Spring 2023 Potomac Championships
2023 — Online, MD/US
Public Forum Judges Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
I am an Elementary School Teacher. I am an enthusiastic parent of a middle school Jr. Varsity debater. I am relatively new to judging. I value evidence over style and logic over emotion.
I will look for concise arguments that flow and demonstrate the impact. I prefer speaking clearly and audibly over at a pace. Be respectful and sensitive to other team members’ opinions. Most importantly, I would value argument that is more convincing and allows me to learn a new perspective.
i am the beach.
i will not intervene if i can help it
every round is decided by determining what the highest layer of offense is -> who links into that best.
1. At times I’ve been called a weighing hack, and I guess I understand why. Above all else, I am going to vote for the biggest impact in the round if two teams go for different impacts. I find anything else is intervening, which I hate. I evaluate weighing as I would framing, in rounds where framing is not present. Thus, impact weighing is not a tiebreaker where I determine which arguments have access to the link then decide which argument has the biggest impact, but rather where I look at the resolved weighing debate, and ONLY evaluate the impact which wins said weighing debate. Resolve the weighing in the round early, and my ballot will be quite easy.
2. I believe that in order for defense to be terminal, it only has to be implicated as such and be resolved against frontlines. If these criteria are not met, I will assume there is a small but nonzero risk of a link story happening, which bears the risk of allowing your opponents the ability to win the round off of the framing debate and a risk of a link. I also believe defense is not sticky, it doesn't make sense for an argument to be extended from first rebuttal to first summary. I think this norm made sense when summary was only two minutes, but it should have died when the NSDA changed this speech to three minutes.
3. I am fine with speed, but depending on the time of day my ability to keep up varies. SLOW DOWN WHEN SWITCHING BETWEEN PAGES/SPOTS ON THE FLOW. Please give me speech docs and slow down a bit in the back half. Add me to the email chain: email@example.com. I also hate teams who read 40 paraphrased responses in rebuttal with no warrants and don’t at least slow down when they’re switching between arguments.
4. I hate intervening. I was not an ethical debater, and as a result, I don't really care much about things like evidence ethics or academic integrity. You can lie, you can read false evidence, etc. If it is not called out, I will not do anything. In my view, my role as a judge is not to be an educator or anything, but rather to be a blank slate in the back of the room. All the "educating" can wait for after the round, I see no need and have no desire to meddle with the content of the round.
5. I like warrants, but I dislike intervening more. That means if you extend a contention with no warrant, I will unfortunately vote off it if your opponent drops it/doesn't point it out. But, if they do point out it's no warrant I'll treat the "no warrant" response as terminal defense and won't vote off the contention. Just have warrants please, I'll tank your speaks if you don't.
6. Tag Team CX is allowed, I think it's a good thing. I largely do not care about cross, I am probably not paying attention anyways.
7.You have to frontline everything in second rebuttal. If you get a bunch of arguments dumped on you, then you should be collapsing (this should happen in every second rebuttal imo). I will consider anything not frontlined in 2nd rebuttal conceded.
8. I am surprised that I have to say this, but ANY ARGUMENT has to be responded to by the speech immediately following it (obvious exception for constructive case level arguments, not gonna make you diverge from the norm in PF.) However, there is one exception. If the first constructive reads framing or theory, the second constructive MUST RESPOND. If first constructive theory or framing is not responded to in the second constructive, it's conceded, unless you make arguments (in the second constructive) as to why you do not have to respond in this speech.
9. Asking questions after the round is fine. Light post rounding is fine. Be aggressive/disrespectful at your own risk, I will probably match your energy as well as dock speaks.
***If you are in varsity at a TOC bid tournament, I will by NO MEANS evaluate a "we do not understand theory/theory excludes me because I don't know how to debate it" response. In fact, I will give you the lowest speaker points the tournament reasonably permits-- you're perpetuating horrible norms in this activity. Do not enter the varsity division of tournaments if you are unwilling to handle varsity level argumentation. ***
As an aside to this ^, if you read anything from this article as a reason why theory is bad, I'm probably just going to intervene. This is one of the worst takes I've ever heard, and I'm really sick of people perpetuating the narrative that "public forum should be for the public" or whatever dumb thing boomers in this activity activity propagate. this is the one spot I feel 0 shame in intervening.
I believe that I am the correct judge to read theory in front of, often I find a well-executed theory debate both more interesting and easier to evaluate than a substance debate of the same caliber. I do not care if you're reading friv shells, it's probably funny.
Istrongly dislike paragraph theory, and strongly prefer shell format. I will still vote for paragraph shells (again, not going to intervene,) but I would probably have a low threshold to pull the trigger on "theory must be in shell format" interps. This is definitely the only area in which I am strongly biased, to be honest, so read para theory at your own risk.
An interpretation can only be read immediately after the violation occurs. Conversely, a counterinterp can only be read immediately after the initial interpretation is read. The latest I will evaluate an interp is the FIRST summary speech (large, immediately hostile violations are an obvious exception.)
Misdisclosure automatically disqualifies you from accessing any disclosure based interp/counter-interp. Really bad practice.
some defaults people have informed me are helpful:
text over spirit of interp
Competing Interps (legit have no clue how to resolve rounds under reasonability pls don't make me do it)
Fairness O/W Education
voter metatheory 1st
I think I'm competent enough compared to the average Public Forum judge to evaluate any K that gets read in Public Forum (performance args, cap, sec, setcol, neolib, etc.) However, I am not one of the judges who are increasingly abundant in Public Forum, that will just hack for any perf args.
I think K debate can be important, so it's disappointing when it's done poorly, and equally disappointing when judges hack for a poor execution of the K so as to avoid being viewed as problematic. If you are going to swing wildly outside of the PF meta, and read phil-rooted args, I am going to be confused and will require a lot of slow explanation. Make sure you're extending the ROTB, alt, link-- every part of the K, in order to garner offense.
I also by default believe that the theory page comes before the K page, as theory exists to determine what parameters the K can be evaluated under, but I could definitely be convinced otherwise.
I've gone back and forth with this for a while, but I think probability is just a function of the strength of an argument's link. That's the only objective way for me to evaluate arguments, and as a result I think that your mitigatory defense should just be leveraged into warrants for why you comparatively outweigh. I also consider arguments like evidence indicts as things that merely diminish an argument's strength of link, instead of entirely defeating the argument. Just keep that in mind.
Refer to the "General Info" section part 1 for everything else.
I'll never call for evidence if it sounds too good to be true and nobody called it out. I will also not do anything with evidence that I see after the round, unless there is an implication made IN THE ROUND to the indict being true.
If there's anything you felt weighed in on my decision that wasn't something you could collect from reading this paradigm, let me know. I tried to make my paradigm fairly extensive so you could get a good feel for how I view the activity.
I have become hardened towards debate in recent years, but I still think that the activity can be very transformative for students. The activity was instrumental in making me a more accepting/inclusive person and preventing me from adopting hateful ideas that were prominent in the environment I was raised in (literally a trailer park.) I hope that you come out of this activity a better person, and proud of the things you achieved in it.
Hi, I'm Harshia (she/her/hers)! I have competed in extemporaneous speaking, declamation, and original oratory with multiple medals and national bids. I have also judged public forum and speech for various leagues. If I'm your judge and you have any concerns, comments, or questions, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I will be timing you during rounds but I prefer you also time yourselves so I don't have to constantly time-check and monitor you as that puts me in an uncomfortable position. I flow everything other than cross, so please let me know if you'd like any points noted in my flow during cross if you'd like to.
I will always look for strong logic and assertive speaking, but please be weary of crossing the line between rude and assertive. Any discriminatory or hateful behavior will not be tolerated and will automatically be reported and will result in deduction. Please be considerate of your partner and opponents. This is an educational activity, I like to see passionate speakers, not bullies.
As a competitor, your job is to tell me how to decide the round. I will be following your framework, your signposting, and your weighing. Focus on what will help you win, not miniscule points that won't necessarily help you win or lose the round. Citation should be accurate and intentional.
Good luck, thank you for your participation, and P.S you'll get bonus points if you tell me your favorite kind of chobani flip :)
Policy Debate Paradigm:
The things you are probably looking for:
Speed: I’m fine with whatever you are comfortable with--no need to try to impress me.
Performance: I do not want to see a performance (deal-breaker)—I took policy debate extremely seriously, and I only want to see your creativity showcased through your strategy and your arguments; however, a relevant and cutesy pun here and there will be well-appreciated.
Pre-dispositions: Please do not make arguments that you do not understand/cannot explain in order to fill the time or to confuse the opponent—I will definitely take notice and probably will not vote for you. Keep things well researched and logical and everything should be fine.
Sportsmanship: Please always be respectful of your opponents. Mean-spiritedness is not a way to show me you’re winning. Even though I will always vote for the better arguments, if you display signs of cruelty towards your opponent, your speaker points will suffer.
****Make sure you have great links…nothing worse than sitting through a round where no one understands how any of the arguments relate to the topic*********
Disadvantages: Unless if your strategy is extremely sophisticated/well thought out/well-rehearsed (I have encountered quite a few when I competed), I think you should always run at least 1 DA.
· The Counterplan: If done well, and the strategy around them is logical and thought-out, these are generally winners. If done poorly and you just inserted one to fill the time, I will be sad and bored.
· Procedurals/Topicality: I love a good meta-debate, and I am open to these if you guys have a solid strategy around these arguments (for example: if your opponents are illogical/made mistakes, point that out to me). However, I usually see T’s used as generic fillers, and I will not vote for a generic filler.
· The Kritik: Love Ks if done well and showcases your knowledge of the topic and argument. However, if I can sense that you don’t know what you’re talking about, running a K might hurt you.
Overall, have fun ( I understand how stressful this event can be), show me you're prepared, and always try to learn something.
Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate Paradigm:
My job as a judge is to be a blank slate; your job as a debater is to tell me how and why to vote and decide what the resolution/debate means to you. This includes not just topic analysis but also types of arguments and the rules of debate if you would like. If you do not provide me with voters and impacts I will use my own reasoning. I'm open all arguments but they need to be well explained.
My preference is for debates with a warranted, clearly explained analysis. I do not think tagline extensions or simply reading a card is an argument that will win you the debate. In the last speech, make it easy for me to vote for you by giving and clearly weighing voting issues- these are summaries of the debate, not simply repeating your contentions! You will have the most impact with me if you discuss magnitude, scope, etc. and also tell me why I look to your voting issues before your opponents. In terms of case debate, please consider how your two cases interact with each other to create more class; I find turns especially effective. I do listen closely during cross (even if I don't flow), so that is a place to make attacks, but if you want them to be fully considered please include them during your speeches.
The MOST Important Thing: Speech and Debate should be a safe space for ALL so respect is key. So any ad hominem will NOT be tolerated, this includes racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia. I don't mind aggressive clash debate, but it must remain professional and nonpersonal.
I bring a flow pad into the room and you have to prove to me your side will create a better world than your opponent's. I am a flow judge, so be cautious of dropping points and make sure your crystallization is thorough- weigh evidence and contentions.
Speaker points come through in presentation and communication. Pay attention to hand gestures, body language, and eye contact. You CAN be the better speaker and the worse debater, they are two different scores for a reason.
Cross-examination will not be flowed or scored in judging, points must be brought up again in a speech to make the ballot. Does impact speaking points.
Spreading is fine, but quantity does not make up for quality, analysis must be thorough.
Stand during Cross. Look at me, not the opponent.
Love an off-time roadmap. Helps clarify the flow and clean up the organization.
All debate lies in Impacts and Clash. Prove to me why you r world is better than the opponents.
Hi, I’m a second-year college student and did 4 years of PF, Debating on the National Circuit from Orlando. Debater on the Florida State University debate team
Tech>Truth: I evaluate the round solely on what's presented in the round regardless of the truthfulness of the argument. But remember the more sophisticated your argument gets the lower threshold I have on evaluating responses.
Frameworks: I default to the framework most brought up in rounds throughout speeches, If no clear framework is applied I will be forced to decide the argument by myself. If a team provides a framework for me to evaluate the round under it should be introduced as early as possible and extended throughout all speeches. If there are two frameworks please do the comparative for me and explain why I should pick one over the other. However, if only one team brings up a framework and the other team does not engage with it I will weigh all arguments of that one framework.
Comparative Analysis: Please do the comparative for me with different arguments. If both teams are running similar arguments do the comparative and tell me why yours is better. If teams are running different arguments I need to know why I'm preferring your argument. Absent comparative analysis, I will have to interpret things on my own and you don't want that.
Extension: Extending only the authors and taglines of cards doesn't suffice for me. You need to extend the substance of the card as well and how they relate to your impact. If you want me to evaluate something in FF is should be included in the summary speech. I usually allow first-speaking teams to extend defense straight to final focus but in reality, you should be mentioning important defense extensions in summary.
Progressive args: If you are going to run it then do so well and actually explain it with warrants. I will not buy a simple shell case that gets dropped.
-I will flow cross. If something important happened in cross, mention it in the speech. A good cross is a great way to up speak.
- Will be lenient with going over time however DO NOT make it excessive, if I think you are abusing the system I will stop flowing.
- Quality over Quantity; don't spread. If you plan on speaking fast please send a speech doc. If I can't understand you I'll say clear and after 3 times I'll stop flowing.
- Second rebuttal should respond to turns/disads.
- Please collapse on a few arguments in summary. I prefer quality over quantity and clear extensions.
- Weigh, weigh, weigh (as early as possible in the round)
- Implicate turns and defense
Debate is like driving a car - you need the right accessories, and most importantly, you gotta know how to drive the car. You get better the more you drive, and eventually, you learn some pretty sick moves. I've been driving a car on the college scene for about 7 years. I spent some time driving in Topeka, and eventually, I taught people how to drive in Lubbock. Getting a judge and getting a new car is pretty similar. Both require some getting used to, but once you figure it out, the highway is yours. You might be wondering what kinda car I am. Well, I'm not a 2020 Ford Mustang, but I'm also not a broken down 1988 chevy impala. I'm a 2006 Ford Fusion. I've been around the block and got some miles on me, but now I tend to sit in the garage. Let me give you some advice for driving a 2006 Ford Fusion. Here are some things that make the car run:
If you are affirmative, you should defend some sort of concrete action, preferably an action that can be written in one to two sentences and can be passed to your opponent. I tend to think that affs need stable plan/advocacy texts because it's important to generate stable offense. If your entire 1AC is the text, maybe this isn't the car for you. I also tend to think that the plan action should be topical, or at least topic adjacent. This is really a preference, instead of a hard and fast rule. I'm not a big fan of rejecting the res outright unless it's just that bad. If you find yourself constantly rejecting the resolution, that's awesome, but maybe I'm not the car for you.
Your 2006 Ford Fusion goes 0-60 in 8 seconds, which is a long time. As a debater, try to avoid going 0-60 in 8 seconds. I'm down for speed, but if you start the speech going full speed, I'm probably gonna miss some stuff. I can hang with your top speed, but work your way there. You can drive the car on the highway, but make sure you're using the acceleration ramp.
The car you've been given also has some weird dimensions. I think that debate is a game of net benefits, regardless of the arguments read. I tend to not vote for tiny IVIs or RVI's, but instead, I look at the entire flow. Your job is to create a larger narrative as to why I vote for you, so you should do impact calculus.
This car is a little old. Here's acceptable brands of fuel:
1. Topical affirmatives are great - especially with fleshed out advantages. I tend to award speaker points not just based on the quality of the debate, but the quality of your research. Well researched advantages with tangible impacts are best. The fiat question here isn't too important for me. I assume everything is fiated to some degree, even K affs. Just have something sticky for the neg to garner offense.
2. DA/CP debate is great for me. I love politics and hegemony debates, and I especially love them when paired with counterplans. Make sure your counterplan is competitive and actually solves the aff.
3. Theory. Theory is a great tool when used responsibly. I tend to like most theory, with some exclusions, which I'll get to below. Please note. You don't overfill your gas tank - so don't read too many theory arguments. I tend to think that 2 pieces of theory during a speech is the absolute ceiling. Otherwise, the debate gets messy and the car won't run well for you.
4. K debate. You should do some of that! You should have a clear alternative with links that describe why the plan actually trips the impacts. Saying "Plan uses the USFG" is fine, but that's only a link. Have multiple links. Also it's important that you very clearly describe the world of the alternative. Providing a really dumbed down two-sentence explanation of the action of the alt is recommended.
5. I'm gonna be honest, this car can only take special types of fuel. If you read the following K's in front of me, I'm more down to understand what you're getting at: Neolib, biopower, antiblackness, cap, fem, and on occasion, D&G. It's not that I'm not familiar with other lit, but I'm just not as well read as some others might be.
2006 Ford Fusions are not super complicated to drive, but here are some things that make it break down:
1. Perms are not advocacies, and I don't think they have net benefits. Advocacies have net benefits, but perms do not. They are tests of competition, so you should talk about competition.
2. I don't like silly theory. I think if you read an argument in the 1NC you should read it with your chest. SPEC is cool, but maybe only read it if you're actually going to go for it AND it would be strategically viable for you to do so. Also, I can't really get behind the whole "you should read the plan text in the first X minute thing." Just don't read silly theory. Make it count.
3. The car breaks down when you read disclosure. I won't vote on disclosure arguments, regardless of the format. It's not my realm to decide what happened before the round, but I often think disclosure only benefits larger schools. Disclose, don't disclose, I don't care.
4. I'll be upfront with you, there's a fair amount of car manuals that are not compatible with this version of the Ford Fusion. I get lost easily when the following lit bases are read in front of me: Baudrillard, Bataille, Buddhism, Nietzsche, and really anything in this tradition of really high theory. Again, I might not be the car for you, but if you do have to drive this car, don't use cruise control. Drive the car where you want it to go, and I'll go there with you as long as the path is clear.
5. I prefer depth. I really don't wanna see you read 7 off in the 1NC just to spread the other team out. Read maybe 3 offcase positions and drive the car real nice.
At the end of the day, the 2006 Ford Fusion isn't a hard car to drive, but there are certain ways the car needs to be driven. The car doesn't have a GPS. I don't know where you are going unless you make it explicitly clear. Rebuttals need to be wholistic and have clear win conditions. You've gotta park the car if you want the ballot.
The last thing I'll say is that I expect y'all to be nice. Don't spread your opponents out if they're a novice team, and more importantly, don't be hateful in your speech. It's been a really rough year for all of us, and this is a space to get away from the noise around us. If you start spewing that kinda speech, the car windows are getting rolled up and that's an auto loss. No exceptions. I really don't really think that people should be rude.
Oh yeah, I forgot to talk about speaker points. If you drive the car mostly right, without a fender-bender, the average is around a 28. If you wreck the car or deliberately start reversing on the highway, it'll probably go down from there. Don't wreck the car.
NSDA 2021 Updates: Add me to the email chain, or however you prefer to get me the evidence.
- Please don't miscut (I will drop you)
I am a parent judge with no debate experience. A few rules/guidelines you should pay attention to:
1: Don't dominate during CX. If one team is completely preventing the other side from talking, their speaker points will be reduced. CX will not be flowed and will only be considered in the ballot if the argument is brought up by a speaker in a speech.
2: Don't use debate jargon. Debate jargon will fly over my head.
3: Don't speak too fast. If you go too fast, I will miss your point and it will not be considered on the ballot.
4: Be kind. Debate is a game. If you are rude, this will negatively impact your speaker points.
5: When a team asks for a card, give the card quickly. If card sharing takes too long, it will be counted as prep time.
6: Logic > Emotion. Probability > Scope.
7: If you have a percentage, give me a hard number. If someone was to argue that an increase in investment in high-speed rail would lead to a 20% increase in jobs, this could mean 5 jobs added or 100,000 jobs added.
8: Signpost. Signposting will allow me to flow the round and your arguments better.
9: No new information/cards/arguments are allowed past the second summary. Any new information will not be counted on the ballot.
10: You should extend your arguments during the summary. Any arguments that aren't extended will be considered dropped.
11: Weighing should be done in summary and final focus. This is the key to winning your debates.
12: I will time you. If you go way past (10-30 seconds) the end of your time, you will be cut off.
I am a parent judge, so I cannot give technical points of advice. Whoever can persuades me will earn my ballot.
I am a retired law enforcement, so I have seen of these subjects in real life.
Speed - You don't have to be slow, but you must be clear and precise.
Timing - Please keep your own timings, but I will try to keep track as well.
Do's - Be well mannered, speak clearly and concisely.
Dont's - Don't use unnecessary debate jargon, I am a beginner and most likely will not understand. If you have a claim, you must warrant it completely.
Have fun and enjoy the round!
My background: I am a former CEDA debater (1987-89) and CEDA coach (1990-93) from East Tennessee State University. Upon my recent retirement in August 2021 I've judged numerous at numerous debate tournaments for PF, LD, IDPA, Parli, and Big Questions (mostly PF and LD).
Speed: I can keep up with a quick-ish speed - enunciation is very important! Pre round I can do a "speed test" and let you know what I think of a participant's speech speed if anyone wants to. I was never a super speed debater and didn’t encourage my students to speed.
Theory: I am familiar with topicality and if other theory is introduced, I could probably understand it. (I also used to run hasty generalization but not sure if that’s still a thing or not.) Theory is best used when it’s pertinent to a round, not added for filler and needs to be well developed if I am expected to vote on it.
The rounds: Racism/sexism etc. will not be tolerated. Rudeness isn’t appreciated either. I do not interject my own thoughts/opinions/judgements to make a decision, I only look at what is provided in the round itself. Re: criteria, I want to hear what the debaters bring forward and not have to come up with my own criteria to judge the round. My default criteria is cost/benefit analysis. I reserve the right to call in evidence. (Once I won a round that came down to a call for evidence, so, it can be important!) As far as overall judging, I always liked what my coach used to say – “write the ballot for me”. Debaters need to point out impacts and make solid, logical arguments. Let me know what is important to vote on in your round and why. Sign posting/numbering arguments is appreciated and is VERY important to me; let me know where you plan to go at the top of your speech and also refer back to your roadmap as you go along.
Cross Examination: a good CX that advances the round is always valued. If someone asks a question, please don’t interrupt the debater answering the question. I don’t like to see a cross ex dominated by one side.
I hope to see enjoyable and educational rounds. You will learn so many valuable skills being a debater! Good luck to all participants!
Judge paradigms can be complicated, so I am going to give you the gist of my judging philosophy and go into more detail as you scroll down. If you read my paradigm and apply it in round, you will have an advantage and be that much closer to winning. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have about my paradigm!
SUMMARY: I'm a policymaker who did UIL CX in high school, I am familiar with a couple other events though so I'm not super strict on traditionalism. I like theory, I don't like generic stuff, I don't like spreading (speed is fine), I don't like guilt tripping, I'm logical, avoid vague links, give me roadmaps before speeches, be nice to your opponents.
DETAILED VERSION OF MY PARADIGM:
I'm a policymaker, I will vote for whichever case I think has the best outcome. It is imperative in my mind that competitors uphold their burdens (of clash and proof). I default to utilitarianism framing (most good for the most people) but I love framework/theory debates, so I am open to whatever y'all bring up; you can treat me like a Tab in that regard, I'll flow anything. IF YOU DROP FRAMEWORK, THEORY, OR T, I AM PROBABLY NOT GOING TO VOTE FOR YOU. I am open to every kind of offcase. I see debate as a game with bendable rules. If you read theory saying that I should weigh the round differently than I do according to this paradigm sheet, then I will judge accordingly (much like a Tab judge, but implicit bias makes that role unrealistic in my opinion). If you read me framing that says genocide is good, I will believe it's good until told otherwise.
I don't mind K's if they are run properly, which they usually are not. To vote for a K I would need a strong, specific link and observable impacts (ie, I'm probably not going to vote for a generic black marxism K).
This is a speaking event, I value clear speech and therefore I'm not a fan of spreading. Speed is fine. You'll know that you're going too fast when I am not flowing during your speech, I will drop my pen.
Don't be that person who tries to guilt trip your opponent or me to win. In round, I don't care about your feelings...like at all. HR impacts are fine but when you say something like "our opponents disagree, therefore they're sexist/racist/genocidal/oppressive" I'm probably just going to roll my eyes. Also, don't slander individuals without purpose (ie, "Biden/Trump is the worst president in history" if you're not making a point.)
Anyone should be able to make any argument. So long as it's relevant to the case, I (as a white male) should be able to articulate issues like racial disparities, indigenous sovereignty, sexual assault, feminism, etc. I'm probably not going to sway my vote based on your personal life experiences since I have no proof of them, keep life and the round separated. And if you get destroyed in round, meet your opponents afterward and ask them how you can do better, be cool about it.
I'm probably not going to vote for a disclosure theory, as I said I don't think that anything outside the round should affect the round. I'll still flow it though.
Please keep the flow organized, roadmaps will help you to win. TELL ME WHY I SHOULD VOTE FOR YOU!
Be kind to your opponents. If I think you're being intentionally rude or obnoxious then you'll probably lose speaks and potentially the round
Radical cases are fine as long as they meet the criteria I listed. For example, if genocide brings the world into utopia, then by all means commit genocide. This is, however, the epitome of utilitarianism and is subject to losing if the other team persuades me to adopt egalitarianism. This is true utilitarianism.
I love this event, and I want y'all to learn how to think well and improve society, or if that's not your thing then have fun! Either way, if you would like to contact me after the tournament to ask questions, receive critiques or advice for your material, you can reach me at email@example.com. I'm pretty impartial, I'll help whoever asks me. I have a job and a personal life so be patient with me, but I want to see y'all succeed and doing this makes both of us happy so please feel free to reach out!
I debated for Lane Tech and am now finishing up college. I debated mostly black theory amongst other critical arguments but if you have the best framing and the best world to vote for, whether that be your policy plan or your K advantage, I will vote for.
Please tell me how many off before starting and I see no reason to censor yourselves within the round as long as a certain level of respect is maintained between competitors. Will vote on in-round DA's (our plan enacts real change through the discussion being held right now etc. etc.) and press your perms, they'll save you in the end.
I am keen on listening to what you have to say and will be judging you primarily, on the following parameters.
1) Structure- clear, concise, well researched presentation of key points that relate to the topic.
2) Eloquence - respectful, assertive, and argumentative in style.
3) Content - claim, reason, support and warrant
I’m very excited to be judging you today. I competed for 4+ years in a variety of events, but mainly PF, Congress, and speech events like OI, Expos, and Extemp. In college, I competed for 3 years on the collegiate Model UN circuit. As for my judging history, I’ve judged regularly ever since I graduated high school and have had the opportunity to judge most events. Here are a couple things that I look for:
Debaters: I like off-time roadmaps, it helps with signposting and keeps my flow clean. I do flow and keep track of arguments and evidence but that doesn’t mean you can disregard speaking style, eloquence, etc. The winner of a round should be the better speaker AND have the best arguments. Make sure you’re impacting your arguments and carry these impacts throughout the round. It makes my job a lot easier and then I won’t consider them as dropped. If you have a standard or value criterion, make sure to tie back your arguments to it (it should act as a thesis to your arguments). If you do not have a standard/VC and your opponent does, I will be forced to weigh the round on their standard unless you give me promising reasons why I shouldn’t. When I was debating, I used to be able to keep up with full speed spreading. I can no longer do this so please do not spread. You may speak quickly but if I’m not able to keep up on the flow, I’m going to miss your arguments and it will only hurt you. I don’t understand theory shells, Ks, or any other obscure parts of debate. Do not include them in your speeches because I will disregard them. Be kind and respectful during CX. I really hate when people consistently talk over others or end up yelling in rounds. You can have the same debate respectfully and calmly.
Speech: Make sure you’re staying in time and do not overly dramatize parts of your speech. For extempers, try your best to dedicate equal amounts of time to each of your points and be clear with your transitions.
Above all, please just be mature, respectful, and have fun!
Here's the TL;DR version of the paradigm
I am as old-school and traditional as they come when it comes to judging.
Debate is about persuading me (as a proxy for an audience) that your position is the one I should support. I view my role as judge to be an undecided audience member attending your debate to learn about both sides. I will use what is presented in this debate to move me from “undecided” to “decided.” I will rigorously compare the strengths and weaknesses of the definitions and arguments (or, in LD, the value, value criterion, and contentions) presented and rebutted to determine which side has persuaded me to support their position. I will especially compare the arguments that generate the greatest clash. Since I am undecided audience member, I judge strictly on what you say--I mean, this is a competition where you speak your arguments, right?--and refrain from reading your speeches or your cards, except as noted.
Come at the debate from any perspective or approach you want to--and I do welcome out-of-the-box frameworks provided they provide a reasonable space for clash and argument. I try to offer each round as blank a slate as I am capable of doing. Risk-taking is fine as long as you know what you are doing when you take the risk. I like humor.
To maximize the strength, effectiveness, and persuasiveness of your arguments, they need to be delivered clearly (NO SPREADING), with solid evidence, data, and citations (placed in context for a judge who may not be familiar with them) in a well-organized speech that is delivered TO me, not read like a drone AT me. In other words, you should seek to win on logic and argumentation, but in doing so, you cannot neglect the communications skills necessary to sell your position and ensure that your audience understands your logic and argumentation--just like you would if you were doing this to a real audience in the real world. Accordingly, I should be able to judge the debate solely on the words spoken without having to refer to documentation beyond my own notes when writing my ballot.
If you have any questions about this, ASK!
Now for those who want to get into the weeds on my approach to judging and my thinking about debate.
First and foremost, have fun
Debate should not be a slog for you or me. This paradigm, although long, is really about getting the slogging and ticky-tack nonsense out of this process. We are both giving up our weekends to participate in this. Let's enjoy it. Keep it loose.
I am generally a VERY traditional old-school judge with a VERY clear set of expectations and standards. If I had to pick a judging theory that I fit, I tend to fall into the policymaker/legislative model of judging with some purposeful appearance-style judging thrown in.
My basic view of debate
I believe debate is about persuasion--winning the minds AND hearts of the audience, which is, in this case, the judge(s). That means this activity is about all the skills of debate: research, argumentation, speech, persuasion, and rhetoric.
--Your arguments must be strong, with sound logic, solid research, and real analysis;
--Your presentation must be well-organized so the audience can follow it effortlessly;
--You must overcome the reasonable objections put forward by the other side while attacking their contentions, case, and/or values, especially on arguments with significant clash;
--You must show why your side has the better idea (or the other side's ideas are worse than the status quo if you are the negative and not running a counterplan);
--And you must sell all this with a persuasive delivery that seeks to connect with the audience, which means gesturing and movement, making eye contact, varying your vocal tone, showing passion, and speaking clearly and at a normal pace.
Wait! I thought experienced judges were into technical stuff and did not consider speaking style
Here is why I incorporate some "appearance-style" judging into my paradigm. As a competition that includes speaking, I firmly believe that debate requires you to both make strong arguments and communicate them persuasively through your delivery. You should be connecting with your audience at all levels. In the "real world" a dry, lifeless speaker has a tough time winning over an audience no matter how good their arguments are. So it is with me too.
I HATE spreading
SLOW DOWN!!! If you speak significantly faster than a normal rate of speed or if you "spread," it will show up in your comments and impact your speaks negatively. This is a debate, not a speedreading competition to crowbar 10 minutes of content into a 6-minute constructive. You cannot persuade anyone if the listener cannot follow your argument because you are flying through your speech at 250+ words per minute. "Spreading" has really damaged debate as a discipline. If this is an issue for you, please "strike" me as a judge. I will totally understand. I will say CLEAR once and only once if it is too fast.
I make every effort to come into the round agnostic
I am agnostic about both the topic of the debate and how you build your case--it simply has to be both comprehensible enough and persuasive enough to win. You can approach the case from any fair direction that allows for reasonable clash and interaction from the other side. Just remember that I need to clearly understand your argument and that you have to be more persuasive than your opponent.
Agnosticism ≠ idiocy, therefore Truth > Tech
I will not accept an argument that the average person would immediately know is simply not true. Being agnostic about the resolution does not mean I am an idiot. The sun doesn't come up in the west. 1+1≠3. Telling me things that are obviously false to someone with an average understanding of the world is not an argument that can flow through, even if your opponent doesn't address it. By the same token, if an argument like this IS offered and the opponent does not attack it, that will be noted as well--negatively.
Assume I know nothing about the topic beyond what an average person would know
The risk of insult is the price of clarity. As a judge, I am not as deep in the weeds on the subject matter as you are. Avoid undefined jargon, assumptions about what I already know, or that I am familiar with your citations. Better to make fewer points that I do understand than to make more points that I do not.
I only judge what you say and how you say it
This is a debate--a competition rooted in a tradition of speech and rhetoric--not a competitive speed-reading recital of your persuasive essay writing. That means I want to HEAR your speech and citations, not read along with them. Let me be clear. I will not read your speech or look at your card (unless there is some question about the validity of the source). In my view, part of being an effective and successful to debater is to ensure that your audience understands your arguments based on what you say without the audience having to look at a document--think about how you would address an audience in a darkened auditorium and you will get the idea. I will make an exception about requesting cards if I have reason to question your evidence.
I pay attention to definitions/values/value criterion
Define the terms of the resolution (and, in L-D state a value and value criterion), and then explicitly link your arguments, contentions, and rebuttals back to your definitions and values. I want to clearly understand how your arguments relate to how the debate has been framed and/or how it supports your definition and value. What is the point of taking the time to lay this out and then never mentioning them again when you get into your speech?
How I weigh your arguments
The overall strength of your case and arguments--especially where there is clash--relative to your opponent's case are paramount in earning my vote. This means the quality and development of your arguments, contentions, evidence, citations, and rebuttals are far more important to me than quantity.
--Focus on your strongest arguments rather than throwing in the kitchen sink.
--Make sure they link back to your definition and/or your value and value criterion
--Go deep with your analysis before going broad;
--Use examples and metaphors to illustrate your points;
--Tell the story coherently in a speech that is logically organized to lead me to side with your position;
Dropped arguments do not always matter to me
Just because your opponent drops a weak argument does not mean I will flow it through. If you jam ten contentions in and the opponent only responds to 9, that does not mean the 10th argument carries, and you should win the debate because it was dropped and therefore flowed through. The quality of the dropped argument matters a lot. As long as your opponent addresses and rebuts your main arguments and effectively responds to your case overall, I will not be concerned that they dropped some weak, secondary contention, especially if they have filled their time. Obviously, not addressing a major argument will hurt any opposing case.
I never allow off-time roadmaps unless the tournament rules require me to
Unless the tournament rules state otherwise, I will not grant ANY off-time road maps. Off-time road maps are a crutch lazy debaters use to avoid getting their speech into a clear, well-organized form. Your speech should be properly organized so that a listener can follow it without you having to spoon-feed them what you are going to do up front. Worse, being off-time, it allows the speaker to preview their arguments without the clock running--essentially giving them free time to communicate without pressure. Nonsense. If you need to do a roadmap during your allotted running time, you are welcome to burn your clock time to do so, and I will not penalize it. That said, you would be better served simply organizing your speech and, perhaps, doing some signposting.
Give your citations context so I can give them credibility
Assume I know nothing about your citation and understand I will not read your card unless I have reason to question the validity of your evidence. While I recognize that a citation of "Smith, 2019" is the minimum the rules often require, it has little real credibility if you don't give me some context about why the citation matters and is credible. I don't know who Smith is, where you found his material, or what he wrote in 2019. It is SO much better to say something like: "In a 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Julian Smith, an expert on vaccines, wrote...." Now I know where you read it, who Smith is, and when it was written.
I pay very close attention to CX, crossfire, and POIs
While I generally don't "flow" CX/crossfire (or POIs in Parli), it does matter to me. There should be engagement and clash. Debates I have judged are occasionally won or lost in CX when one debater put the other in a logic box or otherwise made the debate impossible for their opponent to win. Use CX/crossfire (or POIs in Parli) to undermine your opponent's arguments and to expose weaknesses and logic problems in their case, rather than rehear parts of the opponent's speeches you missed the first time. Additionally:
--If you are rude during crossfire/CX by aggressively interrupting or cutting off respondents who are not filibustering, it will impact your speaks;
--If you insist on yes/no answers in crossfire/CX when more information is obviously needed to make a response, it will impact your speaks;
--If you keep asking questions in crossfire/CX without giving your opponent a chance to ask some too, it will impact your speaks;
--If you filibuster and are dilatory to try and run out the clock in crossfire/CX (or refuse to answer at least one POI per opposing participant that asks for a POI in Parli), it will impact your speaks and;
--If you are passive and ask no questions in crossfire/CX (or make no POIs in Parli) or sit back and watch during grand crossfire without participating, it will impact your speaks.
Your public speaking and presentation skills matter to me
Your speaking skills and delivery can impact the outcome of the round. Our greatest persuasive communicators are all excellent and compelling speakers. This idea that debate is some monotone recitation with your eyes glued to a piece of paper or a screen while you stand there like a wax statue is absurd. Yes, your arguments and rebuttal of the opposition matter most, but your job does NOT stop there. You have to hold the audience's interest too. It is part of the game. That means:
--speak TO me, do not read AT me;
--Gesture and move to help communicate your argumemts;
--Make eye contact;
--Vary your tone and vocal emphasis.
--Show some passion to demonstrate you really believe what you are saying.
I am the official timer of the round unless the rules say otherwise
Unless the tournament rules state otherwise, I am the official timer of the debate. You may use your timer to monitor your speaking time (but you MUST turn off any sounds or alarms or you will be penalized in your speaker points after one warning), but my time governs. Before each speech or crossfire, I will ask, "is (are) the speaker (participants) ready? Are the opponents ready? Time begins now." At that point, speaking may start. I will announce "time has expired" when the clock runs out. You may finish your sentence if I make that announcement mid-sentence. No more speaking after that unless the tournament rules allow for a grace period or otherwise limit my discretion to end the speech. I will also update both sides about the remaining prep time at some point during the round.
I reward risk-taking and humor
Don't be afraid to take some risks. Be interesting. Be funny. Maybe even a little snark, A well-chosen risk can result in big rewards in your score. Just remember they call it a risk for a reason.You will also never hurt yourself by making me laugh. Debate does not have to be somber, and it does not always have to be serious. If you are funny, be funny--provided you remain persuasive.
I will not tolerate racism, rudeness, or nonsense
If you make faces, gestures, or otherwise show disdain for the person speaking, know it will negatively impact your score. Also, anything you say or do that demeans the race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc., of ANYONE (unless you are directly quoting a relevant source or citation), WILL ruin your score. It WILL be reported to the tournament authorities.
anthony "andy" stowers forest (he/him/any)
I mostly judge PF and LD, but have experience judging Parli/BP and IE (mostly extemp/ADS/Info). I'm a conflict researcher who didn't get to debate until my senior year of college in 2015. I coached for a couple years after that, and have been judging ever since. I predominantly judge online tournaments and tournaments within NYC.
I'm open to pretty much any argument or weighing mechanism provided appropriate warrants are given. My strongest preference is for critical thought and argument as opposed to an evidence arms race, but please do ensure the evidence you provide is from valid sources. I want to see a debate where clear linkages between ideas and arguments are made, and am willing to be convinced of any reasonable argument. Spreading is fine, & I'm generally flowing in OneNote as the debate progresses.
Some general preferences:
- Fine with K, just ensure it's genuinely well-considered
- Please don't waste the entire debate arguing about the rules: make note of the rule violation and move on.
- I study politicized violence in international politics, and more often than not will know if you're making an unsubstantiated claim about conflict...please don't be that person.
- I expect you to address the groups of people you refer to in respectful ways, and I expect you to treat your opponents with respect.
Name: Sajid Bin Hasnat
School Affiliation: BRAC University
Number of Years Judging Public Forum: <1
Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: <1
Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: >3
Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: >3
If you are a coach, what events do you coach? - Not a coach
What is your current occupation? - Undergraduate Student
General Notes for speakers:
It is important for speakers to be aware of the following facts:
1. I value teams with a clear structure, who can successfully explain the consequences and evidences, and who can appropriately connect evidence to their arguments.
2. It's preferable if you use proof to describe the underlying trend/core problem associated with it.
3. It's crucial to keep your audience's attention. Direct comparison and weighing make the task of judges easier. You should also show how your benefits outweigh their disadvantages, as well as how your benefits outweigh those of your competitors.
4.Be prepared to explain why your solution is preferable, such as because it completes the task faster/easier and uses fewer resources.
5. Please don't make any arguments that an average rational voter wouldn't see coming. If you do this, the value of this content will be diminished.
6. You must avoid utilizing any wording that could lead to a breach of equity.
7. Having a road map is beneficial to us.
8. Speaking quickly is acceptable as long as you are clear.
9. I don't care what style you have as long as you're comprehensive. Because of their diverse upbringings, different debaters have distinct styles, which I admire.
10. I have a good level of energy during presentations. In the heat of battle, I scribble down the most important questions and the responses I receive.
I have been doing Public Forum for about 4 years, and I was the Novice Director at Brooklyn Tech. Overall, I love judging and I really do enjoy giving you feedback on how to grow as a debater.
If you do disclose please email me your case, it makes it easier for me to flow the round and decide who should win the round, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Theory: YES. I love it when people run theories. However, you have to realize you're fighting an uphill battle since many judges won't know how to evaluate that. I, however, am bored and get excited about interesting arguments. The well-argued theory makes for interesting debates. This, for example, is how you call people out on rulebreaking - don't just say "it's illegal/not allowed," make it an argument with impacts.
2. Card-calling: I believe that being able to call for a card is an important strategic tool. That means it should be used, get this, strategically. You should have your cards ready and it should not take that much time to get it, however, if you are taking a long amount of time I will start running your prep.
3. Crossfire: Crossfire is your time to clarify. Don't expect me to write any argument you make during crossfire because it won't happen. Instead, follow up on strong points during your next speech. Finally, resist the urge to engage in shouting matches, it will definitely cost you speaker points and is a terrible use of everyone's time.
4. Attitude. If you are rude to either your opponent or me I will deduct your speaker points and if your attitude is off the charts I will give the other team the win regardless of the flow. Overall, be nice.
5. Rebuttals. Signposting is something I want to see all throughout the debate, however, in rebuttals it is key. I like off-time road maps and I expect that you should follow your off-time road map during the speech. I also want a logical and concise analysis of the faults of the opponent's argument, not just "this card says otherwise." Tell me why their argument is faulty and why your argument is better.
30 - If you run a good meme case/if you speak with an eloquence that can only be personified by someone like Barack Obama/Best speaker in the tourney in my opinion.
29 - If you speak really well with minimal error.
28 - Good job but you can use some improvement.
27 - You need improvement, but it's only an upward climb.
26 - There's a lot of room for improvement. Don't get down if you receive this from me. The debate is all about improvement, and if you attain this score then I will definitely give you tips on how to improve and better yourself in the verbal and digital feedback.
25 - Why are you here?
24 - If I have to go down here then you should go to policy/LD/Parli/Anything that isn't PF...
Debators can run any (I mean ANY) argument to me as to why they should win the round from the arguments that they are making.
PLEASE give me examples, solvency, and impact analysis in the round, as well as clashing with your opponents and on their arguments.
Tech/Flow/Tabula Judge, but I get skeptical in very blippy arguments so keep that in mind.
The issue of Tech/Truth happens when deciding clash/which impact worse since debaters didn’t do it themselves (cleaning the debate) (Ex: Ontological violence vs. nuclear war)
I hate intervening
I will vote on topic, K, T, Theory, Performance (which I will judge the performance), Presumption, etc…
For T/Theory, explain and show the abuse. Flesh the argument out and explain why I should, don’t just say “vote fairness, the end”
For K: explain the thesis (don't just say post-modern jargon), impact, link, ROTB, Solvency...
Keep the spreading to 350 wpm. If I don't understand you, I will yell "clear!", but if you keep spreading so bad, I'll just stop saying "clear!".
SIGNPOST PLEASE; DON’T MESS WITH MY FLOW
Any questions? Ask me before round
Down Below is a list of critical Literature that I have read/Judged to give debaters an idea of the literature they can use. Always interested in hearing new arguments
Note: Some kritiks are generic due to the many types it has
Ableism, Cyber-Fem/Borg, Orientalism
Schopenhauer, Agamben Derrida, Marxism,
Security, Afro-Furturism, Ecofem, Necropolitics
Terror, Afro-Pessimism, Empire, Neo-Colonialism
Global Warming, Althusser, Hauntology, Nietzsche
Zizek, Anthropocentrism, Lacan
Neoliberal, Nuclear, Baudrillard, Latinx
Peace Theory, Spanos, Batman, Legalism
Post-Colonialism, Anarchy, Bataille
Libertarianism, Queer Theory, Vilirio
Biopower, Fem IR, Settlerism, Spectacle
Borders Gender Language, Subaltern
CRT, Buddhism, Carl Schmitt, Suffering Rep
Tuck and Yang, Capitalism, OOO, Spanos, Militarism
Competed in: BP, CX, PF
Judged: BP, Civic, CX, LD, PF
Currently an Assistant Coach @ Vanderbilt
MPP from Georgia State University in ‘23
BA in Communication Studies from Vanderbilt in ‘20
email chain: Brandon.M.James@vanderbilt.edu
If you see me in the back of the room, then that probably means that I am essentially being paid to listen to you speak and adjudicate a round based on the arguments you’ve made. To me, part of that duty requires keeping an open mind. I’ve run, debated against, and judged a variety of events and argument styles. Absent any behavior that negatively impacts my ability to get paid or my ability to foster an inclusive environment, I don’t particularly care what you run or how you debate.
With that said, to make things easier for all of us, here are some things to keep in mind:
Topic Knowledge: I’m more of a “team judge” than a “team coach”. I likely haven’t done a lot of research on whatever topic you’re speaking about, so I won’t know what each acronym means or instantly recall what each card you read says. Try to explain terms that may not be intuitive, and if you’re extending evidence be clear about what you’re extending.
Kritikal Knowledge: I spent the most involved portion of my debate career running Kritikal Affs/Negs about antiblackness against some combination of framework, a policy advocacy, and a capitalism kritik. This isn’t an invitation to run these arguments or me saying that I am happy with less explanation in these debates, but it is to say that I probably feel at “home” here and understand the terminology. For K’s outside of this domain you shouldn’t assume I’m as familiar with the literature as you are.
Non-Traditional Argumentation: In general, the further you stray from the norms/expectations of the activity you’re participating in, the stronger your justifications for those shifts need to be. I have no problem listening to these arguments, but also have no problem listening to how these arguments may be bad for fairness or education, particularly when the rationale for these arguments being run is weak.
Delivery: You should be going at a speed at which the slowest flower involved in the debate can understand, and a volume at which everyone involved at the debate is comfortable. If I ask you to change how you’re speaking, it won’t impact your speaks unless you seem to continuously refuse.
1. I’m a believer in the idea that ridiculous arguments require minimal responses. This doesn’t mean I won’t vote on your trolly argument or sneaky trick, but it does mean that the bar for a substantive response is lower here. If you’re stomping on the flow here or need a Hail Mary, feel free to go for it, but if there’s at least decent engagement here please look elsewhere.
2. I have a tendency to vote against teams who fail to actually describe what they defend, even when they may be more technically proficient. Trying to dodge every cross-ex question or refusing to say what you advocate for so you won’t “link” to things is lazy to me and creates bad debates.
3. Do not force me to listen to a definition debate where the two terms are not meaningfully different, or a debate about a trivial distinction/clarification point. A pointless debate somehow becoming a sticking point of the round is probably the pettiest reason I will drop speaker points.
Accommodations: Please let me/the competitors know how we can make this space more accessible, as soon as possible.
RFDs: My RFD style is very conversational. I will walk you through my decision while also highlighting any issues/confusions I had during the debate. I may ask you questions about why certain choices were made in the debate, even if they aren’t directly related to my decision, if I think they could be issues in other rounds. If you have questions you should ask them. If I’m not making sense you should tell me so. You’ve given up an hour or more of your time, so you should leave the room feeling like you know why I voted how I did.
My paradigm is to be nice and to speak clearly and slowly. Idon't like seeing kids argue and fight so please use kind words while debating! Also, speak clearly, loudly, and slowly, so that I can hear you properly.
Yes email chain: email@example.com Lay Judge
I'm a proud African pursuing a BSc. IBA with a diploma in psychology. As an open minded, free thinking individual, I find debates especially riveting. From time to time I participate in national and regional circuits though I prefer to be in the judges' seats exploring and absorbing the speakers claims.
My grading criteria is as defined;
1. Organization and clarity: The ability to concisely and clearly express complex issues is what debating is all about. It is important not to lose your train of thought as this soon becomes lack of clarity. Use simple words and statements to get your points across. Big words sound clever but they can make you incomprehensible, lets keep it simple and clear.
2. Truth of claim : Are your points strong and persuasive? You must justify your arguments with basic logic, worked examples, statistics, and quotes. Debating is all about the strategy of “proof”. Proof, or evidence, supporting your assertion is what makes it a convincing argument.
3. Use of cross-examination and rebuttal: Identify weakness in the competing team’s arguments and be able to bullet proof your own claim. Arguments can be factually, morally or logically flawed. There may be misinterpretations or the points may also be unimportant or irrelevant. Teammates may also contradict one another or fail to complete the tasks they set themselves. These are the basics of rebuttal and almost every argument can be found wanting in at least one of these respects if one has proper grasp of the other team's perspective.
4. Presentation Style: Tone of voice, clarity of expression, precision of arguments all contribute to keeping audience’s attention and persuading them of the team’s case. Some debaters develop an excessively rapid style of delivery that interferes with the element of communication that is basic to debate. All features of presentation must be used convincingly.
5. Team dynamic and respect : "Manners maketh man". In the spirit of debate, we must ensure we refrain from use of derogatory or discriminatory terms, statements or arguments. Profanity and vulgar words only reveal the team's weakness in argument. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word that is good for edification according to the need of the moment.
Would like participants to talk clearly. Not very fast.
Be respectful to opponents.
Not very experienced as a judge
I am a fresh out of college Chemical Engineering Graduate. I have completed several judging courses certified by the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) such as Adjudicating Speech and Debate course, Cultural Competency course, Implicit Bias, etc.
Generally as a judge I value the following.
1. Clarity: outline what your key contentions are early on in the debate, and use these to link your argumentation for consistency and clear logical flow.
2. Rebuttal: be genuine with engaging matter from the other side. Be sure to make strategic consessions while showing me how your side solves the problems you illuminate from the other side. Avoid making claims without justifying why they are true or important to the debate, and at what point they engage with the other teams' arguments.
3. Conclusions: when deciding a winner, I use the key clashes that came out in the debate in terms of strength of weighing and justification. This means, as debaters, you need to prove to me why you win certain clashes and why those clashes are the most important in the debate. That is to say, mechanize each of your claims (give multiple reasons to support them) as you make them to make it easier to weigh clashes at the end of the debate.
Lastly, I am quite flexible when adjudicating and everyone should feel free. Let's enjoy the debate and have fun! No bullying or targetting of any sort.
I am a Parent Judge who is relatively new to the Judging process. Below are few things I would look into while evaluating debate:
- Clarity while speaking: I like debate that goes in a medium pace. If arguments are made too fast, I feel there could a chance that some of the points you are trying to make may loose their effectiveness and may not sound as impactful.
- Appreciate Sportsmanship: Lets respect each other and maintain the decorum of the debate. I am all ears for counter arguments as long as they are made with good sportsmanship.
- Evidence and Citations: I highly value an argument that is presented with supporting evidence. Any statistics or citations in a prior research paper/published surveys would really add credibility to the argument.
I did Public Forum, Informative Speaking, and Extemporaneous Speaking in high school and am currently a college student. Although I have experience in competing and judging PF, please make sure to appropriately inform me about the topic. Please give me some proper background and, especially, don't spread fast because I won't understand you or the arguments you've spent hours preparing.
As a former Speech nerd, I appreciate good speaking, but I will obviously rank off of which side gave the more convincing and impactful argument.
As a parent judge with no prior experience, my approach to judging Public Forum debate will prioritize the following criteria:
- clear and effective use of logic and reasoning to support arguments
- effective use of relevant and credible evidence to support claims
- strong and persuasive advocacy for the team's position
- response to your opponents and respectful communication
Please speak convincingly, and weigh your arguments. I'm tech over truth.
Hey everyone! My name is Zach, and I'm a high school debater and judge. I'm so excited to be judging your round!
Here's a couple pointers about what I like to see in a round:
- Speed-Usually any speed is fine, but for online tournaments, I'll let you know if I can't understand what's being said.
- Respect for me and your opponent(s)-Don't use any inappropriate language, and any form of bigotry won't be tolerated.
- Generally I am tech>truth (If you don't know what that means, please ask before the round), unless the argument is extremely bizarre.
- I enjoy seeing good clash, and it's very important to me.
Thank you so much!
Note for LD: All of my policy preferences below are the same. I recommend making way fewer arguments so you can develop them more. I have a little more sympathy for the aff's theory arguments due to time of this event, but it'll be hard to convince me to vote on an RVI.
Email chains: oldhunterhunterhunter at gmail.com
Mostly policy arguments, but do what you do.
With that said
My Ideal affirmative- 2 well constructed advantages
My Ideal 1NC- 5 off and case
For me, debate is a fun game that provides unique and useful education. Although, I am open to different interpretations of how I should view debate.
Please be nice to people, even if they do not deserve it.
My RFDs are phrased in the context of which world is the better one at the end of the debate.
Things I will not vote on: racism good, extinction/death good(there may be a small caveat to this), personal/external to this debate round actions as links/reasons to reject the team, and I'm sure much more.
Affirmatives with a plan
I like these. I tend to prefer larger center of the topic affirmatives with good strategies against core negative arguments, but do what you do best.
Affirmatives without a plan
I also like these, but I don't understand what they do most of the time. You have to explain how you depart from the status quo, but if you do I find these affs amazing and fun to judge. I am not a T-usfg/framework hack, but I do think T is a good argument against these affirmatives.
I default to competing interps and would prefer if you explain what their version of the topic justifies and how that hurts you.
I will vote on almost any theory argument, but you should realize when your theory arguments are bad.
Conditionality is usually fine
PICs are a little less fine, but still fine
Perf cons are fine if they are conditional advocacies, otherwise they're not good for you
Object fiat is like always bad
This is always a good option for the negative. Teams that explain why their impact outweighs and turns the case tend to win. Timeframe is a big issue for me because most teams win a large impact. There's always a risk of the link, but that can often be very small. I think people should not be afraid to go for a DA without a counterplan, these rounds are fun and competitive.
Also, very useful. I understand how sufficiency framing works, and it is my default way of understanding CPs, I can't really fathom another way of viewing CPs anyway, please do not re-explain this to me. *quick addition: please have a net benefit. I am persuaded by aff answers that identify key issues in 1AC evidence as solvency deficits. Permutations are very convincing when they are very well explained.
Happens to be my favorite and least favorite thing ever. When they are good, they are amazing. When they are bad, they make me angry.
I am somewhat familiar with the following literature: capitalism, security, most identity critiques, Nietzsche. If you're kritik did not land on this short list, please still read it, just know that you should make your explanations kinda simple for me. I would like for the alternative to very clearly advocate for DOING SOMETHING. Too many kritiks have useless alternatives.
I like debate(I think), please do not give me reasons to change my mind about this.
If I am judging you in a place where speed is uncommon, yes I am ok with it, but because you all tend to not practice your speed, I would not always recommend it.
There are six things I feel strongly about.
1. Evidence matters.
2. The aff should be topical.
3. Conditionality works.
4. Clarity is key.
5. CX is important.
6. Stock issues.
I read a lot of evidence and it is a main factor into my decisions in rounds. If you do not have quality evidence and you do not unpack and link it well that will not serve you well in my rounds.
Truth = evidence quality + technical proficiency. This means you need to not only ensure that your evidence is of high quality but the manner in which you present your evidence in the technical ways in which you go about conducting yourself in the round are both key to ensuring your success debating.
I seem to care more about the link than just about any other part of an argument and more than many other judges. I am a stickler for details. I need to see you clearly unpack the information you're using and showing me that you have a clear train of thought, a clear argument chain, and you actually understand what you are talking about and not just reading a card.
Stock issues matter. I should not have to explain this further for folks. People talk all the time about the role of the ballot. That role for me starts with stock issues.
Debaters who get high points from me are clear, concise, deeply knowledgeable about the topic, able to anticipate their opponent's arguments, good in CX, and clearly demonstrate meaningful preparation by developing new arguments or thoughtfully applying old ones to opposing strategies.
It should be noted for all who get me as a judge, explicit statements that are sexist, racist, etc. arguments will NEVER win my ballot. Also, students who are openly rude or exclude individuals in the round will NEVER win my ballot.
I have competed in Lincoln Douglas, British Parliamentary, and Policy Debate at the high school and college levels but I am most familiar with Policy. I was the Alaska NSDA State champion for U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking so I place a high value on the quality of speaking and a competitor's speech abilities. I will be looking for use of stock issues in Policy Debate rounds. I appreciate roadmapping ahead of debate speeches for my ballots. I prefer students avoid spreading if possible but I will not penalize if done sparingly/to get through evidence. Please be civil and respectful. No interrupting before someone finishes their thought.
Speaks: I'll give you good speaks unless I don't (it's up to you)
Theory, Kritiks, that kind of stuff - love it, if everything goes your way, I'll end up voting for you off it.
Frontline in 2nd Rebuttal or 1st Summary.
Signposting is important, but only if you think it is
EXTEND WARRANTING, you don't need to bring card name back up.
I enjoy listening to a good cross, but not going to flow anything. If something important comes up, bring it up in the next speech.
You shouldn't be bringing up new information in second summary and after.
SEND SPEECH DOCS at least for case and rebuttal.
That being said, I still consider myself a lay judge. That means if you choose to be the flash, that's on you my friend.
Basically, this round comes down to you, yourself, and thou - make the smarter choices and you'll win! Easy
I am a Theatre Teacher where all of the debate and public speaking classes fall under me. I mainly focus on Public Forum debates in my classes, but I am a flow judge and will listen intently. If I am your judge, you can expect the following in the debate room:
1. I expect respect and courtesy in the debate room. Disrespect, yelling, or belittling your opponent will not be allowed. You can be firm and defend your side without being rude or hateful. No eye rolling or disrespectful behavior will be tolerated. Keep a clean, poker face.
2. Speak clearly and at a good pace. You will have lost the round if I cannot understand what you're saying and am unable to write your arguments down. I am not as good at flowing very quickly.
3. I will give some encouragement and feedback in the room, but will post the results and detailed feedback on the ballot.
4. I like a logical and well-formed case with clear evidence. Public forum should be delivered with the general audience in mind (no experience). Make sure your arguments are clear, concise and have legitimate evidence.
Good luck debating.
Conflicts: Joplin High School, Missouri State University
Policy - 2 years of competition at the collegiate level at Missouri State University. Experienced mostly with policy-based debate but somewhat knowledgeable on K debate as well.
Lincoln-Douglas - 4 years of competition at the high school level, 2 years of competition at the college level with Missouri State University, plus a half year of high school coaching experience. Very experienced with value-based LD debates at the high school level. Very familiar with policy-based Lincoln-Douglas also.
Speech - 4 years at the high school level. Most experienced with informative speaking, oratory, and extemporaneous speaking.
Interp - 3 years at the high school level. Most experienced with duo interpretation and humorous interpretation.
Congress - 2 years at the high school level, plus experience with different styles of student congress at NSDA nationals.
Speech and debate is an activity you spend a lot of time and energy working on. You've already prepped for this tournament and put in the effort for this round. Relax and communicate your arguments to us. This activity should be fun! Have fun with it and be respectful to your fellow competitors, they've worked hard too.
Speed - I am comfortable with spreading as long as your opponent is. The debate should be accessible to everyone in the room. If I or your opponent call for speed or clarity and you do not accommodate, I will stop flowing the speech.
Documents - I like to be on any email chain or speech drop, my email is above. If you cut cards in speech, I need to know where. Flagrant card clipping will result in a loss from me.
Evidence Quality - In general, I am willing to accept evidence unless challenged by the other team. Exceptions to this are cards from sources that are clearly intended to spread misinformation and/or hateful messages (think Infowars or Breitbart).
K's - I don't know every critical author out there, so I may not immediately be completely familiar with your advocacy or position. If you can clearly defend what the advocacy is, why I should be voting for it, and what your critical basis for those things are, you can win on any K with me.
Theory - It takes a lot for me to vote on theory. I have biases but am willing to be persuaded by very good argumentation. Saying "condo bad" and moving onto the next page isn't enough for me to vote on. My biases are as follows:
Fine/good: Conditionality, dispositionality, PICs, kicking planks
Bad/not cool: Uniform 50-state fiat
No preference: Process counterplans
Anything not listed here, feel free to ask about pre-round.
Framework - I tend to think framework debates have been settled and that K debate is a valid form of debate at this point. That being said, I will listen to any framework argument and decide the round purely off of the flow here. I've debated as a policy-only team and know what it takes to win on framework. I generally default to fairness and proven in-round loss/abuse. Tell me what to vote for and why though.
2AR and 2NR - Go for fewer arguments. I want a couple of reasons to vote for in those last few minutes. Don't try to bring every page into your last rebuttal. Pick a couple of really strong ones and tell me why those issues win you the round.
Topicality - Topicality is pretty important in policy aff debates, and I'll listen to any argument you make here. If you're going for topicality, it usually has to be the entire last rebuttal to be cohesive enough for me to vote on it.
K affs - See framework for most of my thoughts on this. I just need a clear reason why you shouldn't be putting forward a plan and you're good to rock and roll.
Lincoln Douglas Paradigm
Values - If you're running a value and criterion, that's how I will evaluate the round. Prove to me how (1) your value clashes with or outweighs your opponent's and (2) you achieve your value better than your opponent does.
Progressive LD- See policy notes above. The only difference is your arguments need to beconcise. Pick a few good arguments that you can make in the time you have.
Speed - I am comfortable with spreading as long as your opponent is. The debate should be accessible to everyone in the room. If I or your opponent call for speed or clarity and you do not accommodate, I will stop flowing the speech.
Documents - I like to be on any email chain or speech drop, my email is above. If you cut cards in speech, I need to know where. Flagrant card clipping will result in a loss from me.
2AR and 1NR - Go for fewer arguments. I want a couple of reasons to vote for in those last couple of minutes. Don't try to bring every page into your final focus/voting issues. Pick a couple of really strong ones and tell me why those issues win you the round.
Evidence Quality - In general, I am willing to accept evidence unless challenged by the other debater. Exceptions to this are cards from sources that are clearly intended to spread misinformation and/or hateful messages (think Infowars or Breitbart).
Use speechdrop.net for sharing speech documents. No more email or flashdrive problems. The affirmative should have this ready to go before the round starts.
(Copy and paste Erick Berdugos paradigm ) but to summarize my general beliefs .....
1) The affirmative probably should be topical. I prefer an affirmative that provides a problem and then a solution/alternative to the problem. Negatives must be able to engage. Being independently right isn't enough.
2) Personal Narratives - not a fan of these arguments. The main reason, is that there is no way real way to test the validity of the personal narrative as evidence. Thus, if you introduce a personal narrative, I think it completely legit that the personal narrative validity be questioned like any other piece of evidence. If you would be offended or bothered about questions about its truth, don't run them.
3) K -Aff : Great ,love them but be able to win why either talking about the topic is bad, your approach to talking about the topic is better,why your method or approach is good etc, and most importantly what happens when I vote aff on the ballot.
4) Performance : Ehh- I’m not the judge to run a good perf bu but I am willing to listen to the arguments if you can’t rightfully warrant them .
Perf cons ARE an issue and can cost you the ballot . Be consistent!
5) EXTEND ! EXTEND! EXTEND! “Extensions of the aff are overviews to the 1 ar” .... no they are not . I want to flow them separately not in some clump . It gets messy.
1) Kritiks : I am not familiar with a large range of lit but I know plenty how to judge a good kritik and I enjoy it. Do not feel you need to run a K to win any sort of leverage in the debate ... you’re better off reading something you are comfortable defending than a crappy K you have no knowledge of . You need to be able to articulate and explain your position well don’t just assume I am familiar with your authors work. Alts need to tell me cause and impact aka what will the after look like ?? K MUST have a specific link. K arguments MUST link directly to what is happening in THIS round with THIS resolution. I am NOT a fan of a generic Kritik that questions if we exist or not and has nothing to do with the resolution or debate at hand. Kritiks must give an alternative other than "think about it." Have good blocks to perms !!! Especially if you have no links to the advocacy .
2) DA : Go for it ! I lean towards topical / substantive larpy rounds so I will definitely vote on a good DA . Make sure your impact calculus is outweighing and tell me how ! Internal links should be clear . If the impacts are linear that needs to be articulated as well . Pretty simple but feel free to ask me for clarifications !
3) CP/ PIC : Strategic if done correctly ! For the CP there needs to be net benefits and they should be extended throughout the round . Please don’t read generic cards you stole off a case file ( I can tell and it makes for a redundant debate ) I won’t vote against you for it but .. don’t plz . Theory against abusive CPs is completely legitimate. For the PIC - keep it clean ! *paradigm under construction *
Background: PF debater for 6 years (7th grade-senior year), but the last two years were during the pandemic, so I mostly judged. Currently a sophomore in college and have been judging pretty consistently since graduating. Flow-leaning but its been a couple of years since I've actively debated, so treat me like an 85% flow judge 15% lay.
Logistics: You can share evidence however you decide, but if it's an email chain include me: firstname.lastname@example.org (I won't actively check evidence sent unless there is a clear dispute/I feel that it is relevant to my decision). Please let me know if you need any accommodations before the round begins. I prioritize debater safety and comfort, so any kind of bigotry/disrespect/discrimination/ad hominem attacks will not be accepted. I use neutral pronouns/avoid using pronouns unless you share your pronouns w/ me before the round begins. I don't mind if you speak fast but keep in mind that speed is difficult sometimes on Zoom and if you are going too fast I might miss some things on the flow. I will probably not time you but I will keep track of prep time (and if your opponents point out that you are abusing speech time and going for longer because I am not timing, I will lower speaker points and then start timing you). I also usually dont flow cross.
General things that I find important in a round:
- Weigh (compare)! And giving weighing frameworks earlier in the round.
- Extend warrants through all your speeches
- Signposting (you don't need an off-time roadmap just lmk what you're doing as you do it)
Fun fact: my first name is my last name backwards :)
I recognize that you may need to talk quickly in some situations in order to cover as much information regarding your issue as possible. I'm OK with pace as long as it's structured and you provide cues throughout the speech that I can follow and relate to.
I also realize that you are vehement about your ideas. Respect must be maintained at all times.
I'll be keeping track of every point in your argument, how you defend it, and how you refute your opponent's case. You should be OK as long as you do it convincingly!
**EMAIL FOR EVIDENCE CHAIN**: email@example.com
Policy Debate Coach @
Success Academy HS for the Liberal Arts (2020 - )
NYCUDL Travel Team (2015-PRESENT)
Brooklyn Technical High School (2008-2015)
Baccalaureate School for Global Education (2008-2010)
Benjamin Banneker Academy (2007-2008)
Paul Robeson HS (2006-2007)
Program Director of the New York City Urban Debate League (September 2014 - Present)
Former Debater for New York Coalition of Colleges (NYU/CUNY) (2006- 2009)
An alumnus of the IMPACT Coalition - New York Urban Debate League (2003-2006)
Years Judging: 15 (Local UDL tournament to National Circuit/TOC)
Jack Howe is the first I will judge on this LD topic.
I've judged LD in the northeast and given my policy background, I can judge a circuit LD debate. My thoughts on LD are pretty similar to Policy given that you can run whatever you want... just make an argument and impact it. My specifics on LD (which I judge similar to Policy) is listed below.
I've been coaching PF for a few years now and to talk about my judging paradigm on PF, I would like to quote from Brian Manuel, a well-respected debate coach in the debate community when he says the following:
"This is my first year really becoming involved in Public Forum Debate. I have a lot of strong opinions as far as the activity goes. However, my strongest opinion centers on the way that evidence is used, mis-cited, paraphrased, and taken out of context during debates. Therefore, I will start by requiring that each student give me a copy of their Pro/Con case prior to their speech and also provide me a copy of all qualified sources they'll cite throughout the debate prior to their introduction. I will proactively fact check all of your citations and quotations, as I feel it is needed. Furthermore, I'd strongly prefer that evidence be directly quoted from the original text or not presented at all. I feel that those are the only two presentable forms of argumentation in the debate. I will not accept paraphrased evidence. If it is presented in a debate I will not give it any weight at all. Instead, I will always defer to the team who presented evidence directly quoted from the original citation. I also believe that a debater who references no evidence at all, but rather just makes up arguments based on the knowledge they've gained from reading, is more acceptable than paraphrasing.
Paraphrasing to me is a shortcut for those debaters who are too lazy to directly quote a piece of text because they feel it is either too long or too cumbersome to include in their case. To me, this is laziness and will not be rewarded.
Beyond that, the debate is open for the debaters to interpret. I'd like if debaters focused on internal links, weighing impacts, and instructing me on how to write my ballot during the summary and final focus. Too many debaters allow the judge to make up their mind and intervene with their own personal inclinations without giving them any guidance on how to evaluate competing issues. Work Hard and I'll reward you. Be Lazy and it won't work out for you"
Policy Short Version:
I try to let you, the debaters decide what the round is about and what debate should be. However, as I enter my fifteenth year in this activity, I will admit that certain debate styles and trends that exist from convoluted plan texts/advocacy statements where no one defends anything and worse; debaters that purposely and intentionally go out of their way to make competitors and judges and even spectators feel uncomfortable through fear tactics such as calling people out in debate because one doesn't agree with the other's politics, utilizing social media to air out their slanderous statements about people in the debate community and so on is tired and absolutely uncalled for. I say this because this has been an on-going occurrence far TOO often and it has placed me in a position where I'm starting to lose interest in the pedagogical advantages of policy debate due of these particular positions. As a result, I've become more and more disinterested in judging these debates. Not to say that I won't judge it fairly but the worst thing you can do in terms of winning my ballot is failing to explain what your argument is and not telling me what the ballot signifies. So, if you are the type of team that can't defend what your aff does or how it relates to the topic and solely survives off of grandiose rhetoric and/or fear tactics... STRIKE ME!
The Semantics of "So-Called" Rules or Norms for Debate Rounds
THE INTRO: I try to have zero substantive or procedural predispositions prior to the round. But as I judge, judge, and judge policy debates, that tends to shift. So, in out of all honesty, I say to you that all debaters will have the opportunity to argue why you should win off with a clean slate. If you win a round-ending argument, I won't shy away from voting for you just because I think it's stupid. Of course, I expect your arguments to be backed up by persuasive reasoning (or whatever else you find persuasive), but if you fail to explain why you should win, I will feel personally licensed by you all to make things up. So at the end of the day, don’t make me have to do the work to adjudicate the round… you do it. DON'T MAKE ME HAVE TO DO THE WORK THAT YOU SHOULD DO IN THE ROUND!!! I don't mind reading evidence at the end of a debate, but don't assume that I will call for evidence, make sure that if you want me to evaluate your argument with your evidence at the end of the round just tell me what I should review, and I'll review the argument for you. Also, if you intend to use acronyms, please give me the full name before you go shorthand on me.
TOPICALITY: I've come to enjoy T debates, especially by those that are REALLY good at it. If you are that T hack that can go for T in the 2NR then I am a lot better for you than others who seem to think that T isn’t a legitimate issue. I do, which doesn’t mean I will vote for you just because you run it. It means that if you win it, that brings major weight when it is time for adjudication. FYI, T is genocide and RVIs are not the best arguments in the world for these debates but I will pull the trigger on the argument is justified. (and I mean REALLY justified). Voting on reasonability or a competing interpretation as a default paradigm for evaluating T is up for grabs, but as always I need to know how the argument should be evaluated and why it is preferable before I decide to listen to the T debate in the 2NR (e.g. predictable limits key to topic education).
COUNTERPLANS: I don’t mind listening to a good (and I mean) good CP debate. I don’t really have any set opinions about issues like whether conditionality is okay and whether PICs are legitimate. I award debaters that are creative and can create CPs that are well researched and are competitive with the AFF plan. Those types of debates are always up in the air but please note that in my experience that debaters should be on top of things when it comes to CP theory. Those debates, if executed poorly are typically unacceptably messy and impossible to resolve so be careful with running theory args on CP debates that A) makes ZERO sense, B) that is blimpy, and C) that is not necessary to run when there is no abuse. Violation of any of the three will result in me giving you a dumb look in your speech and low speaks. And it really doesn't hurt to articulate a net benefit to the CP for that would win you some offense.
DISADVANTAGE: I evaluate Disads based on the link story presented by the negative in the 1NC and what is impacted in the 2NR. To win my vote, the story needs to be clear in terms of how specifically does the affirmative link to the DA. Any case can link but it’s how specific the link is and the calculus of the impact that makes me lean more towards the neg.
KRITIKS: I can handle K debates, considering the majority of my debate career has been under critical arguments (i.e. Capitalism, Statism, Racism, Biopower…) But, if you are a team that relies on the judge being hyped up by fancy rhetoric that you learn from camp, practice, or a debate video on YouTube, you don’t want me. In fact, some of you love to read insanely complicated stuff really fast without doing enough to explain what the hell you’re saying. I like a fast debate like anyone else, but if you read the overview to your tortuously complex kritik at top speed, you’re going to lose me. If your kritik is not overly complex, go nuts with speed. I will vote on offensive arguments such as "K Debate Bad/Good or the perm to the alt solves or turns to the K, as long as you win them. Overall, I’m cool with the K game, ya dig. All I ask of you all is a comprehensive link story for me to understand... an impact and what does the alternative world looks like and how that is more desirable than the aff policy option. "Reject the aff" as the alt text.... very long stretch on winning the K if I don't know what it means.
FRAMEWORK: Like Topicality, I also enjoy framework debates, if done properly. And like topicality, I try to not have a default preference in terms of defaulting to policymaker or activist or whatever in the fairness of approaching the debate round from a clean slate. At the end of the debate, I need to know what the round should be evaluated and what is my jurisdiction as a judge to evaluate the debate on a particular framework versus the opponent's competitive framework (if they choose to present one). If there isn't a competitive framework, I'll simply default to the original framework mentioned in the debate. In essence, if I am not presented with a framework of how to evaluate the argument, I'll take the easy way out and evaluate the argument as a policymaker. However, it is up to the debaters to shape the debate, NOT ME.
PERFORMANCE/ K Affs: I'm slowly starting to dislike judging these types of debates. Not because I don't like to hear them (I've ran critical affirmatives and neg positions both in high school and in college) but more and more I'm stuck judging a debate where at the end of round, I've spent nearly two hours judging and I've learned little to nothing about the topic/subject matter but instead subjected to grandiose rhetoric and buzzwords that makes no sense to me. I really dislike these debates and the fact that these types of debates are growing more and more places me in a position where I'd rather not judge these rounds at all. As a judge, I shouldn't have to feel confused about what you are saying. I shouldn't have to feel pressured into voting a certain way because of one's pessimistic view of the debate space. Granted, we all have our issues with policy debate but if you don't like the game... then don't play it. Changing the debate space where diversity is acknowledged is fine but when we lose sight of talking about the resolution in lieu of solely talking about one's personal politics only becomes self-serving and counter-productive. For that, I am not the right judge for you.
That said, if you want to run your K aff or "performance" affirmative, do what you do best. The only burden you have is that you need to win how your level of discourse engages the resolution. If you cannot meet that burden then framework/procedural arguments become an easy way to vote you down. If you can get through that prerequisite then the following is pretty straightforward: 1) I just want you to explain what you are doing, why you are doing it, what my role is, and how I’m supposed to decide the round. 2) If you want me to engage the debate via a comparison of methodologies, you need to explain what it is and how it functions in the context of the resolution and prove that its preferable against your opponent or vise-versa. 3) I want you to act like the other team actually exists, and to address the things they say (or the dances they do, or whatever). If you feel like I should intuit the content of your args from your performance/K Affs with no explicit help from you, you don’t want me, in fact, you will just hate me when I give you lower speaks. However, if you are entertaining, funny, or poignant, and the above constraints don’t bother you, I’m fine. 4) If you answer performance/ K Affs arguments with well thought-out and researched arguments and procedurals, you’ll easily pick up my ballot.
THEORY: This is something that I must say is extremely important to mention, given that this is greatly a big issue in policy debate today, especially in the national circuit. So let me be clear that I have experienced highly complex theoretical debates that made virtually NO sense because everyone is ready to pull out their blocks to "Condo Bad" or "Vagueness Good" or "Agent CPs Bad" without actually listening to the theoretical objection. With that I say, please pay attention. Good teams would provide an interpretation of how to evaluate a theory argument. Like a procedural argument, you should prove why your interpretation of the theoretical argument is preferred for debate. It would also help you to SLOW, SLOW, SLOW down on the theory debates, especially if that is the route that you're willing to go to for the 2NR/2AR. If the affirmative or negative are planning to go for theory, either you go all in or not at all. Make sure that if you're going for theory, impact it. Otherwise, I'm left to believe that its a reason to reject the argument, not the team.
FLASHING EVIDENCE/EMAIL CHAIN: I have a love-hate relationship with paperless debate but I can accept it. That being said, please be aware that I will stop the prep time once the flash drive is out of the computer of the team that is about to speak. I take this very seriously considering the on-going mishaps of technical issues that are making the paperless debate, in general, a notorious culprit of tournament delays, considering the flashing of the evidence, the opponents searching for the correct speech file, and the infamous "my computer crashed, I need to reset it" line. If you are capable of having a viewing computer... make it accessible. I'm also cool with email chains. You can send me your speeches to firstname.lastname@example.org. Same rules on flashing apply to email chains as well.
BEHAVIOR STYLE: To be aggressive is fine, to be a jerk is not. I am ok if debates get a bit heated but that does not allow debaters to be just plain rude and ignorant to each other. That said, please be nice to each other. I don't want to sound like the elementary school teacher telling children to behave themselves, but given the experience of some debaters that simply forgot that they are in an activity that requires discipline and manners... just chill out and have fun. For example, POINTLESSLY HOSTILE CROSS-EXAMINATIONS really grinds my gears. Chill out, people. Hostility is only good in cross-ex if you making a point. And oh yeah, be nice to your partner. At the end of the day, they're the one you have to go back to practice with.
Remember, competitive debate is a privilege, not a right. Not all students have the opportunity to compete in this activity on their spare weekends for various reasons (academic and socio-economic disadvantages to name a few). Remember that debate gives you an opportunity to express yourselves on a given subject and should be taken advantage of. Although I don't want to limit individuals of their individuality when presenting arguments however I will not condone arguments that may be sexist, racist, or just plain idiotic. Remember to respect the privilege of competition, respect the competitors and hosts of the tournament and most importantly respect yourselves.
HAVE FUN AND BEST OF LUCK!!!
I am a parent judge, although I have a lot of public forum experience. I know the structure very well and will cut you off after the time has elapsed. I care heavily about impact. Make sure you outweigh the opponents in summary and final focus. Use terms delink, turn, non-unique, etc.
MAKE SURE YOU SPEAK FOR THE WHOLE TIME! - even if you speak total gibberish, please make sure you speak for the whole time period.
I also care about presentation and how well you persuade me. I will award speaker points with more emotion and pathos.
I prefer global impacts over US centric impacts.
Make sure crossfire is respectful, and make sure each side gets questions.
In grand cross, if only one person from each team is talking, then the person that is not talking has speaker points go down.
Don't bring up random stuff that has not been brought up in the debate in the last speech (final focus).
Make it a fun and competitive round. Speak fluently, and try to minimize stuttering.
I am Monali (PhD, Health Economics). I am an enthusiastic parent of a middle school debater. I will look for honest, clear, and concise opinions. Debaters’ mannerism in presenting themselves is important to me. I will give points based on the content, presentation, preparation, organized rebuttals, and background research. I would prefer if the debater can pace themselves and not rush through the content. I can follow a clear speech with decent speed. Speak at a pace that will allow you time to say what you want. Be respectful and sensitive to other team members’ opinions. Use vocabulary that is easily understood with clear diction. And most importantly, learn and have FUN!
Clear voters and impact calculations & be nice.
I participated in competitive speech and debate all four years of high school. I competed extensively at the local, state, regional, and national levels. My primary event is Lincoln Douglas, but I have experience with PF, Parli, Big Questions, and some familiarity with Policy. I do not have experience with speech as a competitor or as a judge. I have experience judging both middle and high school debate tournaments.
I can handle pretty much anything in any debate round. I am fine with spreading, but if you know doing so inhibits the comprehensibility of your speech, please send me your case. Run any arguments you'd like (including Kritiks, CPs, Performance Affs, etc). Be clear with extensions and voting issues. For LD in particular, I like to see an emphasis on framework and clash.
Feel free to ask any questions or clarifications prior to the start of the round.
e-mail chain: [temporarily redacted]@gmail.com
Heyyyy, I’m Eli! I debated for Brooklyn Tech and currently debate for Binghamton University.
Top of the line: I view everything through ethos, and/or the lack of it (this hurts you). I vote for the team who best articulates a politic that shows an understanding of the world beyond the technicalities and jargon of a space that’s often rooted in academic isolation.
Speed: If I yell clear twice, more than likely I will default to what I’ve heard and understood. So, if it comes down to the flow, please make sure I understand the important points. For your sake, not mine.
T/Framework: I don’t think all frameworks are bad. I think there are ways in which you can run a procedural as a proper methodology to contest the aff’s solvency mechanism. So, T-USFG: that’s fine (sometimes convincing), and I think frameworks that are about materiality and embodiment are good, valid, and the best.
CPs: I’m pretty neutral on them. Please just remember to have a net benefit (whether it’s internal or a DA).
I like Critical CPs.
DAs: Again, also pretty neutral. In order to justify a win with the DA, I require a very clear and concise link story as well as impact comparison to justify the DA being a takeout to the aff's solvency. Like, why is it important? Many times I see DAs be ran and I'm just like... this feels like a huge FYI and still don't know why I should care..
Aff: It honestly depends on the type of aff and the subject position defended by the 1AC (assuming there is a defense). There needs to be a link to the resolution in some way for me. If not, then you need to clearly defend why an anti-resolutional stasis point is net better for engagement. POMO: I require an advocacy that could easily be materialized or understood in a way that I can intuitively see it solving for the impacts.Identity Based-K's: to win my ballot, you have to win that your methodology is grounded in alleviating the structural violence faced by the bodies you speak of (as opposed to being an 8-minute FYI).
Affs I’m more inclined to: Black feminism, anti-Blackness, queer/transness, ableism/disability.
Neg: I think it’s important for content and form to be aligned. I require strong ethos in order to properly evaluate the impacts of the K. Judge instruction is key because I refuse to do any more labor than I need to (unless told otherwise) Examples and analogies would be best for a pomo round. Identity-based Ks: I’m probably familiar with your literature, but I will not do the work for you.
Performance: It’s interesting. Similar to what I said about K-Affs, I need some type of link to the resolution. Also, know this: just because you think your art is cool or creative, does not make it new or good. It’s important to stay on point (no. 2 pencil) as there’s a higher threshold for how the kritik can actualize (in a round) due to its deviation from normative debate. So, make sure to be consistent in each speech- because your stylistic choice in itself is also a critique. Lastly, be strategic and use your 1AC to leverage the offense from the negative.
Theory: No one reads it properly for me. Divert from only using shells and apply it to the performances of the opposing team, so that I can evaluate the importance of this voter. Clear articulation (and extension) of the abuse story is key.
I live for a good ki ki, a roast, a gag. I think this space is often missing on good humor. So, a good gag or laugh will boost your speaks.
Also, any rhetoric that defaults to antiblackness (yes that includes misogynoir), queer/trans-phobia, ableism, etc- I have the complete right to drop you and end the round. I do not care
Anything more than 5 off, you're clicking... but you're clicking down
I am new to judging in debate and as a parent, please be respectful to explain debate jargon if used. Please speak clearly and slowly. I will be objective in my scoring and keep my opinions out of the debate.
I am a former collegiate debater who has 3 years of experience in high school public forum debate and 4 years of experience in collegiate parliamentary debate.
I flow each of the rounds and for that reason I discourage spreading and encourage you to speak at a reasonable pace. I also encourage roadmapping at the top of speeches and explicitly stating contention taglines (ie. "contention #1 [tagline], contention #2 [tagline], contention #3 [tagline]").
Be as concise as possible. Do not leave me to do the mental gymnastics of making your points.
Empirical evidence is preferred, but you will not win on a piece of evidence alone. I like to see evidence woven into the overall story being created by the pro/con. A statements full of numbers without analysis will not win. (PF)
Do not overuse jargon. These debates are meant for lay people to understand and overuse of jargon or any trickery may cost you the round.
Be civil and have fun!
I am a Ph.D in computer science, and I never attended an official debate, and judged an ES debate on Potomac Fall Championships. If you have solid supporting points, and strong reasoning logic, then you will have better chance to win.
Hello, my name is Ethan (he/him)
John Paul Stevens '23
UT Austin '27 (Statistics & Data Science)
I have experience in congress, LD, PF, WSD, and extemp. I mainly did national circuit congress but I tend to enjoy judging LD the most.
I believe debate is a game with educational implications. The purpose of this paradigm is not to tell you how to debate, it is simply a way for me to communicate my argumentative bias and broader debate philosophy to competitors. With that being said, if you think my decision is incorrect, post round me
I'd prefer speech drop, but if not, put me on the email chain: email@example.com
If for some reason I am your judge for policy, defer to my LD paradigm. I've watched my fair share of NDT rounds, not the most qualified policy judge but I can follow fairly well.
During congress rounds, I keep a scale in my head of which side I believe is winning the debate. At the end of the debate, I will rank the debaters by how much I believe they changed my scale of who is winning. I will rank all bills separately then cume them all together to determine my ranks. If the chamber does 3 bills with a base 2 or some other unconventional organization of the debates, I will determine some equitable way of ranking the round, but forgive me because it really is difficult comparing two speeches on separate debates without intervening. Here is an explanation of how I determine who I think is winning the debate/my general thoughts on congress:
1. It is in your best interest to refute the best argument in the round from the other side. It is also in your best interest to meet burdens your side has not met (terminalizing an important impact, impact turns, etc.)
2. I hear a lot of arguments that are exclusively defensive (constitutionality, enforcement, etc.). I also hear a lot of arguments that don't follow the laws of uniqueness (not being dependent on a change in the status quo). So simply put, I believe that the affirmative's job is to prove the bill is better than the status quo (and nothing else) and the negation's job is to prove the bill creates a worse world than the status quo. (this also means I will not evaluate your counter plan)
3. I think philosophical/principle/value based arguments have a place in congress but I don't see them ran effectively very often. I'm not talking about unconstitutionality or 3 minutes of defense, I'm talking about the moral stance that a bill creates. If you're wondering what I think a good example of this is, watch Zach Wu from Yale finals 2021 on first bill. I default to evaluate impacts under util but I'm susceptible to buying implicit moral frameworks that are intuitive (Zach does a great job of this), think of this similar to a principled argument in world schools.
4. Weighing is important, but not as important as the congress community likes to pretend it is. Yeah, I need a reason to prioritize your argument over someone else's but since there are so many arguments in a CD round, it is not easy to individually weigh your argument against everyone else. So, whenever you decide to weigh, my advice would be to treat it like comparing worlds more than it is actual weighing. This also means that uniqueness is very important in my eyes because that's what characterizes each world in the debate. Below, I have the order that I care about weighing mechanisms in a congress round (it is purposely different than LD)
Pre requisite > Scope/Magnitude > Time frame > Probability
5. Have fun with structure -- drop 5 warrants with no claims and I'll probably think you're cool. (This does not factor into my decision I will just think you are cool)
I'm willing to vote on anything with a warrant, tech>truth, i have bad hearing so i cannot keep up with your speed unless i have a speech doc (this includes analytics lol)
Analytics are fire, I'm tanking your speaks if you can't explain your argument in cross without relying on your author, biggest pet peeve
For your prefs:
T/Theory - 1
I am willing to vote on RVIs more than most judges but I still default to competing interps
the more friv the shell, the lower the bar for answering it is -- I hesitate to vote for shells that are based on very inaccessible interps (very elitist disclosure norms and such), the nat circuit should avoid scaring people away
I default DTA for T violations (but can be convinced otherwise) unless there's no difference (entire case is violation of T), I am otherwise impartial on DTA or DTD
I will not vote on a shell that is about the appearance of your opponent (yes, this includes shoe theory)
K - 1
If the aff is non-T, be prepared to answer the T, cap k, presumption, case pushback from the 1N
I think you should be able to defend the alt as some action that someone can take -- even for all my set col debaters out there, you should be able to defend the pragmatic implementation of your land back alt, almost as if it was a plan. I especially dislike 2NRs that can't explain the alt or explain why it's contextual to the aff/what it does for the purpose of the debate
I view Ks as DAs with a CP, if you want to kick the CP (alt) and go for the K as a disad of the aff, be my guest
I think teams going against the K should go for framework + extinction outweighs more often
not afraid to vote on a floating PIK as long as it's hinted at in the NC
I am willing to vote for cap good, heg good, etc
(goes with phil) Literature base I'm very familiar with:set col, marxism, security, mollow/crip pess/disabilities, afropess, baurdillard, deleuze, queer pess
Assume I know nothing about anything else
Trad - 2
Kinda boring but not all that bad, I'll judge this as tabula rasa as I can
LARP - 2
CPs should be competitive with the plan
Mostly impartial on whether or not PICs, consult CPs, actor spec, etc are abusive, can be convinced either way
Pls tell me what your permutation looks like "perm do both" will leave me clueless with what to do on my flow
I appreciate good impact turns, reading your spark or dedev backfile is cool, but creativity is even cooler
Pre requisite > Probability > Scope/Magnitude > Time frame
Phil - 3
I've become increasingly more tolerant of phil debates, I think you should engage more on the contention level debate rather than banking these rounds on framework. Reading cards about how problematic certain authors are is really compelling to me.
- Comparative world > truth testing
- Presumption affirms < presumption negates
- Permissibility affirms > permissibility negates
I will still probably evaluate about anything but I tend to prefer a good, fundamentally sound and traditional PF round. My other thoughts include:
- The main exception to the rule above is that I believe theory should be used as a tool in PF to set better norms. Theory by far is the non-traditional argument I am most susceptible to in PF.
- PF K debates are a little silly in my eyes -- most teams are either reading surface level literature just so they can say they're reading a K or they're under-explaining more complicated literature so the debate usually becomes uneducational either way. If you manage to change this perception, I will give you 30 speaks.
- Collapse in summary!
- A lot of judges want you to weigh early but I actually don't really care, as long as you weigh at some point.
- The team second speaking should frontline in rebuttal.
- I will not read evidence unless you tell me to in summary/final focus.
- Good framing arguments make me happy but don't feel the need to make any just because you think I'll like it.
- Most of my notes under the LARP section of LD also apply to PF.
To start, I want you to know I enter every debate/round neutral and unbiased on the topic of discussion. I do not bring my own opinions/beliefs or reasonings from prior debates/rounds into my decision for the round I am judging at that time. Like a juror I listen to and watch both sides then make a decision on which team did better in their presentation and convinced me they should prevail. Each round is different. Just because the pro side won the last round does not mean the con won't win the next round (& vice-versa).
Facts/evidence and referencing supporting documentation/sources are important and necessary but the presentation is just as important as the facts. I can’t judge or be convinced of anything if what your saying is unintelligible or I can’t follow your argument. Don’t talk too fast. Annunciate, use commas, periods and strategic pauses. I realize you may have a lot to say/present but if it is not comprehensible and/or everything you say is one big sentence, that does not help your case. If you talk in a monotone voice, I may fall asleep. Keep my attention. Make eye contact. Don’t stare down on your notes/paper the whole time. Glance down/away as needed. Be organized, professional and courteous. Being eager, animated and/or passionate is good but I have an aversion to unprofessional, discourteous, smug and condescending behavior. Being argumentative is okay but excessive badgering and/or interrupting the other side needlessly is frown upon.
Good luck and have fun.
compete on the nat circ for seven lakes
put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
big picture stuff
tldr: tech > truth
debate is a game ill vote off anything with warrants
do anything u want as long as its not problematic i.e racist, homophobic, etc
collapse extend and weigh
if ur going 250+ wpm send a doc
speed is a tool that should be used to explain things better and give them more breadth not to spam warrantless arguments but a good dump is always appreciated
weighing needs to be comparative and meta weighing is a good way to clear up the weighing debate
probability weighing is fake same w sol weighing unless the arg is conceded
anything that isnt frontlined in second rebuttal is conceded
turns need to be implicated and weighed
cross doesnt matter to me
stuff in ff has to be in summary and needs an explicit extensions of unq link internal link and impact for anything u go for
fine w theory must extend interp in every speech
default to yes rvis competing interps and spirit over text
if multiple shells are being read they need to be weighed against each other
paraphrasing is bad disclosure is good doesnt mean ill hack for those arguments
not well versed in more complex k lit like baudrillard but i understand the stock stuff like cap, securitization, set col, threat Construction, etc so run at ur risk
low threshold to responses to trix and dont hide them in tags