Sequoyahs Autumn Argument
2022 — Canton, GA/US
V/JV CX Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Experience-This will be my fifth year coaching at Northview High School. Before moving to Georgia, I coached for 7 years at Marquette High in Milwaukee, WI and I debated there for four years.
Yes, add me to the email chain.My email firstname.lastname@example.org
*As I have gained more coaching and judging experience, I find that I highly value teams who respect their opponents who might not have the same experience as them. This includes watching how you come across in CX, prep time, and your general comportment towards your opponent. In some local circuits, circuit-style policy debate is dwindling and we all have a responsibility to be respectful of the experience of everyone trying to be involved in policy debate.*
I recommend that you go to the bathroom and fill your water bottles before the debate rather than before a speech.
LD Folks please read the addendum at the end of my paradigm.
Meta-Level Strike Sheet Concerns
1. Debates are rarely won or lost on technical concessions or truth claims alone. In other words, I think the “tech vs. truth” distinction is a little silly. Technical concessions make it more complicated to win a debate, but rarely do they make wins impossible. Keeping your arguments closer to “truer” forms of an argument make it easier to overcome technical concessions because your arguments are easier to identify, and they’re more explicitly supported by your evidence (or at least should be). That being said, using truth alone as a metric of which of y’all to pick up incentivizes my intervention at some degree.
2. Evidence quality matters a bunch to me- it’s evidence that you have spent time and effort on your positions, it’s a way to determine the relative truth level of your claims, and it helps overcome some of the time constraints of the activity in a way that allows you to raise the level of complexity of your position in a shorter amount of time. I will read your evidence throughout the debate, especially if it is on a position with which I’m less familiar. I won’t vote on evidence comparison claims unless it becomes a question of the debate raised by either team, but I will think about how your evidence could have been used more effectively by the end of the debate. I enjoy rewarding teams for evidence quality.
3. Every debate could benefit from more comparative work particularly in terms of the relative quality of arguments/the interactions between arguments by the end of the round. Teams should ask "Why?", such as "If I win this argument, WHY is this important?", "If I lose this argument WHY does this matter?". Strategically explaining the implications of winning or losing an argument is the difference between being a middle of the road team and a team advancing to elims.
4. Some expectations for what should be present in arguments that seem to have disappeared in the last few years-
-For me to vote on a single argument, it must have a claim, warrant, impact, and impact comparison.
-A DA is not a full DA until a uniqueness, link, internal link and impact argument is presented.Too many teams are getting away with 2 card DA shells in the 1NC and then reading uniqueness walls in the block. I will generally allow for new 1AR answers.
Similarly, CP's should have a solvency advocate read in the 1NC. I'll be flexible on allowing 1AR arguments in a world where the aff makes an argument about the lack of a solvency advocate.
-Yes, terminal defense exists, however, I do not think that teams take enough advantage of this kind of argument in front of me. I will not always evaluate the round through a lens of offense-defense, but you still need to make arguments as to why I shouldn’t by at least explaining why your argument functions as terminal defense. Again this plays into evidence questions and the relative impacts of arguments claims made above.
Case-Debates are won or lost in the case debate. By this, I mean that proving whether or not the aff successfully accesses all, some or none of the case advantages has implications on every flow of the debate and should be a fundamental question of most 2NRs and 2ARs. I think that blocks that are heavy in case defense or impact turns are incredibly advantageous for the neg because they enable you to win any CP (by proving the case defense as a response to the solvency deficit), K (see below) or DA (pretty obvious). I'm also more likely than others to write a presumption ballot or vote neg on inherency arguments. If the status quo solves your aff or you're not a big enough divergence, then you probably need to reconsider your approach to the topic.
Most affs can be divided into two categories: affs with a lot of impacts but poor internal links and affs with very solid internal links but questionable impacts. Acknowledging in which of these two categories the aff you are debating falls should shape how you approach the case debate. I find myself growing increasingly disappointed by negative teams that do not test weak affirmatives. Where's your internal link defense?? I also miss judging impact turn debates, but don't think that spark or wipeout are persuasive arguments. A high level de-dev debate or heg debate, on the other hand, love it.
DA-DAs are questions of probability. Your job as the aff team when debating a DA is to use your defensive arguments to question the probability of the internal links to the DA. Affirmative teams should take more advantage of terminal defense against disads. I'll probably also have a lower threshold for your theory arguments on the disad. Likewise, the neg should use turns case arguments as a reason why your DA calls into question the probability of the aff's internal links. Don't usually find "____ controls the direction of the link" arguments very persuasive. You need to warrant out that claim more if you're going to go for it. Make more rollback-style turns case arguments or more creative turns case arguments to lower the threshold for winning the debate on the disad alone.
CP-CP debates are about the relative weight of a solvency deficit versus the relative weight of the net benefit. The team that is more comparative when discussing the solvency level of these debates usually wins the debate. While, when it is a focus of the debate, I tend to err affirmative on questions of counterplan competiton, I have grown to be more persuaded by a well-executed counterplan strategy even if the counterplan is a process counterplan. The best counterplans have a solvency advocate who is, at least, specific to the topic, and, best, specific to the affirmative. I do not default to judge kicking the counterplan and will be easily persuaded by an affirmative argument about why I should not default to that kind of in-round conditionality. Not a huge fan of the NGA CP and I've voted three out of four times on intrinsic permutations against this counterplan so just be warned. Aff teams should take advantage of presumption arguments against the CP.
K-After y’all saw the school that I coach, I’m sure this is where you scrolled to first which is fair enough given how long it takes to fill out pref sheets. I will say, if you told me 10 years ago when I began coaching that I’d be coaching a team that primarily reads the K on the aff and on the neg, I probably would have found that absurd because that wasn’t my entry point into the activity so keep that in mind as you work with some of the thoughts below. That being said, I’ve now coached the K at a high level for the past two years which means that I have some semblance of a feeling for a good K debate. If the K is not something that you traditionally go for, you’re better off going for what you’re best at.
The best debates on the K are debates over the explanatory power of the negative’s theory of power relative to the affirmative’s specific example of liberalism, realism, etc. Put another way, the best K debaters are familiar enough with their theory of power AND the affirmative’s specific impact scenarios that they use their theory to explain the dangers of the aff. By the end of the 2NR I should have a very clear idea of what the affirmative does and how your theory explains why doing the affirmative won’t resolve the aff’s impacts or results in a bad thing. This does not necessarily mean that you need to have links to the affirmative’s mechanism (that’s probably a bit high of a research burden), but your link explanations need to be specific to the aff and should be bolstered by specific quotes from 1AC evidence or CX. The specificity of your link explanation should be sufficient to overcome questions of link-uniqueness or I’ll be comfortable voting on “your links only link to the status quo.”
On the flipside, aff teams need to explain why their contingency or specific example of policy action cannot be explained by the negative’s theory of power or that, even if some aspects can be, that the specificity of the aff’s claims justifies voting aff anyway because there’s some offense against the alternative or to the FW ballot. Affirmative teams that use the specificity of the affirmative to generate offense or push back against general link claims will win more debates than those that just default to generic “extinction is irreversible” ballots.
Case Page when going for the K- My biggest pet peeve with the current meta on the K is the role of the case page. Neither the affirmative nor the negative take enough advantage of this page to really stretch out their opponents on this question. For the negative, you need to be challenging the affirmative’s internal links with defense that can bolster some of your thesis level claims. Remember, you are trying to DISPROVE the affirmative’s contingent/specific policy which means that the more specificity you have the better off you will be. This means that just throwing your generic K links onto the case page probably isn’t the move. 9/10 the alternative doesn’t resolve them and you don’t have an explanation of how voting neg resolves the offense. K teams so frequently let policy affs get away with some really poor evidence quality and weak internal links. Please help the community and deter policy teams from reading one bad internal link to their heg aff against your [INSERT THEORY HERE] K. On that note, policy teams, why are you removing your best internal links when debating the K? Your generic framework cards are giving the neg more things to impact turn and your explanation of the internal link level of the aff is lowered when you do that. Read your normal aff against the K and just square up.
Framework debates (with the K on the neg) For better or worse, so much of contemporary K debate is resolved in the framework debate. The contemporary dependence on framework ballots means a couple of things:
1.) Both teams need to do more work here- treat this like a DA and a CP. Compare the relative strength of internal link claims and impact out the terminal impacts. Why does procedural fairness matter? What is the terminal impact to clash? How do we access your skills claims? What does/does not the ballot resolve? To what extent does the ballot resolve those things? The team that usually answers more of these questions usually wins these debates. K teams need to do more to push back against “ballot can solve procedural fairness” claims and aff teams need to do more than just “schools, family, culture, etc.” outweigh subject formation. Many of you all spend more time at debate tournaments or doing debate work than you do at school or doing schoolwork.
2.) I do think it’s possible for the aff to win education claims, but you need to do more comparative impact calculus. What does scenario planning do for subject formation that is more ethical than whatever the impact scenario is to the K? If you can’t explain your education claims at that level, just go for fairness and explain why the ballot can resolve it.
3.) Risk of the link- Explain what winning framework does for how much of a risk of a link that I need to justify a ballot either way. Usually, neg teams will want to say that winning framework means they get a very narrow risk of a link to outweigh. I don’t usually like defaulting to this but affirmative teams very rarely push back on this risk calculus in a world where they lose framework. If you don’t win that you can weigh the aff against the K, aff teams need to think about how they can use their scenarios as offense against the educational claims of the K. This can be done as answers to the link arguments as well, though you’ll probably need to win more pieces of defense elsewhere on the flow to make this viable.
Do I go for the alternative?
I don’t think that you need to go for the alternative if you have a solid enough framework push in the 2NR. However, few things to keep in mind here:
1.) I won’t judge kick the alternative for you unless you explicitly tell me to do it and include a theoretical justification for why that’s possible.
2.) The framework debate should include some arguments about how voting negative resolves the links- i.e. what is the kind of ethical subject position endorsed on the framework page that pushes us towards research projects that avoid the links to the critique? How does this position resolve those links?
3.) Depending on the alternative and the framework interpretation, some of your disads to the alternative will still link to the framework ballot. Smart teams will cross apply these arguments and explain why that complicates voting negative.
K affs (Generic)
Yes, I’m comfortable evaluating debates involving the K on the aff and think that I’ve reached a point where I’m pretty good for either side of this debate. Affirmative teams need to justify an affirmative ballot that beats presumption, especially if you’re defending status quo movements as examples of the aff’s method. Both teams benefit from clarifying early in the round whether or not the affirmative team spills up, whether or not in-round performances specific to this debate resolve any of the affirmative offense, and whatever the accumulation of ballots does or does not do for the aff. Affirmative teams that are not the Louisville project often get away with way too much by just reading a DSRB card and claiming their ballots function the same way. Aff teams should differentiate their ballot claims and negatives should make arguments about the aff’s homogenizing ballot claims. All that being said, like I discussed above, these debates are won and lost on the case page like any other debate. As the K becomes more normalized and standardized to a few specific schools of thought, I have a harder and harder time separating the case and framework pages on generic “we couldn’t truth test your arguments” because I think that shifts a bit too strongly to the negative. That said, I can be persuaded to separate the two if there’s decent time spent in the final rebuttals on this question.
Framework vs. the K Aff
Framework debates are best when both teams spend time comparing the realities of debate in the status quo and the idealized form of debate proposed in model v. model rounds. In that light, both teams need to be thinking about what proposing framework in a status quo where the K is probably going to stick around means for those teams that currently read the K and for those teams that prefer to directly engage the resolution. In a world where the affirmative defends the counter interpretation, the affirmative should have an explanation of what happens when team don’t read an affirmative that meets their model. Most of the counter interpretations are arbitrary or equivalent to “no counter interpretation”, but an interp being arbitrary is just defense that you can still outweigh depending on the offense you’re winning.
In impact turn debates, both teams need to be much clearer about the terminal impacts to their offense while providing an explanation as to why voting in either direction resolves them. After sitting in so many of these debates, I tend to think that the ballot doesn’t do much for either team but that means that teams who have a better explanation of what it means to win the ballot will usually pick up my decision. You can’t just assert that voting negative resolves procedural fairness without warranting that out just like you can’t assert that the aff resolves all forms of violence in debate through a single debate. Both teams need to grapple with how the competitive incentives for debate establish offense for either side. The competitive incentive to read the K is strong and might counteract some of the aff’s access to offense, but the competitive incentives towards framework also have their same issues. Neither sides hands are clean on that question and those that are willing to admit it are usually better off. I have a hard time setting aside clash as an external impact due to the fact that I’m just not sure what the terminal impact is. I like teams that go for clash and think that it usually is an important part of negative strategy vs. the K, but I think this strategy is best when the clash warrants are explained as internal link turns to the aff’s education claims. Some of this has to due with the competitive incentives arguments that I’ve explained above. Both teams need to do more work explaining whether or not fairness or education claims come first. It’s introductory-level impact analysis I find lacking in many of these debates.
Other things to think about-
1.) These debates are at their worst when either team is dependent on blocks. Framework teams should be particularly cautious about this because they’ve had less of these debates over the course of the season, however, K teams are just as bad at just reading their blocks through the 1AR. I will try to draw a clean line between the 1AR and the 2AR and will hold a pretty strict one in debates where the 1AR is just screaming through blocks. Live debating contextualized to this round far outweighs robots with pre-written everything.
2.) I have a hard time pulling the trigger on arguments with “quitting the activity” as a terminal impact. Any evidence on either side of this question is usually anecdotal and that’s not enough to justify a ballot in either direction. There are also a bunch of alternative causes to numbers decline like the lack of coaches, the increased technical rigor of high-level policy debate, budgets, the pandemic, etc. that I think thump most of these impacts for either side. More often than not, the people that are going to stick with debate are already here but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences to the kinds of harms to the activity/teams as teams on either side of the clash question learn to coexist.
K vs. K Debates (Overview)
I’ll be perfectly honest, unless this is a K vs. Cap debate, these are the debates that I’m least comfortable evaluating because I feel like they end up being some of the messiest and “gooiest” debates possible. That being said, I think that high level K vs. K debates can be some of the most interesting to evaluate if both teams have a clear understanding of the distinctions between their positions, are able to base their theoretical distinctions in specific, grounded examples that demonstrate potential tradeoffs between each position, and can demonstrate mutual exclusivity outside of the artificial boundary of “no permutations in a method debate.” At their best, these debates require teams to meet a high research burden which is something that I like to reward so if your strat is specific or you can explain it in a nuanced way, go for it. That said, I’m not the greatest for teams whose generic position in these debates are to read “post-truth”/pomo arguments against identity positions and I feel uncomfortable resolving competing ontology claims in debates around identity unless they are specific and grounded. I feel like most debates are too time constrained to meaningfully resolve these positions. Similarly, teams that read framework should be cautious about reading conditional critiques with ontology claims- i.e. conditional pessimism with framework. I’m persuaded by theoretical arguments about conditional ontology claims regarding social death and cross apps to framework in these debates.
I won’t default to “no perms in a methods debate”, though I am sympathetic to the theoretical arguments about why affs not grounded in the resolution are too shifty if they are allowed to defend the permutation. What gets me in these debates is that I think that the affirmative will make the “test of competition”-style permutation arguments anyway like “no link” or the aff is a disad/prereq to the alt regardless of whether or not there’s a permutation. I can’t just magically wave a theory wand here and make those kinds of distinctions go away. It lowers the burden way too much for the negative and creates shallow debates. Let’s have a fleshed out theory argument and you can persuade me otherwise. The aff still needs to win access to the permutation, but if you lose the theory argument still make the same kinds of arguments if you had the permutation. Just do the defensive work to thump the links.
Cap vs. K- I get the strategic utility of these debates, but this debate is becoming pretty stale for me. Teams that go for state-good style capitalism arguments need to explain the process of organization, accountability measures, the kind of party leadership, etc. Aff teams should generate offense off of these questions. Teams that defend Dean should have to defend psychoanalysis answers. Teams that defend Escalante should have specific historical examples of dual power working or not in 1917 or in post-Bolshevik organization elsewhere. Aff teams should force Dean teams to defend psycho and force Escalante teams to defend historical examples of dual power. State crackdown arguments should be specific. I fear that state crackdown arguments will apply to both the alternative and the aff and the team that does a better job describing the comparative risk of crackdown ends up winning my argument. Either team should make more of a push about what it means to shift our research practices towards or away from communist organizing. There are so many debates where we have come to the conclusion that the arguments we make in debate don’t spill out or up and, yet, I find debates where we are talking about politically organizing communist parties are still stuck in some universe where we are doing the actual organizing in a debate round. Tell me what a step towards the party means for our research praxis or provide disads to shifting the resource praxis. All the thoughts on the permutation debate are above. I’m less likely to say no permutation in these debates because there is plenty of clash in the literature between, at least, anti-capitalism and postcapitalism that there can be a robust debate even if you don’t have specifics. That being said, the more you can make ground your theory in specific examples the better off you’ll be.
T-Sitting through a bunch of framework debates has made me a better judge for topicality than I used to be. Comparative impact calculus alongside the use of strategic defensive arguments will make it easier for me to vote in a particular direction. Certain interps have a stronger internal link to limits claims and certain affs have better arguments for overlimiting. Being specific about what kind of offense you access, how it comes first, and the relative strength of your internal links in these debates will make it more likely that you win my ballot. I’m not a huge fan of tickytacky topicality claims but, if there’s substantial contestation in the literature, these can be good debates.
Theory- I debated on a team that engaged in a lot of theory debates in high school. There were multiple tournaments where most of our debates boiled down to theory questions, so I would like to think that I am a good judge for theory debates. I think that teams forget that theory debates are structured like a disadvantage. Again, comparative impact calculus is important to win my ballots in these debates. I will say that I tend to err aff on most theory questions. For example, I think that it is probably problematic for there to be more than one conditional advocacy in a round (and that it is equally problematic for your counter interpretation to be dispositionality) and I think that counterplans that compete off of certainty are bad for education and unfair to the aff. The biggest killer in a theory debate is when you just read down your blocks and don’t make specific claims. Debate like your
Notes for the Blue Key RR/Other LD Judging Obligations
Biggest shift for me in judging LD debates is the following: No tricks or intuitively false arguments. I'll vote on dropped arguments, but those arguments need a claim, data, warrant and an impact for me to vote on them. If I can't explain the argument back to you and the implications of that argument on the rest of the debate, I'm not voting for you.
I guess this wasn't clear enough the first time around- I don't flow off the document and your walls of framework and theory analytics are really hard to flow when you don't put any breaks in between them.
Similarly, phil debates are always difficult for me to analyze. I tend to think affirmative's should defend implementation particularly when the resolution specifies an actor. Outside of my general desire to see some debates about implementation, I don't have any kind of background in the phil literature bases and so will have a harder time picturing the implications of you winning specific arguments. If you want me to understand how your argumets interact, you will have to do a lot of explanation.
Theory debates- Yes, I said that I enjoy theory debates in my paradigm above and that is largely still true, but CX theory debates are a lot less technical than LD debates. I also think there are a lot of silly theory arguments in LD and I tend to have a higher threshold for those sorts of arguments. I also don't have much of a reference for norm setting in LD or what the norms actually are. Take that into account if you choose to go for theory and probably don't because I won't award you with high enough speaks for your liking.
K debates- Yes, I enjoy K debates but I tend to think that their LD variant is very shallow. You need to do more specific work in linking to the affirmative and developing the implications of your theory of power claims. While I enjoy good LD debates on the K, I always feel like I have to do a lot of work to justify a ballot in either direction. This is magnified by the limited amount of time that you have to develop your positions.
Call me Blake or BD instead of Judge, I don't like feeling old
Email chain: email@example.com
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Add both emails, title the chain Tournament Rd # Your Team vs. Other Team ex) Harvard Round 4 Johns Creek XY vs. Northview AM.
1AC should be sent at round start or if I'm late (sorry in advance), as soon as I walk in the room
Stealing prep = heavily docked speaks. If you want to engage your partner in small talk, just speak normally so everyone knows you're not stealing prep, don't whisper. Eyes should not be wandering on your laptop and hands should not be typing/writing. You can be on your phone.
Clipping is auto-loss and I assign lowest possible speaks. Ethics violation claims = round stoppage, I will decide round on the spot using provided evidence of said violation
I HAVE ZERO TOPIC KNOWLEDGE. I debated in high school, didn’t debate in college, have never worked at any camp. I currently work an office job. Any and all acronyms should be explained to me. Specific solvency mechanisms should be explained to me. Tricky process CPs should be explained to me. Many K jargon words that I have heard such as ressentiment, fugitivity, or subjectivity should be explained to me.
My ears have become un-attuned to debate spreading. Please go 50% speed at the start of your speech before ramping up. I don’t care how fast or unclear you are on the body of cards b/c it is my belief that you will extend that body text in an intelligent manner later on. However, if you spread tags as if you are spreading the body of a card, I will not flow them. If you read analytics as if you are spreading the body of a card, I will not flow them. If I do not flow an argument, you’re not going to win on it. If you are in novice this probably doesn't apply to you.
While judges must do their best to flow debates and adjudicate in an objective matter that rewards the better debater, there is a certain level of debater responsibility to spread at a reasonable speed and clear manner. Judge adaptation is an inevitable skill debaters must learn not just in the broad sense of “should I go K or policy this round” but even in your preferred method of debate like “should I go for the impact turn on FW against model vs model debates even though the judge says they are more convinced by a C/I resolves their offense arg” or “should I go for the process CP + net benefit even though the judge indicates they have a low threshold for what constitutes a cheating CP for the trigger pull on theory?”
In front of me, adaption should be spreading speed. If you are saying words faster than how fast I can move my pen, I will say SLOW DOWN. If you do not comply, it is your prerogative, and you can roll the dice on whether or not I will write your argument down. I get that your current speed may be OK with NDT finalists or coaches with 20+ years of experience, but I am not those people. Adapt or lose.
No Plan Text & Framework
I am OK with any affirmative whether it be policy, critical, or performance. The problem is that the 2AC often has huge case overviews that are sped through that do not explain to me very well what the aff harms are and how the advocacy statement (or whatever mechanism) solves them. Furthermore, here are some facts about my experience in framework:
- I was the 1N in high school, so I never had to take framework other than reading the 1NC shell since my partner took in the 2NC and 2NR.
- I can count the number of times I debated plan-less affs on one hand.
- As of me updating this paradigm on 01/28/2023 I have judged roughly 15 framework rounds (maybe less).
All the above make framework functionally a coin toss for either side. My understanding of framework is predicated off of what standards you access and if the terminal impacts to those standards prove if your model of debate is better for the world. If you win impact turns against the neg FW interpretation, then you don't need a C/I, but you have to win that the debate is about potential ballot solvency or some other evaluation method. If the neg wins that the round is about proving a better model of debate, then an inherent lack of a C/I means I vote for the better interp no matter how terrible it is. The comparison in my mind is that a teacher asked to choose the better essay submitted by two students must choose Student A if Student B doesn't turn in anything no matter how terrible or offensive Student A's essay is.
Tech vs. Truth
I used to like arguments such as “F & G in federal government aren't capitalized T” or “Period at the end of the plan text or the sentence keeps going T” b/c I felt like these arguments were objectively true. As I continue to judge I think I have moved into a state where I will allow pretty much any argument no matter how much “truth” there is backing it especially since some truth arguments such as the aforementioned ones are pretty troll themselves. There is still my job to provide a safe space for the activity which means I am obligated to vote down morally offensive arguments such as racism good or sexism good. However, I am now more inclined to vote on things like “Warming isn’t real” or “The Earth is flat” with enough warrants. After all, who am I to say that status quo warming isn’t just attributable to heating and cooling cycles of the Earth, and that all satellite imagery of the Earth is faked and that strong gravitational pulls cause us to be redirected back onto flat Earth when we attempt to circle the “globe”. If these arguments are so terrible and untrue, then it really shouldn’t take much effort to disprove them.
I err on the side of intervening as little as possible, so I don’t read usually read evidence. I feel that huge problems with evidence or reasons why they are “fire” should be conveyed to me in a speech, and usually as some kind of terminal defense or offensive "why we win the round" argument. For example, if you think your piece of evidence is just so good that it’s going to turn the tide on the “Will China invade Taiwan” question, then you in the 2NR/2AR should direct me to look at X piece of evidence (after actually extending the warrants of said evidence).
I love case debate. Negatives who actually read all of the aff evidence in order to create a heavy case press with rehighlightings, indicts, CX applications, and well backed UQ/Link/Impact frontlines are always refreshing watch. Do this well in front of me and you will for sure be rewarded.
By the 2AR I should know what exactly the plan does and how it can solve the advantages. This obviously doesn't have to be a major component of the 1AR given time constraint, but I think there should at least some explanation in the 2AR. If I don't have at least some idea of what the plan text does and what it does to access the 1AC impacts, then I honestly have no problem voting on presumption that doing nothing is better than doing the aff.
Similar to above, I think that DA's have to be fully explained with uniqueness, link, and impact. Absent any of these things I will often have serious doubts regarding the cohesive stance that the DA is taking.
Don't make debate meta-arguments like "Peninsula XY read this at Glenbrooks so obviously its core of the topic" or "every camp put out this aff so it's predictable". These types of arguments mean nothing to me since I don't know any teams, any camp activities, any tournaments, any coaches, performance of teams at X tournament, etc.
One small annoyance I have at teams that debate in front of me is that they don't debate T like a DA. You need to win what standards you access, how they link into your terminal impacts like education or fairness, and why your chosen impact outweighs the opposing teams.
I have no inherent bias against any counterplan. If a CP has a mechanism that is potentially abusive (international fiat, 50 state fiat, PICs bad) then I just see this as offense for the aff, not an inherent reason why the team or CP should immediately be voted down.
I heavily detest this new meta of "perm shotgunning" at the top of each CP in the 2AC. It is basically unflowable. See "Spreading" above. Do this and I will unironically give you a 28 maximum. Spread the perms between cards or other longer analytical arguments. That or actually include substance behind the perm such as an explanation of the function of the permutation, how it dodges the net benefit, if it has any additional NB, etc.
I think 2NR explanation of what exactly the CP does is important. A good 2N will explain why their CP accesses the internal links or solvency mechanisms of the 1AC, or if you don't, why the CP is able to access the advantages better than the original 1AC methods. Absent that I am highly skeptical of broad "CP solves 100% of case" claims and the aff should punish with specific solvency deficits.
A problem I have been seeing is that affirmatives will read solvency deficits against CP's but not impacting the solvency deficits vs. the net benefit. If the CP doesn't solve ADV 1 then you need to win that ADV 1 outweighs the net benefit.
Judge kick is not my default mindset, neg has say I have to judge kick and also justify why this is OK.
I don't know any K literature other than maybe some security or capitalism stuff. I feel a lot of K overviews include fancy schmancy words that mean nothing to me. If you're gonna go for a K with some nuance, then you're going to need to spend the effort explaining it to me like I am 10 years old.
If the neg reads more than 1 CP + 1 K you should consider pulling the trigger on conditionality.
I default to competing interpretations unless otherwise told.
Define dispositionality for me if this is going to be part of the interp.
To promote flowing, you can show me your flows at the end of a round and earn up to 1.0 speaker points if they are good. To discourage everyone bombarding me with flows, you can also lose up to a full speaker point if your flows suck.
Debated 4 years at Milton High School (2A/1N)
Debated 3 years at Georgia State University (2N/1A)
Add me to the email chain: my email is email@example.com
For pre-round reading: Do what you want - it's your debate, and I'm here to listen to you. I have not judged policy debate since 2019.
The rest of this paradigm is a collection of my pre-existing beliefs/thoughts about specific issues circa 2019. I kept it in with minimal edits because I still agree with it, but I (try to) evaluate each debate based on how the debaters frame/explain arguments, so everything below is debateable.
1. Debate is a game. Consequently, I tend to think that fairness is more important than education etc. However, in order to really weigh the importance of fairness, you have to prove the value of the game, so it's useful to think of fairness as more of an internal link than an impact.
2. I believe that I should evaluate logical opportunity costs to the aff. This means that I'm more likely to be persuaded that neg advocacies that don't use the topic actor don't necessarily disprove the aff (see the section on Agent CPs).
3. I don't like offense/defense. I would much rather vote for a 2AR that clearly explains why a contrived DA doesn't make sense than a 2AR that goes for an equally contrived link/impact turn. I am willing to vote on 0% risk of the case or a DA, but it will require work on your part to explain it to me.
I like DA/case debates, especially when the neg is investing time and analysis on specific case defense arguments. I read politics throughout high school, so I'll be familiar with it, but I think that it's probably not the best option in most cases. I would rather hear a more case-specific DA that clashes more with the aff.
I generally really like counterplans, but my opinions vary with different types of CPs, so I'll just give my opinions on the different types:
-- Agent CPs: I think the majority of the debate community probably disagrees with me on this, but I tend to think the Agent CPs don't disprove the aff because they don't prove a logical opportunity cost to the topic actor (the USFG). This is not to say that you couldn't win Agent CPs good in front of me, but you will have to prove an interpretation of my role as the judge as someone who has the power to decide between the USFG taking an action and some other actor (States, Other countries, etc).
-- Advantage CPs: I really like these counterplans because I think that they're good at testing contrived aff internal links. I'd say the A+ strategy would be to find advantage CPs in 1AC evidence because it makes for a more compelling CP solvency story.
-- PICs: I love a good PIC debate*. However, the most common way neg teams botch these debates is by either 1.) not properly clarifying exactly what the aff defends in 1AC cross-x, or 2.) not properly writing their CP texts. You can win different theoretical interpretations of what competition means, but it would be best if you could write your CP text so that it is both textually and functionally competitive.
PICs are also a good way to leverage smaller topic DAs, which I like.
*You're unlikely to win that a Word PIC is competitive in front of me.
-- Process CPs: I think that CPs that compete based off of the certainty or immediacy of the plan are generally sketchy but not unwinnable in front of me - I'm more likely to believe that the CP is justified if you have solvency advocate evidence in the context of the aff.
I'll vote on it if it's well explained and impacted out. The only thing I'll add here is that I tend to think that 1-2 conditional advocacies are defensible, but beyond that I'm more likely to go aff on condo bad.
Kritiks should disprove the affirmative. I think that kritiks tend to fail at this for two reasons: they either don't have an internal link from the aff to their impacts, or they don't present a logical opportunity cost to the aff.
- Internal links: In my experience, the link story of most Ks goes something like plan = capitalism, and then capitalism -> extinction, but it doesn't make the direct connection between the aff and the impacts to the K. I think this vulnerability opens up the K to stronger perm arguments because the aff can more easily prove that the plan is good even if the rest of the status quo is bad.
- Opportunity costs: you can refer to my thoughts on agent CPs here because the same basic logic applies. If the plan advocates an action by the USFG, and the neg advocates a grassroots movement against capitalism, I'm unlikely to think the alt disproves the affirmative/is a logically relevant consideration.
This is where framework debates come in. I think that framework can be used to prove competition for alts that do something about epistemology/ontology/etc. because it proves why the alt's approach is distinct in a way that's important enough for me to consider competitive. However, you're unlikely to win on just FW arguments: the 2NR that just says "epistemology first" and then "the aff's epistemology is capitalist/imperialist/etc." doesn't strike me as a compelling neg ballot because the epistemology arguments are really just defensive indicts to the aff.
- Side note: I tend to think that the neg should have to prove that the alt solves the impacts to the K. This is an important part of the debate that the aff should press on.
Thoughts on specific Ks -
-- Topic Ks - these are my favorite Ks, and most likely the ones that will clash best with the affirmative. However, they're also the Ks that I'm least likely to be familiar with, so they might require extra explanation.
-- Standard Ks (Security K/Cap K/Fem IR/etc.) - I'll be most familiar with these Ks, but they're often very generic and need to be explained in the context of the aff.
-- Identity Ks (Race/Gender/Sexuality/Disability/etc) - Links should be clearly explained and specific to the aff. I'm not very persuaded by links of omission or link arguments that are tied solely to state-based advocacy.
-- Language Ks - if the other team uses slurs, is outwardly rude towards someone's identity, or otherwise tries to invalidate someone's identity, I'm 100% willing to vote on these arguments. However, I think that some language Ks are more persuasive than others, so I would only suggest going for this argument if the language is particularly egregious.
Topicality (vs traditional affs)
I like topicality debates. That being said, I think that your T argument becomes exponentially more persuasive when you can develop a topical caselist or, better yet, a topical version of the aff. The reverse is also true: if the neg can't provide a vision of what their interpretation looks like, I'm more likely to be persuaded by aff characterizations of the neg interp being overlimiting.
I default to reasonability. This means that, absent an alternative framing for the T debate, I'll vote aff if the affirmative is able to win sufficient defense to the negative's interpretation, even in the absence of substantial affirmative offense.
Topicality (vs non-traditional affs)
As I said above, I believe that debate is a game. Therefore, I'll probably find arguments about procedural fairness more persuasive than arguments about changing real-world policy etc. However, the neg also have to prove the value of the game, so that requires the neg to make some claims to educational/skill-based benefits to debate.
Because I think that debate is a game, I also tend to think that rules/limits are good; this means I'd be more persuaded by an aff counterinterpretation that sets a different limit on the topic than an aff argument that we shouldn't have any limits to begin with.
I'm not inclined to think that topicality is a form of violence, but that's mostly because I don't think it's ever been adequately explained to me. I could see myself voting on this argument, but it would require a lot of explanation on the part of the aff.
K vs K aff debates
I'll admit that I have almost no experience with these kind of debates. The depth of my knowledge on this subject does not extend past the phrase "no perms in a method debate", which is a statement I don't understand. In a debate like this, both sides will have to do a lot of explanation of how the aff/alt/perm function and how they relate to each other.
If you're running an email chain, please add me: Andrewgollner@gmail.com
About me: I debated one year of PF and three years of policy at Sequoyah High, and I debated three year of college policy at the University of Georgia. I was a 2N that generally runs policy offcase positions but, especially earlier in my debate career, I ran many critical positions. I'll try to be expressive during the round so that you can discern how I am receiving your arguments.
Judge Preferences: On a personal level, please be kind to your opponents. I dislike it when a team is unnecessarily rude or unsportsmanlike. I am completely willing to discuss my decision about a round in between rounds, so please ask me if you want me to clarify my decision or would like advice. You can email me any questions you have.
I am primarily a policy judge. This means
- I am more comfortable with a faster pace. While I don't like the idea of spreading in PF and LD I can handle a faster pace.
2. I am decently technical. If an argument is dropped point it out, make sure I can draw a clean line through your speeches.
3. I am less used to theory backgrounds in your form of debate, slow down and explain these.
4. Ask me any specific questions you have.
I recognize that my role is to serve as a neutral arbiter without predispositions towards certain arguments, but as this goal is elusive the following are my gut reactions to positions. I strive to ensure that any position (within reason, obviously not obscene or offensive) is a possible path to victory in front of myself.
CP: I love a well written CP which is tailored to your opponent's solvency advocate and that can be clearly explained and is substantiated by credible evidence. If your CP is supported by 1AC solvency evidence, I will be very impressed. Generic CPs are fine, I've read a ton of them, but the more you can at least explain your CP in the context of the affirmative's advantages the more likely you are to solve for their impact scenarios.
DA: Make sure to give a quick overview of the story during the neg block to clarify the intricacies of your position. If, instead of vaguely tagline making a turns case arg like "climate turns econ, resource shortages", you either read and later extend a piece of evidence or spend 10 to 15 seconds analytically creating a story of how climate change exasperates resource shortages and causes mass migrations which strain nation's financial systems, then I will lend far more risk to the disadvantage turning the case. Obviously the same goes for Aff turns the DA. I will also weigh smart analytical arguments on the disad if the negative fails to contest it properly. I'm also very persuaded when teams contest the warrants of their opponents evidence or point out flaws within their opponents evidence, whether it's a hidden contradiction or an unqualified author.
T: I've rarely gone for topicality but I have become increasingly cognizant of incidents in which I likely should have. My gut reaction is that competing interpretations can be a race to the bottom, but I have personally seen many affirmatives which stray far enough from the topic to warrant a debate centered over the resolution in that instance.
K: I used to run Ks pretty frequently in high school but I run them far less frequently now. I'm likely not deep in your literature base so be sure to explain your position and your link story clearly.
FW: My gut feeling is that debate is a game and that it should be fair, but I have seen many rounds where the affirmative team has done an excellent job of comparing the pedagogy of both models and won that their model is key for X type of education or accessibility there of. However, I am persuaded that a TVA only needs to provide reasonable inroads to the affirmatives research without necessarily having to actually solve for all of the affirmative. I do find the response that negs would only read DAs and ignore/"outweigh" the case to be effective - try to add some nuance to this question of why negs would or wouldn't still need to grapple with the case.
Non-traditional Aff: I've always run affs with USFG plan texts, but that doesn't mean that these positions are non-starters. I will be much more receptive to your affirmative if it is intricately tied to the topic area, even if it does refuse to engage the resolution itself for whichever reasons you provide.
Theory: I generally think 2 condo is good, more than that and things start to get a bit iffy.
Most importantly, please be kind to your opponents and have a good time.
Currently coaching at Alpharetta
they/them. ask your opponents what pronouns they prefer before the round and stick to them. pls call me jack not judge
firstname.lastname@example.org - please have the 1ac sent by the round start time.
mc hammer reads philosophy, you should too
IF YOU READ GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF VIOLENCE, INCLUDE A TRIGGER WARNING AND HAVE A VERSION OF THE CARDS OMITTING THE GRAPHIC DETAILS READY IF SOMEONE INDICATES IT'S AN ISSUE. I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO HAVE TRAUMATIC FLASHBACKS BECAUSE YOU WERE TOO LAZY TO TYPE OUT A SENTENCE ON THE WIKI/AT THE TOP OF THE DOC.
*i have hearing difficulties, please either send the doc you're reading from or SLOW DOWN. i.e. you probably don't need to send your T-USfg 2NC analytics but make sure you're reading them at a speed that people that don't have the exact blocks you're looking at in front of them can still understand
**LD/PF - i only competed in policy and i'm unfortunately unfamiliar with the particular nuances of LD/PF debate so i am more likely to vote for substantive arguments than procedurals that rely on an understanding of LD/PF debate norms.
ctrl + f "Planless Affs v. T", “Policy Aff v. T”, "Policy Aff v. CP/DA", "Policy Aff v. K", or "K v. K" for relevant sections
- you get two perms per arg. everything else gets filtered into either "perm do both" or "perm do the aff/K/CP" in my brain. new 1AR articulation of the perm warrants new 2NR responses.
- debate is too serious. i enjoy fun rounds, i greatly appreciate jokes. kindness is underrated - opponents are (most likely) not your enemy but rather fellow participants in an extracurricular activity who have decided to spend their weekend debating with you instead of doing literally anything else. please treat them that way.
- i am uncomfortable with being asked to adjudicate things that occurred outside of the round. (note: i consider the round to start when the pairing comes out, so disclosure theory etc. are still fair game i just have the same institutional (lack of) capability to handle things like Title IX violations as you). i take ethics violations very seriously. if you believe your opponents have behaved in a manner inconsistent with ethical participation in this activity, let me know and i'll contact tab instead of starting the round.
- racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anything that makes the round unsafe is a quick way to earn an instant L and zero speaker points. i will not hesitate to intervene.
- speaker points: my range is generally high-27s to mid-29s. i would probably be considered a point fairy but occasionally it goes the opposite way so warning you in advance. making and executing strategic decisions in rebuttals is the best way to get higher speaks in front of me. i reward taking risks. while i try to hold the line on new args, most judges are inherently suckers for a lying 2A. contextualizing your arguments to the other side’s will earn you more points than just spreading through a K or CP explanation written by coaches four years ago devoid of context or specificity. i.e. "CP solves advantage 1 because [warrant], solves advantage 2 because [warrant]" as opposed to "CP solves entire topic because [warrant]" or "K solves our links and case because [warrant]" and not "THEY DROPPED THE ALT (they probably didn't if we're being honest), WE WIN BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW THAT'S JUST HOW DEBATE WORKS IG".
Scale based on my immediate reaction after the speeches:
30 - Perfect. I do not want anyone I coach to hit you in elim rounds because it's gg
29.9-29.5 - Woah. You're almost done! The summit is near and you'll be there with a few more practice speeches
29.4-29 - Yo that was fire. Y'all did your thing and executed well. Good job!
28.9-28.5 - Nice!
28.4-28 - Pretty Good
27.9-27.5 - Needs some work
<27.5 - If I've given you this, you know what you did.
- the roughly two hours that i am in the room are your time. if you want to post-round me, go for it (although once i submit the ballot there's nothing i can do to change the decision) but please be courteous regarding your opponents' desires and make sure any more immediate concerns they may have have been resolved before we get into it
- read whatever you want. although i personally lean in certain directions on common debate args, i try to check as many biases as possible at the door and base my decisions on the actual debating done. i want to limit judge intervention as much as possible so comparison and telling me how i should resolve the debate is very important. if i don't have judge instruction coming out of the 2XR, i intervene to resolve the round the best i can. condo is probably the arg you are least likely to win in front of me but i'll vote for it if it's mishandled
- the status quo is always a logical option unless you tell me it isn't
- 2xr should start with: "[Our arg] outweighs [their arg] because"
- dropped args are true, it's up to you to make that matter though
- rather than tell you what i think about specific issues, i think it may be more helpful to disclose how i come to decisions. in the absence of a clear dub for either team, i evaluate the flow. if i can't come to a decision based purely on my flow and memory of the round, i read the ev for each arg and decide whether the cards support the args that are being made as well as which team has better ev for each specific arg. if i still can't come to a decision based on reading cards, i'll reconstruct the debate and necessarily fill in gaps for both sides based on my understanding of the best version of each team's args. YOU DO NOT WANT THIS. there is a non-zero probability that your cards are not as good as you think and potentially a very large probability that filling in the gaps works out better for the other team. to avoid this, DO GOOD COMPARISON. compare ev quality, risk of impact scenarios, EVERYTHING. i understand how frustrating it is when you catch an L after a super close debate because it feels like the judge did slightly more work for the other side. i do not want this for you. you do not want this for you. work with me and you'll probably be much happier with the result. in the absence of judge instruction, i will intervene as necessary to resolve the round.
Planless Affs v. T
- planless affs typically beat T in front of me with nuanced impact turns or a C/I based on counter-definitions of words in the resolution with a DA. i am not a good judge for C/Is that aren’t based in definitions of words in the rez as i am typically persuaded by the 2NR argument that it’s arbitrary and self-serving (which is irrelevant/actually good if you go for the impact turn to T). i'm most persuaded by fairness and clash as impacts to T. TVAs are defense, i won't vote on that alone so make sure you have offense against the aff's model (even if it's just that the TVA is good and the aff's model precludes reading it). i believe that procedural fairness is a terminal impact although i can be persuaded that it’s only an i/l if you make the arg
- i will vote on presumption if the neg proves that the aff just results in the squo
- my favorite neg rounds in college were 2NC T/1NR Case. i also read planless affs my senior year and prepped against T so i think i'm pretty 50/50 in these debates if equally debated
Policy Aff v. CP/DA
- affs typically beat the CP/DA strategy in front of me by either winning a solvency deficit to the CP that outweighs the DA or proving that the CP is not competitive. I will vote on zero risk of the DA but only if there's offense against the CP.
- probably a better judge for theory than most against CPs. i default to believing that CPs must be textually and functionally competitive but can be convinced otherwise absent aff warranted argumentation
- note for soft-left/K affs with a plan - although i am convinced by framing that says we should prioritize structural violence or reject util/extinction logic, you're not going to win on that alone if the neg has a CP that resolves the aff's impacts especially if the neg is winning that i should view CP solvency through sufficiency framing
Policy Aff v. T
- i am a grammar nerd, args that are based on grammatically incorrect definitions are unlikely to win in front of me i.e. i can't vote for "United States" is an adjective because that's wrong
- models are important
- i tend to do the most intervention in these debates. absent a 2NR/2AR that completely writes my ballot, i find myself resolving the round by going through my flow and the docs and reconstructing the debate with the best version of both side's arguments.
Policy Aff v. K
- 2AR should be either fwk + case outweighs/offense OR fwk + perm + no link/alt fails. if the negative wins framework but the affirmative wins that the aff is a good idea it likely means that the aff's knowledge production is good which often solves the link.
- specificity is the most important thing is these debates. well-warranted analytics contextualized to your argument as well as the other team's will get you further than shotgunning cards with no explanation.
- if your 1AR/2AR framework explanation is entirely "you link, you lose bad" but they're going for links that have uniqueness you are probably going to lose.
- the vast majority of my college debate rounds involved cap sustainability debates so i am very familiar with the args made and ev read by both sides. although i personally believe that the cap bad cards are better, i've always cut the cap good file and will vote happily for McAfee (despite my personal belief that the card is garbage) if the other side doesn't explain their offense adequately.
K v. K
- these are the rounds i judge the least (although i find them to be interesting and wish i got to judge more) so i don't have many predisposed biases aside from defaulting to allowing the aff to read perms until the neg convinces me they shouldn't get them.
- i (believe i) am familiar with most lit bases, although this might work against you. for example, i do not want to vote for you if you read ev by José Esteban Muñoz and then claim that he makes a blanket "utopia bad" arg because that's not at all what the author says
- if the neg wins the alt solves the aff, i vote neg.
- 2N - do not forget that the squo is a logical option. i.e. if you're winning that the aff doesn't solve and that there's risk of a link (for example, that the aff would cause backlash against [x] people), the squo is probably better than the aff regardless of whether or not you're winning alt solvency.
- condo is a yes-no question (i am unlikely to vote for "the negative gets [x] number of conditional advocacies", you should instead say "the negative gets NO conditional advocacies or dispositional advocacies etc"). default to weighing the aff against the alt/squo but can be convinced to disregard the theoretical implementation of either of those. probably not going to convince me that the neg should not get to read a K wholesale but that's more logical than some of the fw interps i've seen so...
- you probably should not read conflicting interps in the 1NC. 2AC to "T-read a plan" and "fiat bad" is really easy which negates any of the time skew benefits
- fiat - both sides get it until someone tells me they don't or wtv idk no neg fiat never really made sense to me but i'd vote on it if it's mishandled
authors whose work i found enjoyable or informative in no particular order: sylvia wynter, nietzsche, toni morrison, enriqué dussel, dahlma llanos-figueroa, judith butler, marx, deleuze, guattari, jafari s. allen, josé esteban muñoz, reinaldo arenas, nina maria lozano, vine deloria jr., guy hocquenghem, desiree c. bailey, langston hughes, manuel zapata olivella, nicholas guillén, josé martí, colin dayan, kit heyam, ishmael reed, maggie nelson, viola f. cordova
helpful notes on a few of these authors: http://www.protevi.com/
Northview IS, MS
**If I look confused, I am confused, please make me not confused.
**Yes you can read the K in front of me HOWEVER reading the K in front of me on either side IS NOT a guaranteed ballot. Quite frankly I've grown frustrated with the K especially when it's poorly debated.
**Most of this is stolen from Pranay because my paradigm deleted right before a tournament (Update: I did go back and add some stuff since then)
**LD folks scroll to the bottom for specific LD stuff
1—Please don't call me judge. Makes me feel hella old. Just call me Juliette.
2—Tech over truth to its logical extent. Debate is not about solely the truth level of your arguments but your ability to substantially defeat the other team’s claims with your technical ability.
3—When debating ask the question of Why? Technical debating is not just realizing WHAT was dropped but WHY what was dropped matters and how important it is in the context of the rest of the debate. “If you start thinking in these terms and can explain each level of this analysis to me, then you will get closer to winning the round. In general, the more often this happens and the earlier this happens it will be easier for me to understand where you are going with certain arguments. This type of analysis definitely warrants higher speaker points from me and it helps you as a debater eliminate my predispositions from the debate."- Matt Cekanor
4—For those curious, I mainly debated the K in high school (on both sides). I'm usually good with most Ks, even so, you still have the burden of explaining it to me well as I vote off the flow and won't do additional work for you even if I read the lit. (Excuse the rant but...) I think most POMO arguments in debate are stupid and for some reason every POMO debate I've judged the team has double turned themselves (lowk probably cuz most (if not all) POMO is ridiculous to read in this activity). Then again, debate it well and yes I will vote on whatever POMO stuff you throw my way.
This may be one of the rare sections that isn't stolen from Pranay (not my fault he didnt have one smh).
Yes, I read a K aff. Yes, I will vote on them. No, I don't think a majority of these affs solve any of the impacts they claim to solve. I think a key thing that most of these affs lack is proper solvency. If you're going to convince me that you solve things, I need a good reason to either why your method is good (i.e. give me concrete examples of what your aff looks like) and/or tell me why an aff ballot in this debate solves. That being said, for the negative, I often find a good presumption push to be a solid strat.
1. No preference on what impact you go for (but come on, clash is not an impact... alas, if you debate it well I will vote on it). Some impacts require more case debating than others. For example, if going for fairness, you need to spend more time winning the ballot portion of your offense and defense against the other team’s theory of how debate operates. If going for clash, you need to spend more time winning how your model over a year’s worth of debates can solve their offense and spend more time with defense to the affirmative.
2. I have spent a large part of my high school career thinking about arguments for the negative and the affirmative in these debates. To put it into perspective, almost 90% of my debates over a given season are framework debates, on the neg and the aff. For a large amount of framework debates, the better-practiced team always wins.
3. Use defense to your advantage. Nebulous claims of inserting the affirmative can be read on the negative with no specific internal link or impact debating will largely not factor in my decision. However, there are fantastic ways to use defense like switch side debate and the TVA.
4. Very specific TVA’s can work against very specific types of framework arguments. If the affirmative has forwarded a critique of debating the topic then TVA’s can mitigate the affirmative’s DAs. However, if the affirmative team has forwarded an impact turn to the imposition of framework in the round, they are less useful.
5. Impact turning topicality - Do it. Do it well and you'll be rewarded.
6. Often times when starting out, 2AR's go for too much in the 2AR. If you are impact turning T, go for one DA's and do sufficient impact comparison. Your 2AR should answer the questions of how T is particularly violent or links to your theory of power and most importantly HOW MY BALLOT CAN RESOLVE THOSE THINGS. Your impact only matters as much as its scope of solvency. You must also do risk comparison. Most neg framework teams are better at this. The way the aff loses these debates is when there's a DA with substantive impact turn and there's a negative impact that is explained less but is paired with substantively more internal link work and solvency comparison.
If going for a CI, focus on one impact turn and focus on how the CI solves it and how the DA links to their interp. Think of it like CP, your CI should include some aspects of their interpretation but avoids the risk of your DAs.
K v Policy AFF
Two types of 2NRs. Ones that go for in round implications and ones that go for out of round implications.
A)In Round—In round route requires a larger push on framework and a higher level of technical debating on the level of the standards but is usually much easier if you’re a practiced K 2NR. 2NC will usually have like 10 arguments on framework, 1AR extends their standards and answers like 2 arguments. 2NR just goes for the DA and all conceded defense, GGs. In addition, the best K 2NRs going for the in round version will have a link to the “plan or the effects of the plan”. What this means in this sense is that they will tie affirmative implementation to a link that proves their ethic mobilizes bad subjects IN DEBATE.
B)Out of Round—Out of round requires like close to 0 time on framework. Most policy 2As now just grant the K links but just say affirmative vs the alternative. Thus, if you are going for the alternative with links to the plan, just spend time winning the link debate, explaining why the affirmative doesn’t happen in the way they think. Most times these Ks will have a substantial impact turn debate so winning that is essential.
K v K Debates
1. Technical Debating is often lost in these debates but this necessarily happens due to the nature of K v K debates as theory of power debating is often the most important part. That being said, vague link debating will mitigate you winning your theory of power. 2. You need to pick something and defend it. The neg team will ask about the affirmative in 1AC CX, that explanation should stay consistent throughout the round. Lack of a consistent explanation will lower my threshold for buying a risk of a link and higher the burden for you to win the permutation.
3. Use links to implicate solvency. Often times its hard to make a K aff stick to in round or out of round solvency. Use links in the 2NC and 2NR to mitigate parts of both so even if the 2AR consolidates to one, you still have defensive arguments.
4. K affs have built in theory of power and solvency that's inherently offensive. I'll be grumpy if you jettison the aff but will not if you provide extrapolated offensive explanations in the 2AR using your affirmative and pieces of offense that they dropped. 2AR's that do this will be rewarded with higher speaks.
Topicality (Policy v Policy)
1. Fine judge for these debates. T can lower your burden of prepping out some affirmatives that are inherently untopical and it's a good strat to have in your back pocket. However, for this topic the caselists and violations are pretty overlimiting.
2. Caselists are always useful for understanding these arguments.
3. Impact debating doesn't matter much in these debates but internal link debating does. Make sure to indict and compare interps and both sides. Predictability is the IL to all impacts.
4. The best 2AR's in these debates are ones that pick through negative evidence and identify no intent to define, arbitrariness, and combine that with reasonability
1. Probably err negative on theory concerns but if there's a technical crush I will certainly vote affirmative.
2. My predisposition toward counterplans is that they must be both textually and functionally competitive but always up to interpretation by the theory debate in round.
3. The best counterplans are PICs and other counterplans that are cut to beat specific affs. That being said, I do find some PICs (especially on this topic) to be extremely abusive so I will be sympathetic towards the aff on a PICs bad theory debate.
4. Presumption flips aff when you read a CP.
5. Affirmatives always freak out when they hit a CP they don't have blocks to but your advantages are there for a reason, its not hard to write specific deficits during the 1NC.
I dislike generic theory debates. I do not think anything but condo/extremely abusive PICs is a reason to reject the team but I can be persuaded otherwise if there is extreme in-round abuse or the other team straight-up drops it.
It will take a lot to convice me to vote aff on condo in a one/two conditional off debate. Three conditional off can start getting more legit in novice. Four and plus and sure I'll listen.
1. Risk matters most when evaluating a DA. The affirmative arguments are made to give me skepticism in the internal links and the negatives job is to mitigate that by link work and turns case debating implicating affirmative solvency.
2. DA is not a full DA until a uniqueness, link, internal link, and impact arguments are presented. If not present in the block, the 1AR will get new answers. I also need a full scenario in the 2NR for me to vote on.
3. When the DA is the best utilized is the 1NR. Very hard for the 1AR when 1NR gets 5 minutes to read a slew of cards answering all 2AC claims.
1. Yes you can win on a straight-up presumption ballot. This type of ballot is not popular anymore but it should be. Too many teams get away with reading an affirmative with no specific evidence or internal links. This was especially prevalent on the criminal justice reform topic but it is still a problem on the water topic too. Teams will highlight evidence terribly and act like the solve it even though it makes no sense, especially against the K. K teams should take advantage of this. Ex. aff that talks about financing technologies- solvency advocates will mention one type of technology but the advantage area will be about a different kind. Neg teams call this out and go for presumption.
2. Affirmative teams must answer all case arguments not merely by extending their impact again but by answering the warrants in the card. Most policy teams just say "doesn't assume our x" without refuting the warrants in the card.
1. Don't really care what you read in front of me. Though I've spent the vast majority of my high school career in the K realm, and probably because of that, I've thought about most policy answers to the K so either side can make sense to me. However, it is your job as debaters to ensure a technical win, and ensure my job is to solely evaluate the flow.
2. If you are going to read the K in front of me, please do it well. Because I've seen the K debated at some of the highest levels, it's annoying to see it butchered.
3. I'm fine for policy v policy throw-downs. These debates are often much easier to resolve as one team almost always clearly wins on the flow and are much easier to understand.
(This is also not stolen from Pranay... but hey I needed some of my own takes on speaks)
I find myself giving speaks on the higher end. Ways to improve your speaks include:
Being funny, making smart arguments, having fun, being clear, not saying your opponent conceded/dropped something when they didn't, talking about penguins, make fun of anyone I know.
Cross-ex can be a great way to improve speaks, however, there's a thin line between being competetive and just being rude and I have no shame in docking speaks if you choose to be a jerk.
It irks me when debaters claim their opponents "dropped" something when I have it on my flow. I understand that sometimes mistakes happen and you don't flow an argument or something similar. However (comma) if it becomes a recurring problem in a speech I will dock speaks each time it happens.
Also, I will yell "clear" three times, if you choose not to slow down or be clear I will start docking speaks. If you are speaking faster than I can move my pen or type then don't complain when I didn't catch something on my flow. "I don’t care how fast or unclear you are on the body of cards b/c it is my belief that you will extend that body text in an intelligent manner later on. However, if you spread tags as if you are spreading the body of a card, I will not flow them. If you read analytics as if you are spreading the body of a card, I will not flow them. If I do not flow an argument, you’re not going to win on it." - Blake Deng
I’m not an LD person, so keep things as simple and direct as possible.
I sorta know what a value criterion is.
You gotta do more weighing in phil debates.
Now on a technicality I’m probably best for the K, however, because policy speech times are longer, I tend to look for more warranted comparisons by the end of the debate. Also, I just have high standards for explanations.
I refuse to vote on something I don’t comfortably understand.
Important thing to remember is I was a policy debater NOT and LD debater. Lucky for you, my face says it all, if I look confused, I am confused, please just make me not confused. Also, NO TRICKS.
-- You should speak more slowly. You will debate better. I will understand your argument better. Judges who understand your argument with more clarity than your opponent's argument are likely to side with you.
-- You can't clip cards. This too is non-negotiable. If I catch it, I'll happily ring you up and spend the next hour of my life reading Cracked. If you're accusing a team of it, you need to be able to present me with a quality recording to review. Burden of Proof lies with the accusing team, "beyond a reasonable doubt" is my standard for conviction.
-- If I can't understand your argument -- either due to your lack of clarity or your argument's lack of coherence, I will not vote for it. The latter is often the downfall of most negative critiques.
-- One conditional advocacy + the squo is almost always safe. Two + the squo is usually safe. Any more and you're playing with fire.
-- I like to reward debaters who work hard, and I will work hard not to miss anything if I'm judging your debate. But I'm also a human being who is almost always tired because I have spent the last 12 years coaching debate...so if you seem like you don't care about the debate at hand, I am unlikely to try harder than you did.
- Anything else? Just ask....