UMN High School Invitational
2022 — Online, MN/US
Friday Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hello! I've been the Teacher Coach at Central for the better part of the last eight years. I have no prior debate experience, and as such I tend to judge only Rookie and Novice rounds. Here are a few things you should know:
-If you're reading unclearly, I'll ask you to slow down. If I can't understand what you're saying, I won't put your arguments on my flow
-Clash is extremely important. Make sure you are able to argue directly against what your opponent is saying
-I'm old school. If you're the aff, you need to win all stock issues
-You need to be really, REALLY convincing (basically perfect) to argue T against a plan from the packet
-If your terminal impact is nuclear war or extinction I will be very curious as to your thought process. And no, nuclear weapons being used DOES NOT lead to total extinction. If it did, we'd be extinct
Have a good one, and I'll see you in round.
My view of debate is more inclined toward practical policy or at least a test of a value/philosophical approach which is well grounded in the theory base on which it is derived. Ideally the advocated policy or philosophy should be able to be made actionable, preferably with a clear path toward policy oriented and specifically definable actions.
I have a hard time buying impacts which take too many steps for the initial contention to the final end results. The logic may exist to connect the dots, but every political issue does not cause nuclear war even if your six cards you read have the transitory logic to prove it.
I like to see a clear line-by-line on your arguments. All arguments, evidence and positions have weakness and I appreciate your ability to identify those limitations and point them out.
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
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. "
Background - I was a policy debater at Rosemount high school for four years, including being a policy debate captain my junior and senior years. While at Rosemount, I debated at both local and national circuit tournaments. I am previously worked as a coach at Farmington High School in (you guessed it) Farmington Minnesota. Presently, I'm in Moorhead at MSUM. I have judged high school tournaments before, mostly policy, but also a tiny bit of LD and like two rounds of PF.
To answer this ahead of time---yes, I want to be on your email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Erica. Please call me Erica.
I use they/them pronouns.
As far as other "pre-round" questions go: Speed is fine. Tag-team CX is fine (so long as you let your partner answer and ask their own questions.) If you are Maverick, please let me know, and we can come up with the appropriate accommodations for you.
General Philosophy: I believe debate is, at core, an intellectual game where nothing "real" happens. However, that game has to have rules in order for us to play the game, and those rules need to be fair. Left to my own devices, I am a liberal policy-maker where I will weigh advantages vs. disadvantages and where I will look at my flow to see which team provided the better REASONS to believe their interpretation of the story of the round. Also, simply because you read a card that is a page long does not mean that you have provided a warrant for your argument. You have simply read me a really long card. Just because you say something doesn't instantly make it true.
I believe it is your job to explain to me what the warrant is in the argument you are making. I am most impressed by debaters who take the time to explain their position, analyze how their position interacts with the other positions in the round, and why their interpretation of this interaction is superior.
I am a fan of debaters being good human beings. I think it should go without saying, but being kind, polite and remembering that we are all people goes a long way in my book. If you are debating a less experienced team, there is no glory in crushing them into the ground. Remember, you were also inexperienced at one point.
In addition, I am telling you now: you need to respect the pronouns of the other people in the round. I will not stand for any racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, fatphobia or ableism in this space. I do not tolerate arguments that are harmful, disrespectful, malicious or any argument that has a directly adverse effect on your opponents. Period.
I will treat you with respect, and as so, I expect you to treat your opponents, your partner, and your judge (me), with respect.
While I am a policy-maker and they aren't my favorite, I will entertain most Ks. I am good with Cap/Neolib, Security, and the like. High theory K's are more iffy, not because I think they're stupid or invalid, but simply because I have difficulty understanding them. I will listen to them, but you had better do a really really good job of explaining them to me. I never really debated high theory Kritiks, so my knowledge of them is somewhat limited. Do with that information what you will.
Now, if you do run a K, please know what you're talking about. I take issue with debaters who simply read Ks to read Ks and who have zero understanding of the authors intent or ideology. I promise you, I can usually tell. Also, please don't try to guilt me into voting for your K because it is the "right thing to do", I really really don't vibe with that. Another big pet-peeve of mine is Ks that are full of flowery language and complex rhetoric but that do nothing. I believe that, if you do run a K, your alt has to have some kind of actual (tangible?) effect. I do accept mindset shifts (as they can potentially cause an actual change) but they need to have some kind of way to prove to me that said shift will take actually take place.
If you are running any identity-politics arguments, you need to be kind.
I like debaters who give me roadmaps. Please give me a roadmap.
Bonus points if you make me laugh.
If you have other questions, or concerns, please ask. I am always here to help!
Head Coach--Farmington High School (2020-date)
Co-JV/Varsity coach at Rosemount High School for 6 years (2014-2020)
Head Coach--Forest Lake, MN (1995-2000)
Assistant Coach--Mankato East (1993-1995)
Concordia College (1989-1993) (NDT twice)
Rosemount High School (1985-1989)
Staff--Concordia College Debate Institute, Minnesota Debate and Advocacy Workshop (MDAW)
Committee to develop the Novice Packet in Minnesota
To answer this ahead of time---yes, I want to be on your email chain. Ask me for my email.
Generally more tech>truth. I debated in a world where the K was brand new and my partner and I won a lot of rounds on rhetoric K’s. K’s that relate to more traditional political concepts make the most sense for me (Cap, Biopower, Neolib, Abolition, Feminism, IR, etc) in the context of a policy debate round. I was not a philosophy major and I don’t get all excited about the nuances of Baudrillard, or other high theory topics. Lots of big, academic words don’t impress me and honestly, I probably don’t understand them in the same way you do so if you choose to run args like that, know that I probably don’t get, or care, about the distinctions you are making and I don’t really see how or why that arg is relevant to the debate round.
Policy maker at heart--I’d rather think about the consequences of plan than about academic discussion of high theory
If I don’t understand your argument, I don’t want to vote on it. Signposting will probably help you here.
If I can’t understand you (spreading, etc), I can’t vote on it
I won‘t judge kick for you. It was your strategy, not mine.
In this technological world, Disclosure Theory args strike me as a whine unless there is some sort of egregious situation that occurs.
I am a teacher and I look at debate through that lens. Education is the main reason why I do this activity.
I believe that the argument construction provided by Toulmin (claim/data/warrant) is the bedrock upon which competitive debate has been built.
I don't like judge intervention, you should be telling me how to vote in the final two rebuttals.
Online debate: I have coached and run tournaments this fall on line. I have also taught online both this past spring and this fall. However, I have not judged a lot this fall because of tabbing tournaments so I am not “expert” but I understand enough to not be intimidated by it. I do know that smart debaters will sacrifice a degree or two of speed in order to improve the clarity. I will tell you if you are not clear. I don’t want folks talking over each other during cross-ex. I will be patient with tech, but also mindful that we have a schedule and it is best to stick to that. If tech issues become extreme, I’ll ask the tab room how they want to proceed. I will probably not have my camera on so get verbal confirmation that I am there and ready to go before you start speaking.
I am also a fan of debaters being good human beings. Being kind, polite and remembering that we are all humans goes a long way in my book. If you are debating a less experienced team, there is no glory in crushing them into the ground. Remember, you were inexperienced at one point, as well. Additionally, I believe people should be consistent, both in terms of their arguments and, in the world of the K, in their advocacy. Post-Rounding me is also not cool. My decision is my decision and that will be your privilege when you are a judge.
If you have other questions, or concerns, please ask.
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.
Past useful info: I debated in high school in Kansas (Shawnee Mission East, 1995-1998), and in college for Macalester (1998-2001) (all policy save a semester of HS LD and rogue college parli tournaments). I coached at Blaine High School (2000-2002), then the Blake School (2002-2003), some freelancing for Mankato West, Shawnee Mission East, and others (2003-2007), then for Como Park briefly when I came back to work for the UDL (2007-2008) and some side helping as needed at St. Paul Central. I coached college at the University at Buffalo and the University of Rochester (2003-2007). I ran logistics for the MNUDL from 2007-2011, when I graduated from law school and became a lawyer. I have judged 5-10 middle school or high school debates a year since 2011, and judged 25 policy debates last year (2022-2023).
General notes: (1) don't be a jerk; (2) I don't care about tag-team cross-ex, just don't yell at each other; (3) don't steal prep; (4) debate is fun and I'm so glad you get to experience doing it, and I'm honored to get to participate with you.
Argument notes after judging at two TOC-qualifying tournaments after a 15-year hiatus: debates are fundamentally the same as the way they were when I stopped judging a while back. I have no problem keeping up with you all, though on computers with speech docs I'm still working out how to flow and listen and read evidence all at the same time. I find the practice of interspersing theory arguments with substantive arguments a little hard to follow at times, especially when you put the substance parts in your speech docs but not the fast theory parts. If you want me to actually vote on these arguments or use them as direction on how to evaluate other arguments, like a permutation or a CP (instead of just using them for the time tradeoff or to make sure you don't drop something) you would be well served to make sure I can understand you.
If someone who knew me a long time ago is giving you advice on how to debate in front of me, I will say that I am fundamentally the same person I have been since my very first day of debate practice but that the main way that I have noticed that it feels like I think about debates differently now is that I am less inclined and a harder sell on arguments that are either blippy theory or fundamentally stupid (and recognized by all parties as such). I am a hard sell, for example, on the concept that the cap kritik that people read when I was in high school is still cheating 25+ years later, or that dumb unexplained voters mean that teams should lose absent some compelling justification.
BUT, and MOST CRITICALLY: Fundamentally, I don't care what arguments you read. I want you to do what you think you do best and have a good time doing it. I would DRAMATICALLY prefer to watch a good debate on your preferred argument than a bad one on stuff you think I'd like. I am generally very well read and aware of stuff going on in the world, but have a humanities/literature/law school and not a foreign policy/science background. I have general proclivities and stuff I know better than other stuff or literature I've actually read (and I have a fairly low threshold for gendered/racist/hate-filled/exclusionary behavior and/or language), but it's your debate, and I will do my absolute best only to evaluate the arguments that get made in the debate round. If you have questions about specific arguments, I'm happy to answer them.
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.
Chicago '05; Minnesota Law '14
For e-mail chains (which you should always use to accelerate evidence sharing): email@example.com
2023-24 rounds (as of 12/1): 31
Aff winning percentage: .581
("David" or "Mr. Coates" to you. I'll know you haven't bothered to read my paradigm if you call me "judge," which isn't my name).
I will not vote on disclosure theory. I will consider RVIs on disclosure theory based solely on the fact that you introduced it in the first place.
I will not vote on claims predicated on your opponents' rate of delivery and will probably nuke your speaker points if all you can come up with is "fast debate is bad" in response to faster opponents. Explain why their arguments are wrong, but don't waste my time complaining about how you didn't have enough time to answer bad arguments because...oh, wait, you wasted two minutes of a constructive griping about how you didn't like your opponents' speed.
I will not vote on frivolous "arguments" criticizing your opponent's sartorial choices (think "shoe theory" or "formal clothes theory" or "skirt length," which still comes up sometimes), and I will likely catapult your points into the sun for wasting my time and insulting your opponents with such nonsense.
You will probably receive a lecture if you highlight down your evidence to such an extent that it no longer contains grammatical sentences.
Allegations of ethical violations I determine not to have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt will result in an automatic loss with the minimum allowable speaker points for the team introducing them.
Allegations of rule violations not supported by the plain text of a rule will make me seriously consider awarding you a loss with no speaker points.
I will actively intervene against new arguments in the last speech of the round, no matter what the debate format. New arguments in the 2AR are the work of the devil and I will not reward you for saving your best arguments for a speech after which they can't be answered. I will entertain claims that new arguments in the 2AR are automatic voting issues for the negative or that they justify a verbal 3NR. Turnabout is fair play.
I will not entertain claims that your opponents should not be allowed to answer your arguments because of personal circumstances beyond their control. Personally abusive language about, or directed at, your opponents will have me looking for reasons to vote against you.
Someone I know has reminded me of this: I will not evaluate any argument suggesting that I must "evaluate the debate after X speech" unless "X speech" is the 2AR. Where do you get off thinking that you can deprive your opponent of speaking time?
I'm okay with slow-walking you through how my decision process works or how I think you can improve your strategic decision making or get better speaker points, but I've no interest, at this point in my career, in relitigating a round I've already decided you've lost. "What would be a better way to make this argument?" will get me actively trying to help you. "Why didn't you vote on this (vague claim)?" will just make me annoyed.
I have been an active coach, primarily of policy debate (though I'm now doing active work only on the LD side), since the 2000-01 season (the year of the privacy topic). Across divisions and events, I generally judge between 100 and 120 rounds a year.
My overall approach to debate is extremely substance dominant. I don't really care what substantive arguments you make as long as you clash with your opponents and fulfill your burdens vis-à-vis the resolution. I will not import my own understanding of argumentative substance to bail you out when you're confronting bad substance--if the content of your opponents' arguments is fundamentally false, they should be especially easy for you to answer without any help from me. (Contrary to what some debaters have mistakenly believed in the past, this does not mean that I want to listen to you run wipeout or spark--I'd actually rather hear you throw down on inherency or defend "the value is justice and the criterion is justice"--but merely that I think that debaters who can't think their way through incredibly stupid arguments are ineffective advocates who don't deserve to win).
My general default (and the box I've consistently checked on paradigm forms) is that of a fairly conventional policymaker. Absent other guidance from the teams involved, I will weigh the substantive advantages and disadvantages of a topical plan against those of the status quo or a competitive counterplan. I'm amenable to alternative evaluative frameworks but generally require these to be developed with more depth and clarity than most telegraphic "role of the ballot" claims usually provide.
THOUGHTS APPLICABLE TO ALL DEBATE FORMATS
That said, I do have certain predispositions and opinions about debate practice that may affect how you choose to execute your preferred strategy:
1. I am skeptical to the point of fairly overt hostility toward most non-resolutional theory claims emanating from either side. Aff-initiated debates about counterplan and kritik theory are usually vague, devoid of clash, and nearly impossible to flow. Neg-initiated "framework" "arguments" usually rest on claims that are either unwarranted or totally implicit. I understand that the affirmative should defend a topical plan, but what I don't understand after "A. Our interpretation is that the aff must run a topical plan; B. Standards" is why the aff's plan isn't topical. My voting on either sort of "argument" has historically been quite rare. It's always better for the neg to run T than "framework," and it's usually better for the aff to use theory claims to justify their own creatively abusive practices ("conditional negative fiat justifies intrinsicness permutations, so here are ten intrinsicness permutations") than to "argue" that they're independent voting issues.
1a. That said, I can be merciless toward negatives who choose to advance contradictory conditional "advocacies" in the 1NC should the affirmative choose to call them out. The modern-day tendency to advance a kritik with a categorical link claim together with one or more counterplans which link to the kritik is not one which meets with my approval. There was a time when deliberately double-turning yourself in the 1NC amounted to an automatic loss, but the re-advent of what my late friend Ross Smith would have characterized as "unlimited, illogical conditionality" has unfortunately put an end to this and caused negative win percentages to swell--not because negatives are doing anything intelligent, but because affirmatives aren't calling them out on it. I'll put it this way--I have awarded someone a 30 for going for "contradictory conditional 'advocacies' are illegitimate" in the 2AR.
2. Offensive arguments should have offensive links and impacts. "The 1AC didn't talk about something we think is important, therefore it doesn't solve the root cause of every problem in the world" wouldn't be considered a reason to vote negative if it were presented on the solvency flow, where it belongs, and I fail to understand why you should get extra credit for wasting time developing your partial case defense with less clarity and specificity than an arch-traditional stock issue debater would have. Generic "state bad" links on a negative state action topic are just as bad as straightforward "links" of omission in this respect.
3. Kritik arguments should NOT depend on my importing special understandings of common terms from your authors, with whose viewpoints I am invariably unfamiliar or in disagreement. For example, the OED defines "problematic" as "presenting a problem or difficulty," so while you may think you're presenting round-winning impact analysis when you say "the affirmative is problematic," all I hear is a non-unique observation about how the aff, like everything else in life, involves difficulties of some kind. I am not hostile to critical debates--some of the best debates I've heard involved K on K violence, as it were--but I don't think it's my job to backfill terms of art for you, and I don't think it's fair to your opponents for me to base my decision in these rounds on my understanding of arguments which have been inadequately explained.
3a. I guess we're doing this now...most of the critical literature with which I'm most familiar involves pretty radical anti-statism. You might start by reading "No Treason" and then proceeding to authors like Hayek, Hazlitt, Mises, and Rothbard. I know these are arguments a lot of my colleagues really don't like, but they're internally consistent, so they have that advantage.
3a(1). Section six of "No Treason," the one with which you should really start, is available at the following link: https://oll-resources.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/oll3/store/titles/2194/Spooner_1485_Bk.pdf so get off your cans and read it already. It will greatly help you answer arguments based on, inter alia, "the social contract."
3a(2). If you genuinely think that something at the tournament is making you unsafe, you may talk to me about it and I will see if there is a solution. Far be it from me to try to make you unable to compete.
4. The following solely self-referential "defenses" of your deliberate choice to run an aggressively non-topical affirmative are singularly unpersuasive:
a. "Topicality excludes our aff and that's bad because it excludes our aff." This is not an argument. This is just a definition of "topicality." I won't cross-apply your case and then fill in argumentative gaps for you.
b. "There is no topical version of our aff." This is not an answer. This is a performative concession of the violation.
c. "The topic forces us to defend the state and the state is racist/sexist/imperialist/settler colonial/oppressive toward 'bodies in the debate space.'" I'm quite sure that most of your authors would advocate, at least in the interim, reducing fossil fuel consumption, and debates about how that might occur are really interesting to all of us, or at least to me. (You might take a look at this intriguing article about a moratorium on extraction on federal lands: https://www.americanprogress.org/article/the-oil-industrys-grip-on-public-lands-and-waters-may-be-slowing-progress-toward-energy-independence/
d. "Killing debate is good." Leaving aside the incredible "intellectual" arrogance of this statement, what are you doing here if you believe this to be true? You could overtly "kill debate" more effectively were you to withhold your "contributions" and depress participation numbers, which would have the added benefit of sparing us from having to listen to you.
e. "This is just a wrong forum argument." And? There is, in fact, a FORUM expressly designed to allow you to subject your audience to one-sided speeches about any topic under the sun you "feel" important without having to worry about either making an argument or engaging with an opponent. Last I checked, that FORUM was called "oratory." Try it next time.
f. "The topic selection process is unfair/disenfranchises 'bodies in the debate space.'" In what universe is it more fair for you to get to impose a debate topic on your opponents without consulting them in advance than for you to abide by the results of a topic selection process to which all students were invited to contribute and in which all students were invited to vote?
g. "Fairness is bad." Don't tempt me to vote against you for no reason to show you why fairness is, in fact, good.
5. Many of you are genuinely bad at organizing your speeches. Fix that problem by keeping the following in mind:
a. Off-case flows should be clearly labeled the first time they're introduced. It's needlessly difficult to keep track of what you're trying to do when you expect me to invent names for your arguments for you. I know that some hipster kid "at" some "online debate institute" taught you that it was "cool" to introduce arguments in the 1N with nothing more than "next off" to confuse your opponents, but remember that you're also confusing your audience when you do that, and I, unlike your opponents, have the power to deduct speaker points for poor organization if "next off--Biden disadvantage" is too hard for you to spit out. I'm serious about this.
b. Transitions between individual arguments should be audible. It's not that difficult to throw a "next" in there and it keeps you from sounding like this: "...wreck their economies and set the stage for an era of international confrontation that would make the Cold War look like Woodstock extinction Mead 92 what if the global economy stagnates...." The latter, because it fails to distinguish between the preceding card and subsequent tag, is impossible to flow, and it's not my job to look at your speech document to impose organization with which you couldn't be bothered.
c. Your arguments should line up with those of your opponents. "Embedded clash" flows extremely poorly for me. I will not automatically pluck warrants out of your four-minute-long scripted kritik overview and then apply them for you, nor will I try to figure out what, exactly, a fragment like "yes, link" followed by a minute of unintelligible, undifferentiated boilerplate is supposed to answer.
6. I don't mind speed as long as it's clear and purposeful:
a. Many of you don't project your voices enough to compensate for the poor acoustics of the rooms where debates often take place. I'll help you out by yelling "clearer" or "louder" at you no more than twice if I can't make out what you're saying, but after that you're on your own.
b. There are only two legitimate reasons for speed: Presenting more arguments and presenting more argumentative development. Fast delivery should not be used as a crutch for inefficiency. If you're using speed merely to "signpost" by repeating vast swaths of your opponents' speeches or to read repetitive cards tagged "more evidence," I reserve the right to consider persuasive delivery in how I assign points, meaning that you will suffer deductions you otherwise would not have had you merely trimmed the fat and maintained your maximum sustainable rate.
7: I have a notoriously low tolerance for profanity and will not hesitate to severely dock your points for language I couldn't justify to the host school's teachers, parents, or administrators, any of whom might actually overhear you. When in doubt, keep it clean. Don't jeopardize the activity's image any further by failing to control your language when you have ample alternative fora for profane forms of self-expression.
8: For crying out loud, it is not too hard to respect your opponents' preferred pronouns (and "they" is always okay in policy debate because it's presumed that your opponents agree about their arguments), but I will start vocally correcting you if you start engaging in behavior I've determined is meant to be offensive in this context. You don't have to do that to gain some sort of perceived competitive advantage and being that intentionally alienating doesn't gain you any friends.
9. I guess that younger judges engage in more paradigmatic speaker point disclosure than I have in the past, so here are my thoughts: Historically, the arithmetic mean of my speaker points any given season has averaged out to about 27.9. I think that you merit a 27 if you've successfully used all of your speech time without committing round-losing tactical errors, and your points can move up from there by making gutsy strategic decisions, reading creative arguments, and using your best public speaking skills. Of course, your points can decline for, inter alia, wasting time, insulting your opponents, or using offensive language. I've "awarded" a loss-15 for a false allegation of an ethics violation and a loss-18 for a constructive full of seriously inappropriate invective. Don't make me go there...tackle the arguments in front of you head-on and without fear or favor and I can at least guarantee you that I'll evaluate the content you've presented fairly.
NOTES FOR LINCOLN-DOUGLAS!
PREF SHORTCUT: stock ≈ policy > K > framework > Tricks > Theory
I have historically spent much more time judging policy than LD and my specific topic knowledge is generally restricted to arguments I've helped my LD debaters prepare. In the context of most contemporary LD topics, which mostly encourage recycling arguments which have been floating around in policy debate for decades, this shouldn't affect you very much. With more traditionally phrased LD resolutions ("A just society ought to value X over Y"), this might direct your strategy more toward straight impact comparison than traditional V/C debating.
Also, my specific preferences about how _substantive_ argumentation should be conducted are far less set in stone than they would be in a policy debate. I've voted for everything from traditional value/criterion ACs to policy-style ACs with plan texts to fairly outright critical approaches...and, ab initio, I'm fine with more or less any substantive attempt by the negative to engage whatever form the AC takes, subject to the warnings about what constitutes a link outlined above. (Not talking about something is not a link). Engage your opponent's advocacy and engage the topic and you should be okay.
N.B.: All of the above comments apply only to _substantive_ argumentation. See the section on "theory" in in the overview above if you want to understand what I think about those "arguments," and square it. If winning that something your opponent said is "abusive" is a major part of your strategy, you're going to have to make some adjustments if you want to win in front of me. I can't guarantee that I'll fully understand the basis for your theory claims, and I tend to find theory responses with any degree of articulation more persuasive than the claim that your opponent should lose because of some arguably questionable practice, especially if whatever your opponent said was otherwise substantively responsive. I also tend to find "self-help checks abuse" responses issue-dispositive more often than not. That is to say, if there is something you could have done to prevent the impact to the alleged "abuse," and you failed to do it, any resulting "time skew," "strat skew," or adverse impact on your education is your own fault, and I don't think you should be rewarded with a ballot for helping to create the very condition you're complaining about.
I have voted on theory "arguments" unrelated to topicality in Lincoln-Douglas debates precisely zero times. Do you really think you're going to be the first to persuade me to pull the trigger?
Addendum: To quote my colleague Anthony Berryhill, with whom I paneled the final round of the Isidore Newman Round Robin: " "Tricks debate" isn't debate. Deliberate attempts to hide arguments, mislead your opponent, be unethical, lie...etc. to screw your opponent will be received very poorly. If you need tricks and lying to win, either "git' good" (as the gamers say) or prefer a different judge." I say: I would rather hear you go all-in on spark or counterintuitive internal link turns than be subjected to grandstanding about how your opponent "dropped" some "tricky" half-sentence theory or burden spike. If you think top-loading these sorts of "tricks" in lieu of properly developing substance in the first constructive is a good idea, you will be sorely disappointed with your speaker points and you will probably receive a helpful refresher on how I absolutely will not tolerate aggressive post-rounding. Everyone's value to life increases when you fill the room with your intelligence instead of filling it with your trickery.
AND SPECIFIC NOTES FOR PUBLIC FORUM
NB: After the latest timing disaster, in which a public forum round which was supposed to take 40 minutes took over two hours and wasted the valuable time of the panel, I am seriously considering imposing penalties on teams who make "off-time" requests for evidence or needless requests for original articles or who can't locate a piece of evidence requested by their opponents during crossfire. This type of behavior--which completely disregards the timing norms found in every other debate format--is going to kill this activity because no member of the "public" who has other places to be is interested in judging an event where this type of temporal elongation of rounds takes place.
NB: I actually don't know what "we outweigh on scope" is supposed to mean. I've had drilled into my head that there are four elements to impact calculus: timeframe, probability, magnitude, and hierarchy of values. I'd rather hear developed magnitude comparison (is it worse to cause a lot of damage to very few people or very little damage to a lot of people? This comes up most often in debates about agricultural subsidies of all things) than to hear offsetting, poorly warranted claims about "scope."
NB: In addition to my reflections about improper citation practices infra, I think that evidence should have proper tags. It's really difficult to flow you, or even to follow the travel of your constructive, when you have a bunch of two-sentence cards bleeding into each other without any transitions other than "Larry '21," "Jones '21," and "Anderson '21."
NB: The regrettable PF habit of not using explicit taglines for your evidence severely impedes the travel of your speeches. I really would rather hear tag-cite-text than whatever you're doing. Thus: "Further, economic decline causes nuclear war. Mead '92" rather than "Mead '92 furthers...".
1. You should remember that, notwithstanding its pretensions to being for the "public," this is a debate event. Allowing it to degenerate into talking past each other with dueling oratories past the first pro and first con makes it more like a speech event than I would like, and practically forces me to inject my own thoughts on the merits of substantive arguments into my evaluative process. I can't guarantee that you'll like the results of that, so:
2. Ideally, the second pro/second con/summary stage of the debate will be devoted to engaging in substantive clash (per the activity guidelines, whether on the line-by-line or through introduction of competing principles, which one can envision as being somewhat similar to value clash in a traditional LD round if one wants an analogy) and the final foci will be devoted to resolving the substantive clash.
3. Please review the sections on "theory" in the policy and LD philosophies above. I'm not interested in listening to rule-lawyering about how fast your opponents are/whether or not it's "fair"/whether or not it's "public" for them to phrase an argument a certain way. I'm doubly unenthused about listening to theory "debates" where the team advancing the theory claim doesn't understand the basis for it.* These "debates" are painful enough to listen to in policy and LD, but they're even worse to suffer through in PF because there's less speech time during which to resolve them. Unless there's a written rule prohibiting them (e.g., actually advocating specific plan/counterplan texts), I presume that all arguments are theoretically legitimate, and you will be fighting an uphill battle you won't like trying to persuade me otherwise. You're better off sticking to substance (or, better yet, using your opposition's supposedly dubious stance to justify meting out some "abuse" of your own) than getting into a theoretical "debate" you simply won't have enough time to win, especially given my strong presumption against this style of "argumentation."
*I've heard this misunderstanding multiple times from PF debaters who should have known better: "The resolution isn't justified because some policy in the status quo will solve the 'pro' harms" is not, in fact, a counterplan. It's an inherency argument. There is no rule saying the "con" can't redeploy policy stock issues in an appropriately "public" fashion and I know with absolute metaphysical certitude that many of the initial framers of the public forum rules are big fans of this general school of argumentation.
4. If it's in the final focus, it should have been in the summary. I will patrol the second focus for new arguments. If it's in the summary and you want me to consider it in my decision, you'd better mention it in the final focus. It is definitely not my job to draw lines back to arguments for you. Your defense on the case flow is not "sticky," as some of my PF colleagues put it, as far as I'm concerned.
5. While I pay attention to crossfire, I don't flow it. It's not intended to be a period for initiating arguments, so if you want me to consider something that happened in crossfire in my decision, you have to mention it in your side's first subsequent speech.
6. You should cite authors by name. "Harvard," as an institution, doesn't conduct studies of issues that aren't solely internal Harvard matters, so you sound awful when you attribute your study about student loans to "Harvard." "According to Professor Dynan of Harvard" (yes, she's a Kennedy School professor who wrote a famous study about student loan forgiveness in 2020) doesn't take much longer to say than "according to Harvard," and has the considerable advantage of accuracy. (I am going to keep updating this statement for every new topic until you people stop the "according to prestigious university" citation practices).
7. You all need to improve your time management skills and stop proliferating dead time if you'd like rounds to end at a civilized hour.
a. The extent to which PF debaters talk over the buzzer is unfortunate. When the speech time stops, that means that you stop speaking. "Finishing [your] sentence" does not mean going 45 seconds over time, which happens a lot. I will not flow anything you say after my timer goes off.
b. You people really need to streamline your "off-time" evidence exchanges. These are getting ridiculous and seem mostly like excuses for stealing prep time. I recently had to sit through a pre-crossfire set of requests for evidence which lasted for seven minutes. This is simply unacceptable. If you have your laptops with you, why not borrow a round-acceleration tactic from your sister formats and e-mail your speech documents to one another? Even doing this immediately after a speech would be much more efficient than the awkward fumbling around in which you usually engage.
c. This means that you should card evidence properly and not force your opponents to dig around a 25-page document for the section you've just summarized during unnecessary dead time. Your sister debate formats have had the "directly quoting sources" thing nailed dead to rights for decades. Why can't you do the same? Minimally, you should be able to produce the sections of articles you're purporting to summarize immediately when asked.
d. You don't need to negotiate who gets to question first in crossfire. I shouldn't have to waste precious seconds listening to you ask your opponents' permission to ask a question. It's simple to understand that the first-speaking team should always ask, and the second-speaking team always answer, the first question...and after that, you may dialogue.
e. If you're going to insist on giving an "off-time road map," it should take you no more than five seconds and be repeated no more than zero times. This is PF...do you seriously believe we can't keep track of TWO flows?
Was sich überhaupt sagen lässt, lässt sich klar sagen; und wovon man nicht reden kann, darüber muss man schweigen.
Email for chains: firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email as well if you have any questions.
Hi all! I did 2 years of LD and 2 years of policy in high school (so I generally judge both), graduated 2019, and have been judging regularly during the debate season since then. I graduated recently from DePaul University in Chicago.
Basic things: generally fine with whatever round you want to have as long as both teams agree. Ok with tag-teaming, flex prep, sitting down or standing, spreading or not spreading. I am not super strict on debate formalities and will only judge you on the substance of the debate (and if you are mean to your opponent - that will hurt you!). Include me on the chain or don’t, I don’t mind either way.
The most important thing to know is I would prefer to hear whatever case you ENJOY running and are comfortable with. Though I love weird and interesting cases, if you would rather run a stock arg, I have no issue voting for you! Unless an argument is egregiously overtly offensive, I will vote for it if you win it. I am not a judge that will automatically throw out any type of argument regardless of my own feelings about it.
Don’t be mean or talk over your opponent (policy: this includes discussing with your partner during opponent speeches, please don’t do that, pass notes if you must). Explain your arguments well (don’t just read cards, explain how they work together to make a point). I LOVE a well done summary of the round, at the end of every speech if you have time, but most critically in final speeches. Slow down for tags and signposting.
More specific stuff:
I’m pretty familiar with common philosophy cases in debate and should be able to keep up just fine. I love a good K debate, and even more, I love a good weird case debate (I loved running biopower, wipeout, and timecube in high school). If you go this route, you still have to fully explain and develop your arguments even if you assume I’m familiar with it. Also, PLEASE don’t neglect framing and PLEASE tie your framing into EVERYTHING if you are doing a K debate. Lastly, if an argument hinges on your opponent's identities (race, gender, class, etc) alone, I would just rather you not run it. "They are __ so they can't __" is not a good argument for me.
I don’t like tricky cases. If you win, you win, but it’s much more enjoyable for all of us if you win on substance rather than cheap tricks. As such, topicality and abuse claims are fine with me when warranted. They MUST BE IN A SHELL, you can’t just make a quick abuse claim without explaining and move on. Though I don’t like silly abuse cases, if I’m hearing a really pointed a priori or try or die that completely obliterates opponent ground, it definitely makes me a little sad when someone doesn’t call it out as abusive. So go for it if you must! I support you!
I do think there is a big difference between policy and LD (outside of partners) and do think “we are in X type of debate not Y” is a valid argument sometimes.
In the interest of accessibility in debate, please err on the side of over explaining. It’s so easy to get caught up in debate jargon, and I often see novices competing at higher levels for the first time PANIC when this happens. If you are using debate terms (i.e. PIC, RVI, LAW, condo, etc.) please briefly explain them. If you hear something you don’t understand, never be afraid to ask (I am good with flex prep for this reason), and if someone asks you BE KIND! Everyone is at a different level and debate should always be an educational activity first and foremost.
Last thing: if you are a novice debating for the first time or competing at a higher level for the first time, please don’t panic! We have all been there (and as judges, seen it a million times), we have all looked silly and nervous and lost in rounds before, it’s a part of the process! Just know I understand, I’m not judging you for it, and I’m excited to see you learn and thrive. You got this! If you are at a higher level going against a novice, PLEASE BE NICE AND ENCOURAGING! I have seen these types of rounds go awry too many times. EVERYONE BE NICE!
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.
you can just refer to me as Benjy or Judge no preference. he/him
current college debater at UMN
don't know a crazy amount about the topic so err on the side of overexplaining things especially links and internal links.
I will clear you if I can't understand you but also if you speak so fast I can understand you but not flow every argument you make I can't factor that into my decision at the end of the round. (Presume I can, just be aware of things like pen time and blippy extensions)
condo: pretty high, think 4 is almost always fine, 5 with planks and without cards is where my eyebrows start to raise. 2NC CPing out of a straight turn on a DA is sillyness and instantly turns me into John Katsulas. (okay not literally auto-lose but I almost certainly I err aff in an evenly debated condo 2ar)
K: will vote on it but am a harder sell. I believe there is a burden on the neg to prove a high bar for links and am quite persuadable to clever logical aff explanations of how the perm could function. They don't link just because they chose to be topical (ie usfg or topic generic links) and the aff causing demilitarization could absolutely be a building block for broader marxian revolution. Additionally I'm not the most educated on k lit so you're going to need to explain to me what your cards are saying moreso then just a quick prewritten block at the top of the 2nc.
T: probably more friendly to it then most judges are, am a sucker for clear 2nc extended into 2nr explanations of what the topic looks like under the affs interp. This shouldn't need to be said but if you're going for it go for it 2nr should be 5 mins straight of T.
CP: Love em, think a clever completely analytical counterplan can 100% be the best 2nr. Also probably more friendly to consult/agent generally techy cp's over most. Probably my most unpopular opinion is solves better is a viable reason to vote neg. Well constructed counterplans that have few deficits but avoid the ones you made on case to me means the negative has won the debate.
Generally I believe debate is a game and will prefer things like tech>truth unless I'm told to think otherwise. I'm probably more expressive then I should be with my face if I look confused I am most likely confused.
If you made it this far you probably care about your speaks so give a genuine complement to your opponent on something they did well after the debate and I'll give you a bump.
k affs: probably not going to be the judge you want for this, regardless I will vote on them, I need to be convinced of three main things:
1. There is no topical version of the aff that could be ran under the current resolution, so you need to prove why a tva given by the neg isn't possible. Just because they use the usfg isn't enough to inherently make a tva undebateable.
2. Why a ballot matters: What out of round impacts do you access exclusively through getting the ballot that you don't get if you come in and have the same debate but lose.
3. You wholeheartedly believe in what you're running and that doing so will positively impact the debate space (/world if that's your vibe) not just to get a ballot and dodge clash. If you aren't willing to offer to have an hour and a half discussion about your k aff and coinflip for who gets the round please don't run a k aff in front of me. I strongly believe due to the competitive nature and timed speeches a discussion will achieve far more and I hope that's your goal if you're running a k aff.
Hello! I am good with pretty much any argument as long as it is developed as an actual argument. I much much much prefer clash to avoiding argumentation. Something isnt an argument just because you say it is, it has to actually be an argument. and dont read tricks please :)))))
Please put me on the email - Harvanko11@gmail.com - but I probably wont be reading ev during the debate I enjoy all types of debates as long as they are done well, I will try my best to be tab and adapt to whatever style of debate you are used to rather than having y'all poorly adapting to what i am used to. I am fine with most things as long as you take your opponent seriously. go at like 70% of top speed. I obviously do have opinions on things as everyone does so the rest of this will be trying to be transparent about what those are. None of this is set in stone and I will try my best to rid myself of any ideological bias during the round.
For quick prefs i hate you if u read tricks and will happily evaluate everything else
I enjoy all of them from the most stock aff on a topic to an in-depth process aff as long as they are debated well and I am given a clear story of the advantages/what the aff does to solve them.
Go for it, I would much prefer if the aff had *some* relationship to the topic either being "in the direction" or telling me why I shouldn't like the topic (and more importantly why that means I should vote aff) and I do not really like an aff that is just something that can be entirely recycled every topic. With the framework debate I probably err towards a well thought out counter interp than just straight impact turning everything but both can be viable and winning strategies.
I have at least some experience in most philosophies. I have a hard time believing that all the philosophies that y'all claim don't care about consequences actually don't care about them (kant is an obvious exception). With a policy against a phil debate, I would prefer having some spin as to why your offense is relevant under their framework than just going all in on their framework being wrong or yours being normatively true but either can be a winning strategy.
I really enjoy a good counterplan so long as I know both how it competes and what the net benefit is (competition from net benefits is competition enough but there can be more). I really really enjoy process counterplan debates as long as I understand its distinction from the aff.
Counterplan theory is pretty much the only theory that I am wholeheartedly for. I come from LD originally and have moved into policy so my thoughts on condo aren't really clear yet, for LD I can be easily convinced of either side.
I don't really have any strong opinions about disads. I would like a lot of impact and turns case analysis if the disad is the only thing in the 2nr. I don't think I would be comfortable voting on a disad if the aff has a comparable impact without some level of solvency push by the negative.
I think they are usually pretty good arguments but I feel as though they are often times assumed to come prior for no particular reason and I wont just arbitrarily do that for you. I need a substantial amount of explanation for me to feel comfortable voting on denser theories like afropessimism, baudrillard, lacan etc.
I can get behind most theory debates as long is there is actual abuse. I know I know, reasonability is arbitrary but I think there are affs that clearly are not abusive. I think that fairness is a good internal link but not an impact in and of itself (and I imagine that that will be hard, but not impossible, to convince me of). I actually find myself hating judging theory debates nowadays because they are usually way to fast for me, so with that, I would prefer if you slowed down quite a bit if you're going to be making hella quick analytic args (this is generally true but especially true for theory debates). I really don't like disclosure in most cases unless the aff has been broken but isnt disclosed online and isnt disclosed in person before the round.
Go for it, I am predisposed to think that t isn't an RVI but can potentially be swayed otherwise. The more contextualized definitions are to the topic the more I like them. I think t can be incredibly persuasive against k affs as well (not as a framework position but actually going for t)
dont read them please :)
- CX is binding but I probably wont write anything down unless you explicitly direct me to in the moment.
- Speaks start at around a 28.5 and I look to go up or down from there based on strategy, efficiency (not time efficiency but if you are too repetitive on an argument), and clarity.
- Please ask me questions before the round if you are unsure of anything!!!!!
- I welcome you all to post round me, we are all in debate for a reason and i love to argue
online debate updates: send your blocks and be patient with your fellow debaters. Connectivity issues are expected.
Put me on the chain: kleckner.isabel [at] gmail.com
STOP BEING AGGRESSIVE IN ROUND ITS NOT THAT DEEP
I think that sending your blocks makes debate better and making a separate send doc is a waste of your time- your blocks aren't as special as you think they are. That being said, I flow on paper and am not going to read things that were unintelligible.
I flow. If you make an argument I will evaluate it based on how it was made. I will not evaluate arguments you did not make.
- This means don't postround me with some "well what about this connection I did not tell you to make" !!!
If you are being actively racist/sexist/homophobic/ableist/transphobic/xenophobic I am fully prepared to give you the L and the lowest speaks the tournament will allow. I do not enjoy judge intervention, but draw the line when you make your fellow competitors feel unsafe.
On one hand, I've judged a lot of middle school debate so I am easily impressed. On the other hand, coaching 6th graders has given me zero tolerance for nonsense at your big age of Not Eleven.
3 yrs varsity for Mpls Washburn, 1 yr with Mpls South. This means I generally understand the arguments. That does not mean I'm willing to do a lot of work for you.
Don't refer to me. If you do, it's they/them
Speed is only good if everyone can understand what you're saying. I'm not gonna say Clear because that's annoying for everyone, but if nobody can understand you you're only hurting yourself. If your only neg strategy is to outspread your opponent, you should probably get better at debate.
Ks v FW I go either way so do what you want*/do best. I'd like to consider myself a K debater, but have definitely been on both sides of this equation.
*unless what you want is to read high theory then definitely don't do that
I understand most literature bases. If I don't, it is on me to do preliminary readings during prep, not on you to explain the entire thesis of the theory to me. While I do expect you to fully explain your arguments, don't be concerned that any lack of personal understanding on my end would prevent you from running what you're comfortable with.
I am a strong proponent of "nothing about us without us." This isn't an instant ballot, just please interrogate why you feel the need to read theories about identities you do not have, and be prepared to explain what it contributes to the activity. I am open to the idea that there are exceptions.
Ks on the aff
Absolutely go for it.
Debates where the negative reads an actual position that isn't FW are probably my favorite version of the activity.
That being said, it is very possible to lose on FW in front of me- your aff still needs to have an impact it can solve for.
I do believe in real-world impacts from debate- it can be a game but y'all spend too much time in it to think it hasn't also shaped your subjectivity. THIS MEANS DON'T SAY PROBLEMATIC STUFF ("death good" & other args that can cause harm to people are not acceptable)
Do the warranted impact calc ("it's good/bad" is not an impact and you will not win)
Good evidence is good but I will not read it unless you tell me to.
I believe that rehighlighting is an underutilized tool. I also believe that somebody said that and y'all thought it meant "rehighlight one random card every round to check off the box." It is only useful on; A: cards that matter for a main argument, and B: cards that actually flow your way. One line where the author presents an opposing argument and later concludes against it is not useful for anyone.
If possible, send your files as word documents. PDFs, google docs, and body of the email all make it harder for the other team to process.
Full disclosure, I was once given a 25 on the local circuit for ""disrespecting T,"" so unless the aff actually isn't topical this is probably not the best move in front of me.
There Are good topicality arguments. "I don't know how to debate a K" is not one of them.
"Meme rounds": I do fundamentally believe we are here to learn. If you and the other team collectively decide you would not like to do that, we can figure it out, but please reconsider your relationship to this activity.
Perfcon is probably real, especially if one of those positions is a K. Again, open to the idea of (WELL-EXPLAINED) exceptions.
"small schools" args: I debated for two Actually small schools. If you have more than 4 varsity teams (not entries at the specific tournament, teams period) I do not want to hear it. I believe there definitely are a lot of structural inequities between big debate schools and smaller schools. It is usually not a meaningful argument in the debate.
Brief note for LD/PF: All of my experience is in policy debate. I am less familiar with the norms of other formats. I believe that I would be considered a larper in LD terms.
Note: I enjoy a joke arg, but you must commit to the bit!!!! Additionally, I am keeping track of some UM Brooks treasure for Skye.
I was a college debater for Concordia Moorhead. I am comfortable judging both policy and critical arguments. Do note that I ran mostly biopower and cap, so I may not be as familiar with other kriticks. During the final rebuttals I want you to write my ballot for me. In other words, tell me the story of the debate round and why I should conclude that you have won. That means impact comparison, framing, and condensing the debate down to its core components.
I don't like it when debaters sacrifice clarity to speak faster. I will stop flowing if I have to call clear an excessive number of times. I also really don't like it when you slow down for the tag and speed up for the card body. To me, that says that your evidence isn't meaningful or significant and I should treat the body of cards as just filler. I will call speed if you're going too fast for me to flow.
I like it when you give a speech off your flow without any blocks.
Theory- I expect you to slow down for denser theory blocks. Otherwise, I cannot evaluate arguments I cannot write down. I will vote on theory, but I don't have any dogmatic stances on issues like conditionality or PIC/Ks.
The K- I enjoy k vs policy aff debates. I don't think you need an alt if you have won sufficient offense on their reps or epistemology, but a strong alt makes it easier to vote for you.
K affs- I will vote for K affs, but I expect robust answers to framework.
DAs/counterplan- I am waiting for the day an aff team puts theory voters on a politics DA.
Topicality- I have judged mostly novice this year, so I'm not up to date on the T meta. I want to see more T debate in Minnesota, so I will be happy to see some T.
Overall, good luck and have fun. I want debate to be a fun and educational experience for all participants. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Please include me in the email chain, but I try to avoid reading evidence unless absolutely needed.
Zoey Lin (she/her/hers)
Lexington '20 | Dartmouth '24
Please put me on and properly name the email chain! [email@example.com] [Tournament - Round X: Aff Team v Neg Team]
I'm colorblind, so please highlight in green (or give me time to change your color)
Also if y'all wanna bring me food, like... I won't say no. To be clear I'm not asking for food, I'm just saying it will make me happy <3
Be genuine, be nice, just do what you’re good at. I promise I'm very low maintenance, as long as you're nice, give me an outlet and a chair, and are a reasonable human being I will and flow what you say! Don't be rude pls
This picture encapsulates both my personality and my judging philosophy
Please be super clear. I can flow you, but I might not be able to flow you + mumble + echo + distance + zoom. If you're unclear and lose even though "but I said it in my speech", imma give you this look: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Policy (Updated 9.23.23)
Do what you're good at, don't adapt for me (yes I have biases, but if I'll be persuaded more by what you say than what I think).
Frame the round and tell a good story, unless told otherwise I am tech > truth, theory is a reason to reject the arg (but condo is a reason to reject the team), judges don't kick, and anything goes. Other than that, I am a sucker for specific strategies. Even if you don't go for them I will reward case specific research (aff recuts, counterplans that solve the internal link, specific pics against k affs, etc). Do your best with neg ground—even though you need a DA, that's not an excuse for awful ptx scenarios.
Other thoughts: I don't think enough 2a's are willing to go for theory and I'm happy to vote on 2+ condo bad!
What You're Here For (K Stuff)
Debate is definitely a game and clash is an intrinsic good for debate. I find myself particularly persuaded by switch-side debate arguments and well crafted TVAs. Despite that, I think debate could be much more than a game even though we're here "playing" it and the history of the args I read supports that idea. I'm most familiar with and went for identity critiques (anti-blackness and queer theory) and security (fem ir, racial ir, and traditional ir). I'm pretty decent for psychoanalysis and various anti-capitalist lit bases (marxism, left accelerationism, semio-capitalism). I'm average for other white pomo, and pretty bad for death good. That being said, I don't want to listen to nebulous appeals to buzzword impacts... K teams win when they are able to contextualize their k to their opponent's args, especially with links. You don't need a "good k" you need a well applied k.
LD (Updated 11.18.23)
I'm a policy debater who doesn't care what you read. The only thing you should consider is that although I will flow your argument and its warrants, I might not fully understand it to your liking (i.e. just because you said permissibility doesn't mean I'll fill in the warrant for you).
If you want to know specifics though, I'm definitely better for k/larp compared to phil, and definitely questionable for theory and tricks*. I don't care if you defend the topic, but have some sort of grounded criticism, please.
Long LD Specific Paradigm: I aspire to be Henry Curtis
*Caveat: Lexington Debater Brett Fortier told me "if you're willing to listen to tricks, you're a tricks judge." While that is me... I really do not want to listen to RVI's, trick's, nebel t, a prioris and just LISTS of paradoxes. Much thanks!
I flow on a computer and sometimes often away or stare blankly. Don't worry I can type without looking, this just means I'm thinking
I've realized that zoom debate has made it so that y'all prep so loudly. I don't super care but it's also just jarring that I can hear all of your conversations about the debate and especially your conversations about me...
Debate is a great place to challenge yourself and have fun while doing it... the first thing that I want to see is that everyone is enjoying themselves and having a good time. Some debaters think that they're too good or cool to afford their opponents respect and decency in-round: if this is you, I will not be a good judge to have in the back of your round. We are all here to have fun and get better, so if you are jeopardizing that in any way, don't expect me to be as willing to vote for you.
I really care about the participation of queer debaters, especially gender minorities and poc. It's really difficult to find queer spaces in general, never mind in debate and worst of all in an online debate environment. I will be extremely sensitive to the way people who are not cis white men are treated in the debate space. If you are looking for additional resources, please check out https://www.windebate.org/ for the most passionate mentors and https://www.girlsdebate.org/ for funny memes, cool people, and amazing overall help.
If you have any questions, don't be afraid to shoot me an email or ask before the round starts. I'd be happy to clarify anything on this paradigm or offer you any other insight that I might have forgotten to include here.
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 tom and I go by He/Him pronouns. I am currently The head coach for Roosevelt High school and have been debating for 7 years. I am currently a student at Augsburg.
Please add me to the email chain: Tommilmick@gmail.com
I have debated at all levels of debate and am very familiar with all arguments. For most of my time as a debater I was a strictly policy debater. My normal rounds would usual look like either a soft left policy arg on aff and a Cp and Da heavy neg. However in my last year of debate I heavily used Ks on both the aff and neg specifically Dino earth ( If you want to learn more or have any questions you can absolutly ask or email me about it i really enjoy it). My Kritik literature however is not super deep so there are plenty of terms in that space that I wont understand. I think debate is about having fun and making arguments that you truly care about and are intrested in.
I will vote for any form of argument (Except Baurillard Ks) you make but you have to give me clear reasons why and have a good foundation of evidence for it.
SF Roosevelt ‘20
Do what you want. Avoid being mean.
I am not a fan of debates where debaters do not explain things. I am more susceptible to your argument if I understand the words you’re saying.
I am a tech oriented debater and thus a tech oriented judge.
Speed 7/10. Please tell me how to evaluate debates or I will default to pragmatism and decide myself.
Have fun and debate hard!
Hi! I'm Kate and my pronouns are she/her. You can contact me or add me to the email chain at email@example.com
Some background info for you:
I debated for Rosemount 2017-2021 and I have coached at Highland Park (St. Paul) since 2021. I am currently studying sociology and data science at Macalester College.
Minneapple 2023: I don’t have any experience judging varsity LD. My background is in policy and last year I judged one novice LD tournament. I judge based off my flow and attempt to intervene as little as possible. The best way to win my ballot is to give me judge instruction in the final rebuttal.
Edit: You should probably slow down in front of me. Im not super adjusted to fast circuit rounds.
If I'm your judge:
First, I want you to enjoy debating and feel comfortable. If there is a way I can support you please don't hesitate to reach out beforehand or whenever a concern arises. I also really value education and I hope you do too. It will make me happy to see you doing your best to learn for yourself, and with your partner and opponents.
Second, I am looking for you to write the ballot for me in your last rebuttal. I don't want to have to do any work for debaters when writing my rfd so if you provide me with a clear way to evaluate impacts and how to resolve the round you will be in a great spot. With that being said, I vote off my flow but I'm not perfect, so it's your job to tell me where and what you want on my flow (aka signposting and clarity of speech are important). I also prefer that you say an abbreviation of the tag or what the argument is instead of the author when referring to a card because that's easier to flow for me but not a big deal. Tbh, I don't enjoy tricks or out spreading your opponent. I think the best rounds are when debaters are making smart and competitive choices but also considering others in the round and how you conduct yourself affects the community.
As far as argument-specific questions go please feel free to reach out to me by email and I'll respond as soon as I can. My best advice to you is to read what you want to! Debates are way more fun when debaters care about and write their own arguments. I like the K on both sides and I'm pretty open to any argument. Keep in mind if you have a super technical argument or theory you may want to slow down in front of me. A reminder for JV/novice (and varsity too sometimes lol) it is ok (and good) to keep your argument options open through the block but please condense down in your last rebuttal and choose what you are going for. I know it can be hard to pick especially when you have multiple flows to choose from but you are wasting your time going for two different arguments if there isn't a specific reason to do so (ex. net benefit).
Hi! I'm Michael O'Neal(firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
College CX debater
The role of the AFF is to defend a topical advocacy against the status quo or a competitive position and the role of the NEG is to disprove the desirability of the AFF. The role of the judge is to use the debate to determine if the status quo should be changed by the plan. These are absolute.
Infinite 1NC condo is good 2NC CPs are iffy and 2NC CP text modifications are only slightly better—very AFF on perms.
99% of theory arguments are better served as a justification for perm do the cp and I’ll rarely vote on them.
What I think I know “textual and functionally competitive” means is not what you think it means so explain to me why your view of competition is best.
If the NEG wins a sizeable limits DA and a more precise/predictable interpretation it will be very hard to convince me to err AFF on reasonability.
Does reasonability mean the counterinterp is a reasonable topic standard or the we meet is “close enough”—I don’t know and it probably won’t matter, all I want is for you to tell me explicitly how to evaluate the debate by describing your world of debate and how the ballot should be allocated to achieve that world. I do think substance debates are incredibly important but am just as easily persuaded that they won’t exist without T.
Good evidence rewards good spin but I will not read additional warrants into a 2AR that explains most of a card but not every warrant. I am more lenient for the NEG on this because 2AR pivots are impossible to predict but tagline extensions will get you less than if you had asserted actual warrants without a card. If your opponents read bad ev use it against them instead of reading garbage ev.
I will always judge kick unless the NEG decides to throw the round and say their CPs are dispo.
Have fun be nice--debate is usually a fun place so try not to bully eachother :)
4 years debating in Wisconsin from 1999-2003.
Coaching @ Washington Technology Magnet School in Saint Paul since 2013.
First off - yes, you can tag team so long as it doesn't turn into a yelling fight.
Generally, I take points off for using too much speech time, not using all your time, being overly aggressive without warrant during CX, saying things that are racist, sexist, ableist, etc.
In the old days, I would have just called myself TABS (Tabula Rosa, or blank slate.) In general, I'm comfortable voting on most kinds of arguments, although I often find myself deciding many JV and V rounds on framework due to a lack of clash elsewhere in the debate.
My background is in Chemistry and Physics, so I have at best a debate level knowledge of much of the K literature. That being said, I'm very comfortable with the technical aspects of debate, so label your arguments well and explain yourself in your rebuttals and I should have a good idea about what is going on. That said, I'm sensitive to punching down, so if you have a "funny" aff be careful that it is also respectful.
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.
***PLEASE, I BEG YOU, if nothing else, read my note about speed/clarity!!! This issue is paramount in online debate!***
"Accept that you're a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace - and maybe even glory." - Tom Robbins
Hello! I'm Skye. I graduated from Concordia College where I debated on their policy team for 4 years. I am a CEDA scholar and 2019 NDT participant. In high school, I moved around a lot and have, at some point, participated in every debate format. I have a degree in English Literature and Global Studies with a minor in Women and Gender Studies.
I have experience reading, coaching, & judging both trad policy arguments and Ks.
I have been coaching going on 3 years and judging for 6. I am currently the head policy coach at Wayzata HS in Wayzata, MN. I occasionally help out the Harker School in San Jose, CA and UMN debate in Minneapolis, MN. My full time job is at the Minnesota Urban Debate League, where I am serving my second Americorps VISTA service year as the Community Debate Liaison.
I love debate and I have loved taking on an educator role in the community. I take education very seriously, but I try to approach debates with compassion and mirth, because I think everyone benefits from it. I try to be as engaged and helpful as I can while judging, and I am excited and grateful to be part of your day!
My email is email@example.com for email chains. If you have more questions after round, feel free to reach out :)
Top 3 Notes!
1. I FLOW ON PAPER AND HAVE POOR HEARING. I am OK with spreading, I think speed makes for much more in depth and rigorous debates, but with great speed comes great responsibility…
- please use a microphone in a headset/headphones if you have the tech, the laptop mics also pick up echoes and it makes it way harder than it needs to be for my ears
- please send out analytics if you are at all willing
- please send out marked docs at the end of your speech
- please SIGN POST & give me 1 second to move onto the next flow
- please use different intonation and sign posting to indicate you are going onto the next argument on the flow to give me the cue to finish up and move along with you so I can keep an organized flow. Not all speeches will be organized the same way, but if I know where to put things so they line up, then we are all in a better place.
- In the 2A/NC & rebuttals, spreading your way through analytics at MAX SPEED will not help you, because I won't be able to write it all down, or even really process the very dense argumentation and smart things you are saying.
If it gets to the RFD, and I feel like my flow doesn’t incapsulate the debate well because you did not accommodate me, I am very sorry for all of us, and I just hate it. I am not afraid to tell you I did not get everything or missed something. To me, that is on the debater, not the judge. There are way too many people in this activity that like to pretend they can hear every word no matter what. I am not one of those people. This is still a communication activity, and I earnestly believe the debaters should keep that in mind.
2. When it is time for the RFD, I go to framework first. If any framework arguments were extended in the rebuttals, I will reach a conclusion about who wins what and use that to dictate my decision making. I will always do this, without fail, I promise you. If there aren'y any, or the debaters were unclear, I will default to a very classic policy debate style cost-benefit analysis.
3. I default to evaluating debates from the point of tech/line by line, but arguments that were articulated with a warrant, a reason you are winning them/comparison to your opponents’ answers, and why they matter for the debate will significantly outweigh those that don’t.
"tag teaming cross ex": sure, just know that if you don't answer any CX questions OR cut your partner off, it will likely affect your speaks.
Clash debates, K aff: Fairness is probably not your best option for terminal impact, but just fine if articulated as an internal link to education. Education is very significant to me, that is why I am here. I think limits are generally good. I think the best K affs debate from the “core” or “center” of the topic, and have a clear model of debate to answer framework with. So the side that best illustrates their model of debate and its educational value while disproving the merits of their opponents’ is the side that wins to me.
Clash debates, K on the neg: As I’ve mentioned previously,framework will really guide my decision, so I encourage debaters to invest time there. The links are really important to me, especially giving an impact to that link. I think case debate is slept on by K debaters. I have recently started thinking of K strat on the negative as determined by what generates uniqueness in any given debate: the links? The alt? Framework? Both/all?
K v. K: Framework, friends, framework. Without framework we are but scurvy-ridden sailors in a sea of K goo. It may be helpful to know that I think of perms as a test of the links/competition, and not so much as an advocacy.
Ks, general:I feel that it can be easy for debaters to lose their K and by the end of the debate, I’m not sure what critical analysis actually happened in the round.No alt needed if you're worried about that, as long as there is framework/framing that supports it. I also think situating your K in/to the context of debate clarifies things for me quite a bit.
Condo/Theory: I am not opposed to voting on condo bad, but please read it as a PROCEDURAL, with an interp, violation, and standards. Anything else just becomes a mess. The same applies to any theory argument. I approach it all thinking, “What do we want debates to be like? What norms do we want to set?”
T: Will vote on T, please see theory and clash v. K aff sections for more insight, I think of these things in much the same way.
Plans/policy v K: Although I am personally ideologically predisposed to critical arguments in the ~real world~, I increasingly do not feel this is the case in debate. I also think there is an artificial polarization of k vs. Policy ideologies in debate; these things are not so incompatible as we seem to believe. Policy and K arguments are all the same under the hood to me, I see things as links, impacts, etc.; these worlds are not so polarized to me. I do think it is a good idea to clue me into what all your acronyms, initialisms, and topic jargon means, though.
policy, general:I am a simple soul here. I like refutation, LBL, evidence analysis, and collapsing down in rebuttals. You know, good debate.
LD, random arguments about wearing shoes or whatever: Please don't read ridiculous things that benefit no one educationally, that is an uphill battle for you.
Read no cards-----------x------------------------Read all the cards
Conditionality good---------------x---------------Conditionality bad
States CP good-------------------------x---------States CP bad
Federalism DA good---------------------------x--Federalism DA bad
Politics DA good for education --------------------------x---Politics DA not good for education
Fairness is a thing----------------------------x--Delgado 92
Try or die------------------------------------x-----What's the opposite of try or die
Clarityxxx--------------------------------------------Srsly who doesn't like clarity
Presumption----------x----------------------------Never votes on presumption
Resting grumpy face-------------------------x----Grumpy face is your fault
CX about impacts----------------------------x----CX about links and solvency
AT: ------------------------------------------------------x-- A2:
E-mail for the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Email for questions / contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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)
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.
You can call me alex, judge, or judge alex
im down with k affs you just better be good at responding to t cause i love t
I've been juding for a few years and i debated a bit before that (started judging in 2018)
Its okay to be nervous. debate especially when you just start debating can be really scary. Its okay take a deep breath. if that doesn't work talk to me we can ways pause the round for a minute or two for mental health.
Clarity comes before speed
Yes you can tag team but don't abuse it. (You can not tag team against a maverick )
Even if both teams are three headed monsters the third person who isnt in that debate CAN NOT help.
If I don't understand an argument by the end of the round I won't vote for it
If your spreading is unclear don't assume I wrote down anything you said.
If you don't make it clear your going onto a new card by saying next it is very possible I'll miss your tag.
Make it clear where you on in the speech by sign posting i will probably flow it on the wrong flow which wont make your argument stronger.
Its totally fine to be assertive but don't be mean if you get mean I'll dock speaker points.
If i see you not flowing all of the speeches i will dock speaker points.
Don't ask me questions in round if it deals with the round wait until the debate is over and im giving my rfd.
Extending isnt re-reading the card its reading the author year then explaining the warrant in your own words
I don't flow cross x. BUT if you say something that goes aginst the side you supposed to be on i will write it down in the notes
Tell me if there is anything you don't want me to comment on like if you have a stutter. I dont wanna be bring that up and possibly just annoying you
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
I'm a sophomore at NYU and I debated at Wayzata (in Policy) for 4 years.
Phone #: (+1) 763-486-5514 (I was told to put my number in my paradigm as a communication method because of potential technological issues)
I'm mostly tabula rasa (I try my best); just don't make any offensive arguments. I am probably (unintentionally, I'm sorry!) predisposed to policy-like arguments, such as framework against the kritik. BTW I have VERY limited topic knowledge, so be aware of acronyms or anything hyper-specific to the topic, especially T definitions.
I've also very unfortunately had to judge more PF tournaments than policy ones, so be patient with me about this topic.
Aff: By the 2AR, you better have a cohesive, comprehensible story of what your affirmative does and what it is. Including K affs. However, if your entire story was explained in the 2AR and not before that, and it's difficult for me and/or the other team to understand you, the threshold for winning is very high.
DAs: I like disads, and most of my neg rounds I've gone for one with a CP. Ptx and specific topic disads are probably very good ways to gain education about intricacies of the topic and nuances of policy. The neg should also have a cohesive story on what causes the disad to happen and what impact this leads to.
CPs: CPs are pretty cool. I like them. Even some of the trashiest disads become viable 2NRs combined with a good CP that solves. They obviously need to be competitive and NOT link to the net benefit. Also, theory can be a reason to reject the CP. Agent, Process, States etc. can be reasons to reject the CP. Judge kick? Meh. I'll decide depending on the round. Condo is usually the only reason to reject the team even if the CP is kicked.
Ks: I'm probably unfamiliar with most of the literature so you'll have to explain it thoroughly. Framework is very important and I'm most likely subconsciously aff-biased on the issue. Otherwise, really weigh the impact of the kritik against the impact of the affirmative. You also don't necessarily need an alternative to win, case turns and/or root cause arguments might be sufficient to win my ballot.
T: T is about two competing models of what debate for the year should look like. That being said, I have no idea of anything on this topic, so please explain your stuff. Talk about whose model is better for the year, (limits and ground, education and fairness, etc.) and whether the affirmative meets either interpretation. T is a gateway issue and I won't be persuaded to weigh the aff's impact before it.
Speaker Points (this stuff is basically all for novices. for jv and varsity, i'm same as p much everyone else):
A 28.4 should be average. If you're good, I'll make them higher, obviously.
A 26 is if you are mean. Like, substantially mean. Yelling at the other team. Or stealing prep. Or saying something offensive.
A 30 if you would have been able to beat my partner and me our senior year.
For novices, a 28.8 or above is only possible:
1. If you are actually a novice that DOES A LINE-BY-LINE. please. do a line-by-line. it makes my flow prettier.
2. If you are a novice team that ACTUALLY SPLITS THE BLOCK. I HATE when the 2NC just takes everything and the 1NR just repeats it. It just ruins my otherwise really pretty flow.
3. If you are nice to the other team and have tag team be REASONABLE.
4. If you FLOW IN PEN - flowing in pencils or worse, COLORED PENCILS, should literally be BANNED from debate
5. If you don't extend 5 off in the 2NR - please just go for one thing... for your own benefit?
A 29 if I feel like you are REALLY REALLY good.
A 29.5 if I feel like you should be in JV.
I'm a policy judge so I may weigh things a bit differently compared to a typical PF judge. Weigh your impacts and actually answer the opponents' arguments; don't just use broad, sweeping claims with nothing to back it up.
Again, I was in policy, so I will probably judge your round with a policy perspective (whether subconsciously or not), in that:
1. I don't really accept impacts that are not really impacts. I am not convinced econ growth in and of itself is a good thing, for example (the exception is climate change. I think that you can just say "climate change" without listing potential disasters, as the negative effects of climate change are implicitly obvious). However, I will be very easy to convince that this impact leads to some terminal impact: increasing the job market as a result of econ growth can inherently be a good thing (unless the other side convinces me that the jobs are exploitative or something).
2. I'll, in a round, consider nuke war and other extinction impacts likelier than they actually are (in reality). As long as you win an internal link chain, you're good.
I have judged too many rounds in which PF debaters just read and say things at each other instead of actually clashing. It makes my job incredibly difficult because I might as well flip a coin at the end of the round to determine who wins, as I have two (or worse, >2) completely competing versions of what reality is/should be and no reason to prefer either of them. Do impact calculus and ENGAGE with the other team's arguments, PLEASE.
I've heard that a 27.5 is average. So that is your baseline.