2022 — Friday online Sat Roseville HS, MN/US
Varsity Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
heyo im heden (she/her) -- email@example.com add me to the email chain
I debated for eagen all 4 years of high school(2017-2021), I mostly did policy arguments but I'm willing to hear most arguments as long as you aren't intentionally disrespecting someone in the round.
If you know what you are talking about and can explain it well enough, I'm willing to vote on it.
speed is fine as long as you are clear - if you are not clear, I'm not going to flow
I'm chill with whatever, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me via email or before the round.
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. "
Chicago '05; Minnesota Law '14
For e-mail chains (which you should always use to accelerate evidence sharing): firstname.lastname@example.org
2022-23 rounds (as of 3/26): 155
Aff winning percentage: .529
("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.
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, in favor of increased international cooperation in "topically designated areas" at a time when a novel pandemic has made us dependent for the past two and a half years of "two weeks to flatten the curve" on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity in the virtual "debate space" and of which biotechnology offers promising ways out.
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 biometric recognition technology to "Harvard." "According to Professor Crawford of Harvard" (yes, she's a professor at Harvard Law School who's recognized as an expert on this particular issue) doesn't take much longer to say than "according to Harvard," and has the considerable advantage of accuracy.
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.
Name: Matt Davis
Affiliation: St. Croix Prep, Stillwater, MN
Years Coaching: nine
Years Judging: twenty-two
School Strikes: St. Croix Prep
Rounds Judged this year (2020-21): plenty (probably close to sixty?)
***Include me on the email chain (LD, CX)
I debated for St. Francis High School, in Minnesota, from 1989 to 1993, during which time I debated two years of CX and two years of LD. I also debated four years of CEDA debate, debating for various schools. I have been the Director of Speech and Debate at St. Croix Prep in Stillwater, Minnesota since 2013, and I have coached LD, CX, WSD, PF, BQ and all speech categories. I also teach ninth grade English/Ancient Literature at St. Croix Prep.
I believe that competitive debate is an educational space that should allow students to explore the relationships of different arguments and/or philosophical ideas. I also believe that competitive debate is an exercise in effective rhetoric (ethos, pathos, logos). With all this in mind, I love debates that involve teams that know their position in the debate and are passionate about their arguments. If one team in a debate shows that they care more about their arguments than another team, this definitely can have an impact on how I evaluate the round. I typically evaluate each team’s use of evidence, reasoning, and passion to further their arguments and clash with their opponent’s arguments, hence my previous mention of the role of the effective use of ethos, pathos, and logos. Most importantly: Be consistent, tell a good story, and explain your arguments in the context of what has happened up to that point in the debate. Teams that just read pre-written rebuttal speeches that don't contextualize their arguments don't usually do very well in front of me.
World Schools Debate (For Nats)
I follow the WSD judging model fairly closely. Be the team that has its finger on the pulse of the debate and knows where the debate is going and how the arguments are evolving. Be nice, don't be rude, and remember that you have to persuade me that your arguments are important for proving your side.
Solid arguments should be supported with empirics and/or logical reasoning. Well developed arguments will usually have examples or logical warrants that explain the reasoning behind the argument. In this context, WSD is much less about use of cited evidence and more about which side has a more convincing story. Accordingly, I don't really give much weight to cited evidence, unless it is needed to challenge a statistic or quantifiable claim. Even to this extent, WSD should never come down to a numbers game (IMHO), so I really don't want teams "going there." Along these lines, a dropped argument isn't necessarily going to lose you the round, but I will listen to reasons why dropping an entire substantive argument or layer of analysis should affect my decision. Remember, a WSD debate is like a funnel, where many arguments begin to get consolidated to fewer, more developed arguments that have evolved throughout the debate, and positions/ stories should be very clear by the end of the debate.
Delivery is what I consider to be how I am assigning "style" points. I'm not going to add or subtract points if a team has or doesn't have matching outfits...of course. I evaluate vocal variance (pitch, rate, volume, etc), nonverbal communication (hand gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, etc), and how you behave when you are and are not speaking. Again, be nice, don't be rude. Additionally, slow down. WSD is intentional, rhetorically based, and - dare I say - performative at times. This means that you should aim to "sound" persuasive as well. Furthermore, there is also a little bit about style that I will discuss under my POI discussion below.
I think that strategy usually means to me that students are cognizant of the way the debate is developing, and they are willing to be a part in how the debate develops. Having your finger on the pulse of the debate is important. Additionally, I also evaluate strategic choices for your third substantive arguments, how those shed new light on your position, and how they affect the way the debate develops. This can be really cool, so take advantage of this unique aspect of WSD!
Also, I really appreciate when the 3rd and 4th speakers create unique organizational strategies that are unique from on another (principle/practical, essential questions, stakeholders, worlds comparison, etc). This allows me to effectively evaluate the side that is winning the big picture debate, which is how WSD really should be evaluated (IMHO).
I tend to evaluate clash as strategy points, but I know that this can be interwoven in content as well. However, I really want teams to talk about their arguments in the context of what is being said by their opponents. This really helps your arguments to evolve throughout the debate. Lowest ground/highest ground debates are an awesome way to do this, since it shows your judge that you are aware of the possible implications that your opponents' arguments could potentially have on the judge's decision.
Points of Information:
I like debaters to be courteous and intentional in how they pose POI's. POI moments are also a good place for me to determine strategy for those posing POI's and style for your ability to engage with the POI. Make good choices for when you pose POI's, since posing lame POI's and/or POI's that are ill-intentioned. Be thoughtful, be intentional, and try to use the POI's to your advantage in other speeches as well. This can be very effective!
Overall: Once again, be nice, be professional, and have fun!
First of all, evidence is only one part of a debate. Debaters should remember that there are other aspects of debate as well, such as claims and warrants. If you are simply extending an author’s name in order to extend an argument, you still need to extend the claim and warrant, or I am not voting on it. I will look at evidence after the round if the evidence becomes a controversial issue in the debate, or if one team is leaning heavily on a piece of evidence for their win. With this in mind, don’t misrepresent your evidence or make it sound “bigger” than it really is, as this can become an embarrassing moment when someone asks me to read the card and I see that it is hot garbage. One last area that I think is important to note is the citation debate. I don’t think that enough debaters go after their opponents’ sources, and that probably stems from other critical (k) positions. However, if it is clear that the source is biased or should clearly not be considered a reliable source, I would encourage debaters to make this an issue. Also, I am not a big fan of reading more evidence in the rebuttals. Sure, there may be a necessary card or two that can be effective in the first rebuttal for each team, but I would suggest using what you already have read in constructed speeches to respond (this is especially the case in LD). I often find that a 1AR that can use the evidence from the two affirmative constructive speeches should have done enough to "find a way out" of the negative block (if it wasn't in the AC speeches, then its probably too late in CX debate).
Short Version: Be clear and intentional on your tags and author names; you can go faster on your evidence, but I should still be able to understand you. I prefer passion and intensity to speed. Most of my debaters are traditional LD debaters, so I'm not a big fan of circuit speed. Will I flow it if you are slowing for tags and authors? Sure. Will I like it, probably not s'much. In this regard, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SIGNPOST. If you just go on-case and dump a bunch of stuff on the flow, I won't do your work for you.
Long Version: Many of today’s debaters (at least circuit debaters) are not doing much that is different than what has been done in the speed category over the last twenty years. However, I do have some preferences in this regard. When you are speaking at 250+ wpm, I have difficulty distinguishing what you want me to flow versus extraneous evidence text or extemporized explanations, which invariably leads to miscommunications later on in the extension debate. One request that I have to resolve this issue is that debaters speak more articulate and “slower” in their presentation of their signposting, their claims, and their citations. This really shouldn't slow down the overall presentation of the speech by much, but it should make the presentation of those “flow-able” points more intentional. Additionally, I will not shout "clear" or "slower" if you aren't articulating your signposts, tags, and cites. I will probably just have a pained look on my face. After that, I'll just stop flowing. If you see this, you are probably in trouble, so make a conscious effort to accommodate my speed preference for the signposts, tags, and author last name at the very least. An optimal speed is probably around 200-250 on average for me if you at least slow down for these three areas.
As previously mentioned, evidence is only one aspect of rhetoric, and the best debaters know how to balance ethos (evidence), pathos (passion/emotion), and logos (logic/reasoning). Additionally, I feel that the most persuasive debaters are those that can do the line-by-line debating but also move the debate to the bigger picture as well.
While I believe, as previously stated, that competitive debate is an educational space that should allow students to explore the relationships between different arguments and/or philosophical ideas, I do feel that there should be some topical awareness in a debate. With that in mind, I would suggest that any critical affirmative arguments should be accompanied with a thoughtful explanation of why I should entertain a debate that is not related to the topic as worded in the resolution, or explain why their critical affirmative should be considered in the context of the resolution; otherwise, I feel like this is a tough area for me to validate. I would say that my favorite debates are debates that are actually directly tied to the topic and manage to address the underlying issues inherent in the topic through a strong philosophical or political debate (I do enjoy critical affs that are actually topical). However, this doesn't mean that I am partial to these arguments. I will entertain any argument, as long as the debater provides solid and supported rationale for its use in the round and its connection to the topic or the opponent’s arguments.
I really enjoy a great cross examination, especially because it allows debaters to really show their skills when it comes to the interactive part of debate. I think that cross examination is a place that really allows the most prepared debaters to shine. Because of this, I usually determine how I am going to assign speaker points based on a debater's performance in cross-ex. So, please don't ask if you can use the rest of CX as prep. That will always be a big "No."
I am okay with tag-team cross-examination in policy debate to a degree, but I hate it when one debater is clearly the puppet and their partner is the puppet master. This becomes obvious if one debater has no clue how to answer questions posed about what they just read in the speech. That being said, I would encourage you to use tag-team cross-ex as an emergency cord, not as something that should be used frequently.
Just because a debater says that an argument is a voting issue does not make it so. To make an argument into a voting issue, a debater needs to provide warrant for its impact as a voting issue. Each debater should be able to provide decision calculus that makes my job very easy for me (which, ironically, if done well by both sides, may make my job even harder). I am someone who typically votes with their flow, which makes a debater’s speed adaptability and articulation key components in my ability to make a decision in their favor. Additionally, as previously mentioned, I will take a debater’s persuasive style and passion for their arguments into account. I would say that these areas help make my decisions when the debate is very close. Lastly, as far as the “role of the ballot” is concerned, I will leave that up to the debaters to decide. If there is no “role of the ballot” argument made in the debate, I will do my best to intuit this role from your arguments and voting issues.
As has been mentioned previously, I am accepting of most arguments, as long as the debaters are able to explain the rationale behind running such an argument and the impact that the argument has on the debate. I love direct clash, since I believe that this shows a team’s level of preparedness, especially in policy debate, but I also love good critical discussions as well. Overall, I would say that the biggest issue for me is speed. Please, please, please, at the very least, make your signposting, claims, and cites audibly clear and slower than the rest of your speech. I believe this also offers you the opportunity to add emphasis to these points as well, and in so doing show the passion you have for your arguments.
For me, everything in Lincoln-Douglas debate should come back to the framework debate (value/criteria). However, if a debater decides to run a policy affirmative (or counterplans, disadvantages, and kritiks on the negative), then I will decide the debate accordingly. However, just because you have a plan doesn't mean that the framework debate is automatically a Utilitarianism debate. If the opposing side reads a value and criteria and makes the debate about how we are to evaluate arguments (value/criteria), then you need to be ready for this debate, since (as previously stated) this is my predisposition in LD debate. A debater could win all of their contention level arguments and still lose a debate if they cannot prove that their method for evaluating the arguments should be preferred over their opponent's method. I think that some of the best LD debaters are those that can attack criteria with supporting evidence, or they can prove how they can perm their opponent’s criteria. Ultimately, I will vote on the voting issues presented in the debate (or impact calculus if the debate becomes a Util debate), but I will consider the criteria debate first and last when making any decision. That being said, I will entertain "nontraditional" affirmatives and negative positions in a debate (Topicality, Kritiks, Theory, etc), but you need to explain its relevance to the topic and/or arguments that have already been presented in the debate.
Public Forum Notes:
Overview: A developed story of how the arguments engage with one another is one thing that must happen in the last speech or two. This can best be accomplished through a worlds comparison. If you are planning on just spreading your opponent out of the round, please be warned that this will not work in front of me. While I can handle speed, I do not like speed in this format of debate, since the speech times are so short. Making two or three well-developed arguments in support of your side and then about the same number against your opponent's side should be enough for you to develop a solid story for your side.
Impact Framing: if you aren't going to make terminal impact claims, then you need to do some kind of impact calculus or impact framing, even if this just means weighing impacts against one another through a cost-benefit analysis. Also, you need to do comparative analysis if there is a framing debate, especially if there is a discrepancy about the way that impacts are being weighed.
Crossfire: This should not be a shouting match. Be respectful and cordial. I shouldn't hear people rudely cutting others off, but at the same time I shouldn't hear people rambling on and on (although this can happen if questions are framed incorrectly). Well thought out questions and concise and supported answers (between seemingly nice people) are a recipe for an excellent crossfire.
How I vote: I want debaters to tell me why I should vote for their position over their opponent's position. If you just barf a bunch of arguments onto the flow and don't explain how I should evaluate them against what your opponents have said, then I probably won't be too keen on buying in to your "story." I'm not a fan of judge intervention, so don't leave me too much room to make my own decision.
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.
Policy debate coach at Como Park Senior High.
CARD coach and policy debate judge at the University of Minnesota.
I am beginning to judge more events other than just policy but I have almost zero experience with other forms of debate.
Please include me on the email chain: email@example.com. Everyone gets plus .1 speaks if I'm not asked to be put on, and I'm just automatically put on the chain. Ask me any questions about my paradigm in person or via email, although I do try to update it regularly with the most important stuff.
Ks on the neg are obviously always fine and for what I think about T-USFG/FW, see the very bottom below the fairness slider. But bottom line, I don't really care what you read as long as you convince me to vote for you, I will.
Stuff related to online debating:
Don't delete analytics from the speech doc, please. I'll probably dock your speaks if I remember to. Online debate is harder to flow than in-person so it's good practice if you want me to catch everything you're saying.
Please slow down a little (especially on T and theory*) because the number of arguments I flow is rarely equal to the number of arguments the speaker actually makes, and those numbers will be much closer to each other if everyone prioritizes clarity and slowing down a bit. Don't just read this and think you're fine. Slow down, please. I know half of all judges ever have something like this in their paradigm but I'm a slower flow than average because I flow on paper.
Read a plan--------------------------x--------------Do whatever (probably at least sorta related to the topic)
Tech--------------x----------------------------Truth -- I hate myself for it, but I am kind of a truth-orientated judge in that I really don't want to vote for silly args, and the worse an arg is, the more leeway I give to answering it
Theory-------------------------------------x--------- Substance -- condo is really the only theory arg that gets to the level of "reject the team", I simply feel that most other theory args are reasons to reject the arg, not the team. Unless the negative goes for the CP/K to which the theory applies in the 2nr, it's a tough sell for me to vote on, "They read [insert abusive off-case position], they should lose".
Conditionality good--------x---------------------Conditionality bad -- this being said, I would much rather see 4-6 good off, than a 7+ mix of good and bad
States CP good (including uniformity)-----------x----------------------50 state fiat is bad
Always VTL----------------x---------------------Never VTL
Impact turn (*almost) everything-x-----------------------------I like boring debate -- to add to this, I'm huge sap for impact calc and specifically rebuttals that provide a detailed narrative of the impacts of the debate and how they interact with the other team's. Impact comparison and impact turns are often the deciding factors for me in close debates
*Almost meaning I'll vote on warming good, death good, etc. but obviously not on args like racism good or sexism good
Process CP's are cheating----------------------x---------------Best fall-back 2nr option is a cheating, plan-stealing CP
Lit determines legitimacy-------x-----------------------Exclude all suspect CPs
Yes judge kick the CP--x-------------------------------------------Judge kick is abusive -- as long as the 2nr says to kick the CP, I'm gonna kick it and just analyze the world of the squo vs the aff and I'm pretty sure there's nothing the aff can really do if condo bad isn't a thing in the round. Heck, I judged a debate where the CP was extended for 30 seconds and not kicked but I still voted neg because the neg won a large risk of a case turn. What I'm saying, is that when you are aff and the neg goes for more than just the CP with an internal NB, beating the CP doesn't equate to winning the debate outright
Presumption----------x--------------------------Never votes on presumption
"Insert this rehighlighting"---------------------x--I only read what you read
I flow on my computer ---------------------------------------x I'm gonna need to borrow some paper
I try to give out speaker points that are representative of how well you performed in the round compared to the tournament as a whole. I try to follow the process detailed here, but I often find myself handing out speaks sort of indiscriminately. Getting good speaks from me includes being respectful and making good choices in the rebuttals (smart kick outs, concessions, and flow coverage).
Clash! I like judging debates where the arguments/positions evolve in relation to one another as opposed to simply in vacuums.
Fairness is an impact---------------x--------------Fairness is only an internal link -- My threshold is usually how close your aff is to the topic in the abstract, i.e. personhood and NATO. I do feel like in the end the main goal of doing debate is to win. The activity obviously serves a ton of other purposes but at the end of each debate, one team wins, and one team loses. This doesn't mean that I think reading a planless aff is unfair and can definitely be convinced that a "fair" debate produces something bad, but it's going to be very hard to convince me that debate is not a game.
Topic education is decent for an education impact but policymaking and policy education are meh. Critical thinking skills can also be extracted from debate and critical skills about calling out state action and for revolution planning.
If you don't read a written-out advocacy statement: Impact turn framework----------x---------------------------Procedural
Debate and life aren't synonymous but I understand that many of your lives revolve heavily around debate, so I will respect any arg you go for as long as you make smart arguments to support it.
yes email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
read whatever arguments you want, don't sacrifice clarity for speed, and do your best to ensure the debate is educational, inclusive, and accessible for all
if you have questions before or after the round let me know or send me an email
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: email@example.com
Chris McDonald (He/Him) - firstname.lastname@example.org
Use the above email for any email chains during the round.
Head Coach Eagan High School in Minnesota
While I mainly have coached and judged Policy Debate for the past 35 years I do judge my fair share of LD and Public Forum Debate Rounds.
Policy Debate - Please know that while I used to judge a lot of rounds throughout the season in policy debate it has been 5 years since I judged more than just a handful of policy rounds. I do work with my school's varsity policy team.
My philosophy has pretty much remained consistent throughout my career. I consider policy debate to be a test of policy based ideas between two teams. How those teams approach the topic and frame the debate is entirely up to them. Below are a few things to know about me on some specifics but please know my primary objective is for us to have an enjoyable round of debate.
Delivery Speed - Since it has been a few years for me since last judging lots of policy debate my ability to listen to really fast debate has faded. Please keep it to a slightly slower speed of delivery especially using the online platforms. I will let you know if you are unclear or going too fast by verbally indicating such during your speech. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being oratory speed and 10 being approaching the sound barrier (only joking here) I would place myself as a 7 these days.
Topicality - I enjoy a good topicality debate but have found that over the years teams are taking too many shortcuts with the initial development of the topicality violation. I prefer topicality to have a clear definition, a clearly developed violation, standards for evaluating the violation and reasons why it is a voting issue. For the affirmative side you really need to engage with the topicality violation and provide a counter interpretation that supports your interpretation of the resolution. Topicality is distinct from framework.
Framework - I also enjoy evaluating a debate when framework is clearly articulated and argued by both the affirmative and negative sides. Framework is focused around how you would like me to evaluate the arguments in the round. Do you prefer a consequentialist framework, a deontological framework, etc..
Critiques - I am fine with critical approaches by the negative and the affirmative sides. For the affirmative please keep in mind that you will need to defend your critical affirmative as either a topical representation of criminal justice reform or why it is important for us to debate your affirmative even if it isn't necessarily within the boundaries of the topic.
Flow - Please label all arguments and positions clearly throughout the debate. Signposting has become a lost art. Debaters doing an effective job of signposting and labeling will be rewarded with higher speaker points.
Disadvantages - Please be certain to articulate your links clearly and having clear internal links helps a great deal.
Counter plans - I think counter plans are an essential tool for negative teams. Please note that I am not a big fan of multiple conditional counter plans. Running a couple of well developed counter plans is better than running 4 or 5 underdeveloped counter plans. Counter plans should have a text to compete against the affirmative plan text.
Theory - General theory in debate rounds like conditionality and that are fine but have rarely been round winners without a lot of time devoted to why theory should be considered over substance.
If you have any questions please let me know and I will happily answer those questions.
1. I am not a fan of theory as it plays out in LD debate rounds. Most of the theory that is argued is pretty meaningless when it comes to the topics at hand. I will only consider topicality if the affirmative is presenting a plan text in the round. I ask that the debaters debate the topic as it is written and not as they would like it to be.
2. Beyond my dislike for theory you are free to pretty much debate the round as you see fit. Please keep your speed to a level where you are clear especially considering buffering time with online platforms you should probably slow down from what you think you are capable of during in-person debates.
3. Evidence should be shared using an email chain. Please include me at email@example.com
4. If you have specific questions please ask. I will disclose at the end of the round but I will also respect the tournaments schedule and work to keep it on time.
1. Evidence is very important to me. I prefer direct quotation of evidence over paraphrasing but understand that paraphrasing is allowed in PF. Please make note of the new NSDA rule regarding paraphrasing. Source Citations: make sure that you present enough of a source citation that I should have no problem locating the evidence you present in the round. This would include the author or periodical name and date at a minimum. So we are clear Harvard in 2014 is not a source citation. Harvard is a really great University but has, to my knowledge never written a word without the assistance of some human that attends or works at Harvard.
2. There is to be no game playing with regards to evidence sharing during or after the round. If you are asked for evidence by your opponents you must produce it in a timely manner or I will discount the evidence and only treat the argument as an unsubstantiated assertion on your part. Even if it means handing over one of your laptops you must provide evidence for inspection by the other team so that they may evaluate it and respond to the evidence in subsequent speeches.
3. Prep Time - you are only provided with 3 minutes of prep time. Please use it wisely. I will only give a little latitude with regards to untimed evidence sharing or organizing your flows, but please be efficient and quick about it.
4. Argument choices are completely up to the debaters. I prefer a good substantive debate with clear clash and that the debaters compare and weigh the arguments they feel are important for their side to prevail as the debate comes into focus but the substance of those arguments is completely within the control of the teams debating.
5. Please respect your opponents and treat everyone involved in the debate round with the utmost respect. Speaker points will be effected by any rude behavior on the part of a debater.
6. I will disclose and discuss my decision at the end of the round so long as there is time and the tournament stays on schedule.
7. Finally, please remember to have fun and enjoy the experience.
Hey, my name is Teddy! I am an assistant coach for Farmington (MN) and I currently debate for the University of Minnesota.
Topics that I have debated: arms sales, CJR, anti-trust, & legal personhood; coached: water protection & NATO
My general view of debate rounds is that debate is a game that tests policy options to solve problems outlined by the resolution of that year--the aff must identify an issue, propose a solution, and then prove that that solution works. The neg must test the strength of that policy, which can be done various ways with multiple positions to make sure the policy is thoroughly tested. I generally default to tech--but can easily be persuaded truth outweighs/comes 1st. Education can spill over (depending on method), debate is a game--but NOT one where “anything goes”--remember to be decent. I have a tendency to view myself as a policy-maker most often, BUT value education highly and can be convinced to switch my evaluation/calculus.
**I worry that my paradigm scares people away from reading Ks in front of me--here are my K-specific thoughts: While I default to a policy-maker if not given a specific-paradigm to follow, I think that the 1AC has the ability to dramatically switch what calculus I use to evaluate the round--it's just up to them to give me a role as the judge & warrant it out. On the neg, I think that the K is a totally reasonable way to prove that the AFF is bad to implement or makes the harms within the squo worse--I prefer Ks that have unique or specific links to the plantext, the assumptions or representations of the aff (including rhetoric), and/or have a way to solve those issues via the alt (or at least prove they don't have to). Framework & theory args that are framed around education are particularly convincing to me.
If your position requires a TW, don't read it in front of me. Send pre-written blocks/analytics/extensions in the chain for accessibility reasons, especially if you intend to read them one right after the other or really fast. Rhetoric does matter and has an immediate, irreversible impact--please still impact out these arguments in the round, though.
If I am judging a category that isn't Policy/CX: please be patient--I'm still learning. Yes, I'm fine with speed. Please make an email chain. Send out everything you intend to read the first time.
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.
Experience: I am a fourth-year policy coach for Rosemount High School. I debated for 4 years at Rosemount High School and currently attend 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
Specific for this Year's Policy Topic: I love the security K, and I think it is probably one of the best Ks on this topic. I also love any cyber-security and elections security affs, because it directly relates to what I do.
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 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 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, most 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.
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 unless they don't specify any actor. 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 recently been running Ableism, Security, Legalism, and Neoliberalism K's as well as Word PIKs, 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. Also, 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 am a very policy-oriented judge, although I am comfortable with certain 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 whoever's reading this, how's your day going? Just putting a message up top here that I go by they/them pronouns. It's listed literally everywhere my pronouns are listed but people consistently get it wrong so here's yet another place to see that.
Note for the 2022-23 season:I don't particularly care if camps or coaches told you to not label your flows in files, label them if your debating in front of me. I view debate as a communication game, if you read that and think that means obfuscating information to cause petty time skews is gonna earn you points in front of me, idrk what to say. I will not vote you down for not catering to this however, it will be reflected in your speaks that you read this and chose not to adapt and I will be likely to have a negative skew towards the rest of your arguments.
Paradigm In progress, feel free to ask anything not yet answered here.
Super basic stuff/Background:
I debated for 4 years in Hs and I'm currently in my second as Central High Schools varsity coach. I have a pretty good grasp on most policy affs and generic negs for this topic but if your gonna run something super off the wall don't assume I'll have a pre-existing understanding, if in depth knowledge of a specific policy or literature is necessary for your argument to work then it's on you to explain that in round. I'm generally fine with any arguments, however, if you decide to be openly hostile towards other debaters I will give you <25 and likely vote you down.
General Judging Philosophy:
Debate is an educational game at the end of the day. In the spirit of this, I'm willing to vote for pretty much anything you are willing to go for. That said I also think debate is a great space for participants to develop their understandings of both policy positions and philosophical ideas. Basically im down to vote on anything that isn't Wipeout/Spark/Overkill etc as long as you want to do the work on it (you're not going to convince me mass death is good and any attempts will be reflected in the ballot).
Debate is also a communication activity and your ability to effectively and clearly communicate arguments will matter in front of me. This gets covered more later but I do not flow off the doc besides checking cites. I will backflow if I miss arguments on the flow that I could still totally understand, I.e I wont punish you if I can't keep up with your spreading but I will if your spreading is unclear.
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. I ran too many conditional CPs/Kritiks in HS not to. That said affs if you have a good argument for the perm being 2ar offense go wild I'm not set on this opinion.
- Tech > Truth 90% of the time. I think this just makes debate more interesting and fair as truth usually skews to one side of a topic. That said being right tends to make your argument more persuasive so its probably a moot point
Speed - I debated relatively fast when I debated and as long as your spreading is good I will be able to hear it fine. My general stance is that speed is probably bad for most teams but if your clear and using the speed to genuinely get more argumentative depth into the round that'll be great. I will not flow off the email chain(authors note: I will back flow if I miss something because my flow is sloppy, if i simply can't understand the words coming out of your mouth I will not). As one final note on speed, reading 6+ off against new/inexperienced teams with the obvious intent to overwhelm them with evidence is not good debate and will hurt your speaks.
Framework - Im fine with framework, I've run both sides of it. Im pretty neutral on it but if I had to skew one way it would probably be neg. My default threshold for framework is "Is the Aff in the direction of the resolution" but I'm open to pretty much any interp of framework as long as you can defend 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 - I'm fine with these, think they can make for really interesting and competitive debates. but I also think they have the potential to be abusive and/or messy, plus like I said above I err slightly neg on framework and if you don't have a justification as to why you could not run a topical aff it's gonna be hard to win. Basically TVA/SSD is very persuasive in front of me. If you wanna win a K aff in front of me your resolutional claim and offense on what education you generate is gonna be important.
Topicality - IMPACT OUT YOUR TOPICALITY, seriously. Proving your violation means nothing if you don't attach and win voters on the flow(I've been told this is a controversial opinion and Im a boomer for having it, so I've gotten quite a bit more leniant on T, but you still need to at least mention voters.). I'm shocked at how little I see definitions authors called into question. A bad author is 100% a reason for me to not accept a T def. Also I default to in round abuse > models for debate, but this is just my default position and I'm happy to adapt to whatever framing of the round you want to argue for.
Actor CPs - I think actor CPs are usually non competitive and lack real lit bases. 50 States/Courts/Whatever actor you feel like is fine to run but know that I will be very easily persuaded by perms against these arguments. Their best used as a strategic way to point out flaws in the case or setting up weird 2nr traps.
Theory (general) - I'm generally fine with theory args as long as they meet the conditions of actually having a definition, violation, and real impacts. I default to in round abuse>models of debate but am open to either. I tend to find that competing models debates lack clash a lot of the time but I'm open to being wrong. Getting up and reading just condo bad because we say so is not persuasive or helping you, theory is just like any other arg it needs to have structure and impacts. My partiality towards and experience with theory likely makes me more critical of bad theory args. Also spreading and theory don't mix great. if you want me flowing 20 in-depth analytical points on T, slow down, if not I won't apologize for missing them.
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. 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 author would support (looking at you biopower teams).Note for some K teams: If the aff drops your alt you don't have to read a ton of new alt solvency cards but Imo you should still be explaining how it solves. "It solves" isn't an argument
Slightly more in depth K thoughts?? if your still reading you've got nothing better to do: Your almost always gonna be right on the UQ and Impact level, to the point most teams simply don't argue uniqueness on kritiks. Where teams lose is it in the Link and Alt debate. Your links need to be relevant to the aff not just the resolution. You can even have generic resolution links I just need some articulation of how X plan action makes the harms of the K happen. On the alt debate, I generally don't like reject alt but even if your running one you need to articulate, as early as possible, how your alt solves impacts of the Kritik (or the aff). If the aff doesn't cause the impx of the K AND the K doesn't solve I don't think you can win the K.
PerfCon - this note basically exists to say I think perf con is a very real and legitimate argument. A team running a cap K alongside evidence/arguments defending the rights of states to drill oil for instance, should have to either justify the discrepancy or be subject to that contradiction being used against them. Also I tend to find Kritiks less persuasive when surrounded by 5 contradicting disads.
Death/Wipeout good- Ill auto vote you down for claiming straight-up death good and will be highly skeptical if not outright hostile to claims bordering on death good.
Anything not listed above you can assume im mostly neutral on. This is my second year judging varsity so most of these biases are based on either my experience debating or research/work I've done with my team and as such are subject to change. 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.
If an email chain is happening I'd like to be on it at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will only reference the email chain for card disputes and authors. P.s for anyone who read this far I'll up your speaks by half a point if you use a flash drive instead of email. No extra points for online debates until I come up with something equally banal as using a flash drive.
Plans and aff "clarification"
I have seen an increase trend towards aff teams reading normative "solvency advocacy" evidence that they would *like* to be descriptive of the plan, that includes a variety of clarifications and specifications *not* in the plan text. Plans are determined by *the plan*, not by aspirational solvency evidence that includes things not in the plan. The aff does get to clarify. There is a mechanism for that. It's the plan. If the aff chooses not to clarify something in the plan, then it is determined by 1) binding cx clarification in situations where the neg does not contest that clarification and 2) normal means as determined by logical argument and descriptive evidence if the neg does choose to contest. normative solvency evidence is not a description of normal means. the decision not to clarify something in the plan is a CHOICE - as with all choices, it comes with strategic upside AND strategic baggage. if something is important for aff solvency, but not in the plan, you are running a grave risk of not being able to access it.
I think too many judges address issues as absolute “yes/no” questions. I am much more likely to think of things in terms of relative risks. That said, relative risks can be EXTREMELY small.
If debated equally, I am prone to thinking that counterplans which are desirable because they result in the affirmative, are, generally speaking, not competitive and make for worse debates. At a fundamental level, I don’t believe they express disagreement with the affirmative plan, which I sort of think is the whole point of debate. That said, I’ve written many of these counterplans, and voted on many of these counterplans.
I lean heavily neg on all other counterplan theory questions.
If both teams are silent on the question, my presumption will be that counterplans identified as “conditional” mean that status quo is always an option for the judge to consider, even if the counterplan is extended by the 2nr. This presumption can easily be changed if debated by either side.
If you are going for a kritik in front of me, the place its most likely to fall apart for me is the alt. You would be well advised to explain what your alternative does and how it is able to meaningfully accomplish its own objectives. If someone is going for a kritik against you, the easiest way to lose me is to drop a “checklist” impact calc claim: “turns case, solves case, X first, extinction inevitable, etc”
I generally view this as question of competing interpretations. I’ve become worse over the years for “silly” topicality arguments. I’m generally easily persuaded that precision is the most important standard. For instance, if the military has a precise and official definition of “presence” it would be difficult to persuade me to disregard that for the sake of limits.
As it may come up, you deserve to know I’m probably a better judge than most for “T-significantly”. Obviously I’m not saying it’s an auto-win, but against some tiny new aff, its definitely a credible option for the neg.....my brain will judge fairly, but my heart can't get over its first love (the negative).
I will do my best to fairly adjudicate any argument made in front of me. No argument is ever procedurally disqualified in advance. I will judge only based on arguments made in the round, rather than arguments I may believe to be “true” that are not well defended within the debate. That said, debate is a persuasion activity, and when arguments are advanced well by both sides, you should know that my proclivities are that debate is better when the affirmative defends topical action. Again, its not impossible, and I will, as always, attempt to judge fairly based on arguments made in the round, but you deserve to know my preferences…..I don’t think they are a secret.
If you are advancing this strategy in front of me, I will say that I think teams sometimes try to “adopt” by attempting to win the “race to the middle”. In my experience this tends to help negs win that “topical version solves aff offense” more than it helps the aff win "link defense" to things like limits and fairness. My advice to you is that you are actually probably better off sticking with a more hardline position that simply impact turns topicality rather than spending time trying to minimize the “link” to the aff standards.
Let's all have a good time and learn some stuff. Do what you feel you are best at and try to emphasize clash. Specific questions can be directed here: email@example.com
Very important note: If you and your partner choose to do tag team debate then you must "tag in" if you want to ask a question and "tag out" when you're done asking questions. How you tag is up to you (high five, fist bump, etc.), but you must do it.
I've been in debate for 19 years - have debated, judged, and coached at regional and national tournaments in high school and used to compete for the UofMN in college, now am Program Manager of the MNUDL. I'll do my best to flow, you should do your best to signpost and clearly read tags and cites. I judge about 10-15 national level high school debates a year. I want to be included on the email chain so I can check for clipping and/or whether a team claims they read something they did or didn't, but my flow will reflect what words come out of your mouth, not what words are in your speech doc. If you want an argument on my flow then make sure you are being clear and articulate; speed isn't a problem for me, but being unclear is. I'll let you know if I can't understand you at least 3 times. At that point if you don't adapt it's your problem :) I will do my best to judge debates in a non-biased way and give you a decision/feedback that I would have liked to have had as a debater/coach.
One other note that hopefully won't be important, if there's a reason that something uncommon needs to happen in a debate (someone needs to take a break due to stress/anxiety/fatigue, there needs to be an accommodation, you or someone else can't debate against another debater or in front of another judge, etc.) please let me know BEFORE THE DEBATE and don't bring it up as a theory argument (unless the other team did something warranting it during the debate). I find it is best to deal with community based issues not through a competitive lens, but through a community consensus and mindfulness model. Be advised, I take issues like this very seriously, so if you bring up something like this in the debate I will decide the outcome of the debate on this point and nothing else. Legitimate reasons are fine and important, but trying to 'game' the system with these kinds of 'ethics' violations will end very poorly for everyone involved.
Updated - 11/17/20
Background: I debated in high school at Minneapolis South and in college at the University of Minnesota '17. I've coached policy debate for 6 years, and am currently the Head Coach of Minneapolis South high school.
If you have any questions about my paradigm/rfd/comments, feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org & also use this to put me on email chains, please and thank you.
I will enforce the tournament rules (speech times/prep/winner and loser, etc.), but the content of the round as well as how I evaluate the content is up to the debaters. Judge instruction is important -- my role is to decide who did the better debating, what determines that is up to you.
Water Topic Thoughts:
All of this is as of Glenbrooks, and subject to change.
1) Extra points if your aff is a big change from the squo - but probably a higher chance of winning if it's not...
1) Thought T-Cessation was bad at Greenhill - still think it's bad, but haven't seen a good definition and there needs to be a limit to the topic so I'm persuadable on debateability o/w predictability (or anything else you can come up with for why your Neg T-interp sets a good limit)
1) Biz Con is a bad DA - sympathetic that there's not good core generics but I'm going to be rolling my eyes during your 2NR
2) Will appreciate creative Ptx DAs
1) Nothing really of note on this topic
2) I dislike adv cps with a ton of planks, and con con
1) Love 'em, do you
1) Judge kick the alt/cp, unless instructed otherwise
2) Condo is good, but there's a limit (i.e. kicking planks probably bad)
3) 2ar only gets args made in the 1ar, but gets to respond to 2nr spin
1) Sending a marked copy does not constitute prep, but requesting a doc where "unread cards are deleted" constitutes prep and will also lower your speaks...just flow the debate