Iowa Forensic League State Tournament
2023 — Indianola, IA/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Contact info: email@example.com
Background: I competed for Okoboji (IA) and was at the TOC '13 in LD. I also debated policy in college the following year. I coached from 2014-2019 for Poly Prep (NY). I rejoined the activity again in 2023 as an assistant debate coach at Johnston (IA) & adjunct LD coach at Lake Highland Prep (FL).
General: Debate rounds are about students so intervention should be minimized. I believe that my role in rounds is to be an educator, however, students should contextualize what that my obligation as a judge is. I default comparative worlds unless told otherwise. Slow down for interps and plan texts. I will say clear as many times as needed. Signpost and add me to your email chain, please.
High theory: 1
K: I really like K debate. I have trouble pulling the trigger on links of omission. Performative offensive should be linked to a method that you can defend. The alt is an advocacy and the neg should defend it as such. Knowing lit beyond tags = higher speaks. Please challenge my view of debate. I like learning in rounds.
Framework: 2013 LD was tricks, theory, and framework debate. I dislike blippy, unwarranted 'offense'. However, I really believe that good, deep phil debate is persuasive and underutilized on most topics. Most framework/phil heavy affs don't dig into literature deep enough to substantively respond to general K links and turns.
LARP: Big fan but don't assume I've read all hyper-specific topic knowledge.
Theory/T: Great, please warrant extensions and signpost. "Converse of their interp" is not a counter-interp.
Disclosure: Not really going to vote on disclosure theory unless you specifically warrant why their specific position should have been disclosed. If they are running a position relatively predictable, it is unlikely I will pull the trigger on disclosure theory.
Speaks: Make some jokes and be chill with your opponent. In-round strategy dictates range. I average 28.3-28.8.
Other thoughts: Plans/CPs should have solvency advocates. Talking over your opponent will harm speaks. Write down interps before extemping theory. When you extend offense, you need to weigh. Card clipping is an auto L25.
I am a flow judge. Offense should be extended in summary and the second rebuttal doesn't necessarily need to frontline what was said in first rebuttal (but in some cases, it definitely helps). Weighing in Summary and FF is key. I'll steal this line from my favorite judge, Thomas Mayes, "My ballot is like a piece of electricity, it takes the path of least resistance." I have a hard time voting on disclosure theory in PF. Have fun and be nice.
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org. I do not forward email chains from rounds I've judged (Is this a new thing? I never saw it in my day debating until like 2 months ago). 1. I don't generally keep chains after the round so I couldn't even if I wanted to and 2. I don't think it's my place to be sending other people's evidence to third parties without their knowledge or consent.
Affiliations and Qualifications:
Iowa City West High, Policy Debate, 2011-2017, 2023-, (Debating [til 2014], Coaching and Judging);
Hawken (Policy Debate and Congressional Debate, 2021-22, Judging);
A meme I made in 2012 was the cover photo for the High School Policy Debate Facebook page for like ~3-4 years.
I'm a lawyer in Iowa and also admitted (inactive status) in Ohio. To explain how I evaluate some arguments, check out this article about standards of proof in the legal context. Each section will have an analogous standard of proof for how likely I am to pull a trigger on a specific argument.
Feel free to ask any outstanding questions before the round. I debated in high school for 3 years and then judged in college for 2 years before I started judging again in law school. I've been involved with the activity for a decade but on and off so while I've picked up on some new community norms and trends, I might not be up on every one. In high school, I was incredibly policy oriented as West High wasn't a "K" team, though I dabbled a bit.
DAs/CPs (Preponderance of the Evidence):
I don't have any specific hang ups on DAs. Mostly the same for CPs, but please don't spread your plan text at me (CP text should also be in the speech doc). Especially if you're reading more than one. Consult and delay CPs have been on thin ice in terms of legitimacy since 2013 and I don't think that's changed. Process CPs are on slightly more stable ground, especially if you have a specific solvency advocate. I will not default to judge kick and you'll have a heck of a time convincing me to do judge kick. If you went for the CP, you're stuck with it. I'm not going to decide your "real" 2NR strategy for you. If this
T (Clear and Convincing):
I tend towards reasonability because I think CI trends towards a race to the bottom to find a technically excluding but overall terrible definition but I will use a different framework if you ask me and (obviously) win why that framework is better. Potential abuse is a voter but actual abuse is a stronger VI. Fairness is an impact and an internal link, I don't know where this trend away from fairness as an impact came from.
Kritik and K Affs (Clear and Convincing):
I may be a product of early 2010's Iowa debate I am not anti-K. I've voted on some weird ones before. That being said, I haven't even started to read a lot of the literature so err on the side of over-explaining rather than under-explaining. Being 100% honest, the K's that have the most familiarity with are K's like Cap, Security, and some anarchist literature (Virillio is probably the most "out there" K I am familiar with and that's only because of the transportation topic). If your K/K Aff is named after a or there's like one key author for your K, I guarantee I am not familiar with that lit. If that is your kind of K, you either should not pref me or do a comically large amount of explanation for the terms your using. If you don't do this explanation, I will try my best but I only have a limited amount of time to read cards and make my decision. If you're a k aff team that somehow got stuck with me as a judge after reading that paragraph, I'm sorry. I'm crying too.
For policy aff v k rounds, I will generally default to weighing the aff against the alt. Any other framework/role of the ballot arguments seem to boil down to "The role of the ballot is to vote neg" which seems arbitrary and isn't super convincing in a vacuum. However, you can read a different framework and I'll evaluate that argument.
Also this may be a new development in debate but I do not get the argument that "fairness is not an impact". If you want more extrapolation on why fairness is an impact, David Heidt's paradigm gives a far more eloquent explanation of fairness as an impact than I could type here.
Theory (Clear and convincing):
Condo becomes bad somewhere after 3 advocacies. Probably okay with one (1) CP and one (1) K. International Fiat is also bad, though I don't think that's relevant for this topic. 50 States Fiat is on thin-ish ice, fiating the NGA is on thinner ice. Speed bad (for reasons other than ableism) or "You can't tell jokes in a debate round" (real arguments from the same round I judged) are on the thinnest ice. I don't love resolving theory debates but I will definitely vote on it if enough time is dedicated to it. I have a highish bar for voting on theory. If you're going for reject the team, it should be like at least 40% of your last speech. If you're going for reject the argument, there should be at least a substantial time dedication on the respective flow. Please don't spread your blocks at me. Theory debates should not be at full speed.
ASPEC (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt):
Yes, this has its own heading. Please don't. I have never seen someone unironically, actually, wholeheartedly go for ASPEC. Save time and just don't. The aff is allowed to spend 10% of the time you spent reading ASPEC to respond to ASPEC.
I am "fine with speed" however this comes with caveats. You should have three speeds. From fastest to slowest: Text, Tag, and Theory (and perms/plan texts). If you decide to do theory at card text speed, I will 100% miss something and you likely won't love my RFD. K debates should also be slower. It is hard to flow paragraph length tags at full speed. I barely understand a majority of philosophy at a conversational pace, I will not understand it better at 350 wpm.
Odds & Ends:
1. Tech over truth but that doesn't mean the truth is irrelevant. (i.e. "No" is a complete and probably winning answer to arguments like "warming not real" or "federalism solves electricity grid security." [this backfired a bit. You still have to actually give an argument with warrants. The phrasing of this was for rhetorical effect]).
2. I feel like a well-crafted and to the point overview was an underutilized tool in my day and since I've been back judging. Don't cut your line-by-line for to do an overview but contextualization of your L-by-L is incredibly useful especially with my limited knowledge of the topic or your K.
3. I am not a huge fan of 5+ off strategies. I get their usefulness but they usually lead to late breaking and sub-par debates. I'm not going to take points off or anything if you go 6 off but I personally believe the debate will be better with fewer positions. THIS IS NOT A VOTING ISSUE JUST A PREFERENCE/OBSERVATION ABOUT DEBATE. TRYING TO MAKE THIS A THEORY ARGUMENT WILL NOT WORK.
4. Is a 28.5 still a pretty good score or is that the new 27.5? Have we moved entirely out of 27? If point inflation really is that bad, I apologize if I'm still in a 2014 mindset. I was by no means stingy with points back in the day (I probably averaged somewhere around like 28.2-4) but heck if I know what stingy even is these days. Back in the day, I had a point floor somewhere around 27.5 and a ceiling somewhere around 29.7. These weren't hard lines though.
5. Don't read too much into how long it takes me to decide. I've judged debates that were incredibly close but decided immediately and lopsided debates that took 10 minutes to formulate an RFD.
6. If you start the evidence comparison or impact calc in the 2xR, don't get mad at me when that debate isn't fully fleshed out and I have to do some amount of intervention. I try to take the path of least resistance to my decisions and limit any intervention or bias but sometimes that's easier said than done.
7. Somewhat along the same lines as #6, I generally won't read evidence sua sponte. I generally read evidence in one of three scenarios, I can't resolve the debate otherwise, you explicitly tell me too, and/or something about your evidence piques my interest (i.e. I know it makes a claim that is interesting, objectively untrue, and/or you very clearly power tagged a card. These generally won't affect the outcome of the debate unless it's critical or I have to resolve that specific question and it's necessary).
Congress (old, mostly irrelevant):
Apparently I judge Congress now. If you're here because you're a congressional debater, you can ignore the above. Coming from a policy debate background I really like good and effective argumentation. However, I realize that the constraints of the Congressional Debate format can put up barriers to that. Recognizing that I try to weigh speaking skills along with argumentation skills somewhat equally but, good argumentation can help a speech with speaking issues while good speaking skills can't save a speech with flawed argumentation.
email chain/email for comments: email@example.com
Iowa City High: '11-'15
University of Iowa: '15
Coaching: Iowa City High '15-'18. '21- present
Important disclaimer: I have done nearly 0 research on this topic, and will likely not understand your acronyms without explanation. Please do not assume that I have a shared knowledge of the topic, and take time to explain things.
Important Disclaimer Addendum: My comfortability with full mega-speed has lowered, especially in the realm of analytics. I would like your analytics to be slower, so I can really get it all down. Taking a few year break from debate really impacted my full spread comprehension.
I debated Policy all through high school and did some college policy as well. I mainly work with novices, now. Topic specific acronyms, let me know what they mean I won't know. Don't start your speeches full speed, start at 80% and work up to full speed.
I think most debates can/should be decided without reading evidence. This means it is the debaters' burden to tell me what the evidence says, and the implication of the evidence. This also means that I reward story telling/writing my ballot. I have no sympathy for debaters who ask about "well, what about this evidence that says x" after I give a decision. I will not be embarrassed to vote against an argument that I feel i do not understand. It is your job to tell me about that evidence and why it matters, not my job to read it and implicate it on the debate.
General Philosophy: I come from a team where our primary focus was "traditional policy debate" meaning we liked to read heg, environment affs, et.c. Our main neg strat was the DA and a CP, and that is the type of debate I prefer. I did do a lot of cap debating, and a fair amount of security debating, too. My knowledge of critical theory is very limited and I probably require a huge amount of work on the more "out there" ks to vote for you. That being said, I do believe a dropped argument is a true argument. I will vote on dropped arguments if they are dropped and explained. As a caveat, debaters tend to have bad flows and claim everything was dropped, when the reality is that they probably did not. Please do not use the term "functionally conceded" in front of me, that term makes no sense. Either they have dropped something or they have not.
Disadvantages- Probably my favorite part of debate is the top level interactions with case and good DA O/Ws and Case O/Ws and turns debates. These are probably where the majority of my decision calculus comes from. Obviously, you need to win risk/chance of your disadvantage being true, but good impact calc and turns debates are very convincing.
Counter Plans- there tend to be a lot of cheating counter plans, and as a 2a I am probably sympathetic to reasonable theory arguments and perm do the counterplan. That being said, most counter plan theory should be a reason to reject the argument, it will be extremely difficult to win that it should be a reason to reject the team
Ks- like I said above, i am mostly versed in cap and security. If you want to read too much beyond basic Ks, I am most likely not your type of judge. Floating PIKs are probably bad, don't let the negative get away with them.
"non traditional debate/ performance"- also not very versed in it. I am more than likely not the type of judge for this, but i will not reject any arguments out right. I am pretty sympathetic to FW arguments. However, if you are a "non traditional team" and you get stuck with me as a judge, don't lose faith, I can be persuaded. I enjoy critical affirmatives that actually engage the topic, not just reject debate outright, and plan texts are preferable.
T- I don't know much about this topic, so all the topic specifics should be slower and well explained. I think that most debaters try to go too fast in their final rebuttals on T, which leads to a lot of judgement calls. To remedy this, go slower in your final rebuttal, and you will be rewarded.
Theory- Most things are reasons to reject the argument not the team. I will probably not vote on dropped perm theory, even if you claimed it was a reason to reject the team.
Speech Docs/ Email chains
I would prefer if all debates were done with email chain. Please add me to the email chain at firstname.lastname@example.org
I can tell when you are wasting time and/or stealing prep. DON'T. it's annoying, wastes everybody's time, and will undoubtedly lose you speaker points. technical issues do happen, yes, but they should be resolved quickly and efficiently. I would prefer every speech to start as nearly as immediately after prep or CX as possible. We don't want to be the last round done.
It's very easy to impress me, using technical skill and clarity.
I am okay with speed, but will yell clear once or twice before the speaks begin to get docked. Nobody likes kids who are fast but incoherent, going slower is in your best interest.
Being nice/reducing all hostility is very preferable. If you have made it this far and are still reading, I will likely increase speaker points if you work "jambalaya of awesomeness" into one of your speeches, especially if you are original and make me laugh rather than just saying it to say it. I have a relatively low threshold for docking speaks due to hostility. Being assertive and being aggressive are much different, know the difference. I probably will not say anything if you are being overly rude/rude at all, but it will significantly hurt your speaker points, but will not affect the decision calculus.
Liberty University '04-'08
Policy Debate Coach @ Theodore Roosevelt High School `14-`18
contact me via email at cpmccool at gmail dot com
Hello debaters, coaches, or other judges interested in my judge philosophy. I feel that the debate round is a unique environment where almost any argument can be utilized so long as it is justifiable. I say "almost any" because some arguments are highly suspect like "racism good" or "torture good". What I mean by "justifiable" is that the argument made, to me, becomes more persuasive when coupled with good evidence. What follows are my preferences on theory, Topicality, CPs, Kritiks/Performance, and Style.
I do not consider my mind to be tabula-rasa (i.e., blank slate). To me, the most persuasive theory arguments contain a claim, some support, and an impact. Just saying "voting issue" does not make it so - I need to be convinced that voting for your interpretation is justifiable, which means that I can cogently explain to the opposing team why they were deficient and should lose the round.
See my comments on Theory. I like it when Neg can show that the Aff's interpretation is bad for debate. Like many other judges, I am annoyed by messy T debates. The side that clashes the most, organizes the T debate, and shows why their interpretation is better for debate will most likely win my ballot.
I am a huge fan of creative and competitive CPs. If Neg can give a couple of reasons why the CP solves better/faster than the Aff, I feel more comfortable finding that the net-benefit outweighs case. The perm is a test of competitiveness. I will not consider the perm a legitimate policy option unless there is some good evidence read to support it as such.
I think that Aff should have a written plan text, but does not necessarily have to advocate for the USFG. Aff, if you think that USFG is bad, be ready to defend the theory onslaught by the Neg. I prefer the policy making framework, but understand the value of the K and Performance debate. The key for me is justification. Make sure you clash with opposing and show why voting for you is net-beneficial for debate.
I do have some preferences regarding style that you should consider in order to obtain one or two extra speaker points from me: 1) Clarity outweighs speed - it's ok to spread your opponent, just make sure you pick the arguments you are winning and go for them in the rebuttals 2) I lean negative - I believe that Aff must thoroughly defend the plan. My standard is that it should be more probable than not that the plan is a good idea in order to vote Aff. 3) Civility and charm go further for me than pretension and hate. Being classy and focusing on the arguments and generally making everyone feel good during round are skills that are valuable and actually useful in the real world. 4) Have fun and enjoy this amazing sport! Energy can be communicated through your arguments and when it does, it makes me want to listen.
I did four years of policy debate in high school and now am doing NFA-LD (basically one-person policy) at the collegiate level. So you can use all the lingo. I am primarily a policymaker and stock issues judge.
I like DA's a lot. Especially if the impacts can be both realistic and terminal. Impact calc is important. I also value uniqueness it has towards aff directly. Generic DAs are fine if you are going to throw it or just need more on the flow.
Love CPs and theory. I'm down for any theory debates as long as it does not take away from education in round or stray too far away from the topic/valid abuse claims. Any CP debates are fine with me. If aff claims abuse with certain CP conditions they really have to prove it.
Not the biggest fan of K Affs but you can run them. Ks themselves I can vibe with as long as they have a solid link and alt. If the alt can still happen in an aff world and be permed, aff gets the vote just based on real-world impacts.
I am good with speed but just make sure signposting is clear and send out your speech if your gonna do it.
I am a policy debater at heart but not all policy practices are acceptable for LD. It's important to break down your case, voters, frame, and criterion clearly, especially during rebuttals. Be respectful during round.
If it comes down to value vs value you need to give me voters on why yours should be preferred.
Basic info about me:
I debated policy (NSDA) for 4 years and currently do LD (NFA) debate in college. I have been coaching for the past 3 years for NFA LD. I will listen to anything and everything. So you do you. I use they/them pronouns. Be nice and have fun!
Speed: I am an 6 out of 10, I can handle speed, but tags must be CLEAR. If not, then I won't get your arguments down. I do like some good line-by-line and analytical arguments. Not everything as to be direct evidence reading. If I am judging you online, please consider lagging and audio quality!
Topicality: I love/hate topicality. If you're aff you do not necessarily need to be topical. However, if you're the neg, you need to prove to me why the aff needs to be topical and why they violate topicality. I think if you can win the competing interpretation and their interpretation is bad, you will have my vote. The interpretation debate is the MOST important. The next important part would be standards. But I like a good T debate and can vote either way on it.
DA: I am down for any DA as long as it sorta links and sorta makes sense. I prefer a good link chain and storyline with a DA. But please to some good link analysis and impact calc. This will make my life easier.
CP: These are chill, but I think the neg team should tell me how they have the internal links/impacts of the aff. It should also be clear why the CP is net better and solves better than the aff. There should also be a net benefit. The perm debate is also important and should be had.
K's:I love a good cap, fem, or queer K. I read a lot of lit through my years in high school and have definitely expended on it in my time in college. However, if you are going to read some philosophers (like Baudrillard or Nietzsche), please know what you are talking about. As a philosophy major, seeing these people get misconstrued pains me. But I am always down to hear whatever K you have created. Just make sure to explain the link level to the aff and why the alt is net better in whatever you are doing. Also, framework debates on Ks are important and should be had.
K affs: I have run a k aff before, I love performances and k aff lit! Make it yours! Just be ready for a framework debate or a K v K debate. But if you can defend the resolution bad or roll of the ballot you can probably get my vote.
Framework: I think this is a valid argument; fairness can be an impact but MUST be explained well. Do what you want with this and explain it well.
Theory: I will vote on them and think they are fun; just make sure to warrant the argument out! There should be some standards and voters with theory.
All of this above applies to policy/ld.
Please tell me how to vote, I do not want to do the work for you.
Ask me any other specific questions if you want!
Background: 4 years at Baylor University, 1-Time NDT Qualifier. Assistant Coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, 2018-2022, Assistant Coach at Dowling Catholic High School, 2019-Present. Currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science and I work for the Legislative Services Agency in Iowa.
Yes I want to be on the email chain: Sheaffly@gmail.com. Also email me with questions about this paradigm.
Paradigms are difficult to write because there are so many potential audiences. From novice middle schoolers to varsity college debaters, I judge it all. As a result, I want everyone reading this paradigm to realize that it was written mostly in terms of varsity college debates. I think about debate a little differently in high school and a little differently when it comes to novice debates, but I hope this gives you a general idea of how to debate in front of me
== TL;DR ==
Do line-by-line. I do not flow straight down and I do not flow off the speech doc. I am a DA/CP/Case kind of judge. I am bad at understanding kritiks and I am biased towards the topic being good. Be nice.
== Top Level - Flowing ==
It has become clear to me after years of judging that most of my decisions center not around my biases about arguments (which I won’t pretend not to have), but rather around my ability to understand your argument. My ability to understand your argument is directly related to how clean my flow is. Thus, it is in your best interest to make my flow very clean. I used to think I was bad at flowing, but I've come to the conclusion that line-by-line and organized debate has become a lost art. Debaters who learn this art are much more likely to win in front of me.
You are NOT as clear on tags as you think you are. Getting every 4th word of a tag is okay only if every 4th word is the key nouns and verbs. This is never true. So slow down on your tags, I am NOT READING THEM.
I’m not gonna flow everything straight down and then reconstruct the debate afterwards. The 1NC sets the order of the debate on the case, the 2AC sets the order of the debate off case. Abide by that order. Otherwise, I will spend time trying to figure out where to put your argument rather than writing it down and that’s bad for you.
Another tip: Find ways to give me pen time. For example, do not read 4 perms in a row. It’s impossible for me to write down all of those words. Plus, it’s always first and you haven’t even given me time to flip my paper over. And then your next argument is always an analytic about how the CP doesn’t solve and then I can’t write that down either. So stop doing things like that.
== Top Level – Arguments ==
Basic stuff: I love creativity and learning from debate. Make it clear to me how much you know about the arguments you are making. I don’t think this means you have to have cut every card you read, but understanding not just the substance of your argument, but the tricks within them is important.
As I said above, the thing that will be a problem for me is not understanding your argument. Unfortunately, this probably impacts Kritik debaters more than policy debaters, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
I am probably a little more truth > tech than most judges. I believe in technical debate, but I also believe that debate is a place where truth is important. I don't care how many cards you have that say something, if the other team asserts it is not true and they are correct, they win the point.
== Top Level - Community Norms ==
1) For online debate, prep time stops when you unmute yourself and say stop prep. A couple of reasons for this. a) I have no way of verifying when you actually stopped prep if you come out and say "we stopped 15 seconds ago" and b) neither do your opponents, which means that you are basically forcing them to steal prep. I don't like it so that's the rule.
2) Debate is a messed-up community already. Don't make it more so. Be nice to each other. Have fun in the debate while you are disagreeing. If you make it seem like you think the other team is stupid during the debate, it's gonna make me grumpy. I love debate and I love watching people do it, but I hate confrontation and I hate it when people get angry about debates that don't matter that much in the long term. Be nice. Please.
3) This is mostly for high schoolers, where I see this issue all the time: If you are going to send a document without your analytics in it, making the version of the doc without the analytics in it IS PREP TIME. You don't get 45 seconds to send the document. Y'all are GenZ, I know you can send an email faster than that. You get 15 seconds before I break in and ask what the deal is. You get 20 seconds before I start prep again.
== Specifics ==
...Which Defend the Topic - I enjoy creativity. This includes creative interpretations of topicality. You should also read my thoughts on DAs as they apply to how you construct your advantages. Clear story is good.
...Which Do Not Defend the Topic - I am likely not a great judge for you. I think I may have a reputation as someone who hates these arguments. That reputation is not unearned, I built it up for years. But over time I’ve come to become a lot more accepting of them. There are many of these affirmatives that I think provide valuable debate. The problem I have is that I cannot figure out an interpretation of debate that allows the valuable "K Affs," but limits out the affs that I think are generally created to confuse their way to a win rather than provide actual valuable propositions for debate. I will always think of framework as a debate about what you JUSTIFY, rather than what you DO, and every interpretation I have ever seen in these debates simply lets in too much of the uneducational debates without providing a clear basis for clash.
I realize this sounds like I have been totally brainwashed by framework, and perhaps I have. But I want to be honest about where I'm at. That said, I think the above makes clear that if you have a defensible INTERPRETATION, I am willing to listen to it. You should also look at the section under kritiks, because I think it describes the fact that I need the actual argument of the affirmative to be clear. This generally means that, if your tags are poems, I am not ideologically opposed to that proposition, but you better also have very clear explanation of why you read that poem.
Framework: See discussion above. Good strategy. Impact, impact, impact. Education > procedural fairness > any other impact. “Ks are bad” is a bad argument, “their interpretation makes debate worse and uneducational” is a winnable argument. Topical version of the aff goes a long way with me.
Topicality: Good strategy. Impact, impact, impact. Case lists. Why that case list is bad. Affirmatives, you should talk about your education. I love creative interps of the topic if you defend them. But for the love of god slow down.
Disads: Absolutely. Well constructed DAs are very fun to watch. However, see truth vs. tech above – I have a lower threshold for “zero risk of a [link, impact, internal link] etc.” I love Politics DAs, but they’re all lies. I am up-to-date on the news. If you are not, do not go for the politics DA using updates your coaches cut. You will say things that betray that you don’t know what you’re talking about and it will hurt your speaks. Creative impact calc (outside of just magnitude, timeframe, probability) is the best impact calc.
Counterplans: I'm tired of the negative getting away with murder. I am VERY willing to listen to theory debates about some of these crazy process CPs which compete off of a net benefit or immedicacy/certainty. Theory debates are fun for me but for the love of god slow down. Otherwise, yeah, CPs are fine.
Kritiks: Eh. You can see the discussion above about K affs. I used to be rigidly ideological about hating the K. I am now convinced that the K can make good points. But because I was so against them for so long, I don’t understand them. I still think some Kritiks (here I am thinking mostly of French/German dudes) are basically designed to confuse the other team into losing. Problem is, I can’t tell the difference between those Kritiks and other Kritiks, because all Kritiks confuse me.
Very basic Ks are fine. Realism is bad, heg is bad, capitalism is bad, I get. Get much beyond that and I get lost. It's not that I think you're wrong it's that I have always been uninterested so I never learned what you're talking about. I cannot emphasize enough how little I understand what you're talking about. If this is your thing and I am already your judge, conceptualize your K like a DA/CP strategy and explain it to me like I have never heard it before. Literally, in your 2NC say: "We believe that X is bad. We believe that they do X because of this argument they have made. We believe the alternative solves for X." I cannot stress enough how serious I am that that sentence should be the top of your 2NC and 2NR. I have had this sentence in my judge philosophy for 3 years and this has been the top of the 2NC once (in a JV debate!). I do not know how much clearer I can be. Again, I am not morally opposed to Kritiks (anymore), I just do not understand them and I will not vote for something I do not understand. I believe you need a good link. Yes, the world is terrible, but why is the aff terrible. You also need to make your tags not a paragraph long, I never learned how to flow tags that were that long.
yes please include me on email chain- email@example.com
Please turn on your cameras when you are speaking if at all possible.
Remember to weigh claims and warrants within your evidence; I am much more likely to vote on well-explained arguments than taglines, even if those arguments do not necessarily have evidence to back them up. If you can do both- awesome.
Do not be rude or disrespectful to your opponents or your partner.
Tell me in the last rebuttals how to weigh your arguments and how to compare your impacts with the other team’s.
If you read cards that are not in the novice packet and were given to you by your varsity debaters, that is cheating and I will yell at you.
Old paradigm, I will no longer give extra speaks for anything listed as extra speaks, but I think this paradigm is a classic: https://tinyurl.com/yyhknlsn
[Updated 3/3/2021] In fact, here is a list of things I dislike that I will probably not be giving good speaks for: https://tinyurl.com/55u4juwp
To clarify: I like K's and LARP the LEAST (as in, you should rate me a 6 if you like Ks and strike me if you LARP a lot) and I like Tricks, Framework, and Theory the MOST (you should rate me a 1 if you like Tricks, Framework, and Theory a lot).
Util is bad enough to be beaten by sneezing on it
Overall I am willing to vote on anything that isn't an instance of explicit isms (racism, sexism, etc.).
Other than that, here's a bunch of small things in a list. I add to this list as I encounter new stuff that warrants being added to the list based on having difficulty of decision in a particular round:
1. Part in parcel of me not being a great judge for LARP due to my low understanding of complex util scenarios is that I am not going to be doing a lot of work for y'all. I also will NOT be reading through a ton of cards for you after the round unless you specifically point out to me cards that I should be reading to evaluate the round properly.
2. I know it's nice to get to hide tricks in the walls of text but if you want to maximize the chances that I notice something extra special you should like slightly change the tone or speed of delivery on it or something.
3. If you have something extremely important for me to pay attention to in CX please say "Yo judge this is important" or something because I'm probably prepping or playing some dumbass game.
4. I will evaluate all speeches in a debate round.
"Evaluate after" arguments: If there are arguments that in order for me to evaluate after a certain speech I must intervene, I will do so. For example, if there is a 1N shell and a 1AR I-meet, I will have to intervene to see if the I-meet actually meets the shell. Update: In order for me to evaluate "evaluate after" arguments, I will have to take the round at face value at the point that the speeches have stopped. However, as an extension of the paradigm item above, the issue is that many times in order for me to determine who has won at a particular point of speeches being over, I need to have some explanation of how the debaters thing those speeches play out. If either debater makes an argument for why, if the round were to stop at X speech, they would win the round (even if this argument is after X speech) I will treat it as a valid argument for clarifying how I make my decision. Assuming that the "evaluate after" argument is conceded/true, I won't allow debaters to insert arguments back in time but if they point out something like "judge, if you look at your flow for the round, if you only evaluate (for example) the AC and the NC, then the aff would win because X," then I will treat it as an argument.
Update P.S.: "Evaluate after" arguments are silly. I
of course won't on face not vote on them , but please reconsider reading them.
Update P.S. 2: "Evaluate after" causes a grandfather paradox. Example: If "Evaluate after the 1NC" is read in the 1NC, it must be extended in the 2NR in order for me as the judge to recognize it as a won argument that changes the paradigmatic evaluation of the round. However, the moment that paradigmatic shift occurs, I no longer consider the 2NR to have happened or been evaluated for the purposes of the round, and thus the "Evaluate after the 1NC" argument was never extended and the paradigmatic evaluation shift never occurred.
5. "Independent voters" are not independent - they are dependent entirely on what is almost always a new framework that involves some impact that is presumed to be preclusive. I expect independent voter arguments to have strong warrants as to why their micro-frameworks actually come first. Just saying "this is morally repugnant so it's an independent voter" is not a sufficient warrant.
Also - independent voters that come in the form of construing a framework to an implication requires that you actually demonstrate that it is correct that that implication is true. For example, if you say "Kant justifies racism" and your opponent warrants why their reading of the Kantian ethical theory doesn't justify racism, then you can't win the independent voter just because it is independent.
6. I will no longer field arguments that attempt to increase speaker points. I think they are enjoyable and fun but they likely are not good long term for the activity, given that when taken to their logical conclusion, each debater could allocate a small amount of time to a warranted argument for giving them a 30, and then simply concede each others argument to guarantee they both get maximal speaks (and at that point speaker points no longer serve a purpose).
7. My understanding of unconditional advocacies is that once you claim to defend an advocacy unconditionally you are bound to defending any disadvantages or turns to that advocacy. It does not mean you are bound to spend time extending the advocacy in the 2NR, but if the aff goes for offense in the 2AR that links to this unconditional advocacy and the neg never went for that advocacy, the aff's offense on that flow still stands.
Update: Role of the Ballots are frameworks and do not have a conditionality.
8. Don't like new 2AR theory arguments.
9. I don't time! Please time yourselves and time each other. I highly recommend that you personally use a TIMER as opposed to a STOPWATCH. This will prevent you from accidentally going over time! If your opponent is going over time, interrupt them! If your opponent goes over time and you don't interrupt them, then there's not much I can do. If you are certain they went over time and your opponent agrees to some other way to reconcile the fact that they went over time, like giving you more time as well, then go ahead. I do not have a pre-determined solution to this possibility. I only have this blurb here because it just happened in a round so this is for all of the future rounds where this may happen again.
10. If you do something really inventive and interesting and I find it genuinely funny or enjoyable to listen to and give good speaks for it, don't run around and tell any teammate or friend who has me as a judge to make the same arguments. If I see the exact same arguments I will probably consider the joke to be stale or re-used. Particularly funny things MIGHT fly but like, if I can tell it's just a ploy for speaks I will be sadge.
11. In general, for online events, say "Is anyone not ready" instead of "Is everyone ready" solely because my speaking is gated by pressing unmute, which is annoying when I have my excel sheet pulled up. I'll stop you if I'm not ready, and you can assume I'm ready otherwise. (However, for in person events, say "Is everyone ready" because I'm right there!)
12. I will not vote for you if you read "The neg may not make arguments" and the neg so much as sneezes a theory shell at you.
For traditional rounds: speak and argue however you want (bar racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other ism or phobia)
*WHEN YOU READ TRICKS: I PREFER BEING UP FRONT ABOUT THEM. Pretending you don't know what an a priori is is annoying. Honestly, just highlight every a priori and tell your opponent: "here are all the a prioris"**.
**Seriously, I have yet to see anyone do this. Do it, it would be funny, I think.
In high school I was a policy and public forum debater at Olathe Northwest in Kansas. After high school, I competed in college level Lincoln Douglas, IPDA, and public forum debate. My partner and I went on to win a PKD national championship in IPDA. Due to my experience in debate I would describe myself mostly as a gamesplayer. This means I will believe what you say until your opponent refutes it and vice versa. I place structure and tech almost above all in the debate. Check your framework and your impacts!
Besides the obvious hateful speech and arguments, mostly any arg, being a K or a performative speech, is okay with me.
If you are speeding and your opponents ask you to stop, I will also ask you to stop. Please do not use speed as a weapon.
Err on extending the cards and contentions that your opponents have dropped. I am a little old-school when it comes to this extension theory but its the way I was taught and I believe it is good practice.
I hate judicial activism. Please use your framework and explain why you win. I will not do the arguing for you, if you havent said it, it doesnt go on the flow. I will not flow arguments you do not make no matter how much I want to make them for you or no matter how much you claim you made them in your constructives.
If you have anything more specific please do not be afraid to ask before round.