Capitol Beltway Fall Classic at Walt Whitman
2014 — MD/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
When I understand the words you say I take them more seriously
Do what you want. I follow tournament rules, try not to throw things
Years debated : 4
Last POLICY debate – 2013
Judging HS Policy Debate since: 2012
I believe in looking at ways to solve problems at the micro and macro level. It's awesome to discuss the broder aspects, but you can use things that are inevitable for the greater good. In other words, you can fight the battle and the war.
Warrant and compare your your arguments, close as many doors as you can in the debate. and be clear about it. Impact calc and internal link contestations and explanation are the key things i look at in determining who won.
I am open to any type of debate. I have debated with Liberty University for around three years and do both critical and policy arguments. Talk about what you want to talk about and just defend why it is a good idea. Keeping this in mind, I am not an evidence reader. I think it is your job to explain to me what your evidence says. I shouldn't have to figure it out. Smart analytics are better than bad cards. In depth explanation is better than just dumping cards. Now onto specifics:
I am open to whatever but am not fond of politics DA's. If you go for it make sure to explain each level and why it wins you the round. I'm not going to do the work for you.
I have a high threshold for theory. I do not think T is a reverse voter so I wouldn't advise making that argument. Unless the other team completely drops it, it will get you nowhere. Theory can be used to mitigate other areas of the debate (like they were conditional so that justifies my severance perm, etc.) but you will need to prove in round abuse for me to pull the trigger on just a theory argument.
Open to whatever. Tell me what the CP does that's better than the AFF and explain the alternative and what the world looks like. With a K it is important to explain how the alternative functions and what exactly I am voting for. Is it an action, an ethic, or both? Most debaters spend time on the links and impact but not enough time on the alternative. Give me a clear picture of what it is and how it resolves the impacts if you want to win the K.
I am lenient with jumping evidence and don't count it as prep time. This will only change if the time required to exchange a flash drive starts getting excessive, which I will warn you about first.
And don't whisper to your partner once prep time is over. I am sensitive to stealing prep and will call you out if I think that's what you are doing.
I enjoy when debaters have fun in rounds. Do well but don't take it too seriously. A fun part of the activity is getting to know people in the community. Talking and being social make the round more fun for everyone involved.
I debated 3 years at Baltimore City College High School. The first year of my high school career I did mainly Policy Debate. The last two years of my Debate career I delved into the Kritik on both sides of the Debate. The majority of my arguments were mostly race theory and arguments about antiblackness.
I mostly debated the k and I love kritiks. I think that a kritical perspective is important for opening the activity to more marginalized experiences. I believe that it can be productive both for the sport and for the community.
Despite my love for Kritiks and Race arguments, I will admit that I am less biased than most with my orientation. When I watch and Judge debate, I will do my best to listen carefully to the actual arguments being made and will vote on almost anything if you win the debate. I believe that debate should be about even competition that is based on what is said in round and how it effects the outside world. In terms of argumentation I believe in truth and tech almost equally, with truth just weighing slightly higher on the scale. This means that a conceded argument is true, but within context of reason. I do value the flow; and it still has a major impact on my decision.
I am fine with spreading; just be clear and slow on tags.
For K teams
For K teams, explain arguments and links. If I do not understand why things are the way they are or even how the Alternative solves for things. then I will have more trouble voting you up. Do yourself a favor and impact and explain each claim you make. For those reading Kritiks I believe a genuine belief and representation of the arguments your talking about is important. Also, if your an all white team that reads a race k against poc I will likely not vote on it unless it has a legit (and I mean hardcore legit) link. That being said in any situation, I will try my best to be open minded.
Policy v Ks/plans with critical advantages
For Policy Teams that are on the Aff and are going against such arguments; do not break out k-ish advantages for a super policy Aff. You should just read what you want and the do the neccessary level of argumentation to win against such arguments. If you naturally read policy affs that have a k twist; then that is fine.
In order for me to vote on Topicality; it really needs to be impacted out. There should probably be more to the Standards part of the Debate other than education and Fairness. (Recently that has been the only extension of T that I have heard in debates that I have judged.) If it is education and Fairness you need to answer the questions of "why is the model of debate that you are advocating for producing important? Other questions such as, "what is the type of education you are producing/why is that good?" What is fairness and why does that matter in this Debate especially against the opponents Impacts. These are the the types of questions that need to be answered in addition to answering the other teams arguments in order to get my ballot. Answering these questions are probably not strictly regulated to folks who run T/FW...., but I have found that the explanations to these questions have been severely lacking in the majority of rounds that I've judged with teams who have brought up this argument. This is why I put this explanation here. I will admit; I am more open than I used to be, but I still do not believe that you were forced to run T. However, I will vote on it if the necessary work is done. In terms of articulation I would be interested in hearing a critical spin on Framework argument that talks about why the State focus may be good politically for (whater K is being talked about.) I am good on theory, so if you run it I'm cool. I'm more geared towards social political justice arguments, but whatever.
currently the director of high school debate for the baltimore urban debate league (2007-present), also assist and aid in the development of argumentation for Towson University.
formerly coached at the University of Louisville, duPont Manual High School (3X TOC qualifiers; Octofinalist team 2002) have taught summer institutes at the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Emory, Iowa, Catholic University, and Towson University as a lab leader.
I debated three years in high school on the kentucky and national circuit and debated five years at the University of Louisville.
I gave that little tidbit to say that I have been around debate for a while and have debated and coached at the most competitive levels with ample success. I pride myself in being committed to the activity and feel that everyone should have a voice and choice in their argument selection so I am pretty much open to everything that is in good taste as long as YOU are committed and passionate about the argument. The worst thing you can do in the back of the room is assume that you know what I want to hear and switch up your argument selection and style for me and give a substandard debate. Debate you and do it well and you will be find.
True things to know about me:
Did not flow debates while coaching at the University of Louisville for two years but am flowing again
Was a HUGE Topicality HACK in college and still feel that i am up on the argument. I consider this more than a time suck but a legitimate issue in the activity to discuss the merit of the debate at hand and future debates. I have come to evolve my thoughts on topicality as seeing a difference between a discussion of the topic and a topical discussion (the later representing traditional views of debate- division of ground, limits, predictability etc.) A discussion of the topic can be metaphorical, can be interpretive through performance or narratives and while a topical discussion needs a plan text, a discussion of the topic does not. Both I think can be defended and can be persuasive if debated out well. Again stick to what you do best. Critiquing topicality is legitimate to me if a reverse voting issue is truly an ISSUE and not just stated with unwarranted little As through little Gs. i.e. framework best arguments about reduction of language choices or criticism of language limitations in academic discussion can become ISSUES, voting issues in fact. The negative's charge that the Affirmative is not topical can easily be developed into an argument of exclusion begat from predictable limitations that should be rejected in debate.
It is difficult to label me traditional or non traditional but safer to assume that i can go either way and am partial to traditional performative debate which is the permutation of both genres. Teams that run cases with well developed advantages backed by a few quality pieces of evidence are just as powerful as teams that speak from their social location and incorporate aesthetics such as poetry and music. in other words if you just want to read cards, read them poetically and know your argument not just debate simply line by line to win cheap shots on the flow. "They dropped our simon evidence" is not enough of an argument for me to win a debate in front of me. If i am reading your evidence at the end of the debate that is not necessairly a good thing for you. I should know what a good piece of evidence is because you have articulated how good it was to me (relied on it, repeated it, used it to answer all the other arguments, related to it, revealed the author to me) this is a good strategic ploy for me in the back of the room.
Technique is all about you. I must understand what you are saying and that is it. I have judged at some of the highest levels in debate (late elims at the NDT and CEDA) and feel pretty confident in keeping up if you are clear.
Not a big fan of Malthus and Racism Good so run them at your own risk. Malthus is a legitimate theory but not to say that we should allow systematic targeted genocide of Black people because it limits the global population. I think i would be more persuaded by the argument that that is not a NATURAL death check but an IMMORAL act of genocide and is argumentatively irresponsible within the context of competitive debate. Also i am not inclined to believe you that Nietzsche would say that we should target Black people and exterminate them because death is good. Could be wrong but even if i am, that is not a persuasive argument to run with me in the back of the room. In case you didn't know, I AM A BLACK PERSON.
Bottom line, I can stomach almost any argument as long as you are willing to defend the argument in a passionate but respectful way. I believe that debate is inherently and unavoidable SUBJECTIVE so i will not pretend to judge the round OBJECTIVELY but i will promise to be as honest and consistent as possible in my ajudication. Any questions you have specifically I am more than happy to answer.
Open Cross X, weird use of prep time (before cross x, as a prolonging of cross x) all that stuff that formal judges don't like, i am probably ok with.
I debated policy at Eleanor Roosevelt HS for three years and debated at Liberty University for two years.
For the high school and college rez: I have not done much research on the topic, so be aware that I’m not familiar with topic-specific jargon and acronyms.
DA’s – I enjoy the politics DA’s probably more than any other argument. I am not compelled to vote on DA's with terrible internal link stories and even more terrible evidence. Impact comparison is important but I would much rather hear a substantial debate on the link level. I am also not particularly swayed by theory on politics DA's and will most likely not vote on it.
CP’s – I like CP's, the more specific the solvency evidence is for the 1AC, the better. However, I am not a fan of word PIC's or Consult CP's, so I encourage you to explore a different strategy in front of me.
K’s – My knowledge of K literature and philosophers is top-heavy, so do not assume that I have extensive knowledge about an author or argument that was read in the debate. I’m familiar with basic K’s (anthro, cap, security, etc) but I have little knowledge base with high-theory K’s. With that said, tag line extensions are insufficient and you should err on the side of explanation. Most K's fail in so far as the alternative is shallowly extended and explained; if that is the case, I am less compelled to vote for the K. I want to hear a discussion of what the aff looks like in the world of the alt. The alternative is a critical aspect of the K and should be a huge point of contestation. From previous debates I've judged, the weakest points of most teams have always been the alternative. So if by the end of the debate and you have not kicked the alternative, I would like a clear analysis of how it functions and the role of my ballot.
Topicality – I default to competing interpretations, unless told otherwise. I like good topicality debates but only when the impact is extensively discussed. Topic-specific definitions are good. I’m a tad bit sympathetic towards reasonability claims.
Theory – Most theory debates devolve into block reading with little clash. This is not the way to have a theory debate, and if theory is more than a time suck to you and you want it to be a viable option at the end of the debate, you should probs respond to your opponent’s args.
Conditionality – Two advocacies are acceptable. Three is pushing it.
Miscellaneous thoughts –
· Although my style of arguments in high school were more K-oriented, my style in college has usually been policy-oriented.
· Debate what you’re good at, don’t feel like you have to change your argumentation style if you have me in the back of the room.
· Although debate is a game, always have fun and show respect to each other.
· As I judge more and more, I've discovered that I am an extremely flow centric judge. I don't like to do work for either team so make sure your speech meets the threshold of sufficiency.
· Clarity is important! If I can't understand you, your arguments are not on my flow.
· You don’t have to use prep to flash files, but don’t abuse this.
· For any questions, contact me at email@example.com
Email chains: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach at Mason (2016-Present)
If my camera is off, I am not ready. Please do not start your speech yet or I will likely miss things. Thanks!
Top Level Things:
Tech > truth (most of the time)
Depth > breadth
Strategic thinking/arg development/framing of args > 10 cards that say X
I won't take prep for flashing/emailing, just don't steal it.
If a paradigm is not provided for me to evaluate the round, I will default to util.
I don't keep track of speech time/prep. Please keep your own.
Unless I am told not to judge kick by the 2AR, I will default to judge-kicking the CP or alt (in open).
I won't vote on things that have occurred outside of the round (ie pre-round misdisclosure).
Do not include cards in the card doc if they were not referenced in the 2NR/2AR but they do answer arguments your opponents made in their speech. If you didn't make the arg, I'm not going to read the card.
2:15 judge time is the bane of my existence. I apologize in advance for going to decision time in nearly every open debate. I like being thorough.
Please. Please. Please. Start slow for the first 5 seconds of each speech. It is sometimes so hard to comprehend online debate, especially if you are even slightly unclear in person.
Make sure to occasionally check the screen when speaking to make sure we aren't frozen/showing you we can't hear you.
I am very understanding of inevitable online tech failures.
Main things I end up looking to cards for:
- To clarify questions I have about my flow based on arguments made in the 2NR/2AR.
- To compare the quality of evidence on well-debated arguments. If both teams have done a good job responding to warrants from opponent ev + explaining their own ev, I will look to evidence quality as a tie breaker for those arguments.
- To determine if I should discount a card entirely. If a card is bad, say that. I will then validate if the ev is bad, and if it just doesn't make arguments I will not evaluate it in my decision. If I'm not told a card is bad and the arg is dropped, I'll give the other team full weight of it regardless of ev quality to preserve 2NR/2AR arg choice on arguments dropped by the other team.
- I will NOT use evidence to create applications that were not made by debaters to answer the other team's arguments. I am increasingly on panels or observing debates in which this happens, and it's frustrating. Maybe I just take longer than others to evaluate my flow than others, but a significant portion of my decision time is spent parsing through the flow and ensuring arguments align across speeches. I do not have, nor do I take, the time to read all the cards and then make applications from them that did not exist on my flow. Evidence quality is important, because ideally both teams should be doing card comparisons. Cards just shouldn't be the sole factor in deciding debates and certainly shouldn't be a way to compensate for bad flows.
2021 update: I'm fine with unlimited condo. I am very unlikely to vote on condo but will if it is certainly won.
Other theory stuff:
If theory comes down to reasons that the specific CP is a voter, I view it as a reason to reject the arg and not the team. To be clear, I will not vote someone down for reading a certain type of CP or alt based on theory args alone. Independent CP theory args are highly dependent on whether there is quality evidence to substantiate the CP.
There can be 0 percent risk of a link.
Bad DAs can be beaten with analytics + an impact defense card.
Uniqueness isn't given enough credit in a lot of 2NRs/2ARs.
Link typically precedes uniqueness. You should do framing for these things.
DA turns case/case turns DA gets dropped A LOT. Try not to do that.
I miss judging politics debates. I know it was so bad for so long. It's good again.
Ks v Policy Affs:
I prefer line-by-line debates and very much dislike lengthy overviews and convoluted alt explanations. I will not make cross-applications for you.
I prefer Ks that have specific links to the topic or plan action significantly more than Ks that have state or omission links.
It is important for you to win root cause claims in relation to the specifics of the aff rather than sweeping generalizations about war. This is especially true when the aff has arguments about a certain countries' motives/geopolitical interests or reasons behind corporate/governmental actions.
Outside of something that was blatantly offensive, I believe that all language is contextual and words only mean as much as the meaning attached to them. Thus, args like "we didn't use it in that context" are convincing to me. I can be persuaded to vote them down, but I am going to be more biased the other way.
Some of the below section is also relevant for these debates.
K affs v Policy Team:
The aff should at minimum be tied to the resolution. Novices should read a plan during their first semester.
Honestly, I would just prefer to resolve a debate that is aff v. case defense + offense specific to the aff (reform CP w/ net benefit, etc) over framework. If you go for framework/if you're giving a 2AR v it, below are some random things I think about clash debates. This is not exhaustive, nor does it mean I will automatically vote on these arguments. I will vote for who I think wins the flow, but in close debates, these are my leanings:
- I dislike judging debates that solely come down to structural v procedural fairness. I find them nearly impossible to resolve without judge intervention.
- Fairness is an internal link. There are multiple impacts that come from it.
- K affs are inevitable and we should be able to effectively engage with them in ways other than fw/t when they are based in discussions of the resolution.
- Ground and stasis points in debate are important for testing and arg refinement.
- Arg refinement can still occur over the process of the aff even w/o a plan if it's in the area of the resolution. Everyone should have X topic reform good cards to answer these affs/go against the K.
- Being topical is not the end of debate.
- Affs that are directly bidirectional are not a good idea in front of me and T should be the 2NR.
- Creativity can exist with plan texts and is not precluded by defending one.
- Affs garnering solid offense from sequencing questions is one of the best ways to win my ballot in these debates.
- Debate itself is good. Gaming is good. W/L inevitable. The goal of a debate is to win.
K v K:
If you find me here, give me very clear judge instruction.
They're arbitrary. I've given up trying to adapt to a scale but I do try to give speaks based on the division and tournament. Here's some important things to note:
- Confidence gets you a long way.
- If you prevent your opponent from answering in cross ex, that won't bode well for speaks and I will be annoyed.
- I will not give you a 30 because you ask for one. Though I will give birthday and Senior last tournament boosts.
- If I'm not flowing something, and you notice I am staring at you, you are being redundant and should move on.
Hi, I'm John. I debated policy for the New School for 2 1/2 years, from fall of 2010 to fall of 2012. During my debate career I mostly argued kritiks, defended an advocacy rather than a topical plan, and refused to switch sides. Although there is nothing I totally refuse to vote on (so far), I probably vote for the kritik more often than most judges.
I tend to have a very high threshold on T and FW. On T, I default to resonability, and the neg will have to tell a clear abuse story to get my ballot. This means not just clearly identifying what the aff did wrong, but why it's important (with impacts). I tend to value education as a standard very highly in T debates.
On FW, if the 1AC includes a justification for their non-topical advocacy, then it's up to the neg to respond with offense against the aff's methodology and/or reasons to prefer topical affs for educational/political reasons. Arguing that the aff broke the rules, stole the neg's ground, or will always be able to defend that their principles are good is unlikely to get you far.
CP/DA debate: I'm more receptive than most judges to the argument that probability of impacts is at least as important as magnitude. I see very little value in debates where I end up weighing two far-fetched nuke war scenarios against each other. To paraphrase Boston College DoD John Katsulas, if you got up in front of Congress and argued that we must pass comprehensive immigration reform or humanity will go extinct, you would be thrown into a loony bin.
Years of Experience: 10+ (coaching and debating)
School affiliated with: Bedford Academy High School
I am a teacher at Bedford Academy HS, coaching a brand new team. I have debated and coached on every level: HS, MS, and college. I tend to see myself as a judge who is open to what you tell me to vote on. However, I want clean debates, clearly articulated arguments, and good decorum. In saying that, I like very specific debates on many of the issues that plague this nation's education system. Leave you generic strategies at home and come with some creative strategies that really push the critical thinking skills inside of the round.
- Topicality: T is for me is a hit or miss. If it is explained well and the argumentation is strong, then I will vote on it. I will never default to judge intervention. The topicality debate should develop itself. Abuse stories, especially, need to be proven to me, i.e. in order to win on topicality, I need an explicit description of how the abuse manifests itself in the round. If none of these things happen, I will not vote on it. Make the extra effort to explain either:
a. Why the affirmative's interpretation of the resolution is problematic OR
b. Why the framers' scope of what immigration reform should look like is a problem for the focus area.
- Kritiks: As I get older, I find that there is little to no creativity when it comes to making these arguments. Everyone is saying the same thing, which is pretty boring. The Kritik is by far my favorite position. So by default, I am looking for an excellent debate. This means a couple of things:
- The explanation of the K needs to be done outside of the jargon of the author: for example, if you are running D&G, don't drop the term rhizomatic expansion and think that I know what that means. Explain it. Nothing gets me upset than a K team that drops terms and does not explain how those terms interact with the argument.
- The more specific the link the more likely I am going to vote on it. I HATE GENERIC LINKS WITH A PASSION! Generic links illustrate lazy K debating. C'mon Son! If you are going to run the K, make sure that there a substantial and qualitative link scenario.
- The alternative, I feel is the most important mechanism of the K. Therefore, take careful consideration as to what the alternative will be. I have voted on simple reject alternatives. I don't like voting on these alternatives too much. I like an alternative that does something more than just reject.
- Be reminded that I am a teacher. You should be able to explain what your alternative looks like in the world of the classroom. Take that extra step to contextualize your alternative. It's nice (I guess) to say historical materialism, but to not explain it in the world of immigration reform is a sure fire way for me to ignore the alternative.
- Disadvantages: Even though I and DAs are not the best of friends, I have and will vote on it. I don't like shallow disad debates, which includes nonstop card reading and no real argumentation. This rings true for Politics. I prefer specificity on the DA. If I don't get that, then don't assume that I will vote on it.
- Counterplans: The CP has to make sense especially since the topic is education reform. The CP text needs to be stated clearly along with any planks that are added to the CP. Comparative solvency debates are the best way to get my ballot. Explain why your mechanism is the best one to solve the problem described in the 1AC. A good CP is able to create doubt as to why the aff's plan is needed in the first place, so as debaters you should create that doubt.
- Performance: Over the years, I have seen some performance arguments that dealt with the resolution and others that ignore the resolution altogether. In saying that, PLEASE ensure that your performance is at the very least resolutional. It's alright to talk about the resolution and its underlying assumptions. This is a good way to ensure that I am engaged in the round and makes you sound credible. If you are not going to talk about the topic in any way, I'm probably not the judge for you. When debating these arguments, please have an argument that makes sense. Framework is not a position on its own: it is just a way for me to look at impacts. You still have to answer the argument.
Ultimately, the last two speeches in the debate should help me in writing my decision. If that does not happen, then you leave me to my own devices in terms of looking at the flow and interpreting the flow for myself
Additional Things to know:
- Prep times end when the flash drive leaves the computer.
- Feel free to add me to your email chain: email@example.com
- A 30 speech does not exist (at least at the HS level) so don't expect one.
- Do not ask me what my preferences are: I will tell you how I like my steak, which sneakers I am going to buy, etc. Ask direct questions, assuming that you read this paradigm.
- Real world examples of how the aff/neg works help you.
- I am okay with speed....just make sure I understand you. I will make faces if I don't understand you.
Any questions: feel free to contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top Level - Only judge every once and a while now, debated for George Mason University.
I would like to be on the email chain - gerrit.hansen96 AT gmail.com
Go to the bottom for non-policy formats
What to read before the round, if you are interested.
This paradigm is too long - I like K debate, but also policy debate. I am not as experienced in the latter, and will likely over-compensate by reading cards if I get confused or lost. I will do my best to judge your debate fairly.
I am neither the best - nor the worst, hopefully - flow in the game. I have great auditory processing, handwriting not so much. I would encourage a lil pen time for important args.
If the other team brings up an accessibility issue about some portion of your speech, the impetus is on you to fix the problem. I am somewhat open to discussion of what is reasonable (or fair) but please don't make me punish you for being a jerk.
Exclusionary language - including misgendering anyone, racism, ableism, sexism, etc is a voting issue. Almost guaranteed your speaks suffer at least. I will usually leave it to the team that has been harmed to make an argument about it, because I don't want to decide for you when your debate should end.
(Please Read) A few choice E-Debate best practices I have come across:
Please have someone listen to you speak at full speed before we get going if this is the first round of the day. Some of y'all are using rather nice technology and still having rather bad audio quality because you don't bother to set it up right.
Record prep time in the zoom chat - I find it really hard to keep timers at the best of times, and this is not the best of times. Will make exceptions for novices, but otherwise you are big kids. Please time yourself so we don't end up in awkward situations.
Post the order in the zoom chat ((especially when someone is afk) credit to Wichita BM for this one)
Webcam is not mandatory, but consider that it is both harder to pay attention to your speech, and to understand you when I can't see you.
We will negotiate what happens if someone's tech glitches out in the middle of the speech before the 1ac. Please be upfront about the tech problems you have. Telling me you almost got it 13 times while trying to fight with your internet connection is much more frustrating when you haven't communicated effectively.
Do not start interrupting people. As annoying as it is when people talk over others to ask another pointless question in real life, it's even more annoying over zoom. Treat each other with respect, like you would a classmate. Some people seem to be taking the computer screen as a reason they can be even more rude. Don't do this.
Topicality - I think this argument has many valuable uses in debate. Use it how you will. Evidence comparison and caselists are a MUST in these debates. Tell me what your vision of the topic looks like.
Reasonability, as a phrase, is not an argument. I'm open to any and all arguments about how T debates should be viewed, but the onus is on you to create a model for what judging debates in that way ought to look like. Default to competing interps.
Theory - Slow if you plan to go for it. High speed blocks are unpersuasive and are optically a cheap-shot. Potential abuse is probably not an impact I care about that much.
CP's - They can be cool, they can be contrived and silly. PIC's should be specific rather then general. Sympathetic with 2As on some counter-plan theory. Slow down on your CP text if you want me to catch its nuances. Word PIC's are usually silly.
DA - They're cool. The more creative the better. Politics is good. 1 good and well compared impact scenario is worth 3 with loose comparison or impact calculus.
K's - This is the style of debate I personally chose to do. I have a fairly extensive literature base, and am probably more then willing to listen to your stuff. If you argue your position well and prove that you have an understanding of your literature base I will probably want to vote for you. If you're good at what you do, do it.
Links are better when they are specific to the aff - I'm down for spin, but a generic state link or a security K with no impact defense is unlikely to make me want to vote for you
Line by line is important to me, and I have yet to hear a way to evaluate debates in a reasonably fair fashion except some version of the offense/defense paradigm. If you don't want me to flow or want to change the format of the debate, I support you in your efforts but I'm also probably not the judge for you
Debates about debate (The section is a bit of a tangent for K teams) - I grow increasingly tired of the "standard moves" in these debates. I feel many ballot commodification/currency arguments are very reductionist and very much resemble whiny debaters screaming about fiat being illusory. I will obviously vote on them, but I would say I have a higher threshold than most. I care a little bit less about what the ballot does for the aff/neg, and more about what strategies, tactics, methods, alternative world views etc my ballot ought to endorse.
K Aff's/Framework- This is a debate. Defending debate norms is cool, saying "Debate bad" is cool. Being creative on both sides is more likely to get me on your side.
Topical Versions of the Aff are a good way to mitigate offense against framework. Explain to me why it solves their impact turns, not why it is similar to the aff
The Affirmative is much more likely to win if they have a counter interpretation - I find it hard to evaluate defensive "rez already exploded" or "rez poorly written" arguments without one. Rez +1 is not an argument
Arguments about jurisdiction and authority are not good ones, so long as they are answered.
Fairness is an impact. I have the inclination that debates should be fair. That being said, I don't particularly care about procedural fairness in my heart of hearts, and it's rather easy to convince me that a host of things might outweigh the need for debates to be fair.
Speaker Points: I used to have a convoluted scale of sorts here. To be honest, as I judge more often, I usually give pretty high speaker points. I think I tend to presume the best of debaters, and I often find it hard to judge their relative qualities against other debaters I have seen in a bad light. That being said, I have found that I punish very vindictively if you use exclusionary language or are a jerk.
I mainly participated in and judge policy. I will be upfront and say that while I am familiar with the rules and some of the norms of non-policy formats, but it is probably not as second nature to me as it is to you. I would not say that I judge more then 6 tournaments in either LD or PF a year, and speech is even more uncommon. These are some helpful thoughts:
PLEASE CLASH. Compare impacts. Compare frameworks. Acknowledge that your opponent made arguments, and tell me why I should care about your arguments more.
"Progressive" debate styles are cool. Theory is way too common in LD, but I don't plan to be the activist judge that stops it.
There is not a single thing that will matter to me LESS then if you stand up whenl you speak, where you speak from, etc. Accommodate yourself in the room, and I will choose my place in relation to that. It is strange how common this question is in public forum.
I'm pretty good at flowing, and the flow is how I will decide the debate. Logic over persuasion. Good policy over good personality. Tech over truth.
"Off-time" Roadmaps are helpful
Don't spread if you can't be clear. PLEASE.
Former varsity debater at George Mason University, now the policy debate coach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC.
First things first, I have done and enjoy both critical and policy debate, so do what you're comfortable with. No matter what style you utilize, just make sure that it is explained well. Even if I know what your argument is, I will only vote on how you articulate it. This is a communication activity, so do not forget that you have to be persuasive. I flow, and I will vote on the flow.
I don't often call for evidence. I'll call for evidence if I think you have a really sweet card (which won't be evaluated off of that) or if there's a dispute on the warrants or quality of a card important to the debate, but otherwise I see it as bordering on intervention to call for cards and interpret them if I didn't clearly hear them in the round. If I do call for evidence and I can't connect it to my flow you should probably learn your evidence better.
I show many facial expressions while judging, but I typically end up looking down at my flow writing the entire time to make sure I get as much as possible. If I do look up, don't get discouraged, I want to listen to your explanation. I will try as best as I can to follow your arguments.
Second, generally, I give speaker points based on a few criteria:
First - Make smart arguments. You don't need to be the fastest speaker to get high speaks with me. I would rather you explain things and be smart over trying to show off.
Second - Organization. I don't want a cluster of arguments spewed onto my flow. Don't mess it up.
Third - Clarity. BE CLEAR.
Fourth - Efficiency. Allocate your time wisely, you will probably be able to tell when I'm getting bored if you're spending too much time on something.
Fifth - Ethos. Persuade me. This is a communicative activity, I just want you to learn how to be well spoken. Be passionate, make it seem like you actually want to be here debating.
Sixth - BE NICE AND RESPECTFUL TO YOUR PARTNER/OPPONENTS/ME. You're all here to have fun, don't take yourself too seriously.
I don't care about profanity in moderation and when appropriate. If your speech ends up being a slew of cursing with some arguments in between and it isn't related to your specific argument (or the other team deserves it), I will tank your speaks and probably tell you after the round. Being blatantly offensive is not acceptable. By that, I don't mean linking to a rhetoric K or anything like that, I mean saying something that is legitimately offensive to the other team and you don't seem to care. I'll either look angrily at you or interrupt you. That's a sign that your speaks have been bottomed out with no chance of redemption. Be sensitive of gendered/homophobic/racist/ableist language. I will talk to you about it after the round if not already addressed within the round, just so you're aware.
In cross-x, I have no problem with being very indignant or aggressive. It's a high intensity activity and it typically comes across as somewhat competitive to me, but that's not a free pass to be rude and domineering. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be a smart ass if you can pull it off, I'll enjoy that.
Don't get caught up on one thing in cross x that is a dead end or been adequately answered, it will reflect upon your speaker points.
I don't mind small talk throughout the round. I don't want to be just a fly on the wall. But don't think that gets you anything.
Case - It's only detrimental to not have a fleshed out case debate. Both the aff and neg seem to under utilize the aff case in high school debate. Uniqueness questions for advantages, internal link defense, impact defense, internal link turns, impact turns. You have so many options.
K affs - I want a clear explanation of your method or intentional lack thereof. Framing of the round is important. You're re-situating my ballot to mean something outside of the norm of debate, you should probably detail why that's important. I have yet to really hear an offensive reason why permutations shouldn't be allowed in a methodologies debate when the neg frames the round that way, so neg teams be sure to answer the perm unless you can articulate why perms shouldn't matter. There needs to be an offensive reason why the affirmative either fits into, should be interjected into, or entirely abandons the topic. Protip: You probably aren't going to win defining words in the resolution on framework ("Resolved=Reduce by mental analysis" and "USFG means the people" aren't really round winners). If you have a defensible counter-interpretation like "the aff should be in the direction of the topic" and do the work to defend it, you can likely convince me that you aren't all that abusive. If you don't have a counter interp and reject the topic I'm a little more receptive to framework, but you can win that framework is bad.
FW - Framework can end up interesting or boring and stale. If you go for the procedural/fairness portion of framework, I want to hear a list of what kind of unpredictable cases the aff justifies, what arguments you lose, why those arguments are important/good to debate (if the aff wins that the arguments you lose are epistemologically bad, why should I evaluate them?) and why fairness is good. Winning T version solves the aff will likely mitigate most or all aff offense unless they're blatantly not at all within the topic. Going for T version, you should have justifications for policymaking being good, legal discussions being good, and some sort of external impact. T version makes sense to me as a CP or methodology debate, that makes it a lot simpler for you to frame that debate.
DA's - Impact calculus impact calculus impact calculus. Why does the DA outweigh case? Does it turn case solvency or impacts? Is there a link? What's the threshold for the aff triggering the link? Is the DA unique? These are all the basic questions that should be answered for me throughout the debate. Mitigate the aff case or solve the aff with a CP and it's done. Aff, when answering DA's, you should answer all of those questions as well, but the opposite way. Remember, you have an aff. It has impacts. Tell me why those are more important.
CP's - Be competitive. Have an offensive net benefit (solving better isn't much of a net benefit or one at all). If the Aff/CP debate ends up close, flag the presumption voter and outline which direction it goes.
Kritik's - Read whatever K you would like BUT be warned you need to explain it well. Winning the K is all about spin. Unless you've cut some great specific link and impact cards, chances are your K doesn't specifically criticize the aff, so tell me how it does. Real world examples are awesome, in fact, they are preferred. Do the right impact framing and win the role of the ballot. If you can set up a uniqueness story to turn your K into a DA, by all means kick the alt or tell me to boot the alt for you if the aff wins no alternative solvency. I'm familiar with some lit and I would like to say the lit I'm most read up on is CRT and Gender studies. Aff, don't let the neg get away with their vague hipster explanations using buzzwords. Too many high school teams seem intimidated by K's or just do it because they think it's cool without fully understanding it. No. I am a firm believer in debaters needing to learn how to debate before they can read K's or critique it. Do not go for a K you don't understand in front of me. I want explanations.
Topicality - You should provide detailed analysis of what the topic should look like. I default to competing interps. I like to hear a good T debate, but I'm not going to say "don't run T as a timesuck" because that's just inevitable. Your interpretations establish a particular vision of the topic. Give me a clear case list for that topic. Give me a T version of the aff. Give me a list of lost neg ground. In round abuse? Should I vote on potential abuse? Should I prefer fairness or education? Why?
Procedurals (Specs) - I'll vote on them. I think that ASPEC tends to be relevant given the popularity of agent CP's. I'mean fine with your trolly args...if it's won it's won. Hearing a topic specific specification with an in depth description of why that's relevant to having ground to a particular portion of the topic that provides unique education will be incredibly interesting to me.
Theory - Have an interpretation. Chances are that I won't pull the trigger on all conditionality being bad always. Should PIC's have to be functionally and textually competitive? You have to articulate the link to your argument. What did the other team do that's abusive? And if you want it to be a reason to reject the team, you have to impact it and explain how it impacted the round or establishes a bad precedent for debate. If no one says anything on it, I'll default to T outweighing theory, it's a gateway issue. Remember to slow down in theory debates.
When I debate, I have the mindset of the debaters being in charge of how I write my ballot, I encourage you to do that as well. Whether you have to force my hand or you wax eloquently about your position is up to you. But I cannot stress it enough that I will vote on the flow.
I stop prep when the flash drive comes out of your computer or when the email is sent. It's your burden of being paperless to be efficient with it. I don't want my time wasted or yours because it cuts into your RFD time. If you're having computer issues, the screen has to face me.
Random aesthetic side notes:
-Don't hide behind your computer, make eye contact with me. You're trying to win my ballot, not your computer's.
-Don't try to go faster than you are. It only makes you sound unclear or choppy.
-At least try to look like you're enjoying yourself.
Final note: I really do believe that debate is some of the best education a student can get, I am here to help you learn as well so please do not hesitate after rounds to ask me questions.
Any questions, email me. email@example.com.
Put me on your email chains: Rich.firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Years policy debate at Mason
One year coaching at Mason
Before you pref me, I should make you aware that I have done zero topic research or judging on this topic.
General opinions about debate:
Tech over truth- if it's a bad argument, you should've answered it.
However, this doesn't mean cards over logic- if you have a piece of evidence that belongs in the trash, don't be surprised if the other team wins that argument without evidence and just making logical arguments.
Debate is a communications activity. If I didn't vote for you on an argument you thought you made, you either weren't clear enough when you made it so it's not on my flow, or you didn't explain it enough.
Debate is a game. Do with that what you will.
Read whatever you want, I'm not going to on face reject an argument (exceptions include things like "racism good"- don't do that)
Try and make your transitions between arguments/pages clear - I don't want to miss something you say because you sounded at the same speed for 9 minutes of your speech.
I've been told I make lots of expressions - and this includes when I'm judging debates. Do with that information what you will.
Feel free to email me with questions about my philosophy or after any debate I judge you.
Default to competing interps
I need more than just a neg caselist- what's topical under you interp? What DAs/CPs don't you get? Why do you deserve getting them. This is super important when I don't know what this topic has been like.
Heavy emphasis on impact calc is very much preferred. Do limits outweigh aff innovation? Is precision more important than overlimiting?
Too little evidence comparison happens in T debates generally, so try your best to fight that trend.
SPEC args are a non starter as a voting issue unless you ask in CX and they just don't answer, or if the 2AC just decides to cheat a lot. If you read it for CP competition purposes, that's obviously fine and probably necessary.
T vs K affs
Debate is a game- should the emphasis be on fairness, or whether or not the game has some sort of educational value beyond this space- that's to be debated, but my inclination is towards it needs to be fair to work and can still be educational.
Framework is the best option- Fairness or Delib, doesn't matter to me. Do what you want. I prefer procedural fairness though.
Limits impact is the most persuasive, because it has both in and out of round implications. Followed by health care education good arguments.
If you're a K aff, you're best off just going for the impact turns- you're not going to win you meet, and you probably won't win that your CIP provides enough limits in comparison to the neg's version of the topic.
Topical version doesn't have to solve the aff- just has to provide an inroads to talk about the aff's topic matter
Framework is a procedural- not an advocacy. You can't be stuck with it.
***NOVICES*** should have to be a topical defense of the resolution. Very persuaded by a "T debating good for novice debate" standard.
Logical presses against the DA = carded presses against the DA, if it's a good argument.
Just going for impact d against the case or the DA at the end of the debate is probably not the spot you want to be in. If the aff still solves/causes a massive impact, even if it doesn't cause nuclear war, it could still turn the case/da.
Framing arguments like link determines the direction of uniqueness are helpful for me when judging these debates.
block nuance justifies new 1AR nuance- this doesn't mean "oh, they said turns the case, i'll read the no diversionary wars card the 2AC didn't get to" - but you still need to make the arg why they don't get to do that.
Politics DAs- these tend to be a lot about spin, so I'll try and default more to how you spin the evidence as to opposed what it actually says, if it's reasonable. If your card doesn't even come close to what you're trying to spin it as, you'll be in a rougher spot.
PICs without literature to substantiate them are bad. Having literature makes them marginally better.
Process/Agent are probably bad, but if that's your jam, go for it. I'll vote aff on theory as a reason to reject the team, or as a justification for the perm, or a kick the arg. Whatever happens in the debate. My default though is reject the team.
I never went for one.
I tend to lean aff on question of the roll of the ballot (the aff gets to weigh the plan) and ethical frames like util. But that doesn't mean I won't vote neg on alternative views of debates/ethics. I actually have voted on those arguments often when judging high school debate.
The less specific your K is to the topic, the worse position you're going to be in. Topic links are almost a necessity when going for the K in front of me.
You're tied to what you say. Econ DA-Cap K in the same 1NC probably won't fly.
PIKs are bad - see comments about process/agent CPs in that section
If your alt is to "do nothing" or I don't have a clear idea of what it actually does to solve your link arguments, you're not going to be in a good spot. Clear explanation of an alt that actually does something is required for you to win these kinds of debates in front of me.
If you're the aff in these debates, watch out for the classic K tricks (fiat is illusory, etc)- I don't want to vote you down on arguments like that, but I will if you drop them. Also make sure you don't lose sight of your aff- yes, read cards, but also remember the thesis of your aff probably impact turns/link turns the K in some way- if not, you can go for whatever your normal strategy is. But contextualization of impacts goes a long way towards my ballot.
Case outweighs is the best strategy vs Ks
I am, admittedly, bad at understanding K debate sometimes- so don't expect me to know all the buzzwords that your favorite author says. Make sure you actually explain some of the concepts in a way that's easy to understand- do not expect me to just know instantly what you're talking about. Likely I don't. You can save us both the trouble by debating your K at a more basic level. So I can understand you and not be frustrated that I dont, and you for not losing because I didn't understand half of the 2NR because they were debating their K at the level of a philosopher.
Condo beyond 2 is iffy, beyond 3 you better be really good at condo. Unless the aff is new. In that case, have at it.
Same things that apply to T apply to this- competing interps, impact calc, etc.
Theory is a reason to reject the team unless someone says otherwise
Theory doesn't outweigh topicality
These debates are very ticky tacky, so please go slower than your card reading speed- if you're going so fast that I'm missing arguments, it really doesn't matter that you're going so fast- because you're making arguments that won't get evaluated.
I am a policy debater for Liberty University. This is my second year of debate at Liberty.
My first year I did all policy debate. This year I have been doing more critical debate on the negative but my partner has a policy affirmative so I am still invested in both realms.
I will vote on anything. Debate is what you make it. Win the flow. Defend why your world makes the most sense.
T and FW: If you are going for this I need a good explanation of why it is important for debate. Preferably provide me some examples of why the world is a terrible place without your framework.
I am not super excited about politics but if you win the flow I will vote on it.
Other DA’s are fine
CP: whatever is fine. I don’t have a preference on CP theory.
I do love a good K but I want some practical application. Tell me why your alternative makes the world better or does something productive.
I think education is a really important part of debate; but its also a competition if you don’t win the flow you lose.
Be nice. Don’t say offensive things. I will dock your speaker points and potentially vote on it if the other team wins that I should.
Be persasive. You should probably look up sometimes especially in rebuttals.
I will add speaker points for: (but not substantially so do not be too concerned)
being good at debate
good jokes (I love puns and irony is pretty great too)
incorporating quotes specifically from good or popular music (preferably ironicly)
good facial expressions
If you made it this far end your last speech with: cats. Cats. CATS! You will be rewarded.
I'm going to keep this short since I agree with a lot of what is said on the wiki. Where I'm from probably tells you a bit about some of my leanings, but as I grow older in debate I really, really don't care what is said as long as it is debated well.
What is debating well? To me, a good debater should be able to persuade anyone. For example, if you feel like your style of debate is one that relies on slang you picked up from reading the back of the book of whatever you're going for, I probably am not the best for you. The reason why I have leanings (i.e. framework is important, the politics DA can be useful, creatively cheating CPs are cool) is mostly because that is what I am familiar with.
Flowing, line-by-line, even if statements, overviews, writing the ballot are all good things to do.
PICs are good, condo is bad, intrinsicness is debateable.
If you can beat a team going conversation speed (remember we do policy debate so that's still at least 1.5x normal), extra speaker points are definitly in the cards.
John Masslon (updated 3/17/22)
Years judging: 16
(Some of this stuff is stolen from other philosophies. I have only done so when I agree 100%.)
*IMPORTANT* - Read below for my mask-specific rules.
I am not a full-time educator and/or debate coach. I haven't judged much this year because I refuse to judge virtual debates and the idiots in the DC area did not have many in-person tournaments this year. So don't assume I know topic-specific lingo.
Cliff Notes for Preffing
- If you like straight up policy debates, I'm a good judge for you.
- If you like to go for a kritik in every 2NR, I should probably be in the middle of your pref list.
- Strike me if you are a performance team.
It's unfortunate that we've come to a point where I need to put this at the top of my philosophy; however, teams that fully follow their ethical obligations are becoming all too rare. So here it is:
- If you say “mark the card at x" you actually have to mark the card at x either during the speech or immediately afterwords and then provide a marked copy of your evidence to your opponent. It's your job to do that with or without prompting from your opponents. Failure to do so could result in a finding of clipping.
- I follow the NDCA policy with respect to card clipping. I also follow the same procedure with respect to other ethics challenges. I will sua sponte intervene on obvious card clipping and evidence falsification. If the round is stopped sua sponte then the winning team will get the speaks they were going to get at that point in round.
- You are (almost certainly) representing your school while debating. This means that if I see any shenanigans akin to what happened after the CEDA quarterfinals several years ago there will be major consequences. Such consequences may include, but are not limited to, a loss, 0 speaker points, informing tab, informing your principal/superintendent/school board, contacting the police/district attorney, etc.
- I won't allow alternative use time.
- If you want to negotiate for another critic to adjudicate the round and that person is OK with it and it won't harm the tournament, I'm fine with that.
- I will intervene on the flow if a new argument is made in the 2AR because the negative doesn't have a chance to respond. Otherwise, it's your responsibility to tell me that an argument is new and why I should disregard such an argument.
- I won't give double wins or all 30 speaks because it is unfair to the rest of the tournament. If you make such an argument your speaker points will be lowered. I'm not opposed to double losses.
- I will disclose and give an oral critique if tournament rules don't prohibit the practice. I think this increases education.
I am open to a variety of arguments: case, DAs, CPs, T, and Ks. To me the genre of your argument is less important than the question of its implications: explain those well in a manner that answers your opponents main claims and you’ll be in good shape. I'll vote for stupid arguments, e.g., spark or timecube. If you can't beat those arguments then you deserve to lose. I lean heavily towards the tech end of the tech v. truth spectrum.
Below are a list of defaults. Debaters can convince me to change any of my argumentation defaults other than my position on performance debate. If you ask debaters that have debated in front of me frequently, they'll likely tell you that I am at heart a judge that loves a DA/CP/case debate but that I will vote for other arguments. I just personally won't enjoy the round as much. I'd strongly urge against doing a 180 on your strategy because of these defaults unless you are a performance team. You will lose more by being uncomfortable than you will gain by conforming to my defaults.
I default to competing interpretations. Most T debates are won or lost on standards. Saying ground, fairness, brightline is not enough. You need to tell me why the ground you give to the aff and neg is best for debate, why your interpretation is fairer, and why a brightline is good for debate. Evidence helps here. If you are running ASPEC or something like that and you don't ask for clarification in cross-x you better explain to me why it advances debate to force such specification(s) in the plan text instead of having cross-x check abuse.
I default to a specific abuse claim rather than just pure offense/defense. Theory arguments should be as specific as possible in regard to both the argument and its relation to the round and/or topic. Tell me why to reject the team and not the argument. You won't get far reading your camp theory block in front of me. You need to be explaining why, if I adopt your approach to debate, the activity will be better and if I adopt the other team's approach debate will be worse off.
I am open to all theory on them. That being said, I lean towards the neg on conditionality (although this decreases as the number of conditional arguments increases), PICs, 50 states, and international actors. I lean towards the aff on consult. I do expect that if you are running a CP that it is written down, either in soft or hard form. Too many teams don't do enough to articulate what their net benefit to the CP is. If you are trying to perm a CP, you need to do more than just say "perm do both." You need to explain to me why your perm solves. I will not judge kick the CP unless the neg asks me to. However, the aff can win that I should not judge kick the CP. If the neg kicks the CP I am open to the aff arguing that presumption still flips because the neg ran a CP; however, I default to presumption staying with the neg.
I frequently vote on kritiks, but the chance of me having read the author(s) is 0. Kritiks should clearly explain what they mean, how they apply specifically to the plan or round, and why I should vote for them. Role of the ballot arguments are fine, but I need to know how they relate to the round or debate. I will find it very difficult to vote for an argument at the end of the debate that I do not really understand. I am not willing to tell the aff that they lost to an argument which I cannot explain somewhat to them at the end of the debate. Perming a K is like perming a CP, you need to do some work on that end as an aff to win by ballot.
DA flows are generally more persuasive when cards and warrants are extrapolated rather than giving me tagline extension or a card throw down. Storytelling will win or lose you the round here. Case debate has been heavily under-utilized, despite being a persuasive avenue for the neg. I do believe there is such thing as 0 risk of a DA or advantage.
In the past I voted for performance teams more often than I voted against them. However, I have decided that I will no longer vote for a performance team. The reason is simple. It is destroying debate. I don't want to be an accomplice to that destruction.
I don't care if you sit, stand, lay down, etc. during your speech. I mark down the last word spoken before time expires and that is all I will listen to. My clock is official (if I'm timing). If being prompted I don't listen to the prompts. I'm OK with speed but it needs to be clear. If you are not clear I will yell clear twice each speech. After that, I quit flowing. There is an exception, however, I will not yell clear if you are wearing a mask. Nor will I tell you I'm having trouble hearing you. Wear a mask at your own peril. I prefer that tags and cites be differentiated by your voice in some manner. If you are reading a list of standards, a definition, etc. use common sense and slow down a bit. CX is binding and I flow it if necessary. I like signposting. It makes my life easier. Making my life easier normally will make your life easier too.
- Have fun and enjoy yourself. Humor and good-natured fun will get you everywhere.
- I penalize heavily if you try to steal prep time.
- You will get more speaker points for giving a 30 second 2R if that is all that is necessary to win than wasting 4:30 of my life.
- Your speaks will suffer if your partner is dominating your CX.
- I highly prefer email chains or PADS sites unless it is somehow not feasible. Notwithstanding what is said below, if I think an email chain or PADS is feasible and you are flashing, prep won't end until both members of the other team have the speech doc up.
- Prep time is stopped after a) flash drive is on the way to your opponent; b) email has been sent; or c) speech is posted on your PADS site.
- I reserve the right to ask all speeches be flashed/emailed to me prior to the speech being given or at any time prior to making my decision.
- Technical failures will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
- People underutilize analytical arguments. Some of the best arguments in a debate round won't have a card to back them up. Tell me why an internal link doesn't make sense or why the opposing team's cards should be given little weight.
- I am a huge believer in a good overview or underview from both the 2AR and the 2NR. I view the job of this speech to explain to me exactly why I should sign my ballot for that side. Too many teams just spew out responses and don't tell me why they should win the round. Anytime you make me do more work there is a smaller chance of you winning.
- Sometimes a decision must be based on something said in a card when no other alternative is possible, but these situations are rare. This is when I call for cards. When I do so, I will not be pulling out warrants that were not talked about in round. As a related matter, I usually decide pretty quickly.
If you have any other questions just ask me through e-mail or in the halls. I will not be repeating this whole thing prior to a round but will answer specific questions.
Other Forms of Debate
If you are reading cards, you need to actually give me an author or date or I consider it an analytical argument. I think public forum is different from policy debate (that is why it was created). I won't put up with kritiks or spreading in Public Forum. I will just decide whether or not the resolution is true (a form of hypothesis testing). This doesn't mean that I am opposed to "unique" arguments. I have heard some pretty awesome pros and cons that think outside the box. I obviously think evidence is important in a public forum round but it is not the be all end all. Communication skills will play some role in speaker points but debate skills play a much bigger role for me.
I used to be a very active member of the National Association of Parliamentarians and have been hired to serve as parliamentarian for a wide variety of organizations. I hold my presiding officers to a very high standard when I am serving as parliamentarian. When evaluating speakers I consider the following (from most important to least important): Analysis, Clash, Impact, Evidence, Style, Rhetoric, Questions, Extempore, Attitude.
I am fine with speed. I am open both to traditional LD debate and to more progressive forms of LD. Because of this, I know I will judge lots of "clash of worlds" debates. In these types of debates, you need to explain to me why your version of LD debate is good for the activity. At the end of the day, I'll ask myself which debater convinced me that in 10 years I'll want to be judging LD debates under their set of rules instead of the other debater's rules.
In more traditional LD debates, I find that one of two things normally happens. First, debaters don't realize after the NC that the whole debate is going to be decided on framework and so we should essentially drop the contention level debate and just head straight to the framework debate for the rebuttals. Second, debaters don't realize that because of the contention level debate one side has the ability to win no matter who wins the framework debate and therefore we need to be on the contention level debate instead of the framework debate. This normally is an easy issue spotting exercise but people keep failing at it. If you are trying to win under your opponent's framework, you need to make this explicit in this speech and explain why.
In more traditional LD debates, I greatly prefer to have all of the value and value criterion discussed together in the rebuttals because I flow them on one sheet. If you are going to go against this preference, I ask that you give be internal signposts so that I know that you have moved to/from the contention level debate to the value debate.
I believe there are are three types of resolutions in Parli, one that should be debated like policy, one that should be debated like LD, and one that should be debated like public forum. That is how I'll try to evaluate the round.
I will adjudicate who I believe won the round and then assign points, not vice versa. It should be evident that I'm a very flow oriented judge. I believe that if you don't extend an argument in a speech and the other side points that out then you can't bring that argument back up later in the debate. Make sure you let me know where you want me to flow stuff if you are not going line by line. I understand that in world schools debate there is much more general clash, but that clash must still go somewhere on my flow. I'd advise splitting the opposition block in some manner. I won't be happy if the opposition reply is just repetition of the third opposition. I'm a huge fan of models and counter-models; however, don't run them unless you know how to do so. I'll be mad if you speak when standing for a POI if the other team can easily see you. There is no need to do that.
Affiliation: 3 years debating at George Mason University
I will evaluate most any argument. I draw the line when you get near Timecube, if you are unsure whether or not you should read an argument in front of me just take a few seconds and think to yourself just how similar to Timecube is this? If it is within 1 degree of Timecube, similar to the Kevin Bacon system, I would advise against it.
I have very little knowledge on the Oceans topic (Outside of having seen the Little Mermaid once or twice), so don't expect a depth of understanding on spacific literature. If you point out cards are fishy I'll probably read it.
Also a drop is a drop, just flag it as such and extend it through the debate. You will need to explain how it influences other aspects of the debate in the rebuttals.
Can be a voting issue but is never a reverse voter
I will most likely default to competing interpretations if the debate is dead even towards both sides.
T is a time to be slower and more persuasive so act accordingly
Also no dollar less CP's or anything like that.
This is the time to start breaking down your opponents arguments
Always look at the judge during cross ex, remember you're trying to convince me
Taking prep before CX is really underutilized especially by the neg. Always try and have the block strat set before the CX of the 2AC
If I see you prepping during jumping I will bump your speaks down
Jokes are good, puns are better.
I start at 27.5 and move up and down accordingly. Imagine it like a game of chutes and ladders.
If you do something like double turn yourself however, you may have a hard time recovering.
My Experience: I am a 2nd year College policy debater for Liberty University. I’m a 2A and have generally done Policy things on the aff but my partner and I run 1 fem on the neg.
Judging Philosophy: I simultaneously think that the primary purpose of debate is education but I still think that debate is a game so even if an arg is super dumb I will vote on it if it is impacted well and the other team doesn’t answer it. I like the traditional policy framework but I am also impressed by people who can creatively cheat and win that they aren’t abusive. I don’t have a problem with Performance, K’s or anything else. Just win your arguments in front of me.
T-I have a high threshold for T if the aff dropped one arg on the flow but they are obviously topical. Need to have examples of in round abuse. Potential abuse isn’t persuasive unless you make arguments as to why people will for sure exercise that abuse in the future. If the lit doesn’t allow for that type of abuse then you probably won’t win that potential abuse has a real impact.
K’s-Here’s a list of K’s that I am somewhat familiar with: Biopower, Cap, Fem, Black Socialism, Queer Theory, Death K, Nietzche, Security. This doesn’t mean that if you are running one of these that you don’t have to explain the links or the alt because I already understand the general story. If you want to go for the K without the Alt you have to say that in the 2NR; don’t assume I’ll do the work for you. I think links need to be specific. Even if you start with a generic link in the 1NC there should be more specific links in the block or at least make analytics that articulate a specific link. I will vote on vague alts bad if the aff goes for it and you can’t explain what your alt does. If the aff is making “X inevitable args”, the neg needs to specifically combat that because those are the most persuasive aff arguments against the K.
DA’s- I think the politics DA is dumb. Don’t think its core neg ground. I especially hate the Midterms DA (I have a Midterms DA bad theory violation) . I will still vote on it if you win it obvi. Make sure your DA is unique. I love it when 1NR’s get up and give an overview that shows how the impact of the DA turns all the specific impact scenarios of the aff.
CPs- It’s pretty abusive to run multiple CP’s. CP’s whose net benefit is a plan flaw are super dumb and I probably won’t vote for them. I think that a CP with multiple planks is like having multiple CP’s and if you run the planks conditionally that’s also pretty abusive. I think it justifies the aff perming every combination of the planks and the Neg having to answer why each of those isn’t competitive. Consult CP’s are dumb.
Theory-Aff’s should be in the direction of the topic. Win in round abuse and why that abuse is bad for education. If a team extends theory in the 1AR without an impact then the 2AR can’t go for it. I don’t think the 1AR has to say “voter” if they extend the impact and said why its bad for debate in order for the 2AR to go for it. If you go for theory in the 2AR you should spend at least 3 min on it unless the other team just totally dropped it. On Framework specifically, K affs don’t win just because they say that norms are oppressive. They have to win why the oppressiveness that norms cause outweighs education for real world interaction.
General Notes- I like confidence but don’t be a jerk. I will dock speaker points for jerkiness. I won’t vote on new 2A/2NR arguments make sure the 2AR lines up with the 1AR. Please split the block in a way that makes sense. Do line-by-line. Anaylsis is better than a bunch of cards.
I will increase your points if you make me laugh. Clarity while you are reading is important.
I will increase your speaker points by .2 if you say “they hot conceded this arg and they cold conceded the other arg which means that they have double turned themselves”
I will dock your speaker points if you say “vote for us cuz we read cards”
0-26.5: you were really offensive.
26.5-27: you struggled with the technicalitys of debate and you probably dropped a whole DA or you were a jerk.
27-27.5: you’re okayish
27.5-28: you’re okay and you explain your arguments with warrants
28-28.5: you’re on top if it
28.5-29: Both technically proficient and rhetorically persuasive. It’s a thing called “ethos”
29-29.5: you rock. I am so impressed. You didn’t mess up at all
29.5-30: Probably won’t happen but if my jaw drops in your Rebuttal then you might be scoring this high.
Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.
T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen AND CAN BE PERSUADED TO VOTE FOR IT I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.
Also, very very important! Affirmatives have to do something to change the squo in the world in debate etc. If by the end of the debate the affirmative cannot demonstrate what it does and what the offense of the aff is T/Framework becomes even more persuasive. Framework with a TVA that actually gets to the impacts of the aff and leverages reasons why state actions can better resolve the issues highlighted in the affirmative is very winnable in front of me.
DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly
CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit
K- I am familiar with most of the k literature
CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at
In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).
First let me explain how to get a Hot L:
So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L
THE SAME IS TRUE FOR QUESTIONS RELATED TO GENDER, LGBTQ ISSUES ETC. ALSO WHITE PEOPLE AND WHITENESS IS NOT THE SAME THING
Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean
Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples
I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc
I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating
I love a well-executed impact turn debate . If you can give me this your speaks will show my joy
Frame the ballot for me in the 2NR/2AR. Don't just extend a bunch of cards and highlight concessions, but be explicit about why a particular argument or collection of arguments wins you the debate.
Evidence quality may become important in close debates but is a secondary concern to persuasion within the debate. This is not to say that I won't read your evidence after the debate because i probably will, but I won't evaluate warrants that are in your cards or make judgments about evidence quality unless they were fleshed out adequately in the constructives/rebuttals.
- You should assume that I am not up on the literature you have read. You should not expect me to know every acronym or all the latest developments in your DA scenario, nor should you assume that I understand all of the jargon in your K. Err on the side of ,at least, briefly explaining a concept before jumping into the intricacies of your argument.
- Defense can win debates and I have no problem pulling the trigger on presumption. I can be compelled that there is 0% risk of solvency to an affirmative case, or that there is no internal link within a DA. "There's a 1% chance that we're good for the world" is not a sufficient justification unless you provide a reason for why the opposing team's defensive argument is false or simply mitigates your claim (rather than taking it out terminally).
- I have a tendency to be somewhat expressive. If I find something stupid happening within a debate, I will likely face-palm, and/or shake my head; if I didn't understand you, I will give you a quizzical look. You should look up occasionally and take hints from the visual cues that I am sending. I won't make verbal interjections within a debate unless you're being unclear in which case i will say clear twice
- There is a fine line between being assertive and being rude. Don't cross it. If you don't know the difference, just watch for how I react
Some specific concerns:
Topicality-- I default to competing interpretations . To make these debates even close to enjoyable for me this requires an explicit list of what specific cases your interpretation permits and why this is beneficial for the activity. As for "Kritiks of T": I tend not to view these as RVIs, but instead as counter-standards that privilege an alternate debate curriculum that is more important than traditional conceptions. Negatives that plan on defending T against these criticisms should not only maintain that the 1AC does not meet what they view as fair and educational debate, but also need to go into a more specific discussion that impacts why their vision of a fair and educational debate is good and why the negative's alternate curriculum is worse in comparison.
Theory-- pretty similar to T debates but the one difference is that I will default to "reject the argument, not the team" unless given a reason otherwise. I have been known to go for cheapshots, but these require fulfilling a high standard of execution (a fully warranted and impacted explanation of your cheapshot, and closing the doors on any cross-applications the aff can make from other flows). Stylistically speaking, slowing down in these debates will help me put more ink on your side of the flow--otherwise I may miss a part of your argument that you find important. Additionally, a well-thought out interpretation and 3 warranted arguments regarding why a particular practice in debate is bad is significantly stronger than a blippy, generic re-hashing of a 10-point block.
Straight-up Strategies-- My favorite strategies often involve more than one or more of the following: an advantage counterplan, topic specific DA(s), and a solid amount of time allocated to case turns/defense. I am obviously open to hear and evaluate more generic arguments like politics, dip cap, delay counterplans, and process counterplans if that is your thing, and you should obviously go for what you are winning.
K and Performance Strategies-- I enjoy philosophy and have spent a significant chunk of my free time reading/understanding K and performance arguments. My familiarity with this style of debating makes it a double-edged sword. I will be very impressed if you command significant knowledge about the theory at hand and are able to apply them to the case through examples from popular culture or empirical/historical situations. On the other hand, if you fail to explain basic theoretical ideas within the scope of the K or fail to engage particular points of contention presented by the affirmative, I will be thoroughly unimpressed. Similarly, when opposing a K or performance, I am much more interested in arguments (analytics and cards) that not only substantively engage the K but thoroughly defend why your theorization of politics and interaction with the social should be preferred, rather than a generic 50 point survey of claims that are made by positivist thinkers. This is not to say that generic "greatest hits" style arguments have no value, but they certainly need to be backed up with a defense of the conceptual framing of your 1AC (eg, if the negative wins that the kritik turns the case or a no v2l claim, I'm not sure what "predictions good" or "cede the political" does for the affirmative). In terms of a theory/framework debate, I am much less likely to be persuaded by generic "wrong forum" claims but will be more likely to be compelled by arguments pointing to abusive sections of the specific K that is being run (eg, the nature of the alt).
It's also important to defend your impacts thoroughly. My favorite straight up affirmatives to read when I debated had big hegemony advantages. My favorite K authors to read are Wilderson (Afro-Pessimism) and other forms of Black liberation startegies. As a result, I am unlikely be swayed or guilted into voting for you if the only argument you make is a moralizing reference to people suffering/dying. This is NOT to say that I won't vote for you if you choose a strategy that relies on these impacts. However if these impacts are challenged either through impact turns or comparisons, I will not hack for you; I require an adequate refutation of why their impact calculation or understanding of suffering/death is false/incomplete and reasons for why I should prefer your framing. In other words, if the opposing team says "hegemony good and outweighs your K" or alternatively, reads a "suffering/death good" style kritik and your only comeback is "you link to our arguments and people are oppressed" without much other refutation, you will lose. When your moral high ground is challenged, own up to it and refute their assumptions/explanations.
I’m in my third year debating for Liberty University.
As a debater, I find myself often frustrated by judge philosophies that limit my strategic options in a debate, so I will make my best attempt at letting everything be up for debate.
I lean fairly policy, but I read a good amount of Ks on the neg and find those debates to be incredibly interesting. You should do what you’re good at and what will be fun for you.
I think that debate is a game and I’m fairly flow-centric, so tech generally comes before truth, but that certainly has its limits. Smart arguments should take precedent over spreading a bunch of cards.
Debate should be fun. Have fun and be nice.
I don’t have a ton of familiarity with every K author, but I’m pretty familiar with common Ks. Regardless of my familiarity, explaining your argument well is obviously better than extending taglines and stringing philosophical jargon together. Articulating a specific link to the aff and the way the alt functions is important. K tricks can be underutilized when you don’t explain how they function. (When your link or epistemology indict functions as a solvency takeout, use it that way.)
I’ll give the aff a lot of leeway on the perm, so winning a strong link is more important to me than spending a lot of time on the alt.
It often comes down to framing: if you win the framing of the debate, winning that your link is strong enough or that your alt isn’t vague is easier.
I love DA/case debates, and I especially love politics debates.
Smart analytics are more important than a lot of mediocre cards. Making smart connections between the case and the DA is important- often, affs don’t spend enough time answering good “da turns case” arguments.
In-depth case debates are better than sneaky counterplans, but I spent a good amount of the War Powers topic going for an agent counterplan. Winning/beating the net benefit is probably more important, but a well-articulated solvency deficit can be devastating. I don’t think affs utilize theory as much as they should in beating generic counterplans (process, agent, etc).
I love theory/topicality/framework debates. I love debate, and I think debates about what practices are the best for it are both interesting and productive. Because of that, I don’t have very strong preferences on a lot of theory. You should slow down and give examples of in-round abuse and/or the things that are included/not included in your interpretation. Other than condo, I think most violations are reasons to reject the argument and not the team, but I can certainly be convinced otherwise. Two conditional advocacies is probably okay, but even that’s debatable and anything more than that is definitely debatable. I am fairly strongly predisposed, however, to think that having a K and a CP/Da in the same round is a good thing/not abusive, so articulating in-round abuse is important.
Do what you’re good at, regardless of what that is. My experience is in more traditional styles of debate because of preference, not ideology. I enjoy these debates, but I need to know why what you do matters. I will be persuaded by arguments that your performance/movement/advocacy doesn’t do anything if there’s a lack of (or generally vague) explanation of what you do and what the ballot means.
First of all +1 for actually reading judging paradigms. You've already started off well.
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Experience: I debated for three years in high school at Baltimore City College and now I'm one of their coaches. This is my fifth year judging HS debate.
Paradigm: Just a general overview of how I judge debates: I'm fine with spreading as long as you are clear enough. I will listen to almost anything and as long as it's argued well. A dropped argument is a true argument (within reason). I like competitive spirit but don't be a terrible person. By that I mean you can get fiery in your speeches and cross-ex but personal attacks are not cool unless they are really out of line (i.e. they said something outright offensive: racist, sexist, patriarchal, heteronormative,etc.). I want to see a good debate so run what you're comfortable with and know what you're talking about please.
Specifics: Now I'll talk about a few things that are more specific to argumentative style and my own preferences.
DISCLAIMER: Everything beyond this point is my point of view so you should take it with a grain of salt. I'll always judge a debate based on what happens in the round not based on how I feel about the arguments ran. However I will tell you how I felt after the round.
K: I primarily debated kritically during my debating career so that is naturally what I prefer to hear and I know more about. If you run a K, you can trust that I'll probably have a good idea of what you're talking about unless you are running something really obscure.
I read a lot of Deleuze and Foucault myself so I have a higher threshold for these arguments. I really hate generic answers to these arguments...but they can win the debate if they aren't answered well.
Race, so this is an interesting subject. I have read some of the literature behind most classic race arguments and my team has read(or is currently reading) most of the better kritical race theory arguments so I am used to hearing them and I understand them very well. Thus likewise, I expect them to be run well or you are already starting off from behind in my book. If you are an all white partnership, be careful what you say. I'm not going to vote you down for being wrong but being offensive can affect speaker points. So I will listen, just don't say anything that will make me regret that.
Policy: I wouldn't say that straight up policy is something that I love listening to but I will listen to it. Keep it clean. Keep it understandable. Otherwise I have no issues.
T: I really dislike this argument in 99% of situations. If the other team answers it reasonably I will not vote on it. Read something responsive. T is not responsive. If you plan on winning T it better be the whole 2NR or else I'll give the 2AR a lot of leeway on it unless the 1AR just straight dropped it, but you still need an impact. T alone is not a voter. Also if you go for T, especially against a K Aff there damn sure better be some real impacts. I mean real world impacts. Weighing your "education" against systemic issues is not going to be an easy debate to win in front of me.
Theory: I have nothing for or against theory. Be articulate and make sure I understand all the parts of your argument and why what they're doing is bad.
At the end of the day when I'm judging I really just want to see a good debate so if you give me that you can be sure that I will judge it fairly and unbiased.
Director of Debate @ GDS (the actual GDS, not the camp, not the affinity group, not the cultural phenomenon...well, maybe the cultural phenomenon...)
(Relevant) Background: Debated in HS (program doesn't exist any more) and college (Emory); coached at Emory, West GA, USC, New Trier, Kentucky, and GDS; taught around 75 labs (including, but not limited to the Kentucky Fellows, SNFI Swing Lab, Berkeley Mentors, Antilab, and the forthcoming Quantum Lab). This is what i do - i teach, coach, and judge debate(s). This is both good and bad for you.
This is Good for You: One could say that i have been around, as it were. If you want to do something that people do in debates, i got you. If you want to do something that people don't do in debates, i won't freak out.
This is Bad for You: This ain't my first rodeo. If you want to do something that people do in debates, i have seen it done better and worse. If you want to do something that people don't do in debates, i probably remember the last time that somebody did it in a debate.
Are You For Real? Yah, mostly...i just don't think judging philosophies are all that helpful - any judge that is doing their job is going to suspend disbelief to as great an extent as possible and receive the debate in as much good faith as they can muster...but almost nobody is upfront enough about what that extent looks like.
Well, that's not especially helpful right now. OK, you make a strong point, imaginary interlocutor. Here are a few things that may actually help:
1 - Flow the Debate - I flow the debate. On paper. To a fault. If you do not take this into account, no matter how or what you debate, things are going to go badly for you. Connecting arguments - what used to be called the line-by-line - is essential unless you want me to put the debate together myself out of a giant pile of micro-arguments. You Do Not Want This. "Embedded clash" is an adorable concept and even can be occasionally helpful WHEN YOU ARE MANAGING THE REST OF THE FLOW WITH PRECISION. There is no such thing as "cloud clash."
2 - Do What You are Going to Do - My job isn't to police your argument choices, per se; rather, it is to evaluate the debate. If debaters could only make arguments that i agreed with, there would not be much reason to have these rounds.
3 - If you are mean to your opponents, it is going to cause me to have sympathy/empathy for them. This is not an ideological position so much as an organic reaction on my part.
4 - "K teams," "identity teams," and non-traditional/performance teams pref me more than policy teams - Make of that what you will.
5 - Stop calling certain strategic choices "cheating" - This is one of the few things that just sends my blood pressure through the roof...i know you like to be edgy and i respect your desire to represent yourself as having no ethical commitments, but this is one of the worst developments in the way people talk and think about debate since the advent of paperlessness (which is essentially The Fall in my debate cosmology). Reading an AFF with no plan is not cheating; reading five conditional CPs in the 2NC is not cheating; consult NATO is not cheating. Clipping cards is cheating; fabricating evidence is cheating, consulting your coach in the middle of the debate is cheating. An accusation of an ethics violation (i.e., cheating) means that the debate stops and the team that is correct about the accusation wins the debate while the team that is wrong loses and gets zeroes. This is not negotiable. Ethics violations are not debate arguments, they do not take the form of an off-case or a new page and they are not comparable to anything else in the debate.
Also - just ask.
"He was a man of talent and ability, to be sure…He knew how to knock his opponent down quickly and effectively with the fewest possible words. He had an animal instinct for sensing the direction of the wind. But if you paid close attention to what he was saying or what he had written, you knew that his words lacked consistency. They reflected no single worldview based on profound conviction. His was a world that he had fabricated by combining several one-dimensional systems of thought. He could rearrange the combination in an instant, as needed. These were ingenious—even artistic—intellectual permutations and combinations. But to me they amounted to nothing more than a game. If there was any consistency to his opinions, it was the consistent lack of consistency, and if he had a worldview, it was a view that proclaimed his lack of a worldview…
He had nothing to protect, which meant that he could concentrate all his attention on pure acts of combat. He needed only to attack, to knock his enemy down. Noboru Wataya was an intellectual chameleon, changing his color in accordance with his opponent’s, ad-libbing his logic for maximum effectiveness, mobilizing all the rhetoric at his command…He knew how to use the kind of logic that moved the great majority. Nor did it even have to be logic: it had only to appear so, so long as it aroused the feelings of the masses.
Trotting out the technical jargon was another forte of his. No one knew what it meant, of course, but he was able to present it in such a way that you knew it was your fault if you didn't get it. And he was always citing statistics. They were engraved in his brain, and they carried tremendous persuasive power, but if you stopped to think about it afterward, you realized that no one had questioned his sources or their reliability…It was like boxing with a ghost: your punches just swished through the air. There was nothing solid for them to hit. I was shocked to see even sophisticated intellectuals responding to him. It would leave me feeling strangely annoyed…All they looked for on the tube were the bouts of intellectual gladiators; the redder the blood they drew, the better."
-Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
The section below explains my judging predispositions. These all stem from my hope that debate can avoid being/becoming what is described above.
I am significantly more persuaded by framework as a method question instead of a voting issue. There is a vast literature base over whether working within or outside of the state is the best way of combating social ills. I find these method debates are best (and most persuasive) when the theory that underlies each side is tied to specific historical examples. For example, what positive and negative effects has previous government reform entailed? What accomplishments and change have individualized resistance actualized? While it is always up for debate, I am open to the idea that the affirmative should not get a permutation in a method debate.
I find probability before magnitude to be very persuasive but will listen to arguments that disagree. In the event that I am judging a round in which both sides are claiming extinction impacts, a solid tactic could be to emphasize a more real world impact (ie instead of saying plan solves extinction, say plan increases jobs which reduces poverty) and then make fun of their scenarios.
Education arguments are the most persuasive when evaluating theory. For example, is the counterplan real world and does it provide valuable education? Or, does it allow the negative a contrived position to merely by-pass topic education?
For me, the most important part of a critique debate is applying your theory to specific aspects of the affirmative. This often requires substantial explanation that may not be carded. Well-developed analytics are far more persuasive to me than a slew of poorly explained cards. When in doubt, use historical examples of why the affirmative’s ideological underpinnings are problematic. Perhaps this is a personal bias since I am currently getting a PhD in history, but I am a huge sucker for utilizing history to contextualize arguments.
I am willing to and have voted on ethical issues that occurred within a debate round (ie overt racism, sexism, homophobia, abelism, etc). For me to vote on such an issue, it must be a fully developed argument that includes an explanation of what the problematic instance was, why it was problematic, an impact, and a reason why my ballot should be centered on that instead of other arguments in the debate.
Be civil. No, that does not mean you have to fake liking your opponent or be overly nice. It does, however, mean that I will reduce speaker points if I feel like you are degrading your opponents in an attempt to control ethos.
There is a high probablility I will be overly talkative (and make bad attempts at jokes) during dead time. You are more than welcome to ignore me/tell me that you need to concentrate.
4 years policy at Vashon High School
1 year policy at George Washington University.
Currently a Junior at George Washington double majoring in International Affairs and English
Right now I'm an assistant coach for Johns Creek High School, where I was brought on to work specifically with the critical teams this semester & last. Last year I coached for Woodrow Wilson High School, and I've also worked for Interlake, Vashon, and Broad Run. I've coached kids to/through multiple bid rounds. I've probably judged 50+ camp rounds and 25+ national tournament rounds, including bid rounds and late elims of several national tournaments.
I worked at the SDI with all the classic labs and both Hoya Spartan Scholars labs the summer of 2014
Generally I’m fine with any form of argumentation style, I’ve debated the national circuit, I’m current etc. I know its annoying to have judges say the debate is yours, do what you want, but that's generally how I feel about it. I have almost equal experience on all sides of policy and K debates and clash of civs, and I do not have a preference to what types of debate I watch. I believe that my role as the judge is to evaluate the round, and try to intervene as little as possible. In general, due to the area of the nation I debated in in high school, as well as the camps I attended, I have more experience personally debating policy-oriented rounds, but I have more experience judging and coaching critical rounds.
I am a technical debater, and thus tend to look at debates I judge technically. I try to evaluate the round as a whole in a big picture, and how the arguments interact as the debaters explained them, rather than in a flow-centric way, as I think this is most fair to the debaters. That said, clearly structured arguments, line-by-line, and sign posting if you're not following the flow are all key for a clean and good debate, and also higher speaker points. The easiest way to win a close debate in front of me is to point out concessions and frame the debate.
*NOTE- Please let me know before the round if there is anything myself and your opponents should know in the way of preferred pronouns, or accommodation for processing issues, trigger warnings, etc.
Generally default to competing interpretations as I think it is better for debate. That said, I can be fairly easily persuaded vote on reasonability- but more in the context of your interp being reasonable than your aff being reasonably topical. I think a good brightline then is how the aff specifically is not T as per certain standards/ precedents set out by the parameters of the topic (i.e extra T/ FX in the context of oceans of whatever), and generally has a strong in-round abuse story. I'm hard pressed to vote on potential abuse.
A good T debate is technical, organized line-by-line, impacted, and extrapolated with examples. I have no problem voting for T, but these debates get really messy. Make sure you're drawing clean lines across my flow and capitalizing on concessions.
I think the counterplan needs to compete off some kind of internal or artificial net benefit. I will still vote for you if you run a counterplan that competes off certainty, but I'll be way more lax towards slightly severance or intrinsic permutations and theoretical objections as a reason to reject the argument. If the counterplan solves all the aff/ is a process counterplan it needs to be textually competitive. I don’t think counterplans necessarily need to be both textually and functionally competitive, but the best and most legit ones are.
Not the biggest fan of cheating/ process counterplans, but there are so many smart aff ways to answer them, and generally they are pretty generic, so read, them, but generally I tend to err aff easily in matters of solvency deficits and theory when your CP is sunsets or whatever.
The BEST counterplan is well researched, has specific and intelligent answers to common 2AC answers, and has clear roads to solve internal links or advantages
I will judge-kick the counterplan but only if told to do so by the negative.
I’m familiar with pretty much most k-lit you can and will read. I’ve gone for the K a lot, researched the K a lot, debated the K a lot on the aff and neg etc. I'm also an English major so I spend a lot of my time reading critical theory and philosophy.
I think framing issues are important, and when there is good clash on the K especially on the impact level of the debate, meta framing makes it a lot easier for me to figure out how you want me to weigh your K against the aff. I think sans a debate that has arguments like serial policy failure, K precedes policy discourse, reps first, the K is a better political solution etc., it becomes very easy for the aff to weight their impacts and very easy for me to vote on a risk of a perm if they prove a risk aff impacts outweigh or come first become.
You can kick the alt or read a K without an alt, however I will evaluate the K as a non-unique disad, meaning I will weigh it against the aff the same way I would a disad.
Floating piks are fine but theory is important to handle right. You can be shady, just defend it well. I don’t think that if the aff concedes a floating pik they automatically lose, I evaluate it more in terms of conceded sufficiency framing on a counterplan.
Topic and Politics Disads-
Generally with topic disads I don’t have a specific link to UQ threshold, as the debate generally comes down to the impact level or specificity of a link/ link offense or defense.
Politics disads are some of my favorites arguments, and I spent most of my junior & senior year going for politics strats. If you have a good debate with good clash on a politics disad I will be so very content. Remember when you read politics that one very good card will always outweigh ten crappy ones. Generally I think all-encompassing topic links are OK, but if the aff has case-specific link turns (which they should) then I will not be very persuaded by your link articulation. Unless there is a technical concession, I tend to believe link controls direction of uniqueness. Good impact framing is key to win any debate, but especially a case/disad debate, and I will expect that.
Most theoretical objections to politics disads are wrong and illogical, but they still need to be answered. I usually wont vote on intrinsicness or bottom of the docket and the likes unless its mishandled by the neg.
Fine pulling the trigger on most arguments that have real standards i.e. the big ones condo, pics/piks bad, process/consult/conditions bad etc. You need to do line-by-line and impact your arguments in relation to theirs. Saying “fairness comes first outweighs education” doesn’t help me much. Having a counter-interp is generally a really good thing, as it can help me resolve the debate in a very clear way i.e. what this debate COULD have looked like had the aff/neg been fair. I am not very game to vote on arguments like “no neg fiat voter for debate equity reject the team.” Blips like that and ending every sentence with “and that’s a voter for fairness and education” without any tangible impacts are probably not reason to reject the team, however if they are mishandled, dropped, or answered poorly, they can be reasons to reject the argument.
*Update- "fairness" is a stupid impact because debate isn't fair. Real world and portable skills are the most persuasive arguments when going for theory. Tangible ground loss is also a fine argument but go beyond "that's unfair to the aff."
So You've Decided Not To Denfend the Hypothetical Inaction of a Plan-
I have experience reading and debating affs without plans & identity politics affs. You don’t need to have an advocacy statement, however I should have a clear idea of what the aff produces if I vote for you, whether that’s scholarship, how I should orient myself around the topic, if my ballot will possibly change debate, or just a simple explanation of the role of the ballot.
If I have no idea what your aff does I will often err to the most “pragmatic” option in the round, meaning whatever actually “does” something. This is not necessarily political pragmatism, this is pragmatic in the context of the ballot.
I don't think its acceptable to read an identity politics argument from a social location that is not your own. Its OK to read arguments ABOUT other identities, but individualized strategies in debate and actual id politics shouldn't be commodified by others for a ballot.
Narratives / Performance-
I've judged a good amount of performance debates. I usually flow little because I can understand it best by experiencing the performance. Unless you have a specific way you would like me to flow, I will just flow the thesis points of your performance. I understand the implications and reasons for performative debate, but I think it is helpful to have some sort of articulation of why you performed, why your performance is key to the round, and what it means for the round and in relation to the other teams arguments. If you do not utilize your performance throughout the debate but continue to just debate as per usual, you should probably rethink why it is you chose to perform in the first place.
I’m fine with personal narratives and non-personal narratives. However if you are going to read a narrative that is not your own you need to have a VERY good defense of why you get to do that. I am VERY persuaded by brown/ chow/ bell hooks-esque arguments regarding narrative commodification, especially when you are a white-male from a private school reading the narrative of someone who is disenfranchised by a specific form of systemic violence. I don’t think that is okay, and I think that ‘they’re only doing this for the ballot’ arguments are true.
I have had a lot of different thoughts and feelings about framework over the course of time, and I've decided this; framework, like any other argument, is very strategic sometimes, and not strategic other times. Here's why framework can be a good argument: at its core, framework seeks to create an even playing field in debate, which is the same goal that many affirmatives that don't defend plans strive for. However, at times, framework is not strategic, and can easily become ignorant, offensive, and sometimes aggressive. So don't be that framework debate. At the end of the day, one argument beats another and one team wins, which is why we pay attention to strategy in the first place, to win.
I don't have preconditions for how you debate framework, but I will say framework debates with specific links and cards to the thesis and methodology of the affirmative are the smartest ways to debate framework. I tend to prefer framework debates with external impacts, or at least well explained implicit impacts because I want something to hold onto beyond what is "best" for topic education, or what is most "predictable." The easiest way to help the judge evaluate the debate is just the same as in any other policy v. policy or k v. policy debate- impacts and impact comparison.
I think engaging the aff at least during constructives will make a better and more productive debate.
*Update- Calling framework 'T' does not make it a different argument.
*Update- I evaluate the whole framework flow and how the arguments interact. So dont get mad at me if they concede some small techy ground arg but I think surveillance state bad for black bodies outweighs. Just because you win tech doesn't mean you win on framework. This is not extra t against a policy aff.
That’s pretty much it, if you have specific questions feel free to ask me before the round or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Amanda Tobey. I debated for J.P. Taravella High School, for UCF and George Washington. If you are reading this I am probably coaching/judging for GDS. Use this as a guideline for what to run in front of me, and the end of the day most debaters will do what they do best anyway so just do it well and I’ll vote off of what you tell me to.
I am now retired. I recently taught middle school policy and public forum for GDS, but as they are novices with no circuit to compete in, I am not that caught up on literature for any current topics. You have been warned*
If you have questions for me: Amandathetobey (at) gmail (dot) com.
GDS Invite: updated 9/23/17
Sorry for the late update! Some of this was on the wiki. I just updated this to make my disad and K preferences more open.PFD THINGS
At the heart of things, I am a Policy debater who is very comfortable with PFD as I have taught and competed in it a bit. I value tech over truth.
- You need warrants
- You need links and internal links
- You need impacts
- If you are extending something you need all of the above
- weigh stuff/impact analysis
After judging a few debates on the 2015-2016 topic these are things I've been saying after every round:
1. Perm texts should be specific
2. SHORT o/v's in rebuttals are your friend (and mine)
3. Organization counts
4. Impact out f/w, T, and theory if you want me to vote on it.Short but not so sweet:
Love: theory, T, topic specific (IR) disads, and high theory/regular k’s.
Like: case, adv cps, pics.
Tolerate: politics, identity-based args (ask me about this if unclear)
Hate: any spec arg (you will lose speaks), card clipping (potential loss if proven)Theory(Framework):
I love theory, I think learning about why we debate the way we debate is important. I was both a cheating 2N and a lying 2A so you do you. I think theory is fluid and changes round to round. I default to competing interps. I like to hear the history of the arguments (i.e. condo and how in the 70’s one off was abuse but in 2002 seven off was the norm) this is important to understand why my ballot matters in these rounds. Please highlight things in these debates that I should focus on (i.e. examples of non-abuse, examples of in round abuse) and/or try not to make these debates messy. RVI’s are almost always shitty. DO NOT RUN SPEC ARGUMENTS IN FRONT OF ME- even if you win on something else your speaks will go down for it. Front-lining is your friend. I default aff framing for framework and this may or may not be a pre-req to theory or T- please keep at least part of these debate alive in the last rebuttals because this is an important questions that should be resolved by the debaters. (look to counterplans for exceptions)
As with theory, topicality is awesome. I used to run really abusive affs and I loved slamming affs for being abusive. I have a medium threshold for voting on extra-t/effects-t, just spend time on it. I’m slightly more truth oriented on T than theory but I still rely heavily on my flow. Affs should have a plan txt that is enacted by the USFG- I am more amiable to wacky plan txts than straight up plan advocacies. Whether that plan txt has to be fiated…..is debatable. I default to competing interpretations and I am very impressed with teams that keep T debates clean.
If you need another sheet of paper for something like an overview- tell me please. I love card analysis more than new cards. Smart arguments are good arguments, and I will evaluate smart analytics against bad cards. Be clear in overviews, this is your aff, you know it better, don’t forget that. I’m also fine with squirrely things like not going for your aff, case arguments used in theory debates, ect.
Counterplans are counterplans.if you want me to judge kick you have to tell me and then justify it depending on the theory in the round. I am slightly against multiple plank counterplans and think theory can check back. That along with 50 states and Lopez, I think theory has a good place and I slightly favor an aff ballot. All other counterplans are completely tab and fair game. Please don’t rattle off perms like it’s your job, they should be separate; they should have specific texts with cards if you want to make me super happy. That being said, I sometimes lean pro aff on most all perm theory (except severance).
Oy. So I i used to be pretty meh on politics disads. Now, I am a lot more open. I really love a good topic disad. That being said, I will totally vote for any disad, you just must: 1. Keep the debate clean 2. Spend time on it and the entire story 3. Write my rfd. Not one sentence (They dropped the link debate). I mean tell me the impact of that and how that means the 2ar is screwed and has been since the 2ac. I know cutting hyper-specific link cards is a pain, but it goes a long way.
My small amount of time in college made me more disillusioned with the K but I am getting over it. I am most familiar with security, cap, GBTL, and Nietzsch. I have no issues voting for k's. Including high theory stuff.
Performance: I think debate is an academic space and a unique one. Only in this space do academics spread ideas, talk about foreign policy, flow, fiat stuff, ect. I think we can talk about x’s rights anywhere to anyone, but policy prescriptions are unique to this space. Thus, I do not like things that take away from the precious time and space that is policy debate. You should justify how it’s policy prescription or relates to it. General performance and identity don’t meet that standard and I will be very likely to (but not definitely) vote on framework in these rounds. (edit: given our current political climate I can see a world in which this is more "policy" and this I am more open to it)
Exceptions: If someone is racist/sexist in a round, you have impacts that are fiated, or if you are responding to a team that is performance with “but you don’t include me”
I encourage you to record rounds, if someone is clipping cards or cheating in any other way, I will punish them. Bring it up during the round. Make a theory arg.
Jumping isn’t prep, all teams must have access to all evidence. I will allow 2 minutes per team per computer malfunction, after that it’s prep. I keep prep, you keep prep, we all keep prep! You may have to remind me of high school times. Act like you know how to work your computer/stand/space even if you don’t. I may have my computer out in rounds. I will not record anything without your permission and will give you my FULL attention during all cx’s and speeches.
Speaks and other important things you should know (and speaks):
My name is Amanda, this is policy debate, please don’t call me Mrs. Tobey or “judge”. Be friendly, act like you've known your opponent your whole life. I like a “cool” style of debate. That being said I was also very passive-aggressive and sarcastic which is fine by me, but should you get too aggressive and make me uncomfortable, speaks will go down. If you want warning for anything tell me- I think it’s noble to know what you need to work on and would love to help but after one warning, if it is something that is bugging me, it will affect speaks. I view speaks as 75% how you say something (clarity, ect.) and the structure you say it with (2ac’s shouldn’t put T at the bottom) and 25% actual smart arguments (that impact turn was a good idea).
Partnering- I very much value my partner and I expect you to, too. I’m fine with open cross but do not cut your partner off if it’s their cross, do not over tool your partner, do not be a dick to your partner please.
Finally, if you ask me something that I already put here (not including clarification) I will be annoyed which is not a good way to start the round. I took the time to write this so you have the best chance of adapting, take the time to read it. If you show me good flows after the round (like as soon as the 2ar ends) I will add .2 to speaks.
So I basically stole this form Shree Awsare- I think it's a good representation of speaks.
< 25: You were offensive or obnoxious and deserve this.
25: No arguments past constructives, no spreading or bad spreading, no strategic thought of usage of the aff/neg constructive.
26: You showed up and made some claims (mostly without warrants) that occasionally clashed with your opponents- bad ethos and bad spreading.
27: You made a variety of claims in the debate (some backed up with warrants) but had a variety of severe strategic mishaps and/or failed to impact your claims- badish ethos, okay spreading.
28: You made a variety of claims in the debate (most of them backed up with warrants), but you were occasionally playing with fire and had questionable strategic maneuvers. okay ethos, good spreading.
28.5: You are solid. Your claims are backed up with warrants and you have a strategic vision that you are attempting to accomplish. Solid spreading, okay ethos. You use examples and don't just read pre-written blocks, you contextualize.
29+: You've done everything needed for a 28.5, but you sounded really, really good while you were doing it. This probably includes: you had excellent ethos/pathos, you were incredibly clear, and your strategic vision was executed nearly flawlessly.
30- You did all of the above and you made a connection. Somewhere in the debate (or at multiple points) you looked at me and made a topical one-liner or said something that changed the way I viewed the debate.
Impact calculas is the most important. At the end of the day how should I weigh solvency deficits, links and impacts.
Offense-deffense: this is the second most important issue. Realize that winning a bunch of deffensivs arguments at the end of the day will not lead to a win if your opponent has offense against you.
Nexus question: what is the most important thing to evaluate a debate.
Prep time starts when cross x ends.
I think that debate is the most fun and important educational activity in the world. I'm a former coach of a national circuit team which experienced a fair amount of success during my tenure. I have coached multiple teams who have appeared at the TOC in Policy Debate, including one TOC championship. I have also coached multiple teams to championships at the Middle School Nationals tournament in both PF and Policy debate.
I'm generally a "progressive" judge in the sense that I enjoy theory debates concerning what debate ought to be and how we can provide the best educational experience for competitors. I'm also happy to listen to criticisms and counterplans in those events which have not traditionally utilized those types of arguments (provided the specific tournament is allowing that sort of thing).
I've been focusing more on my day job for the past few years and therefore haven't judged as many rounds during the last several seasons. Don't assume I know the jargon specific to this particular year or your particular case, even if it is a camp case. I'm generally good on jargon specific to debate.
At the end of the day, have the debate you want to have, make it the best debate that you can show me, have fun, and I'll reward that.
P.S.: Please do your part to help keep the round running on time. I'll keep track of time just in case, but I'd rather that you not make me police speech & prep times.
I debated for 8 years culminating in successive quarterfinal losses at the NDT when I was debating for Northwestern. After a long hiatus from the debate community, I returned to coaching and judging debate last year. While the bulk of my experience was in traditional policy debate, I have been actively coaching critical debating for over a year. My philosophy is essentially that everything is up for debate in a round. (except for speaking times) That said, there are some arguments that I find more persuasive than others, particularly with respect to framework and stock issues.
Framework -- While I will evaluate any framework arguments presented, my bias is in favor of frameworks that create clash. I do believe that the principal goal of debate is to develop critical thinking skills as opposed to performance skills, thus a framework debate which asks me to evaluate one versus the other is going to resolve in favor of critical thinking. That said, rote recitations of standards based on education and research burdens are not particularly persuasive. The key to framework debate is to keep the arguments clear and on point. I have seen many examples of debaters confusing framework with decision rules. For the sake of clarity, I believe that framework arguments define the METHODOLOGY that a judge should use to evaluate a round (as a judge/legislator/executive/citizen/teacher/etc), whereas a decision rule is typically an argument in favor of a particular ethical construct (utilitarianism / moral relativism / etc) As for stock issues, here are my thoughts:
Topicality -- I believe that topicality should be about relevance and jurisdiction for the judge. Arguments based on technical definitions are not particularly persuasive. As a general rule, if the AFF is clearly focused on the geography, subject area and actor that are represented by the resolution it will be difficult to get me to vote neg on topicality. That said, I have voted many times for critical AFFs that eschew some or all of those relevant topic areas based on their framework arguments. Moreover, in order to get me to vote for topicality usually requires a fair amount of dedication to the argument in the debate. Unless the AFF drops all topicality arguments, I will give a lot of latitude in answering multiple technical violations in rebuttals.
Advantages / Disadvantages -- Policy debates that feature straight up negative strategies which argue that the disadvantages of a plan outweigh the advantages are becoming increasingly rare. That said, I will admit to enjoying those debates and, in particular, good analysis on probabilities and terminal impacts.
Critiques -- I believe that negative critiques which challenge the fundamental philosophical assumptions of the resolution of a particular AFF are excellent strategic choices. That said, I have several concerns with many negative critiques, the most important is that many teams do not understand their own arguments. In my opinion, there are two types of critiques: Arguments that the AFF rhetoric or philosophy create or could create an impact and Arguments that the AFF is fundamentally inconsistent with an ALTERNATIVE whose adoption will result in a more significant net benefit than the AFF. The first type of critique is essentially a disadvantage, except that the "link" is based on rhetoric or philosophy rather than a specific causality from the plan itself. That link depends upon the notion that the words used in the debate are important and need to be considered directly by the judge. The second type of critique is more prevalent, however. The standard which I will use to evaluate those criticisms is to directly evaluate the claim of competition. If the Neg can prove that their alternative is indeed fundamentally inconsistent with the AFF, then i will weigh the critique. If, however, there is no inconsistency, then Perm arguments are often successful. If you rely on this type of argument consistently, consider striking me if you are not very good at explaining why your criticism applies to the AFF more than the status quo...
Conditionality -- I firmly believe that AFF conditionality would destroy debate, but that Negative conditionality is generally OK. That said, if a negative runs a disadvantage to an AFF advantage and a link turn to the same advantage, conditionality may not apply. Put simply, teams can not drop arguments that have offense on them. (a clear example is a negative that runs a turn to an AFF that claims economic growth based on government incompetance AND a De-Development disadvantage that claims to outweigh everything. In that case the AFF can simply agree to both and capture the impact of De-Dev...)
Abuse arguments -- I have never voted on an abuse argument other than taking evidence out of context. I doubt seriously that I ever will. If a team brings up new arguments in rebuttals, I will ignore them, but not vote against that team. 2NC is a constructive speech, so I will often allow new arguments. That said, I will give 2AR more lattitude to read new evidence against those arguments. If a team is mean spirited, abusive and generally offensive, it will seriously hurt their speaker points, however. I have no opinion about disclosure pre debate -- that is up to individual teams and coaches to decide.
Last, I would also like to point out that I have a very strong opinion that judges should NOT do debaters work for them. If an argument is dropped, I will not extend it for a team and if an impact is claimed and not disputed, it will be as claimed. Too many judges tend to impose their own value systems upon debates these days and I try very hard not to.
Debated for 4 years at Dominion High School, 2 years at the University of Mary Washington, 2 years judging/coaching
I would like to be on the email chain. My email is email@example.com. If I had to direct you to my paradigm to get my email and you're just now reading this, know that I'm disappointed that you didn't read my philosophy before the round.
Please label the subject of the email chain with both team names, the tournament, and the round
Debate is a communicative activity, and it's your job to make sure that I understand the arguments that you're making. I'm a pretty expressive judge, so if I'm not understanding your argument, I will probably give you a weird look. If clarity is a problem I won't yell clear, but my face will show it - it's your and your partners' job to make sure that you are communicating clearly. I don't like trying to put together poorly explained arguments at the end of the debate, and in the post-round I'm more than willing to tell you that I didn't understand your argument based on how it was presented in the round.
Beyond building communication skills, I think debate's other big benefit is exposure to a wide variety of literature bases (international relations, critical theory, public policy, economics, etc.). I like it when teams are experts on the research they're presenting, and if I feel like I've learned something new, it will show in your points.
Organization: Line by line matters. I'm happy when my flow is kept clean. I reward efforts to help me keep my flow clean with speaker points. Please name your flows in the 1NC. I'm not a huge fan of overviews. Debate like this and I'll reward you with points http://vimeo.com/5464508
Quals matter. I would prefer it if you read the qualifications to enter them into the debate before you argue that your author's qualifications are better than your opponent's. Remember that qualifications aren't necessarily based on education alone - relevance of experience to the substantive argument in question is also a factor.
Truth matters. "Alternative facts" are not facts. I reserve the right reject evidence that is blatantly out of context or arguments that are particularly morally repugnant (i.e. "racism good"). I will read the unhighlighted part of your evidence to assess "truth," but I do my best to separate that from how your argument was explained in the debate. Ev comparison is welcome.
Prep starts at the end of speech time and ends once the email is sent/the document is saved.
T - I'm not really sure where reasonability begins and ends, so I tend to favor competing interpretations. I think vagueness and specification arguments are important and worth evaluating, but this should begin in cross-ex
Advantage/Disadvantage debate - Impact comparison is important and necessary. I am frustrated by
Uniqueness shapes the direction of the link. If you're hoping to go for link shapes uniqueness, refer me to parts of the uniqueness debate that you think proves that uniqueness is close.
Counterplans - 2nr should be explicit in weighing the risk of a solvency deficit against the risk of the net benefit. Affs should be specific when making permutations. Most counterplan theory is a reason to allow cheaty perms or reject a counterplan altogether rather than a reason to reject the team.
Conditionality - I'm OK with the community consensus of 1 CP 1 K, but that can be changed by good debating. Convince me that your interpretation is better for accomplishing the big picture issues I noted at the top, and you'll do well. Affs should capitalize on strategies that are abusive for a combination of reasons (floating piks with a conditional alternative for instance).
Critiques (and critical affirmatives) - I'm open to them. I'm not super familiar with all but the most basic parts of the lit base. I tend to be much better at concrete (rather than abstract) thought, so use lots of examples. Long overviews should be discouraged (see above). Root cause arguments don't make a ton of sense to me logically - if a carbon tax solves global warming by making renewable energy comparatively more economical than fossil fuels, why does it matter that capitalism caused global warming? Likewise, "alt solves case" arguments tend to fall victim to timeframe problems. The best way to win in front of me is to go for scholarship related arguments - if you prove that the scholarship of the 1ac leads to faulty conclusions that implicate solvency/the 1ac scenarios.
Case - Presumption is a thing. Most 2nrs should address the case
Feel free to email me with questions!
Debated at and now coach for George Mason.
Please put me on the email chain! firstname.lastname@example.org
- This is a communication activity. Please be clear. You're probably going much faster than you need to be.
- The aff should defend an unconditional change from the status quo.
- Tech (usually) comes before truth.
- Presumption is a thing. I default to the least change.
- Please debate the case. Terribly constructed affs too often get away with it.
- The only types of CPs I feel any particular bias against are uniqueness CPs and new 2NC CPs. As with all things, this is a threshold/preference thing; if you win the theory debate, you're good.
- There can be zero risk of a DA.
- I did very little K debating, but am familiar with the more popular/classic lit. Historical examples and analogies are much more helpful in explaining your arguments than just dropping buzz words or author names.
- I'll vote on non-topical affirmatives. The aff probably does need to do something, though.
- Fairness is an impact, but not always the most strategic one.
- More than two conditional advocacies puts you in the danger zone.
- Contradictory conditional advocacies are probably bad for debate.
- Condo doesn't outweigh T, but I guess a fire 1AR could change my mind on this.
- Cross-ex ends after 3 minutes. Anything after that is not "on the record" but still binding when it comes to things like if the CP is conditional.
- Don't clip cards. A team that calls for an ethics challenge against a team clipping needs to provide proof in the form of an audio recording. If I agree that the team did indeed clip, they'll lose the round and get 0 speaker points. If I decide that the team did not clip, the challenging team will lose the round and get 0 speaker points. This being said, if a tournament has a different procedure for this, I'll obviously adhere to it.
- Mark your cards during the speech. If you can't provide accurately marked cards to your opponents, it makes sense to me that I should disregard that evidence.
It's cool frfr. I'll judge your round. Don't be a racist or w/e and make your arguments well.
-See Devon Schley's Paradigm, we're basically the same person but I like Afropess less-
I debated four years at Liberty University starting as a novice and two years in open and did Lincoln-Douglas debate 3 years of high school. Now I'm at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary getting my Masters in Divinity.
Overview - If you make good arguments and explain them to me then I will listen to it. Don’t assume that I know the basis for your arguments, that isn't to say I don’t understand your argument but rather I want to see that you understand your argument and can explain it to me. Don’t make me have figure it out on my own, give me the reason’s I should vote for you. Especially for the Emissions topic, I haven't been working with a debate team this semester so I am not coming in with prior knowledge of the topic. I'll easily understand your arguments but don't make me have to assume what your inherency or link is, tell me.
Topicality – For the aff I want to see an answer for the reasons your interpretation is good and why your aff creates good debates. If the negative is going for T then there should be good explanation for why the aff is abusive. For negatives I tend to like arguments about how the aff justifies other untopical affs. It really comes to framing of the impact level, like in any debate if you can win your impact framing and why yours come first I will vote on it.
Theory – I tend to think that some kind of ground will be lost inevitably on both sides so I don’t WANT to vote on it. But like with topicality if you give me specific reasons why you have lost ground or there is abuse in the round and give good explanation I will vote on it. On conditionality specifically I think that one conditional advocacy is pretty much never abusive (again it can be argued but there should be a fantastic explanation of why it is). The more conditional advocacies the more inclined I would be to vote for it. I think it can easily be argued and think is true to an extent that contradictory conditional advocacies are abusive to the aff, but on the neg I think it can also be argued why this is good to test the aff and just a test of the aff from multiple angles.
CPs – I think CPs are strategic, but a lot of times a perm isn't answered sufficiently. I think it is really strategic for the aff to argue how the cp still links to the net benefit or really any offense against the net benefit. At the same time, if there is any chance the net benefit turns case and a good risk that the perm still links to the net benefit then I am inclined to vote neg on risk of both. I also like a good solvency debate discussion here. How does the cp actually solve for the aff's advantages? Does the cp solve better then the aff? If an aff can make me question if the cp can solve for the aff then this gives me less reason to vote for the DA or that the perm can't solve.
DAs – I think the roughest place for negs to win is on the link level (they are usually generic or really weak…or both). I love good clash on uniqueness as well. I think the biggest part of the DA debate is on the impact level. Why does the aff outweigh the DA or how does the impact turn case? On DA’s whoever does the best job of impact framing will have a better chance of getting my vote.
Kritiks – I have debated a policy aff for my entire college career and lean more policy in the way I view a round. At the same time I ran kritikal arguments for an entire year almost exclusively on the negative and I am open to hear your K and have a basic knowledge of most K’s. I think the problem with most K’s (and what I have heard and seen in many judge philosophies) is that the alternative is terribly explained, so I want to hear a clear explanation of what your alt does and how it works within the round. Don’t expect me to just understand your K, as I said in my overview don’t assume I know your arg, I want to hear your explanation. Tell me why the K outweighs case and what specifically the affirmative is doing that is bad or viewed wrongly. If it is a K aff I want to hear why what you are doing is good for debate, I will talk more about this on framework.
On race K's i have not read the literature on that as much so you may have to do a little bit better explanation on your args. To clarify as well I don't always see this type of argumentation the way some judges do. I don't think because the state is racist (because no one is winning that it isn't) that it is a reason to vote the aff down. With this topic the aff is taking a negative state action so there are strong arguments about how they can deconstruct that. I think there needs to be more nuanced argument of why the aff is specifically bad and not just a generic "state is racist" link. But this is a debate to be had, and again if your explanation is good I'll vote for who does the better arguing.
Framework – On framework my overview kind of tells the story of what I want to hear on both sides. For a critical team I want to hear why your form of debate is good or creates change, this explanation is KEY to me voting for any type of K on the aff or neg. I think teams many times have good arguments but don’t have a good reason why this creates good discussion or good debates. Like I said at the beginning of my K philosophy, I tend to lean more policy and think it is easy to win that K’s create a research burden. Really…I just want to hear a good debate about whether or not different forms of debate are good and bad and a good explanation why.