Damus Hollywood Invitational
2023 — Sherman Oaks, CA/US
Novice LD Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Judging Philosophy - Tim Alderete -The Meadows School - firstname.lastname@example.org
I've tried to make this much shorter:
-It's either Aff prep or Neg prep - No one preps for free.
-Text, from a debater I just judged to their coach, who is a friend of mine: “What is your friend on? He started my timer early because I took a deep breath.” Me: I'm gonna put that in my Paradigm!
-I do want to be on the email chain, but I won't be reading along with your speech doc - email@example.com
-I am cantankerous about Prep time - for me, it ends when you hit Send on the Email.
-The majority of my decisions will revolve around a lack of flowing or line by line structure.
-I will vote for most any coherent argument. A "coherent" argument must be one that I can defend to the team or debater who lost. Many think this makes me interventionist, but you don't pref me anyway.
-I not the best judge for bad arguments, the Politics Disad, or dumb theory. I will try to take them as seriously as you do, but everyone has their limits. (For example, I have never voted for disclosure theory, because I have never heard an intelligent argument defending it.)
-I do not vote for unethical arguments. The "Contact Information Disclosure" argument is dangerous and unethical because it abets online predators. It will receive a loss and minimum points.
-I don't give great speaker points. To compensate, if you show me decent flows you can get up to an extra point. Please do this Before I enter the ballot.
-I "can handle" your "speed" and I will only call "Clearer" once or twice if you are unclear.
-I have judged and coached a lot of LD rounds – I like philosophical arguments more than you may expect.
-I have judged and coached a lot of Policy rounds – I tend to think like a Policy debater.
add me to the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
please explain arguments well
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MSPDP @ SMT Fall '19 to spring '22
Novice LD @ Loyola fall 22- spring 23
Varsity LD @ Loyola spring 23 - present
My preference is no speech drop - unless lots of people need the document.
debate style tier list: (idea from meza)
S Tier - Policy v Contentions, Policy v Policy
A tier - Framework Debates
B tier - Light Phil
C tier - Performance Debate
D tier - Trix
F tier - Meme/troll
Deal Breakers (thanks nethmin)
1 - protecting the safety of the participants in the round(no harrassment, no physical violence, etc).
2 - voting for things that meet the minimum standard to be considered an argument(it needs to have warrants & make some amount of logical sense).
3 - rules set forth by the tournament(speech times, one team wins and one team loses, I have to enter my own ballot, etc).
4 - i will only evaluate the debate after the end of the 2ar. this is 0% negotiable. i did not think i would have to say this, but i guess i do.
Judging a debate:
- A flow is a crucial part of debate. I encourage flowing!!
- stolen from alderete -- if you show me a decent flow, you can get up to 1 extra speaker point. this can only help you - i won't deduct points for an atrocious flow. this is to encourage teams to actually flow.
- Spreading is fine with but there are some prerequisites:
• Your opponent needs to agree to it.
• Your document must be disclosed to both me and your opponent.
- I don't want to see Kritiks in a Novice debate.
- Util framework is great!!!! I can't speak on why people don't like it.
- Crystallize (Collapse)
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kant touch this
I look for the following elements in your speech.
1. Always have a claim, warrant, and impact; make sure to specify them
2. Support your argument with data and empirics
3. Speak clear and confident; do not be too fast and keep a positive debate environment!
My average speaks are around 27. If you speak really well then I will go up from there. If you need to be clear and have more developed arguments, then I will go down from there.
Good luck and have fun!
Progressive arguments--read at your own risk
My name is Xinhui Lin, but I prefer to be called Vicky or V. I have debated for around 5 years in different formats of debate including Public Forum, Policy, World Schools, and British Parliamentary. I have also competed in various tournaments ranging from regional to global scales.
Style preference: I do not have any preference in terms of the structure of debate cases, but all debate cases should be structured in a way that is easy to follow, and lines between lines should make logical sense.
Speed preference: Speaking fast does not mean you are ultimately better at debate. I usually prefer a clear, slow-paced delivery of debate speeches in which points and arguments are getting across clearly.
Arguments I like: Policy v Contentions, Policy v Policy, Framework Debates and Phil
Meh: Performance Debate
Arguments I don't like: Theory, Trix, Meme
BE CIVIL (no harassment, ad hominem)
Rules (speech times, one team wins and one team loses, I have to enter my own ballot, etc)NON NEGOTIABLE(thanks tripp)
Flowing: Please flow and be organized, I'll flow what you say but won't put your arguments together for you
Spreading: If you spread you must, 1) Disclose, 2) Have the opponent agree to it
Arguments: Crystalize, collapse, weigh, extend
I am a senior at UCLA. I am a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics. I have limited debate experience, mostly constrained to observation and judging. I also have 6 years of experience as a secondary school and early college tutor, mostly in mathematics and technical writing areas. Furthermore, I have a strong technical and formal writing background in CS, Mathematics, and Philosophy (logic and logic-adjacent fields). I am especially interested in formal logics and their applications.
LD is my favorite event.
Since I'm relatively new to debate, I may not be familiar with all event-specific jargon, or topic literature. I have learned many of these things quickly, but please err on the side of caution or I may not understand a position of yours as well as you would like.
As a judge, my focus is substantive and logical argument over rhetoric. That's not to say that I completely disregard rhetoric in debate, but rather, that I believe debate is an academic endeavor aimed at discovering the truth on some matter. Therefore, I think clear definitions, logical argumentation, and coherence and consistency. Most rhetorical devices should be reserved for aiding a listener in following the development of a well-constructed and logical argument (e.g. analogy, metaphor, etc. where appropriate). In general, I am likely to give preference to well-constructed and logical arguments over ones which rely heavily on rhetoric and non-logical rhetorical devices.
TLDR: I subscribe to the idea that debates should have a basic adherence to first order logic, reasonability, and common sense, and that LD in particular should not be a biased event (favoring either the aff or the neg in an equal-skill round, under a typical debate-interpretation of skill). I completely admit that this paradigm may be considered very interventionist by some less traditional debaters. Recall that debate is intended to be judged by members of the general public, and is not debate for debate's sake. To think otherwise is to deprive the activity of the majority of its purpose.
I try to evaluate LD on the following framework:
Constructions: I flow the verbal constructions, not the documents. I will not look at any documents you send me. Please note this in conjunction with my stance on spreading (below). Constructions are the foundation of the debate. Anything that is a voter was in a construction, or has foundation in it. That does not mean everything in the construction is a voter. But, any position in the construction could be a voter. In particular, presence or foundation in a construction is requisite to being a voter. The immediate consequence of this view is that I do not vote on arguments introduced without foundation in later speeches. This includes evidence that is on a card or a document or other medium, but not in the verbal construction. Furthermore, your opponent does not even need to point out a position introduced later without foundation. I will simply ignore any and all discussion which lacks foundation from the first two speeches in the debate.
Constructions are also the only place where you may establish your framework. Framework positions given in rebuttals, without foundation in a construction, will be ignored.
Cross Examination: I don't flow cross. Cross is for you to prepare your next speech. Q/A in cross does not serve as foundation for a voter in a later speech if it was not brought back up in the speech immediately following your cross. This is particularly relevant for the neg - if your cross vanishes in your 1NR, it vanishes from the debate. Same is true for the aff on the 1AR; however the foundation for arguments in the 2AR should be in the 1AC and the 1NR, regardless of what happens in cross.
Rebuttals: All flowed. You can expect that most (but not necessarily all) voters will be issues extended in a rebuttal speech. This includes not only the 2AR and the 2NR, but also the 1AR. However, I reserve the right to vote on points in a constructive which are not addressed by one side or the other, especially if their magnitude was made out to be large. Furthermore, you can expect it will be rare, but in a close debate (e.g. the rebuttal speeches are complete washes) I may vote on issues which were only in the constructives. You may think of this in the following way: Voters in later speeches will generally have larger magnitude when I decide the round.
Symmetric rebuttals, without further substantiation in the form of evidence or in lieu of logical refutation of your opponent's position, will be considered a wash and not voted on. So you can give a symmetric argument (e.g. aff says housing -> employment and neg says employment -> housing) and I will simply draw the sides on that point, unless one side does more work to say why the other side is wrong.
Furthermore, conditional arguments may become voters if I feel that your attempt at using conditionality is just to avoid a concession. For example, saying "that argument was conditional, so I'm dropping it" in your 2NR, after the aff has rebutted you in the 1AR, is probably not going to fly. Strategic concessions are just that - concessions. It is certain that if such a 'conditional' argument, as described in the example, is addressed in the 2AR that it is going to become a voter (or not a voter, depending on what is being argued) in favor of the aff, regardless of whether an appeal in the 2AR was made to the content of the argument itself or to the theoretical issue of conditionality.
Voters: So far we have that for an issue to be a voter it must have foundation in a constructive (from either side). Additionally, the following may disqualify an issue from being a voter without a squeak from your opponent:
- Circular arguments. The following schema is circular: p -> (a1 -> a2 -> ... -> an) -> p ~ p -> p. Why are circular arguments bad? Because they hinge on the truth of the premise which is being assumed. Which I, as a judge, know nothing about. That is, you have not convinced anyone of any truth - so I cannot vote on it. Non-trivial circular arguments may not be discarded if your opponent does not point them out (e.g. arguments where n is large in the above schema). An example of a trickily-constructed circular argument, that would be discarded without mention from the opponent, is the following: "If shelters worked, why would we be debating the right to housing? Therefore, shelters do not work." Veiling circular arguments with rhetorical devices (such as rhetorical questions) will not work.
- Otherwise logically invalid arguments, which are trivially invalid (see validity here). Trivial meaning the scheme of the argument is sufficiently simple that I could write its truth table in a few seconds. An example of a trivially invalid schema is the following: a1 -> a2. a1. ergo a3. Another example: a1 -> a2. ~a1. ergo ~a2 (this is the converse, an extremely common example I see). However, complicated invalid arguments may be voted on if your opponent does not point out their invalidity. Note that I do not require that your arguments be sound.
- Tautological arguments are not voters (p or ~p, "the car is red or it is not red"), unless your framework explicitly excludes first order logic. Word of warning: if your framework excludes first-order logic, you need to define your logic, or I won't be able to flow any of your points effectively. Generally considered to be dangerous territory.
- Deliberately contradictory positions are not voters. Basic adherence to logic means adhering to p or ~p.
- Evidence violations. Generally as according to the NSDA handbook. However this is something that usually needs to be explicitly brought to my attention, because I don't read any documents.
- Ad homs. Will never be voted on. Ever. No exceptions. e.g. "my opponent is unprepared for this debate".
- Framework. I will never vote on framework alone. Framework is a mechanism to establish the magnitude and probability of an impact (e.g. both debaters agree on utilitarianism as a value criterion so the magnitude of their impacts will be judged on whichever helps the greatest amount of people). I will never vote on something like "utilitarianism is better than pragmatism" directly.
- Not obviously topical, without justification that it indeed is. For example: You are the aff, the resolution is "Should the United States Government guarantee the right to housing", and your "construction" consists of one fact each about 256 different animals. If you do not clearly establish how these animal facts support the resolution, you are going to lose. In this case, the neg doesn't even have to win - you will just lose, because you have no voters under my paradigm.
- I couldn't flow it because you spoke too fast or unclearly. Returns to such an issue in rebuttals will be considered to lack foundation unless your opponent deliberately concedes the foundation. This may be an issue while spreading (above 350 wpm). May be resolved if your opponent understood the point and debates you on it, such that I am able to piece it together. That is, you have the benefit of the doubt here.
- In order to understand your points it would take me more time to consider them than there is in the speech, or you use words that are so incredibly uncommon I do not know them (e.g. "supererogatory") and therefore cannot understand what you are saying. This largely falls under the above - I won't be able to flow it. This additionally applies to word-salad. I probably will write a question mark. I have before. Clarity, please.
- Platitudes are not voters on their own. Justify. Justify. Justify.
How debates will be decided based on the voters:
I decide based on expected values of (the surviving, subject to the above disqualifications) issues and impacts. That is, probability and magnitude (and sign, could be negative impact). Both of these are subject to framework. So, if you win on framework, and your probability and magnitude under your framework are bigger, you are going to do well. If nobody wins on framework, then I will default to epistemic modesty, where probability of an impact becomes the conditional probability given the likelihood of the framework. The likelihood of a framework is something you should argue for. The probabilities I decide can also be a function of the soundness (strength of links) of an argument itself, if they are independent of the framework.
Below this point you can find my wishn't list. This list consists things which will largely impact your speaks, but in severe cases will impact voting.
- Extinction. You better have a good case. E.g, probability for the argument "homelessness causes nuclear war" is quite low, so the expected value is going to be near-zero by default.
- Theory debates. Unless they are clearly warranted. Especially applies to opening with theory in your 1AC.
- Plan affs trying to prove generality from a single instance. This scheme is invalid (there exists x, blah, therefore for all x, blah). You are at risk of losing all possible voters in your case
- Too many positions. Hard to flow. Easy to discount. Dilutes magnitude. Substance over quantity, please. Expounding deeply on a few positions is generally better than adopting very many and say very little about each. You have a time limit - use it wisely.
- Spreading (>350 wpm). Often lacks clarity. If I can't flow it, I can't vote on it.
- Status quo arguments, especially ones that argue for solvency, may open your argument to judgement under the common experience (i.e. my opinion) unless mechanisms for how solvency is achieved are clearly laid out.
- I like aff implementation (usually not plan aff). Some of the LD issues seem difficult to argue without at least tacit points about implementation. Plans will also help you solve, and if you solve you are likely to win the round.
- Counterplans good. But they should a) only be introduced if the aff has a plan and b) be competitive with the aff plan. Introducing a cp without the aff espousing a plan is introducing an argument without foundation (i.e. you are negating nothing).
- I am very open to post-round questions from contestants.
- If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me before the round.
I was a policy debater for 4 years in high school about 30 years ago. I'm now a law professor. Debate is both fun and one of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for a variety of interesting careers.
I've judged at 4 novice LD tournaments this year and judged a couple of novice policy rounds at a LAMDL tournament. Until this year, I had never judged LD. I was surprised to see how LD is much more like policy now. As a former policy debater, that is fine with me. I'm open to policy arguments in LD such as counterplans and disads. On the other hand, I am mindful of the fact that LD has traditionally been different from policy and there is an argument that LD debates should emphasize values. I will do my best to take a tabula rosa approach.
I'm becoming reacclimated to speed as I judge more rounds. It is helpful to slow down a bit when you are reading the tag and citation of a card. Your fastest speed should be reserved for the text of the card, but even then, try to be clear. I'm also not a fan of speakers speeding through a block of 5-6 different analytical points with no pauses. Your rebuttal speeches should be slower than your constructive speeches. Tell me a coherent story grounded in your evidence and analysis to persuade me that you won the debate.
Hello! I'm Nebi Samuel. I was a varsity debater at The Meadows School for 3 years, now a freshman in college. I'm not super picky but there are things I WON'T VOTE FOR.
I probably won't vote for bad theory because bad theory is bad but if you can convince me it's good theory, go ahead and run it.
I will never NEVER, vote on RVIs. Never again. If you say the words "RVI" I will sit and stare at you with a disappointed face and write down nothing on my flow.
Other than that the usuals. Have a clean fair debate. Be respectful of your opponent. If you are disrespectful, I WILL vote against you. I will listen to pretty much any argument as long as you have adequate evidence and explanation.
email is: email@example.com
I'll disclose if I feel like it.
I am a parent judge and new to judging. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t spread and use debate jargon. I would like to make sure that I hear you clearly so that I can properly flow the debate. I will only focus on spoken words so please fully flesh out your arguments and refutations.
I like debate with clash so please make sure you fully address your opponents arguments and let me know which arguments you are responding to. Signposting is helpful.
Please be kind and respectful to each other, especially during cross examination.
Please time yourself and hold yourself accountable for your own timing.
I will disclose at the end of the debate and provide you with some feedback. Feel free to ask me questions pre and post debate.
Hi. I am a lay parent judge. Please do not spread. I prefer normal speaking. Run whatever arguments you want. Good luck.
I am a Debate coach at Loyola High School. I primarily coach LD debate.
I see debate as a game of strategy. The debaters are responsible to define the rules of the game during the debate.
This means that debaters can run any argument (i.e. frameworks, theory, kritiks, disadvantages). I will assess how well the debaters frame the arguments, weigh the impacts, and compare the worlds of the Aff and Neg.
However, I am not a blank slate judge. I do come into the round with the assumption of weighing the offense and defense and determining which world had the more comparatively better way of looking at the round.
As for Speakers' points, I assess those issues based upon:
1. How well the speakers spoke to the room including vocal intonation, eye contact, posture.
2. I also look for the creativity of the argument and strategy.
High Speaker Points will be awarded to students who excel in both of these areas.
Debaters are always welcome to ask me more questions about my paradigm before a round begins. The purpose of debate is educational as well as competition. So, debaters should feel comfortable to interact with me before and after the round about how to do well in the round and after.