of sentence fragments that make no grammatical sense when put together.
--Inserting re-highlighting of the other team's ev is fine, but you must explain what you're inserting/why you think it helps you.
--T-USFG/FW: I think the vitriol with which this argument is approached by many people on both sides of this issue is bordering on the absurd. FW has argumentative merit. So do the answers to FW. Clash is good (If you want to convince me otherwise you'll need to explain what debate is without clash). I care less about fairness gripes. Stop saying things are intrinsic goods and instead use descriptive language to explain why they matter. Aff teams' impact usually outweighs but I consistently vote neg when the aff shotguns offense and fails to answer the neg's defense/tricks and/or because clash turns aff offense.
--I am uninterested in adjudicating personal attacks/arguments about things that happened outside of the debate.
--Conditionality = Good
--T vs Plans: Least favorite type of debate to judge (other than theory debates...maybe). I think evidence quality/predictability matters a lot and its usually silly to put limits above everything else.
--Make choices please.
Currently leaving this blank due to doxxing of judges. Ill update again before the season or debaters can email me for a copy. SovietHistory2396@gmail.com
Cal debate 13-17, coached for Cal 18-22, currently coaching Houston.
I'm online for Georgetown but expect to judge in person at Texas and the NDT. Online, please slow down a bit and record your speeches in case there are connection issues.
Debate is for debaters; I'll vote for no-plan Affs, Ks, and even conditionality bad. Of course, arguments that attack opponents as people, wipeout*, spark, and "new Affs bad" will never be considered.
Default is judge kick. This can be reversed but requires ink before the 2AR.
I take judge instruction very seriously.
I have a very high bar for ethics challenges and will presume good faith error by the accused.
*Saying another value matters more than extinction is perfectly fine.
I’m a first year PhD student at Colorado State University studying communication. I did my master’s in comm at Baylor, which is also where I debated for 5 years.
I coach college and high school policy debate. At this year’s NDT (’22), I’m working with Northwestern. I have worked with North Broward for the last few years in high school, and I have also been involved with Debate Boutique.
’22 NDT Cheat Sheet
You’re here to (1) figure out whether to pref me, prior to the tournament, and (2) figure out how to get my ballot, prior to the round. Here’s the basic things you should know:
o I feel pretty out-of-the game – While I’ve worked with Debate Boutique fairly consistently over the last year, my level of involvement has been lower than previous topics. As a result…
o I don’t know this year’s topic – Even though I generally think Zephyr Teachout is a cool person, my knowledge of antitrust is very limited both in terms of the overall literature, and especially, in terms of how it’s been translated in terms of debate. I know the difference between the consumer welfare standard and the effective competition standard, but I have no idea which affs are popular or what any of the acronyms mean.
o My flow is rusty – I was a quick debater, and I think I still have a pretty fast ear, but my pen-time has always lagged behind my hearing (I flow on paper). This has only gotten worse as I’ve been less involved in judging, and I’m sure that the virtual format of debate rounds will only worsen it further. If you choose to pref me, please try to slow down and emphasize the parts of your speech that you know need to be flowed.
o I’m judging virtually and I care about clarity – I’m a huge curmudgeon when it comes to clarity, and virtual debating risks amplifying unclarity. If you want good speaker points, I strongly encourage you to focus on emphasis. If you are spreading card text, I should be able to hear the card text. I will only flow out of the speech doc if I truly cannot understand you.
o Grammar matters for card highlighting – I don’t know who is responsible for every card looking like a cross between a Jackson Pollack painting and a Mad Libs template, but it’s terrible. Tons of evidence currently lacks grammatically correct noun-verb agreement and often just includes a list of vaguely tied-together words. If a slow reading of your card’s text sounds ridiculous, speeding-up doesn’t make you sound any less ridiculous. If your cards are poorly highlighted, those cards will have less weight in the round.
o I’m still a grumpy K debater at heart – If you’re unfamiliar with my history in debate, I employed a wide variety of critical literature on both the aff and the neg. This produces a couple biases that go in different directions. On the one hand, it means I am less sympathetic to certain policy responses to kritik arguments. On the other hand, it means I have an extremely high standard for critical argumentation. In general, you should avoid recycled argumentation and clichés on either side of the debate.
o I increasingly err toward more concrete or pragmatic analysis – A lot of debate—both policy and critical—is stuck in very conceptual, abstract forms of argumentation. I have always appreciated applied examples, empirical history, and case studies as ways of demonstrating your arguments. More recently, I’ve become a lot more aware of local social movements, ongoing legislative fights, and granular election results. Following these things has made me a lot more concerned with the pragmatic efficacy of plans, counterplans, alternatives, and advocacies.
o Evaluative metrics and framing devices should be centered – Since moving from being a debate to being a judge, I’ve found impact calculus, filtering, and framing arguments to be the most important components of a debate. These arguments should be emphasized and woven into a broader narrative about why you win the debate. Rebuttals, in particular, are most effective when they sound like an RFD and walks me through the debate using these evaluative metrics.
Older version of this philosophy:
I almost always flow on paper and do my best to avoid reading evidence out of the speech doc. I have never been great at coming up with shorthand on the fly, so while I think I write relatively quickly, I'm still trying to improve my flow. I put this first because it's reasonable of you to expect me to keep as close of a record of your arguments as I can, and I'm very concerned with doing so to the best of my ability. Some things that could immediately help you immensely:
- slow down (just some) and pauses between arguments - this will honestly result in more on my flow than the inverse
- try to be conscious of pen time - I'll try to be as facially expressive as I can, and if you would prefer for a verbal cue like "slow" or "clear" instead, then please let me know
- numbering and labeling - not for the sake of some ultra-technical "you dropped our #18 answer" kind of thing, but just try to logically break up arguments and reference them when you can
- I really want to be able to hear card text without having to reference a computer - I understand that this hasn't been the norm for a while and I also completely understand that clarity is sometimes complicated by things outside of people's control, but I'm just looking for some effort in making the text of evidence at least mostly audible
More than any argumentative content or stylistic preference, I just want to hear debaters that are genuinely engaged with their research. I enjoy when the strategic aspects of debate cause people to develop clever strategies or interesting spins on arguments I may have heard before. Basically, if you are clearly invested in what you're talking about, it's relatively easy to get me interested too.
The ability to use specific examples often makes the difference in terms of how "warranted" I think an argument is. These kinds of discussions are where a lot of rounds are won or lost.
A phrase that will help you a lot in front of me is "which means that...". I really value framing issues when they are clearly connected together to form a big picture, especially in the later rebuttals. This is another way of saying that impact calculus is usually the first thing I look at when deciding rounds.
LD Specific Stuff
- I'm just not a fan of theory unless there is genuine truth to the abuse claim. This standard is obviously inherently arbitrary, but there's a difference between reading conditionality and writing massive AC underviews or theory shells with spikes, trix, cheap shots, and time sucks. I'm a fine judge for topicality and even for legitimate theory issues when debated in depth, but if you're going to do so, this can't just be a battle of the blocks.
- I'd prefer not to disclose speaks immediately after the round in most instances.
- Because I grew up doing exclusively policy debate, I am not familiar with a lot of common buzzwords for philosophical concepts in LD, even if I'm sometimes familiar with the ideas in question. For example, I've debated about utilitarianism in policy an uncountable number of times, but we never discussed things like the intent-foresight distinction or personal identity reductionism. You can obviously read these arguments, but just recognize that we don't have the exact same language regarding them.