2024 — Plano, TX/US
Congress Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Please add me to the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I did policy debate for four years at Caddo Mills High School and am on the LD team at UNT. I'm familiar with policy and critical arguments, so run whatever you're comfortable with. I will vote on anything, so I'd be best considered a tab judge if you're doing the work and telling me why they matter.
Tech>Truth. I'll only vote on the dropped argument if you explain to me why the drop is significant.
Depth>Breadth. Self-explanatory - if you are running more than 6 off, there probably isn't much warranting going on. Evidence quality is also important, and comparing evidence is super useful in making decisions, but I won't do the work for you.
Affirmatives. I prefer plantexts, but I'll listen to anything, just be able to explain later on in T and FW debates why your method of education is best for debate. I'll listen to performance affs, too.
Counterplans/Disads. I'll easily vote on them. If AFF has impact framing and you don't, I will likely vote aff. I prefer counterplans to be mutually exclusive and have a net benefit while solving for at least some of the cases.
Kritiks. Just reading all of the blocks you've written for your K won't help you win the round. Do engage with the other team's arguments and actually contextualize your link to whatever they've read. Generic links can make it really easy for me to vote aff. I love specific links to the aff, and will heavily vote on them. I know some lit but don't assume I know what your kritik is about. Please explain and paint a story for me. That said, I expect there to be framework, a roll of the ballot/judge claim, a link, impact, and an alt. I want to know how the way I vote impacts the world or pertains to the argument that you're making.
Theory/Topicality.I look to theory before evaluating the rest of the round. I will listen to Topicality arguments, and think when theyre are done right, I will vote on them. Please impact out your standards and voters! I expect you to go all in on it. If you aren't spending all your time in your last speech on theory/topicality, that tells me that it's a time suck, and I will not vote on it.
Speaks. Just don't be rude. If you say something offensive/homophobic/racist/etc, that will not be tolerated, and that will be reflected in your speaker points and possibly your ballot. I'm completely fine with speed just put me on the email chain and signpost.
If you have any specific questions or concerns about my paradigm, don't be afraid to ask before the round starts.
I’m first and foremost an interp coach. Treat me like a lay judge who happens to know the rules (and yes- I know the rules). No spreading, clash is fine. If you really want to pick up my ballot, be sure to focus on cross-examination. I find that a strong, quality CX can illustrate your ability to communicate, prove your points, illustrate your knowledge and understanding of the debate and show your best engaged debate skills. Anyone can read a prepared card. Show me you know what to do with it.
On an aside, I do like debaters to keep it professional. I like it when people stand for cross-examination and are polite and supportive to their opponents before and after the round. I like it when I feel the teams are focused and paying attention not only to their opponents' speeches but also to their team member's speeches.
I look for competitors who are prepared to speak on any topic - especially if they have prepared to speak on both sides of the topic. I look for quality speeches that add value to the debate; if we're four cycles in and you aren't bringing new information, crystallizing information we've heard, or providing a new rebuttal then it's easy for your speech to get lost amongst the masses. Activity in the chamber is good - I'm looking for you to be engaged in listening to other speeches, asking valuable questions, and working together to run a fair and efficient chamber.
I was a high school competitor all four years - competing in all Interp events (DI, HI, OO, prose, poetry, Duo, Duet) and Congressional Debate. I competed on the Texas and National Circuits. Here's the big thing to know - you should never change your style, material, or story to try to get my 1. I will always respect the stories you choose to tell, the performance you're developing, and your courage to be you and share messages important to you. Just be you. My ballots may sound tough, but it comes out of a desire to help you improve. I've provided insight into what I'm looking for but none of it should force you to change your content.
For Interp Events, I'm looking for honest storytelling (talk to me like a person) and tech that helps enhance your story and not detract from it. I'm looking for clear, well-developed characters. I'm looking for an excellent intro that provides meaning and importance for your piece. I'm looking for excellent execution of pacing and incorporation of levels. Draw me into your story and leave me with something to take away. In addition, for all binder events, I'm a stickler for binder etiquette.
For Public Speaking Events (OO and INFO), I'm looking for topics that you are personally invested in. I'm looking for an engaging AGD, a clear vehicle, and well-defined points supported by a balance of ethos, pathos, and logos. Share your heart story and be honest with it. Most importantly, these are two events where you can really be yourself. Be your best self, sure. But don't feel like you have to put on a whole song and dance to get my one. I'm looking for an inspirational, conversational tone. INFO - I'm looking for creative visuals that are well-executed and add value to your speech without being a distraction.
For Extemp, I'm looking for a clear understanding of the question and a definitive answer with supporting analysis (cite those sources guys). Two points or three points are fine, depending on the question and your approach to answering the question. I just want your speech to have a clear sense of structure and organization. I'm also looking for strong presentation skills. Have vocal variety, adopt a conversational tone, know how to present in a way that is approachable for all audience types and not just those well-versed in current events and extemp. Don't be afraid to crack a joke, but don't rely purely on humor. Fluency breaks, circular speech (rehashing points and repeating yourself), and poor time management could affect your rank in round.
This is my second time judging but would still consider myself new. I am a former Plano East Teacher.
No spreading / speaking. We want to be clear of what you are saying to fully capture all that you have to share with us,
Don't be rude. I love seeing passion in rounds, but being passionate about your topic does not mean you get to be rude.
I look forward to hearing you speak!
Congress: I look for well structured and well supported speeches. I also expect you to be engaged in the room and for you to respond to other student's speeches.
School Affiliation: Coach at The Episcopal School of Dallas
Coaching & Judging Experience: I have been coaching teams and judging tournaments since 2006. This includes LD, PF, Congress, CX and IEs at different schools in Virginia and Texas. I have had debaters qualify for NCFL and NSDA on multiple occasions which are both considered traditional tournaments.
Speed: Although I am personally not a fan of it, please make sure your spreading is clear and coherent. If I can't understand you, I probably will not flow it. If you see me stop flowing for an extended period of time then it would be in your best interest to slow down. I also heavily prefer if you go slow on your taglines, analytics and any theory arguments, especially during your rebuttals.
Types of Arguments: Although I prefer framework heavy debates, a lot of clash in the round, and good crystallization and overviews in your final rebuttal, I will still vote on topicality, counterplans, some theory arguments at times and kritiks if they are explained well by the debater. I am not a fan of non-topical Affs as I tend to favor whole resolution ACs. Make sure when you run T, that you are linking your violation to your standards/voting issues and that when you run a CP, you explain your net benefits and how it's competitive.
Theory Argument: If you run any disclosure theory or new affs bad arguments, make sure you thoroughly break down the reasons to prefer. Although I have never really been a fan of these types of arguments, I am willing to consider them if you can show the impacts of the abuse committed by your opponent and how this outweighs. Please make sure that whatever theory shells you plan on running are presented at a slower rate of speed.
Kritiks: Run at your own risk because I'm not really a fan of complicated philosophical arguments that have nothing to do with the actual resolution that should be debated upon. I'm not saying you can't win if you run them, but I might look at you funny and simply not flow the argument depending on the complexity of the K.
Speaks: Clarity over speed is prefered. If your spreading is incomprehensible, this will reflect on your speaker points. Any acts of rudeness or displays of an unprofessional demeanor towards your opponent will also be taken into account. If you go against an inexperienced debater or a traditional style opponent, it would be in your best interest to accommodate their format and invest some time clashing with or turning their value, criterion and contentions. Also, please do not ask me if I disclose speaker points. It's not going to happen. In addition, please do not use profanity at all during the round. It will impact your speaks and could also impact my decision so don't do it. Lastly, please refrain from attacking the character of any political figures or political parties as a whole. It's okay to discuss policies of the USFG but please avoid bashing politicians or parties that you may dislike as I consider that type of tactic in a debate to be very unprofessional and offensive. Debaters have lost my ballot over this in the past.
Tricks: Please don't.
Overview: Debate the resolution, clash with your opponent's arguments, provide framework, slow down during tags and analytics, throw in some voters at the end.
Email Chain: If and only if both debaters are sharing files, please include my email as well: email@example.com
You have worked hard. Now is your time to shine.
Interp: I have been teaching speech for 8 years; and teaching, directing, and performing theatre for over 40 years. I know an engaging, well-rehearsed performance when I see it. I will give you the kind of quality feedback I give to my own Interp students.
I am looking for clear characterization(s) both physically and vocally. Establish setting with blocking and business. Pantomime should be realistic and establish object permanence.(ex: a glass of water must be picked up and put down while maintaining a consistent shape and size. Refrigerators don't move unless the character moves them as part of the performance.)
Every performance must tell a story. You must convey the who, what, when, where, and why. Emotion is borne out of action.
Drama is is not all screaming and crying. Pauses and soft spoken words can often covey far more than NOISE.
Great acting may boost your rank, but I must understand what is happening and why. The performance must tell a story to receive a high rank in the round. Show that you have chosen material that is meaningful to you and with which you have a connection.
Humor arises from a character's total commitment to and belief in what they are doing and what is happening. Never TRY to be funny. It doesn't come off as humorous or believable. The absurdity of a situation should be evident to the audience, not the character. That's true comedy.
Most importantly, I want to be moved and entertained. Nothing is more thrilling than witnessing a great performance.
Please, let me know what time signals you prefer.
I truly appreciate all of the time and effort you put into preparing for these tournaments. Break a leg!
Debate: Please, make it clear to me what is happening. My audio processing issue makes it difficult to comprehend 350 wpm spreading. If I cannot understand you, I cannot flow the round. I can't tell if you are making a good case or argument. I have judged too many debaters who have ignored this part of my paradigm, and I am left HOPING that I have chosen the winning side.
I am a 5th year coach who knows enough about LD, PF, and Congress to judge, but I am not a seasoned veteran. I teach speech and interp as well, so I KNOW about speaker points.
Simply because "everyone" in the debate world knows a term's meaning, doesn't mean your judge knows it. Ex: Flow that through to the neg/aff, structural violence, disad, block, kritik, voters, etc. (I know what these mean, but most lay judges do not).
I prefer to judge a debate that is won on your skills as a debater rather than running a theory shell. Show me what you know about DEBATE. I'm not a big fan of kritiks.
If you want to ensure a fair decision, you must give VOTERS. That helps me make sense of my flow.
Good for you at checking paradigms.... I judge several different types of debate:
As a communicator, you should be able to adapt to your audience...ie Judge.
Have fun! Debate is a wonderful activity where you can be smart, have fun, and learn at the same time.
Some items I think you should be aware of that I think weakens your presentation:
Being rude, forgetting to tag your cards, not having cards formatted correctly, and not making some kind of eye contact with judge during cross.
DO NOT say please vote for Aff/NEG...your argumentation and evidence should demonstrate your side should win.
Things to help your presentation: Smile, being polite, and organizing your arguments with internal signposting...sharing cards and evidence before using them.
Public Forum- DO NOT PROVIDE AN OFF TIME ROADMAP- I do not need it.
Please have started the email chain and flipped as soon as you can.
include me in the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
Or use a speech drop
There is not enough time in PF for effective theory/K to run. I will not vote for you if tricks or theory are your only arguments. I expect the resolution to be debated and there needs to be clash.
I think you should be frontlining offense (turns and disads) in rebuttal. Straight up defense does not need to be frontlined, but I do think it's strategic. Summary to final focus extensions should be consistent for the most part. Overall, the rule of thumb is that the earlier you establish an argument and the more you repeat it, the more likely I will be to vote for it, i.e., it's strategic to weigh in rebuttal too, but it's not a dealbreaker for me if you don't.
To me warrants matter more than impacts. You need both, but please please extend and explain warrants in each speech. Even if it's dropped, I'll be pretty hesitant to vote on an argument if it's not explained in the second half of the round. Also, I have a relatively high standard for what a case extension should look like, so err on the side of caution and just hit me with a full re-explanation of the argument or I probably won't want to vote for you.
The most important thing in debate is comparing your arguments to theirs. This doesn't mean say weighing words like magnitude and poverty and then just extending your impacts, make it actually comparative please.
I can flow most of the speed in PF, but you shouldn't be sacrificing explanation or clarity for speed.
I will try my best to be "tech over truth", but I am a just a mom of two five year olds and I do have my own thoughts in my head. To that end, my threshold for responses goes down the more extravagant an argument is.
If you want me to call for a piece of evidence, tell me to in final focus please.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me before the round.
Policy I am a stock issues judge when adjudicating Policy. I am fine with speed/spreading with signposting and roadmaps.
I can't stand the K. Please don't run one. Debate the resolution or run a T argument but very rarely will I vote off case arguments.
Parli/World Schools- Need to see fully developed warrants, impacts and confidence. I love stories and learning new TRUE stuff...
LD- I love debates about Criterion and no neg cases are great if ran with logic, links, and detailed examples. Tell stories. I will buy it if presented professionally and with logic. I need weighing of worlds and chrystalization.
Congress- Please make sure to reference previous representatives speeches and show me you have been flowing and are responding to what has been said in round.
Showing decorum and being polite- like thanking the previous representative always a good thing :)
PLEASE DO NOT ask if I am ready- I am always ready or I will say to please wait.
World Schools- I love the decorum/Parli element and terminology usage. Attacking the premise of arguments, call out logical fallacies, and weigh the worlds please....Make sure to give examples that are not just made up- I know Harvard studies everything, but please refrain from making stuff up.
I do appreciate puns/tasteful humor and use those POI requests and answers strategically.
Speech: For oratory and Informative speaking, I am looking for a unique perspective on the topic you chose. With Informative, inform me. I don't mind advocacy but I am not looking for a Persuasive speech.
Interp: I try really hard not to take notes during your performance as I want to give you my full attention. If you can make me forget that I am timing you, that is great. It means, you took me to a new place, time, thought and away from the real world for the moment. That means you hit the mark! I love that. I enjoy all types of selections, those with many characters and those with one. I judge on how well done you performed that selection.
Congress: Congress is a wonderful event. I want you to clash with the other debaters in the chamber but in a professional way. Don't be snarky. If we are in the fourth or fifth speech on a particular piece of legislation, you better be bringing something new for argumentation or your speech will not be ranked high. You need to embrace the role of an elected representative/senator. You are not a high school student during this event.
LD/PFD: If you spread you will not get the win. Spreading is for policy debate. Keep it there. In LD, good analogies are just as good if not better than evidence. I want to hear logic and reasoning. Seriously, if you spread, it will be really hard to get the win. In PFD, if you spread you will not get the win. This is the layperson's version of Policy. It's more evidence driven. But it is not policy. Seriously, do not spread.
I am a lay judge. Please speak clearly so that I can understand your speaking points. I do not disclose.
In PFD, I want to see organized cases with debaters directly clashing with opposing arguments. I want to hear sources with dates, in case I want to refer to them at some point in time. I would prefer to hear a few well-developed arguments instead of a dozen arguments that are only mentioned once in the debate. I don't think theory arguments are appropriate for this format. I expect final speakers to sum up why their side won the debate (voters). I expect all of the debaters to speak at a rate in which a normal human being could hear, process, and understand. I coached for a long time, and I really enjoy hearing sound, logical arguments.
I'm a full-time teacher and coach in the North Texas area. I have experience coaching, teaching or competing in every event. I've been involved in Speech and Debate, as either a competitor or a coach, for 14 years.
Theory and Ks - I'll evaluate and probably be able to understand these, but it's honestly not my preference to judge this kind of PF round. On theory in particular - please try to only run this if you believe you're the target of intentional and flagrant unfair behavior. Otherwise, I'd rather you just talked about the topic.
Speaking quickly is okay but please do not spread. The teams that get the highest speaks from me tend to talk at conversational or slightly faster than conversational speed.
If you're goal is to qualify for and do well at the TOC, you probably wouldn't consider me a "tech judge" ; I'll flow the round line-by-line in the case, rebuttal and summary but also want to see a lot of summation / weighing / big picture breakdowns of the round in the summary and especially in the final focus. I like a nice, clean speech that's easy for me to flow - tell me where to write things. Signpost more than you would think you have to.
Some answers to questions I've been asked:
-I think that it is strategically smart for the second speaking team to defend their case in rebuttal, but I don't consider it a requirement. In other words, if all you do in your rebuttal is attack your opponent's case, I won't consider all of your opponent's responses to your case to be "dropped."
-If you want me to vote on an issue, it should be present in both the summary and the final focus. The issue should be explained clearly by both partners in a similar way in each speech.
-If you say something about the opposing case in rebuttal and your opponents never respond to it, you don't need to keep bringing it up (unless it's a turn that you really want to go for or something like that).
-Speaker points - My 30 is "I feel like I'm watching someone debate out rounds at a national circuit tournament" and my 25 is "I'm going to go ask to talk to your coach about what I just saw." The vast majority of my scores fall in the 29-27 range.
The question I get asked most often at tournaments when judging LD is "are you okay with speed?" The answer is yes, but you'll probably find that I understand your case/arguments better if you slow down during any analytics (interpretation, plan text, standards, spikes, etc.) that you expect me to write down or remember. You'll also probably find that unless you don't spread much, I won't achieve 100% comprehension of your "top speed." And I'm big on this one - if your opponent doesn't understand spreading, don't spread.
Another question I get asked a lot is "are you okay with policy-style arguments?" Again, the answer is yes, but with some caveats. The farther your argument goes from traditional LD or traditional policy case structure, the harder it will be for me to grasp it and the less likely I am to vote on it.
I used to have a lot of really negative stuff about theory arguments in my paradigm. My position on that has softened a bit. There is a place for theory arguments in modern LD debate, but I still generally think theory should be in the minority of LD rounds, and the abuse should be substantial, deliberate, and clearly demonstrable if a theory argument is being made.
I do not disclose speaker points.
I generally include the PO in my ranking of a round, although not as highly as the best speakers in a round. Expect a rank in the 3-6 range unless you screw up often, are an exceptionally good PO, or are POing a round full of very bad speakers.
A few particulars:
-It's a good idea to break down the what exactly a piece of legislation says and does as the first negative and/or first affirmative speaker. Never assume that the judge has read or analyzed the item you're discussing!
-Refuting or extending the argument of at least one specific person by name is mandatory if you're the fifth speaker on an item or later.
-From the second you step foot into a Congressional Debate chamber, my expectation is that you are IN CHARACTER as a member of the United States House of Representatives or Senate. Breaking character (even during recess, or AGDs) and acting like a high schooler will disappoint me.
-I care about how good your best speech was more than how many speeches you gave.
-I am rarely impressed with three-plus main point Congress speeches. Unless you're in a round that has four minute speech times, this is a bad idea.
-I want to see a strong debate, not parliamentary games.
The single most important thing to me is whether or not you answered the question. Your three main points should be three reasons why your answer is correct. Somewhere between 7-10 sources is ideal. You should present an extremely compelling reason in your intro if you are giving something other than a three main point speech; 95% of your speeches or so should be of the three main point variety. Your speech should be over at seven minutes. Grace time is for you to finish a sentence that got away from you, not deliver a conclusion. I often rank people down for talking longer than 7:10.
It's important to me that I be able to tell, based on your oratory, how exactly you are defining your topic and what exactly you are proposing we do about it. This may sound obvious, but one of my most common negative comments on oratory ballots tends to be something to the effect of, "be more clear about what your persuasive goal for this speech is." Speeches should have a personal story. They should have a literary reference. They need to include some research.
The most important thing to me about your informative speech is whether or not you are actually informing me about something. Again, this might sound obvious, but I feel like many Infos are either disguised persuasive speeches or speeches that are repeating very widely known information (and therefore, no actual "informing" is taking place). I tend to have a "less is more" attitude when it comes to Info visual aids - this isn't to say that I penalize students who have elaborate visual aids; just that if you only have a couple unsophisticated visuals you could do still quite well with me if you have a good speech.
For both of these events, I want a balance of "hard" evidence (research, data) and "soft" evidence (anecdotes, stories, literary examples).
My overarching philosophy with all interp is that as a performer, you are baking a cake. The three main ingredients of this cake are "characters," "emotion," and "story." Everything else - blocking, accents, how your intro is written, suitability of subject material, author's intent, humor - is icing on that cake. Not totally unimportant - just not the first thing I think about when I'm deciding whether or not I liked it.
On the "what's more important, author's intent or creatively," I don't have a strong opinion, other than that is important to know and follow the rules for your event in whatever league you're competing in.
I prefer in HI, POI, and Duo fewer characters to more characters; 3-5 is perfect, more than that and it is likely I will get confused about your plot unless your differentiation between characters is exceptionally good.
I'm not the judge you want if you have a piece that pushes the envelope in terms of language, subjects for humor, and depictions of sex or violence.
My attitude towards blocking is that it should be in service of developing a character or making a plot point. I find myself writing comments like "I don't know what you were doing while you said XXXX" and "you doing XXXX is distracting" way more than I write comments like "need to add more blocking."
I judge this event extremely rarely, so if you have me judging you here, treat me like an old-school, traditional debate coach. You'll do best debating stock issues, disads, topicality, and fairly straightforward counter plans. I probably haven't judged many (or any) rounds on your topic. As I said earlier with LD, spreading is fine but probably not your "top speed" if your goal this year is to qual for/break at the TOC.