Asynchronous Georgia Speech Scrimmage 3 hosted by Marist
2022 — Online, GA/US
Neg Block Challenge Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
3rd year debater at Marist School
yes, add me to email chains - email@example.com
Turn on your camera.
You need to read and defend a plan in front of me.
Impact your arguments, impact them against your opponent's arguments
Limited K knowledge - prefer CP/DA debates.
conflicts: groves high school (class of 2019), wayne state university (class of 2023, secondary ed major w/ minors in public health and gsw), detroit country day high school
always put me on the email chain! Literally always! if you ask i will assume you haven't read this! legit always put me on the email chain! firstname.lastname@example.org
**edit for glenbrooks: after getting roasted for the dissertation that was my paradigm, i've decided to cut it down quite a lot.
the abridged version:
- do you, and do it well
- don't cheat in ways that require me to intervene
- don't misgender me, or your competitors
- do not assume i am going to vote for you because you say my name a lot
some general stuff:
the more and more i do debate the less i care about what's put in front of me. when i first started debating, i cared very deeply about norms, the resolution, all that jazz. now, if you're willing to read it i'm willing to judge it. i'd rather see an in depth debate with a lot of offense and clash than anything else, and i don't care whether you do that on a T flow vs. a k aff or a cap flow vs. a policy aff.
my least favorite word in the english language (of which is not a slur) is the word "basically." i would rather listen to everyone for the rest of time describe everything as "moist" than listen to you say the word "basically." i've hated this word for years, do not use it. make of that what you will.
it should be said i at one point read a parody aff that involves my partner and i roleplaying as doctor/patient during the 1ac. i care exceedingly little what you want to do with your 8 minute constructive, 3 minute cx, and 5 minute rebuttals - but those speech times are non-negotiable (unless the tournament says otherwise). play a game, eat a salad, ask me about my cat(s), color a picture, read some evidence; but do it within the constraint of a timer.
(this "time fetish" is less of a "respect my time" thing and more of a "i need to know when i can tell tab who i voted for" thing. i take a lot of pride in getting my decision in before repko, and i wish to continue that streak.)
Stuff about me as a judge:
i do not follow along in the speech doc. i try not to look at cards. be clear, be concise, be cool. debate is first and foremost a communicative activity. i will only read y'alls ev if there is serious contention, or you tell me to.
i hate when people “insert highlighting” instead of reading the highlighting. Just read the rehighlighted part.
bolded for emphasis: people are also saying they can 'insert a caselist' for T flows. this is not a thing. and i will not consider them part of the debate if this occurs.
i do not play poker both because i am terrible at math and because i have a hard time concealing my emotions. i do have pretty bad rbf, but i still think you should look at me to tell what i'm thinking of your speeches/cx.
Misgendering is bad and a voting issue (at the very least I will give you exceptionally low speaks). due to my gender identity i am hyper aware of gender (im)balances in debate. stop being sexist/transphobic jerks, y'all. it's not that hard. additionally, don't be racist. don't be sexist. don't be ableist. don't be a bad person.
Assigning speaker points comes down to: are you memorable? are you funny? are you a bad person? Did you keep my flow neat?
I usually give in the 28.2-29.9 range, for reference.
(pssst that's where my "basically" shpiel above comes into play)
i consider ethics violations clipping, evidence fabrication/omission of paragraphs between the beginning and end of the card, and violence (e.g. calling Black people the n word as a non-Black person, refusing to use correct pronouns).
for clipping: a recording must be presented if a debater brings forth the challenge. if i notice it but no one brings it up, your speaker points will suffer greatly.
for evidence miscutting (this is NOT power tagging): after a debater brings it forward the round will stop. if the evidence is miscut, the team who miscut the evidence will lose with lowest speaker points possible. if the evidence is not miscut, the team who brought forth the violation will lose with the lowest speaker points possible. i will not entertain a debate on the undebatable.
for violence: i will stop the debate and the offender will receive the lowest speaker points possible and will lose. the person who is on the receiving end of the violence is not expected to give input. if you misgender me i will not stop the debate, but your speaker points will suffer.
one of these, because i love getting caught in the hype
brad hombres ------------------------------------X--banana nut brad
generic disad w/ well developed links/uq------X------------------------------------ thing you cut 30 mins before the round that you claim is a disad
read a plan--------------------X---------------------don't read a plan
case turns--X----------------------------------------generic defense
t not fw--------------X-------------------------------fw not t
"basically"-------------------------------------------X-just explaining the argument
truth over tech------------------X--------------------tech over truth
being nice-X------------------------------------------being not nice
piper meloche--------------------X--------------------brad meloche
'can i take prep'----------------------------------------X-just taking prep
explaining the alt------X--------------------------------assuming i know what buzzwords mean
process cps are cheating--------------------------X-------sometimes cheating is good
fairness--------------------------------X----------------literally any other fw impact besides iteration
impact turn-X--------------------------------------------non impact turn
fw as an impact turn------X--------------------------------fw as a procedural
green highlighting-X----------------------------------------any other color
rep---------------------------X----------------i don't know who you are and frankly i don't care to find out
asking if everyone is ready -X-----------------------------------asking if anyone isn't ready
PUBLIC FORUM SPECIFIC THINGS:
- time yourself. this includes prep. i'm not your mom, and i don't plan on doing it for you. the term "running prep" is becoming very popular, and i don't know what that means. just take prep.
- don't call me judge. "what should we refer to you as?" nothing! i don't know who is teaching y'all to catch judges' attentions by referring to us directly, but it's horrible, doesn't work, annoys all of us, and wastes precious time. you should be grabbing my attention in other ways: tone, argumentation, flowability, humor, sarcasm, lighting something on fire (please do not actually do this). call me by my first name (luke) if you have to, but know if you overuse it, it has the exact same affect as calling me "judge."
- i have some pf experience. PLEASE don't assume i know community norms, and saying things like "this is a community norm" doesn't automatically give you that dub
- even more so than in policy, "post-rounding" me after a decision is incredibly common. be aware i'm a petty college student with nothing to lose by arguing with you about my decision, so you're allowed to fight with me all you want. just know it doesn't change my ballot, and certainly won't change it the next time around.
- i will never understand this asking for evidence after speeches. why aren't we just sending speech docs? judges are on a very strict schedule, and watching y'all spend five minutes sending evidence is both annoying and time consuming - bolding, because i continue to not get and, honestly? actively hate it when everyone spend 5-10 minutes after each speech exchanging evidence. just sent the whole speech. i don't get why this isn't the norm
- i'm fine with speed and 'unconventional arguments.'
- PFers have a tendency to call things that aren't turns "turns." it's very odd to me. please don't do it.
- i'm not going to delay the round so you can preflow. idk who told y'all you can do that but they're wrong
- if you are using ev sending time to argue. i will interrupt you and make you start and/or i will tank your speaks. stop doing this.
- i'm very split on the idea of trigger warnings. i don't think they're necessary for non-in-depth/graphic discussions of a topic (Thing Exists and Is Bad, for example, is not an in-depth discussion in my eyes). i'm fine with trigger warning theory as an argument as long as you understand it's not an automatic W.
LINCOLN DOUGLAS SPECIFIC THINGS:
- please read my policy and pf paradigms. they have important information about me and my judging
- of all the speech activities, i know about lincoln douglas the least. this can either be to your advantage or your detriment
- apparently theory matters to a lot of y'all a lot more in this activity than in policy. i got a high threshold for voting on any sort of theory that isn't condo, and even then you're in for the uphill battle of the century. i like theory debates generally, but watching LDers run theory like RVIs has killed my confidence in LD theory debate.
- 'i'm gonna take X minutes of prep' isn't needed. just say you're taking prep and take prep. i'll never understand LD or PF judges who act as if they are parents and y'all are 5 year olds asking for cookies after dinner; if you can figure out how tabroom works and how to unmute yourself, i'm pretty sure you can time your own prep.-
- going fast does not mean you are good at debate, please don't rely on speed for ethos
- i hate disclosure theory and will prob vote neg 99.9% of the time (the .001% is for new affs or particularly bad answers). just put your stuff on the wiki, i genuinely don't understand why this is a debate to be had. just disclose. what year are you people living in.
things i don't care about:
- flex prep
- whether you keep your camera on or off (if you wanna lose free speaker points, that's up to you)
- speed. however, you should never be prioritizing speed over clarity.
3rd-year debater at Marist School
Yes, add me to email chains - email@example.com
You need to read and defend a plan in front of me.
Impact your arguments, impact them against your opponent's arguments (magnitude/probability/timeframe.)
Limited K knowledge - prefer CP/DA debates.
Please do a road map so I can follow on my flow and label your arguments.
Don't ask loaded (rhetorical) questions in CX, it's pretty much pointless, don't be that person-just rephrase the question.
Don't clip cards or steal prep - I understand accidents happen, but I (usually) time your prep and speeches, so please be aware.
This should be implied, but PLEASE time your own speeches.
Flowing is advised-you can extend your arguments better for later speeches.
Please refer toAbby Schirmer's Paradigm if you have any more questions.
If you're running an email chain, please add me: Andrewgollner@gmail.com
About me: I debated one year of PF and three years of policy at Sequoyah High, and I debated three year of college policy at the University of Georgia. I was a 2N that generally runs policy offcase positions but, especially earlier in my debate career, I ran many critical positions. I'll try to be expressive during the round so that you can discern how I am receiving your arguments.
Judge Preferences: On a personal level, please be kind to your opponents. I dislike it when a team is unnecessarily rude or unsportsmanlike. I am completely willing to discuss my decision about a round in between rounds, so please ask me if you want me to clarify my decision or would like advice. You can email me any questions you have.
I am primarily a policy judge. This means
- I am more comfortable with a faster pace. While I don't like the idea of spreading in PF and LD I can handle a faster pace.
2. I am decently technical. If an argument is dropped point it out, make sure I can draw a clean line through your speeches.
3. I am less used to theory backgrounds in your form of debate, slow down and explain these.
4. Ask me any specific questions you have.
I recognize that my role is to serve as a neutral arbiter without predispositions towards certain arguments, but as this goal is elusive the following are my gut reactions to positions. I strive to ensure that any position (within reason, obviously not obscene or offensive) is a possible path to victory in front of myself.
CP: I love a well written CP which is tailored to your opponent's solvency advocate and that can be clearly explained and is substantiated by credible evidence. If your CP is supported by 1AC solvency evidence, I will be very impressed. Generic CPs are fine, I've read a ton of them, but the more you can at least explain your CP in the context of the affirmative's advantages the more likely you are to solve for their impact scenarios.
DA: Make sure to give a quick overview of the story during the neg block to clarify the intricacies of your position. If, instead of vaguely tagline making a turns case arg like "climate turns econ, resource shortages", you either read and later extend a piece of evidence or spend 10 to 15 seconds analytically creating a story of how climate change exasperates resource shortages and causes mass migrations which strain nation's financial systems, then I will lend far more risk to the disadvantage turning the case. Obviously the same goes for Aff turns the DA. I will also weigh smart analytical arguments on the disad if the negative fails to contest it properly. I'm also very persuaded when teams contest the warrants of their opponents evidence or point out flaws within their opponents evidence, whether it's a hidden contradiction or an unqualified author.
T: I've rarely gone for topicality but I have become increasingly cognizant of incidents in which I likely should have. My gut reaction is that competing interpretations can be a race to the bottom, but I have personally seen many affirmatives which stray far enough from the topic to warrant a debate centered over the resolution in that instance.
K: I used to run Ks pretty frequently in high school but I run them far less frequently now. I'm likely not deep in your literature base so be sure to explain your position and your link story clearly.
FW: My gut feeling is that debate is a game and that it should be fair, but I have seen many rounds where the affirmative team has done an excellent job of comparing the pedagogy of both models and won that their model is key for X type of education or accessibility there of. However, I am persuaded that a TVA only needs to provide reasonable inroads to the affirmatives research without necessarily having to actually solve for all of the affirmative. I do find the response that negs would only read DAs and ignore/"outweigh" the case to be effective - try to add some nuance to this question of why negs would or wouldn't still need to grapple with the case.
Non-traditional Aff: I've always run affs with USFG plan texts, but that doesn't mean that these positions are non-starters. I will be much more receptive to your affirmative if it is intricately tied to the topic area, even if it does refuse to engage the resolution itself for whichever reasons you provide.
Theory: I generally think 2 condo is good, more than that and things start to get a bit iffy.
Most importantly, please be kind to your opponents and have a good time.
Emory ’26, Calvert Hall ’22, 2A/1N 3 years, 2N/1A 2 years, yes email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Level/2 Min Read: Tech > truth absent obvious gaps in truth. Arguments must have a claim, warrant, and implication, I feel like debaters usually forget the last. Tell me what to do, do judge instruction. Line-by-line is best for any form of debate. Speech time, prep, clipping, and each debater giving a constructive and rebuttal are rules, everything else can be debated*. Don't assume I know everything you do because I am not doing topic research.
*If there is an ethics violation introduced (clipping, evidence fabrication, etc.) you must stake the debate on it. When it is introduced, the debate won't continue. If you were involved in a Title 9 violation at camp do not pref me.
**I really, really do not want to vote for dropped, shallow theory arguments. Please do not do this, and if you do expect a low-point win.
Novice Debate: Have fun! Ask questions! Your first year should be about education, not competition. This activity relies on tons of jargon and uncharted territory for many, so if any part of my decision does not make sense, please do not hesitate to ask questions. Plan debate is likely more conducive to education in this format. Will not vote you down if you read a K AFF, but prefer that it be policy. Time your own speeches.
AFFs: Case debate is good, important, and underrated. Would much prefer internal link/impact presses over “CP/fiat solves” over and over. Will reward good, in-depth case debate with high speaks. I get 2ACs are time-pressured but you should still extend warrants/make coherent arguments to answer 1NCs instead of just tag-line extending stuff.
Framing: it will be the first thing I resolve. Impact arguments contextual to the AFF are better than Connetta, Kessler, etc.. CP solvency and turns case can mitigate AFF pushes. Beat the DA if it’s so bad, don’t just use the framing page as a crutch for everything. Even though I think the NEG is usually true in these instance tech > truth means you shouldn't brush it off/drop arguments.
Topicality: Favorite debates to judge when executed well, least favorite when executed poorly. Competing interpretations makes more sense when the interp differential in limits/ground/precision is large; reasonability makes more sense when the interp differential in limits/ground/precision is small. Reasonability is the difference between interps, not “our aff is core of the topic,” not persuaded by the latter since T is always a question of models. Blocks should include a topical caselist and “what they justify” caselist. Impact calculus is important and often the tiebreak, especially “x turns y” or “lack of x causes y” style arguments. Defense wins championships is especially true in T debate; I feel like functional limits/lit checks is true in most instances, but smart NEG pivots/defense to AFF offense can circumvent it. T as a last resort option isn’t my favorite, but definitely understand why it’s necessary.
Counterplans: I will not judge kick the CP unless explicitly told to. Remind me as early as the 2NC or say “status quo is a logical option” when asked. Deficits grounded in evidence are much more likely to convince me than analytical presses. Sufficiency framing doesn't make sense if the AFF deficits are well-impacted. Uncarded advantage CPs with ridiculous policy proposals are bad and CP text vagueness will 99% of the time justify new 1AR responses. "Links less" as a frame only makes sense when the net benefit is really big or presumption clearly goes one direction.
Conditionality/Theory: teams should go for it more often -- this is not to say I think condo is bad, but 2Ns often struggle with the technicalities. Numerical interps are probably arbitrary, logic + risk aversion make sense, and fairness-related standards on their own probably outweigh education. Theory: Substantive arguments can often overcome theory objections, i.e. perms against process CPs. AFF on functional and textual competition, consult, limited con con, and delay. NEG on states, non-limited con con, international on NATO, and pretty much everything else.
Disadvantages: Turns case is usually irrelevant because probable risk of case/DA is usually low enough. Turns case related to enforcement is resolved by durable fiat. 1ARs that double down on a few, round-winning arguments will go much farther than shadow-extending every 2AC argument. In general, I'm in the pool of read all the cards you have over analytic pushes.
Kritiks: NEG: Your overview should be 40 seconds tops. If it’s more, move it to the flow. I will never vote on death good; if you think your argument is adjacent to it don't go for it. Framework interpretations that rely on “you link, you lose” AND “only the plan should be considered” are usually equally self-serving, so winning a middle ground is best. However, I am very tech > truth (for the fourth time in this paradigm!) and have found myself voting on big, dropped pieces of offense from the NEG. Links should be unique (to some extent) AND turn case. Don’t need to win an alt in front of me but it’s probably good to keep it in the 2NR, say judge kick if you want me to.
AFF: impact turn links and go for extinction outweighs OR go for the perm and link turn; attempting to do both rarely works. Either way, defend your AFF. AFFs usually lose these debates when they a) don’t pick up on tricks/get lost in the weeds of the specific theory or b) don’t compartmentalize the moving parts of the debate. I'm not really sure what a logical alternative to existential util is, so make sure you have a robust defense of it. Debate probably does shape subjectivity but individual rounds probably don't.
T-USFG/K AFFs: What is considered an “impact” is contingent on your explanation and contextualization. Fairness, clash, skills, etc. all have the potential to be terminal. If you are not going for “debate is a game” fairness, you should definitely have a TVA and/or SSD argument. These are super super compelling when executed correctly, but explanation should go beyond “prevents dogma” or “can read it with a plan.” K AFFs should be in the direction of the topic. Pet peeve (in all debates, but especially these) is when 1ARs don’t do any LBL, just read blocks, and then 2AR answers the 2NR in-depth. This is new and I won’t consider it. As a debater, I had more trouble answering the counter-interp solve + link turn + risk of external offense than the impact turn everything strategy. As a judge, I am down for either.
K v K debates often come down to the perm so winning a material DA or theoretical objection to it is a must. Don't see myself voting on no perms in a method debate if it isn't dropped, winning a K turns case claim is a better way beat the perm.
make a reference to boss baby = +0.1 speaks
yes i want to be on the chain: email@example.com
above all have fun, and be your authentic self.
email: chadwickmeadows AT gmail
Did not work at a policy debate camp so may not be as familiar with consensus conclusions about the topic or best arguments from the summer. Would appreciate technical counterplans be unpacked a bit more if they rely on heavy reading on the resolution. Generally strong with background/academic basis for evaluating arguments about international relations as it relates to alliances.
I'm much more informed and receptive to identity based critical arguments (Anti-blackness, queer theory, settler colonialism) then other criticism (the post modernists, Baudrillard, etc.) Not really something I intentionally do, but my in round reaction and voting record is much more warm to identity based arguments.
I don't like procedural arguments that aren't topicality.
I don't like semantic based T arguments, without topic contextual literature. (increase is not create, restrictions is plural).
I don't like counterplans that include the whole plan. I like conditionality.
I think debaters should disclose their arguments on the affirmative and negative on the public wiki. It's annoying when we have to scramble to figure out how to prepare for debates.
I think debates should closely resemble their academic origins. Source quality matters to me. Abridged debates from newspaper articles aren't interesting to me.
Content (What arguments should I run)
Not exhaustive – but you get the flavor:
Stellar (I’m proud of you): Policy-based arguments specific to the topic, Critical arguments grounded in plan specific research, Topicality arguments with topic relevant interpretation/violation evidence, critical affs that have an advocacy with a clear connection to the topic.
Good (I’ve rolled my eyes a bit, but we’re fine): “Topical” no plan affs, Impact Turns, suspect PICS (agent stuff, states, etc.), Totalizing philosophical Critique (K args that aren’t specific to the plan/topic)
Bad Judge (I’m not a good critic for this round): 2ac theory to reject team, Condo Bad (except in LD if more than 2 cp’s), Neg theory (vagueness/specs/test case), RVIs (theory and critical), Debate bad, Consult, Counterplans that result in the plan, defensive stock issues strategies
Best rule of thumb: is my argument to be a logical justification for/against the resolution? The further you stray from this consideration, the less likely I am to appreciate your arguments.
Form (How should I debate)
Not exhaustive – but you feel me:
Not negotiable: Winner/loser, speech times, speaks are my decision, I read the cards, I flow the debate, abusive behavior isn’t rewarded, clipping is cheating
I think you’re silly: You delete the analytics from the docs, Your docs are messy and disorganized, You don’t disclose (aff/neg), you excessively mark every other card
I don’t care: How you speak, how you dress, if you sit or stand
Process (How do I judge)
Truth>Tech. What I mean by that: The quality of an argument both in terms of its in-round development and its inherent persuasiveness can largely determine the burden of rejoinder on that argument. So bad args (no scholarly evidence to support, unwarranted, obviously not true, etc) don’t take too much. However, I generally will not intervene if a complete argument is dropped.
Critic of Argument. I determine which issues/arguments are most important for me to resolve to make a decision. (ideally that’s largely informed by the last speeches) Most of the time, I phrase this in terms of a question: Is there a large risk of nuclear terror? Is China a revisionist state? I then list out each argument both sides have on that particular argument. Then I make a new list of reasons why I resolved the debate in the way that I did, and provide an implication for my ballot. I do that until all of the major issues in the debate are concluded and make a decision informed by those choices.
Speaker Points. I give speaker points largely based on how quality I perceive the student's arguments to be on the areas of the debate which are most relevant to the decision. factors like- timeliness of evidence, source quality, novelty of argument, cleverness of explanation, persuasiveness of delivery, organization of the speaker, tactful use of humor, etc - are examples of factors that tend to sway me to give higher speaker points. I find that I'm giving bad speaks recently, and that's largely because on the issues that matter to the decision, debaters are not demonstrating sufficient mastery of the source material to present strong explanations of their arguments beyond the tag lines.
in general I'm a standard "flow judge." i have debate experience, tend to view the debate in an offense defense paradigm, and expect speeches to clash with the previous speech as much as possible.
Some specific quirks
1 - I don't like theory or really broad k arguments. I'm not a no progressive debate in PF ever judge, but don't test it. I find the most value in PF debates that are rigorous but limited discussions of the topic. I have voted a few times for paraphrasing and disclosure but I don't find these debates to be very valuable and if at all possible I'd rather not hear theory arguments. If you have critical literature that applies to the topic please feel free to include them in the debate. I've voted for teams that contest the form of debate itself and generate their arguments from critiques of the community. I'm still working through how I should evaluate these arguments. In the past I've tried to judge them like I would in other formats (policy-LD)
2 - I'm going to time your speeches and I won't flow after your time ends. This is a weird thing to have to bring up, but I find that this is a common part of my RFD. If the time goes off and 10 seconds after your time you start a card, I'm not going to flow it. I'm a pretty low key person so I'm not going to yell at you or get really upset, but I'm not flowing your speech after the allotted time.
3 - suspect evidence practice really annoy me. I get that PF is different than other formats. In my ideal world we would all directly quote evidence and provide at least a paragraph of context to our opponents before the speech starts. I get that isn't the norm and I'm willing to adapt. if you quote evidence please do so accurately and have a quick mechanism to provide the evidence to your opponent.
Last edited on 10/2/21 to make general revisions.
Experience: Five years debating middle school/high school, followed by a four year break from debate in college, before returning to coach for Druid Hills High School in August of 2020. I now work as a hired judge for a variety of schools.
Statement on Racism (& other Prejudices) in Debate
Debate is a game, but the fact that it is a game does not make what we say in round inconsequential. There is no context in which our speech is ever without consequence, and encouraging debaters to assume that the arguments they make are without connection to the "real world" is inherently harmful, not to mention anti-educational. I am therefore fundamentally opposed to the notion of treating debate as a pure game in which any argument goes no matter its consequences. Instead, I believe judges have an ethical obligation to consider the meaning of the precedent set by each decision, and whether it is just to both teams, as well as to future debaters.
My primary concern in any round is the consequences of what teams say. Considering the meaning of each team's arguments in context is the basis for any given one of my decisions. This inevitably results in some rounds being decided in a way that does not favor the more technically proficient team. Many debaters may find this to be against their expectations, but it is a necessary stance to take if we are to be serious about the activity and its place in the world we inhabit.
Debate should encourage students to see themselves as agents capable of acting to create a better world. We will not achieve this vision for our activity so long as we pretend it is in a realm separate from reality. Judges have an ethical obligation to oppose prejudice in round including but by no means limited to: racism, queerphobia, antisemitism, sexism, Islamophobia, ableism, and classism, among others.
I see the role of the judge as that of an educator concerned primarily with what teams learn from the experience. Therefore, the most important aspect of being a judge, to me, is to provide good constructive criticism to teams about their arguments and performance, and to promote the educational qualities of debate. When teams are using prep time, I am usually writing speech by speech feedback for my ballots––which I very much hope teams and their judges will read. As a judge, I want you to come out of the round, win or lose, feeling like you learned something worthwhile.
As an educator concerned with what can be learned from the round, I think the quality of arguments are much more important than their quantity, and whenever possible prefer to reward well researched and articulated arguments more than arguments will few warrants that might be read in the hopes of their being dropped. I prefer to decide rounds based upon the meaning of the arguments presented and their clash rather than by concession.
I flow the round based on what I hear, preferring not to use speech documents. For this reason, clarity is more important than speed. For an argument to exist in the round, it needs to be spoken intelligibly. Rounds that are slower typically offer better quality arguments and fewer mistakes.
Argument Specific preferences:
Plan-less critical affirmatives: Critical affirmatives can serve the important function of offering valuable critiques of debate, but also pose unique challenges regarding the fairness of the activity, given that their lack of a plan text may be used in certain cases to avoid clash. My primary concern in judging a critical affirmative, therefore, is to determine whether the value of its critique and the changes to debate it proposes outweigh any harm to clash that may be caused by not defending a plan text. In this context, performative elements that enact the aff's critique directly in round are immensely helpful to my ability to weigh the value of the affirmative. Debaters of critical affirmatives should not assume my familiarity with their arguments and take care to explain them clearly without jargon so that I may fully appreciate the meaning of their arguments. If a critical affirmative is presented in a way that is unclear, so that I have difficulty weighing the meaning of its arguments, I may default to the negative on topicality in order to preserve a precedent of fairness in debate.
Kritiks: At its most fundamental level, a kritik is a critical argument that examines the consequences of the assumptions made in another argument. I love well run kritiks, but for me to decide in favor of a kritik it needs a specific link to the assumptions in the 1AC and a clearly articulated alternative that involves a specific action (as opposed to an utopian alt). Experience informs me that K's with generic links and vague alternatives make for bad debate.
Framework: Lately this term seems to have become a synonym for a kind of impact calculus that instead of focusing on magnitude, risk, and time-frame attempts to convince me to discard all impacts but those of the team running this argument. Framework, as I understand it, is a synonym to theory and is about what the rules of debate should be. Why should it be a rule of debate that we should only consider one type of impact? It seems all impacts in debate have already boiled themselves down to extinction.
Topicality: Please slow down so that I can hear all your arguments and flow all their warrants. The quality of your T arguments is much more important to me––especially if you argue about the precedent the round sets––than how many stock voters you can read. I may prefer teams that offer a clear argument on topicality to those that rely on spreading, however tactically advantages the quickly read arguments may be.
Counter plans: The burden of demonstrating solvency is on the negative, especially with PICs. PICs are probably bad for debate. Most of the time they are just a proposal to do the plan but in a more ridiculous way that would likely never happen. So if you are going to run a PIC, make sure to argue that changing whatever aspect of the plan your PIC hinges on is realistically feasible and reasonably advantageous. Otherwise, I will do everything I can to avoid deciding the round on them.
Conditionality: I have no problem with the negative making a couple conditional arguments. That said, I think relying on a large number of conditional arguments to skew the aff typically backfires with the neg being unable to devote enough time to create a strong argument. So, I typically decide conditionality debates with a large number of conditional arguments in favor of the aff, not because they make debate too hard for the aff, but because they make debating well hard for everyone in the round.
For rookie/novice debaters:
If you're reading this, then you're already a step ahead and thinking about the skills you will need to be building for JV and varsity debate. What I want to see most in rookie/novice debates is that teams are flowing and clearly responding to each other.
Woodward Academy '21
Last Updated: 01/06/2023
Note for MBA
I have little topic knowledge, so make sure to explain any topic-specific acronyms.
I have found debate to be an incredibly valuable activity, and I hope everyone makes the most of it.
Be respectful to others in the round. Debate should be fun!
Be clear, both when speaking and in communicating your overall position.
I would like to be on the email chain: please add firstname.lastname@example.org
Thoughts on online debate —
1. I will give a thumbs up or verbally communicate when I am ready for you to begin your speech.
2. Flowability is especially important now. That requires clarity and organized line-by-line.
3. During cross-ex, try to minimize talking over each other.
Demonstrate that you understand the arguments you have presented in the round and that you can clearly explain them. That is far more important to me than individual argumentative preferences.
Excluding morally reprehensible positions (like “death good”), I generally believe that most arguments are winnable if debated well. However, there are a few general principles that guide how I evaluate virtually any position.
1. Know your evidence. I like arguments that are well-supported by research. Be able to explain not only what your evidence says, but how it further proves your position. I will read cards after the round, especially ones that are emphasized in speeches. Evidence comparison is an essential part of argument comparison.
2. Be specific. Contextualize your offense and defense to the affirmative or negative team’s particular scenario. Specific, detailed explanation is far better than making sweeping, unwarranted claims.
3. Connect on important arguments. Do not forget line-by-line, but also remember to explain the implication of each argument, especially in the later speeches. Ballot framing is just as important as argument resolution. What does winning an individual argument mean for the other components of the debate?
4. Cross-ex should have a strategic purpose. Determine how you can use this time to further your position in the debate. I like when an argument traces from one speech to cross-ex to another speech.
Current Coach -- Marist School (2020-present)
Former Debater -- Marist School (2016-2020)
Please add email@example.com to the chain
I debated on the national circuit and have judged a TON in recent years. I think one thing many people overlook is how much time and effort it takes to debate especially at a high level. I understand the commitment you put into the activity so I try my best to put the same amount of effort into judging and making a decision. Nothing is worse than when a judge does not care about what they do and do not give you real feedback because the whole point of the activity is education and to learn stuff.
Debate is first and foremost a safe and educational activity so we should do our best to keep it that way
TL;DR: I am a tech judge and I really enjoy debate so do what you are best at.
General important stuff:
1) Extend every part of the argument... uniqueness, link, internal link, and impact. A claim without a warrant is not an argument. If you do not extend your argument then I can not vote on it.
2) I cannot stress enough that fewer well developed arguments will always be better than blips with no argument development or good warrants. I've noticed teams that collapse and more thoroughly explain their arguments tend to win my ballot more often than not against a team that goes for too much.
3) Please weigh your arguments
4) My only real pet peeve is wasting time during or before a debate. Please be ready to start the debate on time and don't cause unnecessary delays during it. Preflowing should be done before the debate. When prep time ends you should be ready to start your speech right away. "Pulling up a doc" or something like that for 30 seconds is stealing prep and should be done before you end your prep time.
5) Second rebuttal must answer first rebuttal
More specific stuff:
I don’t really care what type of argument you read as long as it is well explained, has warrants, and is weighed (case, k’s, theory... whatever are all fine). You do what you're best at and I'll judge it accordingly.
You can go as fast or slow as you want. I won't have any issue flowing any speed you decide to go.
I believe paraphrasing is bad and disclosure is good. At this point in the activity reading cuts cards and disclosing has become a norm that most teams adhere to which I think makes my threshold for responses to the shell even higher than it has been in the past.
Any other theory arguments just need to be real violations that have real impacts. Frivolous theory is unpleasant to judge and will be tough to impossible to win in front of me.
I'd really prefer you read cut cards. Debate is an activity about high quality research not writing a persuasive english paper. If you do paraphrase then you really need to have the cut cards ready at a minimum. A card is not cut if it does not have a complete and correct cite as well as the important/ cited parts of the card being emphasized. Evidence should be able to be sent when asked for in a timely manner. If it is not sent quickly it may be dropped from the debate.
Current Assistant Director of Debate at Emory University
Former graduate student coach at University of Georgia (2016-2020), Wake Forest University (2014-2016), University of Florida (2012-2014)
Create an email chain for evidence before the debate begins. Put me on it. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not trivialize or deny the Holocaust
Determine if I am in the room before you start a speech. "Becca, are you ready?" or "Becca, are you here?" I will give you a thumbs up or say yes (or I am not in the room and you shouldn't start).
I get that tech issues happen, but unnecessary tech time hurts decision time.
Please have one (or all) debaters look periodically to make sure people haven't gotten booted from the room. The internet can be unreliable. You might get booted from the room. I might get booted from the room. The best practice is to have a backup of yourself speaking in case this occurs. If the tournament has rules about this, follow those.
Is there an overview that requires a new sheet of paper? I hope not
Impact turn debates are fine with me
What are the key differences between the CP and the plan?
Does the CP solve some of the aff or all of the aff?
Be clear about which DA/s you are claiming as the net benefit/s to your CP
"Solving more" is not a net benefit
I lean neg on international fiat, PICS, & agent CP theory arguments
I am open minded to debates about conditionality & multiple conditional planks theory arguments.
I prefer when debaters make flowing easier for me (ex. debating line by line, signposting, identifying the other team’s argument and making direct answers)
I prefer when debaters answer arguments individually rather than “grouping”
"What cards did you read" and "What cards did you not read" count as cross-x time
Avoid intervening in your partners cross-x time, whether asking or answering. Tag team is for professional wrestling, not debate.
Public forum debate specific thoughts:
I am most comfortable with constructive speeches that organize contentions using this structure: uniqueness, link, and impact.
I am comfortable with the use of speed.
From my experience coaching policy debate, I care a lot about quantity and quality of evidence.
I am suspicious of paraphrased evidence. I would prefer to see a “card” as evidence (the full text of an article is provided and what you are choosing to read aloud is underlined and highlighted).
I like when the summary and final focus speeches make the debate smaller. If your constructive started with 2 or 3 contentions, by the summary and final focus your team should make a choice of just 1 contention to attempt winning.
Because of my background in policy debate, it takes me out of my comfort zone when the con/neg team speaks first. I will try to get over that.
You do you, and I will do everything to evaluate the round equitably.
HS Policy Debate for 4 years at Marist School
College Policy Debate for 4 years at the University of Michigan
Currently a 2L at Columbia Law School
Good for anything and everything as long as it's explained clearly. NGL I think all that Baudrillard and other high theory stuff is pretty w0nky slush but if you can establish a unique link, win FW, or win other parts of the critique, you taking a big W. Just make sure to explain it properly.
Make sure to impact things out -- tell me why those things matter, why they mean you win/the other team loses. I keep argument bias out of the room when I'm judging so if you want to full-send no neg fiat and make it a reason to reject the team and the other team doesn't have an answer, you taking a W.
9/25 update: Besides condo, I often don't know what's going on with theory.
2/1/23 update: If there's a nuclear war impact, I'll give extra speaks to the first time to clearly quote their favorite two lines from Megadeth's Rust in Peace... Polaris.