Chicago Debates High School City Championships
2023 — Chicago, IL/US
Judge Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
DONT RUN ENACT EXCLUDES courts in front of me. It’s wrong and absurd. What would a topic excluding the Supreme Court look like on criminal justice topic. The resolution says USFG. Supreme Court part of USFG.
put me on the Email chain. Silvermdc1@gmail.com
IN MOST ROunds I’m not reading every card on the doc because it’s a communicative activity. I’ve learned that often some peoples explanation of their evidence doesn’t line up with what the text says. In a situation where I’m on a panel where the other judges are reading the cards I too will as well.
while you’re speaking I prefer you turn your camera on. Understand if you don’t have bandwidth to support it.
I evaluate disease based/ pandemic based impacts much more seriously now due to ongoing effects of COVID 19. I still believe that debate is a game, educational one however I want to fully acknowledge the serious situation of where we are in our country with policing. I’m sure we can have debates while being tactful and understanding for some folks the issue can be personal.
I'll shake your hand if it's like your last round of high school debate and I so happen to judge it. It's weird to me when a kid tries to shake my hand after a round though. I did it when I was debating and didn't realize how odd it was. Oops.
It's likely that I'll laugh some don't take it personally I laugh all the time and I'm not making fun of you. I'm a human being and have lots of beliefs and feelings about debate but I'm persuadable. I don't flow Cross X obviously but sometimes questions and or answers end up impacting my perception of the round.
Arguments that I like hearing
I love the politics disadvantage, I like strategic counterplans. relevant case arguments, specfic d/as to plans.
Non-traditional AFFs or teams.
I'll listen to K affs or teams that don't affirm the resolution. Honestly though it's not my cup of tea. Over the years debate has been changing and I guess I've changed in some ways with it.
NEW Counterplans in the 2NC I'm not cool with unless the 2AC reads an add on.
I evaluate how well you answered your opponents arguments, ETHOs, persuasiveness, Humor, STRATEGIC DECISIONS. There are times when one team is clearly more dominant or one student is a superior speaker. That's GREAT!! I'm not going to reward you with speaker points for walloping a weaker team. You're not going to be penalized either but it's clear when you have a challenge and when you just get an easy draw in round.
IF I HAVE NEVER MET YOU BEFORE DON'T EMAIL ME ASKING FOR EVIDENCE FROM ROUNDS I JUDGED
ARGUMENTs I'd rather not hear.
Arguments I find offensive and refuse to flow
If we're talking about paradigm I view debate as a game. It's an educational game but a game still. I think most rules are debateable. I think speech times are consistent and not a breakable rule, ad-hominem attacks are not acceptable.
Even if your're not friends with your debate partner treat them respect and please no bickering with them.
I'd prefer if people do an e-mail stream instead of flashing or other methods of sharing evidence.
I'll listen to your criticism. Few things. I think there needs to be a coherent link story with the affirmative, words or scholarship the affirtmative said in cross-x. Your K will not be a viable strategy in front of me without a link story. It's a very tough hill to win a K in front of me without an Alternative. Debaters have done it before but it's been less than 5 times.
- Explain and analyze what the alternative does.
- Who does it
How does a world compare post alternative to pre-alternative?
- Should interpt various words in the resolution
- Have clear brightline about why your view of debate is best for education
Address proper forums for critical arguments people make
- Have voting issues that explain why your vision of debate is desirable.
- I prioritize role of the ballot issues.
- I'll entertain it I guess, I'm probaly not the most recceptive though. Explain how you want me to fairly evaluate these concerns. Also consider what type of ground you're leaving your opponent without making them go for reprehensible args like: Patriarchy Good or racism good.
- Need to have a solvency advocate
- A text
Can be topical in my mind
- Net benefit or D/A to prefer CP to aff
Needs to be some breathing room between Counterplan and plan. PICS are fine however I don't think it's legit to jack someone elses aff and making a minute difference there isn't lit for.
A reason the permutation can't work besides theory arguments.
DON'T JUST READ THEORY BLOCKS AGAINST Each other. Respond in a line by line fashion to opponents theory args. Dropped arguments are conceded arguments obviously. In a close debate don't assume because you have a blippy quick theory argument it's neccessarily going to win you a debate in front of me if you didn't invest much time in it.
1. Engage with opponents evidence and arguments.
2. Make contextual differences.
3. Humor is fine but don't try to be funny if you're not.
4. Clarity is preferred over speed. Not telling you to go slow but if I can't coherently understand what you're saying we have a problem. Like if you're unclear or slurr a bunch of words while you're spreading.
5. HAVE FUN! Getting trophies and winning tournaments is cool but I'm more concerned what kind of person you're in the process of becoming. Winning isn't everything.
Don't trivialize T. Burden is on the affirmative to prove they are topical. I'll listen to reasonablity or competing Interpretations framework. I don't believe in one more than other and can be persuaded either way. Standards by which to evaluate and voting issues are nice things to have in addition to an Interpretation.
Arguments I like on T that I find have been lost to the wayside.
Reasons to prefer source of dictionary, information about changing language norms and meaning, the usage of the word in soceity currently.
Grammar analysis pertaining to the resolution.
Framers Intent/ Resolution planning arguments
Voting issues you think someone who thinks debate is an educational game would like to hear.
Link Story that is specific to AFFIRMATIVE.
Impacts that would make a worse world than aff.
Author qualifications matter to me, Sources of your evidence matter to me. How well you're able to explain your claims matter to me. Evidentiary comparison to your opponents authors are saying.
General stylistics things
Some kind of labelling for arguments like numbers or letters before the tags is preferrable. If you have questions feel free to e-mail me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's my judging paradigm:
Before I begin, here's a little bit about my background and correlation with debate:
If you need further information on your round or ballot, you may email me at email@example.com
You may send me a picture of the ballot to refresh my memory of the round.
I inherently come to the round with an unbiased mindset otherwise I tend to strongly look at Neg for a neg ballot;
I feel this is were framework is important to me, I would make it an important note that the judge (I) may feel like the USFG within the round throughout the round depending on how you read your AFF or NEG.
Otherwise, I think framing the round to be important here.
This is a National Sport.
Performances, Poetry, K. Affs, K's, Narratives, changing Resolved, Use of Other Resources Within the Round may be questioned until framed within the round.
The transition of paper cases/tubs (traditional debate or latter) to a more modern way of debating (laptops/K,Spreading -I'm okay with Speed) may be debated if you think that's important as part of your voter.
It's always great to use the classroom space as an integrative part of the debate in order to feel like the debate sphere is important to "Occupy" the classroom space and learning why it's important to the debater or judge.
If you feel like it's important to use your computer to check status quo issues, you may. I feel using this to implement impact calculus would potentially further a voter as to make you more of a Realist or status quo relevancy.
Debated LD for 2.5 years in high school.
While I did not debate Policy in high school, I came to know the logistics of it my high school junior year. I have been judging Policy ever since. So, approximately 4.6 years in the RCC and LCC circuit at Chicago's CDL.
I debated Parliamentary Debate in college for 2 years.
Debate is much more than just eloquent speaking and speeding 20 arguments in 5-8minutes.
Be COHERENT when speaking. While I am generally okay with speed, you must be clear or I'll stop you.
I tend to give higher speaker points when you extemporaneously speak your last speeches. Don't just read cards, use your knowledge and understanding of the arguments made in the rebuttals and constructive. During your R's, if you plan on reading cards, take at least 10 seconds to link them to your wining argument, don't just read them to fill up time.
Using your own words and analysis may get you higher speaker points. Take your time and explain. Depth over Speed/Breadth.
I generally come into a round with a Tabula Rasa mindset so you can see how easily it is for you to get my vote.
I'm generally okay with them. If you go for K, performance, narrative or anything in that nature, you better have established and won the framework debate. If you're running those types of speeches, whether AFF or NEG, please do yourself a favor and know it from beginning to end. Don't lose yourself and find yourself in a situation where you misinterpret or fail to understand the philosophical arguments. Most importantly, If you're presenting any of the above, please shower me with link analysis. Make that your priority.
If you're running Non-Traditional Policy (K, Critical-Aff, Performance; as I'm seeing them come up in rounds) just make it clear to me at the beginning of the round why you're doing it, and then toward the end of the round why I should prefer it over a policy based/or why that in itself is a policy based option- yeah you can run them but let me know why that > Policy)
I'll consider them in the round. Establish why I should prefer your plan over AFF's early in the round. If you're AFF, make it your priority to establish early in the round if NEG's CP is conditional or unconditional. Believe it or not, this would save you in the round, not just time but my vote, if you decide to drop it and NEG decides to go for it.
You better present your interpretation coherently, it better not be muddled. If scattered, you're just asking for a disaster. Please tell me how AFF violates T or how they don't meet your interpretation. Walk me through the standards, don't just speed through them. Why is your Interpretation superior? At the end, tell me why I should vote T. All in all, if you're running a T, I better hear the terms: Interpretation, Violations, Standards, Voting Issue. With me, you win T if you have won the interpretation debate.
Honestly, I believe any argument can be won with a little bit of theory. Shape the round for me early in the debate with theory and BAM, you won my heart. Tell me how your specific theory argument is a crucial check to the AFF, or the round for that matter.
Structure your theory arguments in a way where I am able to identify which issue I should prioritize as a judge.
If you utilize impact calculus from beginning to end, you have already earned yourself great speaks. Better yet, have already earned yourself a winning argument. When evaluating winning arguments, I would prefer that you do so using impact calculus and emphasizing the terms: Magnitude, Timeframe, Probability, etc.
The Round as a Whole
When it comes to summarizing my RFD, I tend to vote on who the better thinking and analyzing team is. Sure, you dropped and argument, but that doesn't assure that the opposing team will win on it or win the round. If you fail to explain to me why I should extend your argument with analysis, I will not vote on it. During the 2AR and 2NR, it's especially important for me to hear the term "voting issue" (or highlight your most thought out arguments with analysis) and highlight why and how you ought to get that specific voter. It makes it easier for me as a judge to centralize my decision. Most importantly, it will let me know as a judge that you have acknowledged your strengths and weaknesses for that round, which is what I want for you to know at the end of the day. Have fun!
Copied and Pasted from Wiki;
Optional as I have seen in some of the rounds:
Use of Technology in the round to use Status Quo/Current Events to implement or evaluate/frame the round or Framework. Debater Framework when using Status Quo implementation.
Make sure to further extend your voters in a clear manner so that I may be able to cross-apply any dropped/or extended arguments.
If you feel like you need to stop the round for medical attention, please let me know.
email for the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
TLDR: Big on clear explanations, big on meaningful clash over card spam.
General:I debated in LD all of high school and now compete in college CX debate for Northwestern. I strongly believe debate should be a space open to everyone and anything in round (discrimination, hateful speech, etc) that goes against that will result in a team being dropped immediately and tournament staff/coaches contacted. I have a fair amount of experience on the HS policy topic- I was a lab leader at NU's camp this summer and have judged a little bit of local circuit CDL. That being said, I didn't do HS policy and am not familiar with certain norms/terms so doing a little more work on explanations will be to your benefit. I flow very closely- that being said please do weighing and don't put me in a position where I as a judge have to evaluate the significance of your arguments. That's your job lmao. On a similar note, I give the highest speaks to debaters that meaningfully interact with their opponents arguments and don't just read some tangentially-related card.
I will drop speaks for rounds where an experienced team is rude to younger debaters/novices. Telling me in the 2AR that you're "absolutely crushing them" is not a flex. Be considerate and avoid mean-spirited language in rebuttals, everyone starts from somewhere.
Update 11/17 for Glenbrooks: Most of my paradigm is policy stuff below that won't be too helpful but all general points above apply. I did not compete in PF but I am familiar with the basics. No experience on the current topic outside of very limited judging novice PF debates for CDL. I am open to "progressive" PF arguments like Ks, CPs, etc but will be sympathetic to trad teams hitting these arguments.
K- I know nothing about your literature bases, I will listen to and evaluate everything you're saying but again doing a little extra work on clear explanations will really help you. Links should be specific to the aff for neg Ks. I have very little experience evaluating aff Ks but will do my best.
Case- Case debating is so important for both sides in my opinion. This is probably one of the biggest areas I see get caught up in both sides just reading unrelated cards and not meaningfully interacting with the flow. Don't do that please :D
CPs-Love as long as neg proves competition and defends their links. Lazy perm args from the aff become less and less persuasive as the debate goes on. If you're going for a perm please do the work to explain why the aff avoids the net benefit.
DAs-No big thoughts here that would change how you debate.
T- Also big controversial thoughts here, aff needs at counter interp and a each side needs to explain why their interpretation is the one I should be using.
Theory-Not very sympathetic to condo when the neg ran 2 or less advocacies without conditional planks. Very sympathetic to condo where the neg runs a cp with 20 conditional planks that solve every possible aspect of the aff. "Condo is a voter" does nothing for me or my ballot if you don't explain why and what impacts are for fairness, education, etc. My brother does local circuit HS policy for St. Ignatius High School in Ohio and from listening to him I get the impression theory is more varied on the high school circuit than in college. All that means for you is be extra clear about what violation has been committed and what that means for my ballot/the round.
My background: I'm currently serving as the head coach at Maine East, after many years of serving as an assistant. For much of the past 7 years, I judge an average of 15-20 rounds on the topic. I debated at Maine East HS back in the late 90s & early 00s for four seasons under the tutelage of Wayne Tang. As such, I tend to lean towards a policy making approach that seeks the best policy option. I tend to view topicaliy/theory through a prism of fairness and education. I don't mind listening to debates about what debate should be. I default to viewing the plan as the focus of the debate.
If you are running a K, I like the links to be as specific to the affirmative's advocacy as possible. If your alternative doesn't make sense, that means that the affirmative must be worse than the status quo for you to win your K.
I strongly dislike reading your evidence after the round- I expect the debaters to do that work in the round. If I call for a card, it will typically be to verify that it says what you say it says. I will not give you the benefit of warrants you did not explain, however I may give the other team the benefit of the card not saying what you said it did.
aasiyah (ah-see-yuh) bhaiji (by-jee)
they/she/idrc just anything but judge
conflicts: gbs, gbn, kilmer elementary
currently a community coach for the chicago debate league. debated 3 years in hs for glenbrook south.
put me on the email chain: email@example.com
do what you do best! i find that the best rounds are where both teams don't over adapt to my preferences. i do not judge many debates, debate is an educational space first and a competitive stage second.
i really cannot stress enough how bad i am at writing paradigms. all i ask is that you are kind to one another. i will put in the same amount of effort as you in a round.
if you want the nitty-gritty of my debate thoughts, i highly suggest you look at azja butler's paradigm, i think it is pretty clear in what i look for in debates. just know that i do not judge as much as she does, nor am i a coach at the hs or collegiate level.
I currently debate in the Open Policy Division for James Madison University (2020-present), and was a previous varsity debater at Woodgrove High School. Novice Finalist and JV Semi-Finalist for JV/Novice Nationals, 2nd round NDT Qualifier, CEDA Doubleoctafinalist and current president of JMU Debate. I am currently a coach for the policy team at Broadway High School. My specialty is in policy debate, but I also have experience judging both LD and Public Forum.
Please include me in the email chain:
If you have any questions about anything regarding debate or JMU, please do not hesitate to contact me there! I'm happy to answer any questions or provide advice, and I could probably talk all day about the JMU debate team, especially if you're looking to do debate in college.
tech > truth
I am more likely to vote for you if you have good, warranted impact calc, analysis, and comparison. I need to know why I have to vote for you with urgency.
Here are some main pointers that would be good to follow:
1. Clarity > Speed
There is no advantage or point in spreading if I can't understand anything you're saying. I'd much rather have clear and concise diction than slurred arguments. I am fine with spreading, but only if you can be understood by others.
Open cross-examination is fine with me--its great to help each other out. However, I won't give you good speaks if you talk over your partner or don't let them answer questions.
No sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. comments. Your speaks will be docked if there is offensive language within (or outside of) the debate round.
I love critical arguments; but do not assume I've heard of your K before. Fleshed out, well explained Ks make for a good debate round, as it is hard for me to vote for a K if it isn't explained well enough or if you don't understand the K yourself. I can tell when you're word vomiting, so just don't do it!! I need good link explanation and impact analysis.
Please for the love of god do not read anything along the lines of "Kritiks are exclusionary and big words bad" I will not vote on it. This is the one clear exception I have to "run what you want to". It is not a convincing argument and often ends up being discriminatory, and you do not want to be in that position in front of me.
Prep time should end after the document is saved, and debaters will be expected to keep their own time. Do not steal prep time, and flow when the timer has started. Emphasis on keeping your own time, it's good to know where you are in the debate and it doesn't look good if I am forced to tell you to stop your speech.
Things that will boost your speaks: flowing, good organizational skills, good cx questions, good technical skills and correct usage of debate lingo. +.5 points if you make me laugh in round.
Things that will lower your speaks: offensive language, rudeness towards teammates or opponents, stealing prep, hogging open cx, not interacting with your opponent's arguments, and cheating. Sexism, racism, queerphobia, and predjudice of any kind will not be accepted in a debate I'm judging and will result in sub-twenty speaker points, or the lowest the tournament will allow me to administer.
8. Online debate
I'd prefer to have everyone's cameras on if able unless prepping, its a little awkward to listen to a speech given by a black screen.
I have some experience in the current topic, but it isn't extensive, so please keep that in mind when debating. Debate is a wonderful place to test your knowledge, challenge or be challenged, is great for education, and is a safe space, so remember to be respectful of everyone in the room.
Coach, Solorio, 2012 - present
TLDR: Better for CP / DA / impact turn debates
I'll do my best to evaluate arguments as made. When the way I make sense of a debate differs from the way debaters make sense of a debate, here seem to be some common sources of the disparity:
1) I'm pretty ingrained in the offense defense model. This means that even if the NB is dumb, if the aff cannot generate a solvency deficit against the CP, and the aff has no offense against the DA, I am highly likely to vote negative.
Some notes: a) I do not think a solvency deficit needs to be carded; b) more difficult, but I could envision voting on analytic offense against a DA, c) I'm willing to vote on zero risk of the DA, but we'd both benefit from you taking a moment to explain why the offense-defense model is inapplicable in the debate at hand
2) I still think I have a relatively high bar for voting negative on topicality; however, I've tried to begin evaluating this debate more from an offense-defense perspective. In my mind, this means that if the affirmative does not meet the negative's interpretation, and does not have its own counterinterpretation, it is essentially arguing that any affirmative is topical and is conceding a 100% link to the limits disadvantage. I'm highly likely to vote negative in such a debate.
General argument notes:
3) I'm probably more sympathetic to cheaty process counterplans than most.
4) While I may complain, I do vote on the standard canon of negative kritiks. Things like cap, security, standard topic kritiks, etc. are fine. Extra explanation (examples, stories, analogies, etc.) is always appreciated, all the more so the further from my comfort zone you venture.
5) FW vs K Affs: I lean negative. However, I judge few of these debates. Both teams would benefit from accepting that I know very little here, slowing down, speaking clearly, and over-explaining (depth, not repetition) things you assume most judges know.
6) I judge because:
a) I still really enjoy debate.
b) Judging is an opportunity to continue to develop my understanding of debate.
c) I am covering my students' judge commitment so that they too can benefit from this activity.
7) Quick reference
Read no cards-------X----------------------------Read all the cards
Conditionality good--X----------------------------Conditionality bad
States CP good----X------------------------------States CP bad
Politics DA is a thing-----X------------------------Politics DA not a thing
UQ matters most----------------------X----------Link matters most
Presumption---------------------------------X-----Never votes on presumption
Longer ev--------X---------------------------------More ev
CX about impacts----------------------------X----CX about links and solvency
• For chain, please use firstname.lastname@example.org
• For personal inquiries, contact at email@example.com
• Judge/Coach currently based in Chicago
• 4 years of High School Policy Debate experience
• Judging Nat Circuit & UDL Tournaments since '19
Personal Note for Urban Debate. My background will never effect how I vote in face of income inequality. Yes, I come from a low socioeconomic status. However, that just entails I have better feedback to give to persuade other judges.
I'm familiar with both lay/circuit styles of policy debate. Nevertheless, I default towards a tech over truth style of judging unless said so otherwise in-round. In terms of judging preferences, I have none. As evidenced by my judging record, I'm primarily prefed by k-oriented teams. I have judged k v k rounds. I have judged k v fw rounds. I voted for either side of the coin. Despite this, I'm capable of being in back of the room judging typical policy rounds.
Overall, I'll do my best to judge rounds fairly. I wholeheartedly appreciate the opportunity to judge. It allows me to better educate myself and teach my students on topic trends and/or strategy innovation. I apologize in advance if I miss certain things due to faulty ears.
Disadvantages-- Specific links to affirmatives recommended but generics are fine as long as it's still applicable.
Kritiks-- Always have specific links to the affirmative. Links predicated off the topic itself doesn't lead to any meaningful educational debate specific to the case being ran. However, that doesn't mean I won't vote for Links of Omission if the opposing team fails to answer them.
Counterplans-- CP debate is pretty awesome. Multiplank Counterplans are good. Planks that are supported by 1AC authors are even better. I don't have a disdain towards process counterplans.
Topicality-- Highly recommend to impact/flesh out the standards debate. Seen too many rounds where the negative team extends defense rather than actual offense that comes from that specific section of the debate. Additionally, explain thoroughly why your model of debate is better than the opposing team's model and you're good.
T-USFG / Framework-- I highly believe they're two totally different arguments but y'all have to make that distinction. To illustrate, negative team runs T-USFG while the affirmative team in the 2ac reads a block titled FW answers. The negative team can't simply just state "this is t-usfg not fw disregard their block". Foremost, the 2AC FW block still includes answers to standards/things that might be in your T-USFG shell. Especially, limits, ground and clash. Also, probably includes turns that can be applicable to the model of debate you're endorsing that requires the use of the USFG. Anyways, I prefer the debate to be framed similar to topicality (better model of debate). However, teams going just for the impact turn(s) are welcome to do so. Note, negative teams providing TVA(s) under their MoD are cool.
I'm a JV debater at William Howard Taft High School. This is my first year judging. I generally vote on flow. Spreading is fine with me, be sure to speak as loud and clear as you can. Please give a roadmap before you start your speech. I don't flow CX but I take it into account. Feel free to include disads and CP's into your arguments. Not a big fan of K and T, but if you would like to include them, that's fine. Impacts are important! Strong speaking and argumentative skills appeal to me. Ultimately, the arguments you want to run is up to you, and I will do by best to be a fair judge. Be respectful to your partner/opponent(s). Have fun!
Debate Experience:I am a former CDL debater; previously, I was on the Kelly High school debate team in the south side of chicago.
Usual ROB: I usually will flow whatever is presented in front of me in regards to the framework debate.
Summary: I'm primarily a k debater My favourite ks are security or anything language based. Of course a clear link must be articulated in order for me to vote for any negative strategy. I'm also a fan of satire arguments, so show me what you got.
Da: No i don't believe in 100% type arguments; if they were 100% they would have already happened. With that in mind, I will most likely vote for the team that gives me the better link and or link story/ No-link. We live in an ambiguous world, so as long as you prove that it is possible ill give you leverage
T: Topicality/ theory debates are probably one of the most important things that I will be most strict on. For me education and critical thinking are the biggest impacts in round. On T, IF there is a clear violation of the resolution within the plan text, as long as you extend the standards I'll probably vote for you.
k:Depending on the k, if im judging you always go for the k. Enough said. Although if i would vote for the k or not is depended on your framework. Doing good line by line on framework is essential for my vote here.
cp: Counterplans to me are usually a waste of time. But again answer all theory debates/ flows and prove some solvency and ill have no problem voting for you
Speaks: Speaks for me isn't on how fast you can go because that's Bs. You need to be organized, articulative,and convincing. Do all these and i have no problem giving high speaks. But keep in mind, you can be all organized/articulative all you want, i have no problem giving a low point win.
prep: Tell me your taking prep, ill time, we are all happy. If i fail to take time, we are all human we all forget, then ill go with whatever time is given to me first. No I'm not one of those, "take prep for flashing" judges. I've had those and im not gonna be it. Take too long though and we will negotiate.
Remember to me debates a game. Above all else its about education and critical thinking.
Affiliations: St. Mark's 2022 -> Northwestern 2026
Email Chain: mlcpolicydebate[at]gmail[dot]com and smdebatedocs[at]gmail[dot]com. Please include the tournament, round, and teams debating in the email's subject line.
-Will vote for any argument given better technical execution
-Don't steal prep
-Turn your camera on if possible
-Don't start your speech if my camera is off
-T debates are great
-Evidence quality matters a lot and reading a few high-quality cards with the intent to define/exclude is much better than spamming low-quality cards
-Biased for the negative on most counterplan theory, but the affirmative can definitely convince me otherwise
-Well-evidenced PICs are amazing
-Process counterplans are not so amazing
-Tell me to judge-kick the counterplan please
-Not too well-versed in any literature besides cap and Agamben
-Long overviews make me sad
-Taking a generic disadvantage and contextualizing it to the 1AC is strategic
-Turns case is awesome and is even better with spin
-However, that only matters if you win a substantial risk of the disadvantage
-Link uniqueness is important
K Affs/T USFG:
-If your strategy is not to defend the resolution traditionally, you should go for a counter-interp that provides the negative a benefit from negating the 1AC
-I personally think procedural fairness is probably an impact, but I can definitely be convinced otherwise
-You can insert rehighlightings
-Good formatting and strategic decision-making get bonus speaks; not making the email chain correctly and wasting time gets less speaks
-Clipping and any "isms" will result in an auto-L and as low speaks as possible
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
For the email chain
Email chain? Bathroom? The K? Tag team? [death/warming/disease/whatever] Good? Flowing? Yes
ASPEC? Underviews? Please no
Tell me if:
You live on the south or west side, or commuted via CTA: +0.3 speaks
A little about me :
I'm a college student in my last year studying Economics at UChicago. My previous debate experience is in Public Forum debate, both coaching and debating.
I prefer clear speaking with clear signposting. I'll follow mumble spreading, but definitely don't prefer it. I also appreciate when people use their time, but if you really truly have nothing to say, then don't dig yourself into a hole.
Be respectful of your opponents, but don't be afraid to cut them off when answering questions. I value intensity and confidence.
My order of valuation is Impact (of plan or consequence) ((USE IMPACT CALCULATORS I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM)), then timeframe.
I'm ok with K's but the link has to be STRONG. If the impact or link is weak, then you just waste the time you could use in strengthening their case.
BACKGROUND- I debated at duPont Manual H.S. (1987-91) and Augustana College (in the NDT) (1991-94). I have been an asst coach at several Chicago high schools: Whitney Young, Lane Tech, Juarez, and Hope. I have been coaching and judging in the Chicago Debate League since 1999.
I am open to any type of argument and style as long as you make compelling justifications for why I should vote for your team. I WILL NOT do the work for you. Make sure that you are extending your impacts at the end of the round and providing some type of comparative impact calculus that frames my ballot.
I appreciate creativity over predictability . I get tired of weighing Nuclear War and a Politics DA.
Overviews are appreciated . Let me know what is most important in the round. If I have a messy rd, I use overviews in rebuttals to help whittle it down. (i.e. "There are 3 reasons why you vote for us this rd...." )
Anything that happens before the rd ( i.e. disclosures) is irrelevant to the rd. I don't consider lack of disclosures "abusive".
ROADMAPS- Give good ones- Tell me the order of the arguments of your speech. Roadmaps are used to help people put their flows in order. Don't just say something like, "I'm just gonna do a general overview of everything." That's not a roadmap. Give the order: "Topicality, DA, then Solvency...".
TIMEKEEPING You are welcome to time your own speeches, but I like to keep prep time , just in case.
TAG TEAM CROSS-EX: I think it is important for novices and jv debaters to learn how to think on their feet and answer questions on their own, so I discourage tag teaming. I allow it, but it may cost you speaker points.
TOPICALITY is a voting issue. it is not a time skew . T is important because it's like a separate arena in the round. There are a lot of ways to argue that aren't necessarily dependent on cards. Debaters need more brain power and have to develop more arguments while in the rd. T is my favorite stock issue. I was a "Topicality Jock" when I debated. LOL.
SPEED is fine if I can understand you. I will let you know if I don't. Be sure the tag lines to your cards are clear, and feel free to spew as much as you want during the text of the cards. Do NOT SKIP ("CARD CLIPPING") the important parts of text while you read it. If you stop reading a card before getting to the tag implications, I won't count it in the round. [Example: If the tag line says "Nukes lead to extinction" and you only read the first sentence of the text: "Certain scientists discussed nuclear power today." . That is not completely read.]
KRITIKS are fine with me. Explain it as though I am hearing it for the first time. Don't skip certain parts of it because it may be a popular K. Feel free to go crazy, as long as the LINK is explained. ! P.S. Personal insults are not arguments. They really aren't.
Know your arguments and evidence ahead of time. I have seen too many rounds where a K is shoved into a debater's hands right before a round, and the debater knows nothing about the K. Evidence isn't the only thing you need to win the round. You need to be able to explain the arguments and implications. I usually consider an "alternative paradigm" observation BEFORE stock issues (like T). I would like to hear in the rd reasons why the paradigm comes first, though.
I can become impatient and start prep time if someone's computer glitches take too long.
DISADS- Please remember to extend all 3 parts of a DA throughout the Neg block and 2NR. I'm not kidding.
COUNTERPLANS - If you go for the CP in the 2NR you must win it to win the round. This means extending all parts of it and explaining the Net Benefit.
END OF ROUND- I don't talk a lot at the end of the round. I write everything on the ballot. I also don't like to read cards at the end of the round. Don't ask me to unless you believe they are being misinterpreted. I have a problem with Huffington Post cites. I may need to see the quals of the author. I also will not argue with anyone about my decision.
pronouns : she/her/any, email: email@example.com (i usually prefer fileshare in NSDA Campus when possible)
I debated for 4 years in CX, primarily as a policymaker debater with a specific focus on structural violence. If no other frameworks are given during the round, I will default to this paradigm: affirmative wins if they prove the aff world is better than the neg's, and the opposite for negative.
I highly prefer evaluating frameworks given by the debaters in rounds, however, and want to be as close to tabula rasa as possible in that respect. Laying out a logical and convincing reason to vote aff or neg, and then linking your case impacts/method/etc to that is an important part of your rebuttals, so please do as much work for your judge in that respect.
Quick Notes --
** I won't accept dehumanizing or hateful rhetoric, including racism, transphobia, sexism, ableism, or anything else discriminatory. Saying something blatantly hateful will lead to you being downvoted. Consistent misgendering of your opponent after multiple corrections falls under this same rule.
I dislike when debaters are mean to each other. Insulting your opponent's intelligence/knowledge/abilities will cause me to drop speaks.
I really liked T when I was in debate and I think good debates where the interpretation or counterinterpretation provides a meaningful definition of the topic are great. Therefore, I really like T *when it is used purposefully*. Between competing intepretations, standards are the most important. Feel free to get creative here and explain why I should prefer your interpretation and how that fits into debate as a whole- it's an opportunity to advance a certain model of debate, and your interpretation along with standards and voters can help support it.
If your definition is fairly arbitrary (i.e. "substantially"), I would likely feel comfortable voting on reasonability.
Naturally I am fine with DAs and they can be really useful in any negative strategy. A major issue I see is that link chains, especially in ultra-generic 1NC shells, are sometimes really shoddy and rely on a lot of jumps in logic to be true. The more specific your evidence is to the link chain (i.e. impact threshold, timeframe), the better your DA will be able to withstand attacks. Link specificity always > generic links.
Unless you argue otherwise, I will default to the aff if the CP provides no clear net benefit. I really love CPs, and I love when they are used in combination with DAs. There is a lot of potential for you to make links to DAs to the plan, the perm, or even the CP, especially apart from impact debate.
On perm debate, make sure the perm is actually clear instead of just saying perm do both. Perm debates are really great when either side can provide evidence about what it would look like.
Ks / K Affs --
I was never much of a K debater in high school, but I have since gotten familiar with some literature. Probably not the best idea to run high-level Ks in front of me, especially if you don't want to explain the basic terminology.
Also, be clear about the impact of your K, and what the alt does. It's up to either side how to weigh the impacts, but it gets messy when one side is talking about fiat and the other is talking about impacts in round. Like I said, I am a policymaker by default, so be sure to give me an ROB to explain how and why I should vote outside of that paradigm.
I like Ks the best when they provide a meaningful and specific criticism of the affirmative/resolution, and can elaborate what that means for the debate. You don't always have to win alt solvency to win the K flow.
When running a K be sure to explain the method, especially if you are going for an in-round/a priori method.
K affs are cool when they provide a meaningful critique of the resolution and interact with framework in a way that is consistent with the thesis. I think K affs are most vulnerable to the fairness/education voters on FW, so you will need to have good answers to this when running a K aff.
Framework + Theory --
Like with T, I love FW and T because they let you lay out what you think debate should be and why. You can tell me how to prioritize arguments, which ones to reject, or why to vote down the other team. There is a lot of freedom here so feel free to put them out there, as long as you can argue against your opponents and prove what impact it has and why (theory should probably be run if your opponent has already been abusive or if the possibility of abuse is particularly high).
I am generally tech > truth so if your opponents bring up an argument about procedure that doesn't favor you, make sure to answer it, and tell me why I should reject it.
I think case arguments can go largely ignored in policy-centric rounds, except for impact calc + framing. I love when case issues are included in the debate, because it creates a mix of offense and defense that I much prefer to straight offense. Solvency is a big thing for me; often, it's hard to decide on alone, but it can really go a long way to helping your case.
I don't really like conditional negs where the arguments are all over the place. I also don't like when the 1NC has about 7 off case only for most of them to be dropped by the 2NR because the neg is going for whatever their opponent drops. These often overlap, so please make sure your negative case is clear, substantive, and (mostly) cohesive. I am not against dropping arguments, and I'm never going to automatically vote you down for doing that, but it is usually obvious when it is a core part of your neg strat, and I will probably rule that it's unfair if it's brought up.
I'm going to vote, to the best of my ability, solely on what is presented to me in the 2AR and 2NR. I will flow the whole round and try to include constructive feedback from the whole debate, and I will base my speaker points/rankings off the debate as a whole, too. But I cannot vote on an argument that was extended into the 2AC and never brought up again.
-- Under this same vein, if you tell me to drop your opponent's argument because they didn't extend something/they didn't bring it up in the rebuttal, I'll probably do just that.
-- Also, please extend your evidence into as many speeches as you can. It makes the debate a lot messier if cards only pop up every other speech, and I will usually defer to the team that points out that your evidence wasn't extended in the speech before.
Speed is mostly fine, I'll follow along and I want evidence to read along to what you have. I won't intervene into the evidence unless the debate comes down to a single card that has been contested without good response from either side.
I love clash, and I love when debaters tell me why to prefer their card on an issue. I don't need an appeal to authority, I usually prefer you to look at the warrants of evidence or the link chain of an argument and tell me why you think their evidence shouldn't be considered, and why yours should.
Solorio Academy HS '19
-Tech over truth
-No judge kick
-quality over quantity of evidence
-default my paradigm as a policymaker but open to all arguments
-clash is key to any good debate
-Neg gets presumption
-email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Short background about me: I debated for Solorio academy(Chicago) for four years. I debated in both the UDL and national circuit. I ran mostly policy through the first half of my career, however my junior and senior year my partner and I became more flex. With that being said, I have debated the most sketchy counterplans all the way to postmodern Ks. I am not familiar with the new topic, my knowledge solely comes from judging so you must provide substance in your debates rather than just jargon.
Affs- K affs: Although I always liked and read Ks, I find it really hard to read K Affs. Not about understating, rather how they are used. Hence, when you read a K AFF do not just stand up and explain what is that you are criticizing but also explain the utility of the aff itself. Make sure to implicitly describe the need to not use a plan, and the need to have the discussions that are being had, because otherwise i will likely lean neg on framework. I genuinely don't have a preference for any form of affirmation of the resolution, you can do any form of performance in front of me.
-By any means feel free to run any aff that you want in front of me.
Ks- I want to hear a good explanation of it, defended well, also explain why it matters more than any other arguments in the round. How the alt solves better ..how the K fw suits best for the round...how it outweighs the aff..how it is a issue in the world of the debate round and the real world, etc. Neg, in order to have weight of the K trough the round, articulate a link, wait, articulate MULTIPLE links on the K, without a link you can't win K. Go beyond the techy sutff and K jargin and go further on, expand on the literature authors and their ideas, and connect them to the debate round, to engage not only with the people in the round, but to orient yourself as debater. In other words have a cohesive understanding of the K. Preference wise, even though I have been policy most of my debate career (so far), I do read K literature on my spare time, so with that being said, I am knowledgeable with Stuff like Wilderson, Sexton, Baudrillard, Agamben. The evidence of the kritik should be pretty extensive and well Also, I encourage to defends a solid solvency mechanism aka a strong alt, otherwise, I view myself judging a non-unique disad. Having a solid alternative is literally the most compelling thing when leveraging a framework and the impacts of a link because it makes it easy for me as a judge to prefer it over any fiated plan. With that being said I don't like voting for kritiks with weak alternatives, because I view it as a burden of the neg to prove how the alt overcomes the link story and the premise highlighted in the kritik, well at least explain how they substantially change the sqou described in the world of the K. Overviews are nice when making the extension of the K in the later speeches of the debate, however be aware of how long it's going to be, should be no more than 45 seconds.
- If you go one off K, do your thing, but a major thing! Learn how to split the block please.
- Any death drive, death good stuff is probably not good in front of me (not with that, nor I like that).
- I probably wont vote for you regardless of how well you defend if you read the following: Time Cube, death good, shreck.
Theory, theory is awesome, theory is the most amazing thing in debate. In my opinion theory debate is underrated and underused in modern debate. However if you are reading theory make it interesting. That being that I love theory on CP debates.
Regarding T, CPs, DAs, etc make sure no nonsense argument to waste time. By that I refer to, run an argument you are comfortable with and don't run random arguments just to catch the other team off guard ,be very strategic.....
- I am very sympathetic towards condo, because I believe in teams reading plus 6 off just to catch other teams not responding to args. However going for condo just because it was dropped is not enough to win my ballot, there has to be substance regarding as to why condo matters specifically in the context of the round and why it matter overall.
For example....Don't run Baudrillard and a heg DA with a war impact, c'mon, it's pretty self explanatory why not.
CPs- Big fan of consults CPs, Not voting for a counter plan without a net benefit...Also, a MUST when reading a CP, don't just prove how phenomenal a CP is independently, but prove to why the CP is specifically competitive with the Solvency of the Plan. Consider not getting too caught up in the explanation of how the CP works, but rather include comparative analysis to the 1ac, and distinction to the net benefit. Also, yes counterplans could get messy and stuff but overviews are helpful in later speeches in the debate if you want to make the CP a possible 2NR strategy. For AFF teams, theory is phenomenal against counterplans in front of me, I tend to believe that just like the 1ac, the counterplan should be questioned and attacked as much as possible the 1ac. That being by either perms, CP specific DAs, theory, etc.
Multi-plank counterplans are really tricky and fun, however, they could get sketchy, I don't think plank kicking is a thing, you either defend the full counterplan or none of it.
- Functionally competitive CP's are better in my opinion; easier to defend and to debate thoroughly.
Theory on CP's such as agent, delay, or int. fiat probably have some truth value considering how abusive CP's could get, however I don't think that 5-20 second extensions are enough for me to vote for any of the theory arguments on CPs
DAs- Even if I believe your DA is bad/ or non uq, I will still give your 100% risk until proven otherwise.
-Not a fan of the courts DAs, because most of them a false and exaggerated. If you read these, please give me a good link story that is coherent to the aff, thus multiple links make it strong for not only picking fewer in the debate, but using them as case turns if mishandled by the affirmative. Impact analysis along with a strong internal link story will probably be the most important when trying to get my vote because it is up to the aff or neg to either prove why such impacts matter more or less than the others.
-Politics are nice.
T- if you are going for T in the 2NR, you better go for it all 5 minutes, I expect some serious analysis on T if you end up going for it in the 2NR. Definitely a winnable argument considering it is the negatives job to prove that the aff doesn't work/ is not topical to begin with.
- consider having a debate past the interpretation and the "they say-we say" stuff, but prove your voters as being true.
- By default I think reasonability is good, so it's your job to convince me otherwise.
- Set the bar as to why T is an independent reason to not evaluate anything but the argument in the round.
Framework- Awesome!!When reading/going for framework, please have a solid interpretation. Having a vague interpretation makes it hard for me as the judge to validate arguments you claim to solve for. Moreover, when going to framework please engage into a line by line, nonetheless I won't feel convinced that your idea of what debate should be is true or convincing. Why is voting the other team bad for debate? what are the impacts of not having your framework? what makes your framework best for the debate? Please answer these questions when articulating the argument in your speech. Additionally, I don't really buy the "screw debate", "f debate" "debate is bad" framings of debates and rounds. However I do like when frameworks present a challenging paradigm for the round such as "Debate should be a sight of x or y" or "engaging in this form of debate is key because..."
- I also think fairness is not an impact; coming from a small school, it is pretty evident that there is things outside the round that make debate pretty unfair.
Moreover, I find that now days framework debates are very reciprocal..either "aff should defend a hypothetical USFG plan", or "we should test the aff's orientation before anything". Those debates can get boring, try to expand and have creative interpretations, to have clashful and more concise debates. Which overall are way better than having broad big impact debates.
-impact wise...explain how procedural impacts outweigh pre-fiated impacts
Moreover, clash is always the key to a good debate round, thus making it not just educational to you as a debater but to me as a judge too.
In round stuff/Random
- PICs are fine with me but don't be abusive.
-Jokes are nice
-Never make fun of opponent
-Never card clip (although there is some leeway for novices)
-If I suspect any stealing of prep during flashing or w.e, I will be Conor Cameron with time through the rest of the round.
- Remember that debate is not a reading game, it's a thinking game. Thus, warrants win you debates not cards.
-AFF: always disclose affirmative case before the round if asked by the negative team.
Name Chris Gentry
Previous institutional affiliations and role
Appalachian State Debator
Former Coach Hubbard High School
Former Coach Harker Middle School
High school and college debater – graduated college in last 5 years
If you debated what speech did you do most often?
What do you view your role as the judge in the debate? (Possible answers may include: referee, policymaker, tabula rasa, stock issues, capable of effectuating change or educator).
In what ways do you intend this judge philosophy to be helpful to debaters? In other words, what would you hope debaters would do with this philosophy?
I hope they use this judge philosophy to better understand the sorts of debates that I judge, and to get a better understanding for how I receive arguements
Do you take flash time as prep time? In other words, when does prep begin and end with you? Do you expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time?
I expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time, and the end of prep time is determined by the tournament.
Do you have teams provide you speech documents throughout the debate by flashing or emailing them to you? Do you have teams provide speech documents throughout the debate by emailing them to you?
Whatever the team prefers
If you do, why have you adopted this practice? If you do not, have you made a conscious decision not to and if so why?
I think that decision should be made to the debater
What is your normal range for speaker points and why? What can earn extra speaker points for a debater? What can cost speaker points for a debater, even if they win the debate?
I give 25-30 points, 25 being for poor speech, less than 25 for abuse. You can lose points for demonstrated abuse in round or poor treatment of partner or opposition. You can gain points through good responses and effective response strategy
Do you say clearer out loud if a debater is unclear? Is there a limit to the number of times you will say clearer if you do? Do you use other non-verbal cues to signal a lack of clarity?
I will say clearer or louder 3 times.
Do you find yourself reading a lot of evidence after the debate?
Do you evaluate the un-underlined parts of the evidence even if the debaters do not make that an argument?
No, I need the argument to be made for why a thing matters, how it matters, and what it is that matters. I will only read the underlined parts of the evidence if I doubt validity
If you read evidence after a debate, why do you tend to find yourself reading the evidence?
To ensure proper decisions and to confirm accuracy if any cards feel like they are incredible.
What are your predispositions or views on the following:
As long as it is clear and warranted especially on ground loss. I need the impacts to be fully leveled out, and I need there to be solid arguments for fairness impacts.
Theory for the aff versus counterplans and/or kritiks
I definitely prefer critical arguments that are resolution specific versus the generic kritik, however I am fine with the generic kritik as long as you tie it well to your argument and the resolution being debated. I will vote on perm and theory if presented well. I will also vote on topicality for nontopical Aff . That said, I really like critical arguments when they’re not generic and the ideas are clearly articulated. Explain your ideas instead of just throwing terms around. Sure, I may know what the terms mean, but I need to know how you are using them to determine the functionality of the argument. I also think it’s important to not only tell me the importance of (or need for) the interrogation or deconstruction the criticism engages in, but also why should we engage with THIS specific interrogation/deconstruction and what, if anything, it seeks to solve, resolve, change, etc. In other words, don’t drop or omit solvency of the criticism.
Affirmative’s need to read a plan in order to win on the aff:
They don’t need to read a plan but they do need an advocacy that is different than the SQ
Performance teams that use elements other than spoken word (such as songs, dance, poetry, silence) to support their arguments
I find performance based arguments to be not very persuasive unless they are topically specific. I find the nature of debate to be too constricting for performance solvency and I feel like they can be non-uniqued easily.
I don’t buy arguments that your in-round "performance" solved for more than what it might have in the immediate context (if you advocate for suspending the illusion of the debate world). I also hold that the act of debating, criticizing, and advocating itself is a performance, and so you will need to do extra work to justify how and why yours is extra unique. I do think "performance" as critical metaphor can have access to rhetorical solvency, but it's harder for me to access literal solvency. So while I am not biased towards projects or performances so long as they are grounded in some context that is in round, I think they can still be interesting and get a ballot.
What types of debates do you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoy good K v K debates
I enjoy unique critical debates
I also have a large background in policy and love a good old fashion 2 on v 2 off and a cp
University of Chicago '24 (MPP with concentrations in International Development and Urban Policy)
Indiana University '21 (BS in Business Economics & Analytics)
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com. Feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or concerns before/after the debate. Please send me a doc at the end of the debate with the relevant cards referenced in the 2NR/2AR, though do not count on me reading them all. Decision times are tight and I find myself having little to no time to read cards.
I try my best not to let outside knowledge affect my decision of the debate. Overall, you do you and I will work hard to make the best decision I can. If I looked confused during CX/your speech, I probably am and you may want to clarify your point. If you have me for a format other than policy, go to the end.
Spreading - Dial back to 70% of your top speed. I am not actively involved with debate and my ears are slow to adjust. Please be clear on the tags, long blocks/overview, important analytics, or a theory debate so that I can flow it. I don't read along with speech docs since this is a communication activity. I flow on paper so a quick pause in between flows is appreciated.
I will not evaluate re-highlighting that's inserted into the debate. You have to read it in your speech.
Online debate: Please slow down and make sure to adjust your microphones. If the audio is distorted, my ears ring which will cause me to miss arguments and I can't flow. I will try to say "clear" but obviously this can be tough over Zoom.
I'm open to most types of counter plans. I love intuitive CPs that are logically based on 1AC internal links/1AC CX. You should probably have a solvency advocate (or otherwise a defense of why you don't need one).
PICs are cool if they are functionally competitive. Not a big fan of word pics.
I won't automatically judge kick in the 2NR. Please make it explicit if that should be an option, although winning this is an uphill battle.
I'm pretty middle leaning for theory. Condo is probably fair game for the aff after 3ish conditional advocacies. Just slow down on these debates. Otherwise, I default to "reject the argument not the team".
If the neg lies about theory (i.e. says they can't kick planks but still does it), I would encourage affs to capitalize. I will vote against that.
I think affs should be related to the topic. I have a hard time voting for critical affs that don't engage with any topic literature. If you're reading a critical aff, you are better off impact turning framework in front of me instead of going for "we meet". It's strange when teams go for "we meet" and then no link topic DAs.
Not a good judge for you if your strategy relies on debate bad/is a rejection of the activity or your arguments orient around "survival strategy".
Negs should focus on what voting negative means and what my ballot can resolve. Fairness can be an impact or an internal link. TVAs are good (not necessary though) but they need to be specific. I think oftentimes 2Ns say a plan text but never explain how that engages with the aff's literature or why that model of debates is better. TVAs from re-highlighted 1AC evidence are very compelling to me.
Unless you're reading cap or security, I probably am not familiar with your literature. Make sure you slow down in the overview and talk about the specifics of the aff and why your stuff is more important (this includes having a specific impact). Please explain buzzwords or high-theory concepts.
If your overview is more than 30-40 seconds, I'm not the right judge for you. Not a fan of "cloud clash" where the 2N just cross applies the overview to the line by line. I'm fairly sympathetic to the aff in debates (1AR especially) where the neg relies on that strategy.
Something that always annoys me is when teams can't explain their alternatives in CX. You should be able to explain what the world of the alternative looks like and why it's better than the status quo.
I don't think a team needs specific link cards to every argument in the block as long they do specific analyses using historical and contemporary examples of their theory and how it interacts with the aff.
I love a good T debate. Just make sure to have clear impacts, of which fairness can be one. Please slow down and make sure to not go for the "buffet" in the 2NR - pick your best argument and sit on it. And please don't forget the case list, something I think it's underutilized by negs.
Impact calc is important here. Spend some time in the 2NR/2AR on how I should evaluate the impact, turns case, magnitude, etc. The more you write the ballot for me, the easier it is for me to vote for you.
Read uniqueness. If the 2AC says "they didn't read uniqueness so we get new 1AR answers", I'm pretty sympathetic to that.
Politics DAs are cool, especially if there are real topic links. Not a fan of rider DAs or anything of that sort.
I don't have a ton of experience coaching/judging in this format outside of some work at camp. That being said, I'm definitely not a "lay" judge. In terms of judging, please start the beginning of your final speeches with impact calculus and how I should write my ballot. Oftentimes these debates get very messy and it's tough to resolve them. Every argument does not need to be there. Pick your best and sit on it.
Most of my stuff from policy applies here. Like with PF, don't have a lot of experience with it outside of camp. My biggest advice is to focus on narrowing the debate down by the final rebuttals. The cleaner the rebuttals, the easier it is for me to write a ballot.
I competed in the activity for 4 years so please don't treat me like a lay judge. A lot of these thoughts are borrowed from my former coach, Ryan Andersen. For the most part, you do you but a few thoughts/pet peeves I have:
- Evidence should preferably come from peer-reviewed journals, books, & articles. When that's not possible, it should be considered credible and you should be able to defend your source in CX. There seems to be a trend of people quoting random blogs or students who don't have qualifications relative to the debate.
- Don't paraphrase evidence. Please read directly from the article but also make sure to choose the best line or two to save time.
- Focus on the analysis more than the evidence. I think too often people let the evidence do the talking for them and spend much less time on the impacts of a given argument. Explain the short-term and long-term implications of different warrants present in your evidence.
- I find roleplaying introductions/antics to be silly. You all are high schoolers, not actually in congress.
- CX should be spent asking targeted questions about the specific arguments made in the speech. I tend to see a lot of time wasted here by trying to set up a question that's not actually important. I think this is an area where average and excellent debaters can distinguish themselves.
- Every speech after the first affirmative speech should have refutations. These should be as specific as possible. This means not only refuting others by name, but contextualized "line-by-line" style debating where you engage with the substance of why the argument is incorrect. Debaters who are able to do evidence comparison, embedded refutations, etc. are ones that I will rank higher. This is a debate event, not speech, so I would like to see lots of clash.
- If no one is standing up to speak on a bill, move to previous question. This activity can get frustrating (more so in Zoom) when there are a bunch of parliamentary antics (including excessively long recesses) instead of fostering debate
UC Lab 12
Kenwood Academy coach 16-present
jharduvel [@] cps [dot] edu
I do my best to be a blank slate when judging. I am open to any argument as long as it is debated well. Please make sure that your analytics are clear and flowable. That being said, here are my views on various issues that may come up.
Performance Affs: I enjoy performance affs so long as you are able to provide a solid reason for your framework and specifically why either switch side debate is bad or why your position should not just be neg ground.
Topicality and Theory: I see topicality and theory as gateway issues and enjoy these debates so long as they include clash, comparative analysis, and impacts just like any other part of the debate. I will default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise and am persuaded by topical versions of the aff. I cannot emphasize enough that if you are going to go for topicality or theory, it needs to get ample time in your speeches or I will not have enough to vote on.
Kritiks: The K was probably my favorite argument to go for as a debater but that does not mean that I am predisposed to voting for the K or that I am not equally comfortable judging policy arguments. I prefer when debaters are specific on the link and alternative debates, and when they go for arguments like the K turns case or is a DA to case instead of vague impacts. I also believe that the K should have a stable alternative.
Counterplans: I particularly like aff-specific counterplans. Generic counterplans are fine but I am sympathetic to aff theory arguments against PICs, consult CPs, and process CPs. On the permutation debate, I tend to lean neg and assume risk of a link to the net benefit (unless I am told otherwise, of course).
Disadvantages: Nothing really noteworthy to add here. I like DA debates particularly when they are structured, well-impacted, clash-heavy, and explained in detail. Specific link stories are appreciated. I don't judge a lot of tech-y policy debates so you are going to have to have an effective overview in the last speeches.
Dropped Arguments: I will presume that any drop arguments are true if you make that claim. However, I will not vote for undeveloped arguments even if they are dropped. For example, if the neg drops "conditionality is a voter--kills fairness and education," you will need to expand on that significantly in later speeches for me to vote on it.
Speaker Points: I reward line-by-line, comparative impact calculus, clash, creative argumentation, explanation of warrants, and smart analytics. I will deduct speaker points for oppressive language or arguments, rudeness, being purposefully evasive in cross-ex, excessive interruptions of your partner, and ethical violations. Clipping cards or refusing to provide the other team with access to your cards are serious violations, and I will deduct speaker points accordingly whether the other team points these issues out or not.
Decisions: I would really rather decide the debate without reading evidence unless it is absolutely necessary (for example, comparing two definitions on T). I prefer that debaters engage in nuanced evidence comparison. In your final speeches, you should be explaining the big picture, isolating the key question(s) of the debate, and impacting your arguments. That makes my decision easier, makes me happier, and also makes me more likely to defer to your framing of the debate. I will provide as much feedback as I can about the debate as a whole, the individual speeches, and specific arguments that came up (or should have). I always welcome questions!
Matt Harms, Chicago, IL
I was a former policy debater in Illinois in the early 2000s (Pontiac Township High School), attended SDI for policy debate camp, and competed four years as a policy and parli debater in college (Truman State University). I was a typical 2A/1N and MG/LO debater in those years. The 2022-2023 year is my first time judging competitive debate since NPDA college nationals in late 2000s. I currently work in early-stage biotechnology/cancer drug development and my college/grad school background is in economics/finance and business.
- I am pretty tabula rasa. Everything is up for debate, including the rules underpinning the activity itself. Tell me the order in which I should evaluate arguments, including kritiks, topicality, case debate, counterplans, DAs and more. The round is ultimately yours.
- I tend to evaluate rounds through a net benefits lens unless told otherwise. More than anything, especially in the 2NR/2AR, solve the round for me. Weigh out your individual wins/losses throughout the debate and why you net out in the end as the winner. I love nothing more than people who can objectively identify their losses and then weigh those against their wins.
- Give me line-by-line clash in a debate. Do the work for me. Make my flowing easy for me.
My individual preferences are below, but these are just that—preferences. The round is ultimately yours; debate how you would like.
Speed: Back in the old days, we certainly went fast but my pen is not as fast as it once was. Please slow down considerably on your tags, cites, plan text, and short fast warrants/analytics at least, and in general, I think good debate should probably dial back the speed a bit. I don't like having to flow a round from the Word doc you send by email. If I can't comprehend what you're saying, I'll give two audible "CLEARs" and then just stop flowing the speech if it's still too fast after that. If debate is by Zoom, please dial back the speed a bit more.
Links: The number one type of debate I love is one that utilizes strong evidence-based links in DAs/Ks/CPs to the case and topic. Good debate lives or dies on the quality of your link debate in my preference.
Topicality: I generally hate T debate unless it's pretty clear abuse that can be demonstrated. If you open up a T debate, please make it worthwhile and something you plan on taking to the end.
Kritiks: Have at it, but the theory underpinning them should make sense to explain, link to the debate round at hand, and have a clear way to evaluate them all within the confines of the debate round. You MUST utilize real world examples in a theory-heavy debate to help an old-timer like me be able to conceptualize how the theory truly would unfold in a real world setting. Otherwise, it's just theory vs. theory and that's tough for someone who may not be as grounded in the K material as you all have been.
K vs K rounds: I struggle with debates like these, unless it is 100% crystal clear how they each link to one another. A flurry of "ism's" back-and-forth is difficult debate for me to digest and judge for you. If that's how the round unfolds, I will do my best to sort through the theory so clarity of message and real world grounding of each side of the K is critical for me to vote your way.
Performance: Same stance as kritiks, it has to make sense for the topic and the round at hand. You must explain why the performance is key to solving the case or topic.
Counterplans: I love 'em. PICs are up for debate within the round. If the neg. runs a PIC, the aff. can't just shout that it's not allowed. Explain the abuse, explain the unfairness, explain why it matters. I find myself voting aff. quite frequently on perm debates, recently. I find arguments about sequencing plan/CP actions interesting and the impact that has on case/offcase net benefits.
Speaker points: Short of something crazy happening, I tend to be 26-29.
After the round: I prefer to give immediate feedback and disclose my vote, unless the tournament guidelines say otherwise. I rarely ask for evidence after the round unless a team calls into question the validity of the evidence.
Any other questions, please ask me before the round. More than anything, have fun!
Current Affiliation: None
Conflicts (Please list any past associations you’ve had with a school/organization in the last 3 years--i.e coaching, debating and/or attending): I’ve judged for several different schools. I coached and debated for Lincoln Park HS.
Debate Experience: Three years high school debate experience, attended summer institutes at Emory, Northwestern and Dartmouth. I have been a debate coach for one year. I currently judge tournaments off and on and won’t know topic intimately.
DISADVANTAGES: I enjoy politics DA. Every DA needs to tell a solid link story (incl. Internal Link), generic links being less convincing.
TOPICALITY and THEORY: More persuaded by arguments of education than fairness. Team usually needs to prove in-round abuse or loss ground for me to vote on fairness. I find reasonability counter-standards to often be convincing. Teams must commit significant time to T or theory arguments in rebuttals for it to become a voting issue.
COUNTER PLANS: If decent theory arguments are made, I inclined to vote down PICs and Consult CPs. I’m not a fan of Conditional/Dispositional debates and rarely vote down a team because of it. I tend to find CPs without a spelled out plan text abusive.
KRITQUES: Links and internal links need to be clear. I prefer the alternatives to be thoroughly discussed. If K lacks an alternative then I need to know the role of the ballot. Framework and “Role of the Ballot” needs to always be competitive (e.g., should not simply be “vote against the plan”).
KRITICAL AFFIRMATIVES: I am open to K Affirmitives, but the more radical they are, the more Affirmitive must define their interpretation of policy debate. Affirmitive must have prepared response for what the Negative can potentially run against the case.
MISCELLENEOUS: I’m a bit old-school in preferring to see debaters standing up, and looking at the judge during cross-x. Tag team is allowed, but partner of debater being questioned should not dominant the responses. Please be nice and respectful in asking/giving evidence, referring to the other team and conducting C-X, otherwise I can deduct speaker points. If I need to read cards/evidence as a judge then the debaters are doing something wrong.
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: I debated for 4 years at Northside College Prep in Chicago, Illinois. I went to workshops over the summer including the Chicago Debate Summer Institute, DDIx, and DDI. I'm currently debating at Harvard. My debating experience is all with policy debate, but I have judged public forum as well.
I am open to all types of debate - DA, CP, T, K, theory - go for it.
Instances of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc will not be tolerated.
I will vote you down if you are egregiously clipping.
Please be nice to one another! Debate should be an enjoyable activity that you are continuously learning from :)
Hi. I debated at Glenbrook North HS in Northbrook for 4 years, 1.5 in policy and 2.5 in LD. I was the LD coach at Loyola Blakefield HS in Baltimore for 3 years followed by being the debate coach for Chicagoland Jewish HS in Deerfield, IL, New Trier HS in Winnetka/Northfield, IL, Bronx Science, Beacon HS in Manhattan, the director of debate at Mamaroneck HS in Mamaroneck, NY and currently the director of debate at South Shore International College Prep in Chicago. I've also worked at multiple debate camps and have been a private coach for multiple debaters. Trust me, I've seen it all.
Last updated 9/9/23. Reorganized some stuff because I basically just coach/judge policy now.
I'm fine being on email chains but I'm not posting my email publicly. Just ask before the round.
I will vote on any argument, in any weighing mechanism provided. I do not discriminate, I'm find with speed (though sometimes my flowing can be bad), fine with theory, fine with kritiks, whatever you want to do. It's your round, not mine have fun with it.
-Extensions are key! Every extension needs to have the word extend/pull through the flow/or similar wording attached to it. Then it needs to have a warrant for what is being extended, finally the extension needs an impact back to the weighing calculus. If that is the value/value criterion mechanism then it needs to impact back to the VC that is being used for the round. If that is some other mechanism, it needs to be impacted to that weighing mechanism (theory means voters I guess). That weighing mechanism and the warrants for the mechanism should be extended (In a v/vc model the vc should be extended along with the argument). If these things are not done then the arguments will not be evaluated in the same depth and I might not give you credit, or as much credit, for an argument that you may have clearly won on the flow. I guess in simpler terms I have a high threshold for extensions. Also, when extending please extend along with the warrant please compare your arguments to other arguments. The best extensions are not just argument extensions but have comparative weighing along with the arguments.
-Evidence is not inherently preferable for analytics absent some argument for why I should prefer that specific piece of evidence over a generic analytic. Debaters are smart and well researched on the topic (usually) and so should be able to have a command of what is going on equal to/greater than a lot of experts. Trust yourself and talk about why you are correct instead of some rando newspaper writer who has probably done less research than what goes into the typical 1AC.
- WEIGH! One of the things I'm almost always unsure of after a round is which argument to evaluate first. Do I look to the Disad, the spike, the contention 1? Most debate rounds involve multiple arguments that could "come first" and people telling me the order in which to evaluate arguments and which arguments are more important makes my life easier. It also means you'll be more likely to win because the argument that you're saying is most important/comes first is probably also the one that you're winning the most. WEIGH! Seriously WEIGH!
On Non-T affs:
You ought pretend to be topical. Topicality means different things to different people and I think that the topic and what topicality means can change in debate and in different debates. However, the aff should claim that they are talking about the topic. How they make that claim or whether that claim is true can be (and should be!) contested in the round.
Feel free to come up to me at any tournament and ask me questions about anything, I can't guarantee you a great answer but I can guarantee that I will try to respond.
Things I've noticed about my preferences for debate: (This is just a list of things I like, none of these are necessary to win a round but they do affect my judging)
- I tend to prefer debaters who debated similarly to how I debated. What does this mean? I debated in an old school national circuit LD style. On the aff that meant a very broad criterion with mutually exclusive contentions that I tried to kick out of as much as possible (usually at the end of the 2AR, I had one contention and maybe framework). On the neg, it meant a short NC, no more than 2 minutes, with extensive analytical responses to the aff. While it might not help you win the round, debate has changed a lot, it will help your speaker points.
- I like a 2AR that isn't on the flow. What does this mean? The 2AR should be more of a story speech that merely references the flow. A lot of weighing/crystallizing or time on voting issues.
-I like even/if stories. They tend to make the round clearer and make my life easier.
-LD debaters need to stop saying "we" when referring to themselves. You are a singular human being and not one half of a partnership. If you say "we" while referring to yourself you will lose 0.1 speaker points. I will also interrupt your speeches to ask "who is we?" Be prepared.
-I'm a leftist politically. Property rights arguments and other capitalist arguments are not particularly persuasive to me and I don't like hearing them. That doesn't mean I won't vote on them, it just means if you have something else it's probably a good idea to run it.
-I presume coinflip. That means if I can't find any offense or way to vote I will flip a coin to decide the round. I have done this quite a few times and never want to do it again but I'm not afraid to do it and if I think your round warrants it, a coinflip will happen. (That said the only times I've done it has been in rounds where there have been on offense by either side so as long as offense exists I will not flip a coin).
-I like philosophy, I am a philosophy major. That said I'm not good at flowing it, especially when spread at the beginning of the speech. So if you do read philosophy slow down a little bit so that I can catch your arguments.
-Going off that last point, my major is in continental philosophy; which means I take classes on all those critical authors you've wanted to use in rounds. Kritiks are wonderful! If you know what are you talking about, please run them in front of me. Ks do not need an alt, though it is preferable. Make sure to understand the interactions between your position and the position of what your opponent is running. Also just because your opponent is running a K does not mean you lose the round.
- Please start the AC/NC with I affirm/I negate. It doesn't take away from your word economy and it gives me a second to "catch up" and get used to your spreading/debating voice so that I don't miss your first argument. You don't need to re-state the resolution though, that's unnecessary.
-Something most debaters forget is that as a judge I do not look to see what you are reading while you are reading it. I don't read the cards on the email chain until after the round. Therefore, be more specific in signposting then off the Martin card 1..2..3 etc. Don't just say Martin, say what Martin said as well, because I might not have gotten the author name Martin but I got the argument s/he made. Also, be clear about where Martin is on the flow. If Martin is a contention 1 card, say that she is in contention 1. Virtual/Computer debate note: I do ask to be on the email chain but I don't read the cards on the chain until after the round so this still applies.
- Policy style arguments have started to come more and more into LD and people like running them in front of me. That's fine, I really like them. However, if you are running them you also take on policy-style burdens. For example, if you read a plan then you have to fulfill the 4 criteria of the HITS (if you don't know what that is, you shouldn't be running a plan. Also, considering the last person to lose on significance was Tom Durkin in the 1978 NDT, significance doesn't matter anymore). Most importantly, is that policy has a status quo whereas LD does not. That means that you need to orally give me the dates of evidence! If you're running a DA I need to know that the uniqueness is actually unique, if it's a plan that the inherency is actually inherent etc. Evidence without dates on it means that I won't give you credit for uniqueness or inherency claims that you need in the debate round. If your opponent points out that you didn't read those dates then I will give zero credit for any uniqueness/inherency claim and assume that your evidence is from 1784 and take away any offense that is based off of that plan/DA (I will also give said opponent at least a 29). So make sure to tell me those dates!
- I've recently read A LOT of social movement theory and have also been actively been involved in crafting strategy for a social movement. This has made me significantly more wary of most kritik alternatives. Kritik alts either make no sense, are not realistic, would never be adopted by wide ranging social movements, or are actively harmful to spreading social movements. It won't change how I vote, if the alt is won, but it does mean that common sense arguments against K alts will be considered more important. But if you look at my earlier stuff from Ks you'll see that I don't even think an alt needs to be read, so, you know, think about that risk.
- A priori/pre-standards arguments/other tricky-esque nibs. If you are losing everything else on the flow I need a reason to uniquely prefer your 3 sentences over the rest of the flow. If that does not happen I will find it very hard to vote for you over somebody else who is winning the rest of the round. Not that I won't evaluate the argument at all it will just be weighed against the rest of the round and if someone else is winning the rest of the round I will vote for the person winning the majority of the round. In simpler words if you go for an a priori, go for it hard. I'm not going to buy it simply because it is dropped.
- Metaethics. I used to have a long screed about metaethics here. It's been deleted (you can read it on the back edits if you're really interested) as I've decided that, while I agree still with what I said before, meta-ethics are being used a lot better by debaters so that it doesn't apply as much. I do think meta-ethics have a place in debate but they need to be used properly. Basically, meta-ethics cannot be used as a "magic wand" to get out of framework debate. You still need to provide an ethic to meet your meta-ethic. Just saying my meta-ethical util comes before your ethical deont haha! is not enough. Language might be indeterminate but that doesn't mean we default to util (or deont) unless it's justified.
Since everybody asks me about how I evaluate theory here it is:
I don't mind theory, I will vote on it and I will vote on it in cases where I think no actual abuse has occurred or even times where the argument itself is patently non-abusive. But before you rush to pull out your three theory shells, I really don't like voting on it. Moreover, of all the decisions where people have argued with me after the round, 2/3 of them are because of theory. My paradigm seems to be different than other judges so I would say run theory at your risk. Now of course you're asking why is my paradigm different? Simple because I don't default to a monolithic competing interpretations framework, you don't need a counter-interp/RVI/etc. to win theory (though it is helpful and in a case of offense vs. no offense I'm going to default to offense). I'm not as technical on theory as other judges, simply saying my argument is not abusive, drop the argument not the debater, or even talking about reasonability will probably be enough to convince me to not vote on theory. In other words, I default to reasonability, though will be persuaded otherwise. Also, in a round between two equal theory debaters or even a round where both debaters have competent theory blocks, theory turns into a crapshoot (which, by the way, is most theory rounds) so while I will do my best to sort through it that doesn't mean my decision won't be somewhat random.
Also, I guess most LD judges don't evaluate theory this way so I should point this out. If you only go for theory in the NR/2NR or 2AR then the affirmative/negative does not need a RVI to win the theory debate because the only offense at the end of the round is on theory which means that I am merely evaluating who did the better theory debating and not worrying about substance at all. The RVI only comes into play if there is a contestation of substance AND theory at the end of the debate.
I will vote on any argument, in any weighing mechanism provided. My main philosophy is it's your round not mine so do what you want. I think a lot of how I judge policy is probably transferred from LD so look there for good stuff. One caveat to that, if there is something that seems very specific to LD (like saying "we" for example) do not bring that into a policy context.
Obviously I have some caveats for that:
First and foremost is that LD is most of what I've debated and coached. Though policy kids have this outdated version of what LD is, there is now every argument in policy in LD also with extra stuff too! I am fine with speed etc. Don't worry about that but I'm still a LDer at heart so be prepared. I've been mostly coaching policy since 2018 or so meaning that I've caught on to a lot more of the nuances of policy debate. At this point I coach more policy than LD so this is changing.
The other important take away is that social conventions of what you can and cannot do in LD and policy are slightly different. For example, RVIs in LD are not joke arguments but made in almost any theory round (though I don't like RVIs in policy). LD does not have the concept of overviews in the same way as policy and what is considered "line by line" is very different. I've been able to figure out most of these biases but occasionally I'll mess up. Just be aware.
I default to reasonability on T and theory issues.
I don't know why this has become a thing but apparently people don't say AND or NEXT after finishing cards in the 1AC or 1NC. You still need to do that so that I know when to flow.
Utilitarianism is moral philosophy that evaluates the morality of actions based on the consequences. This means that small scale/structural violence impacts are utilitarian because we care about the consequence of structural violence. Stop saying these arguments are not utilitarian or answering them as if they are not utilitarian. They are.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Don´t care what you read in front of me.
Time your own speeches.
IHSA 2022 Update:
Debate Philosophy: Generally, I default to voting for the team that has done the better debating, in terms of proving the merit of the arguments they make against some comparative (opponent's arguments, status squo, resolution, etc.). Offense is good, and I normally vote for the team that has more offense.
UK Digital Speech & Debate #2 Edit:
What debaters should do more of: give roadmaps, sign post, slow down on taglines, do impact calculus/weigh, do line-by-line analyses, compare evidence, collapse on key args in final rebuttal speeches, and say why you are winning/get the ballot (write my ballot for me)
What debaters should avoid doing: spreading through overviews and theory shells (if need to spread please send out a doc), saying they have proved something to be true, bringing up that something was dropped/conceded without explaining why it matters or is a critically important to evaluating/framing the round, jumping all over the flow (please sign post so I can accurately flow/ keep track of your arguments), and sending out speech docs that can't be downloaded or copied from. ALSO please no postrounding and no sending me emails before a round is scheduled to occur nor after a round has occurred, as judges are not allowed to have contact with debaters except during a round.
Kritiks I like to hear: Afropess/antiblackness, cap, set col, afrofuturism
I am a constrained ethical policymaker for novices.
-Constrained: Topicality is a real issue. (Other theory arguments may also be acceptable - they should reflect policy processes or limitations.)
Note that this means that agent counterplans where there can exist no decision-maker who could choose between the plan and the counterplan are on theoretically shaky ground, and will be harder to convince me to vote for them. (Many international agent counterplans fall into this boat).
-Ethical: Moral obligations or reasoning can motivate my decision-making
-Policymaker: I want to choose the best policy action at the end of the round. Kritiks that operate at the policy-level are acceptable (and must include a policy-level alternative that does more than rethink or reject - you don't have to advocate specific policy actions, but your alternative must express policy goals or programs that could or should be advocated under the K).
I am close to Tabula Rasa. Some caveats related to that:
-You can't access my knowledge - you may assume I have a 9th grade education and read a newspaper regularly. Anything more complicated than that will need to be explained in clear unjargonated language or I will pretend I didn't understand you.
-Teams have an obligation to make complete arguments. Arguments which are not complete in the speech they first appear are dead. The opposing team should point out how they're incomplete, but if I notice on my own I will stop flowing that argument and treat it as if it didn't happen. (This is usually as blatant as failing to argue an impact or a link, but if a team demonstrates and wins there's a logical failure caused by a missing internal link, it will kill the argument). Note that arguments can still be built upon with new impacts/harms and links later, but they must represent a logically complete and coherent argument when they first appear.
-You need to tell me how to weigh the round, especially when there's something more interesting than standard Cost-benefit analysis.
-I will vote to fulfill winning Role of Ballot/Judge or Moral Obligations as my means of determining the outcome of the round, regardless of which team that leads me to vote for.
That said, I tend to lean particular ways on certain arguments:
Topicality - I am sympathetic to Topicality arguments against blatantly untopical cases. Which doesn't mean I will always vote on T in such cases (I've certainly voted for plenty of such Affs in the past), but the affirmative will have an uphill climb if the negative argues it well. I find TVA arguments especially persuasive in such cases. (See also Kritiks - some of that applies to K Affs as well).
For any T argument, if you want my ballot on it, you need to win the interpretation/violation, give a good explanation of the impacts (voters), and win some standards which prove your interpretation solves the impacts. This stuff can get developed in the block, but just extending a shell isn't going to do it.
CPs - I love in-depth CP debates where the CP is directly responsive to the affirmative case. The CP has to make sense relative to the Aff, and has to have a valid process. The more specific the CP to the Aff, the better.
-Court CPs: The Supreme Court decides what the law is (Marbury v. Madison). I need a court CP to do this - it has to give a decision which explains the law, and then apply it in a way that works as a CP to the Aff. This is hard and it should be - SCOTUS is not magic. I will also find it much easier to vote for a Court CP which can specify the case taken up and ruled on. (Note these things apply to Court Affs as well).
-XO CPs: Need to prove the president has the power to specifically do plan
-Foreign Actor CPs: I'm a little leery of these, and the aff will have a lot of theoretical leeway in perming these.
Kritiks - I require a K to clash substantively with the aff.
-I will not vote for a K that is merely 'reject' or 'rethink'. The alt needs to be an actual alternative to the world of the plan. (A K Aff needs to lead to actions in the world at some point). I need to be able to understand how someone will or can live in such a world.
-I will generally not vote for PIKs. The K must cause me to vote no on the Plan specifically, or I will vote aff. (The Plan is the necessary point of clash and conflict for the K). (I will make exceptions for Ks which are basically asking me to punish behavior by the affirmative team in the round, but the behavior must be truly egregious, and I'll treat it at the level of a theory violation).
-I will not buy 'they didn't talk about / do anything about X' sorts of links. The aff itself has to link in an immediate and visceral way.
-I can easily be persuaded to be skeptical about links of the form 'plan is a part of X, X causes impact Y', especially when 'X' is a term whose definition varies wildly between authors. This is especially likely to come up with things like the Cap or Neolib and similar Ks. Much better if you can link things like plan to the impact directly, rather than relying on some general 'Plan is Cap, Cap causes the impact' type of argument. (More generally, I'm very open to more nuanced explanations of the evidence and the world over black and white depictions).
-The aff always gets to weigh plan action against the alternative. If the K happens at a discursive level (in-round voters), the aff should argue the discursive benefits of advocating for the Plan.
-I am skeptical of 'in-round solvency'. If you want to make such a claim, I need evidence that it actually works. Not just unwarranted claims it will or should work, but empirical evidence it does. (This definitely applies to K Affs as well).
-The purpose of reading evidence is to bring in testimony about the real world. But reading other people making argument doesn't add anything to the debate round, and generally involves long jargon-laden texts. I would vastly prefer if K debaters skipped reading cards from philosophers and made the argument themselves (preferably with little-to-no jargon). Do please still read evidence for any empirical claims you need to prove. Note also that Ks are especially likely to lack important internal link arguments (because they're snipping tiny amounts of text out of large bodies of work), and making the argument on their own would help debaters make complete arguments.
I have strong feelings about evidence integrity in debate.
Evidence which is blatantly misrepresented will be treated as if it has not been read. This can cause arguments to fail outright (see arguments must be complete in their first speech), and I will invoke this even if it is not argued. Teams should still endeavor to point these things out - I'm not infallible. (Evidence which is well spun will not be penalized - the key difference is the original article must leave open the possibility of the interpretation argued).
Note for CDL debaters: the Stall '16 card in the 2018-19 core files is blatantly misrepresented (Cap K link against Refugee cases). Find another link.
If debaters notice other harms to evidence integrity, they should definitely bring them to my attention.
I tend to find cohesive negatives stronger than negatives which just toss out a ton of things. I tend to think negatives should advocate the CP or K Alt. I tend to find contradictory positions to decrease persuasiveness. (None of these are hard and fast rules)
At the end of the round, I'm generally looking for a comparison between two worlds, and I want to choose the better world. While 'better' is something the debaters can and should argue about, more depth and detail about the worlds being compared is a huge plus persuasively.
hii I'm Ivette I'm a high school debater and im very happy to be judging !!.
what I look for is good clash and a cx that will help the team win I'm pretty big on having something that makes me excited to hear about and I hope the neg can do that with their off-cases.
k: YES but explain well so it can be understood
T: it's fine but you'll have to debate it very well for me to vote on it
CP: I love a good cp again you'll have to really tell me why we can't perm
DA: if it's with a really good cp ill love it.
I do want the aff or neg team to tell me why they must win I want to be told a story on why if I don't pick the team something horrible will happen
I also LOVE impact calc !!!
overall have fun and be kind to one another
Policy Debate at NU '25
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will vote for any argument given better technical execution.
My preferred name is Jay
+ Spreading is very much welcomed!
+ Any type of case is acceptable so long as it's ok with CDL
+ Signposting is very important
I will vote on T if it's dropped. Don't drop any big cases. Be kind, respectful, and quiet during your partner's/opponents speeches AND PREP TIME. Feel free to keep track of your time, I will be taking time on your first word.
Please include me on any email chain (especially if you're spreading):
Affiliations: Middleton HS, Northwestern
michaellee32164 (at) gmail (dot) com - email open at any time for email chain, questions about the round or any accommodation requests
- will vote on any argument given better technical execution
- ideologically neutral
- explain perms at least a little bit in the 2ac
- i'll have the doc open during your speech but i won't read the evidence until after the debate
- tech > truth, exceptions below
- collapse collapse collapse collapse collapse collapse collapse collapse collapse
- YOU ARE A LEGEND if you use email chains and send speech docs before
- i like when debaters cut their own evidence
- second rebuttal should frontline
arg prefs (for pf):
- default until opposing argument is introduced: topic debate good, plans/cp bad, human lives first, paraphrasing ok, reasonability > comp. interps, util good, fairness is an impact
- absolute (will pretend i didn't hear): no tricks, no death good, no oppression/discrimination good, no rvis
- i'll round up if the tournament doesn't allow decimals
29.5+: exceptional clarity or strategy that can't be consistently repeated, even by the best debaters
29.4: no mistakes, one of the best speakers in the tournament, best performance that can be consistently repeated
29.0-29.3: 90th percentile speaking, very few strategy errors or moments of unintelligibility
28.7-28.9: above average, no major strategic blunders or gaps in clarity
28.4-28.6: solid performance
28.1-28.3: room for improvement
27.6-28.0: major strategic blunders or gaps in clarity in half of the debate
27.1-27.5: major strategic blunders or gaps in clarity throughout the entire debate
27 MAX: did something to make experiencing the debate terrible (excessive rudeness, stealing unreasonable amounts of prep, going 30 seconds past time, etc.)
LOWEST POSSIBLE: did something to endanger people in the room or otherwise ethically reprehensible
thanks for taking the time to read! put something funny or a picture of a cute animal at the top of the speech doc and i'll boost speaks
Spreading is fine, please be sure to slow down on the tagline and when quoting evidence so I can properly flow the arguments in the round. I also recommended that debaters share the files before each speech just in case I miss anything on flows during the speeches. I also do not recommended fully spreading in the rebuttal rounds.
I am very traditional when it comes to policy debate and my judging style is very straight forward. If you are Aff please convince me how the Aff solves for its impacts. Be very cautious to extend solvency and impacts throughout the round. I would also recommended an overview at the beginning of the second affirmative speech.
Neg team should be careful not to be abusive and run frivolous off case arguments only as a time advantage. When there is multiple off case arguments in a round, the neg needs to let me know what they want me to vote on. Make sure all off case arguments have the components needed to win, a disked needs a strong link and impact and a counter-plan needs to have a net benefit for me to vote on it.
I am open to non traditional Affs but are very hesitant to vote on them if they are not ran properly or explained in a way that I am able to understand. I think it is very important for the team to explain to me why running non traditional Aff is a better move than policy. Other than that I am open to all arguments and case types, as long as I have something to vote on at the end of the round. I really enjoy fun and creative K affs. I am very big on solvency and even though an Aff may not be policy it still needs to solve in some way.
Neg teams that run Ks need to do a good job at explaining the K, also if there is an alt , you must convince me how the world of the alt solves and there needs to be very clear explanation. In other words, the alt needs to make since. I do not recommend running a K that you do not fully understand, it will likely cause you to lose the round.
I assign speech based on the clarity of the debaters in the round and the overall quality of the speeches from each debater. Debaters who are more convincing and strategic are more likely to get higher speaker points.
I sometimes doc speaker points if debaters are rude to each other in cross ex, there is nothing wrong with being aggressive or strategic in cross x but it needs to have a purpose. Let's have fun and be respectful.
Kritiks I like to hear: Afropess/antiblackness, settler colonialism, Security, Cap K, Anarchy
FYI-(Please do not send me emails outside or after a tournament, Judges are only allowed to have contact with debaters during a round.) it’s fine to ask questions after a round on clarification or how to improve but please don’t post round me, especially coaches! Please be respectful. Decisions are final and I’ve already submitted the ballot before giving feedback per tournament rules.
I have no argument preferences.
Add me to the chain - email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org - Yes, I want to be on the email chain. -- please format the subject as "Tournament Name -- Round # -- Aff School AF vs. Neg School NG." Example: "TOC -- Finals -- MBA BM vs. WY MM."
If you have any questions before the round starts, please don't hesitate to ask.
LD specific stuff is at the very bottom.
Hebron '20. Did CX all 4 years. Read K affs/negs sophomore-senior year. 2A Soph, 2N Junior, 2A Senior.
UT Austin '24
Spreading - Yes
Open CX - Yes
No Plan Text (Varsity/JV)- Yes
No Plan Text (Novice) - No
Kritiks - Yes
Disclosure Theory -- Ideally, you'll have some proof of mis/lack of disclosure to make things easier, but I'm willing to vote on it.
Cards in Body of the Email - You get 1 per speech given. If there are more cards than that, then you put them in a document.
If you open-source and do round reports with the details of the 1AC, 1NC, and 2NR, tell me right when the round ends, and I'll increase your speaks by .2 after checking.
I do not keep track of your prep unless you explicitly ask me to and there's some reason you can't do it.
I conceptualize much of debate as who is winning the "framing issue." How do I evaluate offense, what do I prioritize, post fiat or pre-fiat? Answer this question of debate for me, and it'll give you a strong cushion to supercharge your line by line and gives me very simple ways to conceptualize my RFD.
I'll vote on anything, but some things I'm more comfortable evaluating than others. My debate history was entirely Ks, but don't over-adapt to me.
Reconcile what impacts come first or how to weigh them relative to your opponent's.
Speed: In online debate, I simply can not understand unclear spreading as I can in person. This is specifically towards all my 1As out there trying to blitz as much as possible. Sometimes my RFD will just be a very disappointing "sorry, I couldn't hear what was said in [insert speech] because it was too unclear, so I couldn't evaluate the next speech's central argument push" It sucks. I really hate giving that RFD. If you hate listening to it, then be more cognizant of your clarity and slow down before it's an issue. Better I hear a few clear arguments than almost none of a lot of arguments.
If you say something racist or sexist, I reserve the right to drop you and go on about my day.
Look, it's a DA; just extend it properly, please.
Ideally, do not read a soft left DA versus a plan text aff.
Clever counter-plans and PICS are fun. Generics are also fun if run well. I probably lean neg on most CP theory except for consult and solvency advocate.
If a CP text just has "do the aff" or something similar instead of explicitly saying the portion of the aff that the CP is doing, the Aff team can just say "They don't know how to write a plan text. They don't fiat an action - textuality matters so they don't get the part of the CP that claims to do the aff" and that will be sufficient for the aff to win that portion of the CP, or maybe all of it depending on the context.
4-minute overviews make me cry. Case-specific links are great. Generic links are fine and can definitely be won.
I have the most experience with Settler Colonialism, Afropess, Virilio, Heidegger, Cap, and Black Nihilism. However, I also have worked with Ks like Agamben, Baudrillard, Foucault, Security, Queer Theory, Psychoanalysis, etc. That does not mean I will do the work to fill in the analysis for you.
Unfortunately, most framework debates in the 2NR/2AR often become meaningless with a lack of clash. At that point, I functionally default to weigh the aff, but the K gets its links in whatever form they are. If this isn't strategic for you, put the work in and win FW by answering their stuff and not just extending yours.
I'll vote on all the cheaty K tricks like floating PIKS or all in on FW. Similarly, I'll vote on hard right approaches to answering Ks, whether that means going all-in on heg good/impact turning the K.
Root cause arguments are not links. If your only link is just a root cause, then I won't be voting negative.
I seem to judge a fair amount of Wilderson/Warren debates, so here are a few things.
On the state good side -- just winning a list of reforms isn't enough for me. I need to hear a clear counter-theorization of how the world operates and comparative claims to take out social death/equivalent claims. Reforms prove that counter-theorization but don't make a theory itself. This doesn't require reinventing the wheel. Think "progress is possible. institutions are malleable tools of humanity and biases can be overcome."
On the Wilderson/Warren side -- you need to justify your theory of the world rather than rehashing debate's greatest hits. Saying "Jim crow to prison industrial complex" repeatedly does not make a full argument. Ideally, I'll hear some thesis-level explanation, like a few seconds on social death or what the libidinal economy is, rather than just "extend the conceded libidinal economy." The "Jim Crow to PIC" explanation requires the thesis-level explanation to be true.
For both teams -- I've found that I decide most debates by who undercovers ontology/libidinal economy the most. Many arguments on the flow come secondary to winning this and applying it to those other things, so identify what you can afford to give up to make my decision easier. You can still win ontology/metaphysics and lose the debate, but there are fewer scenarios where that's true.
University K's that PIK out of the university or debate suck. Do with that information as you will.
For the negative - I am a bad judge for going for fairness as a terminal impact. So, I'll probably need some external benefit to fairness like clash. Don't read this as me being dogmatically against voting on fairness. Instead, I need an incredibly robust explanation of fairness with significant case mitigation to vote on it. A couple of conditions that the neg ideally meets at least one of for me to vote on fairness as the 2NR terminal impact include:
1. Dropped TVA/Neg is clearly ahead on TVA that solves all of the Aff's offense.
2. The aff has failed to explain a counter-model for what debate is/should be and concedes that debate is only a game with no implication past that.
3. Significant explanation for how fairness implicates and turns aff offense at the level of the aff's explanation, not just generic claims.
4. External offense not within that framework flow that impact turns the Aff's value claims and implicates the Aff's fw offense.
Independent of all that, fairness is a great controlling IL to filter things, so definitely leverage it as a part of other impacts if you go that route.
Ks vs the K aff are cool. A good debate here is realistically one of the top places I'll give high speaks along with impact turns. I default to the aff gets a perm, but feel free to win they don't. Just winning your theory of power isn't sufficient for me to vote negative, but it definitely supercharges link arguments.
Impact turns are great. Feel free just to drop 10 scenarios and challenge the fundamental assumptions of the 1AC.
DAs -- if a K team is trying to be tricky and give you topic DAs. Feel free to go for the DA and CP, but make sure you have case mitigation or some framing device.
For the aff -
You need to either win a) your model is better than theirs or b) their model is really, really bad if you don't have a c/i.
I find myself voting negative in these debates when the Aff fails to give me a framing argument to filter negative offense.
Be ready to defend your solvency mechanism if it is attacked. I need a coherent story about what my voting aff does. Do I signify a good political strategy, does my ballot literally break the system (lol), does it change mindsets, etc. Presumption is persuasive, so don't disrespect it by under-covering it.
I'm not the judge for rounds where you and the opponent agree to have a "discussion" and talk about important issues outside the traditional speech times of debate. These things are likely important, but I don't want to have to decide on something like that. It requires too much judge intervention for my liking. Strike me if this is something you plan on doing. If you do not strike me and this type of round happens, then I am flipping a coin. Heads for the aff. Tails for the neg.
I am not anywhere near the best judge for T. If your A strat is Topicality, then I'd recommend striking me or having me hover around a 4. If you are forced to go for T in the 2NR/answering it the 2AR, then hold my hand through the RFD and explain how things should interact.
If you're put in a position where T is your only option, don't worry and keep the things below in mind.
I default to competing interpretations.
Give me a case list, especially if it's a weirder interp.
Go slower than you would with a DA/K/CP. I find it harder to flow T than other off-cases at high speed.
Make sure you tell me why I should vote for you rather than just have floating offense.
Weird and Random Technical Things:
Speech times are a rule, while things like topicality are a norm. That means I'm willing to entertain a debate about the benefits of topicality/FW vs. a K aff. If you speak over the timer, I will not flow or evaluate what you are saying, even if it is a part of your argumentation.
No, the neg will never get a 3NR.
I greatly dislike completely new 1AR cards if the argument was made in the 1NC and dropped in the 2AC. There is a big gray area here for what it means to be "dropped," but you should be able to realize what is abusive or not.
Off-case positions should be clearly labeled in the 1NC.
I'll generally evaluate inserted rehighlighting of the opponent's evidence. There is obviously a point where a team could abuse this -- don't do that. But, I think that teams should be punished for under highlighting/mis highlighting their evidence. Due to time trade-offs/competitive incentives, I think that forcing you to verbally re-read the evidence punishes you more. Essentially, one or two key inserted rehighlightings is fine, but if you're inserting the entire 1ac re-highlighted, that's not ok.
Don't say "brief off-time roadmap." Just say roadmap, please.
The only thing I want to hear in your roadmap is the name of off-case positions and specific case pages. If there's a large overview, then maybe add that to the roadmap. "Impact calculus" happens within one of those flows, so just signpost in speech rather than making it a part of the roadmap.
Please don't send pdfs. Verbatim > Unverbatimized Word > Google Docs > Pdfs.
I am not evaluating tricks.
In order of args I'm best suited to judge (best to worst) -- K, LARP, Phil, Tricks.
Almost everything in the policy section applies to LD, so go for clarification there.
Former Georgetown debater. I competed in policy debate for 7 years and went to the TOC, NDT, etc. Currently coaching for Northside College Prep in Chicago.
Yes, email chain: kmartinez(dot)asdf(at)gmail.com
TLDR: You do you. No one can be truly tabula rasa but I believe that as a judge and educator, it is my responsibility to evaluate the arguments at hand rather than based on my personal preferences.
Be respectful toward one another. I am not afraid to dock speaks for unnecessary ad hominems or things of that nature. There is no way for me to verify things that happened outside of the debate so I will not vote on them.
General thoughts that may be important for you to know:
I'm aff leaning on most competition questions - if you have doubts about whether your counterplan is competitive, make sure you are very confident in answering the perm. Conditionality is probably good and I'm generally OK with states (this does not mean you can fiat solvency). Theory debates on those questions are winnable, but should not be your first resort.
"Turns case" and "turns disad" arguments are usually under-explained, however, I'll reward thoughtful versions of these arguments even if analytical.
Try to provide a clear picture of what debates will look like under the various interpretations in the debate. Negative teams will be best served by reading evidence that clearly substantiates their desired limit. Successful affirmative teams will have well thought out arguments about the intrinsic benefits of including their affirmative in the topic.
Specificity is a must, if not in evidence, then in application. I won't hesitate to vote on more generic or tricky arguments if they're dropped, but the bar is higher when the affirmative has a cogent answer. Affirmative teams should be ready with a good defense of what they say and do in the debate. Negative teams will benefit greatly with even a few well thought out case arguments.
The K is core neg ground against small affs. I’m unpersuaded by interps that exclude K arguments entirely. That said, I’m not great for FW interps that entirely exclude the plan. I believe neg teams must disprove the desirability of the plan, but not that they must do so solely with references to its narrow, fiated consequences.
As above, do what you are best at and I will give the attention and thought I would any other argument. That being said, if you want to completely dispense with the plan-focused vision of the topic, you need a very compelling reason for doing so. In topicality/framework debates clear links and clash at the impact level is most important. Simply saying the negative is denied disadvantages or the affirmative is denied ground is not sufficient.
I'm open to any argument and try to enter the debate as neutral and open as possible. I want to hear clash and a good demonstration of understanding from the AFF and NEG (if you're reading a card you should understand and be able to explain it - especially in rebuttal speeches. basically "why is this argument or evidence important". I find I give slightly more leniency to the negative in terms of understanding especially for novice debaters, but, Affs you chose the case so you should know and understand your own cards and plan.
I'm always looking for good impact calc and a good solid explanation of why your team wins over the other. "they dropped x-y&z" often isn't good enough for me- why were those arguments essential for them to win and without them they have now in your interpretation lost the round.
I'm okay with spreading as long as I can understand what you're saying. If I can't confidently flow it then I wont and it wont be part of my decision. For novice debaters it is often helpful to slow down for the tags. sign posting and a clear roadmap are also essential to a well organized debate.
K- I enjoy K debates as long as the NEG really understands their advocacy and their alt. If you can't explain it you likely can't defend it well.
performance aff- bring it on!! I love something different but you need to do it well.
DA- cool. this is the bread and butter of debate - make sure to really provide those links and make a strong case.
CP- also cool. nothing big to note here.
Timeliness- I'm kind of old school and if it is taking you FOREVER to send over your cards I will take prep time.
please run your own timer if you want to know how long you have left- i'm flowing I'm not looking at the timer to give you an indication of your remaining time. (I'm running the timer, just not watching it to give you a 5-3-1 countdown... sorry i'm not great at multitasking).
racism, bigotry, homo/transphobia, antisemitism, or hatred towards a group is never acceptable and I will give the win to the other team almost automatically.
Be respectful and assume best intent from your opponents.
I've had two years of debate experience. I vote on anything that is explained well. I prefer rounds where the debaters don't rely too heavily on pre-made blocks. I like it when they show off their smarts. I'm more than okay with spreading(Speed reading) so go ahead and do it!
Jasmine K. Mendez
Former Solorio Debater (Solorio '19)
Current Sarah E. Goode Debate Coach
** Forewarning: RUN K'S AT YOUR OWN RISK* My understanding of K's isn't the best and my understanding of framework is just as great which means that you need to be able to make a lot of things both clear for me and structured--> being able to have great clash on specific arguments in the K and being able to explain why it means that I prefer your arguments or vote for you or evaluate your arguments first is much appreciated.
Generally: Tech over truth. I am good with speed but prefer articulation and analysis of arguments more than I prefer a card dump in speeches. In terms of arguments, DA's and CP are probably the best things in front of me; however, I was once a Fem debater for 2 years and dabble in the Cap K. That said, make sure that you are able to explain the link and alternative to me! T should be 5 minutes in the last rebuttal if you're going for it and must be articulated well, give me a clear reason as to why allowing this specific aff is dangerous to debate as a whole.
Affirmatives: Saying that I am not great with planless affirmatives would be an understatement. I usually will vote for topicality against such affirmatives than I would vote against it.
Disadvantages: I tend to understand politics DA's well. DA's with weak or ridiculous I/L can be hard for me to evaluate but I will tend to gravitate more towards the link debate. It is your burden to prove the magnitude and likeliness of the DA, "I will not assign zero OR 100% weight to an advantage or a disadvantage" (CBC, 19)
CP: It is your burden to prove that a CP is theoretically illegitimate. When debating counterplan theory, both sides must have an interpretation of what a negative can and can't do. Conditionality is also difficult to win unless in round abuse can be proven.
Topicality: If the negative is able to effectively construct a strong limits story with a specific caselist and terminal impact work. I'm less inclined to vote on aff "education" standards because I do believe that simply reading the aff as a counterplan or some topical version of the aff can resolve that. In the final rebuttals (specifically the 2AR) I will never be persuaded by the "come on judge" but rather prefer a substantiated explanation as to why their counter-interp is good for debate.
Kritiks: I will vote on the K when the neg wins that the impact to the k outweighs and/or turns the case or when the neg wins some framework interp that mitigates aff offense. I will lean towards the aff on framework unless a neg framework standard that isn't solved by weighing the impacts to the links vs. plan.
i’m tucker he/him
email@example.com me PLEEEEEEEEEASE ☺️
i’m a junior, i’m a K debater for Lane Tech
i promise i’m not judging you have fun, debate is stressful
racism sexism homophobia all instant vote down no discussion
be cool please
i mean obviously i’ll vote on these. i better have a clear cp text (i hate that i gotta say this).
ill vote for condo if you tell me why to vote for it. do plenty of judge instruction (this goes for everything).
With a cumulative 13+ years of experience across multiple formats (CX, LD, PF, WSDC, Congress, BP, AP, etc) and across multiple circuits (5 continents), I like to think that I've seen it all, so I'll keep it simple.
I value and reward consistency in logic. The less logical leaps in your argument, the better.
Analyze everything, don't make assumptions.
Rebuttals should be thorough.
Don't make up evidence, I wouldn't hesitate to call for cards if something doesn't add up.
Cross (or POI in WSDC/BP) is also part of the debate, take it very seriously.
Be kind and respect your opponents.
Hey, I'm a lay judge! This is my second year judging.
Some things I'd like to make the round easier for me and for you:
I'd prefer it if you weren't spreading as much so that I can thoroughly understand your argument.
Also, since I don't know much about the topic, I'd appreciate it if you could explain your argument well to me.
i'm natalie nguyen! i use she/her pronouns. i'm currently a varsity high school debater at von steuben. i'm the captain of my team and was von's stand-in coach for the 22-23 season. additionally, i am the current treasurer and ambassador of the debate leadership council (dlc) for blue/ sliver! please reach out if you have any questions or concerns <3
i've been doing policy debate since my freshman year (~4 years) and have been judging since my sophmore year (~3 years). i mostly judge middle school (all divisions) and high school novice.
here's what i generally do:
> i flow everything. (including cx, but i don't vote on that)
> i time everything and i'm ok with keeping time for you. just ask!
> i give feedback to both sides (general feedback + team specific feedback).
> i usually use two laptops for rounds.
> if virtual, i will keep my camera on (you don't have to keep your camera on).
here's a lists of my yes' that i'm ok with:
> reaching out for feedback or help. feel free to reach out to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
> roadmaps, signposting yes!
> if you are creating an email chain, i'd like to be there too! use the email: email@example.com
here's a lists of my no's that i'm not a fan off:
> being rude to either judge(s) or the opposing team. (will get you speaker points docked off)
> being any type of bad -ist, -ism, -ic (racist, sexist, homophobic, etc) (will get you speaker points docked off)
> not using all of your time in speeches. (i won't dock off points but pls use all of your time)
> not flowing. (again, i won't dock off points but pls flow!)
for debate here are just some stuff that i can think of off the top of my head:
> if you're running lots of off with many different worlds & such, that's ok but make sure you are still responding to case
> if you're running off case that isn't in core files or anything of that sort, send it out to your opposing team and me too!
> generally, if you're running any off, please understand what your file means/ is talking about; i can tell when you don't know what's going on lol
> i like k's (aff or neg) and good/ bad for education args ^_^
Niles West High School '14
University of Kentucky '18
Chicago-Kent Law School '24
Northwestern University Coach '18-21
University of Kentucky Coach '22-23
Put me on the chain firstname.lastname@example.org
I decide debates by re-organizing my flow around the issues prioritized in the 2nr and 2ar, going back on my flow to chart the progression of the argument, reading the relevant evidence, then resolving that mini-debate. Tell me what I should care about in the final speeches. Use the earlier speeches to set up your final rebuttals.
I try not to consider personal biases when judging policy or k debates. Debates hinge on link, impact, and solvency questions that have to be argued whether its plan/cp, perm/alt, fw/advocacy.
I believe the most important skill a debater should have is the ability to do good comparative analysis.
I'll read evidence during and after the debate. Evidence quality influences my perception of the argument's strength. Bad evidence means there's a lower bar for answering the argument and vice versa.
When trying to resolve questions about how the world works, I defer to expert evidence introduced in the debate. When trying to resolve questions about how the debate in front of me should work, I defer to the arguments of the debaters.
The debates I enjoy the most are the ones where students demonstrate that they are active participants in the thinking through and construction of their arguments. Don't be on auto-pilot. Show me you know what's going on.
Have an appropriate level of respect for opponents and arguments.
I would strongly prefer not to judge debates about why death is good that may force an ethical debate about whether life is worth living.
K Affs: There is a place in debate for affirmatives that don't affirm the resolution. I will not vote for or against framework in these situations based on ideological preferences alone. I wish the activity had clearer rules for what we consider fair game in terms of links to negative offense/competitive advocacies against affs that don't affirm the resolution/read a plan text because I enjoy debates over specifics more than rehashed abstractions. But I am sympathetic to neg arguments about how the aff precluded those good debates from occurring, depending on what the aff defends in the 1AC.
T: I would prefer neg teams only go for topicality when the aff is very clearly attempting to skirt the core premises of the resolution. Going for silly T arguments against super core affirmatives is a waste of everyone's time. Having said that, T debates have the potential to be the most interesting and specific arguments in debate, so if you feel really good about the work you've put into developing your position I encourage you to go for it.
Theory: I feel similarly about theory. It's hard for me to take theory arguments seriously when they're not made in specific response to some seriously problematic practice that has occured in the debate at hand. Debate is supposed to be hard. People are way too quick to claim something made debate 'impossible'.
K: When the neg is going for a kritik, I find the framework debating from both sides largely unnecessary. The easiest and most common way I end up resolving framework debates is to allow the aff to weigh their advantages and the neg to weigh their kritik. You'd be better served spending time on the link/impact/alt.
CP: When judging process counterplans, I'm most interested in whether there are cards a) tying the counterplan to the resolution b) tying the net benefit to the plan. This is what usually pushes me aff or neg on theory and perm arguments.
DA: I usually think the link is the most important part of an argument
Public Forum debate notes: The comments below are written with policy in mind. But the principles apply. I would suggest reading the whole thing but specifically the parts on qualification of evidence, education and accessibility. What I hear and record by hand on my flow sheet is the official transcript of the debate.
I have experience in just about all types of debate. While some distinctions between formats I see similarities rooted in intentional relationships, education and rhetoric. I do not see the judge as a blank slate. So I have some things that I think, based on my experiences as a debater, social science teacher, coach, parent and program director effect my role as a judge. We all have filters.
Personally, I debated NDT for the University of Houston in the early 80's. Achieving out rounds at major national tournaments and debating at both the NDT and CEDA Nationals. I have coached all debate events and many speech events. My policy teams won St. Marks and Memorial TOC tournaments and enjoyed success nationally. My students were also successful on Texas UIL and local circuits. I have had debate teams, LD debaters, extemp speakers and congress entries placed 1st or 2nd in Texas and have also coached a state oratory champion.
Currently, I consult and do debate on the side from home. I'm 62 years old. Concerns or questions about a judge that age are addressed below.
I am open to alternative approaches to resolutions but also enjoy frameworks employed in the past. Debating and coaching in Houston and teaching at the UTNIF for a decade definitely shaped my my ability to listen to different types of frameworks - or what the debate is supposed to mean or accomplish. I have coached at so many levels, for many years on different topics - instead of seeing differences I see many similarities in the way arguments are framed evolve. I debated when it was highly questionable to do anything beyond policy debate - even counterplans, much less conditional frameworks, but being from a small squad (in a different info environment - when access to research and evidence was definiteley privileged) we pursued the edge strategies - such as hypothesis testing to level the field. Coaching in policy we ran all range of arguments. Overtime shifting to a more critical approach. Once again in response, in part, to the changing information space. On an education topic we went deep all year on Critical Pedagogy and on a criminal justice - Constitutive Criminology. There are very few rules in debate. What policy debate means and what my vote means are for grabs by both teams. I'm not into labels at way to define myself. If I had to pick a term it would be: Critic of Argument
A couple of notes
Speed, unless evolution is really off track, speed can't be any faster, even from when we debated in college. Speed is rarely what set the best debaters apart. However, these are my first NDT rounds this year. (I'm contemplating grad schools in the mountain west for next year) Make sure acronyms, initialisms etc. are clear first before ripping through what will be new information for me. I suggest making sure each of you arguments (CP/K/DA - plan objection if you're old -) have a quick efficient thesis that makes sure I understand your position and its potential in the round before you take off speaking more quickly.
I evaluate your proofs. Proof is a broad term - much more than published material.
I consider evidence to be expert testimony. A type of proof. The debater who presents experts to support their claims should lay the predicate - explain why that source is relevant and qualified to be an expert - when they present the evidence. Quotations submitted as evidence with just a publication title or name and date often fall short of this standard. Generally I don't want to call for a card after the round whose author was not qualified when presented in constructives. I will call for evidence on contested points. However, that evidence has been well qualified by the team presenting it and the debaters are usually talking about lines and warrants from the card. It is highly unlikely that I will call for card not qualified and/or not talked about in rebuttals. If a piece of evidence is not qaulified in a meaningful way during a debaters speech - it is unlikely I would call for it after the round. I've seen traveling graduate students from England just dismantle top flight policy teams - they had proofs that all knew and accepted often with out some of the "debate tech" norms found in academic policy debate (NDT/CEDA). See the comments below on what matters in rebuttals!
Notes on Education
Spurious "quick claims" claims of a specific educational standard thrown out with out all elements of an argument are problematic. I am a life long educator who has witnessed and evolved with debate. Often teams quick claim Education as a voting issue. As an educator, I often see performance methodology (like only reading names and dates to qualify evidence or "card stacking" reading only the parts of a card that favor you - even if full context sheds a different light OR speed reading through post-modern literature as probably much more important than a debate tech argument) as serious education issues that could be discussed - and much more primary to education - than debate tech one offs.
I find "debate tech" like spreading and some uses of technology in round serve to privilege or tilt the playing field. This doesn't mean to slow to a crawl - fast and efficient - but also accessible to both the other team and the judge. So winning because the affirmative can't respond in depth to 8 off case arguments is not persuasive to me. Be bold - go deep on issues that you think are yours. "Debate Terms of Art" often fall in this category. Language choice should be accessible - even if it means adapting to your opponent as well as your judge.
Evidence often is not enough
Most debates aren't won early - the changing information space has created a lot of equity. But there two things debaters do in my experience in rebuttals that make a difference. After they have strategically collapsed or decided which issue to go for they:
1. They talk authors and specific warrants contained in the evidence - usually contrasting opposing authors and warrants. These warrants are prima facia - they are best when clearly identified - even in the opening speeches.
2. They can tell a narrative - or give examples of the mechanics, warrants, internal links in the card. They can also explain sequences of events - what would happen if I voted for your argument/position or team.
From an educators view - this is the goal of debate.
Counterplans and debate tech
Counterplan "micro theory" has really evolved. That is my term for many variations of counterplans that drive focus away from clash on the topic. Superficial, procedural and timing exceptions or additions counterplans. I actually spent time reviewing two articles on the history of PICs and their evolution prior to writing this. The excessive use of academic debate "Terms of Art" is problematic, sometimes exclusionary. I prefer head on collision in debate - and debaters who figure out how to position themselves for that debate. I prefer the debate come down to clash on field contextual issue as opposed to "side swiping" the topic. Just my preference.
I also find that this type of debate tech functions as a tool of exclusion. The debate should be accesable to your opponents without an overreliance of theory or tech debates. If they are used as time sucks that rubs me the wrong way going to your Ethos as a debater.
I do not and will not vote on or enforce a preround disclosure issue. Settle that before the round starts. Take it over my head if you object. If you ask me to adjudicate that - you might not like the answer.
How we treat each other
This is something that might trigger my voting in way you don't expect. Let's work on accomodating each other and creating safe spaces for academic discourse and the development of positive intentional relationships.
Tldr; Good for the k/k-aff, fine for anything- Lane 23’, U of Iowa 27'
Former Lane debater/coach, current Iowa debater
Call me Grey, G-Money, or big h0ngry, calling me judge just fuels my god complex
Preferably turn your camera on, however, I understand if that's not possible
Don't be rude
Time your own speeches, CX, and prep
If you end any of your speeches with "And that's how the cookie crumbles" I will boost your speaks
My topic knowledge is vague at best, but for the sake of the round pretend like I know nothing
HS has an accountability problem, I will do my best as a judge to fix that
Ks: Love PoMo and weird stuff, but I'm not down for trolling. Most experienced with PoMo/queerness/trans studies, I think specific links are important but don't have any weird convictions that you have to go for the alt (though I think it's generally useful). It is my pet peeve for k framework to run to the middle, take an actual stance.
Policy affs: Have fun!
K affs: I don't expect you to spill out or actually do something though I really prefer if you have a method, if I wanted an FYI I'd just go to class.
Framework: I lean towards fairness being an internal link, if you say it's an intrinsic good I'll need justification as to why. I will like you a lot more if you read parametrics/tactics.
Anything else: I will vote on the flow, no strong preferences either way
UPDATED FOR THE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS 22-23
- head coach at the university of chicago laboratory schools, director of programs at chicago debates (chicago's udl)
- i view the speech act as an act and an art. debate is foremost a communicative activity. i want to be compelled.
- i go back and forth on kritik/performance affs versus framework which is supported by my voting record - on the NATO topic I have judged 4 K aff vs FW rounds, voting for the K aff 1/4 times.
- i enjoy k v k or policy v k debates. however i end up with more judging experience in policy v policy rounds because we're in the north shore
- academic creativity & originality will be rewarded
- clarity matters. pen time on overviews matters. i flow by ear and on paper, including your cards' warrants and cites. people have told me my flows are beautiful
- tag team cx is okay as long as its not dominating
- don't vape in my round, it makes me feel like an enabler
- i have acute hearing and want to keep it that way. kindly be considerate of your music volume. i will ask you to turn it down if it's painful or prevents me from hearing debate dialogue
coaching at uclab for several years. i will probably have >50 rounds by the end of the season. i occasionally coach and judge local PF and camp (harvard). i am a former policy debater from maine east, (north shore, wayne tang gharana) with some college debating at iowa and i translated debates to med school. i identify as subaltern, he/they pronouns are fine. my academic background is medicine. this means i haven't spent my summers deeply reading into the topic aside camp files. it also means you may be counseled on tobacco cessation.
**how to win my ballot**
*entertain me.* connect with me. teach me something. be creative. its impossible for me to be completely objective, but i try to be fair in the way i adjudicate the round.
as tim 'the man' alderete said, "all judges lie." with that in mind...
i get bored- which is why i reward creativity in research and argumentation. if you cut something clever, you want me in the back of the room. i appreciate the speech as an act and an art. i prefer debates with good clash than 2 disparate topics. while i personally believe in debate pedagogy, i'll let you convince me it's elitist, marginalizing, broken, or racist. in determining why i should value debate (intrinsically or extrinsically) i will enter the room tabula rasa. if you put me in a box, i'll stay there. i wish i could adhere to a paradigmatic mantra like 'tech over truth.' but i've noticed that i lean towards truth in debates where both teams are reading lit from same branch of theory or where the opponent has won an overarching claim on the nature of the debate (framing, framework, theory, etc). my speaker point range is 27-30. Above 28.3-4 being what i think is 'satisfactory' for your division (3-3), 28.7 & above means I think you belong in elims. Do not abuse the 2nr.
if you do not see me on camera then assume i am not there. please go a touch slower on analytics if you expect me to flow them well. if anyone's connection is shaky, please include analytics in what you send if possible.
Congrats! you're slowly sinking into a strange yet fascinating vortex called policy debate. it will change your life, hopefully for the better. focus on the line by line and impact analysis. if you're confused, ask instead of apologize. this year is about exploring. i'm here to judge and help :)
this topic has a wealth of amazing definitions and i'm always up for a scrappy limits debate. debaters should be able to defend why their departure from (Classic mode) Policy is preferable. while i don't enter the round presuming plan texts are necessary for a topical discussion, i do enjoy being swayed one way or the other on what's needed for a topical discussion (or if one is valuable at all). overall, its an interesting direction students have taken Policy. the best form of framework debate is one where both teams rise to the meta-level concerns behind our values in fairness, prepared clash, education, revolutionary potential/impotence, etc. as a debater (in the bronze age) i used to be a HUGE T & spec hack, so much love for the arg. nowadays though, the these debates tend to get messy. flow organization will be rewarded: number your args, sign post through the line-by-line, slow down to give me a little pen time. i tend to vote on analysis with specificity and ingenuity.
i enjoy performance, original poetry & spoken word, musical, moments of sovereignty, etc. i find most "high theory," identity politics, and other social theory debates enjoyable. i dont mind how you choose to organize k speeches/overviews so long as there is some way you organize thoughts on my flow. 'long k overviews' can be (though seldom are) beautiful. i appreciate a developed analysis. more specific the better, examples and analogies go a long way in you accelerating my understanding. i default to empiricism/historical analysis as competitive warranting unless you frame the debate otherwise. i understand that the time constraint of debate can prevent debaters from fully unpacking a kritik. if i am unfamiliar with the argument you are making, i will prioritize your explanation. i may also read your evidence and google-educate myself. this is a good thing and a bad thing, and i think its important you know that asterisk. i try to live in the world of your kritik/ k aff. absent a discussion of conditional advocacy, i will get very confused if you make arguments elsewhere in the debate that contradict the principles of your criticism (eg if you are arguing a deleuzian critique of static identity and also read a misgendering/misidentifying voter).
**spec, ethics challenges, theory**
PLEASE DO NOT HIDE YOUR ASPEC VIOLATIONS. if the argument is important i prefer you invite the clash than evade it.
i have no way to fairly judge arguments that implicate your opponent's behavior before the round, unless i've witnessed it myself or you are able to provide objective evidence (eg screenshots, etc.). debate is a competitive environment so i have to take accusations with a degree of skepticism. i think the trend to turn debate into a kangaroo court, or use the ballot as a tool to ostracize members from the community speaks to the student/coach's tooling of authority at tournaments as well as the necessity for pain in their notion of justice. i do have an obligation to keep the round safe. my starting point (and feel free to convince me otherwise) is that it's not my job to screen entries if they should be able to participate in tournaments - that's up to tab and is a prior question to the round. a really good podcast that speaks to this topic in detail is invisibilia: the callout.
i'm finally hearing more presumption debates, which i really enjoy. i more often find theory compelling when contextualized to why there's a specific reason to object to the argument (e.g. why the way this specific perm operates is abusive/sets a bad precedent). i always prefer the clash to be developed earlier in the debate than vomiting blocks at each other. as someone who used to go for theory, i think there's an elegant way to trap someone. and it same stipulations apply- if you want me to vote for it, make sure i'm able to clearly hear and distinguish your subpoints.
i always enjoy creative or case specific PICs. if you're going to make a severance perm, i want to know what is being severed and not so late breaking that the negative doesn't have a chance to refute. i like to hear story-weaving in the overview. i do vote on theory - see above. i also enjoy an in depth case clash, case turn debate. i do not have a deep understanding on the procedural intricacies of our legal system or policymaking and i may internet-educate myself on your ev during your round.
**work experience/education you can ask me about**
- medical school, medicine
- clinical research/trials
- biology, physiology, gross anatomy, & pathophysiology are courses i've taught
- nicotine/substance cessation
- coaching debate!
**PoFo - (modified from Tim Freehan's poignant paradigm):**
I have NOT judged the PF national circuit pretty much ever. The good news is that I am not biased against or unwilling to vote on any particular style. Chances are I have heard some version of your meta level of argumentation and know how it interacts with the round. The bad news is if you want to complain about a style of debate in which you are unfamiliar, you had better convince me why with, you know, impacts and stuff. Do not try and cite an unspoken rule about debate in your part of the country.
Because of my background in Policy, I tend to look at debate as competitive research or full-contact social studies. Even though the Pro is not advocating a Plan and the Con is not reading Disadvantages, to me the round comes down to whether the Pro has a greater possible benefit than the potential implications it might cause. Both sides should frame the round in terms impact calculus and or feasibility. Framework, philosophical, moral arguments are great, though I need instruction in how you want me to evaluate that against tangible impacts.
Evidence quality is very important.
I will vote with what's on what is on the flow only. I enter the round tabula rasa, i try to check my personal opinions at the door as best as i can. I may mock you for it, but I won’t vote against you for it. No paraphrasing. Quote the author, date and the exact words. Quals are even better but you don’t have to read them unless pressed. Have the website handy. Research is critical.
Speed? Meh. You cannot possibly go fast enough for me to not be able to follow you. However, that does not mean I want to hear you go fast. You can be quick and very persuasive. You don't need to spread.
Defense is nice but is not enough. You must create offense in order to win. There is no “presumption” on the Con.
I am a fan of “Kritik” arguments in PF! I do think that Philosophical Debates have a place. Using your Framework as a reason to defend your scholarship is a wise move. You can attack your opponents scholarship. Racism, sexism, heterocentrism, will not be tolerated between debaters. I have heard and will tolerate some amount of racism towards me and you can be assured I'll use it as a teaching moment.
I reward debaters who think outside the box.
I do not reward debaters who cry foul when hearing an argument that falls outside traditional parameters of PF Debate. But if its abusive, tell me why instead of just saying “not fair.”
Statistics are nice, to a point. But I feel that judges/debaters overvalue them. Some of the best impacts involve higher values that cannot be quantified. A good example would be something like Structural Violence.
While Truth outweighs, technical concessions on key arguments can and will be evaluated. Dropping offense means the argument gets 100% weight.
The goal of the Con is to disprove the value of the Resolution. If the Pro cannot defend the whole resolution (agent, totality, etc.) then the Con gets some leeway.
I care about substance more than style. It never fails that I give 1-2 low point wins at a tournament. Just because your tie is nice and you sound pretty, doesn’t mean you win. I vote on argument quality and technical debating. The rest is for lay judging.
Relax. Have fun.
I debated NSDA LD for 6 years, and 4 years of NFA LD (policy) in college. I have been judging LD at least a few times every year for the past eight years.
Speed is not a problem, though clarity is, and I find that a debater who speaks at a brisk clip but is still able to enunciate and speak with emphasis is generally more persuasive.
I am a fairly traditional LD judge, specifically in that I believe the value framework and clash is the epicenter of the round; everything else should both connect to and support the value and criterion. I believe the framework should have some substance. Debaters ought to be spending some time developing their framework in their constructives, and I always love the use of some good old school philosophy. Better yet if it’s well applied and integrated with other kinds of evidence.
clash should be responsive, and debaters should respond to what is really being said, especially in the case of high-speed rounds. Taking the time to dig past the tag lines often proves beneficial.
My paradigm for LD has a firm foundation in the ought world, unless someone makes a compelling argument for why we should abandon the rules mid-round, which no one has yet accomplished.
beyond that and a natural distaste for “morality” as a value, I’m fairly tabula rasa when it comes down to other facets of paradigm.
Background on Judge stuff:
I’m a first-year college student at UIC, majoring in chemistry! In high school I debated only for 2 years, coincidentally the 2 years that were held online. This year is my first year ever witnessing live debate rounds in person. I’m a big baseball fan. Love the White Sox
Tournament related stuff:
I'm quite a rusty debater myself, speaking clearly should be highly emphasized with me. I’ll say “clear” if I cannot understand you. If I continuously cannot understand you, I’ll allow you to regain composure and try again; I’m never gonna give you up ;)
I’m a fan of whacky and weird arguments, please give them to me. However, I have a strict rule of involving me (aka the judge) in an argument. In high school, someone once told my judge that if they voted for me, they'd be racist. If you do that to me in a round, just know I won’t be as keen on to vote for you
I’m not too familiar with Ks, Ts, and other stuff like that. I’ll be willing to vote for them, but just know you might need to throw in a little more elbow grease so I can understand it. I’ll never vote for something I don’t understand.
also 0.5+ speaker points for saying “and the duck walked up to the lemonade stand” anywhere in your speech, even if it doesn’t make sense where you decide to say it :)
Hi friends:) plz add me to the email chain if there is one @email@example.com
My name is Doanh Pham, but I go by Rita (she/her). Currently debating policy at University of Kansas as a 1st year. I'm currently a double major in Political Science and East Asian Studies with a concentration in Chinese. Highschool history wise, I debated PF and did IX at Lee's Summit West Highschool for 4 years there. Was decent, was state champ and did the NSDA jazz, you can look me up at Rita Pham on NSDA. PF is my first love!
Don't be a-holes to each other. I hate hate meanness, you can be assertive and passionate but if it gets borderline eyeroll and passive aggressive, I literally will vote on decorum. I'm a firm believer that debate is about education and if the education you get away in this activity is that you step on others to win then I will not give you that.
No matter what event, framing then tech into truth plz. Judge direction is important, you should tell me from the beginning how I should evaluate the round/on what framework. FRAMING IS TOP LEVEL. Identity politics and structural violence works well with me over extinction/econ impacts. Also evidence quality is so important to me, I will read it if you highlight its important. Below you can see events spec thoughts:
PF: I am very well versed in this area, and a stern believer that PF should remain like PF. Please don't try to be high theory on your opponents, otherwise go try policy.
Since rounds are only 45 min, I think CX should be binding so you can build args. Be organized, I don't care how many contention or subpoints you have, I'll keep up. I flow most things, make sure you signpost. I think since there are less arguments in PF, you should have quality evidence. Logistics are always welcomed, but if most of the round is false logic then I will decide based on evidence quality even if you did well at framing. Just because the nature of PF is more evidence based.
Policy: I am relatively new to policy but I love high theory. Personally, I am a critical debater for the most part but more soft left, any flavors are welcomed and if I don't know then I'll try to keep up actively. Some of my fav is Set Col, Cap, Asian Identity/Orentialism, Academy.... I think alt is important but if you don't have one, prove to me why your link makes their aff net worse. Im very good judge for identity politics.
Stuff like wipe out and pess/death good, eh idk how I feel about it but I don't particularly love.
K aff are cool - but try to have it tie the resolution somehow.
I am ok at policy stuff (don't run more then 3 off as a policy strat, I will be very annoyed and the args start to lose quality), T is not my thing but I can keep up but framing is important. Extinction impacts are overrated but I will always vote on what you tell me to vote on. Don't love PIX/PICS and stuff that steals opponents args but justify yourself.
I usually don't cancel teams for certain args and will give them grace since I view debate as a game but you can convince me otherwise!
LD: I never did this event but I understand its about morals/ethics and a mix of pf and policy. Especially in LD, you should center around your value criteria. Ref puff stuff to know more about me but I will judge you base on how you want me to.
Solorio Alumni 22'
- Write the ballot for me
- Will dock points if you speak over others/ your partner in cx repeatedly
- Explain why it matters that they dropped stuff, don't just say " They dropped it, we win. Moving on"
- Slow down on/ be clear on Analytics, Tags, and Authors.
- Not familiar with the topic this year, doesn't mean I am completely lay however its gonna take me a bit to understand the arguments
DA: Most DA's blend in together, just explain your link and impacts well and you'll be fine
K: I have a lot of experience running a variety of critiques like Nitzche, Anthro, Security, Cap, etc. Although I do get lost at times during high theory k rounds. Just contextualize your link to the aff and explain your alt.
K Aff's: Quoting my glorious leader
" Good luck to you " - Conor Cameron
T: Im not the biggest fan of T debates, however its not like I wont vote for it. If you explain your impacts and topicality violations well and win then I will vote for you. I am not persuaded by reasonability though which is something to keep in mind.
CP: I give a lot of leeway to the aff when it comes to cp theory since I think a lot of cp's being used now-a-days is just cheaty, I also dont do judge kick unless you tell me to. Otherwise im fine with CP's.
Theory: I used to be very into theory, but not that much anymore. Just like topicality just explain your violation and impacts and you'll be good. However a lot of theory is just not viable, so unless its blatantly conceded or under-covered I wont base my ballot of it. Just stick to the basics like Condo and you'll be fine.
short bio: i went to centennial and did ld throughout high school- got bids to the toc. now i'm in my fourth year doing policy debate @ gonzaga. i mostly read policy arguments, but recently i would be considered more flex.
tldr: i dont have a strong preference towards or against the types of arguments read in round. if you demonstrate technical skill, knowledge of the topic, and strategic engagement with the other team's arguments you have a good chance of winning my ballot. i don't like listening to sloppy spreading- be quick, but be clear, emphasize tags, and make sure you make it obvious when you're moving between cards *esp online*.
some argument things!
k-affs & fw teams:
if you're saying f*** the resolution, im pretty sympathetic to switch-side debate/predictable limits arguments unless you have isolated- and are winning the debate over- an impact that means either a) reading it on the affirmative/an affirmative ballot for it is key b) you should never have to endorse the resolution. just asserting that those things are true without a thorough explanation of why isn't going to do it for me.
don't just read blocks but actually engage in a discussion of the distinction between the models both teams are defending in the interp debate. if youre able to draw differentials with thoroughly impacted out standards, you'll probs be sitting pretty at the end of the debate. and dont forget to do impact comparison.
i don't like watching k debates that are predominately embedded clash. keep things organized and try to do line-by-line. if there is going to be a long overview, let me know because i will flow it on a separate piece of paper before getting to the line-by-line stuff.
i usually lean towards letting the affirmative weigh the aff, but taking into account their epistemology/research practice/ontology for links. tell me why the links outweigh/turn the aff or spend ample time on framework explaining why they shouldn't get to weigh it. this requires clash with their interp and direct response to their offense.
debating the alternative v case is fun ! make sure it exists !
i will vote on condo, but i generally think condo is good. so if you're going to go for it, invest the time and ink. i don't LIKE to judge kick but i will if told to by a 2nr who is winning condo; if its not instructed, i won't do it on my own volition.
default to reject the arg, not the team for everything except condo.
i love case debate, it is probably my favorite part of a debate to watch and do. do it. regardless of types of arguments you are running. i will vote on presumption but don't just go for presumption because you're losing your off-case arguments. if you are going to go for presumption, it should be a thoroughly developed strategy.
da/cps/t etc. are pretty straightforward for me. check the boxes, use good spin, etc. i am more persuaded by evidence quality than evidence quantity.
2ar/2nrs should tell the story of why they win and not just what they are winning. take into consideration the other side's story and tell me why that isn't good enough to beat what you're going for. make strategic decisions and write my ballot for me. judge instruction is never looked down on.
otherwise, be good people & have fun! if you have any questions feel free to email me or ask me before the round (:
Gbs ‘16 Michigan ‘20
Please add firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated at GBS for four years and at Michigan for two. I’ve coached high school intermittently since 2016.
You can expect that I’ll understand the concepts and implications of your arguments but not that I have any exposure to communal consensus around the validity of any given topic strategy. This is most important if you decide to go for topicality.
My most important preferences by far are that you limit your overviews to 30 seconds or less, do rigorous line by line in every speech after the 1nc, and avoid spreading long pre-written blocks. My decision will be better and your points will be (significantly) better if you are able to do these things.
You should read a plan. This isn’t out of malice, I just find framework debates extremely boring to judge and I almost always vote neg. I’m pretty good for the k if you’re neg, though.
I don’t have any hot takes about policy strategies. If it’s well prepared and/or I can tell you’re adapting strategically during the round, I will want to vote for you. I have a soft spot in my heart for ridiculous impact turns and rider das.
i worked at a camp on the NATO topic but i have limited topic knowledge. explain acronyms, slow down on T.
the following are just ideological preferences, good debating is more important
tech > truth but an argument needs to have a claim/warrant/impact in order for me to vote on it
procedural fairness is an impact
i am more persuaded by k affs that are grounded in topic literature
won't judge kick unless you tell me to
the further away from topic lit ur process cp is the more likely i err aff on theory
smart 2ac perm texts are underutilized
politics is fine but i prefer a 1nr that does good link spin to a 1nr that card dumps shitty evidence
you do you
dont assume anything about my knowledge of your literature
i will likely err neg on a more limited topic
other than condo, theory is usually a reason to reject the argument not the team
if you make a (good) joke about derek devito i will give you +.2 speaks
im generally not that expressive
i will adjust speaker points to the tournament/division
LASA 2017 / MSU 2021
ezraserrins @ gmail.com for email chain.
I agreed to judge some debates because my high school coach asked me to. I am not actually "plugged into" debate or the topic. I'll listen, flow, read cards, think, and resolve arguments. I still have preferences but I am less fierce about them than I once was.
A few things about how I've changed in the past year:
- Thesis positions matter more to me than they did before and details matter a bit less.
- I require greater organization to understand arguments than I did before.
- I'm even more cynical about sources than I was a year ago.
- I care more about things being fun and less about things being serious than I did before. I still want people to be thoughtful and respectfully competitive in debates, but I've loosened up a bit.
- Pathos matters. A lot.
More general debate thoughts:
I will do my very best to judge your debate. I will flow. I will read cards during and after the debate. I will make up for lack of knowledge by being excessively thorough.
The team that has thought through more rounds of argument-and-response on the central issue of the debate and executes on it correctly is usually the team that wins my ballot. Teams should try to shift the central question of the debate to terms that favor them. Advanced thinking about strategy - e.g. how to shift the question of the debate - and arguments - e.g. how and why you win that question - is what I reward with speaker points.
The aff gets to fiat the plan. CPs compete on the plan, not the resolution, or "position" of the 1AC. Vagueness in the plan carries strategic costs for the aff in terms of DA links and circumvention arguments. Specification avoids those DA links/circumvention args, but means CPs compete.
I evaluate arguments in terms of comparative risk. "Impact calculus" will not convince me to vote one way or the other if there's any differential in the risk of a scenario.
Some arguments are "just a no". Bad arguments, poorly executed arguments, uncarded claims, DAs that can't beat one clear defensive argument, etc. can be dismissed. If I am likely to make a dismissive snort or fart noise upon hearing your argument, go for something else.
How the debate progresses from 1AC to 2AR matters more to me than other people. My impression of the credibility of an argument forms in early speeches and has significant impacts on who I evaluate winning a given argument. Relative to another judge, reallocating prep to give a stronger 1NC to 1NR will likely have a return on investment.
If the Neg going for T wins the following argument and explains how they apply to the aff, I think it's highly likely I'd vote for them: Neg interp is key to limited and predictable topics, those topics produce greater depth of argument refinement and clash, argument refinement and clash a) produce valuable skills and b) turn the case. Aff probably needs a piece of strong defense to at least 1-2 of those claims in the 2AR in addition to some risk of external offense. "fairness" is often "for whom?" and doesn't have an impact anyways.
Neg Ks should disprove the Aff. The aff will likely get to weigh the aff. The neg will likely only get links to the plan.
I'm good for the Neg on theory questions. Conditionality is good. I will always judge kick including parts of the CP. Specific type of CP theory objections are not persuasive to me and are better applied as standards for your theory of competition.
I'm generally good for the Aff on competition. CPs must be functionally competitive and probably textually competitive. Any other model is a "no".
Well written advantage CPs often solve the Aff. Affs must prove why the CP isn't sufficient. This means I'm better for "X Key" Advantages than "X is sort of key to all our advantages".
Presumption goes Aff if you go for a CP but not if you read one.
The resolution defines affirmative ground. Topicality arguments that speak to a predictable and precise definition of the topic, and teams that win their definition is a more literature and language supported, predictable definition of the topic will have success with me judging. These arguments carry a burden of proof only that one definition is better than the other definition.
Topicality arguments that speak to the debatability of the resolution — the "limits" or "ground" under each interpretation — carry an exceedingly high burden of proof if these topicality arguments are not also the most predictable and precise definition. Abandoning the authentic meaning of the assigned topic in order to create a "better" topic is a very tough sell.
Zero topic knowledge.
I am bad for impact turns. I often have difficulty with a) the totalizing nature of the neg's uniqueness arg; b) the Alt working/solving Neg impacts.
I have a high standard for Neg link and Aff internal link/uniqueness evidence.
I would rather see later speeches strategically consolidate to 1-2 arguments than keep alive many threads.
Final note: there's a distinction between taking the debate and the arguments seriously (a good thing) and taking yourself too seriously (a bad thing).
northside college prep '24
- If you're racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, or bigoted you will be voted down and given the lowest speaks possible idc
- tech> truth
- Frame the round for me in rebuttals- explain why i should vote for you and why you're winning the round
- Arguments need to be warranted out- if they drop something explain why it matters
- impact analysis impact analysis impact analysis
- im good for anything just don't troll
- if you run a k aff as a novice literally why
- you need to explain the links and actually understand what you're talking about
taylor swift reference i boost ur speaks
BE NICE AND HAVE FUN!!
About Myself: I am a high school student and have been doing Public Forum debates for 4-5 years. I do debate at the varsity level however I prefer judging debate tournaments as I find this very intriguing. I prefer judging Public Forum (as I have the most experience in this), however, I am also familiar with and can judge Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate!
Things I care most about:
I do not care about how fast you talk because I can keep up with it, however, your voice must be clear. Because if I cannot understand it then I will not be able to flow.
I expect all debaters to keep track of their own time, however, I will also be doing this. If your team runs out I will allow you to finish your speech however I will not flow anything after the time ends so anything after the time limit is not considered in my decision.
I treat all debaters equally and my decision is based purely on the ability of one to prove their case over the other teams. I hope everyone treats everyone with respect in any debate and I will not tolerate any rude comments or rage toward others during a round.
for email chain: email@example.com
Previous institutional affiliations and role
Policy Coach @ Pritzker College Prep
Debate Instructor @ Florida Forensics Institute
I debated Congress in high school. I won TOC & Harvard. I finaled at NFLs 3 years in a row. I was on the 10-member ICDA All-State team 3 years in a row.
What do you view your role as the judge in the debate? (Possible answers may include: referee, policymaker, tabula rasa, stock issues, capable of effectuating change or educator).
My academic background is analytic philosophy and I look for sound premises and valid conclusions. At the end of a round, my flow is usually a restatement of each side in propositional logic.
Do you take flash time as prep time? In other words, when does prep begin and end with you? Do you expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time?
I expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time, and the end of prep time is determined by the tournament.
Do you have teams provide you speech documents throughout the debate by flashing or emailing them to you? Do you have teams provide speech documents throughout the debate by emailing them to you?
Whatever the team prefers.
If you do, why have you adopted this practice? If you do not, have you made a conscious decision not to and if so why?
I think that decision should be made to the debater.
What is your normal range for speaker points and why? What can earn extra speaker points for a debater? What can cost speaker points for a debater, even if they win the debate?
I give 25-30 points, 25 being for poor speech, less than 25 for abuse. You can lose points for demonstrated abuse in round or poor treatment of partner or opposition. You can gain points through good responses and effective response strategy
Do you say clear out loud if a debater is unclear? Is there a limit to the number of times you will say clearer if you do? Do you use other non-verbal cues to signal a lack of clarity?
Yes. No. No.
Do you find yourself reading a lot of evidence after the debate?
Do you evaluate the un-underlined parts of the evidence even if the debaters do not make that an argument?
No, I need the argument to be made for why a thing matters, how it matters, and what it is that matters. I will only read the underlined parts of the evidence if I doubt validity.
If you read evidence after a debate, why do you tend to find yourself reading the evidence?
I want to make sure I understood the argument correctly. I don't want to issue decisions based on misunderstandings.
What are your predispositions or views on the following:
Theory for the aff versus counterplans and/or kritiks
Affirmative’s need to read a plan in order to win on the aff:
Performance teams that use elements other than spoken word (such as songs, dance, poetry, silence) to support their arguments
What types of debates do you enjoy the most and why?
I'm generally more impressed by depth than spread. I generally find depth more interesting than spread.
MSTOC: Thank you so much to everyone who has pointed out this paradigm does not reflect judging PF very well. If you are at MSTOC, this is really the only thing you need to know
1. I coach/teach classes in ES and MS PF - even though I judge policy more often, I'm very familiar with PF as an event and don't expect you to act like high schoolers or policy debaters. Don't get overwhelmed by my paradigm! I can judge you.
2. Weighing arguments in summary/final focus is essential for me, more than any other thing. Weighing just means comparing your case to theirs and specifically telling me why I vote for you and not them. Just because your arguments are good isn't enough; I need to know why they're better.
3. Crossfire is not a speech, so if you make a good attack on their argument in cross that you want me to evaluate on the flow, bring it up in your next speech.
4. Extensions can be simple, I just need to know you haven't forgotten your case - like, you don't have to rexplain your whole case in every speech, but it also doesn't look good if you spend so much time responding to what they ay that you don't talk about your case after constructive.
Things that I give high speaks for:
Argumentative and strategic consistency and awareness- in every cross or speech you give, I can identify a clear understanding of your case and strategy. You're not just reading each speech in front of you, you're thinking about the round as a whole.
Also, I am always impressed by good topic knowledge. I don't expect this, since topics are broad and you're not required to be an expert, but for me I will definitely bump of speaks if you clearly know a lot about this topic from your research.
Finally, I don't really care about how you speak/where you speak in the room. I don't care about eye contact. What I consider to be good for "professionalism" is being accountable for prep time, speech times, and cross times. I won't be upset if you take a second to get ready when you are about to start your speech. But if you're consistently ending prep and speaking very promptly after, I will reward that with higher speaks since I do kind of dislike when people "end prep" and then very clearly continue to read through their speech and mentally prep until they start talking.
Be kind to your partners. Do not be overly cocky.
Paradigm last updated: 12/24 (significant overhauls of paradigm content based on recent judging decisions.)
TLDR: I'll find the cleanest path to the ballot on the flow. Tech >>> Truth. Don't be violent, make debate an educational activity and I'll probably be a good judge for you.
There are five things in this paradigm: (1) an "about me" section, (2) a section about keeping debates safe, (3) a disclaimer about my thoughts on this year's topic, (4) my thoughts on K's, and (5) general thoughts on evidence/weighing. If you don't care about these things specifically, there is no reason to read the rest of my paradigm. Unless maybe you're bored, but I'd say a game of chess would be a better way to alleviate that. lichess.org is a good place for that.
(1) About Me
Community coach for McDade Classical School and Lindblom Academy. Assistant coach at Potomac Debate Institute. Graduate student at University of Chicago. Former competitor in NDT/CEDA policy debate and AFA-NIET speech. Semi-experienced judge (not reflected in my Tab history - I also judge collegiate parli and speech). I've done most events. I can flow. I did a lot of hybrid partnerships, so I've run arguments across the spectrum. Performance, trad, it's all cool.
I am always flowing. I have carpal tunnel syndrome (ouch) so sometimes I need to take breaks and sometimes I use keyboard shortcuts or other tools I've created for myself. If I'm not actively typing, that's because I've got it on the flow through other means.
(2) PLEASE BE A GOOD HUMAN
Disclaimer: I do not give you a W or higher speaker points for respecting pronouns. I think that respecting pronouns is a good way to make debate a safe and welcoming space. If you want to know my values, read my debate background. I am tired of being treated like a judge who will vote for you just because you asked for your opp's pronouns.
that being said, you should use they/them pronouns for anyone who has not disclosed otherwise in your round. I'm seeing an influx of trans debaters cling to this activity as a safe space - don't be what shatters that.
there's also an unspoken imbalance in the accessibility of pronoun disclosure. it takes 10 seconds to update your bio to tell the homies you're cis. for trans debaters this decision carries all the weight in the world and isn't always instantaneous. not disclosing pronouns does not mean you do not care. it is often because it is not safe to do so.
make debates safe before you make them winnable. your words may just change someone's life.
(3) A note on the 2023 NSDA Policy topic
I've been voting neg a lot this year. I'm not a neg hack, but I think a lot of affs forget how easy it is to vote neg and not intervene when the aff isn't weighed against the status quo. Please extend your impacts! An overview that's even 30 seconds in the 2AR is critical to explaining why the aff is a good idea if you want me to vote for it.
I am finding more and more debates decided during the last speech on each side. I think debates can totally be won or lost earlier, but I'm just not seeing that at the hs level. This is all to say - frame, frame, frame. Cool debaters have cool voters. I vote on the flow and I don't necessarily care that a card or two were dropped, unless you want to explain why it loses the debate. Spend less time extending cards and more time telling me why you win and they lose - I crave judge intervention less than you do, trust me.
(4) Your name makes you sound like a neolib, but you have college policy experience...can I read my K?
I fall into the category of K debater that appreciates a good K but has a visceral reaction to a bad one. I don't see the same novelty most judges do in your performance, I'm sorry. I hit a sex worker/call girl rage performance in college and since then I've realized that anything can happen in these rounds. Please don't assume that me having K experience means reading a K is the best strategy. I will totally vote for your K, but I will hold you to defending it properly and explaining how you solve your impacts - especially if you want me to accept a non-traditional ROB, like "always vote for this K, no matter what."
Essentially, debate the way you want to and I'll evaluate accordingly.
THE DEFAULT IS debate is a game, you win on the flow. You can read another interp though, I'll evaluate whatever you tell me debate is.
(5) The other, less interesting debate stuff you should know.
I will warn that coming from Policy I'm a bit sussed out by why the one card they dropped is more important than all the other work they did on your flow. Do not expect me to do the work for you. I'm looking for the cleanest path to the ballot, but please explain why I should vote on something. Conceded offense probably isn't great for you, but if you just extend a dropped turn that wasn't ever fleshed out and they're winning case, it comes down to who does the better comparative. Framework debates are cool.
You make my job so much easier when you define an aff world against a neg world. What actually happens when the resolution is "passed"? I don't want to re-read your link story after the round, and I'm more likely to believe it hearing it in summary and final focus than I am when critically evaluating my flow. Extend impacts, they won't do it by themselves (trust me).
Speed's cool with me if it's cool with all debaters in the round. I'd personally send out a speech doc after 300wpm because of the likelihood of lag in online settings. In general, if you want your arguments on my flow make sure you're loud and clear. I flow everything on its own sheet, so off-time road maps are cool. Signposting is even cooler.
Don't use unnecessary jargon. Unless this is visibly a higher level tech round, I do believe you should be doing everything in your power to make sure everyone in round has access to the same education you do.
Make debate educational, above all else. Accessibility is a pre-requisite to education. Exclude, you lose.
(6) I know I didn't put this in my roadmap, so this is a top secret section...Middle School Debate!
Who am I kidding...middle schoolers don't read paradigms. But then again, does anyone anymore?
Put me on the email chain (WayneTang@aol.com). (my debaters made me do this, I generally don't read evidence in round)
Former HS debater in the stone ages (1980s) HS coach for over many years at Maine East (1992-2016) and now at Northside College Prep (2016 to present). I coach on the north shore of Chicago. I typically attend and judge around 15-18 tournaments a season and generally see a decent percentage of high level debates. However, I am not a professional teacher/debate coach, I am a patent attorney in my real (non-debate) life and thus do not learn anything about the topic (other than institutes are overpriced) over the summer. I like to think I make up for that by being a quick study and through coaching and judging past topics, knowing many recycled arguments.
DISADS AND ADVANTAGES
Intelligent story telling with good evidence and analysis is something I like to hear. I generally will vote for teams that have better comparative impact analysis (i.e. they take into account their opponents’ arguments in their analysis). It is a hard road, but I think it is possible to reduce risk to zero or close enough to it based on defensive arguments.
I vote on T relatively frequently over the years. I believe it is the negative burden to establish the plan is not topical. Case lists and arguments on what various interpretations would allow/not allow are very important. I have found that the limits/predictability/ground debate has been more persuasive to me, although I will consider other standards debates. Obviously, it is also important how such standards operate once a team convinces me of their standard. I will also look at why T should be voting issue. I will not automatically vote negative if there is no counter-interpretation extended, although usually this is a pretty deep hole for the aff. to dig out of. For example, if the aff. has no counter-interpretation but the neg interpretation is proven to be unworkable i.e. no cases are topical then I would probably vote aff. As with most issues, in depth analysis and explanation on a few arguments will outweigh many 3 word tag lines.
Case specific CPs are preferable that integrate well (i.e. do not flatly contradict) with other negative positions. Clever wording of CPs to solve the Aff and use Aff solvency sources are also something I give the neg. credit for. It is an uphill battle for the Aff on theory unless the CP/strategy centered around the CP does something really abusive. The aff has the burden of telling me how a permutation proves the CP non-competitive.
Not a fan, but I have voted on them numerous times (despite what many in the high school community may believe). I will never be better than mediocre at evaluating these arguments because unlike law, politics, history and trashy novels, I don’t read philosophy for entertainment nor have any interest in it. Further (sorry to my past assistants who have chosen this as their academic career), I consider most of the writers in this field to be sorely needing a dose of the real world (I was an engineer in undergrad, I guess I have been brainwashed in techno-strategic discourse/liking solutions that actually accomplish something). In order to win, the negative must establish a clear story about 1) what the K is; 2) how it links; 3) what the impact is at either the policy level or: 4) pre-fiat (to the extent it exists) outweighs policy arguments or other affirmative impacts. Don’t just assume I will vote to reject their evil discourse, advocacy, lack of ontology, support of biopolitics, etc. Without an explanation I will assume a K is a very bad non-unique Disad in the policy realm. As such it will probably receive very little weight if challenged by the aff. You must be able to distill long boring philosophical cards read at hyperspeed to an explanation that I can comprehend. I have no fear of saying I don’t understand what the heck you are saying and I will absolutely not vote for issues I don’t understand. (I don’t have to impress anyone with my intelligence or lack thereof and in any case am probably incapable of it) If you make me read said cards with no explanation, I will almost guarantee that I will not understand the five syllable (often foreign) philosophical words in the card and you will go down in flames. I do appreciate, if not require specific analysis on the link and impact to either the aff. plan, rhetoric, evidence or assumptions depending on what floats your boat. In other words, if you can make specific applications (in contrast to they use the state vote negative), or better yet, read specific critical evidence to the substance of the affirmative, I will be much more likely to vote for you.
PERFORMANCE BASED ARGUMENTS
Also not a fan, but I have voted on these arguments in the past. I am generally not highly preferred by teams that run such arguments, so I don't see enough of these types of debates to be an expert. However, for whatever reason, I get to judge some high level performance teams each year and have some background in such arguments from these rounds. I will try to evaluate the arguments in such rounds and will not hesitate to vote against framework if the team advocating non-traditional debate wins sufficient warrants why I should reject the policy/topic framework. However, if a team engages the non-traditional positions, the team advocating such positions need to answer any such arguments in order to win. In other words, I will evaluate these debates like I try to evaluate any other issues, I will see what arguments clash and evaluate that clash, rewarding a team that can frame issues, compare and explain impacts. I have spent 20 plus years coaching a relatively resource deprived school trying to compete against very well resourced debate schools, so I am not unsympathetic to arguments based on inequities in policy debates. On the other hand I have also spent 20 plus years involved in non-debate activities and am not entirely convinced that the strategies urged by non-traditional debates work. Take both points for whatever you think they are worth in such debates.
In varsity debate, I believe you have to minimally be able to clash with the other teams arguments, if you can’t do this, you won’t get over a 27.5. Anything between 28.8 and 29.2 means you are probably among the top 5% of debaters I have seen. I will check my points periodically against tournament averages and have adjusted upward in the past to stay within community norms. I think that if you are in the middle my points are pretty consistent. Unfortunately for those who are consistently in the top 5% of many tournaments, I have judged a lot of the best high school debaters over the years and it is difficult to impress me (e.g., above a 29). Michael Klinger, Stephen Weil, Ellis Allen, Matt Fisher and Stephanie Spies didn’t get 30s from me (and they were among my favorites of all time), so don’t feel bad if you don’t either.
I dislike evaluating theory debates but if you make me I will do it and complain a lot about it later. No real predispositions on theory other than I would prefer to avoid dealing with it.
Tag team is fine as long as you don’t start taking over cross-ex.
I do not count general tech screw ups as prep time and quite frankly am not really a fascist about this kind of thing as some other judges, just don’t abuse my leniency on this.
Speed is fine (this is of course a danger sign because no one would admit that they can’t handle speed). If you are going too fast or are unclear, I will let you know. Ignore such warnings at your own peril, like with Kritiks, I am singularly unafraid to admit I didn’t get an answer and therefore will not vote on it.
I will read evidence if it is challenged by a team. Otherwise, if you say a piece of evidence says X and the other team doesn’t say anything, I probably won’t call for it and assume it says X. However, in the unfortunate (but fairly frequent) occurrence where both teams just read cards, I will call for cards and use my arbitrary and capricious analytical skills to piece together what I, in my paranoid delusional (and probably medicated) state, perceive is going on.
I generally will vote on anything that is set forth on the round. Don’t be deterred from going for an argument because I am laughing at it, reading the newspaper, checking espn.com on my laptop, throwing something at you etc. Debate is a game and judges must often vote for arguments they find ludicrous, however, I can and will still make fun of the argument. I will, and have, voted on many arguments I think are squarely in the realm of lunacy i.e. [INSERT LETTER] spec, rights malthus, Sun-Ra, the quotations and acronyms counterplan (OK I didn’t vote on either, even I have my limits), scaler collapse (twice), world government etc. (the likelihood of winning such arguments, however, is a separate matter). I will not hesitate to vote against teams for socially unacceptable behavior i.e. evidence fabrication, racist or sexist slurs etc., thankfully I have had to do that less than double digits time in my 35+ years of judging.
Introduction: My name is Ariella Taylor and I am a freshman at Case Western Reserve University. I have experience running Ks (black futuristic stuff and afro pess) and regular policy cases.
Voting: Impact Calc and Internal link explanations are key for my vote. If the debate is coming down to fw please tell me how I am supposed to engage with these arguments, tell me what my role as a judge is in this round.
If you run - DA - CP - Inherency cards, I need you to explain to me why these arguments matter. Many Aff teams state a problem but do not articulate how their plan solves it. I will buy the internal link between the plan and solvency impacts if the neg does not bring it up, but if they even hint at it I will agree and concede to a huge gap in your case. I try to come into each round unbiased, in most cases, I will not care about (for example) whether black people can vote or not, or billions of people dying in a nuclear war if you do not tell me why I should care. Moreover, please please do not assume that I will just buy args because I am black, I will not.
* Note for the Aff: Please try to get to your solvency in the first speech
* Note for the Neg: Do impact calc on your Das and turns
* I will vote any team down for clear bullying.
Lane Tech '23
Add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
(virtual debate) Please turn your camera on while you're speaking
Tell me why you win the debate, do impact calc, know the material you're reading, time yourself, don't be rude. Don't be a bigot.
CDSI kids -- stay within your argument limits, I will vote you down.
I'm ok with tag team cross ex but ask the other team
New 2NC arguments get new 1AR responses
Good line-by-line will get you further than any number of cards in round. Your 2NC should not be 8 minutes of cards. Your 2AC case defense should include analytics.
DAs--obviously fine, just make sure that you are defending and extending your entire link chain throughout the debate. If you only extend what the other team responds to and end up with just uniqueness and an impact in the 2NR, that's hard to vote for.
T-- Make sure that you clash and are directly responding to the other team's arguments. Don't just read the same T overview in every speech, go in-depth on your arguments.
CPs--make sure you don't link to the net benefit, explain how the world of the CP functions as opposed to the world of the plan, tie in solvency deficits on case to explain why the CP is better. Use the CP in your impact calc--if the aff is weighing their impacts vs your DAs but you solve the impacts of the aff, I have no reason to vote for them.
Ks--I've read a lot of Ks and I have a good grasp of security, cap, psychoanalysis, set col, and fem Ks. Even if you're reading one of those arguments, explain the theory of the K and especially your links very clearly. Read framework and do it with intention--don't just read the same 3 lines in every speech. I won't kick the alt unless you tell me to.
Theory--read it, slow down when reading, make sure you're listening to what the other team is saying and directly responding. Direct clash on theory is important. I hate perf con and ASPEC but I will vote on it if you win on it.
Please read overviews, when you're speaking make sure to signpost and say "AND" or "NEXT" between cards.
Show me your flows after the round for +0.2 speaks, make a joke about the LT debate team and if I think it's funny I'll give you +0.1 speaks.
I will look like I'm angry or not paying attention during the round. This does not mean I don't take you seriously or that I don't value your performance! I just do this to remain as expressively neutral as possible.
I will always vote for the ratatouille K. /s
BSE, Chemical Engineering; BS, Mathematics & Political Science; BA, Anthropology & Philosophy (Morality, Politics & Law). Currently a Ph.D. student in Molecular Engineering (Immunoenginering). No, I will not fault you for making poor scientific claims unless your opponent picks up on it.
When it comes to K versus policy, I prefer K debates. I went to graduate school for philosophy and have coached debate in CPS for 8 years, but was never a debater. As a result I am probably considerably less technical than other judges and just want to see good argumentation. I personally think this happens when we have a clear understanding of our epistemology.
I would much prefer to judge a round where there is a lot of clash on the flow and indicts on the other team's evidence than a round in which a team overwhelms the other team with lots of advantages or CPs. K debates can be equally bad for education when they involve half-understood ideas of So, if you're running a K or K Aff, please avoid relying solely on philosophical jargon. I think the best debaters are the ones who combine their technical of knowledge of debate with common sense and some semblance of rhetorical skill.
Counterplans are fine. If you run them be sure you can clearly articulate how the plan links to the net benefit. I think there are good reasons to consider theory arguments like condo and PICs bad.
I'm ok with speed, but I prefer debaters who slow down on analytics and theory arguments. Getting your arguments out in the 1AC/1NC should sound different from explaining why the perm fails or explaining why topicality should be a voter.
I think storytelling is important. I want you to be able to explain to me why you are winning the debate. I have two reasons for believing this: 1. I think this is an essential thinking and communication skill, 2. If you throw spaghetti at the wall and ask me to interpret it, I'm afraid that I won't interpret it correctly. Don't leave the round up to my interpretation; write my ballot for me.
I like a nice, tight DA with a carefully explained link story. Sometimes Ptix DAs get a little wild, but as long as you can sell the story, I'm willing to go along with it as a convention of debate, but would probably be sympathetic to an aff team that highlights the probability of the link chain or the quality of the evidence.
At heart I'm just a simple English teacher, so I will give extra speaker points for citing Shakespeare in any of your speeches. MUST FIT WITH THE CONTEXT OF WHAT YOU'RE SAYING! I've also been reading the philosopher, Byung-Chul Han find a way to bring his ideas into the round and you will get all the speaks.
No tag team please!
I have debated and judged debates for about 5 years now. I have experience in more than 6 debate formats.
I encourage debaters to be keen throughout the round, be precise and mechanise their arguments in addition to weighing in of clashes in a round. But most importantly, I encourage debaters to learn from each and every debate regardless of whether they win or lose.
Rebuttals should be as concrete as your constructions because they carry as much importance.
I am okay with spreading.
email@example.com - you will add me to the chain.
If your primary strategy relies on ad hominems or bad faith assertions that opponents are racist or engage in anti-social practices, you should strike me.
Answer arguments in the order presented.
I have no preference for whether I judge "Policy" or "K" debates. I will evaluate whatever debate is in front of me.
I am at my best in debates where the affirmative has presented a topical plan and the negative strategy involves a counterplan and/or disadvantage.
If you're going to read a critique, I will need more explanation and general direction about how I should be evaluating arguments.
If your speeches sound like they could be about any affirmative, I am unlikely to vote for you.
In Topicality debates I am more persuaded by arguments about limits than ground.
Basically no patience for debate shenanigans.
I am stingy with prep. I want the debate to end as soon as possible. When the timer of the person before you has gone off, one of three things must be happening: 1.) cx is starting, 2.) the order of the next speech is being given, or 3.) prep has started.
If Tabroom says that the round starts at 9:00AM, this means that the 1AC timer will start at 9:00AM. The Affirmative Team will collect emails, send out the 1AC, make sure everyone has is on the email chain before 9:00AM.
Email Subject Line Example: New Trier 2021 - Round 5 - Minneapolis South SV (aff) v. Westminster BC (neg)
Don't call me "Jenny" during your speeches or cross-examination. It's weird.
I don't like engaging in small talk.
If my camera is off, please assume that I am not at my computer and do not start speaking.
Please put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I debated for Northside for four years and graduated in 2022. I am not debating in college.
I lean policy, but I will vote on anything if you are winning it.
Clash is especially important, go a level further than the tag, tell me why you are right and they are wrong.
Please do not forget about Case.
T and Theory - If you lose any T or theory arguments that are ran against you, I will usually vote against you. Though the standards of the argument need to be impacted out to be considered. For example "They lost T." is not enough for me to vote on, you need to go a level.
DAs and CPs - Very comfortable with them, go for it.
Policy Aff v. K - As I lean policy, if you are running a K, turns case arguments work best with me. On framework for both sides, make sure it is consistent. Please try not to change your interpretation or standards throughout the round. Unless it is an integral part of the K to ignore Case, don't concede or forget about case in the 2NR. I am decently comfortable with the standard Ks, but anything super specific or academic, you will need to make it make sense to me. I will not vote on something I do not understand by the end of the round. If you are going for it, you should be able to explain it adequately.
K Aff - I will not vote on something I do not understand by the end of the round. If you are going for it, you should be able to explain it adequately. Especially since academic K's are about learning. However, if you're framing is based on being confused, you're going to need to do some explanation there, but if you win it, I will vote accordingly. Arguments against K Affs that I like are other Ks and Cede the Political, though anything can work.
Greenhill '19, Northwestern '23. qualified for the TOC x2, FRALB x2
Emails for the chain:
College only: email@example.com
Assistant coach for Northwestern
I feel strongly that affirmatives should be topical. I am open to non-traditional interpretations of the words in the resolution, but assuming competent negative debating, I think I would struggle to vote for a team that exclusively impact turns topicality.
I have no preference between framework impacts about fairness/clash/skills. I often find that negative teams attempt to over-adapt to judges' preferences when it comes to framework impact explanation.
I do not think I am very good for the K as it is generally debated. I think I am fine for more specific Ks that turn/solve the case or rely on more traditional case defense. I am much worse for Ks that rely on framework or ontology arguments to exclude the case.
I'm likely to be a decent judge for conditionality bad and aff theory arguments regarding the legitimacy of fiating specific actors. Although I am sympathetic towards theory arguments against process counterplans, I often feel they are better phrased as competition arguments. I could be persuaded either way on judge kick, but I will not judge kick if the neg never tells me to.
I generally enjoy T and theory debates and I may be slightly worse than the average judge for reasonability or substance crowd out arguments.
Inserted rehighlightings are fine as long as they're accompanied by an explanation of what their evidence says and why that matters.
If you ask for a 30 I will give you a 27. If you go for death good you will lose. If you threaten other debaters you will lose and get the lowest possible speaks.
My name is Walter Wexler, I'm a Freshman at Case Western Reserve University. I've been debating for five years and I've been judging for three years and one coaching.
Personally, I ran policy for most of my debate career, but I've run Cap K and I have pretty extensive experience with Set Col, Afropess, etc as those are very popular in my league. I consider myself a tabula rossa judge, and as such framework is probably the most important thing in the round as it gives me a way to evaluate. I'm open to any well-articulated argument, but don't assume I have a lot of experience in this topic as I haven't judged much this year.
*Clear bullying will be an automatic vote down
I was a policy debater in college but have not judged in many years so please bear with me! I do not know much about this year's high school topic.
I was a "K" debater in college but that was more out of necessity (limited card cutting resources) vs ideology. I am very willing to vote on framework.
I value persuasion and spin more than card quality.
will update this when i have more time!
As a debater: 4 years HS debate in Missouri, 4 years NDT-CEDA debate at the University of Georgia
Since then: coached at the University of Southern California (NDT-CEDA), coached at the University of Wyoming (NDT-CEDA), worked full-time at the Chicago UDL, coached at Solorio HS in the Chicago UDL
Now: Math teacher and debate coach at Von Steuben in the Chicago UDL, lab leader at the Michigan Classic Camp over the summer
College Email Chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
HS Email Chains, please use: email@example.com
1. Clarity > speed: Clarity helps everyone. Please slow down for online debate. You should not speak as fast as you did in person. Much like video is transmitted through frames rather than continuous like in real life, sound is transmitted through tiny segments. These segments are not engineered for spreading.
2. Neg positions: I find myself voting more often on the "top part" of any neg position. Explain how the plan causes the DA, how the CP solves the case (and how it works!), and how the K links to the aff and how the world of the alt functions. Similarly, I prefer CPs with solvency advocates (and without a single card they are probably unpredictable). I love when the K or DA turns the case and solves X impact. If you don't explain the link to the case and how you get to the impact, it doesn't matter if you're winning impact calculus.
3. K affs: Despite my tendency to read plans as a debater, if you win the warrants of why it needs to be part of debate/debate topic, then I'll vote on it. As a coach and judge, I read far more critical literature now than I did as a debater. My extensive voting history is on here. Do with that what you will.
4. Warrants: Don't highlight to a point where your card has no warrants. Extend warrants, not just tags. If you keep referring to a specific piece of evidence or say "read this card," I will hold you to what it says, good or bad. Hopefully it makes the claims you tell me it does.
1. Don't be rude in cross-x. If your opponent is not answering your questions well in cross-x either they are trying to be obnoxious or you are not asking good questions. Too often, it's the latter.
2. Questions about what your opponent read belong in cross-x or prep time. You should be flowing.
3. While we are waiting for speech docs to appear in our inboxes, I will often fill this time with random conversation for 3 reasons:
i. To prevent prep stealing,
ii. To get a baseline of everyone's speaking voice to appropriately assign speaker points and to appropriately yell "clear" (if you have a speech impediment, accent, or other reason for a lack of clarity to my ears, understanding your baseline helps me give fair speaker points),
iii. To make debate rounds less hostile.
High School LD Specific:
Values: I competed in a very traditional form of LD in high school (as well as nearly every speech and debate event that existed back then). I view values and value criterions similarly to framing arguments in policy debate. If you win how I should evaluate the debate and that you do the best job of winning under that interpretation, then I'll happily vote for you.
Ballot Writing: LD speeches are short, but doing a little bit of "ballot writing" (what you want me to say in my reason for decision) would go a long way.
Public Forum Specific:
I strongly believe that Public Forum should be a public forum. This is not the format for spreading or policy debate jargon. My policy background as a judge does not negate the purpose of public forum.
Northwestern Debate '26
Mamaroneck High School '22
I'm a tabula rasa judge. I leave my personal beliefs out of the round. I have limited topic knowledge, so please explain acronyms. I am a policy-oriented debater, but I will vote for anything that is explained well.
Tech > Truth
Claim - Warrant - Impact
Topicality: Love a good T-debate. Fewer high-quality cards are better than more low-quality cards. Give me a vision of what the topic looks like under your interp.
Ks: Not well-versed in most K lit. I'm comfortable judging like cap, set col, security, antiblackness, etc., but I have extremely limited knowledge for high theory Ks. I dislike long overviews. Generally believe that Affs should get to weigh plan. I prefer links to the plan. I like alts that do more than rethinking.
K Affs/FW: I have much more experience debating neg v. k affs than aff v. fw. For affs, once again, limited familiarity with lit. For neg, on FW I prefer listening to fairness/clash impacts.
Counterplans: Functional and textual competition. Tell me to judge-kick. Love aff-specific PICs
DAs: Great. Well-explained case-turns make me happy
Theory: I like theory debates. I generally think condo is good.
For Novices: +.1 speaks if you show me your flows