Last changed on
Thu December 29, 2022 at 5:43 PM EDT
TL;DR - tech>truth, clarity in thoughts and in speech (do not spread), be logical in linkchains and among your arguments, weigh, no theory, K, etc.
Although I am a parent judge, this is my seventh year judging debate tournaments, so I am not new to judging. I will flow arguments and will vote off of the flow (I'll mostly do tech > truth unless the arguement is so obviously false that nearly everyone would agree without googling it). That being said, please do not spread, because I'm bound to miss some of your arguments (if it doesn't make it onto my flow, I won't be able to evaluate your arguement). It is your job to make sure that you communicate your arguements clearly and logically.
- clarity, especially clarity of thought and logic, is more important than speed
- I will focus on the weigh, and whether you've proven that your standing argument(s)'s impacts are greater than your opponents. This means that as you go through your arguments (before you weigh), you must tell me what the impacts of your arguments are-- don't assume they are obvious, and I'm not likely to make them up for you. You can be creative about how you weigh, potentially including scope, magnitude, timeframe, probabilty, or a metaweigh, etc.
- I do not like off-topic/theory arguements that try to disqualify the other team. Debate the topic at hand.
- I appreciate roadmaps and signposting. I'm OK if the initial roadmap is off-time, but they really should be part of your speaker time. And be sure to continue to signpost as you address new arguments-- you don't want me to put your arguments on a random part of my flowsheet.
- Gov/aff does have the right to define terms, and I do give leeway for that. Don't abuse it though-- I really don't like having to judge a "definitions" debate, and if the definition doesn't allow a path for opp/neg to win, I'm voting with opp/neg.
- Warrant your arguments. Completely unsubstantiated arguments are hard to vote on, especially if rebutted by the opposing side. If both sides are unwarranted, I'll view it as a wash and it won't survive the round.
- And to quote Ryan Lafferty: Be charitable to your opponents’ arguments! I’d much rather you mitigate the best version of your opponents’ claims than demolish a heavily strawmanned version of them.
For PF specifically:
- I value warrants over cards. Tell me why your argument(s) make sense logically rather than telling me a card said so. I have faith that you can always find someone who will say just about anything (e.g.-- the earth is flat).
- Focus on the weaknesses in your opponents link chains rather than reading from a prepared block file.
- The clash should be obvious by the rebuttal speaches. Second rebuttal can start to frontline in addition to rebutting the prior speech, however they must respond to all offense (including turns) or else I'll assume the argument is conceded.
- I won't be on your email chain and almost always wont look at your evidence. It's up to you to convince me, rather than me determining whether the evidence is worthy. That being said, if someone asks me to look at evidence (e.g., in order to determine whether the evidence was represented correctly), I will.
Speaker scores are ultimately subjective based on impefect judging. For PF, in addition to the above, I'll also be analyzing the quality of the research in determining speaker scores. For Parli, broad background knowledge is a big plus.