Cypress Freeze TFA NIETOC Swing at Jersey Village
2023 — Houston, TX/US
PF Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
HIGH SCHOOLERS AND COACHES — IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A COST-EFFECTIVE DEBATE CAMP THIS SUMMER COME TO THE UH HONORS DEBATE WORKSHOP (HDW). We have some of the top faculty from around the country teaching an intense two-week course for Congress, LD, CX, PF, and WSD with a one-week Individual Events portion.
University of Houston (2023-current)
Jordan High School (2020-2023)
I am a Policy debater at the University of Houston.
I competed mainly in Congressional Debate for all 4 years of high school with sprinkled experience in WSD and Extemp.
Please put me on the email chain (for policy people) and ask me for my email before the round starts.
Don't call me "judge" -- call me Cooper :D
Pronouns are they/them
Policy v Policy: I like these debates, generally. I think what’s key for me in evaluating these is proper framing of impacts and sufficient ev comparison. re-highlighting is great. Have clear weighing, give me clear overviews in 2AR’s and 2NR’s as to where your winning the debate.
Policy Aff v K: I really like these debates. I think the key here is the FW debate and sufficient aff analysis of neg alternatives. The aff needs to have a clear defense of policy action being able to resolve the K. Typically these debates devolve into incrementalism vs the alt (assuming the aff wins their FW interp). In this case I need very explicitly why either incrementalism is preferable to the alt or why incrementalism is fundamentally unable to resolve the K. On the link debate, the more specific the k link is the better. Typically, it’s pretty easy for the aff to weave out of non-1AC specific links so yeah. On impact calc here, if the K has a good link, the threshold for me voting on extinction outweighs is high. Perm arguments are more compelling to me alongside linking to aff to working to resolve the K.
K Aff v K: I love these debates lol. However, I’m not that familiar with every lit base. Therefore, explanations and overview of each K in the debate is key for my ability to adequately evaluate them. In these method debates, I just need good solvency deficit claims to either side. Or maybe more specifically adequate reasons as to why the starting point of the aff or the neg is the best starting point in order for understanding the topic.
General K Notes: In College thus far I've ran K’s on both the aff and the neg. I’m most familiar with Queer Theory, Settler Colonialism, Security, Weaponitis, Cap, and Ableism. I also have a surface level understanding of Afro-Pess, but for some of the more nuanced aspects of this argument im going to probably need a bit more explanation compared to other K’s. Outside of these arguments, my exposure to other lit is minimal. That does not mean I wont vote on other K's, it just means they need to be explained well.
T: Im gonna be so for real. I do not like T debates, but ill still vote on it. Interp's should be obvious and self evident. I define this as generally being realistic. I think most K aff's are mostly topical as long as there is a clear justification as to why the aff is the best or better starting point than pursuing a policy based aff or a topical plan. I'm willing to give a good amount of leeway to K aff's as long as they do what they need to on the T flow.
Theory: For theory arguments i need pretty explicit reasons as to why I should vote on it to reject the team. There are a lot of instances where if the violation is not significant enough I would definitely buy the argument that I should just tank speaks and not reject the team (obviously this does not include racism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, etc.). This is more referring to things like one theory argument I heard recently that was a "power-tagging" violation. Justifications like "its unfair because we have to read their evidence", or anything to that effect, wont ever win in front of me because you should be skimming through evidence already. So yeah, just be realistic when banking rounds on theory violations. Most often, violations should be really obvious and justifiably unethical for me to vote on them.
good arguments matter more to me than presentation. For me presentation is more of secondary "tie-breaker" when i have to compare competitors who both present good arguments. But good speaking will not discount bad argumentation and clash on my ballots.
A good argument in congress is not just a independently strong argument, but also needs to be a relevant point in context of the round. There should be a clear overview that connects your speech to the rest of the speeches in the round.
The later in the round you go, the more important it is to narrow down you speech to the main issues/points of clash in the round. That being said, if you argument is more constructive and less able to build off of other people arguments, then you should probably go earlier in the round. After the early speeches, every speech should begin to build off one of another through clash and connections to big constructive arguments in the round.
That isn't to say you shouldn't bring up new angles and ideas mid round, but there has to be a reason as to why what you are saying is important/needed in the round. And you should clearly communicate to me and the round why that is the case.
If you piggy-back off of other speakers, do something to add depth to what they said as opposed to throwing more evidence into their train of thought. Don't just rehash arguments, obviously.
I don't like when mid or late round speakers blatantly ignore previously made arguments that contradict/conflict with their argument. Make sure that you address every argument that interacts with your own. Also a side note, if you spoke early, use question blocks to poke holes in arguments that contradict yours. Its a good way to make sure your voice is still being heard late in the debate even if you spoke earlier.
Overall, just make sure you (both in speeches & questioning) engage the round by keeping your content relevant as the round evolves in addition to strong refutation of previous speakers.
Lastly, be respectful. Respect pronouns. Avoid agitation and be professional. Lack of composure or ignorance will definitely drop you on my ballot.
Have fun, its congress :D
Basically ditto what was I said for Policy.
Only difference is that I have no actual experience competing in LD although I have judged it.
So expect that my interpretation of LD rounds are done from a mind that is very oriented by Policy tech standards. This means I may not easily pick up on technical issues in round. That doesn't mean I won't vote based on them. But it means i need clear articulations of (especially FW debates in LD that are about criterion and values) what your winning and what the other team is not or has dropped.
I mainly care about strategy in PF. There are too many rounds I’ve seen were both sides make an initially decent argument and then refuse to interact with the others for the whole debate. I need to see weighing of all kinds in order to know whose argument is more important (assuming you can’t prove it to be wrong). Weighing will for sure make it 10x easier for me to vote for you if you do it properly. By the end of the round their should be clear points you've won on or at least that you can tell me you won on to make my job a lot easier.
I also like good presentation and professionalism in PF. Don’t be rude or condescending, that’s not going to make you look cool and smart lol. On a simular note, i don't have problems with spreading as long as you are clear and you sound good. Regardless of speed you need to still be sure to emphasize important points, links, blocks, etc.
for arguments themselves I need good framing, warranting, and impacts. By the end of the first speeches I should have a very clear grasp of the arguments in the round and there shouldn’t be a need for those arguments to be continuously readdressed and reframed throughout the rest of the round (because of vagueness/confusion). Long story short, if by the end of the first speech a can't grasp what the narrative of your arguments are then that's a problem.
Recently, Ive learned K's are thing in PF now? maybe thats always been a thing... idk. I need a clear explanation of how the K works in context of the pros policy action and also need a good reason why I should vote for the K over the magnitude of the pros impacts or why the K outweighs. To my knowledge, the concept of fiat is not a thing in PF. Therefore, I feel that i can only judge the round based on what is the "best argument". This makes judge instruction key. Make it clear what voting on the K does or why it wins the round.
In Worlds I'm a pretty balanced judge: I love it when worlds speakers know how to present their case in an engaging way, but I don't like worlds teams that don't have the argumentation to match strong presentation.
Refutation and weighing are key.
By the end of both second speakers speeches i should already have some picture of what the main clash in the debate is as well as the groundwork for a path to ballot (early weighing, identification of the main clashes, etc.).
Be very clear with your arguments through the use of strong link chains & examples.
Also be nice to each other :D
You need good analysis that goes at least a step beyond whatever the article said during prep time.
I'm also looking for good delivery and persuasion.
don't crack jokes on topics that maybe are a bit more serious, make sure your intros flow well and match the topic that your speaking on.
I love jokes if they are funny and appropriate for the topic though.
Don't be afraid to utilize rhetoric and a bit of passion depending on the topic.
Truth over tech: I don't think abusing link chains makes you a good debater. I'm willing to buy more abstract arguments to an extent I have solid general knowledge of most things political. The more complicated your argument the more clear your link chain should be.
Congress: I love clash, funny AGD's, and good analysis. Please refute the other competitors asap ,and directly reference who you are refuting. Everyone has a piece of paper with their name on it, it shouldn't be difficult to remember the representative your refuting's name. Please be cordial with your fellow competitors, sportsmanship is big virtue in my opinion. I expect you to be active in the chamber and ask good questions. 3 minute speeches are short make good use of your time. A good sponsorship should really contextualize what the legislation does.
If your going to PO I expect you to be efficient, and quick. But if you are inexperienced in a prelims round and still doing a good enough job that its not an issue I will not rank you down.
Debate: I am semi Trad, I don't have a lot experience with Shells, T's, K's, or whatever debate acronym. I will vote on well done progressive cases, but they needed to be explained well enough for someone who hasn't been exposed to them a lot. AKA me. Finally I can't stand spreading
Extemp: Have strong analysis and strong speaking skills, your time should be around 6:30. I like a good AGD, trust me I want to laugh out loud sometimes but I can't.
Platform/Interp: Delivery is critical especially for jokes, practice practice practice. If your unsure of how you are saying a joke ask someone before giving it to me as a judge. Moreover in Interp please don't scream/yell super loud especially if you are standing right next to me.
Generally speaking, things I like to see:
-Signposting is so important.
-VCV or framework explicitly stated and aligned to arguments and evidence throughout the case.
-a classical approach to debate that values depth of argument over speed and spread. Technical language is okay but should be defined.
-Negative has the burden of rejoinder. No rejoinder, no win.
-CX that challenges to the links between definition and framework, evidence and impact, and VCV and framework.
-Clearly stated impact calculus (probability/substantiality, magnitude, severity, timeframe).
-direct and sustained clash that leads to clarification of positions.
-Voters being mentioned early and often.
Things that I think weaken or sink a case:
-Poor definition work from generalized sources or definitions that play little role in case development.
-Citing specific data as 'common knowledge'.
-Hodgepodge cases: your definitions come from Blackwell's Law, your C1 cards come from 1980's Russian Nuclear scientist, your C2 cards come from The New Yorker, your c3 cards come from an experimental geological research journal and your framework is util and justice. Stick to a lane and work from that lane- legal, scientific, popular theory, something consistent holds more weight that trying to link disciplines that require multiple degrees before you can read the industry material with any level of comprehension. In other words, good cases require continuity of understanding and depth of knowledge.
-Jargon-heavy kritiks that lack definition work and teams that don't challenge these kritiks.
-Deconstructive kritiks, particularly in their anti-colonialist form, have their place in debate as red flags in our collective conscience, but they do not constitute a counterplan. You must provide an alternative.
-Kritiks are inherently philosophically loaded positions. If your K shifts the debate from policy to values you must define and defend your values. Kritiks require strong linking and framework not just a cut card of implications.
Case sharing and good sportsmanship:
-If your team asks to see a case, you provide the case first.
-You provide the case you are running, not cards that 'you might run'. Unethical.
-There is no rule that says you MUST provide a case to an opposing team. You can provide a framework if you wish, either on-clock or off-clock.
-Agreeing to share cases then sharing your case moments before you compete? Bad taste.
-Frustration and anger are expected but don't let it turn to sarcasm or passive aggressive remarks. How you react to a poor competitor reflects your confidence in your case and abilities.
Generally I prefer analysis and sourcing to style and delivery. Clearly structured is more important than having exactly three points. State your question and take a side. Bonus points for setting context and complexity through historical references and present/future impacts
I favor clear characterization and the elements of plot. Creating building tension, owning the stage, and balancing verbal/nonverbal elements of drama is important to me. Filling the entire clock is less important than the art of storytelling, but generally I don't rank sub 5 minute piece well.
YOU must be respectful of others in your room, don't be nervous, stand confidently and give your speech to the best of your ability; it can get nerve-racking at the front of the room. Just know I'm judging you for all the good things you do, not the wrong things
How to get my vote- Tell me WHY I should vote for you. Please don't assume that I will grasp any argument made; I won't, so explain them. I enjoy it when the debater is persuasive and can stay calm and collected. Of course, debate to the best of your ability; stand confidently and do your best.
Speaker Points-I will give points if you follow the other aspects mentioned. I don't want a rude or condescending tone. MAKE SURE TO BE RESPECTFUL to everyone in the round, whether that's a spectator or your opponent. DO NOT say anything racist, sexist, ableist, or homophobic. I WILL down speaker points and give you the worst possible speaker points I can give. Debate well and be confident. Explain everything in your argument, and you will get better points.
and always have flow
be apart of flow nation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i can flow up to 350 words pre min
I've been judging various forms of speech and debate events on local, state and national levels since 2013. Head coach of St. John's School since 2020.
I have no event specific expectations on what should happen, I prefer everything to be spelled out in round. I do not like intervening.
Speaker points are a tie-breaker, so I am a bit more conservative with them, but that doesn't mean I'll tank your points unless you're unclear, have frequent speech errors, go over time, or if you're rude. Expect an average 27.5-29.5 range in PF/LD/CX and a range of 68-72 in Worlds and a 3-5 range in Congress. Perfect speaks reserved for those who truly exemplify great public speaking skills. Rudeness can also be a cause for a team losing.
Don't assume I know anything, explain as if you were talking to someone non-specialized in whatever subject matter you're speaking on.
Ask before round any further questions you might have.
I will be following the conventions and norms that asks us to:
- think about these things on a more holistic approach;
- nuance our argumentation and engage on the comparative;
- think that the principle level argumentation is key and that the practical should make sense in approaching the principle;
- not engage on tricky arguments or cherry picked examples;
- debate the heart of the motion and not conditionally proposing or opposing (that we are debating the full resolution);
- reward those that lean into their arguments and side;
- preference thinking about the motions on a global scale when applicable.
Who am I?
I am a social studies teacher the assistant debate coach. I mainly judge public forum and believe it is a positive space for open and healthy rhetoric. I hope you agree with my view that public forum is an event for the common person.
I am hard of hearing
I will be using a transcription aid on my phone to follow the round. It is not recording the speech and the transcript is deleted after 24 hours. Please, speak loudly and clearly for me and the transcription.
How I evaluate debate.
Treat me like a lay person who can flow. Use email chains, cut cards rather than paraphrasing, and avoid the use of debate jargon. I want to see clear defense, impacts, and links. I am a social studies teacher, so focus on your ability to use evidence and real-world understanding. I will vote on understanding of the issue, evidence, and explanation.
If you don't talk about it in summary, I'm not evaluating it in final focus.
Don't use crossfire as an opportunity to bicker. I don’t pay attention to cross. In my opinion, cross is meant to examine your opponent’s case and clarify any questions. Seeing people using cross just to dunk on the opponent is not useful.
I am new to debate and English is not my first language so I cannot judge spreading - nor do I believe it has a place in *public* forum. I need to understand your argument and your ability to adapt to your audience will be judged.
If your opponent does any of the Big Oofs and you read theory about it, I'm inclined to think you're in the right.
I don't want to listen to K debate - I will be honest and admit I do not know enough about debate to evaluate them fairly (except for the aforementioned exception)
These are things that will make a W or high speaks an uphill battle. If you read theory against any of these (when applicable), I’m inclined to side with you. Avoid at all costs.
1. Misuse Evidence. Know the evidence and cut rather than paraphrase. Use evidence that is relevant, timely, trustworthy, and accurate. Use SpeechDoc or an email chain to keep each other accountable and save time.
2. Be late to round. Especially for Flight 2. I understand the first round of the day, but please try your best to be in your room on time. Punctuality is a skill and impressions are important.
3. Taking too long to ‘get ready’ or holding up the round. Have cards cut, flows setup, and laptops ready to go before the round. Especially if you’re going to be late.
4. Not timing yourself. Self-explanatory.
5. Not using trigger warnings. Debate is better when it’s accessible. Introducing any possibly triggering topics or references without consent is inaccessible.
6. Doing any of the 2023 no-no’s. Homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, racism, ableism, etc. is a one-way free ticket to a 25 speak and an L for the round.
The Respect Amendment
This section was added for minor offensives that rub me the wrong way. No, I will not vote on these. I might dock speaks for not following these - depending on severity.
I want to forward a respectful, fair, and accessible environment for debate. The Big Oofs are a good place to start. But I hope that every debater would…
1. **Respect their partner.** Trust that they know what they’re doing.
2. **Respect their opponent.** Don’t belittle them or talk down to them. Aim to understand and give critiques on their argument, not to one-up them on something small.
3. **Respect the judge.** All judges make mistakes and lousy calls - especially me. We can respectfully disagree, and that’s okay. However, not a single judge has changed their mind because you were a bad sportsperson.
Background: Coach/Sponsor of Cinco Ranch HS (Katy ISD in Texas). 2nd year as Coach/Sponsor, 9th year as an educator. Did not participate in Speech & Debate in school. Honors/AP level English teacher, so assume that I know how to structure an argument and can follow your rationales.
Your event should dictate how you're approaching it: be funny for Humorous, weepy for Dramatic, emotive for Poetry/Prose, factual for Extemp, informative for... Informative. Just make sure you stay within the rules of your event.
- My students say that I am more of a Trad judge than Prog. Take that for what you will.
- Please keep the spread to a minimum. Even though I'm a coach, please treat me like I am a lay judge when it comes to speed. Don't spread like peanut butter and jelly.
- I do not know about theories/kritiks. Personally I find that their usage takes away from the actual debating itself. Please save these tactics for a Tech judge that understands them. They will go totally over my head.
- Impacts matter more than just stating facts. Link the effect of your information instead of giving me a bunch of data and statistics without context.
- Don't get lost in topicality (arguing over the definition of a specific word vs debating over the topic as a whole).
- I do not need to be included on an email chain. That's for you and your teams to set up before we start the round. Please don't take up time in the round to set it up. Rounds are long enough as it is.
- Keep discussions focused on the topic. Deviation from the stated resolution will hurt your side, as will irrelevant arguments and thoughts. I will be flowing your case as you talk.
- Be civil and respectful of each other. Articulate thoughts and counterpoints without making it personal. Don't just browbeat each other for the sake of your argument. Let opponents actually finish a point or thought before responding.
- Bullying your opponents will not yield positive results on the ballot. I will not hesitate to stop you mid-round to address any potential instances of disrespect or negativity, dock your speaker points, and address egregious incidents with your coaches later. Your coaches would do the same for you (I hope).
- While not necessary, do your best to reiterate your team's position at the end of your time (aff/neg, pro/con). Nothing more embarrassing than laying out a brilliant argument for your own side... and then telling me to vote for your opponent.
- Novices, feel free to ask me what you can do to improve as a competitor. I'll do my best to teach you something.
Your speech should be thoughtful and touch on one to three key issues related to the legislation. Your time should be well balanced between all points. If you are spending significantly less time on one point than on your others, cut it. You aren't spending enough time developing it if your other points are significantly longer.
Your delivery should be slow and deliberate. It should be a conversational, extemporaneous style. If you bring a laptop up to speak from, you will be docked points. You should be communicating and speaking to the chamber and judges, not speaking at them. You cannot accomplish this if you are reading from a laptop.
You should have one to three reliable pieces of evidence per point. I don't believe you need to cite everything in your speech, but you should be able to name the source if asked/challenged.
If you are not the sponsor/author for a piece of legislation, you need to incorporate some element of clash or engagement with earlier speakers. Do not come up and give a completely pre-written speech that doesn't engage with the debate that has already been established. This isn't mini-extemp. You need to be engaged with the debate. If there have been more than 3 cycles of debate on a piece of legislation or the debate is heavily one-sided, someone in the chamber needs to motion for previous question or motion to table to allow competitors to write speeches to allow for a more even debate I shouldn't hear the same speech over and over with nothing new being presented.
What can/should PO's do to earn high ranks? A PO can earn high ranks by running an efficient and error-free chamber. One of the biggest issues I find with POs is their lack of active engagement with the chamber. It is the PO's job to keep the chamber running as quickly and efficiently as possible. If debate is getting repetitive, suggest motions. If there seems to be a confusion about procedure, don't wait for the chamber to figure it out. Suggest motions and keep the chamber moving. Have a strong knowledge/practice with your gaveling or time-signal procedures and precedence tracking. Explain them clearly and then stick to them.
I am a lay judge. Please speak in a moderate speed and be respectful of each other. I would prefer a roadmap to know what I should expect. I am not a tech judge.
Tabula rasa within the limits established here. Speed as fine as long as (1) your volume is loud enough for me to hear you and (2) know that I usually give high speaks but will deduct points if you're talking into your laptop. No tricks.
Clash is good. I like creativity and will reward that in the round. A creative case is better than one I'm going to hear every round. Open to theory but I hate tricks.
I like an efficient round - please have speech doc sharing etc completed before the round begins. I will deduct speaker points if you delay the debate over a speech doc is not ready before the round.
Hello Contestants! Your hard work and preparation will be appreciated by me as your Judge.
Claims w/o evidence carries little to no weight. Presenting your evidence in a clear way with a reasonable pace will assure a strong argument.
Watch your time and enjoy the journey!
I value debate that is germane to the topic. Loosely connected theory shells or using "trick" debate strategies hold less value than those in which are directly relevant to the topic. I am looking for well researched and well delivered debate.
Spreading is frowned upon. In my opinion spreading ruins the spirit of debate. If I cannot understand the words coming out of your mouth you are not debating, you are mumbling. Preference will be given to the debater that is speaking clearly, and making their points with fluidly.
Be respectful to me and your opponents at all times.
I find value based arguments based on how things ought to be over policy to be most persuasive in LD debates, although policy as support can certainly be useful and demonstrative. Progressive argumentation is fine, and spreading is fine as long as it can still be understood. I expect the winning argument to be persuasive and effectively communicated, I should feel that I have been made to believe in what is being said and why you should win. If I need your case in writing to follow it, it won't be as persuasive and will be judged accordingly. I expect the debaters to set the terms, rules and ultimately the outcome of the debate based on what is said, not left unsaid. I won't connect the dots for your arguments, explain it me. I'm a huge fan of philosophical arguments setting up for clash. I'm familiar with a variety of K's and KvK's are great. I enjoy a debate that both an expert and a lay-judge can identify a winner. As far as speakers, I am looking for well paced delivery, sign posts, strong framing and weighing being presented effectively to tell me why you will win.
1 Value Framework/Phil
2 Policy/ K's
I have experience with WSD, PF, LD, and Congress, not sure what else to put here...
-Rounds should be topical
-You have to weigh it has to be comparative and I prefer specific warrants based on in-round argument vs general ideas on how two impacts interact in a vacuum
-I wont accept new weighing in first final unless no other weighing is done before and 2nd can respond but can't read their own weighing
-i cant flow very well so in the back half i would slow it down i cant vote for things i dont understand
-warrants and contextualization are more important in the back half than the front half that doesn't mean you can make up new warrants in the back half it just means dont forget if your argument doesnt make sense I wont vote for it because I dont know what Im voting for
-Ill give block 30s if I can so if you dont get a 30 its because of your behavior in the round so I would call on you to reflect a little on what may have happened in the round to warrant it
I primarily competed in Impromptu speaking and Humorous Interpretation at Ridge Point High School. I made it to TFA state twice in my Junior and Senior year.
It is important to have a structure to your speech, regardless of whether the topic is humorous or serious in nature. Blocking is also very important, as movement can add weight to each talking point but it needs to be purposeful otherwise it's unnecessary. Talk with confidence even if you are nervous and emphasize an important point.
Humor is subjective. Relax and let your piece speak for itself. Move (A LOT), have voices, be creative, and most importantly don't run out of breath (I did a lot).
Put weight into EVERYTHING you do and make your movements matter.
Look up and use your emotions to your advantage, keep the binder at hand, and only use it not only to look at but to emote as well
Lincoln-Douglas Debate/Policy Debate/ Other Debate: Don't talk too fast, if I can't understand what you are saying I won't be able to judge you on it.
I mainly judge Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas. I've coached a small team for about 5 years. I have strong beliefs: 1) Debate should be resolutional. Making up ridiculous arguments that have nothing to do with the resolution will count against you. 2) Your case should have good organization. It should be easy for me as a judge that flows to follow your logic and argumentation. 3) Any good argumentation will have not only logic, but 2 or 3 solid pieces of evidence to back up your position. 4) You should be able to have solvency under both your framework and your opponents. Finally, and most importantly, 5) You should show your opponent respect. At no time should you use language intended to intimidate, insult or disrespect your opponent. I have no issue with speed. However, there is a difference between spreading and speaking quickly.
he/him || yes email chain, look at logistics section below
I am the Director of Speech and Debate at Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas. I am also a Co-Director of Public Forum Boot Camp (PFBC) in Minnesota. If you do high school PF and you want to talk to me about camp, let me know.
I've been competing, judging, and coaching in multiple formats of speech and debate since 2014.
Debate is a competitive research activity. The team that can most effectively synthesize their research into a defense of their plan, method, or side of the resolution will win the debate. I would like you to be persuasive, entertaining, kind, and strategic. Feel free to ask clarifying questions before the debate.
The round should begin by the start time. Please get ready to debate before I arrive and get to round early.
If you plan on reading evidence, set up an email chain. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to the email chain. Additionally, please add email@example.com to the email chain if I am judging PF, firstname.lastname@example.org if I am judging LD, or email@example.com if I am judging Policy.
The subject of the email chain should clearly state the tournament, round number and flight, and team codes + sides of each team. Ex: "Emory R1A - Seven Lakes LM 1A v Lakeville South GN 2N"
You should ethically cut evidence, send speech documents to your opponents before or immediately after your speech, and disclose the case positions you read after rounds.
How I decide rounds/preferences:
I can judge whatever. I will vote for whatever argument wins on the flow. But, I want to judge a small but deep debate about the topic.
I've judged or been a part of several thousand debates in various formats over the past decade. I have seen, gone for, and voted for lots of arguments. But, as a judge, I prefer that you demonstrate that you have done a lot of topical research and preparation, and that you're excited to do debate and engage with your opponents.
My ideal round is a rigorous examination of the most recent topic literature with lots of evidence-based weighing. I want to hear warrants. I want to hear examples. I want to hear you compare warrants and examples. Ignoring this preference will probably result in lower speaker points.
I flow, intently and carefully. I will stop flowing when my timer goes off. There is no grace period of any length.
I will decide the debate based on the arguments I've flowed (not read from a document). I have no strong preference on what those arguments are, provided they have been well-researched and are grounded in some topic literature.
I will vote for the argument that has the strongest link to the most significant impact. That does mean that I will vote for arguments that I truthfully believe are dumb. But, an argument's truth dictates how easy it will be to persuade me that the argument justifies my decision. I will not vote for unwarranted arguments, arguments that I cannot explain in my RFD, or arguments I did not flow. I have now given several decisions that were basically: "I am aware this was on the doc. I did not flow it during your speech time."
Zero risk exists. Practically, I probably won't vote on defense or presumption, but I am theoretically willing to.
I generally give lower speaker points than average. I average a 28.4. I'm trying to align with community expectations, but I am not easily impressed.
I am an ok judge (better in PF, worse in LD/CX) for critical strategies that are well thought out, related to the topic, and strategically executed.
I am not a great judge for strategies that ignore the resolution. I will vote for arguments that reject the topic if there are warrants for why we ought to do that and you win those warrants. But, if evenly debated, I probably think that relating your strategy to the topic is a good idea.
I am a terrible judge for strategies that rely on in-round "discourse" as offense. I generally do not think that these strategies have an impact or solve the harms with debate they identify. I've voted for these arguments several times, and I still find them unpersuasive - I just found the other team's defense of debate worse.
This section is too long, but I can't cut it down any more than it already is. Theory is generally boring and I don't really want to listen to it unless it's placed in a specific resolutional context. The rest of this section is mostly me being annoyed at national circuit PF.
In general: the less likely it is that you could read your position on any given topic, the more likely I will enjoy judging it. That doesn't mean I won't vote for it - but I will be in pain for the duration of the round.
I'm fine submitting a ballot on an ethical question - i.e., your opponent is legitimately misrepresenting evidence or otherwise egregiously cheating. These arguments stop the round with the losing team of the ethics challenge getting the lowest speaker points possible (generally 25s).
If the outcome of the challenge is murky or otherwise difficult for me to decide, I will presume good faith by everyone in the round, which generally means that I presume against ethics challenges. Ethics challenges must be immediately introduced after discovered for me to consider them. I've noticed that the people going for "evidence ethics IVIs" in PF tend to be the same people that are more likely to misrepresent evidence, mis-disclose, refuse to send cards before their speeches, etc. Represent evidence ethically, assume that others will as well, and be prepared to defend your own evidentiary practices in-round.
I'm fine voting for procedural arguments that deal with what is/is not topical or what each side should/should not have to specify - e.g., aspec, topicality - if supported by evidence and/or carded definitions which delineate each side's ground. I would prefer these positions be grounded in some analysis of the resolutional context -- i.e., for this particular topic, teams/debaters should do x -- rather than generic shells that can be recycled.
I'd strongly prefer to not hear debates about "setting norms". Disclosing arguments is generally good, and despite the circuit's inclinations, I'm not sold on open-source being more educational. Paraphrasing evidence/"clipping" in PF is generally bad. I am qualified to evaluate these debates. Despite what you may know about my opinions, I will not hack for disclosure or paraphrasing theory. Most theory positions seem to me solved by being reasonable. Initiating these discussions will probably get you low speaker points absent verifiably proven in-round abuse - i.e., your violation should be more than "they paraphrased," instead it should be "this specific piece of evidence is paraphrased and misconstrued."
Frivolous theory -- defined as theory with no bearing on the resolutional question -- is stupid, will annoy me, and earn you low speaker points. My bar for teams answering these arguments is extremely low, and any formulation of "this does not matter" is likely to be very persuasive. Travel at your own risk.
I will almost certainly not vote on any formulation of trigger warning/content warning theory, except in cases where the content is objectively and unnecessarily graphic or triggering. I have yet to hear an argument in high school debate that I thought needed a content warning, though I am aware that there are a wide array of legitimate reasons one may prefer one. Please be reasonable and kind to each other.
I am also terrible for strategies which primarily win by avoiding clash or debate, asinine appeals to formal "logic", stupid definitions of words, or other "arguments" categorized as "tricks". If your ideal RFD in my round is some version of "I vote x because y is conceded and I have no choice but to vote x", I am a bad judge for you.
The more obvious it is that you are initiating theory to try to get an easy win or TKO, the lower your speaker points will be for initiating theory. I have no problem handing out (very) low point wins.
IVIs (independent voting issues, defined as arguments around conduct or language of students in-round that ought to be rejected) are objectively horrific. Saying something is an IVI does not automatically catapult it to the highest layer of the debate - if it did, every card or argument in every speech should be an "IVI". If you feel legitimately unsafe or otherwise excluded from the round, please ask me to stop the debate and contact tab and your coach for guidance on how to proceed. Be aware that this may result in you receiving a loss of the round or a forfeit. Otherwise, please continue debating. I would strongly prefer this to a "safety IVI" or something similar.
I believe that everyone has a voice which needs a platform to embrace self-expression, unique personalities, and the social construct of expressive speech in a safe, nurturing environment. As long as we follow the words of Benjamin Franklin, "Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment," for ignorance shall not prevail!
It is imperative to be polite, purposeful. and punctual.
With Lincoln Douglas (LD), I prefer traditional value and criterion debate, impact calculus, solvency, and line-by-line. Speech should have obvious organization which allows me to make a well-informed decision, focusing on presentation, logic, argumentation, and conclusion with a summary to wrap up the topic presented.
With Public Forum (PF), I prefer line-by-line, impact calculus, solid evidence from valid sources, be polite, and time yourselves. There should be a pre-determined resolution based on current events and trends. I should hear valuable insights. If you are providing a "filler", this will guarantee a low score, especially if it is personally offensive to the opponent or other marginalized groups.
With World Schools, I prefer obvious teamwork, focused on the issue presented with in-depth, quality argumentation creating solves with real-world examples while challenging the opposing team on a principled level.
With Congress, I look for proper parliamentary procedures and clarity of delivery through rigor, focused on democracy and clarity of ideas, seriousness in demeanor, and effective empowerment in speaking extemporaneously about the topic. Authenticity with clear speaking points such as sentence structure, eye contact, transitions, and word choice. The standard of decorum must be met.
In terms of speaking events, be purposeful when presenting the piece(s) to the extent that I feel as if you wrote it and expressed it with rigor, intensity, and passion.
You've got this!
add me to the email chain- firstname.lastname@example.org
I consider myself a flay judge. No new things in the final focus or 2nd summary. new stuff in 2nd summary is only allowed if you are responding to something in 1st summary.
You get a 10-second grace period if you go over time.
Analytics are kewl if you have warrants. No Ks or theories I still don't understand them despite doing PF for two years
Cross is binding. Tech> truth
I dislike prep stealing, when your opponents or teammate is sending cards/ a doc I don't want to see you prepping. Especially in online tourneys.
Spread at your own risk, there is a good chance that I won't understand what you're saying. If I don't flow it then it doesn't exist. Signposting is also important
I want you to basically sign the ballot for me and tell me why I should be judging for you. Good comparative weighing will get you my ballot
you have to send a marked version of the speech doc if you did not get through your whole doc delete the cards you did not read
post rounding for clarification questions/feedback is fine. postrounding bc u think u won and ur tryna convince me u should not.
If you're being a jerk to your opponents you WILL get downed for that.
20 = you did something racist/sexist etc
25 = You were a big jerk
27 = Below average speaking wise
28 = Average speaking
29 = Pretty good
30= Excellent, best speaking
i am year 2 PFer @ seven lakes
tech > truth
i care muchhhh more about what you talk about rather than how you say it - but that doesn't mean i don't give any regard at all to your speaking style.
PLEEEASE WEIGH - if you make good enough weighing args i'm willing to vote on solely that
i love clash
IMPLICATE!! - don't just read cards or make statements, i need to know what you mean and why i should care. this is prob the most important thing - i will genuinely not know how to eval the debate unless you extend all your arguments and implicate what you want me to vote on. basically i need warrants. every speech.
speaks range from 28-30 if you give me good rhetoric throughout the round - auto 30s
if you debate without a computer auto 30s
i love it when you are funny in round - make it entertaining you don't have to be so serious 100% of the time.
overall have fun, debate is supposed to be enjoyable so don't ruin it for yourself or anyone else.
for novices, feel free to ask questions about the topic, the round, your speech, etc. i'd love to give you advice.
if you bring me a coca cola i'll really like you
if you are online and it looks like i am not flowing - I AM I PROMISE I JUST FLOW ON MY LAPTOP
extemp and impromptu are based on your speaking ability. don't worry sooo much about your sources or your info, lie to me if you have to just make it sound good. i'm a debater i'll believe you if you make it sound like i should.
(don't lie about your sources tho pls practice good evidence ethics)