University of Houston Cougar Classic
2024 — Houston, TX/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Hey!!! I'm Chris Hooper
Debated at Heights High School 23'
UH 27' (GO COOGS!!!)
Set up the email chain before the round starts and add me. I would strongly prefer email and please title the chain as so: "Tournament Year + Name - Round # - _____ vs. _____ (Judge)"
ex: 2023 Jordan Warrior Classic - Round # - "Aff School" + "Aff Last Name" vs. "Neg School" + "Neg Last Name"-"Neg Last Name" (Christopher Hooper)
Add me to the chain:
If I'm judging you in LD: firstname.lastname@example.org
If I'm judging you in policy: email@example.com
I debated for two years at Heights High School, with my first year being in policy and my second year in LD. I graduated in 2023 and now I am a first year out at the University of Houston. I have competed in the Houston Urban Debate League through the entirety of my first year in policy, and competed in TFAs, TOCs, and the Houston Urban Debate League doing LD my second year.
Common household stuff:
Treat each other with respect, it is a common sense thing in general and debate is no exception. Treat everybody with respect and act with common sense, at least within the context of a round. I have no control over how you treat people outside of the round.
I don't want to see any kind of disrespect, sexism, racism, antiblackness, homophobia, transphobic, any form of bigotry, calling each other names or slurs, or death good arguments. Any occurrence of any of this will result in an L with the lowest number of speak points.
Threshold for speed: 6
Tech > truth
- Prep time ends when you've finished compiling the document. I won't count emailing but please don't steal prep.
- Debaters should time every speech and should always count down on their timer for their own speeches. That way, it'll go off when your time runs out, which will keep you honest and ensure that you don't accidentally go over. I might not cut you off if your time runs out, but I will stop flowing.
- Please please Signpost and road mapping would be much appreciate
- Please weigh arguments and compare evidence, the more the better
tip for getting the ballot
During the closing speeches, give me some kind of voters as to why I should vote for you. For example, you vote aff because of xyz. Centralize the main warrants of your case and why I should vote for them. This will help me contextualize the round a lot better and could be the difference between you winning and losing the round. Included some weighing in there as well would also be massively be beneficial.
And always have fun!
Hello friends! I'm Kiran, I do policy debate at the University of Houston and help out Kinkaid in policy and PF when I can :)
I have a lot of sympathy for online debaters, tech issues happen, so don't worry about it, but please don't steal prep.
Also, please be nice and a good human being during rounds (and outside of them!)
Yes, I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do whatever, but do it well. I judge based on what's on my flow, follow along in docs during the round, but I'm not reading for meaning that isn't articulated in the speeches.
I'm good with speed, but slow down to about 90% for online debate- at least at the beginning until I get used to your voice. It would also help if you used a headset
I remember arguments by name, not author
Tech>truth, and use smart cross-applications to your benefit
More judge instruction and comparison = more likely wins
More specific thoughts:
CP/DA/Case Debate: Great, I love it! These are the debates I understand the best. NEG-need an explanation of why sufficiency framing is good, prefer CPs that solve internal links, doesn't need a solvency advocate and rehighlightings of AFF ev are fantastic. AFF-explain why a deficit ow the risk of the DA, there can be 0 risk of the DA.
Topicality: Interps should be predictable, I default to competitng interps if ev is of equal quality. I can be persuaded that lack of clarity in the most precise definitions is a reason to defer to reasonability. Most likely to vote for the team that does the best impact comparison-is limits explosion truly atrocious under a certain interp? Does topic innovation die under another one?
Policy v Ks: NEG-Prefer links specific to the AFF with good turns case explanations. Please explain why your alt solves for the entirety of the debate. Don't love big overviews that try to filter the whole debate, but more and specific examples that illustrate your theory of power are much better. AFF-Better for education than fairness for framework, but fine for both, more likely to vote on the perm if you can clearly differentiate the AFF from the context of the link, use case to beat the K!
K Affs v Framework: NEG-better for education than fairness, but good for both, TVA and SSD helps a lot, TVAs don't need to be perfect but an example of the AFF's scholarship, framework should be combined with presumption push of explanation of why the ballot cannot solve AFF impacts. AFF-explain why the exclusion of your AFF leads to a worse model of debate, the better the 1AC and 1AC cross-ex can explain what your AFF does, the better off you are.
K v K: Almost never in these debates, not super familiar with the lit, if I am judging a debate where this is the strat-I need clear explanations and examples.
Speaks: A smart cross-ex, clear sign posting, and clean technical debating will increase your speaks
PF:I largely evaluate PF rounds the same as policy rounds. I keep a tight flow and will vote on dropped arguments that are impacted out. Don't need big picture things, just explain why your thing outweighs the other team's. Defense is not sticky, I have no idea what that even means. Speeches are so so so short, you don't need to explain the entire story of your arg each time, just explain why it matters, what your opponents missed, and how I should evaluate it.
Feel free to send me questions, and have fun y'all! :)
EMAIL CHAIN: email@example.com
Hi y'all! I did policy for 3 years and ld for 1 year at Heights. Though I always went to ld camp, so most of my conceptual understandings about debate come from ld. I am now an assistant ld coach at The Harker School.
In policy, I was both a 2A & 2N at times and read a mix of LARP/T/Theory/K prep. In LD, I almost always went for setcol. That said, Isaac Chao taught me debate, I think very similarly to Alfonso Arreola, Abbey Chapman influenced how I think about big picture strategy, and almost all of my opinions about phil come from Zach Siegel.
I am leaving this ranking here for your reference, though I do not think it is that insightful because my comfortability also depends on what your opponent is reading (for instance: I am probably better for larp v k rounds than I am for larp v larp or k v k rounds). With that said, my favorite rounds are ones where you are reading what you enjoy/are good at regardless of what the argument is.
The order I feel most comfortable evaluating arguments (from most to least) is -
3. K + Phil
General Debate Thoughts
- Be nice! Have fun! Debate is hard enough as is! :)
- Talk to me like I know nothing and you will be happier with my rfd!!
- I think debate does have transformative potential and rounds do not happen in a vacuum and can change the way people think.
- I will evaluate the highest layer of the debate under the winning framework, and vote for the offense winning there. If no one weighs between the different layers of the debate I default - 1.Theory, 2.T, 3.Substance (including Ks)
- In an absence of offense I presume neg or whichever side makes less of a change in the squo.
- Default comparative worlds
- Stolen from Alfonso: “Good evidence and spin > good spin bad evidence > bad spin good evidence”
- Tech> Truth, I’ll vote for anything with a claim+warrant+impact (excluding anything harmful/morally repugnant) but obviously true arguments have a lower threshold to win than obviously false arguments.
**CTRL F “I won’t vote on it” for stipulations.
- All defaults can change as a result of the debate (unless stipulated otherwise) and I would prefer to not have to use any of them to weigh or evaluate arguments.
- I’ve never been very good at quantifying how fast of a speed I can understand. I would say I am moderately good at understanding speed, but feel free to ask me questions about this. I’ll call clear if I can’t understand you. I WON'T flow off the doc, I'll pull it up in constructives to check randomly to make sure you aren't clipping and will only go back to read evidence once the entire debate is over if I need to/you tell me to.
- Condo is probably good, if you are reading multiple conditional CPs make sure you tell me you are kicking them or justify judgekick.
- Perms are tests of competition and normally need an actual text and net benefit. Don’t just say “perm do both”
- Specific links are good and typically mean the impact is more likely, UQ controls direction of the link.
- Intuitively, for link turns to be offense I think you need to win the DA is also non uq.
- Don’t just read a bunch of probability first or probability important cards but not read defense that negates the probability of the argument.
- Percentages don't make sense to me when weighing impacts unless there is specific evidence that says [x] impact is [x] percent likely - I don't know where they come from 1/2 the time and even if you do some cool math to figure it out I'm not very good at math so you are better off just explaining the warrant for why the risk is minimized to me. That said-terminal defense & zero risk does exist.
- I think short and theoretically questionable CPs are really fun!
- My guilty pleasure: counterplan competition debates
- For someone who did mainly policy, I <3 theory
- Default competing interps, no rvi, and drop the debater
- Disclosure is good generally, but universal disclosure is not necessarily a good model.
- Shells should probably have at minimum an interp, standards, voters, and implication - though they don’t have to be explicitly labeled. Shells with missing parts can still be viable, but it will take a lot less from your opponent to beat it back (including just “there's no [x] part so we don’t know [y]”)
- Please give a brightline if your strategy is to go for reasonability against a shell and explain why that brightline mitigates the impacts of the shell. “Gut checks” and “good is good enough” will just lead to me evaluating which interp I think is a better model of debate.
- I think semantics v semantics debates can be hard to evaluate, so in an instance where both debaters seem to be winning that their semantical interpretation is correct, absent contextual explanation between the two grammar explanations I will probably default to evaluating which of those interpretations lead to a better pragmatic model of debate.
- Don’t expect that I know your K lit - I’ve read a lot of Settler Colonialism lit and collapse to the k frequently, and besides that I have read psycho, quite a bit identity politics, a bunch of random structural ks, some bioptx, and very little pomo. If you want to ask me about specific authors/positions feel free, though it’ll probably be fine if you can explain your thesis in round.
- In KvK debates a lot of times I find that both ROTBs collapse to “my K’s impact is the worst thing in the world so let’s only talk about it” - It’s nice if your ROTB has justifications for why it is best for evaluating the debate that are not dependent on the specific K’s impacts.
- I think links of omission are real.
- Regardless of debating in lots of K debates I have little experience evaluating KvK debates and very little foundational knowledge of thinking through these debates. In my (dumb) opinion, Most K debates become irresolvable when both teams just go for their theory of powers as the best way to understand the world. There have been years of people writing whole books about their theories and how they interact with others, and I find that debaters rarely do a sufficient job in 45 minutes explaining those interactions. The perm and link debate tend to matter the most imo.
- Don’t impact turn racism or any other types of violence or oppression. I won’t vote on it, it will make me unhappy, and you should just be a good person. As a general note - if something in a round ever makes you uncomfortable or is violent, message me or let me know and we will figure out what to do.
- K affs are fine. I tend to believe that the best affs have some relation to the resolution, though the relation does not have to be an affirmation of the topic and could look like very many things.
- I haven’t judged enough to know how I lean in TFW debates and was often on both sides: I think the best answers to tfw should not just rely on just winning your theory of power, but should also win why your model of debate holistically is good (ie an explanation of why the entire interp is good for debate besides just "my aff says this [x] impact is bad")
- Presumption v k affs - I think both sides should explain to me what is considered offense. What particular change does the aff need to cause for there to be (or not be) offense from the plan & why? Otherwise, I am left wondering why the minute change the aff claims to make isn’t enough to be considered offense.
- I am not sure why impact turns to T are offense if the neg doesn’t go for T absent some uniqueness explanation as to how the impact turn is a new good-thing the aff causes.
- I dabbled in phil towards the end of my senior year but only actually read agonism and contracts, and I was pretty bad. I have limited knowledge of the substance of most phil positions, but understand these debates on a technical level decently well. This just means the most important thing to do is make sure to explain your syllogism slower/simpler than normal.
- Tell me what offense matters and what offense doesn’t explicitly
- Default epistemic confidence.
- Default TJFs are legitimate, but they don’t necessarily come first.
- Default permissibility negates since the aff has not proven the resolution is an obligation.
- Please just don’t read them, I’ll be lost.
- If for some reason you decide to try and read a tricks strat in front of me, I will try my best to evaluate everything but I am telling you in advance - I WILL MESS UP AND YOU WILL BE UNHAPPY WITH MY DECISION.
- For me to consider something an arguement it needs a warrant and implication.
- I won’t vote on anything not on my flow or that I didn’t catch in an earlier speech.
- I don’t think it's good practice to hide tricks in evidence/tags/big blocks of text. If you are going to read quick & blippy args at least make them accessible as delineated, separate arguments.
- I will evaluate the debate after the 2ar, so don’t try telling me to do otherwise - I don’t understand how it works and I won’t vote on it
- I think that evidence ethics are a stop round issue, though if you want to just read it as a shell that's fine too and I’ll evaluate it on the flow. If you want it to be a stop round issue say something along the lines of “I want to make an evidence ethics claim, here is what happened” If you are correct W, if you are wrong L with lowest speaks
- The following are things I will vote on as a stop-round issue
* clipping (this includes verbally cutting your cards in a different place than your updated doc indicates… I will flow where you say “cut”)
* Citations that are missing or incorrect in one or more of the following parts: Author name, year (if the article/website has one), article/book title, URL
* deleting text from the middle of the card/article (this includes replacing it with ellipsis)
* not including full paragraphs/ only having cards with partial paragraphs
* brackets that change the meaning of the text
* including/adding text into the card not from the original article
- If I catch one of these things but no one else does, I won't vote against you, I'll just tank your speaks.
- I'll start at a 28.5 and work up/down from there. 28.5 is average.
- I find myself bumping speaks for: being particularly nice in round/to your opponent, reading an argument/a strategy I haven't seen in a while/ever, creative 2nr/2ars, giving a winning 2nr/2ar I did not think of during prep, rehighlighting evidence, efficiency.
- You will lose speaks for: being overly rude/aggressive, splitting 2nr/2ars unnecessarily, going for the incorrect 2nr/2ar, misexplaining arguments, an unstrategic cx, reading bad arguments (1 line tricks!), poor time allocation, if I feel like I have to intervene because of lack of evidence comparison/weighing.
- I try to base speaks primarily on strategy & execution.