Alta Silver and Black
2014 — UT/US
CX Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
Updated pre TOC 2021
Email: email@example.com please put me on the email chain
Pref Shortcuts: 1: substantive arguments about the topic 2: mainstream K's, good T debates 3: Theory, Pomo K's 4: Phil 5-6: Tricks
I expect the debate to be conducted as though it were a classroom setting. As such inappropriate behavior, specifically cursing, will not be tolerated. If you choose to curse during the debate expect dramatically lower speaker points. Further, if the behavior of one of the teams crosses the line into what I deem to be inappropriate or highly objectionable behavior I will stop the debate and award a loss to the offending team. Examples of this behavior include but are not limited to highly sexual or sexualized performances, abusive behavior or threats of violence or instances of overt racism, sexism or oppression based on identity generally.
My background prior to coming to Harker in 2010 was almost entirely in college policy debate though I have been coaching LD for since then and Public Forum since 2016. But it is hard for me to separate my years of policy debate experience from the way I judge all debates.
I do not judge very much anymore but enjoy judging when I am able to do so! Despite not judging a great deal I am very involved in our team's evidence production and preparation and judge lots of practice debates in class so my topic knowledge is fairly strong.
The execution of the argument is almost as important as the quality of the evidence supporting the argument. A really good disad with good cards that is poorly explained and poorly extended is not compelling to me. Conversely a well explained argument with evidence of poor quality is also unlikely to impress me.
Critiques: I am familiar with most mainstream critical arguments that are prevalent but anything outside of that is likely to require more explanation. I took a handful of continental philosophy classes in grad school but that was a long time ago and my knowledge of a lot of the underlying literature for lots of critical arguments, particularly high theory, is likely lacking. Having said that I think I am an ok judge for critical arguments, especially when executed technically. I often find the strongest elements of K's to be the link and the weakest to be the alternative, though of course this varies from argument to argument. I also think impact turning is an underutilized strategy though I get that can be hard to pull off at times in LD.
Critical Affs: I think the affirmative should have a meaningful relationship to the topic. Thus topical, soft left affs are often very strategic. I am very sympathetic to t/framework against affs with little or no relationship to the topic. In these debates I think the best aff strategy is to impact turn framework, depending on what that looks like in the context of the aff. But overall I am likely not the best judge for non-T affs.
Topicality/Theory: I am slightly less prone than other judges to vote on topicality. Although I do take a fairly strict view of the topic and am willing to enforce that view when teams do a good job of arguing topicality. I often find topicality arguments that are not based on expert/technical definitions of key terms of art in the resolution to be fairly hard for the negative to win. I am also more likely than most judges to vote on reasonability if well explained and this is true for most theory arguments as well.
In debates about counterplan theory, I probably err slightly neg. on most theory issues, though I have voted aff. on things like PIC’s bad, etc. so I am not terribly biased. The main exception is that I think that a lot of mainstream counterplans that compete on the function of the affirmative are not competitive (think consultation, delay). I am kind of a sucker for the argument that counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive though this is not something I will automatically check in on, especially if the negative has strong explanations for their defense of their counterplan.
I will not judge kick unless instructed to do so and if this is contested I probably lean slightly towards no judge kick. I think debaters should be able to make strategic choices.
Theory arguments like “abbreviating USFG is too vague” or “You misspelled enforcement and that’s a VI” are non-starters. Don’t waste your time.
Theory arguments are generally too underdeveloped for my tastes so if that is a key part of your strategy invest some time.
The likelihood of me voting on a 1ac spike or tricks in general are exceptionally low. If this is your strategy I am not the judge for you.
Philosophy/Framework: dense phil debates are very hard for me to adjudicate having very little background in them. I default to utilitarianism and am most comfortable judging those debates. Any framework that involves skep triggers is very unlikely to find favor with me.
Evidence: Quality is extremely important and seems to be declining. I have noticed a disturbing trend towards people reading short cards with little or no explanation in them or that are underlined such that they are barely sentence fragments. I will not give you credit for unread portions of evidence. Also I take claims of evidence ethics violations very seriously and have a pretty high standard for ethics. I have a strong distaste for the insertion of bracketed words into cards in nearly all instances.
Cross examination: is very important. Cross-ex should be more than I need this card and what is your third answer to X. A good cross-ex will dramatically increase your points, a bad one will hurt them. Everyone in the debate should be courteous.
Disads/CP's: these are the debates I am most familiar with and have spent nearly all of my adult life judging and coaching. DA turns the case is a powerful and underutilized argument. But this is all pretty straightforward and I do not think I have a lot of ideas about these that are not mainstream with the exceptions in the theory section above.
Speaker points: for me are based on the following factors - clarity of delivery (especially important in online debates), quality of evidence, quality of cross examination, strategic choices made in the debate and also, to a degree, on demeanor. Debaters who are friendly and treat their opponents with respect are likely to get higher points.
Also a note on flowing: I will periodically spot check the speech doc for clipping but do not flow from it. I will not vote on an argument I was unable to flow. I will say clear once or twice but beyond that you risk me missing many arguments.
Pretty much everything in the above paradigm is applicable here but there are two key additions. First, I strongly oppose the practice of paraphrasing evidence. I will not look through an entire article to find out if your paraphrasing accurately reflects the article. If you cannot point to a specific line or paragraph in the article I will disregard your paraphrasing entirely. If I am your judge I would strongly suggest reading only direct quotations in your speeches.
Second, there is far too much untimed evidence exchange happening in debates. I will want all teams to set up an email chain to exchange cases in their entirety to forego the lost time of asking for specific pieces of evidence. You can add me to the email chain as well and that way after the debate I will not need to ask for evidence. This is not negotiable if I'm your judge - you should not fear your opponents having your evidence.
Other than that I am excited to hear your debate and if you have any specific questions please feel free to ask me.
I debated in Policy for 3 years at Hunter High School. In that time, I did a fair amount of debating on the national circuit. Currently, I am an assistant coach at Hunter.
Overall, I am pretty much ok with whatever you want to run. Do what you do best and convince me. I am ok with speed but I would appreciate it if you would go just a bit slower on your tags so that I can make sure they get on the flow. I am not particularly biased on whether or not I will vote on the Case or the K. I really just need both sides to explain what my ballot actually does. If I do not get any articulation on what the K alt is and how my advocacy solves for the impacts of the K, I will have a harder to time voting on that flow. I think impacts need to be explained in relation to the opposing arguments just so that I get a clearer story as to why I give you my ballot over your opponent. I will vote on theory but I need some type of impact scenario on theory, potential abuse will not get you very far unless the theory goes completely conceded.
Case: I think the case is largely underutilized in debate. I think that the 2AC can usually get pretty far with case extensions onto the other flows. I am ok with K Affs but I really will need some explanation of what the ballot does. I think that this year's topic (oceans) is a very interesting topic. I really love affirmatives that are different. I will still vote on things like aquaculture or otech but I will be much happier if I get to vote on a diverse number of affs.
If you have any specific questions feel free to email me or ask in round: firstname.lastname@example.org
Polytechnic School '14
Harvard College '18
Last Updated: February 2017
I believe judges should adjudicate debates based on the arguments presented, and I strive to judge in such a way that my preferences and predispositions make the minimum possible impact on my decision. No judge is a genuine tabula rasa, but I'm not interested in telling you what arguments to make or how to make them. Do what you do best and I'll adjudicate the debate as fairly and neutrally as I can.
As a debater, I primarily approach debate from a critical perspective. This does NOT mean that I will likely vote for the K, or even that I want to adjudicate K debates. It only means that I am well-versed in both sides of that literature, and am likely to render an intelligent decision in debates where a K is introduced. I enjoy well-researched and well-executed debating of all varieties, and as a judge I vote for both framework and critique arguments with regularity.
I'm a big fan of quality evidence. I typically let debaters decide what cards to show me after the debate, but I'll only look at evidence on key points of controversy and only when I need to do so in order to sufficiently evaluate the debate.
I will consult with tournament administrators about any instances of cheating and punish ethics violations with a loss and the minimum speaker points allowed by the tournament. Please just don't do it.
Director of Speech and Debate, Kent Denver
Please include me in email chains; my email is email@example.com.
Do what you do best, and I will try to leave my predispositions at the door. I have voted for and against every kind of argument. How you debate matters more than what you debate.
I care most about your ability to successfully communicate and defend your arguments by flowing, doing line-by-line, speaking clearly, and thoroughly explaining your arguments throughout the debate. The best tip I can give you is to go for less distinct issues as the debate develops and to focus on explaining and comparing your best points to your opponent’s arguments more.
Argument resolution is the most important part of debating. Making choices, explaining what issues are most important, identifying what to do with drops, answering “so what” questions, making “even if” statements, and comparing arguments (links, impacts, solvency, etc) are all examples of the kinds of judge instruction that winning rebuttals should focus on.
I value the research skills that debate fosters. I want students to demonstrate their topic knowledge and to utilize their specific research. I think a lot of teams get away with reading poor evidence. Please make evidence comparison (data, warrants, source, or recency) a significant part of the debate. Evidence that is highlighted in complete and coherent sentences is much more persuasive than evidence that is not.
I do not follow along with the speech document and will tell you clear if I can’t understand you. I am more likely to read evidence that is discussed and explained during the debate and will use the debater's explanation to guide my reading. I am unlikely to read evidence that I didn't understand when it was initially presented, or to give much credit to warrants that only become clear to me after examining the evidence.
The affirmative should present an advocacy that is grounded in topical policy and critical literature. The negative should clash with the affirmative. I am more persuaded by strategies that compete with ideas or positions the affirmative has actually committed to. I think many generic negative strategies, like process counterplans and “fiat not real” style critiques, are not automatically competitive.
My favorite debates to judge are debates where both teams demonstrate command of their arguments and make choices that maximize clash in the debate. I think affirmative plan vagueness, lack of solvency advocates, and strategies based around reading the resolution as your plan text and then reading solvency evidence that doesn’t assume the plan as written produce low quality debates. I think extreme negative conditionality, lack of solvency advocates, and reading incomplete arguments significantly reduce the quality of many debates.
Juan Diego 2014
TOC Quailfier, Women's Debate Institute Collegiate Scholar
Coached by; Josh Clark, Tony Johnson
I was a primarily a 2N/1A.
I am now an assistant coach for Juan Diego.
I like debates on both sides of the ideological divide. I myself have forwarded arguments from a wide range of stylings, from feminism to hegemony. As long as your argument has a clear claim, warrant, and impact I am willing to vote on it.
If I don't understand the argument you are trying to make, the chances of me evaluating it are slim. Take a second to ask yourself "is this coherent?" before you make an argument. Too many debaters stop the argument creation process at identifying what they need to say, and forget how important it is to find an effective way to say it.
Specificity is key. I am compelled to vote for contextual examples, in-depth refutation and historical examples. I reward specific strategies and research with higher speaker points.
I currently debate for the University of Michigan (Class of 2017)
I coach for Gulliver Prep (2014 - present)
I graduated from Traverse City Central High School (Class of 2013)
I run the YouTube channel, Go, Fight, Win!, a free, online debate curriculum.
Check it out here:
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
-90% of my 2nrs are on politics or a process CP
-I reward tech over truth, so I frequently have to pull the trigger on K tricks. 1ar, you better cover.
-I have a very high threshold for voting on condo or cheating CP theory, but technical execution overrides my hatred of these arguments.
-If you don't understand your K/K aff, don't read it or your speaks will suffer.
I am a good judge for you if...
-you are a highly technical policy team that likes going for a cheating CP and politics
-you are a tricky K team that knows what you are doing
I am a bad judge for you if...
-you have a proclivity for making sexist/racist/homophobic comments in round
-you don't know what you are talking about
-you are rude to your partner
1. Process CPs are probably good. I think understanding governmental processes are good (for example, I spent a bunch of time this summer working in a law office doing a bunch of stuff I learned about doing process CP research) but I also know it sucks being aff against these, but because I'm pretty neg leaning on theory, you'd be much better off going for perm do the CP or a solvency deficit.
2. Topicality-- Although I like process CPs, I really despise topicality debates. I've gone for T plenty and I'll vote on it, but I personally don't find these debates quite as intuitively interesting. If you go for T, make sure you impact it well.
3. Condo-- Condo is probably good, however, no one is really very good at explaining why. Have a clever interpretation/counterinterp and impact it based on how your interpretation interacts with your opponent's. I'm not sure why this doesn't happen more.
4. Cheap Shots--Don't drop them. I am 100% tech over truth. Yes, if you drop intrinsicness in the block on politics, you can lose the DA. Yes, if you drop vague alts, you can lose the K. If you drop it's a reason to reject the team, yes you can lose the round in front of me.
There was a time when I was a philosophy major, so I have a relatively high baseline knowledge of most critical literature. I have less experience reading obscure postmodernist theorists, so if you're reading like Deleuze, make sure you're actually explaining your argument and not just throwing around a bunch of jargon you nor I understand. As I said above, I frequently end up having to vote on K cheap shots because the aff drops them in the 1ar (i.e. root cause, fiat is illusory, K framework means I don't weigh the aff, x impact first, satellite Ks, etc.). Aff teams--don't do this. But K teams, don't drop theory args.
Non-traditional/performance teams- although I have read K affs, I don't have a lot of experience with far left K affs/performance/other non-traditional debate. Because I think debate is fundamentally a performative activity, I really enjoy these debates if they are executed well. Oftentimes though, they are not because the debaters involved do not have a good understanding of the deep literature base they are evoking or lack the technical skills.
Other things you should be aware of:
--If you are debating a non-traditional team -- Despite the importance I hold in non-traditional debate, I will vote on framework. I have gone for framework, and although I don't particularly care for the argument, I think there is merit to discussing the ideal form of debate and the benefits and disadvantages either way. As I said above, I am ready to pull the trigger on K tricks, so if you're going for framework, I'm not going to just not evaluate the aff if the 2nr is framework and the aff makes their advocacy offense.
--I reward tech over truth-- I am a techy debater and frequently went for warming good and dedev in high school, so I think what makes debate fun is the technical aspects. Obviously, persuasive speakers will gain better speaker points, but I evaluate debates on the arguments won in the debate rather than their truth aspects.
--I am sympathetic towards evidence quality of small schools-- if you are from a small program and are losing on evidence quality, I find the argument, "you should reward analysis made in the debate over evidence quality because I am from a small school" to be a persusasive argument. I understand that not all schools have access to the same resources and certainly lost a lot of debates in high school simply because my evidence was not as good as the other team's. However, sans this kind of framing, my default upon deciding who won an argument, given that analysis is roughly equal, is card quality.
--I really love science: As a Biology major, integrating accurate science research into your debates (where appropriate) is pretty exciting for me. That being said, I have a much higher truth threshold for these arguments so please make sure what you are saying is scientifically accurate. Don't make science-y args if they don't fit into the debate though. I just was throwing that out there.
Some things about my philosophy towards debate:
One of the things I find so amazing about this activity is the agency it gives to the debaters who participate in it. But because you have the ability to debate the rules/integrity of the activity, please make sure you stay true to the model of debate in which you would like to be a part. What does this mean? Respect your opponents. Don't clip cards. Be cordial in cross ex.
Another thing you should know about me: I take fostering gender and racial minorities in debate very seriously. Please make sure you are contributing positively to making this community more inclusive and diverse. If you have a reputation for being rude in round, do not pref me.
Assistant Director of Forensics
Weber State University
***Updated for Wake 2015***
This is my 12th year in college debate. I would like to be included on your email chain (email@example.com). For me, debate is the intersection of community, paraprofessional training, and gaming. I don’t care what style of debate you prefer. Instead, I’m interested in your ability to defend and advance the advocacies and arguments you find important and/or strategic. I will do my best to adapt to you. That being said, after eight years of judging, I’ve come to realize some of my own quirks and limitations more fully:
- Clarity of thought is paramount. I often find myself voting for teams that can make complex arguments sound like common sense.
- I can sometimes be facially expressive and I don’t think my expressions are counter-intuitive. If I give you a confused look, then I’m probably confused. If I give you a skeptical look, then I’m probably skeptical of what you are saying.
- Debaters that can maintain eye contact and deliver a compelling speech are very impressive to me.
- On occasion, and particularly in debates with a lot of perms, I will correct you in cross-ex in regards to what the perm texts I recorded you saying are.
- Good evidence is secondary to what a debater does with it. I really appreciate evidence interrogation in speeches and cross-examination.
- If there is an “easy” way to vote that is executed and explained well, I’m very likely to take it.
- I’d prefer to judge the text of the round in front of me rather than what debaters/teams have done outside of that round.
- I appreciate technical execution and direct refutation over implied argumentation.
- Well explained meta-framing arguments usually control my ballot, but aren’t a substitute for substantive impact comparison.
- Less is more. The earlier in a debate that teams collapse down to lower quantities of positions and/or arguments, the more of a chance I have to really latch onto what is going on and make a decent decision.
- Identifying what I have to resolve behooves you. Most debates are won or lost on a few primary debatable questions. If you are the first to identify and answer those questions thoroughly, you will likely be ahead in my mind.
- I’m not a fan of two-person speaking. This comes in many forms. Debaters talking over each other in CX, partners prompting each other through extended monologue, performative elements that make it difficult to tell who is giving what speech, teams prepping very loudly with side commentary while the other team’s speech is going on, etc. Please, one person at a time.
- I like to keep time. When your timer and my timer are in conflict, mine trumps.
- Minimizing downtime is important. Go to the bathroom and jump/email the 1AC before the round start time.
- I don’t want to adjudicate ethical challenges. If I have to do so, then be aware that presumption is on the side of the accused.
Finally, I love debate and the community that it generates. Competition is fun, but is ultimately secondary to the communal nature of what we do. I don’t treat my job as a coach/critic much differently than I do my job as a teaching faculty member. In both spaces, pedagogy is my primary responsibility and I promise to do my best to live up to being the educator you deserve.
For background information, I debated Congress and Policy for a year in high school. I currently compete on the University of Utah debate team in parliamentary debate, which is very similar to policy.
As for judging, I generally give high speaker points. I am good at following you spreading (spewing) and I will flow all the arguments made. If for some reason I cannot understand you, I will ask you to clear. I don’t let my personal biases and opinions seep into my judging of your debate – that simply wouldn’t be fair. Keep the rules of policy and we’ll get along fine. In the end, I judge off my flow and I won’t do your work for you. That being said, use your rebuttal to tell me why you win and where on the flow your arguments overwhelm your opponents. I will give you comments in the end on how to improve and where you could have lost/won, but keep in mind, please be a good sport. Side note, I will judge you based off of the nonverbal communications you give as well as the verbal, so just be nice and respectful. In the end, we’re all friends in the debate community, right? Last thing, as I mentioned, I debate in college. I’m down with you running just about anything, just be prepared to argue it well and defend it to the end!
1 - Nevada Union (2009-2014)
2 - Weber U (2014-2015)
3 - UCO (2015-Present)
Round judged on Education topic: 4
Currently coaching Cabot
Helloooo! It is nice to see humbleness and kindness. I find it to be more important relative to debating because you might find yourself as far as a across the country from the person your debating, or in your dorm when you get to college. Just be nice, play friendly, but don't let that deter you from establishing the arg in a manner you usually do. Just don't be uncomfy.
To be honest, I think I could consider myself "flexible" in most regards. I think the best example of this is my ability to go for a Domestic PIC in one debate against Texas and then "T-Domestic" against the same team when they took it out against me 3 months later. So I think your 2NR on any argument will be okay.
I've been debating for a second now, but don't believe that I will be able to handle your queer deleuzian k of semiotic wounded attachments. I'm gonna need you to explain that one to me. Put simply: Just because I go for it doesn't mean I'm going to get your argument. I don't think about these arguments like a lot of debaters do, and a lot of my mentors aren't debaters. So there will for sure be disconnects. I think part of being that debater is being held to the standard of applying your argument, but that is generally true for all arguments. For example - "diseases cause extinction" is no more of an extension than "The subject is interpolated into a pretextual paradigm of discourse that includes consciousness as a paradox" (Literally taken from the post modern generator).
Condense the 2NR, and frame the debate by the end of it. Same for the 2AR, but tell me what I need to do, why I should do it, and what the impact to that reason is.
Just have fun, remember what an argument is, and make funny references that are clever.
Long Version - More about argumentative preferences.
First and foremost: anyone who tells you they're tabula rasa is lying almost as much as my coaches do when they say I'm good at debate. No one is tabula rasa. We were all predisposed in one way or another. Can we control that? No, because if we could the concept of "accountability" would be a wild one to think about. So, my job is to ensure that you know what ways my conscious, subconscious, and unconscious might lead when thinking about the debate.
Case - I actually have a lot of these, but I will be honest. I am the rare few that doesn't like a huge case debate. I think it is nice to have a separate flow to evaluate. Like, if it is a case debate against an aff without a plan. then hell yeah, I could go with that. If it is like a one off, 3 card cap K, and 7 minutes of case against an aff with a plan, then I might be thinking this is going to be interesting. Not because I dislike the nature of those debates, but so many people end up just reguritating the taglines that it ends up being 13 minutes of blips or card reading instead of comparative claims. I think so many of you are so so smart and super talented. In fact, I think probably all of you are, but I don't think you show it when you do this, and I just want you to give that 2NC, let the timer go off, and feel like Mr. Hotspot did when he first ate rap snacks with the migos on the front.
T - I love a good topicality debate. I probably think that I shouldn't be the person deciding what's reasonable on the topic. I don't have a good track record, but I mean I need you to tell me why I shouldn't. If not, looks like some random aff on education about a specific military project in India is going to be topical. I don't wanna do it, but ya made me, and I'm telling you not to make me when we cross that bridge. I think my fav T strategy is a Small TVA, Huge Limits DA, and a heavy impact comparison.
DA/CP - do it, don't go for the case if it solves 100% of the aff. Just win that it solves the aff with a tie breaker. I think comparative UQ claims about the NB are good ways to justify any impact to the DA to or for a solvency deficit to the CP.
K - Most of this is above. I'll understand your argument, but I will not just let you throw buzzwords at me. I think the link needs context. I think it should quote their evidence. I think that the link should then explain the context based internal link to their impact argument. For instance - education policy results in militarism should be explained as why the research in this debate on education policy can inform the research algorithms we take from the debate to inform later research which materializes our ideological relationship to X event.
FW - I think there are some instances where they get to weigh the aff. I think it is REALLY easy to make the argument that the aff's internal link claims have some remote relation to the way we teach people about policy (it's literally the education topic - if your aff isn't already making a research argument, we should talk). TVA is less convincing that SSD and a limita DA - I think TVA is a CP in most instances. I think fw debaters tend to be kind of lazy when going for it, and I'm going to actively refuse those 2NRs.
Overall, just do you. I'm here for two hours, want to help you learn, and to be honest, I'm actually super excited to see all of you debate. You all are awesome, talented, and your coaches stick around because of that. Just enjoy each other, and thank you for letting me sit in the back!
Updated October 2020
Note for Online Debate: Please check your internet connection, your audio clarity, and your volume levels before the debate starts. This can be as simple as doing a 2 minute speed drill for your partner in a separate chat. I don't want technology to become your biggest opponent in a debate. I will usually use a thumbs up to let you know I'm ready before speeches, so watch for that or let me know if you need a verbal response.
Yes I know my philosophy is unbearably long. I keep adding things without removing others, the same reason I was always top heavy when I debated. But I tried to keep it organized so hopefully you can find what you need, ask me questions if not.
For the few college tournaments I judge, understand that my philosophy is geared towards being of use to high school students since that is the vast, vast majority of my judging/coaching. Just use that as a filter when reading.
Seriously, I don't care what you read as long as you do it well. I really don't care if you argue that all K debaters should be banned from debate or argue that anyone who has ever read a plan is innately racist and should be kicked out of the community. If you win it, I'm happy to vote for it.
***Two Minutes Before A Debate Version***
I debated in high school for a school you've never heard of called Lone Peak, and in college for UNLV. I coached Foothill High School and currently coach Green Valley High School, as well as helping out as a hired gun at various institutions. I have debated at the NDT, was nationally competitive in high school, and coached a fair share of teams to the TOC if those things matter for your pref sheet (they shouldn't). I genuinely don't have a big bias for either side of the ideological spectrum. I seem to judge a fairly even mix of K vs K, Clash of Civs, and policy debates. I can keep up with any speed as long as its clear, I will inform you if you are not, although don't tread that line because I may miss arguments before I speak up. If you remain unclear I just won't flow it.
Sometimes I look or act cranky. I love debate and I love judging, so don't take it too seriously.
My biases/presumptions (but can of course be persuaded otherwise):
- Tech over Truth, but Logic over Cards
- Quality and Quantity are both useful. Quality increasingly so as the debate progresses.
- Condo is generally good
- Generic responses to the K are worse than generic K's
- Politics and States are generally theoretically legitimate (and strategic)
- Smart, logical counterplans don't necessarily need solvency advocates, especially not in the 1NC
- 2NC's don't read new off case positions often enough
- I believe in aff flexibility (read: more inclusive interpretations of what's topical) more than almost anyone I know. That is demonstrated in almost every aff I've read or coached. *Edit for CJR: This seems to be less true this year, as I find myself thinking about 50% of aff's I hear are untopical for one reason or another.*
- I'll vote for "rocks are people" if you win it (warrant still needed). Terrible arguments are easily torn apart, but that's the other team's duty, not mine.
A Few Notes You Should Know:
Speaker Points: Firstly, I compare my speaker points to the mean after almost every tournament, so I try to stay in line with the community norm. I have had a dilemma with speaker points, and have recently changed my view. I think most judges view speaker points as a combination of style and substance, with one being more valuable than the other depending on the judge. I have found this frustrating as both a debater and coach trying to figure what caused a judge to give out the speaks they did. So I've decided to give out speaker points based solely on style rather than substance. I feel whichever team wins the substance of the debate will get my ballot so you are already rewarded, so I am going to give out speaker points based on the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of a debater. Logos implies you are still extending good, smart arguments, but it just means that I won't tank speaks based off of technical drops (like floating pics, or a perm, etc) as some judges do, and I won't reward a team's speaker points for going for those arguments if I feel they are worse "speakers", the ballot is reward enough. Functionally all it means is that I probably give more low-point wins than some judges (about one a tournament), but at least you know why when looking at cume sheets after tournaments.
Debate is a rhetorical activity. This means if you want me to flow an argument, it must be intelligible, and warranted. I will not vote on an argument I do not have on my flow in a previous speech. I am a decent flow so don't be too scared but it means that if you are planning on going for your floating pic, a specific standard/trick on theory, a permutation that wasn't answered right in the block, etc. then you should make sure I have that argument written down and that you have explained it previously with sufficient nuance. I might feel bad that I didn't realize you were making a floating pic in the block, but only briefly, and you'll feel worse because ultimately it is my responsibility to judge based off of what is on my flow, so make those things clear. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.
(*Update: This is no longer true in online debate tournaments, I look through docs because of potential clairty/tech issues*: I don't look at speech docs during debates except in rare instances. I read much less evidence after debates than most judges, often none at all. If you want me to read evidence, please say so, but also please tell me what I'm looking for. I prefer not to read evidence, so when I do after a round it means one of three things: 1. The debate is exceedingly close and has one or two issues upon which I am trying to determine the truth (rare). 2. You asked me to read the evidence because "its on fire" (somewhat common and potentially a fire hazard). 3. The debate was bad enough that I am trying to figure out what just happened.)
Prep time: I generally let teams handle their own prep, I do prefer if you don't stop prep until the email is sent. Doing so will make me much happier. If you are very blatantly stealing prep, I might call you out on it, or it might affect speaker points a little.
Neg: I am very much in favor of depth over breadth. Generally that doesn't affect how I feel about large 1NC's but it means I find myself thinking "I wish they had consolidated more in the block" quite often, and almost never the opposite. If you don't consolidate much, you might be upset with the leeway I give to 1AR/2AR explanations. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate. Pick your best arguments and go to battle.
DA's: I love in-depth disad debates. Teams that beat up on other teams with large topic disads usually have one of two things: A. A large number of pre-written blocks B. A better understanding of the topic than their opponents. If you have both, or the latter, I'll quite enjoy the debate. If you only have the former, then you can still get the ballot but not as much respect (or speaker points). Small disads very specific to the aff are awesome. Small disads that are small in order to be unpredictable are not. I am of the "1% risk" discipline assuming that means the disad is closely debated. I am not of that discipline if your disad is just silly and you are trying to win it is 1% true, know the difference.
CP's: I have a soft spot for tricky counterplans. That doesn't mean I think process/cheating counterplans are legitimate, that just means I'll leave my bias at the door more than most judges if you get into a theory debate. That said, theory is won or lost through explanation, not through having the largest blocks. Generally I think counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive, that doesn't mean you can't win of yours isn't, it just means if it is then you probably have some theoretical high ground. I also think if you have a specific solvency advocate for the counterplan (meaning a piece of evidence that advocates doing the counterplan, not just evidence that says the counterplan "is a thing" [I'm looking at you, Consult CP people]) you should utilize that both as a solvency argument and as a theoretical justification for the counterplan. I am neutral on the judge kick question. If you want me to judge kick, say so in the 2NR/2NC, and if you don't then say so in the 1AR/2AR, that's an argument to be had. However, if no one makes an argument either way, my default is if the 2NR is DA, CP, Case, then I think there is an implicit assumption in that strategy that the squo is an option. If the 2NR is only CP & DA, I think the implicit assumption is aff vs. CP. Advantage counterplans are vastly underutilized. Logical counterplans probably don't need solvency advocates. Many Trump impacts (such as "Trump lashes out at China") can be counterplaned out of with "executive restraint", yet not enough people seem to do that.
T: I think the way reasonability is construed is sad and a disservice to the argument. I perceive competing interpretations as a question of whose interpretation sets the best standard for all future debate, and reasonability as a question of whether the aff harmed the negative's fairness/education in this specific round. Under that interpretation (Caveat: This assumes you are explaining reasonability in that fashion, usually people do not). I tend to lean towards reasonability since I think T should be a check against aff's that try to skirt around the topic, rather than as a catch-all. T is to help guarantee the neg has predictable ground. I've voted neg a few times when the aff has won their interp is technically accurate but the neg has won their interp is better for fairness/limits/ground, but that's mostly because I think that technical accuracy/framer's intent is an internal link, rather than an impact, do the additional work.
Theory: This is a discussion of what debate should look like, which is one of the most simple questions to ask ourselves, yet people get very mixed up and confused on theory since we are trained to be robots. I LOVE theory debates where the debaters understand debate well enough to just make arguments and use clash, and HATE debates where the debaters read blocks as fast as possible and assume people can flow that in any meaningful fashion (very few can, I certainly can't. Remember, I don't have the speech doc open). I generally lean negative on theory questions like condo (to a certain extent) and CP theory args, but I think cp's should be textually, and more importantly, functionally competitive, see above.
Framework/T against Non-Traditional Aff's: I have read and gone for both the Procedural Fairness/T version of this argument and the State Action Good/Framework version of this argument many times. I am more than willing to vote for either, and I also am fine with teams that read both and then choose one for the 2NR. However, I personally am of the belief that fairness is not an impact in and of itself but is an internal link to other impacts. If you go for Fairness as your sole impact you may win, but adequate aff answers to it will be more persuasive in front of me. Fairness as the only impact assumes an individual debate is ultimately meaningless, which while winnable, is the equivalent of having a 2NR against a policy aff that is solely case defense, and again I'm by default #1%RiskClub. "Deliberation/dialogue/nuanced discussion/role switching is key to ____________" sorts of arguments are usually better in front of me. As far as defending US action, go for it. My personal belief is that the US government is redeemable and reformable but I am also more than open to voting on the idea that it is not, and these arguments are usually going straight into the teeth of the aff's offense so use with caution. TVA's are almost essential for a succesful 2NR unless the aff is clearly anti-topical and you go for a nuanced switch side argument. TVA's are also most persuasive when explained as a plan text and what a 1AC looks like, not just a nebulous few word explanation like "government reform" or "T-Visas to solve patriarchy". I like the idea of an interp with multiple net benefits and often prefer a 1NC split onto 3-4 sheets in order to separate specific T/FW arguments. If you do this, each should have a clear link (which is your interp), an internal link and impact. Lastly, I think neg teams often let affs get away with pre-requisite arguments way too much, usually affs can't coherently explain why reading their philosophy at the top of the 1AC and then ending with a plan of action doesn't fulfill the mandates of their pre-requisite.
K's: These are the best and worst debates. The bad ones tend to be insufferable and the good ones tend to be some of the most engaging and thought provoking. Sadly, most debaters convince themselves they fall into the latter when they are the former so please take a good, long look in the mirror before deciding which you fall under. I have a broad knowledge of K authors, but not an in depth one on many, so if you want to go for the K you better be doing that work for me, I won't vote for anything that I don't totally understand BEFORE reading evidence, because I think that is a key threshold any negative should meet (see above), so a complex critical argument can be to your advantage or disadvantage depending on how well you explain it. I also think the framing args for the K need to be impacted and utilized, that in my opinion is the easiest way to get my ballot (unless you turn case or win a floating pic). In other words, if you can run the K well, do it, if not, don't (at least not in the 2NR).
Edit: I think it usually helps to know what the judge knows about your critique, so this list below may help be a guide:
I feel very comfortable with, know the literature, and can give good feedback on: Nietzsche, Wilderson, Moten (& Harney), Security, Neolib, Historical Materialism, Colonialism (both Decoloniality and Postcolonialism), Fem IR, Deleuze and Guattari (at least relative to most).
I have both debated and read these arguments, but still have gaps in my knowledge and may not know all the jargon: Hillman, Schmitt, Edelman, Zizek cap args, Agamben, Warren, Ableism, Kristeva, Heidegger, Orientalism, Virillio, Lacan, Anthro, Ligotti, Bataille, settler colonialism metaphysics arguments.
ELI5: Baudrillard, postmodern feminism arguments, Killjoy, Bifo, Zizek psychoanalysis, Object Oriented Ontology, Spanos, Buddhism, Taoism, your specific strain of "cybernetics", probably anything that isn't on these lists but ask first.
Bad aff teams wait til the 2AR to decide what their best arguments are against a position. Good aff teams have the round vision to make strategic choices in the 1AR and exploit them in the 2AR. Great aff teams have the vision to create a comprehensive strategy going into the 2AC. That doesn't mean don't give yourself lots of options, it just means you should know what arguments are ideally in the 2AR beforehand and you should adapt your 2AC based off of the 1NC as a whole. Analytical arguments in a 2AC are vastly underused.
Non-Traditional Affirmatives: I'm fine with these. They don't excite me any more or less than a topical aff. I think the key to these aff's is always framing. Both because negatives often go for framework but also because it is often your best tool against their counter-advocacy/K. I often am more persuaded by Framework/T when the aff is antitopical, rather than in the direction of the resolution, but I've voted to the contrary of that frequently enough. This won't affect the decision but I'll enjoy the aff more if it is very specific (read: relevant/jermaine/essential) to the topic, or very personal to yourself, it annoys me when people read non-traditional aff's just to be shady. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.
Answering K's: It is exceedingly rare that the neg can't win a link to their K. That doesn't mean you shouldn't question the link by any means, permutations are good ways to limit the strength of neg offense, but it means that impact turning the K/alternative is very often a better strategy than going for a link turn and permutation for 5 minutes in the 2AR. I think this is a large reason why aff's increasingly have moved further right or further left, because being stuck in the middle is often a recipe for disaster. That said, being able to have a specific link turn or impact turn to the K that is also a net benefit to the permutation while fending against the most offensive portions of negative link arguments are some of the best 2AR's.
I prefer quality over quantity of arguments. If you only need a minute in the 2NR/2AR then just use a minute, cover up any outs, and finish. I believe in the mercy rule in that sense, rambling or being braggadocios won't help your speaker points. I've tried to keep up with community inflation of speaker points, and I think they're right near average. I will vote against teams that clip and give the culprit 0 speaker points, however I believe in the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt", so be certain before levying accusations and make sure to have a recording.
I'll give you +.1 speaker points if you can tell me what phrase appears the most in my philosophy. Both because it shows you care, you want to adapt to your judge, and maybe because I'm a tad narcissistic.
Things I like:
- A+ Quality Evidence (If you have such a card, and you explain why its better than the 3+ cards the other team read, I accept that more willingly than other judges)
- Brave (strategic) 1AR/2AR decisions
- Politics disads that turn each advantage
- If you are behind, I'd much rather you cheat/lie/steal (maybe not steal, and cheat within reason) than give up. If you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'.
- Neg blocks that only take 1-2 flows and just decimate teams.
- Controlling the "spin" of arguments (I'll give a lot of leeway)
- Red Bull/Monster/M&M's (Bringing me any of these will make me happy, me being happy = higher speaker points)
Things I don't like:
- Not knowing how to send speech docs in a timely manner!
- Debaters that act like they are of superior intelligence compared to their partner/opponents
- Reading arguments with little value other than trying to blindside teams (timecube, most word pics, etc.) Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.
- Being unclear
- Horses (Stop acting like they're so goddamn majestic, they're disgusting)
- Toasted Coconut
NDT debater @ University of Wyoming – 2013-2018. 2x NDT qualifier.
yes email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Make strong arguments, compare them with other arguments and assess their relative importance in the debate.
Debate how you’d like.
Make complete arguments.
Links are highly important to me, but good impact calculus wins debates.
Top level considerations:
- The winner of a debate is usually the team who has the strongest arguments (duh…). I am more interested in listening to a debate with strongly supported arguments and specific clash than any particular type/category of content in a debate (i.e. I prefer hearing a good debate over hearing one particular style or approach to debate).
- Identifying the important questions / winning the key arguments in a debate is under-done imo. Erring on the side of winning one, two, or three arguments and explaining why those win you the debate is far better than trying to win most of the arguments without explaining how they interact or weighing their importance. Good debaters make choices.
- Not a fan of the offense/defense paradigm. Willing to vote on ‘no risk of a link, impact, etc.’
- “The affirmative has the Burden of Proof to overcome presumption. The team advancing an individual argument has the burden of proof to advance a complete argument. If the significance of that distinction is unclear to you, ask and I can happily explain.” stolen from Travis Cram
- Keys to good speaks: organization/line-by-line proficiency, demonstrating deep knowledge on something relevant to the debate, excelling at cross-ex, humor.
T / Framework: I like T debates. I think that there are ways to affirm the topic that don’t necessitate a traditional plan being read. I’d prefer an affirmative that has content connected with the topic, the more specific the better. I have no presuppositions against either. I spent more time going for T against critical affirmatives than defending critical affirmatives than T, but I think I’m pretty close to the middle on the issue. I tend to prefer clear interpretations with an outlined idea of how debates on the topic would go over vague ‘reasonable’ ones.
DAs: I like ‘em. Link and internal link specificity matters most to me. Warrant and evidence comparison is next in the line of importance. Impact calc wins debates though.
CPs: Having these things is best: a clear-solvency advocate and a world that doesn’t result in the entire aff. Competition is important. Specificity here is important. If it’s a highly nuanced CP, take some time in the 2NC overview to give me some bearings and explain the context.
Critiques: Link and internal link specificity matters to me here, too. Example-driven argument and comparison are very valuable. If the subject matter of the debate is complex, do what you can to make the content more concrete and clear for me.
Case debates: underloved, in my opinion. I like really in-depth case debates. It makes winning on the neg far easier.
Other notes: I have a lot of facial expressions. Paying attention to that could be advantageous. Being courteous is valuable. I don't like prep stealing.
This event should be accessible to all--meaning please keep your rate of delivery in check. No that does not mean you have to be painfully slow. In fact, you can go fast enough where a typical person would think to themselves "that person is speaking fast." That person, however, should not think to themselves "I can not understand them." 98% of PF debaters are within my expectation here--the 2% should know who you are. Both teams have the right to request their opponent to slow down if they are struggling to keep up. Debate should be for everyone and not just those who can afford debate camp and those who speak English as their first language... If both teams love fast debate, and everyone agrees to it, then let's go all out speed because I enjoy fast debate too (just give me a heads up).
Warrants win. Turns win. Weighing wins. Offense wins. Yes I flow. Crossfire is less important to me than most--if something important happens, get it on the flow in your next speech. Grand crossfire is not an opportunity to bring in arguments you didn't get to in the summary. If it wasn't in the summary and the final focus, I probably won't vote on it. Yes, you should frontline in the 2nd rebuttal.
Public Forum time structures are not suitable for debating Kritiks with alternatives. However, debating ethics directly related to the topic and arguing it outweighs/should come first is good with me. No plan texts or counterplan texts please (note: a counterplan text is not saying 'another solution is better than the solution being presented by the resolution' -- that's just an argument, just answer it...)
Very high threshold on theory. Despite being tech over truth 95% of the time, I have limited tech expectations on theory since I don't want to punish students who couldn't afford debate camp to learn the technical aspects of theory. If something truly unfair happened in the debate, then go for it by arguing 1) we should have this norm and 2) you violated that norm. To beat theory argue it 1) shouldn't be a norm or 2) you didn't violate the rule or 3) we should have a different norm instead of the one you provided. If you argue theory every debate, I'm not the judge for you. It is a check on unfair debate practices, not a strategy to catch your opponent off guard. I believe I have voted on theory 2 times in the hundreds of rounds I've judged--I have yet to vote on theory in PF.
I believe the activity is approaching the point where it should be the norm to send all the evidence you read over to your opponent rather than doing this inefficient 1 card at a time nonsense. Whatever you do though, please be efficient. I blame inefficient evidence exchange on the team fetching the evidence, not on the team requesting it.
Questions? Just askPOLICY
If you have any specific questions--feel free to ask
Prep stops when you stop prepping, but please send the doc within reason -- include me in the email chain
Tag team CX is acceptable, but it doesn't score you any points
In your last speech—go for arguments and never go for everything
Clash matters -- do not run away from your opponent's arguments
Aff should defend the topic. Neg should have links to the aff
CJR topic: Going for the status quo on the neg is a bold move
This is supposed to be an academic space. Don't swear. Don't make a mockery out of the activity. Don't exclude your opponents from this awesome activity. Don't be rude. Student safety comes first. I have voted down teams for crossing the line.
Alternatively, no need to be fake nice--I'm all about the competition. Being aggressive is fine--calling your opponent's argument "dumb" is not.
Gender norms related to debate are bad. As an example, everyone should feel welcome to be aggressive during their speeches with me as a judge. If you don't want to be--that's cool--you do you.
Debate can be stressful--if you find yourself in an important debate with me as a judge, it might be a good idea to watch the following video. I may be stressed as well and watching it during prep time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZZkZPcxp_I
17th year in debate. Currently the Director of Debate at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls South Dakota. Debated 4 years in high school doing traditional LD. Since then I have coached policy debate. I have a fair amount of experience in both circuit and traditional circles.
Higher threashold for theory than many--it generally requires a legitimate claim based on questionable actions by the other side. I’ve voted on it before, but it has to be developed and it has to dive deep into the standards. I generally default to competing interpretations unless convinced otherwise. Have offense against their interpretation and use the standards to prove substance to your theoretical objection. If you go for theory in any sense of the word, tell me whether it’s a reason to reject the team or argument and provide offense for that.
Also: 10 second theory shells deserve 10 second responses. Even if they are conceded--I would still probably default to reject the arg. If you want me to make your theory argument enough weight to make me ignore everything else in the debate and vote for you, then give it the time it deserves.
On conditionality: 1 is fine--2 is probably fine--3 is debateable--4 probably not fine
Link story is usually the largest uphill battle, so you should probably have more than one link
Specific links are good links
Disad turns case is important
Risk of uniqueness is a thing
Link turns need uniqueness to be offense
Not sure what else to say--CP's are strategic and should be used often. Ones that are specific to the aff are especially fun.
Although everything is up for debate... I do have a strong belief in affirmatives defending the topic/advocating for topical action. If negative is required to address the affirmative... then affirmative is required to address the topic. That does not mean you have to run a plan text. That does not mean you can not run kritikal impacts. It does mean doing more than saying some of the words in the topic.
I have a higher threshold for K links on the negative than most. As an affirmative, you should challenge these directly.
K jargon is only persuasive to well read judges on the literature. I am reasonably well read on some K lit, but you should assume I am not.
Kritiks on the neg should fundamentally argue the affirmative is bad.
CJR topic update: lots of legitimate K ground on both sides. I am not "anti-K." Instead, I am "pro-clash." In past years, I have found many debates missing clash because of affs running away from the topic and neg links being barely related to the aff.
TLDR: If your version of debate doesn't promote clash, you're going to have a tough time winning my ballot. Beyond that, it's about the learning.
I very much dislike judging clash of civs rounds. If you feel that is the best debating you can do on the neg, then go for it, but it almost certainly won't be my favorite debate of all time. I've voted for and against framework/T arguments against K affs. If you have another strategy that you feel is viable, that would be great.
Recently I judged 7 consecutive clash of civs debates at a single tournament. There is nothing like hearing 14 hours of promises that the education is right around the corner, when clearly it is not. The only good links I saw all tournament were analytics. As an educator, I don't want to experience that again--but I also understand the desire to run strategies that win ballots.
Updated on 09/24/15
The only thing you really need to know:
I believe debate is an academic event and as a judge my role in the academy is to evaluate and facilitate the academic trajectory of the debaters. I don't think that my notions of what debate should or shouldn't be should ever limit the academic path of the debaters. I debated for 4 years in high school and in college. I currently am in my 5th year of coaching. In the six years that i have debated so far i have run everything from politics to Ks of secularism and some performance stuff. It doesn't really matter what you run in front of me i will evaluate it how you want me to. i have seen a lot of different styles of debate. that being said i am a K debater. i have gone for the K on both sides of the res for about 3 years now. The most important thing you can do is to write the ballot for me in the last speeches.
If you want to know more specific things read on.
T/Specs/Procedurals. I like really good T debates. You probably need to read cards in it and to tell me what the affs are included in your case list. I am not a fan of over-limiting the topic but the surveillance topic has a potential to be GIANT. I think that T and procedural should have some sort of in round abuse or reason why you are disadvantaged. I like T to be debated like DA's as well. In a world where you don't give me a way to evaluate topicality I will default to compete interps but can be easily sold on reasonability. These should also have impacts and you should tell me why the loss of X is important in the big picture. I want external impacts to these arguments not just they over limit or they destroy education. tell me why this matters for debate or for your project. I am very comfortable voting on Ks of T.
Framework: .I really enjoy these debates. Though the old state is good line can be a bit boring. I tend to reward creative positions with high points. In the clash of civ I default to K's as a whole being acceptable in debate though as I coach more it is becoming easier to win my ballot with framework. It is really hard to get me to throw an entire category of argument out, so this is my default to resolve sloppy framework debates: In framework debates if the aff/neg team wins their K bad framework and there are no voting issues about the legitimacy of the K I will evaluate case against that of the K and if the K team wins why framework is bad or a K framework is better i will evaluate the K first. I also think its dumb to grant K teams their framework and really hard to come back from when you are framed out of the round. they should have to defend why Ks are better.
I think a framework of evaluation is present in every debate, and I think that it is precisely what has been missing from the kritik for years. I find “real” impacts the most important aspect of the framework debate—“we should evaluate debates like this because…” of the education the framework provides and the impact of that type of education.
Counter plans: I am cool with them. i like a really good and specific CP but i find in most debates i am rather disappointed in that requirement. I actually love process CPs. i think PICs are awesome and probably fair to the aff but that's a debate to be had.
Dis-Ads: Read them, just give me a way to compare the impacts against case or vice versa. impact calc is very important in these debates and i want them because i don't really want to compare three different extinction scenarios after the 2ar. that's your job in the debate to tell me why your extinction scenario is better than the other teams. I think that 0 risk can exist in these debates but i prefer an offensive strategy when answering these from the aff.
Kritiks: I LOVE them. that being said don't run Ks if you cant defend them and don't know them. I know what most authors say at least on a basic level but you still need to explain your argument to me. i am not a fan of giant overviews unless they are in the 2ar and 2nr. on the alt i am not a huge fan of just reject the aff i like something a bit more substantive and specific. if your alt is just reject i want to know why that rejection matters and what it means in the context of the debate and the K itself. i am a huge fan of impact Ks. I am also a big fan of specific links especially in a close perm debate. I think the perm is a really important tool here and even multiple perms but don't go over board. I hate bad kritik debates more than I hate bad straight-up debates, and bad non-traditional debates are the worst of them all (in other words, for kritik debaters and non-traditional debaters, there is no excuse).
Experimental/deferral arguments: i am cool with these. i think they have a great strategic value that few teams use to their full potential. know how to use these well, if you have a metaphor in the 1ac or 1nc make sure it is pulled through to later speeches.
ID politics and Performance: Do your thing. This has been a growing interest in my academic path lately and i am much more familar with these then i have been in the past. Make sure you explain the purpose and goal of your project in regards to the meaning of my ballot and how it relates to the debate/community.
Theory: I think that most theory debates are rather shallow and underdeveloped. If you want it to be a viable option there needs to be some time to get the tags and warrants down. i think there should be in round abuse and even then i am not moved by petty fairness claims. i think they are rather dumb sometimes. You don't need gigantic shells with me, especially when you first introduce the argument. If you don't specifically address the other team's responses, you probably won't win my ballot. If you end up going for it, and it was straight dropped you don't need to spend all your time on it but it needs to fleshed out and the previous speeches need to have enough in them to justify 2ar/2nr extrapolations. i usually will vote on it if it is dropped. it seems that the only way to evaluate whether a standard is reasonable or whether a definition provides appropriate limits is to assess how the definition/standard combination effect the fair division of ground... and offense/defense seems a good way to figure that out. that means on theory and T i will default to offense/defense when evaluating it. All this being said, I find myself more willing to vote on theory than not.
Misc. I think terminal D is cool and i will vote on it but I think that offense is better. i like to have something to place my hat on at the end of the round and offense is the best way to do that
Speaker points: i will go from a 27.5 to a 30.
The bottom line is do what you do to win and i will judge it to the best of my abilities. Have fun don't make the debate unbearable for me or the other team. i like GOOD jokes in speeches.
Email JanelleDelgadillo at gmail dot com with any questions.
Email JanelleDelgadillo at gmail dot com with any questions.
I have 10+ years of policy debate experience as a competitor, coach, and judge. My own view of debate have changed as I started as a CP/Da debater and am now very appreicate of innovative affirmatives and negatives. Without being too cheesy debate is about education and critical thinking meaning that the debate space is a safe space. I believe that the debate space is a space where change can occur, and think that debaters have an obligation to push the social justice agenda. I don't define what this is, but allow you to work on your own engagement on the issues that matter to you.
Having spent time in other formats as a coach and judge I tend to prefer "manner" more than other judges, not necessarily in the speech but how you present yourself in round. This means that I'm not judging you on if you wore a tie or not, but rather how did you engage with your opposition. Presentation of an argument affects how I engage with it.
AFF - I am open to "K affs" but may be a bit more skeptical at first with a case I have not heard yet. Not saying don't run it but don't assume I am where you are on this topic. On this I am more familair with class issues as opposed to race/gender so be willing to give me a framework or treat me as you would a high school freshman on your team.
NEG - anything goes
I am open to any arguments as long as they were well represented within the speeches, or are clear enough to make it onto the flow. Other than that there is little to say, and I consider myself a "tabula rasa" judge, but if no other weighting criterion is offered by either team I defalt to a policy making framework.
Only other notes:
Ts must prove in round abuse. Out of round is not enough of a voter.
Ks need to be explained outside the cards and in the own debaters voice. I.e a surface level knowledge will not be enought to persaude me. I dont do work for debaters and will decide based on the flow.
Speed - fine with speed, will yell "clear" if I can't understand. Does not happen often but be warned.
Debated in High School from 2010-2014, Judged and coached from 2014-2019. I may need a bit of time to adjust as I haven't judged since then, so bear with me. my email is email@example.com for any questions, and for adding me to the email chain.
I've seen a lot of stuff, please feel free going with any debate style you prefer. Try to assume I don't know a ton about what you are reading.
If you want to win in front of me, please try to go top down - what is the framing I should look to at the end of the round, what is the most important impact/voting issue/whatever, and what is the link to that offense. I pretty much look at what offense is there for me to vote on at the end of the round, and try to sort out which offense wins. You can't go wrong with more depth on your link arguments in front of me, as long as there's a reason to vote for those links.
I don't have strong opinions either way on theory arguments, critical affs, T violations, ect. Do what you like and convince me what the debate should be about.
The debates I like the most are ones where you play to your best strengths, and debates with plenty of actual argument interaction. I have ADHD so the best way for me to disengage from the debate or miss an argument or just not care is to read blocks at each other and not make any explicit, direct challenges to your opponents arguments. If you're not going to actually debate, it makes me want to flip a coin, because you're leaving me to decide which arguments were best myself (I'm always trying my hardest to be fair, but I'm not going to give good speaker points if I'm left trying to compare two ships passing in the night)
If you have any specific questions or concerns, feel free to ask me.
College Preparatory School
A few quick things:
- I was both a 2A and a 2N in high school. While I read mostly policy affs, I went for the kritik often on the neg, so I’m pretty flexible with argument choices.
- I will work hard to be as objective as possible and evaluate tech over truth unless told otherwise.
- Specificity and effort are rewarded in my book. If it’s clear you’ve done the research and have extensive knowledge of the topic, I will boost your points accordingly.
- Framing the debate is key – the 2NR and 2AR should aim to write my ballot.
- I’d prefer you read enough of your evidence to make a complete argument, so if you’re going to highlight two lines of a card and call it an internal link then it’s probably not worth reading at all. Evidence = claim and warrant (same goes for arguments).
- Please be clear - if you aren’t, I’ll yell it a few times but eventually I will give up. I’m a pretty expressive person so look up every now and then - if I’m obviously frustrated, you should change something.
- Debate is fun – act like it! Be nice and have a good sense of humor.
- Feel free to ask me questions before the debate if I haven’t covered something or you’d like clarification.
Paperless: Prep time ends when the flash drive leaves your computer. If your computer crashes, we’ll stop prep.
Topicality: Topicality needs to be substantively developed for me to vote on it. Please do not be incomprehensibly fast on T in the 2AC, because I will sympathize with the negative if there are missed arguments. Remember to impact your interpretation.
Theory: Theory must be well developed and impacted, like topicality. I am more sympathetic to some theory arguments than others. I never went for conditionality as a 2A and I have a high threshold for this argument – I will vote on it if you win it, but winning it requires substantial time investment in both the 1AR and the 2AR. Other theoretical objections such as international fiat, 50 state fiat, conditions/consult/process theory, etc. are much more persuasive to me.
Case: I really like a good case debate. The 2AC and 1AR need to be clear and warranted on case. I’d prefer if the negative collapsed an extensive case debate from the block into a few winnable arguments in the 2NR instead of going for everything.
Counterplans: I’m a huge fan of a case specific counterplan (especially PICs), so the more specific you get, the better your points/chances will be. Conversely, I’m not a huge fan of process/delay (and consult if it’s hypergeneric) counterplans because I don’t think they’re competitive. I will be persuaded by perm do the CP and theory arguments by the aff. That being said, I was definitely guilty of going for the commission CP and others like it in high school – it’s certainly winnable in front of me, but I’d rather see you go for something more specific.
Disadvantages: I am a strong believer in credible defense. If the aff can point out logical problems with the disad, I will reduce the risk substantially (even if it’s not a carded argument). There can be zero risk of a disad. Clear articulation of the link in the context of the aff is essential. I think that carded arguments about how the disad turns/solves the case are persuasive.
Kritiks: I went for security a lot in high school and I understand it pretty well (same with most other IR-based K’s). Anything beyond that is going to take a high level of explanation and work to get my ballot.
Framework is important and underutilized on both sides - if you can really just lay down a beating on the other team on the framework debate, it will get you so far on every other part of the flow.
For the aff – defend your 1AC! Know who your authors are. Have cards that defend the studies of your authors and the method they used. Know what method they used! Create evaluative mechanisms for how I should evaluate evidence in the policymaking sphere (i.e. default to empirics and studies) and then explain why your evidence meets those mechanisms. I definitely prefer an impact turn debate to a permutation debate, but do what you gotta do.
For the neg - link debate is very important, and contextualizing it within the context of the aff is even more crucial. Question the scholarship of their authors and press them on internal links and logical take-outs in cross-ex – I think the best way to get mileage on the K is to have credible defense against the aff because it proves their epistemology is fundamentally bankrupt.
Critical Affs: Please be very clear about what the role of the ballot is and how I should evaluate the debate. Also, I’m inclined to agree with Brian Manuel that you must defend something, even if you’re not defending the topic. Your position must be debatable. While I will vote on framework, I prefer a case turn debate, a PIC, or a K. Understandably, a specific strategy is not always possible when debating an aff that doesn’t defend the topic, and framework may sometimes be your best option.
The time has come for my yearly overhaul of my paradigm
Weber State University- 5 1/2 years included attending the NDT and breaking at CEDA
Alta High School- 3 years
Judging and helping at West High- 5 years
Current Judging for Weber State
"I know in your heart of hearts you hate [policy arguments] but you also vote for that stuff all the time."
The more I judge, the more I find that the way that I debated and the way that I judge are fairly different. I love kritik debate and I find it to be some of the most educational debates and research that I have found personally with inserting and forefronting real life impacts and experiences into debate especially for me as a disabled transgender woman. I also find that "kritik" or "performance" or "nontraditional" teams or what have you are bad at answering policy arguments from framework to simple extinction outweighs. It's incredibly frustrating but despite my reluctance, leads me to voting a fair amount for policy arguments. Let me make this clear though, I'm not a great judge for your super technical line by line on a politics disad though I won't be opposed to voting on that for you if you win.
One of the main reasons I present this with a caveat is because I have a **sensory processing disorder.** If you want to spread through and get as many arguments out no matter what, I will be unable to keep up with you and I will tell you to slow down. It is in your best interest to do so. The more time I struggle to hear the less I'm hearing and writing down. Furthermore if you refuse to slow down, **I will stop writing down arguments and start removing speaker points.** I'll tell you to slow down 3 times and then I will stop flowing. Further speeches will have 1 warning before that happens. Whatever speed I lower you to, go one lever below that to account for speeding up in the speech later. Trust me, you don't need that last argument more than you want me to understand the debate. 1 card I do understand is way better than 10 cards I don't. I almost never read cards unless necessary or if I'm looking for feedback so reliance on cards won't get you that far. If you want me to read a piece of evidence, it needs to be on an important part of the debate that can't be resolved otherwise and needs to be impacted out.
I'm a truth over tech judge one good/"true" argument can beat ten terrible cards. However, that doesn't mean you can't get me to vote on tech, you just have to impact it out more. If there is a strategic messup by your opponents and you explain why that should grant you and argument eg if they concede a permutation and you go for it even if it doesn't make sense outside of debate, if you explain it, I'm willing to grant it to you. You need to explain your shit. Cards and dropped arguments aren't inherently true and round ending. You have to tell me why all your shit matters for me to weigh it. I find teams are especially light on their impact level of the debate and on the solvency of their arguments so I would make sure to have emphasis there.
Postmodernism, psychoanalysis and the like aren't my cup of tea. I often spend these debates trying to wrap my mind around the terminology rather than the argument in question which can be a detriment to the debaters in round, just how my mind processes new information. I won't straight tell you I won't vote on it but I also find these arguments struggle to have applicability that can be explained in the "real world."
I believe there can be zero risk of impacts. I don't believe in assigning .1% risk of impacts to extinction. Either way the impacts go you need to tell me why that is the case.
I also don't believe that you just saying so means that you solve 100% of the aff with your counterplan. You need to explain in depth why that is the case
I default that the ballot does have meaning and that debate isn't just a game. I can be persuaded otherwise but I feel you need to explain why the community and activism that happens in debate is more of a side effect instead of debate actually having meaning
I think nontopical affs are often really cool and bring extra insight into the topic. For framework teams, i can be persuaded that these teams are cheating if it's impacted out and the education is bad but there is often a lack of legalistic warrants or topic specific education warrants to these arguments which needs to be present. I generally think it is better for the aff to be resolutional eg if it's an immigration topic, talk something about immigration but I won't penalize you for not doing so.
If you run a nontopical aff, you need a disad to the topical version of the aff on framework. I can't stress this enough. Many of my decisions have been made because the TVA solves the aff meaning the offense goes away or the aff forget to extend offense or impact out that disad. This is THE point that I find myself voting on over and over again on framework/t
I do find the evidential debate on disads and counterplans especially to have unique education and debate benefits that don't exist elsewhere and look forward to how debaters utilize them
I think theory debates are really useless. Everyone runs condo and severance perms and it's more of a flow check. I have a high threshold for a theory argument and there better be a damn good reason why you are turning the debate into a theory debate. I also find debaters being exceptionally bad at impacting out theory and explaining the standards. For these reasons I don't see myself voting on theory in the near future. Exceptions to the rule are 50 State fiat, world government fiat and other ridiculous multiactor counterplans and possibly utopian fiat on absurd kritiks.
I think "performative" arguments are really important to the activity and bring pathos that the event often badly lacks. Because of this, I often find myself giving better speaker points to performative teams. I don't think it is cheating or undebateable for someone to bring in their or other experiences and I look forward to these debates. That being said, I can often be persuaded to vote on framework because performative teams often struggle with what to do with their performance once they have performed.
Precious Assistant coach, Rowland Hall St. Marks — five years
High school - Three years, Nationally
Role as judge in debate — I attempt to enter debates with as little preconcieved notion about my role as possible. I am open to being told how to evaluate rounds, be it an educator, policymaker, etc. Absent any instruction throughout the round, I will most likely default to a role as a policymaker.
Purpose of philosophy — I see this philosophy as a tool to be used by debaters to help modify or fine-tune specific parts of their strategies in round. I don’t think that this philosophy should be a major reason to change a 1AC/1NC, but more used to understand how to make the round as pleasant as possible.
Evaluative practices and views on debate round logistics
Prep time — Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/when the speech-email has been sent. I expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time, but I will usually keep prep as well to help settle disagreements
Evidence — I would like to be included in any email chain used for the round using the email address below. I will read un-underlined portions of evidence for context, but am very apprehensive to let them influence my decision, unless their importance is identified in round.
Speaker point range — 27.0 - 30. Speaker points below a 27 indicate behavior that negatively affected the round to the point of being offensive/oppressive.
How to increase speaker points — Coherence, enthusiasm, kindness, and the ability to display an intimate knowledge of your arguments/evidence. Cross-ex is an easy way to earn speaker points in front of me - I enjoy enthusiastic and detailed cross-ex and see it as a way to show familiarity with arguments.
How to lose speaker points — Being excessively hostile, aggressive, overpowering, or disengaged.
Clarity — I will say ‘Clear’ mid-speech if I’m unable to understand you. I will warn you twice before I begin subtracting speaker points and stop flowing - I will attempt to make it obvious that I’ve stopped flowing in a non-verbal manner (setting down my pen, etc.) but will not verbally warn you.
Argumentative predispositions and preferences
Affirmatives - I don’t think affirmatives should be inherently punished for not reading a plan text, as long as they justify why they do it. I am probably more interested in ‘non-traditional’ affirmatives than a big-stick Heg aff.
Counter-Plans — Speeding through a 20-second, catch-all, 7 plank, agent counter-plan text will not be received well in front of me. However, super-specific counter-plans (say, cut from 1AC solvency evidence) are a good way to encourage debates that result in high speaker points.
Disadvantages — Specific, well articulated DA debate is very appealing to me, but super-generics like spending are a bit boring absent an aff to justify them as the primary strategy.
Framework — Engagement > Exclusion. The topic can be a stasis point for discussion, but individuals may relate to it in very different ways. (See Role as judge in debate)
Kritiks — Easily my 'comfort-zone' for debates, both for the affirmative and negative. Creativity in this area is very appealing to me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that whoever reads the best poetry automatically wins. Be smart and articulate about your arguments, and make it seem like you care about what you're talking about. The 'K’s are cheating and so they should lose' -esque arguments aren’t especially compelling, but if you can intelligently explain why the hippy-anarchists sitting across from you should go back to their coffee shops and beat-poetry, I'll vote on it. Performance as a method of supporting arguments is welcomed and enjoyable insofar as it is grounded in arguments.
Theory — I think specific, contextualized Theory arguments are much more persuasive than generic, broad-sweeping theory claims. Spending 5 minutes on Theory in a rebuttal does not grant you an instant ballot, inversely,15 seconds of blippy violations it at the end of the debate makes it difficult to pull the trigger absent blatant concessions. I’m more comfortable and better versed in regards to theory arguments than with topicality. I am very persuaded by arguments against performative contradiction. I understand the strategic utility of having multiple lines of offence in a 1NC, but would prefer to evaluate 1NC’s holistically as a constant thought.
Topicality — Topicality is perhaps where I’m least experienced from an argument standpoint, and thus don’t particularly enjoy topicality debates, I do, however understand its utility against blatantly abusive affirmative. In-round abuse is more persuasive than potential abuse.
Feel free to ask before round or email me if you have any questions
TLDR: You do you. I do what you tell me.
I strive to judge like a "blank slate" while recognizing that I will never actually be one. Keep this in mind as you read the rest of this paradigm.
If there is an email chain I will want to be on it. I would be glad to answer any questions you have.
Disclose as much or as little as you want to me or anyone else in the room. Either way, I am committed to making the debate rounds I judge safe and accessible.
I competed in LD in high school (2009-2013) in Wyoming and northern Colorado with some national circuit exposure.
I competed in policy at the University of Wyoming (2013-2018) and qualified to the NDT twice. I loved reading complicated courts affirmatives, bold impact turns, and Ks with specific and nuanced justifications for why they are competitive with the aff. I wish I had had the courage to go for theory in the 2AR more often. I studied (mostly analytic) philosophy and some critical disability theory to earn my bachelor's degree.
All debate is performative. I can be persuaded that one performance is contingently more valuable (ethically, aesthetically, educationally, etc.) than another, but it would be arbitrary and unethical on my part to categorically exclude any particular style.
That being said, I am not agnostic when it comes to form. An argument has a claim, a warrant, and an impact. I do not care how you give me those three things, but if you do not, then you have not made an argument and my RFD will probably reflect that. This cuts in many directions: I hate K overviews that make sweeping ontological claims and then describe implications for the case without explaining why the original claim might be true; I equally detest when anyone simply asserts that "uniqueness determines the direction of the link".
Organization matters. However, I do not think organization is synonymous with what a lot of people mean when they say "line by line". It means demonstrating a holistic awareness of the debate and effectively communicating how any given argument you are making interacts with your opponents'. Therefore, when adjudicating whether something is a "dropped argument" I will parse between (a) reasonably predictable and intelligibly executed cross-applications and (b) superficial line-by-line infractions. Giving conceptual labels to your arguments and using your opponents' language when addressing theirs can help you get on the right side of this distinction.
Evidence matters. A lot. Again, I do not mean what a lot of people mean when they talk about evidence in debate. It is about a lot more than cards. It is also about personal experience and preparation, historical consciousness, and even forcing your opponents to make a strategic concession (by the way, I flow cross-examination). I read cards only when I have to and tend to defer to what was said in the debate regarding how to interpret them and determine their quality. Thus, I will hold the 2NR/2AR to relatively high thresholds for explanation.
I flow on paper. This means I need pen time. It also magnifies the importance of organization since I cannot drag and drop cells on a spreadsheet. Because I flow the "internals" of evidence (cards or otherwise), you will benefit enormously from clarity if you are fast and will not necessarily be at a disadvantage against very fast teams if you are slow but efficient with your tag lines.
Substance: mostly agnostic.
Hate and disrespect are never conducive to education and growth. I presume that the need to disincentivize abusive speech and other behaviors overrides my desire to reward skill with a ballot, but it never hurts for debaters to remind me of why this is true if you are up to it. This includes card clipping and other ethics violations. In general, I will stop the round if I notice it on my own. Otherwise, you have two options: (1) stop the round, stake the debate on it (you may lose if you are wrong, but they will certainly lose and receive no speaker points if you are right), and let me be final arbiter or (2) keep the issue alive throughout the debate, but leave open the option to go for substance. I think this is the most fair way for me to address this as an educator, but please do not think option two gives you license to go for "a risk of an ethics violation" in the final rebuttals or to read a generic "clipping bad" shell in every one of your 1NC/2ACs. That's icky.
There is no right way to affirm the topic. There are wrong ways to affirm the topic. I can be sold on the notion that the aff did it the wrong way. I can also be convinced that the wrong way is better than the right way. It may yet be easiest to convince me that your counter-interpretation of the right way to affirm the topic is just as good as, or better than, theirs.
Theory is mis- and underutilized. You get to debate the very rules of your debate! Current conventions regarding negative fiat, for example, will inevitably make me smirk when you read "no neg fiat." Still, if you invest enough thought, before and during and after debates (not merely regurgitating somebody else's blocks at an unintelligible rate), into any theory argument I am going to be eager to vote on it.
College Prep Policy Debate Coach
20+ Years Judging/Coaching
Line by line debate is actually a thing. Its a skill not a referendum on you as a person or what I think about your arguments. Its a method of clash that allows judges to decide rounds with minimum intervention on their part. If your approach to debating line-by-line includes extensive overviews, "cloud clash," and requests for me to pull out new sheets of paper I am probably not a very good judge for you. I will do my best to evaluate the round in front of me, but if you chose to abandon the line by line please know that you have asked me to insert my subjective views of debate in to the round and you are not likely to be happy with the outcome.
Standard philosophy begins here:
Rather than list off a series of personal beliefs about arguments, an explanation of how I decide debates seems more productive. Three keys to debating well in front of me:
1. Make Arguments. I tend to decide debates within 20 minutes of the end of the round. I will call for VERY few cards after the debate as I prefer to make my decision based upon what you argued in the last rebuttals rather than what I think about the quality of your cards. I will not re-read every card read in the debate. I will not read portions of evidence not read in the round by debaters. I will not read cards handed to me that were not extended in the last two rebuttals. I will resolve arguments consisting of disputes over interpretation of warrants in evidence by reading those cards. I will make sure arguments extended in the last two rebuttals can be traced back across the flow to the point they originated. I will make sure cards handed to me were extended properly during the debate before reading them. I will keep a careful flow of the debate and will do my best to vote based upon warranted arguments extended throughout the debate. Your job is to speak clearly and coherently and to dispute the warrants within your opponents’ arguments with analysis and evidence.
2. Make Choices. Most debates come down to a couple of key issues which need to be resolved by me; awareness of these nexus issues and ability to clarify how they should be resolved is the key to your success. Does the perm on the CP avoid the links to the net-benefits? Does the solvency deficit to the counter-plan outweigh the net-benefits? Who controls the question of uniqueness (both at the link and impact level)? Can the alternative to the criticism function simultaneously with the plan? I prefer to intervene as little as humanly possible. Your ability to accurately frame the nexus issues of the debate for me will reduce the need for me to resolve these questions for you and make me a much happier judge.
3. Don’t be a Jerk. As Ed Lee of Emory says in his most recent Judge Philosophy--"Respect is non-negotiable for me". I work VERY HARD as a judge. I flow on paper, I generally keep my computer closed the entire debate and I try to pay very close attention to everything you say. I spend time constructing my post-round discussion to be clear, concise and educational. I do not take kindly to debaters or coaches who wish to interrupt and argue with me before I've reached the conclusion of my RFD. I promise to give you plenty of time to ask productive follow-up questions. Lately I've become even more concerned with in-round comity. Rudeness and snide remarks during cross-ex, insulting the intelligence and good will of the other team and other derisive and insulting behavior towards opponents will not be tolerated. To once again quote Ed - "If you are engaging your opponent in a way that you would not if you were in front of one of your professors [teachers] or the president of your university [principal/head of school] then you should not do it in front of me." I love seeing passionate engagement with argument, but quickly become physically uncomfortable when passion turns into hostility. If you are confused as to where this line resides watch my non-verbals...it will be very obvious.
Finally, on the question of "What kinds of arguments do you prefer" I'll answer by agreeing with Jarrod Atchison on the importance of FLEXIBILITY as a debater. To quote his ballot from a recent NDT final round "Debater flex is the past, present, and the future":
Jarrod ATCHISON, Director of Debate and Assistant Professor of Speech and Drama at Trinity University (Incoming DOF at Wake Forrest), 2008
[Judge Ballot from the Final Round of the 2008 National Debate Tournament, Available Online at http://groups.wfu.edu/NDT/Results/JudgesBallots2008final.htm, Accessed 03-16-2010]
7. Debater Flex is the wave of the future: I would have loved to have been a part of the Dartmouth coaching staff and squad when they were brainstorming a negative strategy for this debate. Although they had an extremely limited amount of time, they had two fantastic debaters in Josh and Kade that could execute a wide range of arguments leaving no option unavailable. In this debate, they had two case specific counterplans, a well developed kritik, two topicality arguments, etc…This debate reminded me that debaters who self identify as “policy” or “kritik” are missing out on a wide range of ways to win. Forget the labels, just think of everything as an argument. Some arguments require more understanding than others, but they are just arguments. If you want to be able to take on a new high tech aff with less than 45 minutes of prep before the final round of the NDT, the last thing that you want to tell your coach/partner is “I can’t argue __.” Debater flex is the past, present, and the future and I hope that students will see Josh and Kade’s 1NC as an example of how important it is to be versatile.
Who am I:
This is my 7th year as the head speech and debate coach. I coached six years at Highland High School (Idaho) and this is my first year at Mountain Home HS (Idaho).
I have coached for seven years, competed in collegiate IPDA debate and speech for 2 years, and I competed in high school for four years (policy debate, public forum debate, and speech).
I coach all debate events (LD, PF, CX, Congress), as well as 14 speech events.
As I am in the tab room at most Idaho tournaments, I have yet to judge any PF rounds this year.
Here's the best way to earn my ballot for any type of debate:
1) Win the flow. If you drop an issue in a speech, do not bring it back up. In PF, dropped arguments are technically ok. Just make sure to communicate to me on why that is good/bad/unimportant that an argument was dropped.
2) Impact out what you win on the flow. I don't care if your opponent clean concedes an argument that you extend through every speech if you don't tell me why I should care.
3) Weigh your impacts! This is a great way to win the ballot with me.
3) Clash with your opponent. Just because you put 5 attacks on an argument doesn't mean it has been dealt with if your attacks have no direct clash with the argument. If you are making an outweigh argument, tell me and I can evaluate it as such!
4) Courtesy. If you are not kind, courteous, and ethical to your opponent, you will receive lower speaker points. I believe that debaters should be able to win on the flow and do so in a kind and professional manner. If the round is extremely close, I often use courtesy and ethics as a tiebreaker.
5) Speed: For national ciricut tournaments, I would say i'I prefer like 3-5 (on a 10 point scale) in terms of speed. I think that it's easier to have a cleaner debate when it is slower.
I think these are necessary in LD debate. I am a more traditional LD debate, but i'm open to progressive ideas (or CPs). Make sure to use your V/CR throughout the round. These are usually a large voting issue for me, so make sure I know why you've won on these issues.
I'm OK with K's, but I don't prefer them. I prefer traditional LD debate, with a focus on values and value criterions.
I'd say I'm ok with up to a 4/10 on speed. If you're too quick, I will say clear. I should not have to do this multiple times in a single speech.
I'm much more accepting of CPs than Ks in LD. I understand when a CP is necessary to run as the neg.
I tend to be a more traditional-style policy judge, as in I judge following traditional rules. However, I'm still very open to arguments. Theory, Ks (I don't personally love Ks or Theory...) and CPs are fine, as long as they are ran well! I love a good T shell when the aff isn't topical. Line-by-line and sign posting are key. I would say I'm about a 5 out of 10 on a speed scale. If you go too quickly, I'll post "clear" or "slow" in the chat. Your partner should watch this to help you (as the speaker) out.
Calling for evidence during in-person rounds
I will only call for evidence that is contended throughout the round, with that being said if you want me to call for evidence, tell me to call for it and what is wrong with it so I don't have to throw my own judgement in.
Calling for evidence during online round
Please add me to the email chain for cases and evidence during the round. Especially with online tournaments, technical issues happen and I'd like the evidence as a backup. I only use it if tech problems occur OR if you tell me to look at the evidence (I'd look at it at the end of the round). My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Any other questions, ask me in round!
I do want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
tl;dr version: Currently a GA at Baylor. I debated mostly policy argument for 4 years in high school at Notre Dame under Christina Phillips, and 5 years in college at UNLV under Jacob Thompson reading only critical arguments. My view of debate is heavily influenced by Tyler Snelling and Darrian Carroll. I have dabbled in most areas of critical literature, but tended to lean towards the postmodern. I also enjoy good framework debates, but if you have me in a policy v policy round you have done your prefs incorrectly. I was a 2N my entire career.
I'm here to see good debates. I can't imagine ever giving a 30 to someone who followed my paradigm to the letter, and as such didn't change my view in some way. With that being said, these are the positions I find myself generally inserting myself most as a judge:
Framework in general - I think both sides are always cheating. I think debate is and has always been a game of who cheats best. If you are on either side of a K aff v framework debate do not assume I am your friend. To be clear I do draw the line of rhetorical cheating at the point at which you actively impede your opponent ability to debate that rise to the level of ethics challenges, such as but not limited to clipping.
Framework impacts. I think both fairness and education are things that can be articulated as impacts, but neither are in and of themselves. I tend to assume fairness is an internal link to education because I am more likely to buy education as an inherent impact. On the same note I think if the affirmative impact turns these questions it makes most of the flow irrelevant for me, and would expect a strategy to put substantial depth here.
Permutation debates. I don't know what a permutation is anymore when a K aff is involved, and I haven't for a long time. At this point I consider its existence in the 2ac a placeholder for a real argument that will come forth in the 1ar. Because of this I grant an amazing amount of leeway to the 2nr in answering it. I hate that this creates late breaking debates, so developing standards for competition and explicit definitions of the permutation early in the debate is more likely to earn you higher speaker points and make me more likely to hold the line on the later speeches.
I try to make sure I can draw lines between 2ar and 1ar arguments before submitting each decision.
I've probably both left out and unintentionally lied about things so definitely look at my actual judging record.
put me on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
coach @ Brophy College Prep.
experience: 10+ years
tldr: i have minimal predispositions - all of the following are my preferences, but good debating will always change my mind. i arbitrate debates purely based off the flow - i don’t read evidence unless 1) i was told to in reference to an argument or 2) the debate is incredibly close and evidence quality is the tiebreaker.
topicality: it’s okay. i think limits are the controlling standard. reasonability is probably a non-starter unless it’s dropped.
framework/k affs: let me start off by saying i would prefer if the affirmative defends something contestable. affirmative teams should not rely on “thesis-level claims” and should engage the line by line, mostly consisting of defense and impact turns. as long as the negative wins that debate in and of itself is good (which shouldn’t be hard), fairness is a legitimate impact. i think decision-making is silly. negative teams shouldn’t be afraid to go for presumption. same goes for performance affs. i don’t think a poem necessarily solves unless tied to tangible advocacy; convince me otherwise. *on the education topic, i’m especially persuaded by the tva*
kritik: it’s okay, but i’d prefer a more technical line-by-line execution by the neg over three minute long overviews that are repeated on every single argument. that being said, i think the ideal 2nc for most k’s should focus less on reading new evidence and more on contextualized analysis to the substance of 1ac. i think most k debates are lost due to lack of explanation or contextualization of the link or alternative. blippy extensions won’t do it for me, unless you can explain your advocacy in tangible terms. i will probably default to letting the aff weigh its impacts, unless you convince me otherwise. affirmatives, this is probably where you should invest the most time. losing 2ar’s either miss offense embedded on the link debate, lose the framework, or let them get away with absurd broad generalizations (or drop a pik). winning 2ar’s buckle down on case outweighs, mutual exclusivity, or well-analyzed impact turns.
da: love them. politics is my favorite argument. case-specific da’s are the best. aff don’t drop turns case. in the absence of a counterplan, impact calc/framing is incredibly important for my ballot and should be introduced earlier rather than later. in the presence of a counterplan, negs should weigh the da to the risk of a solvency deficit. specific internal links always beat general framing pre-empts.
cp: also love ‘em. pics are my second favorite argument. condo is probably good to an extent. decide what that extent is for me. i enjoy watching a well-executed process counterplan so long as you know how to defend it theoretically. unless told otherwise, i default to judge-kick.
case: please bring this back - it’s a lost art. highly encourage re-hilightings of their evidence, specific advantage frontlines, etc. i love impact turn debates. if an aff can’t defend why economic decline is bad, why should it win?
cross ex: i appreciate when you can answer every question straight-up in cross ex, instead of dodging them. cross-ex is a great time to build ethos. i think one of the greatest mistakes i see debaters make round after round is not carrying concessions in cross-ex into their speeches. cross-ex is binding.
CatNats Update: Forgot to update this - oh well. The ensuing philosophy is dated. The bottom line is, "I have experience. It's your activity. Make good arguments."
Experience: 4 years debating at Marist, 2 years coaching at Pepperdine, intermittent coaching at UWashington and Seattle high schools. Currently at Dutchess Community College coaching full-service.
After a brief hiatus and exodus from the Northeast, I'm back! I think judging philosophies are a good thing, but I've been out for so long that it's difficult for me to put into words what I'm "looking for." Moreover, I don't think that debate is about what I'm "looking for" (debaters don't debate for my edification), but it's about what students want to get out of it.
So, here's the old 2011-2012 version with changes applied as needed:
"Despite my sincerest efforts, I am still not the fastest of flows. As a result, I tend to look at rounds/speeches in a more holistic fashion and am not super-persuaded by arguments about line-by-line drops as concessions. Conceptual drops, however, still apply. Keep it clear and this shouldn't really be a problem.
Also, a few thoughts on niceness... I might be one to say that a little bit of antagonism is good in debate but I place the emphasis on the "little" as opposed to "antagonism." Let's face it - you're competing and you don't have to be all buddy-buddy with the opposite team (if you want to be, awesome!). It's cool to show that you know what you're talking about in CX but it's an entirely different thing to be an outright jerk. The whole "eye rolling/raising the voice/acting generally disgusted by the other team" thing just doesn't fly with me. Your speaks will probably reflect this if it gets to be too much. Snarky comments during the RFD also don't fly (and it perceptually discredits your skills as a debater...).
I debated for Marist and we were kind of non-traditional in our lines of argumentation. But, this doesn’t mean that I’m all about the K or non-traditional debate. Make sense? I hope so.
Anyway, I’m a sucker for a good, well-warranted debate. You have two hours to make me vote for you – and I’m not going to do the work for you. This probably means that you shouldn’t run your blippy DAs, framework, or shallowly articulated Ks in front of me. This also means that you shouldn’t run a K and assume I understand what your author’s talking about or run a DA and assume I keep up with every current event imaginable. Debate is about understanding the “why”s of a situation – not about spitting out as many cards as possible.
If you’re running T or framework, give me tangible reasons why I should vote for you – none of this “potential abuse” nonsense. I typically don’t buy “fairness” as a valid argument. If you’re on the flip-side of the T/framework debate, impact turns are a good route to go. Tons of arguments about how the other team is “excluding” you? Not so much.
As for those of you wondering if you should run a K or a DA/CP… either one is fine. Just explain it well. See my call above for warrants. I'm relatively well-versed in critical literature (lots of crit. ped. and cultural theory...) and am usually up-to-date, current events-wise.
And, if you’re wondering if your performance/non-traditional arguments are “safe” in front of me – yeah, they are. But, just because you sing/dance/read a poem/talk about identity, it doesn’t mean I have to vote for you. Give me the reasons why this is important, just like you would for a straight-up position. To me, performance/non-trad needs “solvency”, like any other argument. An example? It’s fine to talk about why the topic is bad – now what are you going to do about it…?
I'm fairly expressive non-verbally as a critic. If I look absolutely perplexed or stop flowing, there's definitely a reason why. Take that in-round feedback and tailor your arguments accordingly. It might mean that you have to take a step back and explain your argument with a little bit more depth but it'll be worth it. I promise."
tl;dr yeah, you can go fast
Yes, I would like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
Update for St Mark's LD: I haven't judged much LD at all, but my understanding is that the basic principles are mostly policy these days anyway. So that should just mean for you that (1) I don't have topic background, (2) I don't have predispositions for or against LD-specific theory things, (3) if you are going to make format-specific arguments like the existence of a side bias, etc., you'll need to justify them more than maybe you normally do. Otherwise, all the same stuff should be good!
Debated in college for UC Berkeley, have coached high school and college teams, etc. In grad school now doing a bit of occasional judging but I'm not plugged into the circuit hardcore. My own argumentative evolution has been from a pretty exclusively K debater early on to almost all policy work by the end, though I've coached all kinds. For what it’s worth, if you need an easy way to rank me, I lean more and more towards enjoying straight-up policy debates the more I judge. It's tough to disentangle "what are you a good judge for" and "what are you gonna have more fun watching" sometimes, even though they're definitely different, so I'm just gonna be honest and say that if you have no good reason to pick the K or the DA or which of your affs you're gonna read, might as well read the policy one. Regardless, same stuff everyone says: debate like you want to debate, explain things and impact them, tell me why you winning or losing an argument does or does not influence my decision, and have fun. Otherwise, here’s some random thoughts:
- I’m probably at least 60/40 towards voting negative in the default, stereotypical framework debate. I'm a larger percentage towards the negative in my ideal universe, but those numbers are based on how teams usually perform. Predictability and debatability sound like pretty important things to me, but that doesn't mean any given neg team executes properly. I think like most everyone I’d rather here some clever unique strategy, but I dislike the dichotomy that framework isn’t a “substantive” argument and that the negative “didn’t engage the aff” by reading it. It's a good argument.
- I’m generally unpersuaded by arguments along the lines of “the permutation/framework/etc. is violence/stealing our advocacy/etc.”, arguments that the negative doesn’t have to disprove the affirmative, purely nihilistic alternatives, and K speeches that consist entirely of buzzwords where you expect me to fill in what I already know about your concepts. I’m not afraid to give decisions which consist mostly of “I have no idea what you were talking about most of the time” if you just repeated the words “rhizome” or “foundational antagonism” at me, even if I know what you were trying to mean. Additionally, I'm super not down with arguments that are about things outside of the debate, like "show us your prefs" style stuff. I think the other team needs like a ten second defense of "you can only critique stuff we actually said" and I'm checked out.
- Evidence comparison, and calling out your opponent’s terrible, terrible evidence for what it is, is both extremely important and probably the best way to rack up your speaker points, alongside detailed impact calculus.
- My favorite debates to judge are: huge in-depth case throwdowns, techy aff-specific counterplan debates, K on K clashes that are grounded in true disputes in the literature, impact turn debates (on the case or against a DA/K), and well-executed topicality debates. My least favorite debates to judge are: theoretically questionable process CPs, bad framework debates, "here are my 18 impact cards tagged Extinction" DA debates, bad word PICs and silly reps Ks, and poorly-executed topicality or theory debates. I am relatively neutral to politics debates, but I also think their technical and constantly updating nature means they have the highest potential to be truly excellent examples of good debating.
- Because so many debates start with the question, "Can we do open CX?", the answer is always the same: you can, technically, there's no rule against it. But I would really recommend you don't - it's always better to get practice handling your CXs alone, going to your partner only as a last resort. It's important that they have the time to prep their next speech (that's three full minutes of free prep time!) and it's also much better for both of your speaker points if you each look organized and have mastery of your material.
--Assistant Debate Coach at The Harker School (2018-current) & previously UC Berkeley (2018-2019)
--Sixth-year coaching/judging high school policy debate
--M.A. in Communication, University of Wyoming (thesis was on the rhetoric of settler colonialism and urban homonationalism)
--Policy debater for the University of Wyoming (B.A. in American Indian Studies & Political Science) and Twin Falls High School in Southern Idaho
ACCESS REQUIREMENTS: Do not relentlessly post-round me. If you want to disagree with my decision and argue with me about it then send me an email and we can have a constructive dialogue that way. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make the space accessible for you before the round begins.
--Flowing: I am not opposed to arguments that challenge how I flow, but here are my default mechanics: I use my laptop and I can type pretty fast, but you should still slow down on tags, analytics and most importantly, theory. I flow CX. I attempt to line up every argument so I expect you to debate line-by-line. Tell me if you have an overview on each page. I will only flow the speaker who is supposed to be giving the speech unless instructed otherwise for performative reasons.
--Paperless Debate: I will not count emailing as prep time unless you are being unreasonable. Your doc needs to be saved and ready to be uploaded by the time you end prep. I am not afraid to arbitrarily deduct time from your prep clock if you are stealing prep (trust me, we all know it is happening). You are likely to get higher speaker points if you are ready to give your order and speech the second your prep clock ends.
--Clarity: I tend to value clarity more than most judges. I need to be able to hear each word you read. I will yell "clear" three times and if you do not correct your clarity I will stop flowing (same with "louder" or "slower").
--Clipping: Zero-tolerance policy so MARK YOUR CARDS as your speaking (I flow the marks). If I think you clopped with malicious intent I will stop the round and award the individual who clipped zero speaker points and the team with the L. If you know it occurred and I don't, it needs to be on film for verification.
--Evidence Standards: I prefer that every argument made in policy debates have evidence attached to them unless the observation is obvious. I am less strict in kritical debates, but evidence on questions of ontology, theory, and your alternative would help your arguments greatly. I tend to read in-between highlighting to ensure the description of your evidence is accurate (this is why my decisions take a while sometimes). If you want to point out that your opponents read evidence out of context you should read a re-highlighting of it not just insert it into the debate.
Tech > Truth
I am agnostic on content, but not on form. Your arguments need to be well-warranted (i.e. you should not merely present a conclusion, but you should present logical reasons for why I should accept that conclusion as true or I will presume it false because you have not presented a complete argument).
Kritical/Planless Affirmatives--- Affs should be debatable and, at the very least, your 1AC should have a solvency mechanism attached to a stable advocacy statement. I am willing to vote neg on presumption if you don't solve your impacts unless your interpretation of presumption is better than the negs.
Topicality (Kritical affs)---
Affirmative advice: You have to have a compelling competing model of debate to win my ballot (i.e. a counter-interpretation that sets limits on the topic). I agree that the best debates are ones that generate the most clash so if you can prove you were debatable you will be in a good spot for my ballot. I can be persuaded that breaking some rules of the game are good. However, I'm increasingly frustrated by arguments about debaters as people rather than theory. I will never be persuaded that reading framework in and of itself is violent, and I am not compelled by pre-requisite arguments or impact turns that are based on metaphors or syllogisms (claiming that "plan debate is genocide" is trivializing). Instead, you should critique the neg's substantive model of debate. Framework alone can outweigh the affirmative even without a TVA or solvency answers, but either of those greatly diminishes affirmative offense. I don't think TVAs need to solve perfectly, just access a similar discussion so I will rarely vote for aff teams that do not have an offensive reason to reject the TVA.
Negative advice: Make sure you are accurately describing policy debate, not an abstract deliberative process. I am likely to conclude that the educational content both policy debate and kritical debate give you are equally valuable so it is better to ground your offense in the form of iterative argument refinement and rigorous contestation around a predictable stasis point to demonstrate why your model of debate is preferred (this means you have to win a predictability internal link and prove the aff is un-debatable). Fairness is an impact but you should still tell me why it outweighs the aff's offense. Case defense helps minimize the risk of the aff's impact turns. TVAs better be topical, but they don't have to solve the aff just access the 1AC's educational value.
Topicality (Policy affs)--- I don't think teams go for T enough. Quality and context of evidence matter. You should provide a detailed picture of what the topic should look like. Reasonability framing only makes sense if you are winning that your interpretation of the topic is reasonable (i.e. extend a counter interp). I am highly unlikely to vote aff if you only have an education impact.
Case Debating--- I want more of it unless you are going for a CP that clearly solves the aff. I love impact turns (no matter how absurd; thanks TCram).
Kritiks--- I'm down with any K you want to read, but I am less familiar with continental philosophy so you need to clearly explain your theory. I am not willing to reward you for my prior knowledge so define complex terms. Don't just assert the impact and assume I know what it is, you need to explain it and tell me why it outweighs. The neg should present an opportunity cost to doing the affirmative, even if the alternative is a superior method or I will likely vote on a permutation. Roll of the ballots/judges are only important if you impact them out or I will always just vote for the team who I think did the best debating. I tend to agree that affs should justify their epistemology before getting to weigh their impacts (but you need to prove their impacts false first so go for case defense).
Disadvantages--- I prefer topic DAs, but also enjoy a tricky election or agenda DA. The quality of evidence matters, but spin is also critical. I will vote on zero risk, but it is unlikely. Good impact calc can easily switch my ballot in a close debate.
Counterplans--- Consult, conditions, and process CPs are not very compelling, but I enjoy predictable PICs. I tend to agree that solvency advocates matter for each plank. My default is to kick the CP if it doesn't solve but the DA still outweighs the aff (unless the aff proves the CP links to the net benefit).
Theory--- People cheat. Don't let them. Your block should be fully developed and read slowly. Theory arguments are only reasons to reject the team when you have proven the other team has changed your ability to engage in the substance of the debate (even if the argument was conceded).
Conditionality--- Conditionality is good (contradictory truth claims are not, but for substantive reasons rather than theoretical).
All of my policy preferences above apply. I recommend making way fewer arguments so you can develop them more. I have a little more sympathy for the aff's theory arguments due to the format of the activity, but it'll be hard to convince me to vote on an RVI.
Overall: I see that the debaters define the round (including the rules) while in it. You have to tell me where to vote and why. I love when debaters play with the rules of the game, and will vote for anything as long as you back it up with solid arguments. Make sure you spend time on how arguments should frame my evaluation of the round as a whole, beyond just impact analysis. I prefer quality of arguments rather than quantity; so if you are neg and run 8 off just for the spread, I'll dock speaks--to clarify, I'm totally fine with 8 off, I just want to see good a good strategy with that and a cohesive argument. If it's not on my flow, I'm not voting for it. I'm good with speed, but make sure you number your arguments or say "NEXT" so you don't mess up my flow. I want to hear the story behind your arguments, including the story behind the aff, so make sure to explain your internal links on the adv or neg arg so I can give you my vote there. Don't just throw cards at me and expect me to make the arguments for you, because that won't happen. If it's not on the flow, I can't count it.
Flashing: I'll stop timing you the second you pull your flashdrive out to give to the other team. Make sure you're courteous in flashing cards.
Speaker Points: Being at each other's throats in CX will dock you big. You can be courteous while still being competitive, and saying things like: "This is my CX, let me ask the questions" or some other idiotic notions will dock points. If you don't think you need to use all your prep time or speech time, then don't. Believe me, I don't want to sit there listening to minutes of pointless arguments if you can win the debate in 4 minutes rather than 8, and I'll reward your speaks for being awesome with your time. That all comes down to trusting yourself.
Topicality: As an English grad, I love seeing a good T debate. If neg wants to win the T, they have to spend the time on it. Use it as a time suck if you want; I don't care unless the Aff brings it out in the debate with solid arguments that work with their overall strategy.
Disads/C/P: Make sure you explain why you outweigh if it comes down to an Avd and DA debate. I love a solid C/P strategy. If you want to go for big impacts, back sure you do the internal story.
K: I LOVE seeing a good K debate -- emphasis on good. If you don't know the theory behind the K, or run the K poorly, and the other team can exploit that and win my ballot. I want you to spend time on the story as a whole, and not just what each card is saying, especially if it's a mindset K. Every point of the K is critical, and the Neg needs to make sure they have a strong link or the aff's no link arguments will o/w (if they are solid).
I am going back to flowing in a traditional way, I now priviledge organization and technical competency alongside content depth. I am sick of the way that the speech doc is ruining the flow. I don't like reading cards after the debate, please put the important spin and quotations of the card "on the flow." Do what you do best.
I debated all three years of high school in Utah, first at Olympus high school then at Bingham high school. After that, I debated for three years at Weber State University.
*Berkeley Edit–I haven't judged many rounds on this topic, please keep that in mind while explaining topic-specific arguments
Debate the way that you want to debate, I'm comfortable with both straight up and kritikal debate. Don't be a brat to the other team, and if you are going to win theory/T/FW, you need to prove abuse and impact it out accordingly.
Argument Specific Preferences:
Straight-Up: I have a lot of experience with them, I was a 2A in high school the majority of the time, just make sure that you use your evidence.
Kritikal: Go for it. I'm 100% cool with it, just make sure to use your impacts and the warrants in those lovely pieces of evidence you have. Since starting debating in college I've read only kritikal affirmatives including--
War Powers: Agamben SOE
Legalization: Mary Magdelene (God), and Lady Serial Killers (Fem Rage)
Military Presence: Black Feminist Criticism (Uganda Specifically)
Topicality: I love a good T debate, just make sure to answer the "Why should I care?" in the 2NR or it's not going to be a very compelling argument. Compare interps! Tell me what they justify! Impact out the argument!
Disadvantages: I value good link and uniqueness evidence on disadvantages, but I have no irreverence to them.
Counterplans: I only vote on competitive counterplans, PICS are a thing, I can and will still vote on any CP if you win a good enough net benefit. That being said, please have a net benefit for your counter plan, I'll even accept case turns as a net benefit if you frame it the right way, but keep in mind if the negative reads a counterplan presumption can easily change.
Kritiks: I find K debates the most compelling if it still has an air of technicality to it, line by line doesn't have to go away! I also think that if you are going to win a kritik in the 2NR there has to be some quality impact calculus, thorough explanation of the alternative, and comparison to make it more compelling, but I'm fairly in to the lit and a variety of it at that. If you have specific questions about my experience with a type of argument feel free to email me/ask me before the debate.
Framework: It's a good thing, I'm a firm believer that debate is constantly changing, and I find arguments about that change. if it's a good thing or if it's a bad thing, to be really entertaining to watch. I don't really have a predetermined idea of what debate is and how it should be evaluated, because I think that's something that the debater gets to do in the round that is also constantly changing.
Theory: This is tricky. I tend to evaluate theory similar to how I evaluate topicality, it's something that can win you a round, if you run it properly, a quick blippy thing in the 2AR that is similar to, "Plus they were conditional and that's bad so don't vote for them", is not a round winner. I find in round abuse scenarios, actual impacts, and consistency very compelling when it comes down to it. All of that being said, I believe that conditionality is probably a good thing.
Answers to FAQ:
Do you count prep time for flashing? Not inherently, but if I feel like your prepping still I'll start the clock and if it's taking forever I'll get irritated.
Do you allow tag team cross x? Yes, but don't just take over your partner's cross x.
Are you okay with speed? Yes, but that being said I will never vote a team down on the sole reason that they weren't "fast enough" for me, and if you aren't fast enough and feel like you're being outspread grouping is your new best friend.
- I was a 2A for three years, I appreciate a good 2AC block file, and taking minimal prep time for the 2AC always shows you're prepared.
- Don't feel like all you have to do as a 1N is read cards, the 1NR is still something the 2N can go for so still take it seriously, make smart args
- The 2AR can lie a little bit, but trust me I'm flowing and just because you tell me they, "TOTALLY FORGOT THE PERM" doesn't mean I'll scratch it from my flow, use that time to tell me why I should prefer the perm etc.
- Use the 2NR to pre-empt 2AR analysis, I will understand that you don't get a 3NR, but that's no excuse to just ignore what they could say for 5 minutes.
- The 1AR is one of the hardest speeches to give, extend what you need to, but be smart about grouping.
- START THE IMPACT COMPARISON EARLY
- Being disrespectful to your partner and/or the other team
- Gendered/Offensive language
- Taking forever to flash documents
- Prep stealing
- Reading ahead in speech docs and then being surprised when you miss the round winning analytic
- Not flowing in general
- Lack of clarity when speaking, you can read as many cards as you want but if I can't understand them it's irrelevant, you'll get two warnings.
- Just make a differential between cards, "NEXT", "AND", "#3....#4" etc.
If you have any other questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
***Edit for Silver and Black*** I have some experience judging Lincoln Douglas, from that experience I have decided I have a very high threshold for theory arguments. I need an actual external impact that is well explained, if you are going to go for theory go all in. Also you need to actually prove abuse, I'm not going to be very convinced by arguments like the aff shouldn't get a permutation because it makes it hard to be neg etc.
Online debate update
-i will have camera on or off if debaters prefer-feel free to express your preference
-I am using a desktop computer (for tabroom/to see your doc, I'm flowing on paper) without a webcam and using Zoom etc on a tablet sitting next to me. This means I'm rarely looking "at" the camera
-my headset is wireless, I may get up and move around during CX/prep but I can hear even if I'm not on camera
My general philosophy is tech/line by line focused- I try to intervene as little as possible in terms of rejecting arguments/interpreting evidence. As long as an argument has a claim/warrant I can explain to your opponent in the RFD I will vote for it. If only one side tries to resolve an issue I will defer to that argument even if it seems illogical/wrong to me- i.e. if you drop "warming outweighs-timeframe" and have no competing impact calc its GG even though that arg is terrible. 90% of the time I'm being postrounded it is because a debater wanted me to intervene in some way on their behalf either because that's the trend/what some people do or because they personally thought an argument was bad.
Rounds Judged on the topic- a lot
My Ideal affirmative- 2 well constructed advantages
My Ideal 1NC- 5 off and case
Cliffs Notes-Top 10 Things you should know
1. I vote on arguments commonly considered "bad" frequently because a team mishandles them, it is my belief belief that most bad arguments can be defeated by making a thumbs down motion, so if you fail to meet that minimum threshold I will be qualmless voting against you. The overarching principle of my judging is "least intervention"-Much like Harrison Ford in Ender's Game under no circumstances will I help you with bad arguments, I believe in self help.
2. I vote on kritiks a lot because the team answering them reads a lot of bad generic answers instead of making analytic arguments based on the specific arguments they have made in that debate. To clarify this sentence - what I mean is an analytic based on your 1AC- ie "tradable permits empirically don't cause commodification and extinction since we already have them for SO2". In general I think most debaters have no idea what they are saying when reading a K and that affirmatives SHOULD win about 80-90% of the debates in which the negative goes for one.
3. No plan affs- 100% of the time when I vote against you on framework its because the other team won theory was a trump card over issues like education/K impacts and you didn't advance theory offense for your interpretation. I end up voting for no plan args frequently because the neg collapses/has no idea what to do.
4. Theory needs to come back with a vengeance
A. Entirely plan inclusive counterplans- I have never heard a theory argument to defend them that passes the minimum threshold explained above. That being said, winning a solvency deficit against them is basically impossible.
B. More than 2 conditional counterplans is just you being a chazzer
C. K frameworks/roles of the ballot that stack the deck absurdly are worse than entirely plan inclusive counterplans
D. Reject argument not team produces terrible debates with very bad strategies. Voting on theory doesn't fix this, but it improves it substantially.
5. I believe you have a choice
A. Clearly articulate your ground/say as much in CX
B. Because your position is vague you are susceptible to a reduced credibility modifier that taints many of your arguments. Plan vagueness affects plan solvency, alternative vagueness affects.... etc.
6. IMO there are, in fact, risks of things. Debaters should be aware of this and make arguments about how I should resolve risk. The plan may be popular with 5 people and unpopular with 6, should I place more emphasis on the number of people or maybe are those 5 more important? Very few link cards establish such a clear threshold that you can say with certainty (when contested) yes definite link. (this point is largely irrelevant now as the tides of history have turned and no risk people have been successfully marginalized)
7. I will always defer to debater argument resolution if one side does it and the other doesn't-no matter how bad or illogical I think the argument is. This is to me, the most important part of debate.
8. I try really hard to flow well. Teams who willfully ignore line by line/structure - I will not do work for you to figure things out if the other team does line by line barring some argument why I should.
9. I often call for lots of evidence after a debate, most of the time this is just out of curiosity. When making my decision evidence is only a factor when it is a point of contest or someone has made an argument for why it should be a part of the decision. I am not a judge who reads every card from both sides and makes a decision based on the evidence.
10. Evidence quality in debate is in terminal decline. If you have good evidence and you make an issue of it in the debate (talk about quals, or recency for uniqueness) you will most likely crush.
Making a decision:
Everything is debatable but speech times: The role of the ballot, whether evidence or analytic arguments are more important, is it acceptable for the other team to read off their computers, who gets presumption and why etc. If neither team makes an argument on the issue, the following are my defaults:
1. Evidence and analytic arguments are treated equally- I will look at the total sum of explanation offered for an argument, from any form. So if a well explained analytical will beat a poorly written piece of evidence. If one teams reads qualifications and the other doesn't, the team who read quals will receive a slight bump in the level of quality I assess to their explanation (assuming all other factors are equal). Treating them as equal until told otherwise is my way of encouraging debate.
2. Presumption, in the case of a tie or too close to call resolution of an argument, goes to the team advocating the least change. I would use presumption in the instance where each team had an advocacy and an offensive argument, and each team dropped a terminal defense argument to their own offense such that the net risk in either direction of presented offense was exactly zero. In that instance the "hidden disad" of change makes sense as a decision making tool. In no other circumstance I can think of would I use presumption unless explicitly instructed by the debaters.
3. If an argument is unresolveable (or tough to resolve) I will use a "needs" test- the burden of explanation will be assessed to the team who NEEDS the argument to win. So for example
-on a CP permutation, if the neg would win the debate without the permutation, then the aff needs it to win- so the burden of explanation is on them
-for CP solvency, if the neg would lose if the CP did not solve the case, then the neg needs to win solvency- so the burden of explanation is on them
4. Concession= truth. If you drop epistemology comes first/is a side constraint, then it is. You can drop that framing issue and still win as long as you beat the link (that your epistemology is flawed), but you will not be allowed new answers to the impact. I use a reasonable person standard- if I was unaware that the 1NC presented a epistemology first argument (based on what was said in the 1NC, not my prior knowledge of the negative team), then if the aff says "they didn't say this, therefore our answers aren't new" I would allow it. But remember, everything is debatable. If the 2NR comes back and asserts it was clearly stated when they said XYZ, the aff has to disprove that.
5. The threshold for how good a response to an argument has to be is directly related to the quality of the initial argument. Saying "RANT" is sufficient to beat a lot of voting issues. If the other team answers RANT in their 2NC sever perms are a VI block, and thats all you say, you will be in trouble. Similarly, many counterplans (consult, recommendation, delay, lopez) are easily defeated by theory arguments but almost impossible to beat on substance. A well rounded debater should avoid trying to ice skate uphill.
6. I spend a lot of time on debate. Other than eating and playing video games, basically all of my time is spent cutting cards, coaching, writing and reading about debate. A lot of judges say "I'm not a very good flow". I'm a very good flow, I may even go as far as to say probably one of the best. All that being said, it is very possible that you could say a string of words, or utter a quote from an article I have written that fully conveys your argument to me, but would leave a less experienced/judge with a life with no idea what you were saying/what your argument was. I try to temper this fact by using a "reasonable person" standard for what makes a complete argument. I feel this is essential because otherwise any student who was in my lab, had emailed me a question, or had just read a lot of the 3NR would have an absurdly unfair advantage vs a similarly skilled student. So if I made a joke in lab about saying "purple monkey dishwasher" and that meaning "we do the whole plan minus the reps", so you say that in a debate and expect me to vote on it, I won't. Unless you are debating someone else from the lab who had equal access to that information. Similarly, even if I flowed an argument/got the jist of what you were saying, but feel that the other team is being reasonable when they say your argument was poorly explained/did not constitute an argument I will be open to that and you need to respond.
1. I like fast debate. That being said, some people give fast debate a bad name. You can be fast only after you are clear and efficient. I should be able to understand every word you say, not just the tags. If you are stammering (or displaying other verbal missteps) excessively you are going faster than you are capable of going imo.
2. Points are determined by how well you perform your function, which depends on what speeches you give. A 1AC should be perfectly smooth because you can practice it as much as you want. A 2NC assembled on the fly vs a new case can be excused a few missteps on the other hand. I think auto giving the 1N low points because they could be replaced by a robot in most debates is a bit unfair- a blazing fast 1NC and devastating 1NR can be game changing. That being said, rarely do people perform up to that level.
3. Points are assessed relative to the field in which you are competing. The same speech can be a 29 at a local, but a 27.5 at St Marks.
What is your threshold for T?
The threshold is established by the other teams answers- if they make good defensive arguments and argue reasonability well than my threshold will be high. If they don't it will be very low.
What are you favorite kinds of debate?
Ones in which there are clash, since that is not really a thing anymore its usually impact turn debates- heg bad, de-dev, CO2 ag and warming good- loved to go for these when I debated and love to see them debated now. CO2 ag is the upper limit of stupid I think is acceptable.
Did you run kritiks when you debated?
Not as much as Bricker would want you to believe. My senior year in HS and my senior year in college I went for K's about 30% of the time, in the other years of my debate less than 5%.
Did you ever read a critical aff?
By today's standards no- I always had a plan, though sometimes the advantages were not nuke war.
You bash the politics disad a lot, will you still vote for it?
Yes, almost always because the affirmative never does anything of the things that highlight the problem with politics.
Are you OK with speed?
Yes, if anything I dislike slow debate. However this is a double edged sword- if you do fast debate terribly I will punish you for it.
Is Fem IR beatable?
What race do you play in SC2?
Usually random, but if I pick -zerg.
If you were in Game of Thrones, which house would you belong to?
A note on jumping:
I want to see good debates. I'm not interested in charging you 10 seconds of prep to jump your speeches. If, however, you show total technical incompetence at jumping/severely delay the round your speaks will suffer. A good jump is like a good road map- its not hard, so get it over with quickly.
Standards for sharing should be reciprocal, and as such are established by the team willing to do the least. If Team A doesnt jump speeches as a policy that is fine by me, but then Team B is under no obligation to let Team A see any of their evidence. If Team A doesn't jump analytics, Team B doesn't have to etc.
A note on quality:
I generally believe that there are certain "norms" in debate- don't steal prep time, don't clip cards etc. These norms are not rules, and as such as a judge I don't think its my job to enforce them. In fact, I think it SHOULD be the burden of a good team to be on top of is the other team stealing prep, are they clipping cards etc. Encouraging students to take responsibility for this is the best model imo. However, there are debates where there is a huge mismatch in terms of the quality of the teams involved. I no longer think it reasonable to expect novices entered in their first varsity tournament to check to see if the Baker Award winning team they are debating is stealing prep. I also don't really care to argue with you about whether or not you are stealing prep. So my solution is that for all things that could be considered a violation of good sportsmanship I will severely jack your points if it is a debate where I subjectively decide the other team should not be responsible for checking you.SO
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx in the finals of the TOC vs another excellent team I would expect the other team to catch you
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx during a preset vs a vastly inferior team I will severely dock your speaker points
PF Paradigm 2021-22 Season:
eDebate - Year of the Delta Variant
I consider myself tech>truth but I have been approaching a closer equilibrium between the two lately due to the poor state of evidence ethics, power tagging, clipping, and more. Further, after two years of COVID debate I especially feel not only the soul of debate but the fun of debate is waning. I know stakes can be high in a bubble, bid, or important round but let's still come out of the debate feeling as if it was a positive experience. The complexity and dynamic nature of debate can be so rewarding and equally thrilling. But if you pair that with inflexibility, curtness, or even acrimony the debate devolves into a Pyrrhic victory at best for you and a painful experience for us all. Life is too short for needless suffering. Please be kind, compassionate, and cordial.
2022 Winter Stats Update: Importing my Tabroom data I've judged 539 rounds since 2014 with a 54% Pro and 46% Con balance. Not bad. Slight Aff bias it seems.
- For the California Round Robin I'm gonna be real. Lexy spent all this time to get experts for the final round so I would much much prefer to have spec topic debates so we can test who best understands the topic in order to better the discourse for finals. I would LOVE some hyperspecific Turkey links and debates. I'm taking names and motives of specific generals, breakdowns of the importance of key bases and ports, names of weapon systems and knowledge of why they are effective. I don't want to watch generic heg debates unless I have to. Like let's GET INTO THE WEEDS YO.
- This is petty but it pulls me out of the round. Erdogan is pronounced: AIR-də-wahn.
- This topic has many similarities to NATO Septober. On the Russia link debate it can go either way so I need comparative analysis on evidence and warranting. Why are your empirics or reasonings superior to prove causality of the situation getting worse or stablizing?
- Don't forget: "Pireyi deve yapmak" or "Don't turn a flea into a camel." This Turkish idiom means aka "making a mountain out of a molehill." I really am not looking forward to any pedantic topicality debates about whether this is an argument about NATO benefiting/harming Turkey vs. Turkey benefiting/harming NATO. Like chill. They aren't mutually exclusive and let's be real NATO's strategic interests are so broad now anything can be connected back to its security and stability mission. I also will be hard pressed by any teams that argue the grammatical tense of the topic forecloses past or predictive evidence. "On balance tea is beneficial to Gabe." If I drank sweet tea for ten years that would have affected my heart even if now I only drink straight black tea and in the future only drink green. I see those as all viable parts of the debate. Obviously the most relevant and maybe only viable evidence is contemporary, that argument can be made, but that we can't discuss anything else is arbitrary and silly. (PS black tea with nothing added the only way to go. Then, now, forever."
- What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but more often when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot.
- Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools but it's less likely I will defer to nuclear war, try or die, etc on the risk of magnitude. Probability over magnitude debates unless I'm given well warranted, carded, and convincing framework analysis to prefer the latter.
- Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
- I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical, theoretical, and/or pre-fiat based roads. I think framework debates be them pre or post fiat are awesome. Voted on many K's before too. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become increasingly tired of opportunistic, poor quality, and unfleshed out theory in PF. I used to have an essay about my doubts on three major theory arguments but moved it to the bottom of you want to read why. TL;DR: I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. I am more skeptical of paraphrasing theory than disclosure theory. Lastly, if you look back at the last 31 rounds or so I've judged with theory as the primary voter I've probably only voted for the team who introduced theory in the round 6 of 31 rounds. Meaning I vote for theory 19% of the time when it's the voter. Take that as you will. All variables being equal I would prefer post-fiat stock topic specific rounds but in principle remain as tabula rasa as I can.
- What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time. If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
- Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
- DA's in general or second rebuttal? You mean the borderline new contentions you are trying to introduce in the round that are tentatively linked at BEST to the existing arguments in the round order to time skew/spread your opponents thin? Don't push it too much.
- I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
- Calling for your opponent's cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Do preflows before the round. Smh y'all.
- If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear or provide speech docs to your opponents to allow for accessibility and accommodation.
- My favorite question in cx is: Why? For example, "No I get that's what your evidence says but why?"
- My favorite phrase in debate is: "Prefer our warrant or evidence" or "comparing our warrants you prefer ours because..."
- Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me! [Before covid times this was prophetic]
- To see my discussions and extended preferences please check out r/debate on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/GabeRusk/submitted/
Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at the Oxford Debate Union
Coaching Experience: 11 years of coaching, instructor at 14 debate camps, debate camp director, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, Director of Debate at Fairmont 2018-Current, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, Capitol 2016-2018, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach and lecturer for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.
Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Law & Religion - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment - Majored in Religion and Philosophy at DU '14. Other research areas of familiarity include Buddhism, comparative religion, sociology of religion, First Amendment law, free speech, freedom of expression, art law, media law, & SCOTUS history.
Ramblings on Theory
Let me explain why I am writing this. This isn't because I'm right and you're wrong. I'm not trying to convince you. Nor should you cite this formally in round to win said round. Rather, a lot of you care so much about debate and theory in particular gets pretty personal fairly quickly that I want to explain why my hesitancy isn't personal to you either. I am not opposing theory as someone who is opposed to change in Public Forum.
- First, I would highly discourage running trigger warning theory in front of me. My grad school research and longstanding work outside of debate has tracked how queer, civil rights advocates, religious minorities, and political dissidents have been extensively censored over time through structural means. The suppression and elimination of critical race theory and BLM from schools and universities is an extension of this. I have found it very difficult to be tabula rasa on this issue. TW/anonymous opt outs are welcome if you so wish to include them, that is your prerogative, but like I said the lack of one is not a debate I can be fair on. Let me be clear. I do not dismiss that "triggers" are real. I do not deny your lived experience on face nor claim all of you are, or even a a significant number of you, are acting in bad faith. This is always about balancing tests. My entire academic research for over 8 years was about how structural oppressors abuse these frameworks of "sin," "harm," "other," to squash dissidents, silence suffragettes, hose civil rights marchers, and imprison queer people because of the "present danger they presented in their conduct or speech." I also understand that some folks in the literature circles claim there is a double bind. You are opting out of trigger warning debates but you aren't letting me opt out of debates I don't want to have either. First, I will never not listen to or engage in this debate. My discouragement above is rooted in my deep fear that I will let you down because I can't be as fair as I would be on another issue. I tell students all the time tabula rasa is a myth. I still think that. It's a goal we strive for to minimize intervention because we will never eliminate it. Second, I welcome teams to still offer tw and will not penalize you for doing so. Third, discussions on SV, intersectionality, and civil rights are always about trade offs. Maybe times will change but historically more oppression, suppression, and suffering has come from the abuse of the your "speech does me harm" principle than it benefits good faith social justice champions who want to create a safe space and a better place. If you want to discuss this empirical question (because dang there are so many sources and this is an appeal to my authority) I would love to chat about it.
Next, let me explain some specific reasons why I am resistant to TW theory in debate using terms we use in the literature. There is a longstanding historical, philosophical, and queer/critical theory concern on gatekeeper shift. If we begin drawing more and more abstract lines in terms of what content causes enough or certain "harm" that power can and will be co-opted and abused by the equally more powerful. Imagine if you had control over what speech was permitted versus your polar opposite actor in values. Now imagine they, via structural means, could begin to control that power for themselves only. In the last 250 years of the US alone I can prove more instances than not where this gatekeeping power was abused by government and powerful actors alike. I am told since this has changed in the last twenty years with societal movements so should we. I don't think we have changed that significantly. Just this year MAUS, a comic about the Holocaust, was banned in a municipality in Jan 22. Toni Morrison was banned from more than a dozen school districts in 2021 alone. PEN, which is a free press and speech org, tracked more than 125 bills, policies, or resolutions alone this year that banned queer, black, feminist, material be them books, films, or even topics in classrooms, libraries, and universities. Even in some of the bills passed and proposed the language being used is under the guise of causing "discomfort." "Sexuality" and discussions of certain civil rights topics is stricken from lesson plans all together under these frameworks. These trends now and then are alarming.
I also understand this could be minimizing the trauma you relive when a specific topic or graphic description is read in round. I again do not deny your experience on face ever. I just cannot comfortably see that framework co-opted and abused to suppress the mechanisms or values of equality and equity. So are you, Gabe, saying because the other actors steal a tool and abuse that tool it shouldn't be used for our shared common goals? Yes, if the powerful abuse that tool and it does more harm to the arc of history as it bends towards justice than I am going to oppose it. This can be a Heckler's Veto, Assassin's Veto, Poisoning The Well, whatever you want to call it. Even in debate I have seen screenshots of actual men discussing how they would always pick the opt out because they don't want to "debate girls on women issues in front of a girl judge." This is of course likely an incredibly small group but I am tired of seeing queer, feminist, or critical race theory based arguments being punted because of common terms or non-graphic descriptions. Those debates can be so enriching to the community and their absence means we are structurally disadvantaged with real world consequences that I think outweigh the impacts usually levied against this arg. I will defend this line for the powerless and will do so until I die.
All of these above claims are neither syllogisms or encyclopedias of events. I am fallible and so are those arguments. Hence let us debate this but just know my thoughts.
- I am more skeptical of paraphrasing theory than disclosure theory. On the former, I am sympathetic and have seen myself countless times how "full text" cases are equally capable of being miscut and clipped. Theoretically there is a possible debate on paraphrasing facilitating abuse easier and there could be a good trade off theory debate had but rarely do I see that done well. On the latter, I am more open to a disclosure theory debate but still remain more resistant than most flow judges to engaging this argument. I will be especially incredulous of your theory argument if I discover your application of theory is principally inconsistent. For example, you are running disclosure or paraphrasing theory against one team for violating but not another team who violated (assuming both judges would have equally been receptive.) There may be other extenuating circumstances that explain the discrepancy in application but they need to be addressed.
I am getting better on disclosure theory but let me explain some of my concerns based on anecdotal experiences being in PF for 15 years. For one I have probably judged more rounds than you if you're a competitor. 545 by January 2022. Not a flex but just a survey of what's going on in the circuit. There were actual tournaments last year where more than half of the rounds had cases or arguments exclusively from one or two teams. That's not bad on face. The problem was the vast majority of the debaters using them didn't even understand the cards in a nuanced way to even explain them. I am sorry but if you are one of the top teams in the country a novice or team who wants better arguments are likely to defer to you in trust. The issue was that some of the cards were miscut or extremely powertagged. I thought the wiki was supposed to solve power tagging and evidence ethics? I saw so few indicts or evidence comparison. For example, there was in infamous card from a January topic last year where it was from the copy of the bottom of a corporate blog with no date, warrant, author but I saw it in probably 66% of rounds on the topic. No one interrogated the source that well except for maybe two rounds and the stamp of approval from being on a prominent wiki let it just proliferate more. The wiki didn't solve this problem at all. I think we are getting better I hope. I don't think any serious disclosure team denies this could be a problem but they argue that as a whole putting more evidence on the wiki means more fairness and education for all. I wish someone could start doing analysis on how many more teams are on the wiki, number of cards, etc. I just would like to look at data because I think the competing warrants are strong and need something outside of my experiences to validate said warranting.
I am most suspicious of paraphrase theory because virtually every single round I judge with full text I would question if even the full text is cut appropriately. You selecting words while omitting others means you are actively deciding which ones not to read. Just because you are using some of the exact words in an excerpt but still deciding which ones to include to me is barely different than paraphrasing. I think it means it'ss relatively harder to abuse evidence but not by much. If anything I think full text cards are called for less and overtime have become "power cut."
Like in my disclaimer on the other theory shell none of these arguments are truisms just my inner and honest thoughts to help you make strategic decisions in the round.
4 Years/Weber State University, 3rd year out.
- Run whatever you like. I am open to all arguments just as long as you execute them well - I'll provide exact criteria to what that means to me:
- A. You have been able to explain your argument at a basic audience comprehensive level.
- B. You have developed your arguments throughout the debate to adapt and provide the best application to the learning or outcome of the activity and have shown why your argument carries greater significance to what that outcome is.
- C. You have demonstrated a strong understanding of your opponents strengths and weaknesses and have identified why you win and why they lose this debate. I have no problem adapting to your style/preferred strategy. I prefer to evaluate the debate based on what information I am given from you instead of having to assert my own understanding, so please note that my decision rests heavily on the information provided by you on paper.
- Significance is key - this helps me understand what the meaning or outcome of this momentary learning experience at a tournament is about and what the intended purposes of your arguments are. I find that impact comparison oftentimes streamlines a lot of the information provided and helps me understand what the significance of your argument is.
- Bonus points if you have specific links with a strong evidence - I think it shows that you care to research your opponents and demonstrates hard work outside of the round, which enhances your credibility in front of me.
- CX is very important to me. Pressing on the hard questions and using this time wisely to demonstrate your knowledge (or lack of theirs) will earn you additional speaker points. I flow this too.
- I have rarely voted on potential abuse, and I don't find those arguments compelling unless you can prove why the potential margins of error will result in poor debatability/education. Specifically tailored theory arguments are always preferred.
- I always found that technical strategic moves are good - I think that it shows you have game knowledge to finesse on your opponents, so use their non-responsiveness or mishandlings to make the different sheets of paper come together in cohesion and it will be rewarded.
- Make me believe in your argument just as much as you do. Your speaking has a lot of power, so be sure to speak as clearly, assertively, and as passionately as you can. Being an effective speaker will always help you stay ahead/catch up in the debate.
you can always include me on the email distro and/or reach out with any questions- email@example.com
Head Coach of Rowland Hall
Do what you do best. I’m comfortable with all arguments. Practice what you preach and debate how you would teach. Strive to make it the best debate possible.
Key Preferences & Beliefs
Debate is a game.
Literature determines fairness.
It’s better to engage than exclude.
Critique is a verb.
Defense is undervalued.
I work hard to be objective.
I flow on my computer. If you want a copy of my flow, just ask.
I think CX is very important.
I reward self-awareness, clash, good research, humor, and bold decisions.
Add me to the email chain: mikeshackelford(at)rowlandhall(dot)org
Feel free to ask.
Want something more specific? More absurd?
Debate in front of me as if this was your 9 judge panel:
Ian Beier, Maggie Berthiaume, Daryl Burch, Yao Yao Chen, Malcom Gordon, Jyleesa Hampton, Nicholas Miller, Christina Philips, jon sharp
If both teams agree, I will adopt the philosophy and personally impersonate any of my former students:
Ben Amiel, Andrew Arsht, David Bernstein, Madeline Brague, Julia Goldman, Emily Gordon, Adrian Gushin, Elliot Kovnick, Will Matheson, Ben McGraw, Corinne Sugino, Caitlin Walrath, Sydney Young (these are the former debaters with paradigms... you can also throw it back to any of my old school students).
Most of what is above will apply here below in terms of my expectations and preferences. I spend most of my time at tournaments judging policy debate rounds, however I do teach LD and judge practice debates in class. I try to keep on top of the arguments and developments in LD and likely am familiar with your arguments to some extent.
Theory: I'm unlikely to vote here. Most theory debates aren't impacted well and often put out on the silliest of points and used as a way to avoid substantive discussion of the topic. It has a time and a place. That time and place is the rare instance where your opponent has done something that makes it literally impossible for you to win. I would strongly prefer you go for substance over theory. Speaker points will reflect this preference.
Speed: Clarity > Speed. That should be a no-brainer. That being said, I'm sure I can flow you at whatever speed you feel is appropriate to convey your arguments.
Disclosure: I think it's uniformly good for large and small schools. I think it makes debate better. If you feel you have done a particularly good job disclosing arguments (for example, full case citations, tags, parameters, changes) and you point that out during the round I will likely give you an extra half of a point if I agree.
- 11 Years Policy Debate
- Weber State and University of West Georgia
- Coach at Juan Diego Catholic High
Good evidence is secondary to what a debater does with it. I really appreciate evidence of interrogation in speeches and cross-examination.
I often vote for the team that can make complex arguments sound like common sense. Clarity of thought is paramount
If there is an “easy” way to vote, that's warranted, I’m likely to take it.
I appreciate technical execution and direct refutation over implied argumentation.
The earlier in debate that teams collapse down to lower quantities of positions and/or arguments, the more likely I am to latch on to what is going on and make a decent decision.
Identifying what I have to resolve behooves you. Debates are won or lost on a few primary debatable questions. If you are the first to identify and answer those questions thoroughly, you will be ahead in my mind.
High School Policy Debate: Debated four years at Bingham High School.
College Policy Debate: In my first year at Weber State University.
I usually judge policy debate, but I have a bit of judging experience with LD. LD debates don't have as much time to develop arguments to the level I'm used to, so my threshold for work required to extend/extrapolate arguments will be a little lower while judging an LD round.
I’ve judged a few high school rounds this year, but I don’t really know how the topic has evolved or what popular acronyms might be.
In general: Go for what you want, what matters more is how you develop the argument, and explain it. If you want me to evaluate certain arguments over others, tell me.
T: T debates are fine, I don’t think my threshold on T is high in either direction. That being said, I’m less willing to pull the trigger on T when teams don’t impact T beyond buzzwords. I’m not saying you can’t label standards with those words, I just think you should probably explain why things like education or fairness are important to debate.
Theory: Theory args are acceptable, if you can articulate a scenario for abuse. I’ll probably default most theory args might not be reasons to reject the team, but that all depends on how you frame that argument.
Counterplans: Counterplans are fun, make sure they’re competitive, make sure there’s a net benefit. Shadier counterplans like word PICs aren’t my favorite arguments, but I’ll vote on them if you articulate a net benefit.
Disadvantages: CP/DA debates might be my favorite negative arguments in debate, make sure your disads are either net benefits to the CP or are packaged with some case turns/impact defense, otherwise the aff will probably beat you in a body count debate.
THE KRITIK: K’s are fine, just be willing to put in the work necessary to explain the argument. I know some greatest hits, but there are things I might not understand without some explanation. You don't need an alternative to win on a Kritik if you can phrase it as an effective enough case turn, that being said, having an alternative makes it much easier to resolve those debates if your alternative can resolve the impacts of the case.
Case: Case debates are underrated, but do what you have to do for your negative strategies. Read impact defense.
Impacts:Comparative impact calc is something that makes resolving debates much easier for me. Questions of magnitude, timeframe, and probability are important and you should talk about those, but take it to the next level and talk about how your impacts interact with each other.
Speed is fine, clarity is better.
Don’t hide behind your laptop for the whole round.
Don’t prep steal.
Don’t be a jerk to other debaters, don’t be a jerk to your partner.
Maybe try and have a little fun, who knows.
I don't think a speech deserving of a 30 exists. I'll probably stay within 27-29 speaker points. If you're a meanie I'll probably dock your speaks.
Previously coached University of Washington, University of Puget Sound, Interlake High School, Bingham High School.
Graduated from University of Puget Sound in 2013
All approaches (policy, k and beyond) are welcome. Do some good research. Be specific with your claims. Tailor your argument to your opponents. You can cheat, but not too much. I am probably about 50/50 on T vs the K aff.
I judge sparingly these days. It is a safe assumption that my knowledge of the topic is, at best, equivalent to a decent google search. What I've written below may no longer be of any relevance, but it's an approximation of what I thought about most when I was judging more often.
Miscellaneous pet peeves
- Saying "cut the card" without marking where it's cut
- Excessive (ie longer than :30) overviews
- Ending prep before clicking "send" on the email chain/before the flash drive leaves your computer
- CXes that don't go anywhere, or that get interesting and are promptly forgotten
- Cruelty/being unnecessarily mean/disrespecting people/using hateful speech
When I debated, I typically read a plan and tended to defend it, and went for both Ks and policy strategies on the negative. As a coach, I've worked across the spectrum, both with traditional policy squads and one-off/no-plan teams. I've qualified teams to the NDT and the TOC, and was a CEDA elim participant and NDT qualifier myself.
I have some thoughts about content and style, but at the end of the day, I think both sides of the k/policy "divide" are interesting and worthwhile. Fundamentally, I think debate is a game of research, in one form or another. In "policy" debates, author qualification, evidence specificity, recency, and conclusiveness are all worth referencing and comparing. In "kritik" debates, explanation and application to your opponents' arguments and evidence is crucial. Either way, I like it when debates are reflective of controversies in academic fields, and not just constructed out of ideas pulled from the back pages of newspapers or sketchy timecube-esque websites. I think reading evidence in the correct context and with minimal distortion of its authors' intent is important.
I think that you should respond to your opponents' arguments. How you do that is up to you, but it's much easier for me when you proceed in an order similar to that of your opponent, and make it clear which argument you're responding to. I've judged several debates that were pretty far from this, and while I enjoyed them, I think I'm far less predictable at deciding them.
Excellent! I think well-researched and well-executed technical policy debate is awesome.
Particularly in this context, I think defense matters, and am willing to depart from the offense/defense cult. The last time I sat on a panel was because I assessed a 0% risk of a net benefit to a PIC. I think good internal link defense against advantages/DAs is an underutilized strategic element.
The politics DA gets a lot of hate from people, but if you think you can wordsmith your way through the logical oddities of the argument, I'm probably a surprisingly good judge for you. From an educational perspective, I think it's cool that debaters expend so much energy to keep up with news about federal legislation, and I'm more than happy to reward it as a judge.
Academically speaking, this is probably my comfort zone, but that makes me much more willing to inject my interpretation about what an argument is supposed to say into how I evaluate a debate.
I think talking about the aff (when on the negative) is crucial. This is particularly true of how you explain the alt.
I think role of the ballot args are often arbitrary and self-serving. I think you're better off defending the relative merits of your framing mechanism, but I will probably disregard one-line interpretations that needlessly stack the deck in your favor.
I am open to and interested in alternative models of competition but will default to my interpretation of traditional opportunity cost absent any direction to the contrary. I have, in a couple instances, determined that the aff didn't get a perm, but that was usually because the block out-teched the 1AR on the theory debate, and not because I think that argument is particularly compelling.
I like neg flex. I think, as far as "the rules" go, that the neg probably should get to read a few conditional advocacies, and indirect "contradictions" between them (like the security k and a DA impact) aren't necessarily the end of the world. I'm open to arguments to the contrary, however, for both theoretical and critical reasons. Also, I'm not too keen on the "judge kick" conditionality argument.
I would rather reject the arg and not the team on theory, but I respect the value of theory as an element of a diverse strategy.
I think T debate is a good thing. Real-world relevance or engagement with core debates in topic literature is important. I like T debates that effectively use evidence.
The less generic a framework arg feels (vs the non-traditional/K aff), the more I will like it.
Re: LD for Yale: I did policy debate at Kansas as an undergraduate and coached there during graduate school. Although the thoughts below are more applicable to policy debate than LD, the notes in the "General Thoughts" section likely still apply heavily. I have some experience both coaching and judging LD. Historically, the debates I've judged have often been decided by one overarching question, often times either the value or the criterion. If you're able to identify what matters and win that argument, you'll probably win.
All things in this philosophy are open to debate. In most instances, I have merely attempted to describe how I have made past decisions, resulting in "preferences."
General Thoughts -
- Debate should be characterized by hard work, well-researched arguments, and clash. An incredibly high percentage of debates are won with hard work outside of the debate. As such, I will strive to work hard as a judge.
- Debate is a communication activity. Speaker points and arguments will be affected by communication. Arguments lacking a claim, warrant, and an impact as well as arguments communicated in an incoherent manner will be evaluated appropriately and likely won't be persuasive.
- Evidence/arguments: Smart arguments and high quality evidence are the surest ways to win debates. Analytic arguments can rise to this threshold. Evidence that is over-highlighted might not. High evidence quality doesn't substitute for good debating.
- Risk: "No risk" is silly, but there may be "negligible risk" that shouldn't be considered. I have found probability framing type arguments to merely beg the question of how much risk. You need to dispute the risk of the DA to win it shouldn't be considered.
- Dropped/conceded arguments: As a judge, I vote for an argument. If the affirmative drops a disad, I'm not voting for the affirmative dropped the disad. I am voting for the disad. If a team drops an argument, it is not sufficient to inform me that they have conceded an argument. That should be coupled with a minimal explanation of the argument and how it should influence my decision. I have, at times, found conceded arguments to be not applicable to the affirmative. If you win a gambling disad against a weed aff, it is not likely to win you the debate.
- I'm willing to vote on presumption. It goes to less change. Burden of proof is on the team introducing the argument.
- Demeanor issues: Be respectful of your partner, opponent, and judge. Don't clip cards, don't cut cards out of context, etc. Violations of disclosure norms are also bad. Don't say "new aff" if you've read the same affirmative, but have a "different theme" to your advantage. We rely on universities to lend us classroom space - don't steal or vandalize the space.
Argument-Specific Thoughts -
- Topicality: Topicality debates can be some of the best debates because they showcase the analytic thinking of debaters. You must answer "interpretations" and counter-define words or you will have a hard time winning. It is a voting issue and not a reverse voting issue. "Reasonability" is almost always an argument that there isn't an impact to the limits DA. Aff's do well to win reasons why aff flex is good and the neg has too many weapons in their arsenal. In-round abuse is an unnecessary standard. Your untopical affirmative isn't topical because you've read it all year or because it's important to talk about the issues mentioned in the 1ac.
- Counterplans: Permutations should be impacted in the 2AC to explain why it makes the counterplan not competitive or why they otherwise matter ("perm do the cp" is not a complete argument; "perm do the cp, it's a way the plan could be implemented" is). The idea that the affirmative gets to "define the plan" is silly to me if challenged by evidence about how the plan would be implemented. However, if asked in c-x, the affirmative should probably define the plan with a, "we think the plan means..." It can be challenged in subsequent negative speeches. I am most likely to find a questionably competitive counterplan competes if the negative team is reading evidence and/or citing claims made in the 1ac or c-x.
- Theory: Interpretations matter here, too. If you don't meet your own, you will probably lose. That being said, I could probably not tell you the difference between 2 and 3 conditional advocacies. Just defend conditionality. Specific leanings are below:
- Conditionality: Good.
- PICs: Good, but better if they're out of something explicitly in the plan. The negative can challenge the effects of the plan with evidence, however.
- Consult/condition: Often determined by the debate and evidence. Competition challenges are a solid option, but can be answered by various evidentiary arguments from the negative.
- Delay: Probably affirmative leaning, but again context specific.
- Word PICs: Aff leaning.
- Alternate/non-USFG actors: Context specific. I lean towards the idea that a counterplan can disprove the need for the affirmative rather than being an affirmation of the counterplan. For example, the United States chose not to respond to the Rwandan genocide, in part, because the US government believed the UN could/should act.
- Disadvantages: Turns the case arguments are important, but are often actually just solvency take-outs without uniqueness. That means the affs try or die framing often wins out. Negatives should explain how they interact with the case - do they take out solvency or do they solve the case (affects evaluations of "try or die" arguments). If you're affirmative, does the advantage/fiat outweigh or prevent the case turn? Does the case turn the DA? The 1AR needs to answer these questions. Politics disads represent an opportunity cost of doing the plan.
Non-topical affirmatives: My predisposition favors affirmatives with an advocacy/plan that in some way defends the topic. What that means is debateable. This predisposition is also debateable, but the further you stray from the topic, the harder it will likely be for you to win simply because I believe there is a value in the topic as a point of stasis for preparation given the value that I put on pre-tournament work. Previous interations of this philsophy made it sound like those positions are not open for debate. That is not true - arguments are arguments. The purpose of this philosophy is merely to identify my tendencies and which arguments I have found more persuasive to date.
Critique affirmatives will be evaluated against the impacts the negative advance in the debate. If your plan is good for x reason it will be evaluated against the y reasons its bad. Winners of these type of debates often control the framing of impacts - are utilitarian approaches better than critical approaches, etc.
Ks on the negative: Critiques on the negative are often won if the affirmative forgets something in the checklist, the alternative functions as a CP, the negative won fairly specific or specifically applied epistemology arguments, or the negative was able to redefine the role of the ballot in some manner. I have often been persuaded to allow the affirmative to leverage their affirmative against the critique. This presumption can be overcome by impact framing arguments like methodology, ontology, etc. first. The "framework" argument that the negative should not get a critique is not particularly persuasive to me. Affirmatives will typically beat the critique on a permutation or on the arguments that the affirmative is true, the alternative doesn't solve, and the affirmative outweighs the critique. Negative's who have been most persuasive on this argument explain their specific critique in the context of the affirmative.
Current Affiliation = Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA)
Debates Judged on this topic: about 40 Rounds (UMich Debate Institute)
Prior Experience: Debated policy in HS at Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks, CA (1992-1995); Debated NDT/CEDA in college at USC (1995-1999); Assistant debate coach at Cal State Northridge 2003-2005; Assistant debate coach at Glenbrook South HS Spring of 2005; Director of Debate at Glenbrook North HS 2005-2009; Director of Debate at Notre Dame HS Fall of 2009-Present.
My defaults go into effect when left to my own devices. I will go against most of these defaults if a team technically persuades me to do so in any given debate.
If you start taking excessive time to flash your document, I will start instituting that "Prep time ends when the speaker's flash drive is removed from her/his computer."
I am familiar with the topic (4 weeks of teaching at Michigan at Classic and involved in argument coaching at Notre Dame).
Delivery rate should be governed by your clarity; WARRANTS in the evidence should be clear, not just the tagline.
Clarity is significantly assisted by organization - I flow as technically as possible and try to follow the 1NC structure on-case and 2AC structure off-case through the 1AR. 2NR and the 2AR should have some leeway to restructure the debate in important places to highlight their offense. However, line-by-line should be followed where re-structuring is not necessary.
Ideal 2AR Structure
Offense placed at the top (tell me how I should be framing the debate in the context of what you are winning), then move through the debate in a logical order.
2NR's Make Choices
Good 2NR strategies may be one of the following: (1) Functionally and/or textually competitive counterplan with an internal or external net benefit, (2) K with a good turns case/root cause arguments that are specific to each advantage, (3) Disadvantage with turns case arguments and any necessary case defense, (4) Topicality (make sure to cover any theory arguments that are offense for aff). My least favorite debates to resolve are large impact turn debates, not because I hate impact turns, but because I think that students lose sight of how to resolve and weigh the multiple impact scenarios that get interjected into the debate. Resolving these debates starts with a big picture impact comparison.
Reference evidence by warrant first and then add "That's [Author]." Warrant and author references are especially important on cards that you want me to read at the end of the debate. Also, evidence should reflect the arguments that you are making in the debate. I understand that resolving a debate requires spin, but that spin should be based in the facts presented in your evidence.
I have been getting copies of speech documents for many debates lately so I can read cards during prep time, etc. However, note that I will pay attention to what is said in the debate as much as possible - I would much rather resolve the debate on what the debaters say, not based on my assessment of the evidence.
Safer to go for offense, and then make an "even if" statement explaining offense as a 100% defensive takeout. I will vote on well-resolved defense against CP, DA's and case. This is especially true against process CP's (e.g., going for a well-resolved permutation doesn't require you to prove a net benefit to the permutation since these CP's are very difficult to get a solvency deficit to) and DA's with contrived internal link scenarios. Winning 100% defense does require clear evidence comparison to resolve.
I like a well-developed topicality debate. This should include cards to resolve important distinctions. Topical version of the aff and reasonable case lists are persuasive. Reasonability is persuasive when the affirmative has a TRUE "we meet" argument; it seems unnecessary to require the affirmative to have a counter-interpretation when they clearly meet the negative interpretation. Also, discussing standards with impacts as DA's to the counter-interpretation is very useful - definition is the uniqueness, violation is the link, standard is an internal link and education or fairness is the impact.
Word PIC's, process, consult, and condition CP's are all ok. I have voted on theory against these CP's in the past because the teams that argued they were illegit were more technically saavy and made good education arguments about the nature of these CP's. The argument that they destroy topic-specific education is persuasive if you can prove why that is true. Separately, the starting point for answers to the permutation are the distinction(s) between the CP and plan. The starting point for answers to a solvency deficit are the similarities between the warrants of the aff advantage internal links and the CP solvency cards. Counterplans do not have to be both functionally and textually competitive, but it is better if you can make an argument as to why it is both.
All parts of the DA are important, meaning neither uniqueness nor links are more important than each other (unless otherwise effectively argued). I will vote on conceded or very well-resolved defense against a DA.
Good K debate should have applied links to the affirmative's or negative's language, assumptions, or methodology. This should include specific references to an opponent's cards. The 2NC/1NR should make sure to address all affirmative impacts through defense and/or turns. I think that making 1-2 carded externally impacted K's in the 2NC/1NR is the business of a good 2NC/1NR on the K. Make sure to capitalize on any of these external impacts in the 2NR if they are dropped in the 1AR. A team can go for the case turn arguments absent the alternative. Affirmative protection against a team going for case turns absent the alternative is to make inevitability (non-unique) claims.
Framework is applied in many ways now and the aff should think through why they are reading parts of their framework before reading it in the 2AC, i.e., is it an independent theoretical voting issue to reject the Alternative or the team based on fairness or education? or is it a defensive indite of focusing on language, representations, methodology, etc.?. Framework impacts should be framed explicitly in the 1AR and 2AR. I am partial to believing that representations and language inform the outcome of policymaking unless given well-warranted cards to respond to those claims (this assumes that negative is reading good cards to say rep's or language inform policymaking).
Neg framework is particularly persuasive against an affirmative that has an advocacy statement they don't stick to or an aff that doesn't follow the resolution at all. It is difficult for 2N's to have a coherent strategy against these affirmatives and so I am sympathetic to a framework argument that includes a topicality argument and warranted reasons to reject the team for fairness or education. If a K aff has a topical plan, then I think that framework only makes sense as a defensive indite their methodology; however, I think that putting these cards on-case is more effective than putting them on a framework page. Framework is a somewhat necessary tool given the proliferation of affirmatives that are tangentially related to the topic or not topical at all. I can be persuaded that non-topical affs should not get permutations - a couple primary reasons: (1) reciprocity - if aff doesn't have to be topical, then CP's/K's shouldn't need to be competitive and (2) Lack of predictability makes competition impossible and neg needs to be able to test the methodology of the aff.
I prefer substance, but I do understand the need for theory given I am open to voting on Word PIC's, consult, and condition CP's. If going for theory make sure to impact arguments in an organized manner. There are only two voting issues/impacts: fairness and education. All other arguments are merely internal links to these impacts - please explain how and why you control the best internal links to either of these impacts. If necessary, also explain why fairness outweighs education or vice-versa. If there are a host of defensive arguments that neutralize the fairness or education lost, please highlight these as side constraints on the the violation, then move to your offense.
Classic Battle Defaults
These are attempts to resolve places where I felt like I had to make random decisions in the past and had wished I put something in my judge philosophy to give debaters a fair warning. So here is my fair warning on my defaults and what it takes to overcome those defaults:
(1) Theory v. Topcality - Topcality comes before theory unless the 1AR makes arguments explaining why theory is first and the 2NR doesn't adequately respond and then the 2AR extends and elaborates on why theory is first sufficiently enough to win those arguments.
(2) Do I evaluate the aff v. the squo when the 2NR went for a CP? - No unless EXPLICITLY framed as a possibility in the 2NR. If the 2NR decides to extend the CP as an advocacy (in other words, they are not just extending some part of the CP as a case takeout, etc.), then I evaluate the aff versus the CP. What does this mean? If the aff wins a permutation, then the CP is rejected and the negative loses. I will not use the perm debate as a gateway argument to evaluating the aff vs. the DA. If the 2NR is going for two separate advocacies, then the two separate framings should be EXPLICIT, e.g., possible 2NR framing, "If we win the CP, then you weigh the risk of the net benefit versus the risk of the solvency deficit and, if they win the permutation, you should then just reject the CP and weigh the risk of the DA separately versus the affirmative" (this scenario assumes that the negative declared the CP conditional).
(3) Are Floating PIK's legitimate? No unless the 1AR drops it. If the 1AR drops it, then it is open season on the affirmative. The 2NC/1NR must make the floating PIC explicit with one of the following phrases to give the 1AR a fair chance: "Alternative does not reject the plan," "Plan action doesn't necessitate . Also, 2NC/1NR must distinguish their floating PIK from the permutation; otherwise, affirmatives you should use any floating PIK analysis as a outright concession that the "permutation do both" or "permutation plan plus non-mutually exclusive parts" is TRUE.
(4) Will I vote on theory cheap shots? Yes, but I feel guilty voting for them. HOWEVER, I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR A REVERSE VOTING ISSUE EVEN IF IT WAS DROPPED.
Who is a Good Debater
Anna Dimitrijevic, Alex Pappas, Pablo Gannon, Stephanie Spies, Kathy Bowen, Edmund Zagorin, Matt Fisher, Dan Shalmon, Scott Phillips, Tristan Morales, Michael Klinger, Greta Stahl, George Kouros. There are many others - but this is a good list.
Your Opponents, Your Teammates, Your Coaches, Your Activity.
Extra Notes CP/Perm/Alt Texts
The texts of permutations, counterplans, and alternatives should be clear. I always go back and check the texts of these items if there is a question of a solvency deficit or competition. However, I do feel it is the burden of the opposing team to bring up such an argument for me to vote on it - i.e., unless it is a completely random round, the opposing team needs to make the argument that the text of the CP means there is a significant solvency deficit with the case, or the affirmative is overstating/misconstruing the solvency of a permutation because the text only dictates X, not Y, etc. I will decide that the aff does not get permutations in a debate where the affirmative is not topical.
I try to follow the flow the best I can - I do double check if 2AR is making arguments that are tied to the 1AR arguments. I think that 2AR's get significant leeway to weigh and frame their impacts once the 2NR has chosen what to go for; however, this does not mean totally new arguments to case arguments, etc. that were presented before the 2NR.
Frame claim in comparison to other team's response, extend important warrants, cite author for evidence, impact argument to ballot - all of these parts are necessary to resolve an argument fully. Since debate is a game of time management, this means going for fewer arguments with more thorough analysis is better than extending myriad of arguments with little analysis.
Complete disrespect toward anyone who is nice; no one ever has enough “credibility” in this community to justify such actions. If there is a disrespectful dynamic in a debate, I ALWAYS applaud (give higher speaker points to) the first person to step down and realize they are being a jerk. Such growth and self-awareness should rewarded.
Fear to Engage Bad
Win or lose, you are ultimately competing to have the best debate possible. Act like it and do not be afraid to engage in the tough debates. You obviously should make strategic choices, but do not runaway from in-depth arguments because you think another team will be better than you on that argument. Work harder and beat them on the argument on which she/he is supposedly an expert. Taking chances to win debates good.
And, as Lord Dark Helmet says, “evil will always triumph over good because good is dumb.”
Debated 4 years at Weber State University (2013-2017)
Four time NDT Qualifier, 2017 NDT Octa-Finalist, 2015 CEDA Quater-Finalist
Currently a Graduate Assistant at James Madison University
I believe debate is for the debaters, I am happy to listen to whatever your argument is and will do my best to adapt to you so you don’t have to change the way you debate. I would much rather you do what you are comfortable with than read an argument just because you think it is something I would prefer to hear. I debated for 8 years and have read and coached all different kinds of arguments, so you should feel comfortable doing whatever you want in front of me. Everything else I’m going to say is just my preference about debate arguments and doesn’t mean that my mind can’t be changed. The last thing I'll say here is the most important thing for me in debates is that you defend your arguments. You can read almost anything in front of me as long as you can defend it. I decide the debates based off of what is on my flow, and nothing else.
Critical Affirmatives – I believe affirmatives should have a relation to the resolution, but I think there are many different interpretations as to what that can mean. To get my ballot with a non-traditional affirmative you must justify why your discussion/performance is a better one for us to have than talking about the resolution or why the resolution is bad. I am sympathetic to arguments that the negative needs to be able to engage the affirmative on some level, and I don't think that "they could read the cap K" is good ground. Counter interpretations are important on framework and will help me frame your impact turns. To win your impact turns to any argument I think the affirmative should have some mechanism to be able to solve them. Overall, I think it is important for any affirmative to actually solve for something, having a clear explanation starting from the 1AC of how you do that is important, and that explanation should stay consistent throughout the debate.
Framework – I think negative framework arguments against critical affirmatives are strategic and love to listen to thought out arguments about why the resolution is an important form of education. Fairness and ground are also impacts I will vote on and I perceive them as being important claims to win the theory of your argument. I am easily compelled that the negative loses ground when a non-topical affirmative is read, and having a list of what that ground is and why it is important is helpful when evaluating that debate. Even if you don't have cards about the affirmative it is important that you are framing your arguments and impacts in the context of the affirmative. If your FW 2NC has no mention of the affirmative that will be a problem for you. I view topical versions of the affirmative and switch side arguments as an important aspect to win this debate.
Kritiks – As I reached the end of my debate career this is the form of debate I mostly participated in which means I will have a basic understanding of your arguments. My research was more in structural critiques, especially feminism. I have dappled in many other areas of philosophy, but I wouldn’t assume that I know a lot about your Baudrillard K, so if that is your thing explanation is important. If you have an alternative, it is important for you to explain how the alternative functions and resolves your link arguments. I would prefer links specific to the affirmative over generic links. I am not a huge fan of links of omission. You will do better in front of me if you actually explain these arguments rather than reading your generic blocks full speed at me. In method v method debates I think you need to have a clear explanation of how you would like competition to function, the sentence "no permutations in a method debate" doesn't make sense and I think you need to have more warrants to why the permutation cannot function or wouldn't solve.
For affirmatives answering critiques, I believe that impact turns are highly useful in these debates and are generally underutilized by debaters. I don't think permutations need to have net benefits, but view them as just a test of competition. However just saying extend "perm do both" isn't an acceptable extension in the 1AR and 2AR, you should explain how it can shield the links. As for reading framework on the aff against a critique, it will be very hard for you to convince me that a negative team doesn’t get the critique at all, but you can easily win that you should be able to weigh the impacts of the 1AC.
Counterplans – Please slow down on the text of the CP, especially if it is extremely long. I am fine with anything as long as you can defend it and it has a clear net benefit. If I can't explain in my RFD how the counterplan solves majority of the affirmative or its net benefit then i'm probably not going to vote for it, so start the explanation in the block.
Disadvantages – I enjoy a good disad and case debate with lots of comparison and explanation. I would much rather that you explain your arguments instead of reading a bunch of cards and expecting me to fill in the holes by reading all of that evidence, because I probably won’t.
Topicality - I really don't have a strong opinion about what it is and isn't topical and think it is up to you to explain to me why a particular aff makes the topic worse or better. I tend to have a pretty low standard of what it means to be reasonably topical.
Theory - I generally think conditionality is good. Other than that I really don't care what you do just be able to defend your arguments.
Finally, as I becoming older and more grumpy I am getting increasingly annoyed about stealing prep and random down time in between speeches. That doesn't mean you aren't allowed to use the restroom, just be respectful of my time. I will reward time efficiency between speeches with better speakers points. Especially if you can send the email before prep time is over. These are my preferences
--If a speaker marks the speech document and the other team wants the marked document that should happen after CX during prep time. If the other team cannot wait until after CX then they can take prep time to get the cards
--If a speak reads a cards that were not in the speech document and needs to send them out the speaker will take prep time before CX to send out the necessary evidence.
--CX ends when the timer is over. Finish your sentence quickly or take prep time to continue CX
I would like to be on the email chain – firstname.lastname@example.org
After a decade, I’ve now finally decided to update my philosophy. I’ve found that nothing I could say about each of the main argument categories would be particularly relevant because of one simple fact - my ultimate preference is to evaluate the round in whatever way you tell me to. I’m not saying you can call me a “tabula rasa” judge, if people even use that phrase anymore…I’m saying that my goal is to intervene as little as possible in the debate.
-I find myself evaluating every argument in a debate as a disad. This is obvious for actual disadvantages, counterplans, etc but for me, it's also true of theory, framework, and topicality. Did you read framework against a critical race aff? Then you likely have a predictability disad and a fairness disad against the aff’s framing of how debate should be. Did the neg read a conditional CP, K alternative, and insist the SQ is an option? You probably have ground and fairness disads to the CP/K. In those instances, you HAVE to make an impact argument that makes sense. Exclude the aff, reject the CP, reject the team…whatever. I will compare those impacts to the impacts the other side has (flexibility, education, etc.). It’d be a lot better if you did the comparison for me. If you don't, I will read into everything and make a decision for myself.
-Otherwise, debate like you want to debate. I no longer find myself voting against framework all of the time or voting for the K vs policy affs that are going for framework against the alt. I probably have voted the opposite way more often in the last year.
-Lastly, I flow but I also want to be on the email chain (email@example.com). I'm actually trying to model what you are supposed to be doing...flowing the speech and looking at the evidence the team is reading once I've written down what they said ALOUD. If you do this, guaranteed 28.9 or better (which is high for me). If you actually flow AND you are funny and/or efficient at line-by-line and/or making a ton of smart arguments while covering everything, guaranteed 29.5 or better (which is outrageous for me).
------------------------------Online Debate Update------------------------------
My computer setup is way better in my house than on the road. I have incredibly fast internet and multiple screens. But it's not enough to be able to flow full speed debates over Zoom without issues. Please keep that in mind. A few things will help, if you so choose - send out your full speech doc, not just your cards so I can follow along (I'm still going to flow what you say out loud but will cut you a bit of slack in the form of looking at your speech doc to fill in holes) and slow down on theory and analytics (I'm flowing on computer and not paper at home which is both faster in some respects and slower in others).
I debated throughout high school and then at Idaho State University for 5 years. I then coached at Idaho State University for 2 years, Weber for 1, and USC for 1. I've been out of the game this season, fair warning.
I am a firm believer that debate is for debaters. I've had my time to make others listen to whatever (and I mean absolutely whatever) I wanted to say, and it's my turn to listen to and evaluate your arguments, whatever they may be. While I'm sure I have my limitations, make me adapt to you instead of the other way around.
I try my damnedest to line up all the arguments on my flow. I am, however, open to alternate flowing styles. I really do prefer when debaters make specific reference of which argument(s) they are answering at a given time regardless of flowing style. I also flow the text of cards.
I prefer not to call for evidence (although I would like to be on your email chain... firstname.lastname@example.org). This means explain, explain, explain! Tell me what the card says; tell me why I should care and how I should apply it. That being said, I do not think that cards are always better than analytics.
Be prepared to defend all aspects of your argument.
Everything is open to (re)interpretation. For example, some questions that may be relevant to my ballot include: What is the purpose of debate? How does this affect the way that impacts are evaluated? These kinds of top-level framing issues are the most important to me.
This means things like framework and T (fun little-known fact: I've always found topicality in general super interesting--I love the nit-picky semantics of language) can be viable options against K affs. However, you are better off if you have a substantive response to the aff included as well.
I'm still kind of deciding how I feel about how competition functions in method debates. I think the most accurate depiction of what I think about it now is this (and it all obviously depends on what's happening in the debate/on the flow, but in general): I'll probably err that the affirmative on-face gets a permutation to determine if the methods are mutually exclusive, and so that means the best strategy for the negative in this world is to generate their links to the aff's method itself to prove that mutual exclusivity.
I'd really appreciate it if you could warn me in advance if there will be graphic descriptions of sexual violence.
Assume I want to be added to your email chain: email@example.com
Rowland Hall St. Marks
IMPORTANT CHANGES: After 5 years of judging a wide range of debate styles, I think I've come to the conclusion that I just can't connect with or enjoy the current iteration of HS high theory debate. Being able to act as an educator is an important reason for why I judge, and I don't think I can offer that in your Baudrilliard debates anymore.
This will be my sixth year with the program at Rowland Hall, and 10th year of debate overall.
I love debate and want students to love it as well.
Do what you want, and do it well. ---
Kritiks: Despite the revision above, you absolutely should still be reading the K in front of me. I am fine with the K. I like the K as it functions in a greater neg strategy (ie, I'd rather judge a 5 off round that includes a K than a 1 off K round). However, I went 1-off fem K in highschool for many rounds, so I am genuinely pretty accepting on this issue. Given that I don't spend a great deal of my time working through K literature, I think it's important that you explain these to me, but that's basically what a good K debater should expect to do anyway.
Disads: I cut politics every week. I love both sides of the politics debate and can benefit you as a judge on how to execute these debates well.
Counterplans: Counterplans of all shapes and sizes are a critical place to form a strategy and I enjoy these debates. Theory is to be argued and I can't think of any predisposition.
Topicality: I think that debaters who can execute "technical" args well are enjoyable enough to watch and judge, and I think I can probably benefit as a judge to any technical debater. I think that any violation, on face, has validity and there are no affs that are so "obviously" topical that they cannot be beaten on T.
Kritikal affs: I am not ideologically opposed to K affs at all and even enjoy these debates, although I primarily work on and with policy affs so I would say explanation is still key.
Framework: I find that good framework debaters know how to make the flow accessible to the judge. I think that there are a number of compelling claims and debates to be had on framework, and they can be just as strongly argued as anything else (including your kritik or kritikal aff).
All arguments are fine. I've been in debate for ten years and heard most of them. Don't make the debate round a hostile space for me, yourselves, or the other team, unless that's your argument and you're prepared to defend it. Basically just be nice.