The Ed Long Invitational at The Hockaday School
2022 — Dallas, TX/US
C-X Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
My judging philosophy is first built on the approach that debaters define the debate. This means I generally do not have any predisposition against anything within the context of the debate. Hence, I do NOT push an agenda. The arguments presented before me are to be engaged by both sides and analysis should be given whereby I should either reject or accept those arguments. This means arguments for or against should be well developed and structured logically. There needs to be a clear framework, but this is only the first level. Impacts and disadvantages need to fit within this framework. They need to be developed and consistent within the framework.
If there is one thing I do not like, blip arguments. These are essentially glorified tag lines that have no analysis behind them, where then a debater claims a drop of this 'argument' becomes a voter for them. For me: no analysis = no argument thus is not a voter. However, if within the context of the debate both debaters do this they lose the right to complain about me intervening. So, take heed, do this and I will allow myself to insert how these blips should be pieced together and the analysis behind them.
There needs to be clash. Far too often debaters do not really analyze. Generally, people view good debates where the flow shows responses to everything. I view this as a fallacy. There should be analysis as to how the arguments interact with each other in regards to the line by line debate and hopefully build a bigger view of the entire debate. Again, it is the debater's job to fine tune how everything pieces together. Specifically, I prefer hearing voters that are in some way intertwined versus a bunch of independent voters. Yet, though, I prefer intertwined voters it does not mean independent voters could not subvert or outweigh a good story.
Things I have voted for AND against
K - I actually like a good K debate. However, I do warn debaters that often I see people run K's they have no reason running because they themselves do not really understand them. Further, as a theme, debaters assume I am as familiar with the authors as they are. Not true. Rather, I feel it imperative that the position of K be well articulated and explained. Many debaters, read a stock shell that lacks analysis and explanation. NEW - Alts need to be clear as to what they will cause and what the world of the alt will look like. Nebulous Revolutions will not sway me, because you will need to have some solvency that the revolution will lead to the actual implementation of the new form of thought.
counter plans - I have no problem with these in the world of LD.
Topicality - I generally stand within the guidelines of reasonability. Muddy the waters and that’s what I will likely default to.
Role of the Ballot - At its heart I think the ROB is a paradigm argument or more simply a criterion argument so that even if one on face wins it does not guarantee a win because the opposite side can in the venue of the debate meet the criterion or ROB. However, the ROB I tend not to like are ones devolve the debate into pre fiat and post fiat debate. I tend towards post fiat worlds in close debates.
RVI - Again this less so, an RVI for seems to be justified within the context of some blatant abuse. As an analogy I have to see the smoking gun in the offenders hand. If it not clear I will side with a standard model. To date I have not voted on an RVI as of 1/05/2024
Understand, I honestly do approach all arguments as being justifiable within the confines of a debate. However, arguments I will on face reject are arguments whose sole objective (as a course or an objective for gain) is to oppress, murder, torture or destroy any class or classes of people. That is to say you know what you are doing and you are doing it on purpose.
I'd say that the realm of debate is for students to engage and craft. As I am no longer a competitor my bias, if it exist, should only intercede when debaters stop looking at human beings as genuine but rather as some abstract rhetoric.
Feel free to ask me some questions. but understand I'm not here to define what will win me. Good well structured argumentation that actually engages the other side are the types of debates I find most interesting. It's your world you push the paradigm you want. My voting for it or against it should not be interpreted as my support of the position beyond the confines of the debate.
Personal Narratives - I am not a fan of these arguments. The main reason, is that there is no way real way to test the validity of the personal narrative as evidence. Thus, if you introduce a personal narrative, I think it completely legit the personal narrative validity be questioned like any other piece of evidence. If you would be offended or bothered about questions about its truth, don't run them.
Communication - I believe in civility of debate. I am seeing an increasingly bad trend of students cursing in debates. I fundamentally, think High School debate is about learning to argue in an open forum with intellectual honesty and civility. The HS debate format is not one like private conversations between academics. I reject any belief that the competitive nature of the debate is like a professional sport. Cursing is lazy language and is a cheap attempt to be provocative or to fain emphasis. Thus, do not curse in front of me as your judge I will automatically drop you a point. Also, most people don’t know how to curse. It has its place just not in HS debate.
So what about cards that use curse words? Choose wisely, is the purpose because it is being descriptive of reporting actual words thrown at persons such as racial slurs. I will not necessarily be bothered by this, however, if it is the words of the actual author, I advise you to choose a different author as it is likely using it to be provocative versus pursing any intellectual honesty.
I do not have a have a problem with spreading. However, I do not prompt debaters for clarity as it is the debaters responsibility to communicate. Further, I think prompting is a form of coaching and gives an advantage that would not exist otherwise. If on the off chance I do prompt you (more likely in a virtual world) You will be deducted 1 speaker point for every time I do it. If the spread causes a technical issue with my speakers - I will prompt once to slow it down without penalty, only once.
My email is email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org for email chains. I am now putting myself part of the email chain due to virtual tournaments and to help overcome technical issues regarding sound. However, please understand I will NOT read along. I have it there for clarification if a audio issue arises during the speech. I still believe debaters should be clear when speaking and that speaking is still part of the debate.
I will automatically down a debater that runs an intentionally oppressive position. IE kill people because the world sucks and it’s bad to give people hope. However, if a person runs a position that MIGHT link to the death of thousands is not something I consider intentional.
NEW - 1/29 7:30PM Central Time
DISCLOSURE - Once parings come out. If you are going to make contact with your opponent requesting disclosure you need to CC me on the email chain: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Unless I am part of the request I will NOT evaluate the validity of the disclosure inside the round. If you do not read my paradigm and you run disclosure and your opponent does read this. They can use this as evidence to kick it directly and I will. This means they do not have to answer any of the shell.
I expect folks to be in the virtual debate room 15 minutes prior to the debate round. I especially expect this if a flip for sides has to be done. We as a community need to be more respectful of peoples time and of course from a practical matter allows an ability to solve technical issues which may arise.
NEW UPADATE 2/11/2022
Evidence - So, folks are inserting graphs and diagrams as part of their cases. I have no issue with this. However, unless there is analysis in the read card portion or analysis done by the debater regarding the information on the graph, diagram, figure, chart etc. I will not evaluate it as offense or defense for the debater introducing these documents. Next, if you do introduce it with analysis, it better match what you are saying. Next, as a scientist I am annoyed with graphs using solid lines - scientist use data points as the point actually represents collected data. A solid line suggest you have collected an infinite amount data points (ugh). The only solid line on graphs deemed acceptable are trend lines, usually accompanied with an equation, which serves as a model for an expected value for areas for which actual data does not exist.
You are welcome to time yourself. However, I am the official time keeper and will not allow more than a 5 second disparity.
When you say you are done prepping I expect you are sending the document and will begin with a couple of seconds once your opponent has confirmed reception of the document. This means you have taken your sip of water and your timer is set.
COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE ROUND - I understand when debating virtually where one is set up is not always going to be an ideal situation. However, one should not be communicating within anyone other than ones own partner. There should be zero communication with someone not in the debate. This means those chat boxes need to be off. I understand there is no way to police this situation, however, please remember it looks poorly and you never want to have doubt cast upon your ethical behavior. Also, its just disrespectful.
Last updated 2/11/2022 6:23 PM - Most of the changes are due to poor grammar.
Put me on the email chain: email@example.com
Affiliations: Debated at Niles West in high school, UTD in college. Now coach for UTD and Greenhill school
LD exception - If an argument can be described as a 'trick', please dont read it in front of me. Likewise, if your theory argument is based on something you opponent didn't do, it is probably unpersuasive to me.
Go for what you want to go for, if you got a K aff, make sure you can beat framework, if you go for a process cp, make sure you can beat theory, etc, etc, I will try my hardest to adapt and judge the round as objectively as possible.
I love line-by-line. The more you engage with your opponent's arguments, the more likely you are to win and the higher your speaks will be.
I won't vote on things that happened out of round or in other debates.
You can insert rehighlightings of the other team's evidence, text of a card only needs to be read once for it to be evaluated.
No racism/sexism/etc, be nice. Don't do that thing where you delete tags or read new affs on paper or stuff like that to make your speech harder to read.
I've become more willing to comb through evidence over the years, but it's mostly out of curiosity since debaters seem to be getting better at spinning ev, obviously I have my limits, but the debate includes the debate over the evidence.
I think conditionality is good, it seems to be necessary in this day and age when topics are very broad. I've become more neg biased recently but maybe it's just my disillusion with one unwarranted sentence of condo bad somehow becoming an entire 2ar. Condo in general seems to have gotten significantly more shallow. There probably is some point at which condo becomes bad, but I can't truthfully see myself voting for condo bad absent some egregious neg strategy or technical error.
Since it has come up more than once, my stance on judge kick is that I will presume judge kick if nothing has been said on theory, if the aff wants to win no judge kick, then you must at least make the arg in the 1ar.
You get infinite condo against new or undisclosed affs.
I personally don't particularly like process cps, this is a sliding scale, as consult ICJ or a commission cp seems less competitive than something like a states cp on face, but it seems like people are either unwilling or unable to actually invest time in theory in the 1ar anyways, so it often doesn't matter. I think fiating multiple actors (think both USFG and the states, not the states cp, or fiating compliance with another actor whom you fiat) is probably cheating, but I can be convinced otherwise. I tend to lean neg on theory questions despite all that
I like Ks the more specific the link analysis is. I tend to think of Ks as one or multiple thesis statements that, if won, should theoretically disprove the aff. This means the more you pull warrants from cards, explain the aff in the terms of your K, etc, the more likely it is that you beat the perm since that explanation makes links a lot more salient. That's a lot more persuasive than big aff/neg framework pushes to me
FW/T vs K affs. Since this is the only portion of a paradigm that matters for most pref sheets, yes I will vote on framework, yes I will vote against it. These debates seem to come down to impact comparison, as usually it seems hard to win either topical affs are necessary to prevent the entire collapse of this activity, versus framework is genocide, which makes winning as much of your impact quite important. Fairness impact seem to make intrinsic sense to me if debate is a game, but im not sure why that is a catch-all win if the aff wins debate rounds have impacts.
On a side note, I hate long overviews. Overviews should be for args that either: a. Are significantly more important and necessary for your argument to work, or b. Don't make sense when on the line-by-line (eg, meta-framing for how I should evaluate a debate). If you can do it on the flow, do it on the flow.
Associate Director of Debate @ Greenhill
Still helping KU in my free time
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I love debate and I will do my absolute best to make a decision that makes sense and give a helpful RFD.
Competing interpretations are easier to evaluate than reasonability. You need to explain to me how we determine what is reasonable if you are going for reasonability.
Having said that if your intep is so obscure that there isn't a logical CI to it, perhaps it is not a good interpretation.
T debates this year (water topic) have gotten too impact heavy for their own good. I've judged a number of rounds with long overviews about how hard it is to be negative that never get to explaining what affirmatives would be topical under their interp or why the aff interp links to a limits DA and that's hard for me because I think much more about the latter when I think about topicality.
Affirmatives should be about the topic. I will be fairly sympathetic to topicality arguments if I do not know what the aff means re: the topic after the 1AC.
I think teams are meming a bit on both sides of this debate. Phrases like "third and fourth level testing" and "rev v rev debates are better" are kind of meaningless absent robust explanation. Fairness is an impact that I will vote on. Like any other impact, it needs to be explained and compared to the other team's impact. I have also voted on arguments about ethics, education, and pedagogy. I will try my best to decide who wins an impact and which impact matters more based on the debate that happens.
I do not think the neg has to win a TVA to win topicality; it can be helpful if it happens to make a lot of sense but a forced TVA is generally a waste of time.
If the aff is going for an impact turn about debate, it would be helpful to have a CI that solves that impact.
I would love to see you go for a disad and case in the 2NR. I do not find it persuasive when an affirmative team's only answer to a DA is impact framing. Impact framing can be important but it is one of a number of arguments that should be made.
I am aware the DA's aren't all great lately. I don't think that's a reason to give up on them. It just means you need a CP or really good case arguments.
I really enjoy an old-fashioned k vs the aff debate. I think there are lots of interesting nuances available for the neg and the aff in this type of debate. Here are some specific thoughts that might be helpful when constructing your strategy:
1. Links of omission are not links. Links of “commission” will take a lot of explaining.
2. Debating the case matters unless there is a compelling framework argument for why I should not evaluate the case.
3. If you are reading a critique that pulls from a variety of literature bases, make sure I understand how they all tie to together. I am persuaded by aff arguments about how it's very difficult to answer the foundation of multiple bodies of critical literature because they often have different ontological, epistemological, psychoanalytic, etc assumptions. Also, how does one alt solve all of that??
4. Aff v. K: I have noticed affirmative teams saying "it's bad to die twice" on k's and I have no idea what that means. Aff framework arguments tend to be a statement that is said in the 2AC and repeated in the 1AR and 2AR - if you want fw to influence how I vote, you need to do more than this. Explain how it implicates how I assess the link and/or alternative solvency.
5. When ontology is relevant - I feel like these debates have devolved into lists of things (both sides do this) and that's tough because what if the things on the list don't resonate?
Generic counterplans are necessary and good. I think specific counterplans are even better. Counterplans that read evidence from the 1AC or an aff author - excellent! I don't have patience for overly convoluted counterplans supported by barely highlighted ev.
I do not subscribe to (often camp-driven) groupthink about which cp's "definitely solve" which aff's. I strongly disagree with this approach to debate and will think through the arguments on both sides of the debate because that is what debate is about.
Solvency deficits are a thing and will be accounted for and weighed along with the risk of a DA, the size of the DA impact, the size of the solvency deficit, and other relevant factors. If you are fiating through solvency deficits you should come prepared with a theoretical justification for that.
Some people think it is auto-true that politics disads and certain cp's are terrible for debate. I don't agree with that. I think there are benefits/drawbacks to most arguments. This matters for framework debates. A plan-less aff saying "their model results in politics DA's which is obviously the worst" will not persuade absent a warrant for that claim.
Love a good case debate. It's super under-utilized. I think it's really impressive when a 2N knows more about the aff evidence than the aff does.
Please don't be nasty to each other; don't be surprised if I interrupt you if you are.
I don't flow the 1AC and 1NC because I am reading your evidence. I have to do this because if I don't I won't get to read the evidence before decision time in a close debate.
If the debate is happening later than 9PM you might consider slowing down and avoiding especially complicated arguments.
If you make a frivolous or convoluted ethics challenge in a debate that I judge I will ask you to move on and be annoyed for the rest of the round. Legitimate ethics challenges exist and should/will be taken seriously but ethics challenges are not something we should play fast and loose with.
For debating online:
-If you think clarity could even possibly be an issue, slow down a ton. More than ever clarity and quality are more important than quantity.
-If my camera is off, I am not there, I am not flowing your speech, I probably can't even hear you. If you give the 1AR and I'm not there, there is not a whole lot I can do for you.
Bio - Debated for Jesuit 2015-2019, coached on and off there since then
TL;DR – I’m cool with anything as long as it's explained well. Please call me Gio. Use email@example.com when putting me on the email chain.
- Be nice to eachother
- High evidence quality, thorough warrant extension, clear clash = good
- Don't read silly stuff
- Please make case matter at the end of the debate
- Please slow down
- 1 specific theory arg > many generic args
- Please do specific internal link and impact work instead or relying on buzzwords
- Even if debate is a game, we might be able to discuss its nature and goals. Please defend your view on those up front.
- Please be aff specific when running the DA, especially on turns case args
- Frame arguments in relation to the other teams offense (ex: Link v. Link Turns)
- Solvency advocates should probably be a thing, defend them and point out when the team doesn't have them
- Solvency deficits should have impacts
- Net benefits should be clear and demonstrating why the CP does/doesn't link is important
- Please make framework matter at the end of the debate
- Please articulate link and internal links without relying on clunky jargon or lazy overviews
- Explain how and why I should evaluate the alt a certain way, same for perms
Lindale HS (2017-2021)
North Texas (2021-Present)
If you are a senior and graduating this year (whether you do PF, LD, or policy), UNT has a debate program! If you are interested in looking into the team please contact me via the email listed below and we can talk about what UNT debate can offer you!
Add me to the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
I am good for any substantive style of debate that you partake in, I have experience both debating and judging high-level policy, clash of civs, and K v K debates. Not as great for theory debates, particularly the proliferation of them in high school LD, but am more than able to evaluate those debates should they be necessary, just slow down a bit on these. I have a slight preference for kritikal debates. Aff's do not need to defend the resolution or the USFG but should have a topic link. I lean affirmative on Condo in HSLD, can go either way in policy.
For Prefs (Ranked from top to bottom)
Clash - 1
K - 1
Policy - 2
Phil - 4
Trad - 4
Theory - 4 (I refuse to believe this exists as an argument preference for people but I've known LDers in my time who called it their argument of choice so I figured I'd put it here)
Tricks - 5
I did policy at Lindale high school in East Texas, I competed in both traditional (Texas UIL) and national (TOC) circuits in policy and just about everything in between. At the University of North Texas I compete in both NDT debate and NFA-LD, Do what you do best, and don't change your general strategy for me, just be ethical and all will be okay
Individuals who have shaped the way I view debates: Colin Quinn, Louie Petit, Rory McKenzie, Cody Gustafson.
I flow on my laptop and would say I am about a 7/10 when it comes to speed compared to other circuit judges, just slow down a bit in dense and quick theory debates.
My general opinions I have about debate are the following:
Affirmatives should be tangentially related to the topic (I can be persuaded otherwise) but that doesn't require the reading of a plan or an endorsement of the USFG (I can be persuaded otherwise). I think that I probably have a slight bias affirmative in debates over T-USFG but don't let that persuade you against it as a 2NR choice.
Counterplan theory, PICS are definitely good, most CPs are good, but I lean affirmative on conditions, international, and object fiat. Though if these debates exist in the literature I can definitely be persuaded that these debates are educational. it's largely a question of the quality of the solvency advocate here. I enjoy a good theory debate as long as teams actively clash here, too often I see teams just reading generic 2NC/1NR condo shells and then moving on without answering the 2ACs shell.
Conditionality is bad in HSLD, though I can be persuaded otherwise of course. I don't have a preference in policy.
Topicality is not a voting issue in it of itself, 2NRs need to win an impact. A 2NR on T does not need to spend their entire time here, but your speech on T should include a clear link story and terminal impact. Simply being non-topical is not a reason to vote the team down, non-topicality as a link to the aff necessarily creating a model of debate that leads to "x" terminal impact is a reason to vote the team down.
0% Risk is possible
Speech times are non-negotiables.
Speaks start at 28.3 — your decisions can either add or subtract from that baseline. I shouldn't have to mention this but bigotry is clearly a loss and 0 speaks,
HS LD, I am bad for tricks debates and phil debates, obviously willing to adjudicate them but have next to no experience with these debates or the literature in phil debates. I will likely never vote for an RVI on principle, something absurd would need to happen for me to vote for one.
If you have any other, more specific questions just ask me before the round :)
Dan Lingel Jesuit College Prep—Dallas
email@example.com for email chain purposes
firstname.lastname@example.org for school contact
"Be smart. Be strategic. Tell your story. And above all have fun and you shall be rewarded."--the conclusion of my 1990 NDT Judging Philosophy
Updated for 2023-2024 topic
30 years of high school coaching/6 years of college coaching
I will either judge or help in the tabroom at over 20+ tournaments
****read here first*****
I still really love to judge and I enjoy judging quick clear confident comparative passionate advocates that use qualified and structured argument and evidence to prove their victory paths. I expect you to respect the game and the people that are playing it in every moment we are interacting.
***I believe that framing/labeling arguments and paper flowing is crucial to success in debate and maybe life so I will start your speaker points absurdly high and work my way up (look at the data) if you acknowledge and represent these elements: label your arguments (even use numbers and structure) and can demonstrate that you flowed the entire debate and that you used your flow to give your speeches and in particular demonstrate that you used your flow to actually clash with the other teams arguments directly.
Some things that influence my decision making process
1. Debate is first and foremost a persuasive activity that asks both teams to advocate something. Defend an advocacy/method and defend it with evidence and compare your advocacy/method to the advocacy of the other team. I understand that there are many ways to advocate and support your advocacy so be sure that you can defend your choices. I do prefer that the topic is an access point for your advocacy.
2. The negative should always have the option of defending the status quo (in other words, I assume the existence of some conditionality) unless argued otherwise.
3. The net benefits to a counterplan must be a reason to reject the affirmative advocacy (plan, both the plan and counterplan together, and/or the perm) not just be an advantage to the counterplan.
4. I enjoy a good link narrative since it is a critical component of all arguments in the arsenal—everything starts with the link. I think the negative should mention the specifics of the affirmative plan in their link narratives. A good link narrative is a combination of evidence, analytical arguments, and narrative.
5. Be sure to assess the uniqueness of offensive arguments using the arguments in the debate and the status quo. This is an area that is often left for judge intervention and I will.
6. I am not the biggest fan of topicality debates unless the interpretation is grounded by clear evidence and provides a version of the topic that will produce the best debates—those interpretations definitely exist this year. Generally speaking, I can be persuaded by potential for abuse arguments on topicality as they relate to other standards because I think in round abuse can be manufactured by a strategic negative team.
7. I believe that the links to the plan, the impact narratives, the interaction between the alternative and the affirmative harm, and/or the role of the ballot should be discussed more in most kritik debates. The more case and topic specific your kritik the more I enjoy the debate. Too much time is spent on framework in many debates without clear utility or relation to how I should judge the debate.
8. There has been a proliferation of theory arguments and decision rules, which has diluted the value of each. The impact to theory is rarely debating beyond trite phrases and catch words. My default is to reject the argument not the team on theory issues unless it is argued otherwise.
9. Speaker points--If you are not preferring me you are using old data and old perceptions. It is easy to get me to give very high points. Here is the method to my madness on this so do not be deterred just adapt. I award speaker points based on the following: strategic and argumentative decision-making, the challenge presented by the context of the debate, technical proficiency, persuasive personal and argumentative style, your use of the cross examination periods, and the overall enjoyment level of your speeches and the debate. If you devalue the nature of the game or its players or choose not to engage in either asking or answering questions, your speaker points will be impacted. If you turn me into a mere information processor then your points will be impacted. If you choose artificially created efficiency claims instead of making complete and persuasive arguments that relate to an actual victory path then your points will be impacted.
10. I believe in the value of debate as the greatest pedagogical tool on the planet. Reaching the highest levels of debate requires mastery of arguments from many disciplines including communication, argumentation, politics, philosophy, economics, and sociology to name a just a few. The organizational, research, persuasion and critical thinking skills are sought by every would-be admission counselor and employer. Throw in the competitive part and you have one wicked game. I have spent over thirty years playing it at every level and from every angle and I try to make myself a better player everyday and through every interaction I have. I think that you can learn from everyone in the activity how to play the debate game better. The world needs debate and advocates/policymakers more now than at any other point in history. I believe that the debates that we have now can and will influence real people and institutions now and in the future—empirically it has happened. I believe that this passion influences how I coach and judge debates.
Logistical Notes--I prefer an email chain with me included whenever possible. I feel that each team should have accurate and equal access to the evidence that is read in the debate. I have noticed several things that worry me in debates. People have stopped flowing and paying attention to the flow and line-by-line which is really impacting my decision making; people are exchanging more evidence than is actually being read without concern for the other team, people are under highlighting their evidence and "making cards" out of large amounts of text, and the amount of prep time taken exchanging the information is becoming excessive. I reserve the right to request a copy of all things exchanged as verification. If three cards or less are being read in the speech then it is more than ok that the exchange in evidence occur after the speech.
i love debate.
tell me how i should evaluate the round. tell me why you win if i choose to evaluate the round that way.
whatever style of debate you feel best doing: go for it. i usually flow by hand so please pop your tags.
keep it lovely. i take speaker points when debaters are mean.
if the debate is lopsided and you're winning by a mile against more novice debaters, you'll get a 30 and 29.9 by going slower, explaining the debate to the other team clearly during cross-ex, and making the round educational.
im familiar with all styles of 1ac's. i consider role of the ballot arguments as framing, and dont necessarily weigh traditional standards and f/w voters above other frameworks unless told to with warranted arguments. using specific cards of a k aff to impact turn framework is undervalued in high school debate, for some reason.
im looking for warrant comparison in the rebuttals. i like to directly quote the 2nr and 2ar in my rfd, so impact stories and reading warrants from important cards are winning strategies to get my ballot.
i have little sympathy for debaters answering cards that are in the doc but are not read in the speech. this is worse than missing a card on your flow, it shows that you're just not flowing. i want to be added to the doc so i can read your evidence throughout the debate, but i will not flow off the doc.
High School LD
see above. i try my best to give leeway to the four minutes 1ar, but that can be difficult to discern. i notice a lot of cultural norms around theory debates. to be extra clear: if there is k offense in the 2n and the 2ar goes for theory without addressing the k offense, im probably going to vote that the impacts of the k outweigh fairness or whatever. i simply expect the 2ar to layer the voters for me, extend an apriori issue, or something of the sort. i think that assuming theory is layered before the impacts of the debate is intervening.
im somewhat familiar with pf. i will not evaluate advocacies in this event.
im bothered by the evidence norms of this event. i see debaters read authors and taglines as if that is sufficient, but debate should include analyzing evidence. that means reading warrants directly from the authors of the evidence. if your opponents are flying through taglines of evidence instead of reading parts of the studies/articles, i would be persuaded by an argument that told me to not evaluate taglines as evidence. if your style is name dropping as many authors as you can, im probably not the best judge for you.
here's some of NSDA Board Member Dave Huston's thoughts on this. i agree with what the paragraph below.
"The NSDA evidence rule says specifically that you need to provide the specific place in the source you are quoting for the paraphrasing you have used. .........[redacted because im not Dave Huston]...
...If you like to paraphrase and then take fifteen minutes to find the actual evidence, you don't want me in the back of the room. I will give you a reasonable amount of time and if you don't produce it, I'll give you a choice. Drop the evidence or use your prep time to find it. If your time expires, and you still haven't found it, take your choice as to which evidence rule you have violated. In short, if you paraphrase, you better have the evidence to back it up."
copied from a former coach:
*I think 'previous debate experience' sections of judging philosophies are mostly for peculiar in group fronting and/or serve to reify fairly problematic norms of treating debate 'expertise' or whatever like a value neutral concept, so.
Updated Sept 5, 2022
Jesuit College Prep - for a long while; back in the day undergrad debate - Baylor U
Please use email@example.com for speech docs. I do want to be in the email chain.
However, I don't check that email a lot while not at tournaments - so if you need to reach me not at a tournament, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reason for update - I have updated my judging paradigm not because my fundamental views of debate have changed, really. BUT , as one of my labbies put it this summer, apparently the detail of my previous paradigm was "scary". So, I have tried to distill down some of the most important ways I evaluate debate.
Clash - it's good - which means you need to flow and not script your speeches. LBL with some clear references to where you're at = good. Line by line isn't answer the previous speech in order - it's about grounding the debate in the 2ac on off case, 1nc on case.
Dates and "real world" matter - with WMD after 9/11 and immigration during Trump as close rivals, this topic seems one of the most current event influenced debate topics I've experienced. Obviously I mean this in terms of Russia invasion on Feb 24, 2022 - but I also mean in the sense of Madrid Summitt and new Strategic Concept as it relates to the areas; new president in the US as of 2021 with very different policies about NATO and IR; etc. You do not need evidence to integrate current events into your argument - you do need an explanation about why dates matter - ie what's happened that the other team's arguments don't assume. But these arguments can go far in my mind to reduce risk of a DA or an advantage - so you should make these arguments and use as indicts of the other team's evidence as appropriate. . I am persuaded by teams that call out other teams based on their evidence quality, author quals, lack of highlighting (meaning they read little of the evidence
Process CPs and other neg trickeration - it's such a good topic that I would definitely prefer to see topic specific arguments. This means that there are some process CPs or other debates grounded in the lit that are really good debates; there are some that are not. Particularly as the season progresses, I would expect a discussion of what normal means is - both on the aff and the neg to justify process-y cps.
DAs - it's possible to win zero risk that the DA is an opportunity cost to the aff.
Ks - specific links are good. You should have a sense on the aff and the neg what FW is going to get you in a debate.
K affs - should be tied to the topic in some way. If they aren't, then neg args with topical versions or ways to access the education the K aff offers through the resolution are usually persuasive to me. If the aff has a K of the topic, that's great offense that negs need to have an answer. I don't think that debate is just a game. Its a competitive activity that does shape our political subjectivity.
T - if you have a good violation and reasons why an aff should be excluded, by all means read it. If you are just reading it as a "time suck" then, meh, read more substance. And, an argument that ends in -spec is usually an uphill battle unless it's clever [this cleverness standard does preclude generally a- and o-]
Impact turns - topic specific one = good; generic ones - more meh
New affs are good - and don't need to be disclosed before a debate if it's truly the very first time that someone at your school has read the argument. But new affs may justify theoretically sketchy args by the neg - you can integrate that into the theory debate, you don't need a new affs bad 1nc arg to do that.
Be nice to each other - it's possible to be competitive without being overly sassy.
Modality matters - when you are debating in person, remember that people can hear you talk to your partner and you should have a line of sight with the judge. If you are online, make sure that your camera is on when possible to create some engagement with the judge.
Paradigm from 2017 through February 2024.
Yes, I want to be on the email chain, please put both emails on the chain.
I attempted to resist the point inflation that seems to happen everywhere these days, but I decided that was not fair to the teams/debaters that performed impressively in front of me.
27.7 to 28.2 - Average
28.3 to 28.6 - Good job
28.7 to 29.2 - Well above average
29.3 to 29.7 - Great job/ impressive job
29.8 to 29.9 - Outstanding performance, better than I have seen in a long time. Zero mistakes and you excelled in every facet of the debate.
30 - I have not given a 30 in years and years, true perfection.
I am willing to listen to most arguments. There are very few debates where one team wins all of the arguments so each of you must identify what you are winning and make the necessary comparisons between your arguments and the other team's arguments/positions. Speed is not a problem although clarity is essential. If I think that you are unclear I will say clearer and if you don't clear up I will assign speaker points accordingly. Try to be nice to each other and enjoy yourself. Good cross-examinations are enjoyable and typically illuminates particular arguments that are relevant throughout the debate. Please, don't steal prep time. I do not consider e-mailing evidence as part of your prep time nonetheless use e-mailing time efficiently.
I enjoy substantive debates as well as debates of a critical tint. If you run a critical affirmative you should still be able to demonstrate that you are Topical/predictable. I hold Topicality debates to a high standard so please be aware that you need to isolate well-developed reasons as to why you should win the debate (ground, education, predictability, fairness, etc.). If you are engaged in a substantive debate, then well-developed impact comparisons are essential (things like magnitude, time frame, probability, etc.). Also, identifying solvency deficits on counter-plans is typically very important.
Theory debates need to be well developed including numerous reasons a particular argument/position is illegitimate. I have judged many debates where the 2NR or 2AR are filled with new reasons an argument is illegitimate. I will do my best to protect teams from new arguments, however, you can further insulate yourself from this risk by identifying the arguments extended/dropped in the 1AR or Negative Bloc.
GOOD LUCK! HAVE FUN!
LD June 13, 2022
A few clarifications... As long as you are clear you can debate at any pace you choose. Any style is fine, although if you are both advancing different approaches then it is incumbent upon each of you to compare and contrast the two approaches and demonstrate why I should prioritize/default to your approach. If you only read cards without some explanation and application, do not expect me to read your evidence and apply the arguments in the evidence for you. Be nice to each other. I pay attention during cx. I will not say clearer so that I don't influence or bother the other judge. If you are unclear, you can look at me and you will be able to see that there is an issue. I might not have my pen in my hand or look annoyed. I keep a comprehensive flow and my flow will play a key role in my decision. With that being said, being the fastest in the round in no way means that you will win my ballot. Concise well explained arguments will surely impact the way I resolve who wins, an argument advanced in one place on the flow can surely apply to other arguments, however the debater should at least reference where those arguments are relevant. CONGRATULATIONS & GOOD LUCK!!!
LD Paradigm from May 1, 2022
I will update this more by May 22, 2022
I am not going to dictate the way in which you debate. I hope this will serve as a guide for the type of arguments and presentation related issues that I tend to hear and vote on. I competed in LD in the early 1990's and was somewhat successful. From 1995 until present I have primarily coached policy debate and judged CX rounds, but please don't assume that I prefer policy based arguments or prefer/accept CX presentation styles. I expect to hear clearly every single word you say during speeches. This does not mean that you have to go slow but it does mean incomprehensibility is unacceptable. If you are unclear I will reduce your speaker points accordingly. Going faster is fine, but remember this is LD Debate.
Despite coaching and judging policy debate the majority of time every year I still judge 50+ LD rounds and 30+ extemp. rounds. I have judged 35+ LD rounds on the 2022 spring UIL LD Topic so I am very familiar with the arguments and positions related to the topic.
I am very comfortable judging and evaluating value/criteria focused debates. I have also judged many LD rounds that are more focused on evidence and impacts in the round including arguments such as DA's/CP's/K's. I am not here to dictate how you choose to debate, but it is very important that each of you compare and contrast the arguments you are advancing and the related arguments that your opponent is advancing. It is important that each of you respond to your opponents arguments as well as extend your own positions. If someone drops an argument it does not mean you have won debate. If an argument is dropped then you still need to extend the conceded argument and elucidate why that argument/position means you should win the round. In most debates both sides will be ahead on different arguments and it is your responsibility to explain why the arguments you are ahead on come first/turns/disproves/outweighs the argument(s) your opponent is ahead on or extending. Please be nice to each other. Flowing is very important so that you ensure you understand your opponents arguments and organizationally see where and in what order arguments occur or are presented. Flowing will ensure that you don't drop arguments or forget where you have made your own arguments. I do for the most part evaluate arguments from the perspective that tech comes before truth (dropped arguments are true arguments), however in LD that is not always true. It is possible that your arguments might outweigh or come before the dropped argument or that you can articulate why arguments on other parts of the flow answer the conceded argument. I pay attention to cross-examinations so please take them seriously. CONGRATULATIONS for making it to state!!! Each of you should be proud of yourselves! Please, be nice in debates and treat everyone with respect just as I promise to be nice to each of you and do my absolute best to be predictable and fair in my decision making. GOOD LUCK!
Feel free to email me with any questions about my paradigm
Only send speech docs to Powell.email@example.com
ASK FOR POLICY PARADIGM - The paradigm below is designed mostly for LD. Some things change for me when evaluating the different events/styles of debate. Also when you ask please have specific questions. Saying "What's your paradigm?", will most likely result in me laughing at you and/or saying ask me a question.
About Me: I graduated from Crowley High School in 2013, where I debated LD for three years mostly on the TFA/TOC circuit. I ran everything from super stock traditional cases to plans/counterplans to skepticism, so you probably can't go wrong with whatever you want to run.I debated at The University of Texas at Dallas, in college policy debate for 3 years. I taught and coached at Greenhill School from 2018 to 2022. Running any sort of Morally repugnant argument can hurt you, if you're not sure if your argument will qualify ask me before we begin and I'll let you know.
Speed: I can flow moderately fast speeds (7-8 on a scale of 10), but obviously I'll catch more and understand more if you're clear while spreading. I'll say "clear"/"slow" twice before I stop attempting to flow. If I stop typing and look up, or I'm looking confused, please slow down!! Also just because I can flow speed does not mean I like hearing plan texts and interpretations at full speed, these things should be at conversational speed.
Cross Examination: While in front of me cx is binding anything you say pertaining to intricacies in your case do matter. I don't care about flex prep but I will say that the same rules of regular cx do apply and if you do so your opponent will have the chance to do so. Also be civil to one another, I don't want to hear about your high school drama during cx if this happens you will lose speaker points.
Prep Time: I would prefer that we don't waste prep time or steal it. If you're using technology (i.e. a laptop, tablet, or anything else) I will expect you to use it almost perfectly. These things are not indicative of my decision on the round rather they are pet peeves of mine that I hate to see happen in the round. I hate to see rounds delayed because debaters don't know how to use the tools they have correctly.UPDATE. You need to flow. The excessive asking for new speech docs to be sent has gotten out of hand. If there are only minor changes or one or two marked cards those are things you should catch while flowing. I can understand if there are major changes (3 or more cards being marked or removed) or new cards being read but outside of this you will get no sympathy from me. If you are smart and actually read this just start exempting things. I don't look at the speech doc I flow. If you opponent doesn't catch it so be it. If this happens in rounds I am judging it will impact your speaker points. If you would like a new doc and the changes are not excessive per my definition you are free to use your own prep time, this will not effect your speaker points.
Theory: I don't mind theory debates - I think theory can be used as part of a strategy rather than just as a mechanism for checking abuse. However, this leniency comes with a caveat; I have a very low threshold for RVI's (i.e. they're easier to justify) and I-meet arguments, so starting theory and then throwing it away will be harder provided your opponent makes the RVI/I-meet arguments (if they don't, no problem). While reading your shell, please slow down for the interpretation and use numbering/lettering to distinguish between parts of the shell!
Also theory debates tend to get very messy very quickly, so I prefer that each interpretation be on a different flow. This is how I will flow them unless told to the otherwise. I am not in the business of doing work for the debaters so if you want to cross apply something say it. I wont just assume that because you answered in one place that the answer will cross applied in all necessary places, THAT IS YOUR JOB.
- Meta-Theory: I think meta-thoery can be very effective in checking back abuses caused by the theory debate. With that being said though the role of the ballot should be very clear and well explained, what that means is just that I will try my hardest not to interject my thoughts into the round so long as you tell me exactly how your arguments function. Although I try not to intervene I will still use my brain in round and think about arguments especially ones like Meta-Theory. I believe there are different styles of theory debates that I may not be aware of or have previously used in the past, this does not mean I will reject them I would just like you to explain to me how these arguments function.
Speaks: I start at a 27 and go up (usually) or down depending on your strategy, clarity, selection of issues, signposting, etc. I very rarely will give a 30 in a round, however receiving a 30 from me is possible but only if 1) your reading, signposting, and roadmaps are perfect 2) if the arguments coming out of your case are fully developed and explained clearly 3) if your rebuttals are perfectly organized and use all of your time wisely 4) you do not run arguments that I believe take away from any of these 3 factors. I normally don't have a problem with "morally questionable" arguments because I think there's a difference between the advocacies debaters have or justify in-round and the ones they actually support. However, this will change if one debater wins that such positions should be rejected (micropol, etc). Lastly, I do not care if you sit or stand while you speak, if your speech is affected by your choice I will not be lenient if you struggle to stand and debate at the same time. UPDATE. If you spend a large chunk of time in your 1AC reading and under-view or spikes just know I do not like this and your speaks may be impacted. This is not a model of debate I want to endorse.
General Preferences: I need a framework for evaluating the round but it doesn't have to be a traditional value-criterion setup. You're not required to read an opposing framework (as the neg) as long as your offense links somewhere. I have no problem with severing out of cases (I think it should be done in the 1AR though). NIBs/pre standards are both fine, but both should be clearly labeled or I might not catch it. If you're going to run a laundry list of spikes please number them. My tolerance of just about any argument (e.g. extinction, NIBS, AFC) can be changed through theory.
Kritiks and Micropol: Although I do not run these arguments very often, I do know what good K debate looks like. That being said I often see Kritiks butchered in LD so run them with caution. Both should have an explicit role of the ballot argument (or link to the resolution). For K's that are using postmodern authors or confusing cards, go more slowly than you normally would if you want me to understand it and vote on it.
Extensions and Signposting: Extensions should be clear, and should include the warrant of the card (you don't have to reread that part of the card, just refresh it). I not a fan of "shadow extending," or extending arguments by just talking about them in round - please say "extend"!! Signposting is vital - I'll probably just stare at you with a weird look if I'm lost.
Some of the information above may relate to paper flowing, I've now gone paperless, but many of the same things still apply. If I stop typing for long stretches then I am probably a bit lost as to where you are on the flow.
I am a stock issue and flow judge. I would like to see a clean, well-organized, and signposted debate where both teams use their ground well and have clear, well-written arguments and cases. I prefer a more traditional debate round, but the biggest thing for me is "can I understand what you are saying." I do not want to just read your flashed case off of my computer, I should be able to hear you quickly reading your case to me and flow the round from your verbal communication.
While I recognize the Kritiques have their time and place, to win my vote on them they have a very clear link and a well-articulated alternative.
my email for email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tristan Rios (they/them)
BTW looking for teams to coach, feel free to reach out via email
Email - Trisrios6955@gmail.com - plz put me on the email chain
for organizational reasons please make the subject of the email chain "Tournament - Round # - Aff team v Neg team" or something similar
who on hell is Tristan?
I am currently debating at UT Dallas (2022-Present), I have been debating for 6 years prior - 2 years at Lopez Middle school (2016-2018) , and 4 years at Ronald Reagan High school (2018-2022)
last year i was an assistant coach at Coppell as well as a coach for a few individual cx and ld teams
I have done it all, from occult horror storytelling to trans theory to baudrillard, to the all foreboding framework makes the gamework, the kids i coach also go for a very wide variety of arguments from exclusive k teams to policy fascists. Both me and the kids I coach have gotten bids and been to the toc. I state this not as a flex but more so to state that even though I may seem very k leaning (and I admit it is the literature i read the most in my freetime) but I have successfully coached and am aware of a wide variety of argumentative styles which means you will do best if you do you, dont try to adapt. if I think an argument is bad that doesn't mean i dont evaluate it, it just means i have a higher expectation for the other team to answer it well.
- trigger warnings
- anysort of interpersonal "-isms" that is done from debater to debater
- generic links are fine as long as they are contextualized to the aff
- I want to be on the email chain, but I am not going to “read-along” during constructives. I may reference particular cards during cross-ex if they are being discussed, and I will probably read cards that are important or being contested in the final rebuttals. But it’s the job of the debaters to explain, contextualize, and impact the warrants in any piece of evidence. I will always try to frame my decision based on the explanations on the flow (or lack thereof).
- I default to viewing every speech in the debate as a rhetorical artifact IF not told otherwise. Teams can generate clash over questions of an argument’s substance, its theoretical legitimacy, or its intrinsic philosophical or ideological commitments.
- I think spin control is extremely important in debate rounds and compelling explanations will certainly be rewarded. And while quantity and quality are also not exclusive I would definitely prefer less cards and more story in any given debate as the round progresses. I also like seeing the major issues in the debate compartmentalized and key arguments flagged.
if u send blocks during the debate +0.3 speaks
if u open source + 0.1 speaks
Note for LD:
i know alot of tech judges have a strange amount of distaste for evaluating traditional debate, but dont worry about that with me, i will happily judge the round regardless of your stylistic preferences
Mitch Tillison is somewhere between a traditional stock issues judge and a policymaking judge. First decision check is based on simple calculus for impacts of Adv Vs DA. Once a CP is introduced the judge believes in the power of positive intent and will weigh advantages of AFF v NEG CP. Debates often slip the boundaries of such simple calculus, and once they do the judge will be more of a tabula rasa type; however, the judge is less experienced than others so debaters who run more complex arguments will need to be specific and clear.
This judge is also not bothered by spreading, but debaters should provide documentation that is clear and organized well-enough for the judge to flow since this significantly improves the judges ability to follow the debate.
Zachary Watts (call me Zach, please)
Affiliation: Jesuit Dallas
History: Debated at Jesuit Dallas for 3 years in high school and at UT Austin for 4 years, coached at Jesuit Dallas for a year.
Speaker Position: 2A/1N in high school, 2N/1A in college
Note: I haven't been too involved with judging, research, or argument development on this topic (for both college and high school), so I likely won't be super familiar with topic-specific arguments - when you're going for arguments, make sure that you're fully explaining them!
If you need a shorter version because this is right before a debate -
1. be nice to your opponents - debate isn't an activity to make people feel bad.
2. Make sure you're clear - I'm okay with speed, but if I can't understand you I can't flow you.
3. You should feel free to run the arguments that you're used to running and the debate will probably flow better if you do that as opposed to trying to fit my preferences - make sure you're condensing down to the key questions of the debate in the final rebuttals providing impact framing so I can evaluate which impacts I should view first.
Have fun and good luck!
I will try my best to evaluate the debate based upon what I flow, although I am human and have some tendencies/leanings (discussed further below). I will flow the debate to the best of my ability - go as fast as you like, but if I can't understand what you're saying, I can't flow you (if this is the case, I will say clear - if you hear this either slow down or enunciate more (or both)). I will read a piece of evidence at the end of a debate if it is particularly important to my decision and heavily contested or you ask me to read it after the round (and have explained what you think is the problem with the evidence/why it warrants reading it after the round), but I think that the debate should come down to your analysis of the evidence in your speeches and comparative arguments as to why I should prefer your evidence/argument. I don't count flashing as prep - however, if you are obviously prepping after you called to stop, I will start prep and notify you that I'm doing so. If you are cheating (i.e. clipping cards) you will lose the round and get minimal speaker points; if you accuse somebody of cheating and there is not proof that they did so, the same will happen to you (and, in that case, not the team accused of cheating) - debate is supposed to be a fun, educational activity - don't ruin it for other people by trying to gain an unfair competitive advantage.
As stated above, I'm fine with you speaking quickly, just don't sacrifice clarity for speed. Please engage in line-by-line and clash with the other team's arguments (this means doing some comparative analysis between your argument and that of your opponent, not just playing the "they say, we say" game or extending your arguments without referencing those of your opponent). If you could stick to the 1NC order on case and the 2AC order of arguments on off-case, that is very much appreciated. Using CX strategically (i.e. setting up your arguments, fleshing out some of their args to contextualize comparative analysis, pointing out flaws in their evidence, etc, and actually implementing them in your speech (it's okay to take prep to make sure some of the good things from CX make it into your speech)) will definitely earn you points. I will start at 28.5 and add or deduct points from there. Doing the things I said above will earn you more points (more points for executing them well) and not doing them or being rude to the other team will lose you points.
I think that topicality tends to be a bit overused as a time-suck for the 2AC, but don't let that deter you from running it - just an observation. If you're going to run T, you need to clearly articulate what your vision for the topic is, why the aff does not fit in that interpretation, and why the aff not fitting under that interpretation is bad and a reason that your interpretation is good. A lot of this comes down to the standards debate, but really explain why allowing the aff's scholarship being read in the round is bad for debate - why does the aff being outside of your interpretation make debate unfair for the negative team and why is that bad and/or why does the aff's form of scholarship trade off with topic-specific education and why should that come before the aff's form of education? On the aff, you should push back on these questions - you should have a we meet, a counter-interpretation (or at least a counter-interpretation and a reason why their interp is bad for the topic), and a reasonability argument - if I think that the aff fits within a fair interpretation of the topic and doesn't cause the "topic explosion" internal link that the neg is saying you do, I'm very likely to lean aff in that debate (please don't go for only reasonability in the 2AR - at that point, if you don't even have a we meet, it's very difficult for me to determine how you are reasonably topical). Please also be framing the impacts in terms of what the aff justifies (for the neg) or in terms of what it does in the round (for the aff, especially if you're pretty close to the topic) and explain why I should look at the T debate in a specific light (i.e. "in-round abuse" vs. "it's what they justify"). Especially in the rebuttals, please slow down a little bit on T (you don't have to go conversational speed, but please don't sound like you're going as fast as you would reading a piece of evidence) - it's a very technical debate to have and I might not get every warrant if I can't write down the words that you're saying as quickly as you're saying them, which may be frustrating to you if I didn't get something important. There's not a lot of pen time (i.e. times when I can catch up with flowing such as when cards are being read), so slowing down a bit on T would probably be beneficial for you.
I think that counterplans are extremely useful and strategic for the negative and are often blown off by the aff. Counterplans should be competitive (textually as well as functionally - aff, if you point out that a CP is not functionally competitive, I am pretty likely to lean aff and dismiss the CP - be careful with this, though, as process CPs often have an internal net benefit; you should engage that CP on a theoretical level as well. Use CX to determine what the CP actually does before making the arguments about CP competitiveness), and I think process CPs are usually not theoretically justifiable. I am more likely to view these CPs a legitimate, however, if you have a solvency advocate specific to the aff or can use the aff's solvency evidence to justify the CP (especially if you have a reason why whatever process you do the aff through can't just be tacked onto the aff via a perm). Perms should not sever or be intrinsic, and CPs must demonstrate an opportunity cost with the aff.
Note about CP competition - CPs must be both textually and functionally competitive - that means if you're running a PIC, in order to compete, it must not only functionally do less than the plan, the CP text must also be written in such a way that it does not include all of the plan text.
If you're running a process CP, it must have a net benefit that is a DA to the aff and not simply an advantage to the process the CP has chosen. If it is the case that the process must be done in the context of the affirmative in order to achieve that advantage, then you have established an opportunity cost with the plan. If not, you have not established an opportunity cost with the plan.
Neg, run specific links, diversify your impacts across DAs and make sure that the 1NC shell isn't just a case turn. Both sides need to do some impact calculus and tell me why your impacts turn the other team's or just outweigh them. Aff, especially in debates with multiple DAs, make sure your strategy is consistent - don't double-turn yourself across flows.
Politics DAs - I'm not a fan of the politics DA - I'm not saying you can't run it, but I'm more likely to reward smart aff analytics that point out inconsistencies in the uniqueness-link-internal link logic chain of the DA even if you read a lot of evidence highlighted to produce a warrant where none actually exists.
I don't think that Ks should be excluded from debate, and I think that questioning the philosophical and theoretical basis of the arguments that are run is a good educational exercise that can be enjoyable to watch when it is done well. I think that you should read a specific link to the aff (or at the very least be able to explain why something the aff does is indicted by the link evidence you've read), an impact with a clear internal link to the link argument, and an alternative to solve that. While I think that Ks that impact out the implications of the aff's rhetoric in-round might lower the threshold for alt solvency beyond a rejection of the plan, anything (like the cap K) claiming larger and broader impacts will have to do more work to prove that the alternative is capable of solving that and explaining a reason why the permutation cannot function. For both sides, the FW debate needs to be handled like T in terms of competing interpretations for how I should evaluate the debate and explaining how your interpretation accesses your opponents standards and how your standards outweigh or turn the ones you do not solve. On both sides, you should also be explaining by the rebuttals what the implication of your interpretation is - if I, for example, treat the aff as an object of scholarship, what does that mean in terms of how I evaluate whether or not the aff is a good idea/should be endorsed? I think interpretations should be somewhat generalizable to debate as an activity, not your specific K - I think FW interps along the lines of 'ROB is to do whatever the K is' are too easily characterized by the aff as self-serving and arbitrary metrics for how the debate should be evaluated. Make sure to include turns case analysis in the block in addition to the impact in your 1NC (and remember to extend it in the 2NR!). Affs, you should have a reason that your scholarship should be prioritized, and take advantage of the fact that the weakest part of a K is usually the alt - if you can win reasons why the alt can't solve case or the K, it makes it easier for you to outweigh the K using case. Also, if the link is not specific, you should point that out and use your advantages (if possible) to prove a no link argument or a reason why the perm can solve. While I've become more familiar with the form of some Ks of communication, they're not my favorite and, from what I've seen, usually just become a fiat bad argument. My K literacy is less along the lines of post-modern Ks, so it'll probably take a bit more explanation on those for me to vote on them. I'm not the judge for death good arguments.
K aff v. K debates:
In these debates, it is very important for the negative to distinguish themselves from the aff. I know that sounds obvious, but truly, you need to be very specific about the link - what in specific about the aff are you criticizing (the way they construct the world/explain how violence operates, their solvency mechanism, etc.) and why does that matter - this is particularly true when there's not a whole lot of difference between the aff's and neg's impacts. This can be helped by distinguishing the alternative from the aff in order to resolve whatever link you make. For the aff, use the theoretical grounding that's probably already in your 1AC in order to engage the link debate (it's probably going to be a question of proving that your understanding is correct and good) and (if applicable) make perms. Neg, if you're going to make the argument that the aff shouldn't get perms in a method debate, do a bit of explanation about why (I'm not asking for like a minute on perms bad - maybe a 5 second explanation about testing the affirmative's method is good in debate or about why the two methods are mutually exclusive should be good enough).
After having many of these debates in college, I've come to enjoy thinking about FW debates from both the aff and the neg side. I think that when you're aff, whether you're running a creative take on the topic or have very little relationship to it, you need to come prepared to defend a model of what debate looks like (or why your unlimited approach to debate is good) and why it's better than switch side debate. I phrase it like this because I think that one of my biggest issues with aff approaches to answering FW is that they rely on winning some exclusion offense (that the content of what is being discussed by the aff/1AC is excluded under the neg's interpretation). I feel like that's often not the case - even if you're right that the neg's interpretation precludes you from running this 1AC when you're aff, it doesn't preclude you from running your critique of the topic as a negative strategy. I think that, if you approach the debate with trying to beat switch side debate in mind, you'll have a much better chance of winning that your model of debate is actually key to your offense. On the negative, I think that one of the most important framing arguments you can utilize to neutralize much of the aff's offense is the argument that debate is ultimately a competitive activity - even if it's educational, the ballot and a presumption that either team could get it if they win the debate incentivizes teams to do specific, in-depth research. I think that this allows you to claim that if you're winning a limits DA or another internal link for why the aff's counter-interpretation/model of debate creates an undue procedural burden on the negative, it means that the education impacts the aff claims to solve don't get debated or researched under the aff's model because there's not an incentive to do so.
Theory requires a significant time investment for me to vote on it. I think that most theory arguments (i.e. one of the many reasons a process CP is theoretically objectionable) are reasons to reject an argument not the team; of course, conditionality is a reason to reject the team (if you win the theory debate). Theory arguments should have a clear interpretation, violation, and impact when initiated; the answer should have a counter-interpretation and reasons why that's a better vision of debate. I think that smart counter-interpretations can get out of a lot of theory offense because most theory impacts are based on worst-case scenarios. I think that there is definitely a scale for theory (i.e. I'm much more likely to vote on multiple conditional contradictory worlds than just condo) - while I apparently used to prioritize fairness over education in this calculus, that has decidedly changed. I think that in a condo debate, for example, you're much more likely to convince me that debates are worse quality if the negative gets conditional advocacies than that it is unfair for the negative to get conditional advocacies. Like on topicality, slow down on theory. If this is your victory path, it should be the entirety of your final rebuttal (2AR) - you're going to win or lose on this, and none of the rest of the debate matters when theory is a question of whether the debate should be happening in the first place (although if there are other parts of the debate that the neg has gone for that may be considered a prior question to theory, you need to have arguments for why theory comes first).