Golden Desert Debate Tournament 2023 at UNLV
2023 — Las Vegas, NV/US
VPF Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I will keep a rigorous flow on my computer, and time each part of the round myself.
Please communicate any needs to me BEFORE we start the round.
I've done one lPDA tournament and one LD tournament. I have a strong understanding of IPDA. I've gained an understanding of LD and by extension policy from being on the team, and debating at a tournament.
This is my first time judging, and also my first time in an official public forum debate tournament, so please be lenient. I have studied the debate style and have a comprehension of it, but let me know if something is inconsistent.
I'm swayed based on technicalities such as things being turned, dropped, or not elaborated on enough, and evidence, impact and solvency calculation.
If you feel like you can not continue the round for any reason, please knock on the table 3 times and I will end the round. This will automatically cause you to lose, but you will not have to continue debating.
I do disclose and am always open to discussing the reason(s) for a decision, and or talking about any questions you have in general.
I debated LD (4 yrs nat circuit) & Policy (2 yrs at states) and graduated in 2020.
I haven't heard spreading in 2 years, so I'd avoid it. If you still choose to spread and I miss something on my flow, that's on you.
You can read whatever you want in front of me. Feel free to ask me any questions before the round.
Email me the constructive before your speech.
Weighing, collapsing on issues, cross fire - that's usually where I see great debaters separate themselves from good debaters. I haven't debated in a while so signposting will help me out a lot with staying on top of the flow.
Hello my name is Sal. I am a parent judge,
I work as an electrical engineer at Intel, and like to read a lot about current events and stay informed with the news. I have judged a lot over the past year, so I am pretty familiar at this point with the format of PF.
Stuff to note:
Content > Pretty Rhetoric
Obviously don't go to fast since I'm a parent
Don't be rude or get too aggressive in the round, make sure to respect your opponents.
Crossfire is important to me.
My English is my 2nd language so please try to talk in simple words.
I will try my best to make a good fair decision and not just sit there and not pay attention. I know it may be frustrating to have a parent judge instead of a professional judge, so I really will try my best to give you all the respect you deserve.
I am a parent-judge. I'm excited to hear you debate, but please do not spread. It's more important that I can follow you. I'm looking for the team with the best argument, logical flow, and good sportsmanship. I will be taking notes during the debate, so you may see me looking down. Don't worry. I'm listening. I would appreciate it if you would keep time yourselves. In final focus, make it clear why you've won. I have great respect for you already. I know you have worked hard and prepared for this day. I'm pulling for each and every one of you.
I am a parent judge and have judged speech and debate over the last several years across ~12 tournaments. I try to judge tournaments using a balanced approach that focuses on content, delivery, language and quality of research.
Flow and respond to what the other team says.
I don't have the speech doc open so do things that make it easier for me to flow. Position yourself so I can hear you. Don't speak into your laptop or stand on the opposite side of the room. Don't read typed-out things like they are the text of a card. Slow down and change the intonation of your voice when you're speaking.
If I don't understand something, I will not vote on it even if it is conceded.
Corss-x starts right after the constructive speech ends.
Starting and stopping prep each time you need to use more prep time will cost at least 15 sec.
Very simply, if you have trigger warnings because the topics are more taboo then I am not the judge for you. If you can't explain it to your school administration or parents without them raising concerns then don't run it in front of me. Time and place are important.
Things I will not vote on:
Arguments that suggest students should engage in risky behavior.
Death is good.
Fear of death is bad
Aff's that don't defend the resolution.
Aff's that link to debate in general instead of the resolution.
Judge pref disclosure
Vote for a team because they are part of a marginalized group.
In fact, it would be better if you just didn't run a K.
A Critique of Full Text Disclosure
A Critique of Disclosure
Vote only for women
This list will be ongoing. I will update it to let you know.
So what is left you might ask:
CP's that are not listed above.
Other things you might want to know:
1. Da's can have a zero-risk.
2. Aff adv's can have zero risk
3. Solvency can have zero risk
4. Substantial will be important in these types of debates.
5. The neg will get a healthy dose of presumption.
I really would like to listen to a debate about the resolution.
PF is different from Policy. PF shouldn't try and be policy. If you try to be policy in a PF then you won't be as successful.
I do not shake hands
TLDR / Overview
I have a year of experience with Novice and Junior Varsity IPDA debate and I have taken a class on Policy debate. I highly value logical lines of argumentation. Be clear in your delivery and be as organized as possible. (I am probably the in-between of a parent judge and an experienced judge.)
I try to keep a decent flow.
Truth over Tech
I greatly dislike if someone is a straight-up @$$ to one another. Being mean = terrible speaks
By all means, swear in your cases! As long as it's not at your opponent.
Try and keep me entertained, debate can get a little boring for judges when you’re just reading off a laptop. Try and be energetic and do something every so often to get my attention if you see me slipping. Bonus speaks if you can make me laugh
If you feel as though you cannot continue the round for any reason and have the ability to knock on the table 3 times please do so and the round will end immediately and a discussion can occur about where to go from there.
Email: email@example.com (please put me on the chain)
Background: I debated policy in high school at St Vincent de Paul High School in California, went to the University of Michigan and didn't debate there. I did a little bit of coaching/judging policy throughout college, and now I'm a coach at The Harker School.
TLDR for prefs: If you want to have a technically executed K debate, I'm your girl. I love a good framework debate. Classic substantive topic-based policy debate is great too. If you rely on theory tricks or are big on phil, I'm probably ~not~ your girl. Above all, be respectful and kind.
Lincoln Douglas: I judge Lincoln Douglas now. I coached at an LD camp (SJDI) a few years ago, but still be gentle with the quirks of the activity please. Some thoughts:
- If you want to persuade me on theory arguments, you're going to have to actually debate and explain the theory arguments. I'm not the best judge to go for conditionality in front of. This isn't to say I won't vote for theory arguments, because I will - just note that I have a low tolerance for bad theory arguments and theory debates that arent warranted and fleshed out. Any LD-specific theory arguments (tricks, etc) please take extra time on (or avoid).
- I love a good K debate, but note that my K background is in policy debate (gender, queer theory, high theory, identity stuff, cap, colonialism, etc etc) and I'm less familiar with LD phil stuff so you'll need to be clear/slow and really write my ballot for me.
RVIs - I will not flow them. Not gonna happen for you. Goodnight moon, game over, no.
Debate is a game. I will vote for literally anything* if you argue it well, frame the debate, and have good evidence supporting it. Techy line-by-line is the way to go always but especially in front of me. If someone drops an argument, don't just say they dropped the argument and move on. Explain how the dropped argument impacts the debate and why I should vote for you with it in mind. The same is true of critical moments in cross-ex. Framing in the last two speeches is incredibly important - write my ballot for me.
PLEASE slow down on taglines, analytics, theory arguments. If you are not clear I will let you know. If you don't adjust when I tell you you're not clear, speaker points will start to go down.
*Literally anything still has its limits. I will vote for "death good" type arguments, impact turns of critical arguments (heg good, war good), and really any silly argument that you win but I will NOT vote for any argument that defends racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other form of oppression, or for personal attacks on your opponents' character.
Ks: This is my wheelhouse (any and all). Note that this does not mean it will be easier for you to win a debate just because you read a K - because of my background in this type of debate I will hold you to a higher performance threshold. For the love of god please do line-by-line.
K affs: When I debated, I consistently read a K aff without a plan text. I also consistently went for framework/topicality against other planless K affs. My knowledge is strong on both sides of this debate, so if you're going to do it, do it well.
DAs/CPs: Not sure if I have anything special to say here. Make sure you do deep impact analysis and case turn work. I err neg on condo + counterplan theory most of the time.
T: Make sure your definitions aren't from silly sources. You have to do internal link and impact debate for topicality too. Topical version of the aff is huge.
Theory: As said above, this is probably my achilles heel in terms of debate knowledge. If you're going to go all in on theory arguments, go slow and explain things.
I'm new to this, but thus far my policy and LD experience has served me well! A few important things:
1) If I am your judge you must have an email chain or google doc. Calling for cards is a waste of time -- send your speech docs before your speeches WITH YOUR EVIDENCE IN THE DOCUMENT! If you do not do this, I will be taking the time it takes you to find the evidence and send it to your opponent out of your prep time.I cannot emphasize this enough.
2) I don't want your "off time road map" to be a list of the arguments you're going to answer. Just tell me which flow goes where - a simple "our case, then their case" works fine.
3) CLASH IS KEY - in the final speeches I NEED some sort of impact and link comparison or else I end up having to intervene more than I like to. Draw lines through the entire debate - your speeches are not islands. Connect them.
I am a judge in PF for Dougherty Valley High School.
- Please do not speak fast, and try to be as clear as possible when you speak.
- You should be telling me how I should be weighing the round.
- Be polite to your opponent and be respectful.
1) Strike me if you are not sending speech docs with cut cards for case and rebuttal. This needs to be done BEFORE the speech and over EMAIL.
2) STOP using flex prep during in-person debates to ask questions like "what was your 5th response to our argument about China?" If your opponents ask this question, don't answer, they should learn how to flow better.
I am currently the Head Public Forum Coach at The Quarry Lane School
Quartered at the TOC, coached TOC clearing teams, and have done some policy @ Wake if that matters to you
Current Conflicts: Quarry Lane (2020-present), Bergen County (2021-2022), North Broward (Alumni), Ardrey Kell (2020-2021), Flanagan (2020)
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lets skip GCX (take 30 seconds of prep each) *Both teams need to agree
It's PF, I don't need a 30 second roadmap
-Turn on your cameras
-Email Chains should be standard
-Use the chat
-"I had connection problems" is a fine excuse to clarify arguments in the debate. Don't abuse this though.
Impact calculus is the most important part of public forum. Explaining why your impact is more significant than your opponents will win you the round if you win your links. Explaining evidence is a part of extending it. For example, "Extend Ferguson 14 from our case" is not an extension, but "Extend Ferguson in 14 who explains that the BRI has been responsible for pushing 40 countries into high debt because countries cannot pay back loans" is an extension. Don't drop arguments. Dropped arguments are extremely difficult to recover from, and in the majority of cases, if a team weighs and implicates their argument, it's game over. I will be flowing on my computer using excel.
2nd rebuttal should answer the 1st. First summary needs to extend defense given the 3-minute summary change. Cohesion from summary to final focus is vital in gaining offense from your argument. I don't love new argument spins in final focus, but if it was brought up in cross and is something I could see coming it is not considered new. I presume the status quo unless you argue otherwise.
I will disclose my decision in every debate. I will do my best to give the best feedback possible and provide insight into why I made the decision I did. If you have any questions about the round please feel free to ask or message me on facebook after the debate.
Read (kritiks, theory, disads, counterplans, etc). For background, I come from a policy centric team and have experience debating kritiks and running theory. I like hearing unique arguments, feel free to read them. I do think disclosure and reading cut cards are good norms. Ultimately, I am cool with any kind of argument you decide to read, at any pace you decide to read it at as long as it is carded.
Stealing prep time is never a good idea. If you see your opponents stealing prep, call them out.
Paraphrasing in public forum is OK. However, in an effort to create better evidence ethics in public forum, I encourage teams to read cards. If you read cards in constructive, I will give you a slight (+.2) speaker point bump. For another slight (+.2) speaker point bump, in an effort to create better evidence ethics, disclose your case on the NDCA PF wiki. This is not a requirement by any means, but if you decide to do either or both of these things let me know. A guide on how to disclose can be found here
I will also call for all evidence that you tell me to in a debate round.
Average speaker points (2020-2021 Season): 28.4
Average speaker points (2021-2022 Season): 28.3
Average speaker points (2021-2022 Season): 28.1
5 years judging PF—4 times at TOC (gold and silver divisions), 3 times at Nationals
I coach only Public Forum.
I am a high school English teacher full time. I also tutor middle school students in debate and speech as well as teach at a University in the evenings on top of coaching for my school.
Speed is fine with me.
I prefer big picture summaries
Role of the Final Focus: Crystallize the round (cliché, I know), but if it does not follow through on the flow I won’t weigh it.
Extension of Arguments into later speeches: I want to see everything on the flow. I look specifically at the summary and the final focus to see what you want me to really focus on in my decision.
Topicality/Plans/Kritiks: Make me engaged and interested in how you approach the round. I am not a stickler for or against anything at all. I want to see solid debates with clear argumentation and exceptional evidence.
Flowing/note-taking: I flow on the computer in an excel spreadsheet. I have my own shorthand and do not flow during crossfire because I would rather see the ammunition come up in speeches.
I value arguments. Style is irrelevant to me as long as I can understand your speaking—be snarky, be rude, whatever. Just get your point across.
If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? I think that the argument should be clearly flowed across. However, that does not mean I would not consider a major missing element from the constructive if it was crucial to the round.
If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? No, I do not require this. It can be effective at times, but not required.
Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Sure. If it is clear and well grounded.
Weighing: I want you to weigh for me if the resolution and your case are really asking for it (usually you would know if you need to.) If you don't weigh and tell me what you ultimately want me to vote for and why by the final focus.... then I will just choose based on the flow.
Crossfire: I'm listening to what you are saying, but I don't write anything down for the most part, unless I am checking my flow against what you are saying and editing. If you want me to flow it, it better come up again in the speeches.
Framework: Sure. Do it. But if you both have one, you better make sure you decide which one to use and why and convince me of that.
Off time roadmaps: Don't care.
My only expectation is good clear debate. I do not like the argument that Public Forum is only for “lay” people off the street. I think it has much more potential to be an intellectual and engaging technical challenge. I am not a big fan of weighing lives because it really seems to be about the pathos/narrative and not the actual argumentation. Not that I don’t care about lives or whatever, it just is generally not an effective argument and most times there are more interesting ways to approach a topic than that.
NOTE FOR BERKELEY: IF YOU MEOW AT MY CAT AND SHE MEOWS BACK YOU GET A 30. IDK IF SHE WILL SHE DOES LIKE HALF THE TIME. UP TO YOU IF YOU WANNA TAKE THAT RISK
hey! i'm nate. put me on the email chain. email@example.com facebook.com/nate.nyg
he/him! will boost speaks +.1 for debaters who ask before round :)
i did ld at hunter and qualled to the toc my senior year. I was a 2n at wake forest for 2 years where my partner and i reached quarters of ceda. i did pf my freshman year, so i'm familiar, but don't assume i know every single thing about the activity and its conventions.
i'm willing to vote on anything and am purely tab with the caveat of intervening against oppressive argumentation. if you're reading theory or k's in pf, i'd vote on it, but please make an effort to make your arguments accessible to your opponents -- pf has not entirely adapted to new norms and if you don't try to adapt your arguments to pf and instead just assume your opponents will know your exact format and everything i'll be annoyed and speaks will suffer. bad theory and k debates are lame, frivolous theory in pf is probably the stupidest thing i can think of lol
oh also i'm judging policy now lol -- what i said above is still true -- was a 2n at wake, haven't debated in like a year, my partner and i quartered ceda reading black feminist lit on the aff and cap on the neg, that's a pretty good indicator i think of the types of arguments i enjoy voting on and judging the most. i'll judge a policy round if you want to have it obviously, i also have been coaching pf 2 years now so my ears are at least a little more attuned to util impacts than previously. in the same way that critical teams are expected to justify why they are moving away from the topic, i believe policy teams should be justifying why they are choosing to debate the topic in clash rounds -- this doesn't mean i'll hack for Ks -- it just means that the same standards apply because i view topicality/its reading as a speech act and i'm not sure why the fact that a speech act is also a procedural would mean i should disregard its implications or its context. that being said, my sophomore year my partner and I won R1 at the season opener reading disclosure, i'm willing to vote on whatever. if you're racist or talk down to women or misgender your opponent or do some other messed up stuff without both making good faith attempts to repair the potential for a safe debate and apologizing without reservation for said messed up act you will get an L20. one time my partner and i debated this guy who would only respectfully talk to me and refused to listen to her whatsoever, talking over her constantly. when we called him on it he said it was because of his adhd and then kept doing it (as a psych major i have never heard of adhd that only appears when you're talking to women!). please use that as an example of what NOT to do.
in the same way i try to hold policy teams to higher standards -- if you're reading a k -- i'm not just gonna hack. justify why the aff is necessary in debate, this round particularly, what my ballot does, make and justify spill up claims, have an awesome theory of power, make material arguments (the best thing i ever learned as a debater is how to read cap links that are 100% disads to the aff -- do that)
good luck have a great round hope it's fun feel free to ask me any questions i am happy to answer them
if you're curious -- my thoughts on debate right now are most influenced by asya taylor, darius white, jacob smith, and the wake coaches who read Ks when they debated (jgreen also)
for k teams -- i am in big support of high schoolers reading k's, i think it's super educational and definitely made me a lot of who i am now (ew. hate typing out that debate made me part of who i am, kinda gross), in support of that practice please feel free to after rounds ask me any random questions you have about lit or strategy, even if it's not related to the round you just had -- i'll do my best to give you some help! it's my understanding these tournaments are designed in part to increase debate access/let teams that might not otherwise get to too many nat circuit tournaments attend -- i coach a lot and have worked at ld camps the past few summers, i also understand wake has a very genius/expensive coaching staff and would be happy to redistribute some of what i've learned from debating here down because truthfully the coaches here are incredible and it should not just be a few debaters at random colleges getting their knowledge!!
I am a parent judge.
I do not like off time road maps (or off time anything, really). I believe that you are given a certain amount of time and anything you need to accomplish should be done within that time.
I judge based on technique and responsiveness not on how closely your assigned opinion matches my personal opinion. It's not what you say, it's how you say it.
Please speak slowly and clearly. I believe that in Speech & Debate, one learns the art and skill of public speaking. If no one can understand what you are saying, you may as well have said nothing.
I am of the opinion that the teams should avoid interrupting each other. Listen to your opponents and take notes. Any crosstalk can be achieved effectively in the Cross Examination rounds.
I believe that if your opponents raise a question, even if the rules say you don't have to respond, you should always respond.
I consider myself open minded. I do not judge people on race, creed, color, gender identity, hair style, or shoe brand. I will always be friendly but am also well aware of when someone is being disingenuously nice to me. I don't give points for behavior outside of the rounds.
I mostly end up judging PuFo, so my paradigm is for that.
Judging style: Team
I like civility in the room. Be respectful and gain respect.
You don't need to change your style of speaking for me, I can follow fast speech, if I miss something, I do ask for cards mentioned.
Don't use too much technical stuff, if you do - explain it in short. Otherwise the argument will be lost on me. I have a daughter who does policy and LD and she has explained me what it is and how to evaluate it. Feel free to run it with me.
I give a lot of weight to impacts and mostly award points based on that.
Do not bring in a controversial topic in the debate unless it is absolutely necessary (eg: terrorism, 9/11, etc)
I do take notes so don't try to pull fast ones, chances are I will catch it (Not all the time though)
I like off time roadmap. Helps me be organized.
Judging style: Individual Speaker:
I award points based on how you speak, and how you conduct yourself in cross. If you are blatantly rude, offensive, racist, sexist, etc, you will be marked down to the lowest.
Let your opponent complete their thought in cross before interrupting.
Do not try to shake hands.
If you need any clarity on paradigms, more than welcome to ask me before debate on a 1-1 basis or anyways.
I'm substance over style. Make your points and rebut those of your opponents, and you will score well. However the more clearly you speak, the easier it is for me to take notes - if you go too fast, I may not be able to track it all.
And be nice. Remember that if there were no opponents, there would be no debate - a good opponent is as valuable to sharpen your skills as a good partner.
This is my first year judging PF. This means that you must do your job to adapt to me as a judge, but at the same time I will do my best to follow what you say, take notes and provide feedback. I understrand that you have spent time and effort on it so I take judging very seriously.
You can speak as fast or as slow as you want, however, explain everything that you are saying very clearly. Do not skip any steps in your logical chains – things that are intuitive to you might not seem that way to me.
I will do my best to judge the round fairly as long as you do your best to convince me why you should win. Please speak in a conversational tone – don’t yell – and be as persuasive as you can. Be respectful!!
For the October Topic, I do have a little topical knowledge on it and I've seen unique arguments for both sides!
i debated at hamilton high and toc qualled senior year
while i'm all for dumping responses, i would prefer if y'all actually warrant and implicate your responses
2nd rebuttal doesn't have to frontline defense, but it does have to frontline turns/DA's
if 2nd rebuttal doesn't frontline defense, then 1st summary doesn't have to explicitly extend it
i generally give high speaks unless someone was being rude, sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.
im open to progressive argumentation, but im fairly new to it so explain it thoroughly
speed doesn't really matter as long as you're clear, but if you're going to spread send a speech doc
if you have any questions feel free to ask before the round
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at the Oxford Debate Union.
NSDA PF Topic Committee Member/Writer: If you have any ideas, topic areas, or resolutions in mind for next season please send them to my email below. We on the NSDA PF Topic Committee will be finalizing our topics for the season over the next five months with tentative topics released mid-June.
Coaching Experience: Director of Debate at Fairmont Prep 2018-Current, 13 years of coaching, instructor at 14 debate camps, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, Capitol 2016-2018, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach and lecturer for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.
Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Law & Religion - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment - Religion and Philosophy at DU '14. Other research areas include Buddhism, comparative religion, sociology of religion, conlaw, First Amendment law, free speech, freedom of expression, art law, media law, & SCOTUS history. AP Macroeconomics Teacher
2023 Winter Data Update: Importing my Tabroom data I've judged 651 rounds since 2014 with a 53% Pro and 47% Con vote balance. There may be a slight subconscious Aff bias it seems. My guess is that I may subconsciously give more weight to changing the status quo as that's the core motivator of debate but no statistically meaningful issues present.
Right-to-work law debate comments for UNLV/Stanford/California Round Robin/Berkeley
For the Cal Round Robin: I am not going to disclose to respect Lexy and the tournament's spirit. Also lowkey how many tournies have experts judge finals? I would prefer topic specific debates/topic specific k's. We should be testing who deserves to debate in front of the experts in my opinion.
I've judged about 20 rounds now on the topic. If y'all just go for an econ link or econ impact debate please be careful. These debates can be total soupy number messes. Wages go up/no they go down. Econ goes up/now they go down. Inequality goes up/no it goes down. Pensions go up/no they go down. Start thinking about evidence comparison because both warrants can sound true. Or prereqs. Or short term or long term analysis. I've already judged several rounds on this topic where I have two pieces of evidence that say the opposite economic conclusions and no one tells me why their evidence or warranting is better.
For example, on Neg you run profit and patent decreases from unions decrease innovation by 20%. Aff runs increased wages increase motivation and thus productivity and new ideas increasing innovation by 24%. This is introducing clash but you don't implicate either side or resolve the clash. Why is one warrant better than another? Is one piece of evidence net innovation? Are there different types of innovations? In different sectors? Is one piece of evidence a meta study or more recent? If more recent why does that matter? Does your study have better methodology? You need to resolve these questions otherwise I make the choice on how to resolve the clash which is not what you want. These choices increase judge intervention. Even if I am an AP Macro Econ teacher as well don't make me do the work to decide.
Lastly chill on the global impacts. I know you want those nice terminal impacts but the resolution is not US right to work laws do more harm than good which lets you link in outside the US. The resolution is In the US, right to work laws do more harm than good. Grammar forecloses your high mag/scope weighing outside the US. I like the wishful thinking but just debate domestic impacts for once I believe in you and you should believe in yourself. You're going to do great without global recession and global war. :)
PF Paradigm 2022-23 Season:
I consider myself tech>truth but I have been approaching a closer equilibrium between the two lately due to the poor state of evidence ethics, power tagging, clipping, and more. Further, I know stakes can be high in a bubble, bid, or important round but let's still come out of the debate feeling as if it was a positive experience. Life is too short for needless suffering. Please be kind, compassionate, and cordial.
- What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but also when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot. I have recently become more sensitive to poor extensions in the back half. Please have UQ where necessary, links, internals links, and impacts. Weighing introduced earlier the better. Weighing is your means to minimize intervention.
- Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools but it's less likely I will defer to nuclear war, try or die, etc on the risk of magnitude. Probability over magnitude debates unless I'm given well warranted, carded, and convincing framework analysis to prefer the latter.
- Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
- Don't be a DocBot: I love that you're prepared and have enumerated overviews, blocks, and frontlines. I love heavy evidence and dense debates with a lot of moving parts. But if it sounds like you're just reading a doc without specific or explicit implications to your opponent's contention you are not contributing anything meaningful to the round. Tell me why your responses interact. If they are reading an arg about the environment and just read an A2 Environment Non-Unique without explaining why your evidence or warranting is better then this debate will suffer.
- I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical, theoretical, and/or pre-fiat based roads. I think framework debates be them pre or post fiat are awesome. Voted on many K's before too. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become increasingly tired of opportunistic, poor quality, and unfleshed out theory in PF. But in the coup of the century I have been converted that disclosure theory and para theory is a viable path to the ballot if you win your interp. I still believe theory is used as an easy way to avoid substantive debates but you do you. I will always prefer a round sans disclosure theory but can no longer for intellectual consistency stop you from running it. Still highly suspicious of paraphrasing theory as your "full-text" cards are super power clipped and disclosure solves back but you do you. TL;DR: I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. I am more skeptical of paraphrasing theory than disclosure theory. Lastly, if you look back at the last 32 rounds or so I've judged with theory as the primary voter I've probably only voted for the team who introduced theory in the round 7 of 32 rounds. Meaning I vote for theory 22% of the time when it's the voter. Take that as you will. All variables being equal I would prefer post-fiat stock topic specific rounds but in principle remain as tabula rasa as I can.
- What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time. If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
- Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
- DA's in general or second rebuttal? You mean the borderline new contentions you are trying to introduce in the round that are tentatively linked at BEST to the existing arguments in the round order to time skew/spread your opponents thin? Don't push it too much.
- I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
- Calling for your opponent's cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Do preflows before the round. Smh y'all.
- If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear or provide speech docs to your opponents to allow for accessibility and accommodation.
- My favorite question in cx is: Why? For example, "No I get that's what your evidence says but why?"
- My favorite phrase in debate is: "Prefer our warrant or evidence" or "comparing our warrants you prefer ours because..."
- Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me! [Before covid times this was prophetic].
- I don't like to time because it slows my flow in fast rounds but please flag overtime responses or raise your phone. Don't interrupt.
Ramblings on Theory
Let me explain why I am writing this. This isn't because I'm right and you're wrong. I'm not trying to convince you. Nor should you cite this formally in round to win said round. Rather, a lot of you care so much about debate and theory in particular gets pretty personal fairly quickly that I want to explain why my hesitancy isn't personal to you either. I am not opposing theory as someone who is opposed to change in Public Forum.
- First, I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. My grad school research and longstanding work outside of debate has tracked how queer, civil rights advocates, religious minorities, and political dissidents have been extensively censored over time through structural means. The suppression and elimination of critical race theory and BLM from schools and universities is an extension of this. I have found it very difficult to be tabula rasa on this issue. TW/anonymous opt outs are welcome if you so wish to include them, that is your prerogative, but like I said the lack of one is not a debate I can be fair on. Let me be clear. I do not dismiss that "triggers" are real. I do not deny your lived experience on face nor claim all of you are, or even a a significant number of you, are acting in bad faith. This is always about balancing tests. My entire academic research for over 8 years was about how structural oppressors abuse these frameworks of "sin," "harm," "other," to squash dissidents, silence suffragettes, hose civil rights marchers, and imprison queer people because of the "present danger they presented in their conduct or speech." I also understand that some folks in the literature circles claim there is a double bind. You are opting out of trigger warning debates but you aren't letting me opt out of debates I don't want to have either. First, I will never not listen to or engage in this debate. My discouragement above is rooted in my deep fear that I will let you down because I can't be as fair as I would be on another issue. I tell students all the time tabula rasa is a myth. I still think that. It's a goal we strive for to minimize intervention because we will never eliminate it. Second, I welcome teams to still offer tw and will not penalize you for doing so. Third, discussions on SV, intersectionality, and civil rights are always about trade offs. Maybe times will change but historically more oppression, suppression, and suffering has come from the abuse of the your "speech does me harm" principle than it benefits good faith social justice champions who want to create a safe space and a better place. If you want to discuss this empirical question (because dang there are so many sources and this is an appeal to my authority) I would love to chat about it.
Next, let me explain some specific reasons why I am resistant to TW theory in debate using terms we use in the literature. There is a longstanding historical, philosophical, and queer/critical theory concern on gatekeeper shift. If we begin drawing more and more abstract lines in terms of what content causes enough or certain "harm" that power can and will be co-opted and abused by the equally more powerful. Imagine if you had control over what speech was permitted versus your polar opposite actor in values. Now imagine they, via structural means, could begin to control that power for themselves only. In the last 250 years of the US alone I can prove more instances than not where this gatekeeping power was abused by government and powerful actors alike. I am told since this has changed in the last twenty years with societal movements so should we. I don't think we have changed that significantly. Just this year MAUS, a comic about the Holocaust, was banned in a municipality in Jan 22. Toni Morrison was banned from more than a dozen school districts in 2021 alone. PEN, which is a free press and speech org, tracked more than 125 bills, policies, or resolutions alone this year that banned queer, black, feminist, material be them books, films, or even topics in classrooms, libraries, and universities. Even in some of the bills passed and proposed the language being used is under the guise of causing "discomfort." "Sexuality" and discussions of certain civil rights topics is stricken from lesson plans all together under these frameworks. These trends now and then are alarming.
I also understand this could be minimizing the trauma you relive when a specific topic or graphic description is read in round. I again do not deny your experience on face ever. I just cannot comfortably see that framework co-opted and abused to suppress the mechanisms or values of equality and equity. So are you, Gabe, saying because the other actors steal a tool and abuse that tool it shouldn't be used for our shared common goals? Yes, if the powerful abuse that tool and it does more harm to the arc of history as it bends towards justice than I am going to oppose it. This can be a Heckler's Veto, Assassin's Veto, Poisoning The Well, whatever you want to call it. Even in debate I have seen screenshots of actual men discussing how they would always pick the opt out because they don't want to "debate girls on women issues in front of a girl judge." This is of course likely an incredibly small group but I am tired of seeing queer, feminist, or critical race theory based arguments being punted because of common terms or non-graphic descriptions. Those debates can be so enriching to the community and their absence means we are structurally disadvantaged with real world consequences that I think outweigh the impacts usually levied against this arg. I will defend this line for the powerless and will do so until I die.
All of these above claims are neither syllogisms or encyclopedias of events. I am fallible and so are those arguments. Hence let us debate this but just know my thoughts.
Like in my disclaimer on the other theory shell none of these arguments are truisms just my inner and honest thoughts to help you make strategic decisions in the round.
I'm a parent with little judging experience. Please know that I won't be able to follow your arguments if you speak fast. Be polite, and have fun!
I hate um's and ah's in your speaking. I would prefer you to take a pause, think in your head, and then speak rather than filling your speech with these filler words.
I am a lay parent judge, but I do take notes on content. I will always vote on good, convincing speaking skills rather than a DocBot. Make eye contact, speak clearly with a persuasive and convincing tone. I am generally comfortable with around 250 words per minute at a MAXIMUM, no spreading. Don't run K's or theory. If I can't understand you, I can't vote for you. Complete your thoughts start to finish.
Also, be respectful. You will immediately lose my ballot by being rude to your opponent. Let your opponent finish their thoughts during crossfire, then make your point. Good luck!
I have spent a lot of time helping and supporting the debate program at Mount Si over the last 6 years. I have watched a lot of rounds and understand the basic terms and structure.
I value clear and strong arguments. If you speak too fast, then I may not catch what you are trying to say and then I can’t count it in your favor.
I also value being polite. I won’t tolerate rudeness or being overly aggressive.
Debate is supposed to be fun and a learning activity. Just play fair and do your best!
Cultural Competency Certificate
Working in a small business in Silicon Valley
Please make your contention clearly.
Slowly speech is appreciated.
I am new to debate judging. Recently I've judged in two league tournaments, mostly in PF and a couple of Parli debates.
I usually try to learn about the debate topic before judging a debate. I like arguments that are presented in an organized manner. I like arguments with supporting numbers and questions. I like debaters talking in moderate speed and with good presentation skills.
I would like to see debaters treat each other with good manner and have fun.