Capitol Beltway Fall Classic at Walt Whitman
2014 — MD/US
LD Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
LD Debate Judge Paradigm. (Sometimes I judge PF, too.)
Updated for Jan/Feb 2013!
1. TYPES OF ARGS: I will listen to and consider any type of argument, no matter how unorthodox or unusual, so long as it:
a. Respects the format of LD (time limited one-on-one debate related to the bi-monthly topic.)
b. Is not intentionally rude, offensive, or without any easily recognizable redeeming educational/social value*.
If, however, the argument you make is:
a. Trivial, without rigor, or poorly thought through, and dealt with as such by your opponent;
b. Neither topical or LD-theoretical*;
c. Never justified via warrant/impact/link*...
I am not likely to vote off of it.
*Narratives may fit these categories. Please do not ever read a case that describes graphic crime in front of me. Medical stuff is totally fine. (Review: Domestic violence narrative? bad. Describing MDRTB? fine.)
I like very observant, insightful cases and refutation that presents not just an advocacy, but a carefully constructed world-view. I believe values/standards analysis are important, but I leave it up to the debaters to decide how they wish to handle them. I believe there must be something to which you link and impact back to, however, so that I can sign my ballot one way or the other. I will frequently comment on the quality of arguments made, both in-case and in-round, but I will only vote off material which is actively "in play" in the round. So:
2.STRAT: Establish your position/advocacy. Link. Impact. Weigh extensively. Tell me why I should vote for you. If you do not tell me what to do with a given point "x", I will not vote off it unless there is literally nothing else for me to vote off of. Do not assume that I will auto extend drops, or that I will impact/link/weigh cross applications for you. It's your job to tell me why you win. If something is important to my ballot, please tell me so, and spend time on it.
3. I have never-not-once-ever decided a round on PRESUMPTION, even though I came close once.There's always something better to vote on, even if it's skills. I do try to advance the better debater. 99.6% of the time that's also the winning debater.
4. SPEED is absolutely fine so long as you enunciate card author names. If you're unclear, I will pipe up and tell you so. I use "CLEAR!" as an all-purpose shout of existential angst, though, so it could mean you're stumbling, gasping, too high pitched, or mumbling. If I call clear, you should probably err on the side of repeating a sentence, as I don't/can't shout and flow at the same time. If I tell you you're too high pitched or squeaky, please don't take offense. I took two semesters of graduate speech pathology classes at Columbia. I am as equally annoyed by high pitched female voices as I am annoyed by high pitched male voices. Speaking too loudly at too high a pitch, especially if you're dehydrated, can permanently damage your vocal cords.
5. REGARDING THEORY: I gut check, but I have voted off theory a few times this year, and I am becoming more sympathetic towards well-structured theory. I think our community is slowly settling into a reasonable use of theory following two or three years of really cruddy shells and confusing rounds. The following represents my views on mediocre or bad theory:
98% of the time when people run theory, I find that there is no actual abuse. I dislike people who run theory counter-interps when they easily could have run an "I meet." To me, this constitutes THEORY BAITING. Baiting theory is an ocelot thing to do. Please just win on substance if you can meet the interp! I am sympathetic to "I meet." I am not very sympathetic to ground arguments, unless you explain to me why the only ground left to you is really, really ridiculous. I do think NIBS are for pens, not cases, but I will entertain multiple burdens that equally constrain both debaters. I will gut-check, but if you ask me to gut-check, I will also call cases and read everything super carefully. I am also a super cranky person when I have to read cases before signing a ballot, so invoke my own personal opinion at your own risk. I will accept and evaluate both "drop the debater/RVI" and "drop the argument" debates, but I prefer "drop the argument" and will default to that if you either don't give me a voter or forget to extend it. All that having been said, if you feel you HAVE to run theory against someone or something, go ahead and do it.
On the other hand, I love a good T debate and will happy listen to you guys bat definitions back and forth. Bad T debate is highly discouraged. If you don't know the difference, look up the structure of T shells online.
6. Other thoughts: I might be embroidering ("sewing") during your prep or cx. Ignore this. Busy hands = quiet mind. Try it sometime.
Please don't say, "Aracelis, I've read your paradigm, and you don't like to hear X," during a round. It creeps me out, it probably creeps your opponent out, and it's just... well, creepy.If you want to talk about my paradigm, do it before the round.
I love topic lit. I read large amounts of topic lit to help my team. If you lie about topic lit, I will know, and I'll be unhappy, even if it won't effect my vote. On the other hand, a deep command of topic lit is always impressive, so demonstrating technical mastery + deep understanding is the ideal way to earn yourself higher speaks.
7. Speaks: I don't hand out 30s often. Don't be offended. My typical range is 27.5-29.5. I will go lower for bad behavior. Solid rounds usually earn a 28 or 28.5 tie. Someone who is obviously better can expect a 29. At 29.5 and 30, you're showing me superior time allocation, amazing strategic organization, deep knowledge of the topic, and the sort of transcendent explanation of Truth that causes me to feel like your speech has contributed something to society. You should shoot for that goal, but not be disappointed if you fall short. Annoying, pathological, or just plain old weird vocal/inhalation habits will get you docked speaks unless I can detect that whatever you're doing is wholly involuntary (lisping, r/l/w issues, spasmodic dysphonia, post-infectious laryngitis...) I have a pretty good ear for the difference between voluntary/weird stuff you picked up at camp.
LAST BUT NEVER LEAST,
Please don't be an ocelot. The word "Ocelot" also has limited assonance with a word that describes mean people. In the literal sense, an Ocelot is a small predatory cat. In the metaphorical sense, an Ocelot is what you shouldn't be. Win without being small, predatory, and catty.
And, have fun and make friends. :D
I am currently the Director of Debate at Collegiate School, where I have now coached for three years. Evidently I'm doing something right, because the people at Big Lex awarded me the Michael Bacon Coaching Award this year (2013) Previously, I coached for half a season at Brooklyn Technical High School. I have also previously judged for Bronx High School of Science (but who hasn't?) and as an independently hired judge at various round-robins and tournaments. I taught at a camp for three summers: '04, '05, and '06, and I debated on Long Island/locally in the Northeast for three years: '00-01 to '02-'03.
I am the judge/coach/parent for the Stone Ridge team and have been judging for over 7 years on the local and national level.
I am very traditional. Presentation and sign posting are very important. Strike me if you feel the need to speak slightly faster than normal conversation, run a K, or multiple T shells. If I don't understand you, you didn't say it. I prefer quality over quantity and I believe that policy debate DOES NOT belong in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Let me repeat: If I didn't understand you, you didn't say it!
--> It is also very important that you sign post on your opponent's case, I want you to summarize what you are going to say and where on the flow you are going to say it before you say it.
If you want to win a round with me the most important part is crystallization. Just a summary at the end of your speech saying what you arguments are, why they stand, and why you win is enough for me.
A bit of Background
I am an experienced debate coach and judge. I have coached debate on the local, regional, and national circuits and judged on those circuits. My primary background and training were in policy debate, but I have coached and judged LD debate pretty much exclusively since 2009. I am old, though, and cognitively disabled - so far, that disability hasn't impacted my ability to judge debates, but it is there, and you need to be aware of it.
Is He a Person Who Should be Judging Me?
Complicated question. I have coached many VHSL State Champions in LD, Congress, Policy Debate, and Speech. I have coached TOC bid earners in Policy Debate, LD Debate, and Student Congress. I have coached one NCFL National Champion in LD Debate. I have coached numerous students to the elimination rounds at NCFL Nationals (LD, Congress, Policy, Extemp, OO, OI). And I have coached more than a few students to NSDA, including a three-time final-round participant in Extemp. Yet, I have never once been asked to teach a summer workshop and am very rarely asked to give lectures, etc. I think this is because I am, essentially, the Dr. House (seasons 1-4 are still some of the best TV out there, prove me wrong!) of the forensics world. I don't play politics, don't care that your coach is some debate legend, I am not awed by your school's team budget, and I mostly just have a lot of friction with folks I find around the forensics world - most of it is me, some of it is the activity, some of it is the personalities that surround the activity. So, if you can handle a person who knows the game but also has serious problems with the game, then yes, I should be judging you.
On the other hand, if you can't handle the fact that your multiple TOC bids, etc., won't wow me or suggest that I should, somehow, be in awe of you or your coach, or if you assume that your school's name means I'll vote for you on-face, then no, I guess I shouldn't be. I'm me. I'm comfortable with me, and that's that. If you are a debater who asks for my preferences and then disregards them to do things your way, strike me too.
In short, I've played this game my way for a long, long time in terms of my thoughts and my standards and they won't be changing. A day may come when I leave this game, but as long as I'm playing it, I won't be changing :) And yes, I do realize the contradiction between what I am and what I do not like - but that's for another discussion.
Some Basics that are Not Negotiable
1. Be clear. I don't care how fast you are; I can flow you. BUT, if you are not clear, I will yell "clear" once, and then when I have to do it again, you lose a whole point, and you continue to lose an entire point every time I have to yell it. Most debaters confuse speed for skill - I'd prefer you to equate clarity with skill.
2. Do not misrepresent your evidence. If you have to isolate a word per sentence for a paragraph to get a card, don't do it. Entire sentences are best, especially when they are in the context of the original paragraph. I punish cross-reading, card clipping, and card forgery severely. I will track down your cites if I think you are cheating.
3. Politeness is a must. I disdain arrogance. Be polite to your opponents. Be merciful to opponents who are obviously not as well trained or skilled as you - this is not Cobra Kai! Your arrogance and running over opponents will result in meager points (VHSL: nothing above a 39; WACFL: Nothing above a 19; National Circuit: nothing above a 19). You can win debates and be kind and friendly - please do so. I also enjoy punishing sexism and racism. Engage in those things, and you will receive a loss with the lowest amount of points the tournament allows me to give. So, pick your words carefully. (I will confess to not knowing what classism is, but if you mock your opponent's dress, equipment, etc., I will punish that too). Also, not a fan of profanity. We all swear, I just don't like it when it's done in front of me by someone trying to persuade me to vote for them.
4. I try my hardest to remember personal pronouns, but I'm 52 years old, and I have cognitive dysfunction, so if I forget, please believe it wasn't on purpose. If you can't live with my cognitive failings, strike me. But, on the other hand, if you seriously think my slip-up was on purpose and completed some evil plan of mine, you're wrong. We all make mistakes. I will, of course, apologize for my mistake but I do not think a slip is the end of the world either.
5. Have fun - debate is about fun and education. So much more important than winning.
6. Add me to the email chain and send me your speech doc, but I will not read it while you are speaking - you need to communicate in a way I can understand.
Things for LD and Policy Debate
1. Warrants will impress me. Make sure your evidence has them.
2. Impact calculus is critical - if you can't weigh impacts, you will probably not like my voting. And an impact is not, "Racism is bad." I know it's terrible. You need to take it to the next level and explore the harm that results in allowing racism to continue to exist. Do the work.
3. In LD, you need a value and a criterion. If it's the circuit, I would appreciate a plan text as well. LD is still LD to me, and I'm not ready to declare it one-debater policy. I need to understand how your criterion interacts with your value. If you say "Social Contract," then I'm going to be wondering which version of the Social Contract you are defending. I give extra points to debaters who exploit a debater's failure to specify these things (like ASPEC in a way, but a lot more relevant to LD. If you want to talk about Util, are we talking about Bentham or Mill (and, points deducted if you say "Mills," unless it's "Mill's theory of Util."), if you want to talk about the Social Contract, is it Hobbes', Rousseau's, or Locke's? Know your criterion :) Points also to debaters who attack values. Who says, for instance, that 'democracy' is a net good? I miss these types of debates, and if you engage in them, I will reward them.
4. Cards > Analytics. I prefer well-developed, carded positions over random blippy analytics. However, the operative word there is "well developed" if you read lousy evidence, then, perhaps, an excellent analytic is better.
5. I'm a flow judge primarily, so if it's on the flow and you tell me to weigh it and vote on it, I will. It's best to make answers to arguments and not let things slide. Debate means flowing; I'm afraid I have to disagree with this prevailing attitude on the Virginia circuit that LD means "no flowing or little flowing." If you get me, it's 100% flow.
6. No racism, good, genocide, good, etc. I assure you those arguments are not good, and I won't vote on them. However, I will vote on things like Spark or Nuke War Good, etc., as long as you argue them well.
7. I prefer theory that is actually warranted with clear demonstrations of an actual violation, with an explanation of why I weigh it and why I vote on it. Just because you think X is abusive doesn't mean it is. I give wide latitude to the other side to explain why it's not (often not), and I seldom vote on it. I'm all ears and flow if you think the abuse was actual. In LD, where the time-skew is real, I seldom, if ever, want to hear theory debates. It's rarely warranted, and it eats up too much time, really magnifying the skew.
8. Topicality is a voting issue, but a challenge has to have good warrants for the violation, and I need to understand why the violation matters. It also has to be impacted by why I vote on it. T is not violence; I'm an editor by trade, so to me, words matter. If you want to argue T, I expect you to have very clear explanations of the violation and the ground is limited, etc. Show me some real harm through the attack.
9. Conditionality is fine. I'm open to the debate. Dispo is fine. I am open to the debate.
10. I prefer non-topical counterplans. I will listen to any type of counterplan, I have no biases toward them as long as they are topical.
11. I'm probably not your judge for the K. I can flow it, but the odds are I will not understand it. If you run them, please make sure you slow down on the tags and that you really explain the link, impact, and the alternative. I am not a fan of "word salad, K of the week" type arguments," especially if you sound like "my coach just gave me this to read." If you can't answer cross-examination questions on it, forget about running it. I will always give my best efforts to judging the K debate fairly, but it really isn't my thing. To kind of quote Elrond - "I was there, Gandalf, 3,000 years ago when this argument was unleased on the debate world." Doesn't mean I actually know much about them though.
12. I am pretty open to performance debating/project debating/or alternative debating styles if grounded in reasons why this approach is good for debate and why a more traditional form of debate is worse for the activity. Here's a hint, if you are on the negative and your opponent runs such arguments, and you do not clash with them but instead simply engage with traditional practices, you will probably lose. You can, of course, argue the framework of the debate and which framework is best for consideration of the activity. My point is that the argument is "traditional debate emphasizes speed and speed excludes people from the activity, and that exclusion is harmful" then meeting this argument with the spread will not help you.
13. I don't know where I sit with ablest arguments. I have a cognitive brain disorder, hearing loss, and multiple learning disabilities. So, I'm not sure that "debate is ableist" arguments persuade me. But, like all arguments (other than the ones noted above), I will listen, flow them, and weigh them as you instruct me. If you win them, I will vote for you (provided you have done the proper amount of impact analysis, etc.) I might just not agree with you.
14. I appreciate debaters who can tell me how I will vote and explain why they are winning. Leaving it to me is not what you want.
15. Off-time roadmaps are fine. Off-time orations are not! It will help you to know the difference.
16. Ask questions in CX, do not make speeches - but know that CX is really for you, and I will seldom really and intently listen to it. I certainly don't flow it.
17. I do read cards after rounds if the tournament allows it, but I don't like to. Your job is to communicate the evidence to me as a speaker, not to hand me the evidence as a reader (and, with a reading comprehension disability, I'm not sure I'll always realize what I'm reading.)
All of that said - I really just want debaters in front of me to have fun and learn and grow from the activity. So if I didn't cover anything you need to know, let me know.
Please strike me. PF is a waste of time, encourages too many ethical shortcuts, and is barely, if at all, educational. I mean it. I do not think this activity is valid, and I will not give my time or energy to it. (I used to coach it, can judge it - just feel that I can't really support something that I find to be intellectually abominable.) Now, if I am judging this event for some reason, then look at all my notes above and don't spread. I still believe that PF is supposed to be the alternative to LD and Policy Debate, not its clone. Also, properly cite your evidence - qualify it too.
1. Clash is crucial, and I will reward it. Congress is debate, not dueling oratories. Also, I like debaters who find flaws in the bills, etc. I used to be a lobbyist, and I know how one word or misstep can sink a piece of legislation.
2. Evidence is vital. Most Congress topics are generic enough that your evidence has little excuse to be more than a few months old. Debating in 2022 with evidence from 2011 or even 2020 indicates that you have not done your research. If you run less than six citations and if they are primarily old, I won't reward you. Also, proper citation of evidence matters a great deal. Saying "as the Washington Post noted in September of last year" is inappropriate. If the source is a daily, you should cite the complete date. I weigh the quality of your sources too. Peer-reviewed journals are much better than, say, the USA Today. If your speech lacks solid, properly cited evidence, it probably won't get higher than a three.
I have coached every speech event that NCFL, NSDA, and VHSL, offer. I have multiple students advance to the elimination rounds of these tournaments. I will no longer judge DP, DDuo, Prose, or Poetry, though, as I cannot manage my PTSD with some of the themes speakers explore in those events. I can handle HI and HDuo, though. My preferred events are Extemp (I will flow you and I will hold you to the debate evidence standards talked about above), Impromtu (I will flow you), and OO (I am not a big fan of gimmicks, but it is what it is).
I am on the planning committee for the Texas Debate Collective and the director for NSD Philadelphia I'm a MA candidate in American Studies where I'm working on the intersection between Asian-American and Disability Studies. I coach Loyola JC, Bronx Science YW, and Bergen County EL.
- The round belongs to its debaters, not the judge, so it's the job of the debaters to tell me who won, not the other way around. I do my best to evaluate rounds in terms of least intervention, which means I search first for weighing as a means to scale what the key issues are, then examine the arguments thereof. The biases and defaults in this paradigm are meant to help you, not to restrict what you want to do.
- If you use the word "retarded" as an equivalence to the word "stupid" or "bad" without acknowledgement (that is, an apology upon saying it), I will drop you
Evidence Ethics/ Clipping Cards/ etc.
- Evidence ethics is an argument to be made in the debate round. I will not stop the round because of an accusation of people miscutting or misusing evidence, for there is a fair academic debate to be had.
- Card clipping: I will review recordings if available. To accuse someone of clipping cards will cause the round to stop. I'll decide using whatever material I have to figure out if somebody has clipped. If I decide a debater was clipping, I will give that person a L20. If the person accusing is wrong, for I have decided that clipping did not occur, I will give the accuser a L20. I have never judged an accusation of card clipping. I'm not as good at flowing as other judges are, and will invariably give somebody the benefit of the doubt that they did not clip cards.
- I evaluate speaker points on strategy, arg quality, time allocation, and if you are respectful and nice. When did nice become equated with weakness? I am not impressed by overt-aggression or ad hominen styles of debate. Micro versions of this include "You should've listened in lab more!" or "I have no idea what you're thinking!" Come on. If it's nasty to say to somebody outside of debate it absolutely is in the debate round. Kindness should matter more.
- What I do not factor in, however, is literal speaking clarity, efficiency, etc.
- I don't consider the number of times I say clear or slow into speaker points
- I will not evaluate arguments about "not calling blocks" or what not. Similarly, you can't just tell me to give you a 30.
- I won't give you higher speaks if you end your speech early- nor will I sign the ballot before the end of the 2AR. I don't know why judges do this. This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
- I don't find stand up 2ARs or 2NRs perceptually dominant at all
- I think post-round discussion is valuable. However, if debater A has just lost the round, and in A’s questioning of the judge, opponent B decides to comment and enter into this conversation, I will drop opponent B’s speaker points and get angry in the process
- If I sit and you are the winner (that is, the other 2 judges voted for you), and would like to ask me extensive questions, I will ask that you let the other RFDs be given and then let the opponent leave before asking me more questions. I'm fine answering questions, but just to be fair the other people in the room should be allowed to leave.
I debated for Hunter College High School from 2010-2014 on the national circuit (focused in the Northeast) and attended the TOC my senior year. I am currently a student at Columbia University.
I will try to judge based on what debaters do in round, rather than on my own opinions. But, I do have some preferences that will affect your speaks and, inevitably to some degree, my evaluation.
I won’t disregard impacts based on an arbitrarily narrow standard, such as a “minimizing war” standard that is just justified through util. Also, you can’t drop spikes and then respond in the next speech, but you can respond to the way the spike interacts with your case. This also goes for theory interps in the AC. Lastly, I will not default to presuming for one side in particular – if there is no presumption argument in the round and I find myself with a truly irresolvable round, I will vote for whoever I feel did a better job, as this seems less arbitrary to me than automatically presuming aff or neg.
I suppose I default to competing interpretations in the sense that I will compare offense and defense on the theory debate to evaluate it, but I do not really have any strong feelings about this. If you are running reasonability, though, you need to have a standard for what it is to be reasonable, not just assert that I should gutcheck on theory.
1) Due to the proliferation of generic theory spikes in ACs such as "CX checks meets all theory interps" and "neg must quantify abuse", know that speaks will suffer if you rely on these to win the theory debate and do not do a good job of addressing the specific abuse story. Additionally, be sure that the spike explains exactly what happens if dropped (i.e. should I drop the shell, vote them down etc.)
2) I will give the neg leeway on these spikes, meaning that if I'm not sure if their 3 responses really answer back your 1 sentence assertion, I'm going to ignore your spike.
I don’t think I will be the best judge for a K debate. I am not familiar with the literature, and I often find them flawed. Additionally, I find that many K impacts do not link to a justified framework, and I will not vote for those arguments. Lastly, I find pre-fiat or micropolitical voters uncompelling.
Speaks and Stuff
If I think you should clear based on your performance in this round, you will get a 28.5 or higher. These are based on your strategy, argument quality, and technical skills as well as your actual speaking skills. In terms of in-round behavior, I would prefer that you have real cross ex (not just prep the whole time), but you can stand or sit to do this. Asking questions in prep time is of course fine. Try not to be mean to your opponent, and if you are way better than your opponent, please don’t beat them down – make it an educational and enjoyable experience for them. I do not mind if you sit during speeches. I am happy to call clear if I cannot understand you and I am willing to call for things after the round.
Good luck and feel free to ask me questions before or after the round!
I did LD debate when I went to high school (2010-2014). I used to judge consistently but stopped in 2017. Since then, I've only judged once before this tournament.
I prefer the debaters speak slowly. I also prefer if they make arguments through creative thinking rather than just reading prewritten stuff. Weighing is also important because each side invariably wins some arguments, so I need to know which arguments are the most important.
That being said, you should debate however you prefer and I'll do my best to evaluate the round based solely on the arguments made in the round.
I competed for Bronx Science 2012-2014, coached Scarsdale 2014-2016, and am now entering my last year of being involved with this activity by coaching independently. Conflicts- Bronx Science, Scarsdale, Lake Travis, and a few others.
Go slower then your top speed, if I don't catch an argument I am not going to flow it. I honestly don't care what is run in front of me- just signpost well and explain your arguments. slow down on tags and analytics. I am cool with flex prep. flashing/emailing better not take over a minute or it eats your prep time. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (use email for your email chains.)
Edited for LHP RR and beyond: I honestly hate most of the arguments run this year. Don't get me wrong, I love this activity and think that it's awesome but it seems like a bunch of you on the national circuit have taken it upon yourselves to ruin this perfectly nice debate event to the point that I wish I could travel back in time and force myself to join Policy. I haven’t heard much that I thought was smart or creative aside for a few Ks, a couple plans, and a single framework shell. As I am forced to make a decision, I will do my best to adjudicate but I can’t promise you will like my speaker points nor my decision. I got a little better at flowing but being able to hear y’all’s arguments probably will just makes me dislike them a lot more. Best way to win my ballot is to establish a clear framing mechanism and offense back to it. The saving grace for your speaker points and my sanity is the way you present your arguments. Being funny, making gutsy strategic moves, reading interesting arguments, and/or being smart will be rewarded with really high speaker points. If you are a robot that just reads docs please strike me or just have your coach speak for you instead. If you have a coach that wants to waste my time please strike me. If you want to read a case full of analytic arguments that sounds like you are reciting the alphabet or practicing how to count please, for the love of god, strike me. If I judge you I apologize in advance cause if I do and you do not listen to my advice then chances are I am just going to be replaying an episode of "Entourage" in my head instead of paying attention to your boring/asinine arguments. If you want a free conflict, feel free to send me a couple bucks on Venmo and we can claim a financial relationship (just kidding). If you have any questions about my paradigm, feel free to ask me in person (please do not attempt to contact me) about my thoughts on debate.
My pronouns are He/him/his- let me know yours before the round to avoid any issue
I did LD successfully for four years on the national circuit for Walt Whitman High School in Maryland, graduating in 2010. I now coach at Whitman.
I will vote on any argument if you win it. Since my principal aim is to avoid intervening, it is very important for you to compare arguments. If debaters are extending arguments for competing claims, I won't do my own comparison between the arguments as long as one of the debaters has explained why I should prefer theirs. Explaining why I should prefer your argument requires giving some argument for why you are labeling it the way you are. I will not vote for you just because you label every framework argument as "precluding everything else" or every link into fairness as "controlling the internal link," etc. -- this sort of thing does not make you the better debater.
Speed is fine, but slow down on short analytics, especially spikes, interpretations, and violations, and complicated cards. I won't vote on arguments I couldn't flow the first time I heard them. I will say "clear" and "slow" if necessary, but that means I already missed something.
I don’t presume either way absent presumption arguments made by the debaters – I’ll vote for the side that requires me to do less work.
I competed for four years in Lincoln Douglas debate, graduating high school in 2013. I debated on the national circuit.
As of Columbia 2019, I have judged once in the past two years, so I will not be up to date on recent trends in debate. I do not evaluate embedded clash. Arguments must be clearly warranted and impacted. I enjoy strategic debate. I do not have a preference for a particular style.
I debated for four years at Los Altos High School, was the 2009 TOC finalist, and have coached several students to the outrounds of TOC.
I do not vote off of arguments that I do not understand or which are obviously invalid. In this sense I am not tab.
I default to a comparative approach to all aspects of the debate, including framework, theory interpetations, and theory voters. This means that I am very unlikely to vote on presumption, unless the round is so bad that no risk of offense was presented at all.
I do not understand most discourse and pre-fiat critical arguments, but I have voted for them; I am very unlikely to accept that such arguments preclude theory, even if dropped, because of the embedded clash within any passable theory voter.
Christina Speiser-LD Judge paradigm:
I am a speech and debate coach. I have been judging since 2011.
Speed-I don't mind speed as long as you are not speaking so fast that either your opponent or I cannot understand what you are saying. If I can't flow your side of the debate, you lose. There must be clash in debate. If your speed keeps your opponent from being able to debate you, I consider it abusive. I do not appreciate students who try to use the mannerisms of spreading without actually spreading. It makes it difficult to understand you and it hurts your ability to present your case.
Theory-I do not appreciate theory cases unless your opponent has committed a serious infraction that makes the debate unfair. If so, please explain the infraction in detail.
Burdens-Do not try to establish an abusive burden that does not give your opponent any opportunity to win. I will drop you for this.
Sign posting-Please sign post so that I know where you are in the flow. Do not just use author's names to extend arguments (ie-extend Jones). I need more than that!
Weighing-I appreciate weighing mechanisms that show how you want me to weigh your evidence over your opponents.
Presentation-Always stand when you are speaking and face me. I will be flowing and will likely not look at you much except during cross-ex.
Preparation-Come into the debate prepared. Do not ask for time to pre-flow. You should have done that earlier.
Technology-I am fine with students using their computers for speeches and evidence and their phones for timing.
Respect-I expect you to be respectful to both your opponent and your judge. Rudeness will cost you speaker points.
Paradigm Updated 8/2/2018
I graduated from Walt Whitman high-school in 2011. I have been coaching debate fairly regularly since then and currently direct curriculum at VBI. My debaters have consistently gotten to late elims at major national tournaments including TOC.
In my non-debate life I am pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at Florida State University. My primary area of focus is in ethics and the nature of persons. I work in the analytic philosophical tradition with a focus on the work of Elizabeth Anscombe.
I am conflicted from Harrison HS
5-Min Before Round Paradigm (how i'm different from the average judge)
1. I am more interventionist than most circuit judges. I am willing to do work to not vote on extremely silly arguments. Arguments I have admitted to doing work to avoid voting on include:
- Drop the debater because they read dates after their card names, rather than numbering the cards with the same author name.
- Prefer aff offense on any given layer, extended as saying aff always win weighing.
- 'I meet' I did not read that argument, I extemped it.
- They forgot to say 'I meet' on theory, even though they did indeed extend a plan text.
That said, I am probably more willing than most judges to deviate from mere community convention when it comes to argumentation. For example, I am quite receptive to arguments that the affirmative should get intrinsicness perms and that philosophical frameworks frame theory offense.
2. I am worse at flowing than perhaps any other circuit judge. I'm extremely dyslexic/dysgraphic and my flows tend to be extremely poor even when typing them. However, I can follow the vast majority of rounds, even fairly technical rounds, pretty well in my head. So, you can still be technical however it will be important to spend more time in the 2ar and 2nr doing big picture analysis and comparison than it is for most circuit judges (and for most judges it is more important than students seem to realize).
3. You should win the round because you can beat your opponent's arguments, not because your opponent cannot make arguments. This means if you read super complex Ks against a novice your speaks will suffer a lot. In general, if you structure the debate in a way that you should have known your opponent could not engage you speaks will be capped at 26.
4. I hold positions to a higher standard of clarity and explanation than most judges. I not only need to understand your position when you first read it (and I have no problem admitting when I do not), but the explanation has to be good enough that I think it is reasonable for a reasonably well-informed high-school student to understand the argument. Thus, if you say 'Morality’s directives can only be categorically binding if they are constitutive of agency, as otherwise they are escapable' that is not an adequate explanation of the argument. The only reason I know what that means, is because I know the actual argument that it's a placeholder for. Similarly, if you say 'prefer competing interpretations because it prevents a race to the bottom and reasonability is arbitrary' I will not fill in for you the many missing internal links and extrapolation needed for that to mean something.
5. You can answer preemptive arguments after they are extended and applied. You don't need to answer them in the first speech. E.g. you can answer AC spikes in the 2nr, or NC spikes in the 2ar.
6. Preptime ends when you remove the flash drive from your computer, or when you hit send on the email. Compiling speech docs is on time.
7. Some debaters are unclear when they spread. Others are just going too fast for the complexity of the arguments. If you are unclear I will say 'clear'. If you are going too fast for how complex your argument is I will either say 'slow' or 'AURGHBLUGGGGG' in a distraught tone.
8. [Update midway through apple valley] I have found that I functionally cap negative speaks at 28.5 if you go for more than two distinct levels of offense in the 2nr. I think collapsing is a non-negotiable component of good debating which speaker points are designed to reflect.
Broader Paradigmatic Considerations: Things I believe but will still do my best to decide on the flow
A) The Aff should be topical.
B) Many LD resolutions are generics, and many 'plans' don't prove generics true.
C) There is no good argument for the RVI.
D) Theoretical advantages should not replace substantive argumentation. E.g. this FW is super educational should not be able to be a warrant for your ethical theory (note that many Role of the Ballots have this same problem).
E) Framework argument can, and should be, applied to theory debates. If util is false, than deterrence is probably not a good reason to drop the debater on theory.
F) Ad hoc interpretations are bad.
G) Most theory is not drop the debater. The sensible conclusion is normally drop the argument or something else.
H) Something being difficult to answer does not make it unfair. Similarly, proving a theoretical assumption of the aff is false, does not prove the aff did something unfair in making that theoretical claim.
A)The Aff should be topical.
B) K arguments that talk about what the debater should have done I tend to think about as theory shells. Ks that talk about what the government should have done I tend to think about as a dis ad + a counterplan.
C) Reasons the affirmative ethical theory is bad, is normally not a reason the affirmative loses. Just a reason we should assess the resolution under a different ethical theory. Obviously this is not universal nor incontestable.
D) If your K can result in the action of the aff then you need to say so in the NC. The K solves the aff offense by resulting in the aff is new if made in the 2nr.
A) Condo is fine in most situations as are intrisicness perms (though you cannot fiat into the future, only within the timeframe suggested by the resolution).
B) Uniqueness arguments are probabilistic, not absolute. For example, suppose a republican win in the house and senate will certainly lead to extinction, and a democratic win in either will certainly prevent that extinction. Now imagine two cases. First, the neg wins republican win is likely now (about 60%) and a link that increases the republican chance of winning (moving democrat chances down to 40%). Here the aff has increased the chance of extinction by 20%. However, suppose that the aff reads cards on uniqueness showing a republican win is actually more likely (so the chance of dem's win starts at 40%). Still if the link evidence is the same strength (and so move the dem's chances to 20%) the impact is still the same (affirming increases the chance of extinction by 20%).