Cypress Freeze TFA Swing at Jersey Village
2022 — Jersey Village, TX/US
Congress Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am a retired speech and debate coach and am comfortable with all debate, speech and interp events. In CX I am a stock issues/policy maker; in LD I am more traditional; in PF I look for evidence and analysis. Congressional Debate and Extemp need evidence and analysis as well.
General info for all debate—
1) no speed - this is a communication event
2) follow guidelines for each event that make that event unique.
3) I prefer a debate that is organized structurally so I may flow easier. I like internal structure like A, B, C and 1, 2, 3.
4) if an argument is not attacked it is a drop unless originator of argument fails to extend in which case it’s a wash.
5) CX is for asking questions not making speeches. Keep it professional.
LD- I expect a value & criterion. When topics are policy oriented, I can vote on policy. Regardless, I find standards to be important, especially how debaters respond. Please be sure to respond to the FW. I do not view LD as one person policy so be aware of your argumentation style.
CX- this is a team event and both partners need to be actively involved in the debate. I expect the affirmative to offer a plan. I am fine with counter plans but if one is presented it must be competitive with the plan (either mutually exclusive with the affirmative or be undesirable in conjunction with the plan). I am fine with disads. I don’t care for Kritiks and would prefer you debate the topic rather than make theory arguments. I want a friendly debate free of rude or negative comments and a cross ex that is meaningful and helps strategically set up future arguments. If you are varsity and debate a inexperienced team help make it a teachable round so they remain interested in the activity and grow as a debater- no need to beat them up and discourage inexperienced teams. I do evaluate the stock issues first and then look to policy making. I do my best to come to the debate with an open mind. I also like the debater to be clear in extending arguments, I expect credible evidence (explain why it matters) and to provide analysis and voters.
I am the assistant debate coach at Taylor High School and was the Mayde Creek Coach for many years in Houston, TX. Although I have coached and judged on the National Circuit, it is not something I regularly do or particularly enjoy. I was a policy debater in high school and college, but that was along time ago. My experience is primarily congress and LD. In the past several years I have been running tab rooms in the Houston area. That said, here are a few things you may want to know:
I am fairly flexible in Congress. I like smart, creative speeches. I rate a good passionate persuasive speech over a speech with tons of evidence. Use logos, pathos, and ethos. Clash is good. I think it is good to act like a member of Congress, but not in an over the top way. Questions and answers are very important to me and make the difference in rank. Ask smart questions that advance the debate. Standing up to just ask a dumb question to “participate “ hurts you. I don’t like pointless parliamentary games (who does?). I like a P.O. who is fair and efficient. The P.O. almost always makes my ballot unless they make several big mistakes and or are unfair. (Not calling on a competitor, playing favorites etc.) . If you think your P.O is not being fair, call them on it politely. Be polite and civil, there is a line between attacking arguments and attacking competitors. Stay on the right side of it.
LD & Policy
Civility: I believe we have a real problem in our activity with the lack of civility (and occasional lack of basic human decency). I believe it is discouraging people from participating. Do not make personal attacks or references. Be polite in CX. Forget anything you have ever learned about "perceptual dominance." This is no longer just a loss of speaker points. I will drop you on rudeness alone, regardless of the flow.
Speed: I used to say you could go 6-7 on a 10 point scale... don't. Make it a 3-4 or I will miss that critical analytical warrant you are trying to extend through ink. I am warning you this is not just a stylistic preference. I work tab a lot more than I judge rounds, and do not have the ear that I had when I was judging fast rounds all the time. Run the short version of your cases in front of me. This is particularly true of non-stock, critical positions or multiple short points.
Evidence: I think the way we cut and paraphrase cards is problematic. This is closely related to speed. I would prefer to be able to follow the round and analyze a card without having to read it after it is emailed to me (or call for it after the round). That said, if you feel you have to go fast for strategic reasons, then include me on the chain. I will ignore your spreading and read your case. However, be aware if I have to read your case/evidence, I will. I will read the entire card, not just the highlighted portion. If I think the parts left out or put in 4 point font change the meaning of the argument, or do not support your tag, I will disregard your evidence, regardless of what the opponent says in round. So either go slow or have good, solid evidence.
Theory: I will vote on theory where there is clear abuse. I prefer reasonability as opposed to competing interpretations. Running theory against a stock case for purely competitive advantage annoys me. Argue the case. I don't need a comprehensive theory shell and counter interpretations, and I do not want to see frivolous violations. See my assumptions below.
Assumptions: I believe that debate should be fair and definitions and framework should be interpreted so that both sides have ground and it is possible for either side to win. Morality exists, Justice is not indeterminate, Genocide is bad. I prefer a slower debate focusing on the standard, with well constructed arguments with clash on both sides of the flow. Fewer better arguments are better than lots of bad ones. I am biased towards true arguments. Three sentences of postmodern gibberish cut out of context is not persuasive. Finally, I think the affirmative should be trying to prove the entire resolution true and the negative proves it is not true. (a normative evaluation). You would need to justify your parametric with a warrant other than "so I can win."
Progressive stuff: I will not absolutely rule it out or vote against you, but you need to sell it and explain it. Why is a narrative useful and why should I vote for it? A K better link hard to the opponents case and be based on topical research not just a generic K that has been run on any topic/debater. If you can not explain the alternative or the function of the K in CX in a way that makes sense, I won't vote for it. I am not sure why you need a plan in LD, or why the affirmative links to a Disad. I am not sure how fiat is supposed to work in LD. I do not see why either side has to defend the status quo.
Conclusion: If you want to have a fun TOC style debate with tons of critical positions going really fast, preference a different judge. (Hey, I am not blaming you, some of my debaters loved that sort of thing cough-Jeremey / Valentina / Alec/ Claudia -cough, It is just that I don't).
Coach at THE Atascocita High School
PUT ME ON THE EMAIL CHAIN: John.Rogers@humbleisd.net
I debated for New Caney High School for three years and have completed my sixth year as a high school coach. My program competes primarily throughout the Houston TFA circuit and has a heavy focus on Congressional Debate. I judge as needed at local invitational TFA tournaments and have experience judging all debate events, with the exception of World Schools. I also have experience judging IEs though my experience and expertise are limited.
Presiding Officer Philosophy- If the PO runs a flawless chamber, it is almost certain that they will advance to the next round, especially if they were the only one volunteering to do so.
I like to see all of the normal things we look for within a speech (arguments, evidence, responses to arguments from previous speakers, etc.). Offense is key.
Pet Peeves- (1) Do not tell the PO you have a speech when gathering splits and then not have a speech for the chamber. This makes for bad debate. (2) Faux outrage in order to gain a ballot is annoying. Refrain from shouting and pretending to be angry about something that you don't have a personal stake/connection in/to.
CX Shortcuts (1-YES; 5-STRIKE):
· From the 1AR of one of my favorite former Kingwood HS debaters, “You’re a policymaker. You vote on one of three things: (1) a policy option, (2) a competing policy option, or (3) the Status Quo.” I think that this debater did a great job of describing pathways to win my ballot.
· I don’t like intervening in debate rounds. However, I have to write a ballot. My suggestion for all debaters is to use your rebuttal speeches to write my RFD for me. I’m very fond of “even if” strategies when it comes to ordering arguments of importance (Ex: “You vote NEG because of _____. Even if you don’t buy that, you vote NEG because of ___.”)
· Tech > Truth (Please note that I’m reevaluating this idea each time I hear a terrible argument. I don’t recommend counting on me dismissing an argument on a truth standard. I DO recommend going line-by-line.)
· PREP TIME ends when your flash drive leaves your computer. If we’re on an email chain, which I prefer, you will see me get frustrated if I feel you’re stealing prep.
· Line-by-line is important. This is where clash should happen. When you read a long overview, and even though most of y’all tell me to flow it on a separate sheet of paper, those arguments don’t ever cross over to my flow. This is where arguments are missed and, possibly, rediscovered post RFD.
· I will presume NEG in policy rounds due to unlimited prep for the AC. I will, from time to time, depending on the quality of the argument, go for the “any risk of [impact solvency] you vote AFF” in the absence of any negative offense. I will NOT presume NEG for a counter advocacy other than the status quo.
· NEG STRAT: Not a fan of negative teams that go more than 4-5 off.
· If you’re looking for a speaker point fairy, or if your think that you are a magical unicorn that deserves a 30 every round, please don’t pref me.
· I don’t remember the last time I gave below a 25 in any round judged on any circuit, and I don’t remember the last time that I gave a 30.
· In really good rounds, I don’t have a problem giving more than one speaker a 29.5. I don’t tend to give tenths of points other than halves. My speaks in these rounds usually averages somewhere around 28.5.
· I will tank your speaks if you use arguments to attack debaters personally. You should be responding to the argument itself, not assuming that the argument represents the debater that is making it. Same goes to being rude and/or disrespectful to other debaters.
o With that said, I love aggressive debate. If your level of aggressive toes the line of aggressive and disrespectful, I’ll err on aggressive when it comes to my ballot and just make a comment to you at the end of the round.
o Anything overboard that deserves more than just a warning, I’ll stop the round and give you a loss (this hasn’t happened yet throughout my career).
· I’m about a 6/10. I can give you a little room to go faster if I have your doc in front of me on my computer.
· Please slow down on your tag lines so as to help me flow. I don’t tend to flow authors unless they’re addressed in the round, so please let me know what the author said (the tag), let me find it on the appropriate flow, and THEN give me your analysis.
-If you try to read at a 10/10 pace and mumble over half of your evidence, that is grounds for 25 speaks. This is almost the same thing as clipping to me.
· Go for it.
· Full, 4-card DAs are best for a 1NC.
· Case-specific links are best. As debates get better, I like to see more unique DAs that are more specific to the AFF. Then again, I’m probably more familiar with the generic DAs, so you do you.
· Go for it.
· Not a fan of multiple CPs as a neg strat.
· Please be sure to evaluate risk of impacts instead of making the round about how a nuclear war is definitely going to happen. Appropriately evaluating impacts improves quality of debates tremendously.
· This is probably not the best way to my ballot, but I’d love for a good K team to help me change this mindset.
· While I understand real-life impacts are present in our society (structural violence, racism, sexism), I’d prefer to have some kind of policy solution to these problems rather than just talk about them. I will roll my eyes if the word "reimagine" is in the text of your ALT.
· I have not read any of your literature. I am not familiar with any of your literature. Please make appropriate adjustments if you choose this strategy.
· Not at all a fan of non-topical affirmatives. 1AC should always have a plan text.
· If there is an accusation of cheating, the round will stop, and the burden of proof is on the accuser to prove that the accused cheated. If cheating is proven, the round will be awarded to the accuser, if cheating is not proven the round will be awarded to the accused. 30 speaks for winning team; 20 speaks for losing team. The purpose of this is to discourage false accusations, but at the same time encourage teams to challenge if they have solid evidence that cheating has occurred.
· Debaters are accountable for the evidence that they read. I will be a little more lenient if the card is from a camp file, but that does not excuse blatant misrepresentation/academic dishonesty.