UMN High School Invitational
2022 — Online, MN/US
JV/V Saturday Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I vote on the comparative offense of the 2nr and 2ar. I will vote how I'm told to as long as an argument is inoffensive. I'm a Tabula Rasa judge, but if I'm not told how to vote then I default to hypothesis testing. This more or less means I will vote on anything as long as it makes sense to me on the flow. Tell me how I should be voting, or how an argument should be weighed. I'm okay if an argument is "silly" as long as it offers genuine offense. I don't want to watch a team run an argument they can't win on. I put a lot of weight on the flow as a judge. I love substance, and so it's easier to get my ballot the more you play towards your flow. The more line by line, the better. If I don't understand the story, I can't evaluate the flow.
I love K's and K aff's, but I want a lot of link and alt work done so that I can understand the solvency mechanism of the K, and the internal links between the alt and the impacts. Reading 1 off framework " we weren't prepared for the aff in response to CRT, queerpes, etc is insufficient. I don't like when the framework flow is used as a tool to punish teams for daring to speak for themselves or the subaltern. I prefer when framework is used as a contention of the aff's methods. As long as you don't just ignore the 1ac and say they should lose because k affs are unfair, you should be fine. TVA, cede the political das, just anyway you can use the framework flow to generate substantive offense against the affirmative. For debaters running Ks on the neg, I want you to spend a lot of time on your links. It helps prove the mutual exclusivity between the alt and the perm, but it also proves why your K matters. I will vote on the impacts of the K turning an aff, even if the K doesn't solve for its alt. I believe if an affirmatives epistemology is harmful, those harms will arise within the world of the aff. That being said, my ballot for the K will often be determined by how well the link and alt work was done. This often puts a larger burden on the person running the K, so I'm going to be less persuaded by the idea that K itself is abusive.
T similarly should be doing work to be about the negative proving in round abuse, unless they can prove that the limits that include the aff cause abuse in other rounds. I want you to be fleshing out the T flow if you're going for it. I want the T flow to have some level of strategic advantage over the negative besides being a time skew.
This is more specific to local tournaments, but because I like substance, I also dislike when negatives run a lot of offcase for the sole reason of outspreading a team. If you are running more offcase, you're just putting more pressure on yourself to put work and ink on these flows during the block.
I'm a lot happier with your DAs if they offer a brink. Your internal link chain should be as short as possible.
Cross ex's are speeches. I don't flow them as intensely, but I believe them to be binding. Links can be developed from a cross ex. Offense can be generated from a cross ex. That being said, cross-ex is a question-and-answer format. You shouldn't be arguing a point during cross-ex that you're about to argue word for word in your next speech. This may go without saying, but being rude or dismissive to your opponents, or lying about your arguments hurts your speaker points and the activity.
My ideal round is one where both teams are cordial and having fun. I think too often we attach our self-worth to the activity. My favorite thing about debate is the people I've met along the way. I hope that the trophies and placements at the end of the tournaments don't hurt our ability to appreciate the genius of ourselves and the people next to us. If any part of my paradigm limits your ability to enjoy the round, please let me know.
I was raised in Minnesota debate, which means my entire career has been with negation theory. I've only flowed one stock issues debate.
Speaker points: I have three main sites where speaks are anchored. (Under this system 28.5 is a great speech, a couple of mistakes)
25= Offensive argument/Poor behavior
If there are any questions about a round, or anything please email me at email@example.com
Senior U of M, 4th year of policy debate, 4 years of high school debate.
I am not a fan of overviews.
UMN Law '23 UMN PhD loading...
Dartmouth College '18
Acorn Community High School '14
2022 Notes: PREP TIME STOPS ONCE THE DOCUMENT HAS BEEN EMAILED OVER - NOT BEFORE
I haven't judged in a few years but I would like to think I still got it...everything I wrote below still applies...
Most important: The role of the negative is to articulate a disadvantage to the 1ac in some form or fashion.
Everything else: I've done policy debate every year of school. I think it has some value.
I've done a variety of styles of debating so I'm fine to judge any style. I've personally leaned more to the critical side in terms of how I debate but this doesn't mean I prefer K's or am more inclined to vote for them, it just means that I probably understand a lot of the words you're using.
I think the point of a debate round is persuasion. so what happens in debate rounds is important. I don't like disinterested presentations about important topics.
Every year I became a more technical debater. This means I evaluate the flow and one shouldn't casually drop arguments just because they think theirs is better. Still, I don't vote on arguments just because they weren't answered, I think work has to be done to explain why that concession was so damning or important. Also, if you want me to flow a particular way then you should just tell me.
Sounds cliche but arguments are claims plus warrants. Don't just yell a bunch of arguments with no explanation as to why they are true without any theoretical, statistical, or historical support.
"Cards" necessitate an argument but arguments don't necessitate a "card." Don't read 12 cards in the 2ac and expect me to do the analytic work for you. I rather you spend more time on the analytic word than card reading. But finding a good medium is best.
Pasting how I answered NAUDL paradigm for transparency:
"List 4 types of arguments that you prefer to listen to/debate. For example, do you like to debate disadvantages? Do you like disadvantages as long as the disads aren’t the politics DA?
1. Impact calc
2. If a framework debate, treat it as a competing method/hermeneutic
3. Creative things I haven’t heard before…I like to learn too.
4. Arguments of contemporary relevance
List 4 types of arguments that you prefer not to listen to/debate. For example, do you find theory debates difficult to adjudicate?
1. I don’t like hearing a topicality debate where the terminal impact is just fairness
2. If the 2nr is just theory, you better be pretty good at it
3. I don’t like any arguments that are rooted in attacking an individual person in debate or dedicated to marginalizing an intersection of identity
List 4 stylistics items you like to do or like watch other people do. For example, do you like debates that go line by line, meaning debaters use their flows to answer each argument that is presented in the order it was presented?
1. I like direct clash and teams answering each other’s arguments, not just pretending that work wasn’t done
2. Cards are great but explanation/analytics > evidence dumps
3. Ethos and clarity – can’t judge the round properly if no one understands what you’re saying
4. Pushing the bounds of arguments, getting creative and innovative
List 4 stylistics items you do not like to watch other people do. For example, do you dislike when other debaters answer their partner’s cross-x questions?
1. I don’t like unnecessary rudeness
2. I don’t like people talking over each other too much, including their partner
3. I don’t mind open cross-x but I think that’s different than your partner being unable to speak
4. I don’t like rhetorically violent assumptions or any type of marginalizing discourse that could harm anyone in the room, even spectators
In a short paragraph, describe the type of debate you would most like to hear debated.
I don’t have a type of debate I prefer to hear and I would like to believe my judging history proves that. I did tend to have my own style of debating while I competed but I don’t believe that’s a helpful guide for what you should read in front of me. I prefer to hear “great” debates where all debaters are developing deep and substantive arguments with a passionate display of all the hard work you have done over the course of your career/year. Read what you are best at reading but don’t assume I am an expert in what that is. "
Feel free to run any argument you'd like, as long as you run it well I will evaluate it. I have a strong negative preference to K-affs however, please don't run those.
i am sandy and i use they/them in English and elle in Spanish <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 please and thank you
2023-24 is my eleventh year in debate with the mnudl!!! exciting stuff!!!
- third year as the novice coach for minneapolis south !!! (<3)
- debated for roosevelt h.s. in south minneapolis !!! (<3)
big picture > minutia
i would say i am a pretty "get down to the fundamentals" person. what does this mean?
- tag team is fine but high five when you do it and you'll get bonus speaks
- hyper-technical strategies, strange theory, or generally weird strategies do not usually make it onto any of my RFDs.
- i'm looking for the impact debate on all flows (including framework, T/theory, kritikal or policy; doesn't matter, gimme impacts).
- i'm looking for coherent and competitive internal link chains.
- i'm looking for clear advocacy solvency (on both AFF and NEG, if applicable) that's consistently explained + extended.
- i'm looking for arguments/impacts to be consistently compared and contrasted to convince me to vote AFF/NEG.
all to say, my flow is Fine. if you write my ballot for me, then i can continue being a lazy judge.
- really unenthusiastic about silly theory arguments. save aspec debates for a different judge (exception 1: sometimes debates devolve into theory because that is what must happen. that's okay, but ... :( i'll be grumpy. exception 2: rosebowl)
- i was a k debater in high school. which is to say, if you're curious about kritiks, want feedback on kritikal strategies, etc. then feel free! i'd love to help with more specific comments/ideas -- especially with setcol, chicanx literature, and/or queer theory. this is not to say that i'm a k hack or that i don't understand more policy-leaning strategies. do whatever you want to do.
- i've got some auditory processing problems, so please try to be as clear as possible! i'm out of practice from listening to rly fast spreading from chilling with novices so much. that being said, do not worry, i am not a complete lay judge about it. just keep it clear!
- DEFINE YOUR ACRONYMS THE FIRST TIME YOU USE THEM
- as opposed to abbie "big A" amundsen (<3), i am a big fan of overviews!
have fun! be nice! be organized! that's all it takes.
Minneapolis South/Occasional judging for Minnesota
My email is izakgm [at] gmail.com, add me to the email chain before the round, please and thank you.
Good debating overwhelms anything else on here. I've coached and judged teams of all styles. I will try my best to evaluate the round on your terms and not my own.
do whatever you gotta do for your internet quality. I'd like camera on but if you can't, you can't, and I won't hold it against you and you don't need to explain to me.
IN PERSON DEBATE IS BACK and its time to shed our eDebate norms like "not saying the words that are in the card text while we spread". I will most certainly let you know I'm not getting it. Teams that spread clearly: I see you, I hear you, I honor you, and I am here with you!
How I judge - big picture > minutia.
I appreciate explicit impact comparison, judge instruction, and when the 2nr/2ar starts in a place that helps me resolve the rest of the debate. I don't mean "they dropped my role of the ballot!!!!!!". If you say "extinction outweighs" but don't tell me what it outweighs, I'll just assume you mean its important since you haven't made a comparative claim.
I'm flow centered, but not a fan of cheap shots or punishing small mistakes. I'm not a perfect flow. In fact I am certainly one of the worst flowers on the circuit and yet I use my flow to decide the round. If you want me to evaluate your argument its on you to make sure I write it down. Late breaking and unforeseeable arguments may justify new responses. I do have 2n sympathyTM and will check the 2ar against arguments that weren't in the 1ar. 2nr line drawing or instruction remains helpful.
I think in terms of risks, including zero risk and presumption. Offense/defense works well a lot of the time, but I'm not a cultist. If internal links are missing and the other team points it out without reply, I'm not giving you 1% just for fun.
I think I used to be harder on the 1ar and 2nr. Now I give a bit more leeway if there was sufficient explanation earlier in the debate. I pay close attention to and often flow cross-x if its going somewhere.
I read less evidence than many judges at the end of the round. If your superior evidence quality is not explained, I might miss it. I will not reconstruct the round through the docs afterwards. I won't read along unless I suspect clipping. If you deliver the text of your evidence incomprehensibly fast I will not read the text of it later to figure out what you said. Again, the burden of communication is on you.
I love strategic concessions and rehighlightings. If you are right and you read it in the speech, I will prioritize your analysis. It makes sense to insert things like charts. If its "a stake the round on it" kind of issue, please do not insert a rehighlighting, I need you read it. If its just an FYI about a tertiary issue... go off I guess.
I'm expressive and might intervene vocally to move you off a stale cx direction or motion to move on if you are repeating yourself in the speech. It will be pretty obvious in person if I have stopped flowing because I don't understand what you are saying. My resting face is rather stern, don't take it personally. I'm probably still vibing with you.
FW v K aff - Yes, I will vote either way. It comes down to links and impacts like any other debate and the best teams in these rounds have offense and defense.
Neg teams: I'll be honest, if you say debate is a game more than twice my eyes start to glaze over. Fairness can be an impact but it usually feels like a small one. By this I mean if the aff wins any impact at all it will be more important to me than fairness. If that's your approach you'll need to be playing great defense (lots of ways to do this) or really filtering out aff offense somehow. I say this and yet I think fairness/clash is by far the most strategic version of this argument. Y'all think I didn't notice you just ctrl-f'd your fairness blocks with clash? Ignoring the questions posed by the aff or repeatedly mischaracterizing the aff's claims will likely result in an aff ballot.
Aff teams: I'm open to whatever approach you want to take. I'm personally more interested in strategies built around a counter interpretation even if its not an intuitive (or predictable) one, will vote for impact turns alone and in many cases that is more strategic. Just FYI, I do not know what the symbolic economy is, so if you are the first one to explain it to me then kudos. I think I just learned what a psychoanalytic drive is last month but I still might not understand it. If the TVA is something I'm thinking about during my decision time, even if you dropped it, then you've written or explained your aff poorly. If your model doesn't explain a role for negation, or your aff is so uncontroversial that it doesn't hold up to a basic inherency push, I can see myself voting neg easily.
Ks on the neg - Love these debates. Explanation is vital on both sides. Aff teams that explain their internal links and solvency have the most success against ks in front of me. Aff framework arguments that exclude kritiks entirely will be a tough sell. If the alt is cheating, you can point that out tho ;) I've yet to hear a persuasive explanation for judge choice - I will only vote on benefits of your plan that you explain. Neg teams do well with strong links that implicate the case. You don't always need an alt in the 2nr, but you might be better off defending an imperfect alt instead of just the squo, especially if the 2ar is on to you. Perms are a valuable tool but 90% of aff wins would be on case outweighs whether the perm was present or not.
Policy stuff - Yes. I like internal link and solvency presses. Impact defense can make sense, but "x doesn't cause extinction" might not get your there if the other team has a nuanced impact comparison. I have a loose attachment to the "link first" camp until you tell me otherwise. My time in Minnesota has left me with a love for impact turns, don't care how dumb it seems. If you can't beat stupid... I don't know what to tell you.
I struggled with Judge Kick for a while. I've come around. I still enjoy strategic and narrow 2nrs (i.e. not making me do this). If you explicitly (saying "squo is always an option" in 1nc cx counts) flag this as an option by the end of the block I'm game. I am open to affs that ask me to stick the 2nr to the cp.
Complicated Perm texts can be explained and inserted - they should be written out fully and sent for all to see. Counterplan texts that you don't want to read fully.... No thank you. Be more creative with how its written.
Things it might be helpful to know about me/carrots+sticks/hot takes inspired by OTT
- i understand why no one does this but if the aff team took a stance on something (like an actual explanation of how they solve not solely hedging against agent cps) and the neg fiats through a solvency deficit based in literature and the aff went for theory I might be more likely to vote aff than most. This obviously goes out the window if the aff says the phrase "for the purpose of counterplan competition" at any point in cx.
- some bonus speaker points (maybe .2?) if your neg strategy (policy or k) hinges on tech and not nato. Feels like there is room for das/impact turns in this area and I would like to see them.
- If your wiki is sparse your points are capped at 28.5 - its JV behavior, you get JV points.
- If you can't answer basic CX questions about a position you are asking for an L 27. If you think the round is over and you stop your rebuttal VERY early because you have already won (invoke a TKO correctly), the baseline for your points is 29.5.
- I'm lukewarm for plan text in a vacuum. "Only non-arbitrary" blah blah blzh both teams should just debate about what the aff does. I will require some extra convincing before the 2ar and will heavily protect the 2nr here.
- truly random defaults that have come up more than once in rounds that I want on the record: perms are tests of competition so I will jettison them if they would hurt the aff. you can implicitly answer a "ballot pic" by trying to win the round.
If you still have questions, please feel free to email or ask me before the round!
Old water topic thoughts archive
- Glad I didn't judge enough on this topic to have thoughts. We only heard extinction affs all year because of the bizcon da? Now that's what I call cowardice. Excited for NATO!
Old CJR thoughts archive
- learning about the criminal justice system is nice. If you teach me something about the topic (yes critical knowledge is part of the topic get over yourself) over the course of the debate, boost to your points. If your aff is about cyberattacks strike me, I simply don't care. If your aff is about cyberattacks and you debate the internal link level well enough to convince me that you were actually talking about criminal justice reform,
- i have some professional experience working on police reform. I live in Minneapolis and South high is blocks from where the 3rd precinct burned. My personal belief is ACAB. I feel familiar with many of the practical arguments for and against abolition, so I have a high threshold for link debating. aff teams, feel free to go for "abolition bad" instead of the perm...
- I'd love to be a judge that fully resolved framing first before substance. Unfortunately the quality of debating here is often such that I have to resolve some substance to figure out what to do.
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 (not any other email address) 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 want a clean email inbox, and I will immediately forward the email chain to debatedocs and then delete it. Please save me the effort.
You have my consent to record/stream/publish the round (and you are encouraged to do so, pending the consent of other participants). Here is my policy judging record, with a brief summary of each round and decision.
I appreciate when teams point out their opponents' mistakes in a speech, and I am reluctant to do that work absent debater instruction. I appreciate in-depth case debating. I greatly appreciate mundane arguments executed well.
I 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 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, making an argument in a speech and then walking it back immediately afterwards in cross-examination.
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, or because the fact that you have been forced to make it is funny (see: a Navy team reading "naval personnel not key"). I am bad at evaluating topicality debates, this is a skill at which I have been actively seeking to improve. I am confident I am in the top five percent of all judges for topicality against kritikal affirmatives. I am willing to evaluate arguments other judges dismiss as jokes (warming good, aliens, etc), but be warned: these arguments are generally viewed as jokes because they are bad and false and their answers are good, true, and easy to execute.
I am more persuaded by 'elegant' theory interpretations than those that feel arbitrary: "2 conditional counterplans" feels much less defensible to me than either "arbitrarily many conditional counterplans," "arbitrarily many dispositional counterplans" or "no counterplans". Theory debates are frequently lost when one side is reading their blocks at top speed and are not paying attention to the content of the other side's arguments.
Novice and JV debaters are strongly encouraged to simplify the debate in late rebuttals. This will improve both your speaker points and your odds of making sufficiently complete arguments to win the debate. The best non-varsity speech I have ever heard was a novice 1AR in which the debater kicked down to one advantage and extended no more than two defensive arguments on each other page.
Unless you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing, your counterplan should not be unconditional -- empirics prove you are more likely to lose because the 2AC can now ignore multiple disads than to lose on conditionality.
Flow the debate -- I will be very disappointed if arguments that were in a speech doc but not read get answered.
I will evaluate evidence that was inserted but not read only if the mere existence of the evidence constitutes a warrant (for instance, inserting solvency advocates in a topicality debate). I will kick counterplans for the negative only if I am explicitly instructed to do so, but my threshold to overturn this presumption is very 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 be entirely ignored, 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 tab, 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. I will not participate in any arrangement to give sham speeches to avoid the bracket implications of a forfeit.
Competition rooms are public spaces, and spectators are welcome to watch or take notes as they see fit.
It seems like the deterrence disadvantage has gone out of style since the last time we debated arms control. I'm unsure why this is the case.
Old personhood thoughts:
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.
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 in the same way.
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.
A performative contradiction is not an independent voting issue -- it is either a double-turn (in which case a team can concede both halves and win) or a consequence of the introduction of a conditional advocacy (see above).
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 will only make you look incompetent.
Background: I did extemp and policy in high school, I currently do extemp in college. I ran more pragmatic arguments in high school. That being said, I haven't heard fast spreading in a long time, so please be as clear as possible, especially online. If you cannot be clear then please speak slower.
Affs: I am fine with critical affs, but you need to defend topicality, solvency, etc.
Negs: I'm fine with k's, but cover your bases. I am not well read into critical theory, so if you are obscure theory or a complicated take on theory, explain it like you are talking to a five year old. I will vote neg on presumption, but the burden flips if negative runs a counteradvocacy. I am fine with T, make sure you have a whole T shell. A definition without voters or standards is not a topicality argument
Any questions, feel free to email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! I'm Michael O'Neal(email@example.com for email chain purposes) and I am a former 4 year policy debater from Roseville Area High School. I am currently coaching my first year at the same school so I am fresh out of debating. What this means for any debaters I judge is I can keep up with flowing, I know most relevant args to the topic, and coming from a critical point I used to only debate critical theory as Aff and Neg, so any critical case can fairly win with me. Of course I won't be biased towards it though, so I expect link explanations and contextualization, impact calculation and most importantly a consistent and thoroughly explained alternative. Despite all my critical arguments, I also fully understand Topicality and all policy args, so feel free to run any argument with me. My only expectations is respect to me and the opposing team, and having fun while trying your best. To that end I really want to emphasize the importance I place on respect. both to arguments and people, debate is a safe space above all. I won't be severe about accidents or unintentional remarks, but if I consider there to be intentional bullying of a person due to their race, sex, gender, religion, appearance, or personal ability I will take down speaks, or if I find it aggressive enough will end the round. Mental and physical health comes first for me as a coach, judge, and person and so I won't condone abuse. Also, off that serious note, I will give in round feedback, but will take time to give more in depth explanations or help any debater that wants it through either after the round or through email, so just ask.
Gregory Quick: firstname.lastname@example.org
Weird Judge Things:
- Tag Team Cross Ex means you have to tag your teammate in.
Speaker Point Scale: (What does the # speaker points actually mean):
25 - I physically cringed at something you said
29 - Great debating, might have missed some of my specific requests or I believe that there are some areas that you could make your speech smoother, more efficient, or make some better arguments.
30 - Fantastic debating, hitting major points with clarity and efficiency, Requires meeting best practices below:
- Send analytics to the other team in doc, if you typed it and read it then give it the opposing team.
- Explain the warrants behind the tag when you extend it.
- Looking at the judge during your speech, and facing them during CX.
- Saying next between cards, numbering would be even more preferred.
Written 2021, maybe should update:
I was a policy debater for 4 years at Eagan High School in Minnesota and am currently involved in NFA-LD at UNL
What do you view your role as the judge in the debate?
I think that my role as a judge is to evaluate the round. In the history of judging I find policymaker/educator/games playing to be some of the philosophical roles of the judge.
Do you take email time as prep time? In other words, when does prep begin and end with you? Do you expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time?
Excessive emailing (including using flash drives) is prep, normal flashing isn’t. I will try to keep track of time but so should everyone in the round but the person taking prep/giving speech MUST time. For prep I think using it before cross x is underutilized, so I may reward more strategic uses of prep with speaker points.
Do you have teams provide you speech documents throughout the debate by flashing or emailing them to you? Do you have teams provide speech documents throughout the debate by emailing them to you?
I think it is bad for the judge to be using speech docs to flow. I will want you to flash/email them to me so that I have a record of what’s going on in the round, and I have something to do pertaining to the round during prep, but I will not look at my computer to check the speech doc unless I want to read specific wording or was called to in the round. You must be quite clear on title and on the author, the in card speaking must be 80-90% clear words. I can spread probably faster than you can and be more clear. If I call clear it probably means be more clear but the fastest way for you to be clear is to go a little slower.
If you do, why have you adopted this practice? If you do not, have you made a conscious decision not to and if so why?
I think that debate is still a verbal activity, I did policy debate, but I pride myself on my clarity when spreading. I must be able to understand you for me to flow you.
What is your normal range for speaker points and why? What can earn extra speaker points for a debater? What can cost speaker points for a debater, even if they win the debate?
I’m going to put my average at somewhere around 27.5 -28, below is because I didn’t know what to do, bad time allocation, bad argumentation, bad debating, bad treatment of the other team, etc. Above is cause ur gOoD. I will get more frustrated at good debaters doing shitty things than bad debaters being ignorant about what they should do.
Do you say clearer out loud if a debater is unclear? Is there a limit to the number of times you will say clearer if you do? Do you use other non-verbal cues to signal a lack of clarity?
I will say it, but probably not more than 2 or 3 times, my pen not flowing should be another sign, or me looking at you confused, or my pen down if you’re repeating the argument over and over again.
Do you find yourself reading a lot of evidence after the debate?
I think a lot of the evaluation of cards should be done by the debaters. I get when time-pressed that its hard to really quote evidence and if you tell me to look at a piece of evidence for something specific and a good reason why (i.e.: They power tagged this card, nowhere in the card does it say anything about a positive influx of immigrants. This card is key to their DA structure and if they don’t have that warrant then they do not have a casual link chain and the DA should go away.)
Do you evaluate the un-underlined parts of the evidence even if the debaters do not make that an argument?
No (unless it goes against what the debater is twisting the card to go against, if that is the case the student should have probably invoked an ethical challenge), that would be stupid because you could read one word and I would evaluate the whole thing. Read what is important and backs up your point. There exists a lot of power-tagging, long tags, and over highlighting. Power tagging should be called out in round, long tags and over highlighting only hurt the number of arguments you can make.
If you read evidence after a debate, why do you tend to find yourself reading the evidence?
The debaters said that evidence is key, but the opponents have it wrong. Or comparing solvency cards if the debaters didn’t do enough comparison. I might look at evidence if I don't think there is enough analysis in the round for me to resolve the debate.
What are your predispositions or views on the following:
Topicality: Probably good. I like a good T flow but there are many different interpretations of that. Just use examples and analysis to prove your point.
Theory for the aff versus counter plans and/or kritiks: Pretty key for protecting ground. I think that there are many underutilized arguments when being hit by theory. If you are right, go for it; if you are wrong then you really shouldn’t. I would be fine if you have a max a few ways of winning at the end of your last rebuttal, but going for multiple and not doing enough on any of them would be a problem. If you are worried than try to go for one winning strat.
Aff's need to be topical: Depending on the philosophical nature of debate this is could be required. I think that is probably a good thing under a policymaker framework but not key under a games playing/educator mindset. Which way I vote for depends on the round, but framing your framework arguments compared to what philosophical framework debate. If you read the whole paragraph you can see it depends on how the round goes and arguments made.
Performance teams: These are always very cool when done well, but the same answer as before. It depends on what are the benefits of debate and what is my philosophical role as a judge.
What types of debates do you enjoy the most and why?
Good debates that explain the WHY question all the time. Why do they violate? Why does that matter? Why is that key to debate? Debaters who answer the why question will win. Analysis wins over unwarranted claims. Don’t use author names as warrants. Explain the warrant from the card that proves your point or disproves theirs.
Could you list out some situations here?
I did do policy things in policy debate, but I am quite familiar with Ks. I like good K debates but those are few and far between. I think comparisons are easier to do for policy plans/neg strats. Do what you do is best, and I hope I can inform you of what I like after the round and update this profile along the way. I will keep a post of my previous votes in a spreadsheet, so I can track them over time. Going for more policy stuff and slowly getting more K is probably the best advice I can give you for adapting, hopefully, if I have a bias I will see it soon and put it in my paradigm.
Random Thoughts from other sites on what a judge philosophy should include:
Even if statements are your friend.
If you cannot defend underlying assumptions about debate. Like; why is debate good or what is debate for, don't expect to win theory or topicality arguments. Put real thought into your arguments.
I don’t consider myself an interventionist, but I won’t support your 2 card K you are going for in the 2NR with a 3m no card extension, do the analysis before the final speech. - To be edited
Emphasize key arguments, do good evidence comparison throughout the debate. Qualifications are important and you should back up your author claims.
T: Should have Definition, Violation, Standards, Voters. Framework should be similar but more robust.
DA/Adv: Unq/status quo, link/solvency, IL and Impact
K: Link, Impact, Alt
CP: Text, Solvency
Other arguments that are not on this list probably don't have a solid checklist to go through so just explain everything in-depth.
University of Minnesota ‘22. Add email@example.com, and if in college varsity, firstname.lastname@example.org. I think debate should encourage technical argumentation about the topic. I try to be “tabula rasa” when evaluating arguments about the desirability of the plan, but have a high bar for procedurals, and am horrendous for critiques. I will be coaching and cutting cards for the college nukes topic.
- Fairness is good. AFFs must defend a topical plan. NEGs must demonstrate the plan is undesirable or untopical. Policy debate is a game about policy research, which excludes poetry, personal anecdotes, and “my opponent refuting my argument is mean”.
- I will not follow the doc during speeches, but care greatly about evidence quality and comparison. Evidence text should be read clearly and should form clear sentences.
- New arguments about substance will be readily struck when identified; the 1NR gets away with too much.
- Cards from articles translated by debate people and author correspondences do not count.
- I am wary of substance crowd-out, and have a high threshold for T and an exceptionally high threshold for “conditionality bad”.
- I feel comfortable evaluating a nuanced competition debate, and rejecting egregious CPs (private agent, “alternatives”, state+federal fiat, international, etc). I judge-kick by default.
- The NEG does not need offense to win; disproving a stock issue is sufficient.
- 1NCs must read full arguments to establish a burden of rejoinder. If you need more cards to fully explain a dropped 1NC argument, it probably wasn’t complete in the 1NC in the first place.
- Philosophy arguments are relevant when they disprove the plan (shunning DA, libertarianism, death good, etc).
- Non-extinction impacts are relevant. People should talk about them more.
- I care about professionalism when assigning speaker points; please do not be rude during cross-examination or waste time (bathroom, water, etc.) in the middle of the debate.
- “Repugnant” and “absurd” arguments are fair game insofar as they relate to the desirability of the plan. Sometimes it’s try-or-die to lob ICBMs at foreign countries or cook the planet. (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).
Experience: I am a fifth-year policy coach for Rosemount High School. I debated for 4 years at Rosemount High School and recently graduated from the University of Minnesota for a degree in political science and election administration. My main experience in argumentation is in policy-oriented positions, specifically in legal theory (court CP's, Court Legitimacy, Test Case FIAT, etc), although I did often run critical arguments such as Neoliberalism, Security, Legalism, and Ableism.
Please include me on email chains: email@example.com
Framing: I view debate in a few ways:
1. It is an educational activity first and foremost. Everything else (competitive success, winning, etc) is second to education. If you aren't learning, then you aren't succeeding in debate. If you do things that actively harm someone else's education, then you will get bad speaker points.
2. It is a game - it should be fair, and you shouldn't exclude others from the discussion. This means debate should be accessible and respectful. Intentionally misgendering your opponent, saying rude comments or anything like that (especially laughing at the other person giving the speech) is not good for a game. That will also hurt your speaker points.
3. It is a competitive reading activity - you should read your opponents' evidence and attack the specific warrants. The other team's evidence is also the best way to find links to any kritiks. Additionally, this means evidence quality matters -- if you misrepresent your warrants and the other team calls you out for it, I will intervene and only judge the warrant as the author originally intended it.
4. Clarity > Speed - I flow on paper, and if you are reading at one speed that is incomprehensible, then you will get low speaker points. I have voted for teams but given them 26 speaker points to them purely because they did not slow down throughout their speech, creating a borderline unflowable speech. Lack of clarity is anti-education.
5. In-depth conversation and argumentation >>>>> five-off or more - I think the tendency to read as many off-case arguments as possible to out-spread the other team is an inherently bad strategy and extremely detrimental to debate. It certainly damages education. I will absolutely accept Condo arguments if the other team is reading more than four-off, especially if you explain how damaging it is to education. This is one of the few areas where I am very oriented toward truth over tech. Reading an unreasonable number of off-case arguments is a surefire way to lose a ballot in front of me. Especially if 3 or more of those arguments are separate advocacies, I will (almost) automatically buy abuse arguments.
Affirmatives: As I stated before, I prefer policy plans, but if you have a more critical advantage, I will not be too lost. I prefer soft-left affirmatives over policy affs, but I've run both types. Advantages that tackle discrimination including Sexism, Ableism, or Racism are very responsive to me, as I believe they have the most realistic impacts. I also generally believe the affirmative must be in the resolution. In other words, if you have a critical aff, this is not the best round to run it. I believe the affirmative should stick to the plan text and should defend that plan throughout the round. I do, however, understand the validity of Critical Affirmatives, but if you cannot answer the questions from the negative like "what ground do we get?" or "how is your model of debate accessible?" during cross-examination, you will likely lose, because I view debate as a game that needs to have at least some semblance of fairness and education. In my experience, some K affs end up being a way to scare other teams from engaging with the arguments and ends up shifting the discussion away from education. Basically, if you're able to defend how your model of debate promotes fairness and education, then K affs are fine. But I generally think plan-based affs provide for better models of accessible debate.
All that said, I have recently coached teams that almost exclusively read a non-topical critical affirmative and my stance has softened slightly on that front. I’ll evaluate your K aff, but be prepared to defend your model of debate!
Disadvantages: If you run this and want to win with it, there must be a clear link. If you don't do enough link work in the 2NR, I probably won't vote for it, unless the aff never answers it in the 2AR. Also, make sure you do impact calculus between the aff and the DA, and prove why your impact is worse. I also love when a team runs a CP with their DA. For politics DAs, I hate most of these because I think the logic behind these DAs is bad and generally relies on flawed assumptions. Politics DAs can be creative, but the bar for this is very high if I'm your judge.
Counterplans: CP's are a versatile position which I am quite familiar with. I believe Counterplans do not have to be topical, but they should still be competitive. Also, if you run a CP, make sure you answer the Perm, and when you do, make sure that you tell me specifically why it doesn't function. Theory can be an independent voter (when it is impacted out), so don't ignore it. Additionally, I think sufficiency framing is usually a pretty lazy argument that is made by teams who don't think their CP solvency is all that good. You need to prove why the CP solves BETTER than the affirmative, not just that it solves "enough" of the aff. Sufficiency framing is generally not enough for me to vote for the CP.
Topicality/FW/Theory: While the position is more valid when there is clear abuse outlined in the argument, there doesn't always have to be abuse. It can be used effectively as link traps or other strategic things. I also love Effects/Extra Topicality arguments, especially if presented well. For the aff, Reasonability is a valid argument, but if you want me to vote on it, tell me why your plan is reasonably topical under the neg's interpretation and the aff's. On theory, disclosure theory is a non-starter. Do not run this, even as a cheap argument. While it won't lose you the round, it will damage your credibility with me and your speaker points. The only exception to this is if the team discloses one aff, and then changes it at the last minute. Then I can see it being warranted. For the most part, I think theory is usually used as a cheap strategy. Don't use it as that. Use it only if it is well-warranted. A-Spec is usually ridiculous and I don’t think I’d find myself voting for it all that often, although if it’s well-warranted, then maybe (the bar for that is extremely high, so please try to avoid this unless absolutely necessary). Perf con against a team reading one-off is ridiculous. Condo against a team reading one-off is ridiculous. Make sure your theory arguments make sense!
Most of all in theory debates, SLOW DOWN! You are essentially reading paragraphs which are incredibly difficult to flow if you just speed through them. I think spreading through theory is anti-education, and is a surefire way to damage your speaker points. I flow on paper, so my flowing speed is limited I'm not going to flow theory arguments that I missed - it's your burden to make sure I get them. Additionally, if you don't slow down on theory arguments, you will damage your speaker points. Like I started this paradigm with, debate is an educational activity first. If the way you read theory is anti-educational, I will let you know after the round.
Kritiks: I am not great with all K's, so if you run one, make sure you clearly explain the story (especially the link and alternative) if you expect me to vote for it. However, I have run Ableism, Security, Legalism, and Neoliberalism K's as well as Word PIKs, and done some coaching on more identity-based Kritiks, so if you're comfortable with those positions, this would be the round to run it. Basically, if you really want me to follow your Kritik, run Security, Ableism, Language K's, or Neoliberalism. If you don’t care if I understand your position, run Wilderson, Deleuze, Queer Pessimism or Baudrillard. Basically, I have a high bar for voting for Kritiks that I am not familiar with. Do not assume I understand your Kritik, explain it at the thesis level. Just as importantly, explain it within the context of the affirmative! What is the problematic assumption or rhetoric that the aff makes/uses? How does that cause the perpetuation of the bad thing you're Kritiking? How does your alternative resolve the issue? A Kritik that earns my ballot will answer all of these questions.
General: Spreading is fine, but make sure you don't go past what you feel comfortable with and SLOW DOWN ON THE TAGS. If I miss your tag because you didn't pause or slow down when reading it, I am not going to flow it for you. Make it clear, or I won't weigh the argument. When you are speaking, make sure you analyze each argument in full and make a coherent claim. Tags should be complete sentences. The word "Extinction" is not a tag. I will not flow it as an argument if that is your tag. Also, please self-time. It really helps me, and especially it helps you.
Please do not try to throw rounds. I have had a team do that in front of me, and I believe that it legitimizes a bad practice in the debate community, is anti-education, and it will severely impact your speaker points if I realize your intention.
Structuring: I will give you extra speaker points if you NUMBER AND SUBPOINT each of your arguments on the flow for the ease of flowing.
Other Positions/Arguments: There are a few positions that I will NEVER evaluate within any round. These include, but are not limited to:
-Suicide CP/DA and/or Death K (Seriously. The way this is commonly debated brings with it serious mental health concerns and I will tolerate none of that.)
Basically, if you think that your position sounds like it advocates for something offensive, don't run it.
Cross-Examination: Make sure you are polite. I am fine with tag-team if both teams agree to it, but if you shout over your partner, I will dock speaker points. Most importantly, remember that CROSS-EX IS A SPEECH. Cross-Ex is a great place to set traps for your opponents, and for you to be able to use what they say in-round against them. I do flow cross-ex, so I know what was said. Don't try to pull one over on me.
To sum it all up in a few points...
1. Education comes first. Debate is an educational activity at its core, and I believe my primary role within the round is that of an educator. If you do things that I deem as harmful to debate education, you will get lower speaker points, and may lose the round.
2. I tend to be a policy-oriented judge, although I am very comfortable with Kritiks. If you want to run one, be sure to fully explain it as if I have never heard of the philosophy before.
3. Cross-Ex is a speech and a great place to form arguments, so use it!
4. Explain everything to the fullest extent, especially links. If there is not enough work done on DA/K/T links, I will not vote for it.
Feel free to ask me any other questions before the round starts!
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.
E-mail for the chain: email@example.com
I have a background in debate as a debater, coach, and judge on the local and national circuits. I have coached successful teams in Michigan and Indiana. I'm looking forward to becoming more acquainted with the debate community where I now reside in Minnesota.
I am open and willing to vote for any and all positions and frameworks. That being said, I do have some preferences. I do not allow these personal preferences into the round as I strictly like to evaluate the round according to the line-by-line argumentation I see on my flow and the framework arguments set before me. Depending on the round, this isn't always clear. In the event that teams are not doing any (or enough) specific evidence/analysis comparison or have failed to establish a clear framework for round evaluation, here are some of my preferences:
"Policy" vs "K" framework
If you ask me outside of a round, I'll tell you that my preference is for a robust policy debate that exists solely in the post-fiat world. This does not mean you can't run a kritik or a critical affirmative in front of me. However, if neither team establishes a calculus for weighing pre-fiat vs post-fiat implications, I'm likely to default to my preference for policy.
Generally, 80% truth - 20% tech.
I think there is some justification and necessity for Negatives to explore a wide variety of counter-advocacies and topicality arguments in an effort to equalize ground. If forced to intervene, this framework would serve as a baseline for evaluating standards for fairness, abuse, and education.
This doesn't mean that the affirmative can't argue or win a "___ CP is abusive/illegitimate " argument in front of me. We all know that even when the negative has ample ground, they will still try to stretch it. Affirmatives have every right to maintain a fair division of ground.
Generally, I favor the view that a counter-advocacy (CP, kritik alternative, etc) should be positionally competitive as described by Brett Bricker: https://bit.ly/2UIXu44
It's probably fair to say that theory debates have had the most actual effect on shaping the way we debate. In other words, over the course of time, there have been real world impact to theory debates. Keeping that in mind, while I believe you need to prove in-round abuse, I also believe you need to win a scenario for future abuse/harm. To me, this impact analysis is what moves a theory argument beyond whining ("We weren't prepared for this; it's abusive") to a righteous defense of the activity.
I like to award speaker points for:
- Clean, persuasive line-by-line clash and analysis
- Clear and effective speech structure; clear sign-posting, a roadmap that is strategic and clean, no hopping back and forth
- Compelling speech; using tone and speed changes to highlight arguments and increase engagement
Here are some ways to lose speaker points:
- I don't think the ability to share evidence relieves you of the obligation to be clear.
- Rudeness in speeches or CX.
Feel free to ask any other questions you may have before the round.
Coach for St. Paul Central from 2021(water)->present
Pronouns are they/she
I would like to be on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
Email for questions / contact: email@example.com
Quick and easy for prefs/strikes
Clash judge that appreciates good judge instruction and is neutral on most things. Good judge for k/fw debates and probably not the best for lots of (no substance)pics. If you just wanna know my K aff thoughts I will happily vote on em but am friendly to TVAs and skeptical of a lot of SSD claims. Be nice and run arguments you like and we'll get along fine.
Paradigm In progress, feel free to ask anything not yet answered here.
"My ideal round is one where both teams are cordial and having fun. I think too often we attach our self-worth to the activity. My favorite thing about debate is the people I've met along the way. I hope that the trophies and placements at the end of the tournaments don't hurt our ability to appreciate the genius of ourselves and the people next to us. If any part of my paradigm limits your ability to enjoy the round, please let me know." - Melekh Akintola
General Judging Philosophy:
Debate is whatever the people actually competing in a round want it to be. In the spirit of this, I'm willing to vote for pretty much anything you are willing to go for. I think you should be able to defend your model of debate but so long as I have a way to evaluate the round Im happy to hear most if not all arguments. That doesn't mean run oppression/death good as an impact turn. If not only for the moral issues but because its an easily beaten and lazy way to debate.
Debate is also a communication activity and your ability to effectively and clearly communicate arguments will matter in front of me. Generally I wont punish you if I can't keep up with your spreading(i,e if your clear and I just cant move my pen fast enough ill note and backflow) but If you are unclear and fast I will likely drop arguments off the flow.
If you want a one line paradigm I'm a pretty straight forward Offense/Defense judge, clash and top level impact stories is the best way to win rounds in front of me. <3 Judge instruction <3
More specific Judging Philosophy:
Judge Kick: I support it unless either side gives a reason not to.
Tech V Truth:Tech over truth but truth largely determines what arguments you can find claims to technically support. I'm also open to common sense argumentation against blatant lies; I'll vote 2+2=5 if dropped but all it takes for me to strike that arg is one line of, judge that's obviously wrong.
Speed - I don't think judge lines on speed effect much. Just here to say I don't mind speed and can flow very fast rounds. If you are fast and unclear I will drop args off the flow and will feel 0 remorse. speed is a choice one that comes with the responsibility to still communicate your ideas.Not sure where else to put this but I will put something as new the first time I hear a warrant. i.e unwarranted claim from the bottom of the 1nc dropped in the 2ac still needs explanation in the block to win in the 2nr.
Framework - Im fine with framework, I've run both sides of it. Realistically every framework interp is self serving I really only care if you can defend *your* self serving model as better than theirs.
Kritikal Affs - go for it. I like them, probably don't admit debate is just a game in cx and you'll have a better time. Don't assume I'll automatically understand your lit or import my analysis same as any policy arg.
Topicality - I'm pretty neutral on T. just please don't forget to at minimum say "voter for xyz" and I'm open to hear your interp of the topic. For 2023-24 I am probably leaning a little neg on T but thats speculative and open to change.
Counterplans - I think a lot of counterplans really test the limits of tech>truth with the actual text / claimed solvency mechanism. that said if the 2ac doesn't say anything I'll buy it. I don't have many strong opinions on counterplans. default to perms as a test of competition.
Kritiks - I like kritiks, I don't like how they tend to get argued. TLDR is please give me specific links and an articulation of the alt if you want me to vote on it. If not please actually give instruction on how you get a ballot. Generally a big fan of framework vs kritiks as I think a lot of kritiks tend to make valid analysis and give little reason to vote. The specificity of your arguments and how much you elaborate on them is gonna be big in front of me. Also like, probably don't read a K against an aff your authors are on record supporting(looking at you biopower teams)
PerfCon - this note basically exists to say I think perf con is a very real and legitimate argument. A team running a cap K alongside evidence/arguments defending the rights of states to drill oil for instance, should have to either justify the discrepancy or be subject to that contradiction being used against them. Also I tend to find Kritiks less persuasive when surrounded by 5 contradicting disads.
Death/Wipeout good- I dont like death good and reading it in front of me is probably a strategically inadvisable choice. This probably falls into the category of arguments so stupid the strategic issues should prevent you from ever running it, but should you still want to, don't do it in front of me.
Anything not listed above you can assume im mostly neutral on. As a final note on my judging philosophy, debate whatever you feel most comfortable with in front of me. An argument I don't like debated well is better than one I do debated poorly. Plus we all have more fun if your debating what you actually enjoy debating/feel comfortable with and that genuinely supersedes pretty much everything else listed on this paradigm.
Plans and aff "clarification"
I have seen an increase trend towards aff teams reading normative "solvency advocacy" evidence that they would *like* to be descriptive of the plan, that includes a variety of clarifications and specifications *not* in the plan text. Plans are determined by *the plan*, not by aspirational solvency evidence that includes things not in the plan. The aff does get to clarify. There is a mechanism for that. It's the plan. If the aff chooses not to clarify something in the plan, then it is determined by 1) binding cx clarification in situations where the neg does not contest that clarification and 2) normal means as determined by logical argument and descriptive evidence if the neg does choose to contest. normative solvency evidence is not a description of normal means. the decision not to clarify something in the plan is a CHOICE - as with all choices, it comes with strategic upside AND strategic baggage. if something is important for aff solvency, but not in the plan, you are running a grave risk of not being able to access it.
I think too many judges address issues as absolute “yes/no” questions. I am much more likely to think of things in terms of relative risks. That said, relative risks can be EXTREMELY small.
If debated equally, I am prone to thinking that counterplans which are desirable because they result in the affirmative, are, generally speaking, not competitive and make for worse debates. At a fundamental level, I don’t believe they express disagreement with the affirmative plan, which I sort of think is the whole point of debate. That said, I’ve written many of these counterplans, and voted on many of these counterplans.
I lean heavily neg on all other counterplan theory questions.
If both teams are silent on the question, my presumption will be that counterplans identified as “conditional” mean that status quo is always an option for the judge to consider, even if the counterplan is extended by the 2nr. This presumption can easily be changed if debated by either side.
If you are going for a kritik in front of me, the place its most likely to fall apart for me is the alt. You would be well advised to explain what your alternative does and how it is able to meaningfully accomplish its own objectives. If someone is going for a kritik against you, the easiest way to lose me is to drop a “checklist” impact calc claim: “turns case, solves case, X first, extinction inevitable, etc”
I generally view this as question of competing interpretations. I’ve become worse over the years for “silly” topicality arguments. I’m generally easily persuaded that precision is the most important standard. For instance, if the military has a precise and official definition of “presence” it would be difficult to persuade me to disregard that for the sake of limits.
As it may come up, you deserve to know I’m probably a better judge than most for “T-significantly”. Obviously I’m not saying it’s an auto-win, but against some tiny new aff, its definitely a credible option for the neg.....my brain will judge fairly, but my heart can't get over its first love (the negative).
I will do my best to fairly adjudicate any argument made in front of me. No argument is ever procedurally disqualified in advance. I will judge only based on arguments made in the round, rather than arguments I may believe to be “true” that are not well defended within the debate. That said, debate is a persuasion activity, and when arguments are advanced well by both sides, you should know that my proclivities are that debate is better when the affirmative defends topical action. Again, its not impossible, and I will, as always, attempt to judge fairly based on arguments made in the round, but you deserve to know my preferences…..I don’t think they are a secret.
If you are advancing this strategy in front of me, I will say that I think teams sometimes try to “adopt” by attempting to win the “race to the middle”. In my experience this tends to help negs win that “topical version solves aff offense” more than it helps the aff win "link defense" to things like limits and fairness. My advice to you is that you are actually probably better off sticking with a more hardline position that simply impact turns topicality rather than spending time trying to minimize the “link” to the aff standards.
Let's all have a good time and learn some stuff. Do what you feel you are best at and try to emphasize clash. Specific questions can be directed here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Very important note: If you and your partner choose to do tag team debate then you must "tag in" if you want to ask a question and "tag out" when you're done asking questions. How you tag is up to you (high five, fist bump, etc.), but you must do it.
I've been in debate for 19 years - have debated, judged, and coached at regional and national tournaments in high school and used to compete for the UofMN in college, now am Program Manager of the MNUDL. I'll do my best to flow, you should do your best to signpost and clearly read tags and cites. I judge about 10-15 national level high school debates a year. I want to be included on the email chain so I can check for clipping and/or whether a team claims they read something they did or didn't, but my flow will reflect what words come out of your mouth, not what words are in your speech doc. If you want an argument on my flow then make sure you are being clear and articulate; speed isn't a problem for me, but being unclear is. I'll let you know if I can't understand you at least 3 times. At that point if you don't adapt it's your problem :) I will do my best to judge debates in a non-biased way and give you a decision/feedback that I would have liked to have had as a debater/coach.
One other note that hopefully won't be important, if there's a reason that something uncommon needs to happen in a debate (someone needs to take a break due to stress/anxiety/fatigue, there needs to be an accommodation, you or someone else can't debate against another debater or in front of another judge, etc.) please let me know BEFORE THE DEBATE and don't bring it up as a theory argument (unless the other team did something warranting it during the debate). I find it is best to deal with community based issues not through a competitive lens, but through a community consensus and mindfulness model. Be advised, I take issues like this very seriously, so if you bring up something like this in the debate I will decide the outcome of the debate on this point and nothing else. Legitimate reasons are fine and important, but trying to 'game' the system with these kinds of 'ethics' violations will end very poorly for everyone involved.
Updated - 11/17/20
Background: I debated in high school at Minneapolis South and in college at the University of Minnesota '17. I've coached policy debate for 6 years, and am currently the Head Coach of Minneapolis South high school.
If you have any questions about my paradigm/rfd/comments, feel free to email me at: email@example.com & also use this to put me on email chains, please and thank you.
I will enforce the tournament rules (speech times/prep/winner and loser, etc.), but the content of the round as well as how I evaluate the content is up to the debaters. Judge instruction is important -- my role is to decide who did the better debating, what determines that is up to you.
Water Topic Thoughts:
All of this is as of Glenbrooks, and subject to change.
1) Extra points if your aff is a big change from the squo - but probably a higher chance of winning if it's not...
1) Thought T-Cessation was bad at Greenhill - still think it's bad, but haven't seen a good definition and there needs to be a limit to the topic so I'm persuadable on debateability o/w predictability (or anything else you can come up with for why your Neg T-interp sets a good limit)
1) Biz Con is a bad DA - sympathetic that there's not good core generics but I'm going to be rolling my eyes during your 2NR
2) Will appreciate creative Ptx DAs
1) Nothing really of note on this topic
2) I dislike adv cps with a ton of planks, and con con
1) Love 'em, do you
1) Judge kick the alt/cp, unless instructed otherwise
2) Condo is good, but there's a limit (i.e. kicking planks probably bad)
3) 2ar only gets args made in the 1ar, but gets to respond to 2nr spin
1) Sending a marked copy does not constitute prep, but requesting a doc where "unread cards are deleted" constitutes prep and will also lower your speaks...just flow the debate
Debated four years on Kansas/National circuit in highschool. I debate freshman year at Emory. I coach for a local Kansas team--I've only judged at two tournaments on this topic. Fine with any rate of delivery, as long as you're clear. I'll flow what I can understand, if you're not clear on tag statements or arguments it won't make it onto my flow.
DA's--Fine with generic links/DA's-establish a proper link story and be aware of your argument. That will validate the context of the link and how much weight I give it.
CP's--Fine with PICs, Consult CPs, and Adv. CPs. Condo is a debate to be had, a dropped condo arg by the affirmative does not produce an automatic win for the negative. I have an extremely high threshold for voting on condo.
K's--Totally fine with the K. I'm most familiar with arguments pertaining to anti-blackness and queer theory. really I'm cool with any K and can follow it.
T--Always a debate to be had--the interp, violation, and voters should be made clear coming out of the 1NC. I'm fine with competing interps, but will follow the line by line/ flow. I have a high threshold for voting on T.
I'm fine with no plan text/performative affs.
Everyone be nice to each other, being rude will only result in a loss of percieved ethos and speaker points.
Feel free to ask my any questions about my experience/preferences in round.
Rosemount High School (MN)
Debate Experience: 4 years HS policy (Rosemount HS, 1987-1991), 2 years CEDA (Truman State - formerly NE Missouri St 1991-1993)
Coaching/Judging Experience: 32 years judging, 18 of these actively coaching
St. Thomas Academy 1993-2001
Last update: 2022-11-19
Building on evidence highlighting argued below. If the highlighted portion of your evidence is word salad and/or changes the author's intent when read in isolation, I will stop the round and immediately vote on an ethical violation. This means a loss and minimum allowable points to the offending team. National circuit evidence standards are atrocious and need to be changed. This may be quixotic, but so be it.
Yes, email chain.
I have changed the email address I use for email chains. The old one will still work, but please use firstname.lastname@example.org going forward
New 2021-10-02: Your evidence highlighting should read in grammatically correct sentences when read in isolation. I will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis (generally, there should be a legitimate argumentative purpose for doing otherwise).
None of the older profile information below is out-of-date, feel free to refer to it for additional information.
I'm definitely an older coach but I like a lot of what K debate has brought to the community. I'm unique among the Rosemount coaching staff in that respect.
I most enjoy judging rounds where the aff and the neg have an underlying agreement on how the round should look. I prefer to judge either policy v policy debates or K v K debates.
* I prefer that the negative engage with the affirmative. The better the specificity of link arguments, the more likely the negative is to win their chosen arguments.
* I roughly think of my judging philosophy as "least intervention". My hope is to try to not do any work for debaters, but this is the ideal and rarely occurs in practice. So I generally look at what I would need to do to vote for either team and choose the outcome that requires the least work on my part. I do my best to not interject personal beliefs into the debate, but realize this isn't always possible.
* I don't like most process or actor CPs, but often vote for them. When neg CP lit says a topic should be left to the states, that lit never means "all 50 states act in concert" but instead usually means "states should be free to not do anything". Affs could do a lot with this, but never do.
* I despise politics DAs, but again find myself voting for them. In 30+ years of debating and judging these, I think I've heard one scenario that had any semblance of truth to it. I think negative over-simplification of the political process and the horse-race mentality engendered by these DAs has been bad for debate and bad for society as a whole. But again, I rarely see Affs making the arguments necessary to win these sort of claims.
* I have a debate-level knowledge of most Kritiks. My knowledge of the literature is about 20 years old at this point and I rarely cut cards for my teams. What this means if you're running a K (either aff or neg): assume that I'm a judge who is willing to listen to (and often vote for) what you say, but don't assume any specific knowledge. This is particularly important at the impact level. If I have a warranted and detailed explanation as to why your model of debate is essential,
* In debates between similarly skilled teams, Framework debates usually come down to "is the aff in the direction of the resolution?". If so, I usually vote aff. Otherwise, neg. If you're a policy team, you're probably better off going for even a Cap K in front of me than for Framework.
* Even in person, you're not as clear as you think you are. This is doubly so in online debates. Slow down a little and you'll likely be happier with my decision.
* It's come to my attention that some teams have shied away from going for theory because of what I've written below. If you believe your violation is true, go ahead and go for it. My preference is to decide debates on the issues, but if I can get good clash on a theory or T flow, that's OK too.
* Disclosure theory is exempt from the preceding bullet. If you can win the debate on disclosure theory, there are better arguments you can make that you can also win on.
* If you're a big school on the circuit where I'm judging you, running a "small schools DA" will likely see speaker points reduced.
* I don't like a 6+ off neg strategy. If you're obviously far more skilled than your opponents and still do this, speaker points will suffer. Regardless, I'm probably more likely to vote on condo bad or perf con than most judges (but see everything else I've written on theory)
* I love good topicality debates. I also love creative (but defensible) affirmative interpretations of the topic. I default to "good is good enough"/reasonability for the aff on topicality, but can be persuaded to vote for the competing interps model. Just saying "reasonability invites judge intervention" isn't enough though. Believe it or not, so does competing interps.
I actively coached from 1993 until 2001 before largely leaving the activity for a dozen years. I got back into coaching in 2013 and have been in the activity since then. My time away from the activity proved to profoundly affect the way I view debates.
I view debate as an educational activity and my primary responsibility as a judge as facilitating that education. It is important to note what this means and what it does not mean. What it does not mean is that I like arguments that impact in "voting issue for reasons of education." Leaving aside the irony of the lack of educational value in those sorts of arguments, I am not saying that I will vote for the "more educational" team, whatever that means. What I do mean is that the round can be a very educational environment and my position is to assist that as best as I can. Argumentatively, I am looking for well-reasoned logical arguments, preferentially with strong evidential support. Counterplans which are contingent on successful consultation of any sort are almost always lacking here. Almost all politics DAs that I've ever heard have this problem as well. You're going to have a much easier time if you run a DA, CP, or a K with a solid literature-based link story.
Theory and Analytics: In-round abuse is more persuasive than potential abuse. I have a large presumption against voting on theory, although I have voted on it. To win on theory, you'll probably need to spend substantial time in the last rebuttal and offer a persuasive story. SLOW DOWN when arguing theory. Give me a tag that I can get on my flow and then explain it. Five consecutive four word responses will likely get the first one or two responses flowed, and the rest missed. If it's not on my flow, I can't vote on it. The explanation is the most important part of the argument.
Topicality: Topicality stems from plan action. Placing the resolution in plan text or looking to solvency do not prove topicality. My default view is that if the affirmative interpretation provides an equitable division of ground and plan meets their interpretation, they will win the argument. Generally speaking, if the negative wins topicality, they win the debate. I have been persuaded to vote contrary to my default views in the past. The negative need not win that their interpretation is best for debate, but it helps.
Non-traditional Affirmatives: I don't insist that the affirmative run a plan but any planless aff better be prepared to explain how they engage the resolution. I'm much more willing to accept a non-traditional interpretation of the terms of the resolution than I am to accept an aff that completely ignores the resolution or runs counter to the direction of the resolution.
Evidence sharing/email chains: As of 2017, I have updated my philosophy on these. I would now like to get all speech docs that are shared. Please add me to any email chain using email@example.com. Please note that I will not use the speech doc to help flow your speech.
One notable change for the worse over the last decade is the terrible practices that paperless debating has fostered. I approve of paperless debating in the abstract and in a good deal of its implementation, but teams have taken to receiving a speech doc before the speech as a crutch and flowing and line by line debate have suffered as a result. I'm not happy with the blatant prep time theft that pervades the activity, but I recognize that any gesture that I make will be futile. I will take action in particularly egregious cases by deducting from prep time (or speech time, if no prep remains).
Please ask before rounds for clarification.
Lincoln Douglas Philosophy:
I judge far more policy than LD, but I'm not a stranger to judging or coaching LD. I have no predispositions toward any particular style, so largely you should feel free to do what you're most comfortable with. I will not vote for a policy argument just because I'm predominantly a policy judge, although I will listen to them. Be sure to offer full explanations. LD time formats can be challenging, prioritize explanations over evidence. Anything above that isn't specific to policy will apply in LD as well. Your explanations are the most important part of the debate.
Updated 1/9/2019 to add LD