Last changed on
Thu May 25, 2023 at 5:50 PM CDT
I am a fairly newish judge outside of Nashville. I entered the policy debate community in 2018, as the head debate coach for Hunters Lane High School in Nashville, Tennessee, a position that I still hold. I am also the Diocesan Director for the restarted Nashville Diocese of the National Catholic Forensic League. At this time, I have judged a few rounds officially but watched and flowed a great deal but nearly exclusively in Nashville.
Add me to your e-mail chain: Jason.Proffitt@mnps.org
NCFL 2023 will be our first tournament outside of Middle Tennessee. As such, I am coming with an open mind to many different debate styles and strategies and plan to judge in such a manner given my disclosures below.
Here Is What Is Worth Knowing about How I Judge:
Style: I'm probably a mash of policy/legislative framework, but I also believe that this is a game with rules. I believe that the aff must solve and the neg must compete and clash. I also believe this is all up for debate to anyone who can convince me otherwise. I want the rebuttals to argue to me how I should judge the debate and to explain the clash between the points and defend their framing.
Speed: I'm not the fastest flower, but if you give me a speech doc I'll work with your spreading. However, as almost any judge will tell you, clarity >>>>>> speed. If you can't be clear on your intentions, do not expect me to clean it up for you.
Helpfulness: If you want to know something, ask before the round; I try to be as open-book as possible. I want a good debate and will do everything in my power to able debaters to enjoy a round within the rules.
K's: I don't love them, don't hate them. I care more about what you can do with one than that you have one. If you don't understand your K, don't expect me to be impressed by it. I do think that if you introduce alt-theory into debate then naturally you have a certain education burden that you need to prove, but that is true for any position of significance.
I'm willing to vote on CP, Theory, T, or against any of those things if you can frame it and weigh it. Prove it to me and educate me on it.
Congeniality: Be respectful to your opponent and judge, and let's enjoy the round. I will be respectful to you regardless of your preferences or experience. If I'm not looking at you often, it is because I focus on my flow and notes more than the actual speaker. I want to value the actual debate/evidence that you are presenting. I want you to feel welcome when I am judging you whatever your debate background and that you will get a fair hearing from me, and you can be assured that I work hard to make sure that you do. And yes, fair disclosure is part of congeniality.
Miscellaney: I care more about your utilization of evidence, clash, and comparison than your poise or wit. If I'm not looking at you, I'm probably flowing intensely and listening. I spend very little time watching the debaters; I prefer listening and note-taking/flowing as this gives clarity and removes bias.
For Novice Competitors:
-I allow open cross in novice rounds by default unless a tournament has different rules. In varsity, I tend to disallow unless there is a complicating factor (it is not a strong preference of mine). In middle divisions, I defer to the requests of teams, generally favoring when there is a hybrid team but giving a veto if there is a maverick.
--If you are new to debate as a participant or a coach, welcome! I am here to help!
--Novice debaters: Signposting is always appreciated!