2015 — CT/US
Policy Debate Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
school affiliation: acorn community high school (Brooklyn NY), NYUDL (new york urban debate league), stuyversant high school (New york, NY)
years debating: 4 years of high school, starting college debate
in a debate round i have done everything from cp and politics to performance
my first highschool topic was aid to south Africa, last one was reduce military (if that matters)
I will vote on whatever arguments win, this means I may vote on anything, it could come down to Counterplan-Disad, Procedurals, Kritiks, Affs with no plan text, to even performance. tell me what your argument is and what the ballot signifies (if it has a meaning)...i.e. policy maker etc...(...)
speaker points: be persuasive and make it interesting thin line between funny and ass hole at times may it be in cross-x or your speech you decide *background music* ...analysis/argumentation (don't lie about reading a hole card if u didn't,don't just read cards and tag~line extend ~_~ ) i will call for evidence if needed and i will hit you wit the world famous "cum on son" lol
impact your arguments (duhh)
Topicality: i like a good t debate, their fun and at times educational, make sure you impact it, and give a correct abuse story...
counter plans: have a good net benefit prove how they solve the case
dis ads: you can run them i vote for anything and am familiar with most scenarios
k: i was a k db8er for the better half of my db8 career so i'm pretty familiar with most k~lit u will read unless its like some deep
nietzsche, zizek, lacan type ish but i get it...and if you explain it give a good story and show alternative solvency i will vote for it...it is also fine if you kick the alt and go for it as a case turn just debate it out...
preformance: i did this too...explain what the round comes down to...i.e. role of the judge/ballot/db8ers...and if their is a form of spill over what this is and means in real world and debate world... block framework lol...and show me why your/this performance is key...may it be a movement or just you expressing your self...i like methodology db8s so if it comes down to the aff and neg being both performance teams be clear on the framework for the round and how your methodology is better and how the other may recreate these forms of oppression you may be speaking about...may it be the deletion of identity or whiteness etc...same things apply if your running a counter~advocacy against a performance team...(*whispers* solvency)...k vs performance rounds same as methodology prove the link and as for the alt prove the solvency... framework vs performance rounds i had a lot of these, boring but fun to see the way they play out depending on interp, vio, impacts and stuff...
framework: any kind is fine...same justification as Topicality...depending on how your spinning framework within a round... *yells* education =)
short & sweet
#swag...have fun...do you...debate =)
Ann Bird Paradigm/Philosophy
I am an attorney. I see PF debate as similar to an attorney’s oral argument, where the goal is to convince the audience to adopt the speaker’s point of view. The key is to make the process as easy for the audience as possible.
The most convincing arguments are:
1. delivered slowly enough to allow the audience to hear, understand, note, and also think about as they are presented;
2. well organized;
3. simple; and
The first speaker should give listeners an outline of the entire argument at the outset, and the last speaker should explain how that outline was fulfilled. The argument should not require the audience to accept more than three or four subordinate points, and it should not have more than one or two sources of evidence or support for each point. Finally, the argument should demonstrate why the proposition impacts and/or reflects the lives of the listeners.
I will reward debaters who present a convincing argument without regard to whether I am actually convinced.
I debated for Brooklyn Technical High School for around 3 years, and now I'm a freshman at Hunter College. I ran primarily K/Performance arguments,but Ill listen to all. This year (2014-2015) is my first season judging JV/Varsity HS debate.
0- Overview- Before I get into specifics, what's most important is to DO WHAT YOU'RE GOOD AT. Don't change what your strategy is based on what's in this philosophy (except for #8, that's non negotiable) if anything just try to improve it. Be comfortable in round and funny, I'm not a scary person.
1- K/Performance teams- Love them, love to hear them, but don't dare to run them if you don't know what you're talking about. As someone who used it plenty of times, I know what BS sounds like. If you have a great innovative argument or interpretation, I'll be over the moon! If you just read that I like K's and run an old cap file that you have no idea what the literature is, you will most likely not get a ballot off of me.
2- CP/Disad debates- I enjoy hearing them, as long as you have a smart CP and use it to cut through the other teams offense, that's an easy ballot. However, dont spread through 8 DA's and 3 CP's- I dislike the throwing shit against a wall and seeing what sticks strategy. Pick a couple off and use them well.
3- Case- PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE engage in a case debate. Neg- Put specific offense on case, challenge the aff! Aff- Please use your case past the 1ac. Extend your cards and smart arguments, the 1ac is 8 minutes of offense for you in the rest of the debate, use it like that!
4- Theory/T- I like theory. I dislike a quick blip, but if you make the theory offense you have specific to the aff/neg and give me offensive reasons to lean your way I'll be convinced. Please call out aff condo if you see it. A good T debate is the same, make sure to give strong competing interpretations.
5- Framework- Not my favorite argument. I'll hear it, but if it's the same repetitive blocks I've heard over and over again, I probably won't vote on it. Again, like theory, give me specificity! Call out warrants of the aff that are problematic, and you better give me a damn good reason as to why a policy will solve the harms of the aff.
6- In Round- Please, be persuasive, be funny and approachable, it seriously helps a lot in making the round a better experience for everyone! Make sure to impact EVERYTHING and specifically answer the other teams offense. In the 2nr/2ar, the best strategy which cannot be repeated enough is WRITE MY BALLOT FOR ME. At the end of the round when I give my decision, if it's what your final rebuttal was, that means you get perfect speaks.
7- Speaker Points- I'm generous with speaker points. I start out at a 28, add and subtract points based on speaking ability and what happens in round. You get an extra half a speaker point if you reference Poussey from OINTB, anything from A Song of Ice and Fire or Game of Thrones, (especially Dolorous Edd), Naruto, and PLEASE PLEASE FMA Brotherhood. Seriously, I will add that on the spot.
8- Final Disclaimer- IF ANYTHING RACIST/ HOMOPHOBIC/ TRANSMISOGYNIST/ ISLAMOPHOBIC/ OR SOMETHING THAT DEGRADES ANOTHER TEAM OR THEIR MEMBERS, THE ROUND WILL END RIGHT THERE WITH THE PARTY AT FAULT GETTING 0 SPEAKER POINTS AND A LOSS. DO NOT TEST ME ON THIS.
Any more specific questions, feel free to ask me in round! Have a good day everyone, and good luck debating! :* :)
Here is my email for the email chain:
Here is my short biography for you to know who I am:
Hi, my name is William. I am currently a doctoral student in the German department at NYU. I am familiar with a number of debate authors and have taken classes with and work with people like slavoj zizek, avital ronell, fred moten, etc.
As for debate experience, I used to debate for CUNY debate in college for 4 years, reading critical arguments in the Northeast. I won a handful of regional tournaments and broke at CEDA. I also coach for Brooklyn Technical High School (sometimes we sign up at Brooklyn Independent). I have been coaching there for 8 years and have had my debaters make it far in national tournaments as well as qualify for the TOC four times. Because I work with Brooklyn Tech (a UDL school), I am also connected to the NYCUDL.
Here is the start of my paradigm:
As everyone else says, rule of thumb: DO WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT
Whether your go-to strat is to throw stuff at the wall and hope it sticks, a straight up disad/cp, or a one-off K; I will be more than happy to judge your round…
given that you:
1) Have a claim, warrant, and impact to every argument. It isn’t an argument absent these three elements, and I will have trouble/not be able to/want to adjudicate what you’ve said.
2) Make sure, on that note to properly explain your positions, don’t make an assumption that I know your DA scenario (perhaps fill me in on the internal work), or K jargon. Maybe i haven't judged that many rounds this topic and don't understand abbreviations right away - help me out.
3) Have comparative analysis of evidence, arguments, and preformative styles as it compares to your own and how I ought toprioritize impacts as it relates to your framing of the round.
4) Be Persuasive, it will go a long way to making me to sign my ballot your way if you can make the round enjoyable, touching, funny, etc – it will also help your speaks.
5) Write the ballot for me in your 2nr/2ar, tell me how you win. Take risks, and don’t go for everything. Make me think, “woah, cool, gonna vote on that” “What they said in the last rebuttal was exactly how I prioritized stuff too, judging is soooo easy [it's often not :(]"
As for some nitty gritty details:
1) I love a good K or performance debate but absent the four points above, I won’t “hack” for your position. For instance, saying racism bad without analysis towards your opponent’s position (warrant comparison) won’t get you very far in the debate. I will very often sympathize with you, as my personal debate career revolves around the K more than often, but I will NOT do the work for you.
2) I love smart, strategic CPs
3) I love absurd, creative arguments – unlike most judges (don’t get too carried away), I enjoy inventive and properly executed arguments whether they be freshly cut CPs like above, or criticisms that challenge debate structures. Reading poems, speaking babble, and “mirroring” your opponents etc, are things I will not immediately hate, just again, PROPERLY execute it. On that note, if you are a victim of some babbly criticism, please go for framework
4) Go for theory cheap shots in front of me, just do it persuasively. In-round abuse stories help, pre-empt your opponents final speech, and close the doors
5) Go for T in front of me – A good T debate that that includes a discussion on how the topic should be limited, what the value of a particular interp is, and how judges ought to evaluate an interpretation is something I find enjoyable. Just as always, be persuasive!
6) Have case debates – forcing your opponents to debate their case position with specific, smart arguments will always go a long way. Even if it is only defensive, mitigating offense will go a long way, and often throws people off balance. I find there to be a striking lack of case debate from my experience, and would be more than happy to judge more of it
Also, some other things:
1) I will default to competing interpretations and body counts unless alternative mechanisms of evaluating the round or alternative impacts are introduced and analyzed in opposition to bodies in a debate. For instance, I will presume nukes hurt, unless you tell me death isn’t an impact and why
2) I will avoid looking at evidence, unless there is a dispute over evidence in a round or a debater spins it as part of being persuasive
3) I am an open minded judge, and respect all “realms” of debate, though of course, I will always already have some bias, I will do my best to mitigate it.
Tabula Rasa judge:
- If the presented Plan is in a Stock Issues format, then I will vote as a stock-issues judge once Kritiks and Topicality are won.
- If a Comparative Advantage Plan is run, then I will shift to a policymaker framework and weigh Advantages against DAs (see the note on DAs below), once Kritiks and Topicality are won.
- If a Kritikal Aff is run, then all bets are off. Run framework and tell me why I should be voting for you.
Kritiks are a priori to Topicality, which in turn is a priori to the Plan.
I enjoy spreading, but I dislike fast mumbling. If you’re not a proficient spreader, slow down. Reducing speed for tags, cites, and underviews helps your case immensely.
Theory won’t win a debate on its own. Claiming in-round abuse or that your argument is better for education requires justification and strong links.
I love Kritiks, but they must be strongly linked to the Plan. Otherwise, Kritiks are non-unique DAs.
Tell me the story of the Kritik. I want to hear persuasion and thought behind these arguments. A well-done K will make my weekend.
It can be tough to weigh DAs against a Stock Issues case. If a Stock Issues case is given by AFF, I would appreciate NEG providing only DAs that diminish/turn the stock issues of the Plan.
Please, no politics DAs unless you can prove that the loss of political capital extends past enactment of the plan. I am a strong believer in Fiat.
Things that make my heart go pitter-pat:
- Confident, assured underviews
- Focusing on the claims above the evidence
- Teams that stay on the offense and show clear strategy
- TOPICALITY (as long as it is a well-structured T debate that is strongly linked to the Plan)
Things that make me cringe in my seat:
- Evidence battles
- Any kind of murky ethics (mis-claiming dropped contentions, falsely stating rules, overusing flash time for prep, etc.)
- Having to vote on a weakly supported, but crucial, argument that wasn't answered.
As a Lincoln Douglas Judge I am a very traditional judge from a very traditional area of the country. With that, comes all of the typical impacts.
I am not able to flow spreading very effectively at all.
I, very rarely, judge policy, but those would be in slower rounds as well. Because of that, though, I am at least somewhat familiar with K debate, K AFF, theory, CP's, etc.
For me to vote on progressive argumentation in LD, it has to be very clearly ARTICULATED to me why and how you win those arguments. Crystal clear argumentation and articulation of a clear path to giving you the ballot is needed.
Background: I debated for four years for Newburgh Free Academy. I was a policy and LD debate. I primarily did policy for my first two years and LD in my last two years, both circuit style debate. This is my fifth year coaching/judging for the Lexington Debate. I was both a critical and traditional debater so feel free to run whatever you like. Speed is 100% fine with me just be clear.I am currently a graduate student in New York City getting my Master's in Biological Sciences, with the intentions of attending Medical School next fall. I have been judging debate since 2014 in both Policy and LD.
My Theory on Theory:
In the past, I have viewed theory pretty negatively. I'm not the biggest fan of it, but I will vote on it if you keep these things in mind:
1. If you say that you should have access to an RVI, tell me what constitutes an RVI. I generally do not accept "I meets" as a reason to access an RVI, but feel free to change my mind.
2. If the opposing debater is giving me a bunch of "I meets," annihilating the standards, or doing anything else to take out a significant part of the argument, I am not going to penalize them for simply not having a counter interp.
3. I have had tons of rounds in which debater N has a theoretical objection to the 1AC. Debater A then responds with a counter interp in the 1AR. By then end of the round, I have offense that links to both interps, and no reason to prefer one shell/standard over the other. Do not leave me in this position. Find ways to layer the theory debate and explain how standards interact.
4. No new 2AR theory.
5. Tell me why your theoretical objection comes before another
Kritiks: The Kritik is by far my favorite position in Policy and LD debate. Know what you are talking about. The explanation of the K needs to be done outside of of the author: for example, if you are running D&G, don't drop the term rhizomatic expansion and think that I know what that means. Explain it. Nothing gets me upset than a K team that drops terms and does not explain how those terms interact with the argument. I hate boring and generic links, do you work! Make sure to have a link scenario. The alternative, I feel is the most important mechanism of the K. Explain to me why the alternative is the most important part of the K and why this is the only way to accomplish the plan/case/WHATEVER.
Disadvantages: I don’t mind a few DAs here and there just don’t over kill it! Please if you are going to run politics don’t make it ridiculous and make sure your internal link is new and not something from four years ago.
Counterplans: Counterplans are counterplans I’ll vote on it if it’s there.
Truth vs. Tech--I will evaluate arguments based on the flow and will do very little work to imagine some "embedded clash" that isn't there. But at the end of the debate I will decide each argument by asking who I feel won it based solely on the arguments presented in the round.
Strat: Establish your position/advocacy. Link. Impact. Weigh extensively. Tell me why I should vote for you. If you do not tell me what to do with a given point "x", I will not vote off it unless there is literally nothing else for me to vote off of. Do not assume that I will auto extend drops, or that I will impact/link/weigh cross applications for you. It's your job to tell me why you win, explain it to me like you would explain it to your parents! Act like I don’t know (even though I do) *this will also result in better speaker points*. If something is important to my ballot, please tell me so, and spend time on it don’t glance over it. * I am 100% okay with any kind of case. Do what you like this is your show!
I am open to new arguments, however, solvency is key in any argument presented to me. I am not a fan of conditional arguments and kicking what seems important at the moment until you can no longer support it. Be respectful of your opponent - debate the topic, not the person. It is imperative that you are organized and methodical in your speeches - I value clarity over speed. Be creative - the same boring arguments, tend to have my mind wander. Keep me engaged with your passion and your ingenuity!
Hi. I debated at Glenbrook North HS in Northbrook for 4 years, 1.5 in policy and 2.5 in LD. I was the LD coach at Loyola Blakefield HS in Baltimore for 3 years followed by being the debate coach for Chicagoland Jewish HS in Deerfield, IL, New Trier HS in Winnetka/Northfield, IL, Bronx Science, Beacon HS in Manhattan, and the director of debate at Mamaroneck HS in Mamaroneck, NY. I've also worked at multiple debate camps and have been a private coach for multiple debaters. Trust me, I've seen it all.
Last updated 2/5/21. Put in things about email chains
I'm fine being on email chains but I'm not posting my email publicly. Just ask before the round.
I will vote on any argument, in any weighing mechanism provided. I do not discriminate, I'm find with speed (though sometimes my flowing can be bad), fine with theory, fine with kritiks, whatever you want to do. It's your round, have fun with it.
That being said I do have one very important caveat:
Extensions are key! Every extension needs to have the word extend/pull through the flow/or similar wording attached to it. Then it needs to have a warrant for what is being extended, finally the extension needs an impact back to the weighing calculus. If that is the value/value criterion mechanism then it needs to impact back to the VC that is being used for the round. If that is some other mechanism, it needs to be impacted to that weighing mechanism (theory means voters I guess). That weighing mechanism and the warrants for the mechanism should be extended (In a v/vc model the vc should be extended along with the argument). If these things are not done then the arguments will not be evaluated in the same depth and I might not give you credit, or as much credit, for an argument that you may have clearly won on the flow. I guess in simpler terms I have a high threshold for extensions. Also, when extending please extend along with the warrant please compare your arguments to other arguments. The best extensions are not just argument extensions but have comparative weighing along with the arguments.
Other things I've noticed about my preferences for debate: (This is just a list of things I like, none of these are necessary to win a round)
- I tend to prefer debaters who debated similarly to how I debated. What does this mean? I debated in an old school national circuit LD style. On the aff that meant a very broad criterion with mutually exclusive contentions that I tried to kick out of as much as possible (usually at the end of the 2AR, I had one contention and maybe framework). On the neg, it meant a short NC, no more than 2 minutes, with extensive analytical responses to the aff. While it might not help you win the round, debate has changed a lot, it will help your speaker points.
- I like a 2AR that isn't on the flow. What does this mean? The 2AR should be more of a story speech that merely references the flow. A lot of weighing/crystallizing or time on voting issues.
-I like even/if stories. They tend to make the round clearer and make my life easier.
-LD debaters need to stop saying "we" when referring to themselves. You are a singular human being and not one half of a partnership. If you say "we" while referring to yourself you will lose 0.1 speaker points. I will also interrupt your speeches to ask "who is we?" Be prepared.
-I'm a leftist politically. Property rights arguments and other capitalist arguments are not particularly persuasive to me and I don't like hearing them. That doesn't mean I won't vote on them, it just means if you have something else it's probably a good idea to run it.
-I presume coinflip. That means if I can't find any offense or way to vote I will flip a coin to decide the round. I have done this quite a few times and never want to do it again but I'm not afraid to do it and if I think your round warrants it, a coinflip will happen. (That said the only times I've done it has been in rounds where there have been on offense by either side so as long as offense exists I will not flip a coin).
-I like philosophy, I am a philosophy major. That said I'm not good at flowing it, especially when spread at the beginning of the speech. So if you do read philosophy slow down a little bit so that I can catch your arguments.
-Going off that last point, my major is in continental philosophy; which means I take classes on all those critical authors you've wanted to use in rounds. Kritiks are wonderful! If you know what are you talking about, please run them in front of me. Ks do not need an alt, though it is preferable. Make sure to understand the interactions between your position and the position of what your opponent is running. Also just because your opponent is running a K does not mean you lose the round.
- Please start the AC/NC with I affirm/I negate. It doesn't take away from your word economy and it gives me a second to "catch up" and get used to your spreading/debating voice so that I don't miss your first argument. You don't need to re-state the resolution though, that's unnecessary.
-Something most debaters forget is that as a judge I do not look to see what you are reading while you are reading it. Therefore, be more specific in signposting then off the Martin card 1..2..3 etc. Don't just say Martin, say what Martin said as well, because I might not have gotten the author name Martin but I got the argument s/he made. Also, be clear about where Martin is on the flow. If Martin is a contention 1 card, say that she is in contention 1.
- WEIGH! One of the things I'm almost always unsure of after a round is which argument to evaluate first. Do I look to the Disad, the spike, the contention 1? Most debate rounds involve multiple arguments that could "come first" and people telling me the order in which to evaluate arguments and which arguments are more important makes my life easier. It also means you'll be more likely to win because the argument that you're saying is most important/comes first is probably also the one that you're winning the most. WEIGH! Seriously WEIGH!
- Policy style arguments have started to come more and more into LD and people like running them in front of me. That's fine, I really like them. However, if you are running them you also take on policy-style burdens. For example, if you read a plan then you have to fulfill the 4 criteria of the HITS (if you don't know what that is, you shouldn't be running a plan. Also, considering the last person to lose on significance was Tom Durkin in the 1978 NDT, significance doesn't matter anymore). Most importantly, is that policy has a status quo whereas LD does not. That means that you need to orally give me the dates of evidence! If you're running a DA I need to know that the uniqueness is actually unique, if it's a plan that the inherency is actually inherent etc. Evidence without dates on it means that I won't give you credit for uniqueness or inherency claims that you need in the debate round. If your opponent points out that you didn't read those dates then I will give zero credit for any uniqueness/inherency claim and assume that your evidence is from 1784 and take away any offense that is based off of that plan/DA (I will also give said opponent at least a 29). So make sure to tell me those dates!
- I've recently read A LOT of social movement theory and have also been actively been involved in crafting strategy for a social movement. This has made me significantly more wary of most kritik alternatives. Kritik alts either make no sense, are not realistic, would never be adopted by wide ranging social movements, or are actively harmful to spreading social movements. It won't change how I vote, if the alt is won, but it does mean that common sense arguments against K alts will be considered more important.
- A priori/pre-standards arguments/other tricky-esque nibs. If you are losing everything else on the flow I need a reason to uniquely prefer your 3 sentences over the rest of the flow. If that does not happen I will find it very hard to vote for you over somebody else who is winning the rest of the round. Not that I won't evaluate the argument at all it will just be weighed against the rest of the round and if someone else is winning the rest of the round I will vote for the person winning the majority of the round. In simpler words if you go for an a priori, go for it hard. I'm not going to buy it simply because it is dropped.
- Metaethics. I used to have a long screed about metaethics here. It's been deleted (you can read it on the back edits if you're really interested) as I've decided that, while I agree still with what I said before, meta-ethics are being used a lot better by debaters so that it doesn't apply as much. I do think meta-ethics have a place in debate but they need to be used properly. Basically, meta-ethics cannot be used as a "magic wand" to get out of framework debate. You still need to provide an ethic to meet your meta-ethic. Just saying my meta-ethical util comes before your ethical deont haha! is not enough. Language might be indeterminate but that doesn't mean we default to util (or deont) unless it's justified.
Since everybody asks me about how I evaluate theory here it is:
I don't mind theory, I will vote on it and I will vote on it in cases where I think no actual abuse has occurred or even times where the argument itself is patently non-abusive. But before you rush to pull out your three theory shells, I really don't like voting on it. Moreover, of all the decisions where people have argued with me after the round, 2/3 of them are because of theory. My paradigm seems to be different than other judges so I would say run theory at your risk. Now of course you're asking why is my paradigm different? Simple because I don't default to a monolithic competing interpretations framework, you don't need a counter-interp/RVI/etc. to win theory (though it is helpful and in a case of offense vs. no offense I'm going to default to offense). I'm not as technical on theory as other judges, simply saying my argument is not abusive, drop the argument not the debater, or even talking about reasonability will probably be enough to convince me to not vote on theory. In other words, I default to reasonability, though will be persuaded otherwise. Also, in a round between two equal theory debaters or even a round where both debaters have competent theory blocks, theory turns into a crapshoot (which, by the way, is most theory rounds) so while I will do my best to sort through it that doesn't mean my decision won't be somewhat random.
Also, I guess most LD judges don't evaluate theory this way so I should point this out. If you only go for theory in the NR/2NR or 2AR then the affirmative/negative does not need a RVI to win the theory debate because the only offense at the end of the round is on theory which means that I am merely evaluating who did the better theory debating and not worrying about substance at all. The RVI only comes into play if there is a contestation of substance AND theory at the end of the debate.
On Non-T affs:
You ought pretend to be topical. Topicality means different things to different people and I think that the topic and what topicality means can change in debate and in different debates. However, the aff should claim that they are talking about the topic. How they make that claim or whether that claim is true can be (and should be!) contested in the round.
Feel free to come up to me at any tournament and ask me questions about anything, I can't guarantee you a great answer but I can guarantee that I will try to respond.
I will vote on any argument, in any weighing mechanism provided. My main philosophy is it's your round not mine so do what you want. I think a lot of how I judge policy is probably transferred from LD so look there for good stuff. One caveat to that, if there is something that seems very specific to LD (like saying "we" for example) do not bring that into a policy context.
Obviously I have some caveats for that:
First and foremost is that LD is most of what I've debated and coached. Though policy kids have this outdated version of what LD is, there is now every argument in policy in LD also with extra stuff too! I am fine with speed etc. Don't worry about that. However, I did not go to camp, I did not do research on the resolution (whichever one it is) and don't know what is stock or what isn't. I know, more or less, what aff my team is running and generic stuff to be used on any topic. Your explanation barrier for me understanding topic specific arguments then is a little bit higher.
The other important take away is that social conventions of what you can and cannot do in LD and policy are slightly different. For example, RVIs in LD are not joke arguments but made in almost any theory round (though I don't like RVIs in policy). LD does not have the concept of overviews in the same way as policy and what is considered "line by line" is very different. I've been able to figure out most of these biases but occasionally I'll mess up. Just be aware.
I default to reasonability on T and theory issues.
I don't know why this has become a thing but apparently people don't say AND or NEXT after finishing cards in the 1AC or 1NC. You still need to do that so that I know when to flow.
Utilitarianism is moral philosophy that evaluates the morality of actions based on the consequences. This means that small scale/structural violence impacts are utilitarian because we care about the consequence of structural violence. Stop saying these arguments are not utilitarian or answering them as if they are not utilitarian. They are.
I feel the need to fix this huge communication issue in the debate community it will start with my judging philosophy. If you are a debater who say any of the following "Obama is president solves for racism" or "we are moving towards less racism cause of Obama or LBS" and the opposing team reading a racism arg/advantage or colorblindness I will instantly vote you down with 25 points for the debater who said it.
Jumping: Novice please don't but if you must which you all will you have 20 seconds after you call for prep to be stop till I consider it stealing prep and instead of restarting prep I will just measure it by the ticker timer in my head (which you do not want). I suggest that you carry a debate jump drive, viewing computer or the cloud system. For Open debaters I get even more angry with the lack of competence you guys have with being responsible when it comes to jumping files and card. I have a soft warmness for debaters who are mostly paper and may involve me smiling like a boy with a crush don't be alarmed it is just me remembering my old days.
Speaking: I believe that clarity comes before all other ideals of what we often fantasize a good speaker to be, a debater has to be clear so that I spend more time analyzing and processing what is said then trying to comprehend what the hell is being said. This helps in the rebuttals when there is more cross applying of arguments instead of me sitting there trying to ponder what argument reference is being made. Speed is something I can adjust to not my general forte yet if you are clear I can primarily make easier adjustments (look I sound like a damn metronome). I tend to give hints towards the wrongs and rights in the round so I won’t be put off if you stare at me every now and then. Debates should be a game of wit and word that upholds morals of dignity and respect do not be rude and or abrasive please respect me, the other team, your partner and of course yourself
The Flow: My hand writing is atrocious just incredibly horrible for others at least I generally flow tags, authors and major warrants in the world of traditional debate. Outside of that with all the other formats poetry, performance, rap, theatricals and so forth I just try to grasp the majority of the speech incorporating the main idea
The K: yeah I so love the K being from a UDL background and having running the K for a majority of my debate career, yet don't let that be the reason you run the K I believe that a great K debate consist of a in-depth link explanation as well as control of the clash. There should be Impact calculus that does more then tell me what the impact is but a justification for how it functionally shapes the round which draws me to have a complete understanding of the Alt versus the plan and there must be some idea of a solvency mechanism so that the k is just simply not a linear disad forcing me to rethink or reform in the status quo (K= reshape the Squo)
The T debate: First I find it extremely hard to remember in my entire debate career where I cast a ballot for topicality alone yet it is possible to get a T ballot you must have a clear abuse story I will not evaluate T if there is not a clear abuse story. Voters are my best friend and will become a prior if well explained and impacted, yet I do believe education and fairness have extreme value just want to know why.
The D/A: Well I actually find myself voting more on the Disad then the K I just think that the disad debate offers more tools for the neg then the K yet it is the debater who optimize these tools that gain my ballot, link debates should contain at least a specific link as well as a an established Brink generic links are not good enough to win a D/A ballot and any good aff team will destroy a a generic link unless there is some support through a link wall. Impact debates must be more than just nuke war kills all you have to place comparative value to the status quo now and after plan passage. Yet a disad is an easier win with the advantages of solvency deficits and the option of competitive counter plans.
The Counter Plan: Competition is key if there is no proof that the end result is not uniquely different from the aff plan it is less likely to capture my ballot. So C/P solvency and competition is where my voter lies on the C/P flow this involves establishing and controlling the clash on the net benefit. PIC's usually rely on proving that the theoretical value of competition is worth my jurisdiction.
Theory: cross apply T only thing with a theory debate that is different is you must be able to show in where the violation actually happens yet I find theory to be easy outs to traditional clash.
Framework: this is where my jurisdiction truly falls and it is the teams’ job to not only introduce the functioning framework but to uphold and defend that their framework is worth singing my ballot towards. I have no set idea of a framework coming into the round your job is to sell me to one and by any means my job is not to look at what framework sounds good but which is presented in a manner that avoids judges intervention (really just the team that prevents me from doing the bulk of the work if any).
In general: I love a good old debate round with tons of clash and where there is an understanding and display of your own intellect I find it hard to judge a round where there is just a display of how well a team can read and make reference to evidence, usually I hope that ends or is done less coming out of the 1AR. I'm a man who finds pleasure in the arts and execution of organic intellect and can better give my decision and opinion based mainly on how one relates back to competitive debate, if debate for you is a card game then it forces me to have to make decision based off my comprehension of the evidence and trust me that is never a good thing, yet a round where the discussion is what guides my ballot I can vote on who upholds the best discursive actions.
Sheryl Kaczmarek Lexington High School -- SherylKaz@gmail.com
I expect debaters to treat one another, their judges and any observers, with respect, and I also expect all audience members to treat every participant in a round with respect. If you plan to accuse your opponent(s) of being intellectually dishonest or of cheating, please be prepared to stake the round on that claim. Accusations of that sort are NOT JUST ARGUMENTS, they are round ending claims for me, one way or the other, so don't make the accusation in a speech if you don't want me to judge the round based on that argument alone, either for or against the person making the claim. I believe debate is an oral and aural experience, which means that while I want to be included on the email chain, I will NOT be reading along with you, and I will not give you credit for arguments I cannot hear/understand if you do not change your speaking after I shout clearer or louder for the second time. [Note for the Virtual World: I don't think judges shouting at debaters to be louder or clearer is a very good idea, so I may glance at a speech doc during CX or Prep Time for "big picture" assistance, should I find a debater especially hard to understand, but I will not read full speech docs to produce a flow.] I take the flow very seriously and I probably judge as much as anyone my age, across the disciplines, but I still need everyone to explain their arguments because I may not "know" all of the nuances for every topic in every event, and I should not judge on what I know anyhow. There is an exception: I will NOT vote for arguments that are racist, sexist or in any other way biased against a group based on gender identity, religion or any other characteristic and I will NOT vote for suicide/self harm alternatives. None of those are things I can endorse as a long time high school teacher and decent human.
The Resolution -- I would prefer that debaters actually address the resolution, but I do vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often. That is because it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.
Framework -- I often find that these debates get really messy really fast. Debaters tend to make too many arguments and tend not to answer the arguments of the opposition very clearly. I would prefer more direct clash, and fewer arguments overall. While I don't think framework arguments are as interesting as many other types of arguments in a debate, I will vote for the team which best promotes their vision of debate through their framework arguments, or at least look at the rest of the arguments in the round through that lens.
Links -- You should have them, for both Disads and Kritiks. I would really like to know what the affirmative has done to cause the impacts referenced in a Disad, and I think there has to be something the affirmative does (or thinks) which triggers a Kritik. I don't care how big the impact/implication is if the affirmative does not cause it in the first place.
Solvency -- I expect actual solvency advocates for both plans and counterplans. If you are going to have multi-plank plans or counterplans, make sure you have solvency advocates for those combinations of actions, and even if you are advocating a single action, I still expect some source that suggests this action as a solution for the problems you have identified with the SQ, or with the Affirmative (which is why your counterplan is better).
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly really annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part of the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy. I will try to follow you, but there is no guarantee I will succeed.
Old/Traditional Arguments -- I have been judging long enough that I have a full range of experiences with inherency, case specific disads, theoretical arguments against politics disads and many other arguments from policy debate's past, and I also understand the stock issues and traditional policy-making. If you want to really confuse your opponents, and amuse me, you'll kick it old school rather than going post-modern.
The Resolution -- The thing that originally attracted me about LD (as opposed to policy) was that debaters actually addressed the whole resolution. These days, that happens far less often in LD than it used to. I do like hearing the resolution debated, but I also vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often in LD. That is because I believe it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.
Framework -- I think LDers are better at framework debates than policy debaters, as a general rule, but I have noticed a trend to lazy framework debates in LD in recent years. How often should debaters recycle Winter and Leighton, for example, before looking for something new? If you want to stake the round on the framework you can, or you can allow it to be the lens through which I will look at the rest of the arguments in the round.
Policy Arguments in LD -- I understand all of the policy arguments that have migrated to LD quite well, and I remember when many of them were first developed in Policy. The biggest mistake LDers make with policy arguments -- Counterplans, Perm Theory, Topicality, Disads, Solvency, etc. -- is making the assumption that your particular interpretation of any of those arguments is the same as mine. Don't do that! If you don't explain something, I have no choice but to default to my understanding of that thing. For example, if you say, "Perm do Both," with no other words, I will interpret that to mean, "let's see if it is possible to do the Aff Plan and the Neg Counterplan at the same time, and if it is, the Counterplan goes away." If you mean something different, you need to tell me. That is true for all judges, but especially true for someone with over 40 years of policy experience. I try to keep what I think out of the round, but absent your thoughts, I have to use my own.
Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly really annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part if the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy. I will try to follow you, but there is no guarantee I will succeed.
Traditional Arguments -- I would still be pleased to listen to cases with a Value Premise and a Criterion. I almost certainly prefer traditional arguments to new arguments that I cannot understand at full debate speed.
Theory -- Theory arguments are not magical, and theory arguments which are not fully explained, as they are being presented, are unlikely to be persuasive for me, particularly if presented in a paragraph, since there is no way of knowing which ones I won't notice or write down, and no one can write down all of the arguments in a densely packed theory paragraph. I also don't like theory arguments that are crafted for one particular debate. If it is not an argument that can be used in multiple debates (like topicality, conditionality, etc) then it probably ought not be run in front of me. New 1AR theory is risky, in my opinion, because the NR typically has more than enough time to answer it, and I don't especially like disclosure theory arguments because I am not in a position to judge what was done or said before a round, and because I am not at all sure I ought to be voting on things that happened before official speech or CX time begins. All of that being said, I have voted on theory, even new 1AR theory, and disclosure theory, if a debater WINS the argument, but it does not make me smile.
The Resolution -- PF still debates the resolution, which is one of the things I really like about the activity. Please make sure you do debate the resolution when debating in front of me. It would be best if the Final Focus on each side attempted to guide me to either endorse or reject the resolution.
Framework -- This is beginning to be a thing in PF in some places. I am perfectly willing to consider a lens through which I can look at the arguments in the debate, but given the time limits, please keep your framework simple and focused, should you decide to use one.
Policy or LD Behaviors/Arguments in PF -- I personally believe each form of debate ought to be its own thing. I do not want you to talk quickly in PF, just because I also judge LD and Policy, and I really don't want to see theory arguments, plans, counterplans or kritiks in PF. I will definitely flow, and will judge the debate based on the flow, but I want PF to be PF. That being said, I will not automatically vote against a team that brings Policy/LD arguments/stylistic approaches into PF. It is still a debate and the opposition needs to answer the arguments that are presented in order to win my ballot, even if they are arguments I don't want to see in PF.
Paraphrasing -- I really wish the NSDA had decided to kill paraphrasing in PF. When someone paraphrases inaccurately, I have a huge problem with it. I expect debaters to be able to immediately access the text of the cards they have paraphrased -- there should not need to be an off time search for the article, or for the exact place in the article where they drew their paraphrasing from. Taking a 150 page article and making a claim from it is not paraphrasing unless you can point to the exact place your statement is based upon.
Evidence -- If you are using evidence, I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is unacceptable. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part you card you read needs to say extinction will happen. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.
Theory -- This has begun to be a thing in PF in some places, especially with respect to disclosure theory, and I am not a fan. As previously noted, I want PF to be PF. While I do think that PFers can be too secretive (for example, getting excited because people are watching their debates -- debates are educational and should be open to observers) I don't think that PFers ought to be expending their very limited time in rounds talking about whether they ought to have disclosed their case to their opponents before the round. Like everything else I would prefer not be true, I can see myself voting on theory in PF because I do vote based on the flow, but how about debating the case in front of you, instead of inventing new arguments you don't really have time to discuss? I would like that, and happy judges give better speaker points.
East Side High School graduate (2014)
I go to Rutgers- Newark
Just like any other judge I am best with well explained arguments and good analysis. I prefer this over teams that just read a million cards . I'm probably more suited to critical arguments as I have more experience with them but run what you are good at. I don't like cheap shots, I think debate is more educational and pedagogical than a game, treat your arguments wth value.
I don't see debate in a vacuum or disconnected from the real world.
Traditional Topicality/ Framework / Theory:
I find that when teams read this, it's always very recycled, the same blocks from 10 years ago.
If you are reading this against K affs, ... Those old same standards aren't that persuasive to me. Make it persuasive, do lots of analysis, voters are a big deal for me don't make it a blip.
I like good framework debates, but I think that your impacts have to really be fleshed out and have good analysis. Affirmatives should directly respond to standards, not just read their anti FW block and think it'll win them the debate, also don't just read a roll of the ballot and think you're good, justify it with counter standards and compare or it will cost you.
I hate cheap shots, so when it comes to theory, if you are going for go for it. Make the impacts more nuanced and developed, make it matter and I will see it ias a legit argument.
These are fine, I like hearing all the creative and crazy ways to solve for advantages. Specific is better than generic. It better be competative.
I will vote on it if it's good and you win it. Don't just read hella cards in the 2nc block. Do big picture stories, you can read cards obviously but analyze it and make it apply to aff arguments
I may not be super familiar with the latest scenarios but if you explain all the steps in your overview and you win it then you're good.
Awesome, win it. Make a good persuasive specific link. The Alternative is really important, I should know if it's something material or educational or etc. Read a framework especially against policy affs. Framework is also pretty important (roll of the judge and ballot and all that)
Policy/plan/USFG/Fiat type affs:
I'll vote for it. However you MUST win your framework interpretation against Critical arguments. Explain your permutations, what they look like, how they work, why it functions. I have no problem voting for these affs but you're not winning on fraework its hard to vote for you
Critical/ Performance Affs:
Nice, just tell me what ur method does and what that means in context of the debate community as well as the real world! I don't think these affs must defend the federal government or have a plan but I think planless affs should be atleast somehow related to the topic because then we can diversify our arguments and make them apply to whatever the res is :)
Case: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE engage in a case debate. Neg- Put specific offense on case, challenge the aff! Aff- Please use your case past the 1ac. Extend your cards and smart arguments, the 1ac is 8 minutes of offense for you in the rest of the debate, use it like that!
Flowing: I'd say I'm pretty average at flowing, if you're going through a huge list of standards or something slow it down, Slow it down on the tags. I am not a flow centric judge, i look at my flow to see what you said, if the analysis aint there neither is the argument. Frameworks and precedurals come first obviously then comes the aff vs counter methods,plans, alternatives, or SQ
25s and a loss: Racism good, Slurs, inappropriate behavior. Just be appropriate and behave please
Good speaks: Be clear, and win. Be persuasive, be funny and approachable, it seriously helps a lot in making the round a better experience for everyone! I give speaker points for teams who know how to emphasize lines in their warrants rather than reading through it 500 wpm like a robot. I like passion and when people care about the things they read.
I'm really laid back and I think debate is an activity that's fun and to learn and be competitive. Dressing and acting "proper" and closed cross ex and all that strict stuff is silly to me. Feel free to ask my any questions.
Also I just want to say that if you don't agree with my decision feel free to ask questions and we can have a conversation with me after the round about how I interpreted the round, don't bicker with me and don't be rude.
4 years of policy in HS. A few months of parli at Yale. Cool with everything, but haven't judged a round in two years. Will come in well read on the topic, but this should still be helpful to you- if the meta has changed in the last few years then I probably won't know it. Prefer smart and well reasoned args over speed and cleverness.
2020 Update: Ananth Panchanadam
Education: B.A. Political Science, New York University (December 2018). Ms in Finance, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business (May 2021), Unionville High School(2015)
Professional Experience: Internships in Investment Banking and Corporate Finance
Coaching/Teaching Experience: Stuyvesant, Ransom Everglades (Students qualified to TOC from both schools)
Competitive Background: Policy Debate
Paradigm: Wanted to keep this simple and quick. Feel free to ask more in-depth questions
I like students who have plans and by plans I mean students who have a clear vision as to what they are trying to accomplish in each speech. I want to reward debaters who have an idea of how to win the debate and can explain and execute that it. I prefer that over debaters who just extend their scenario and do line by line without any broader strategy.
I don’t have any style of argumentation preferences and have had coaching success with Policy, K and performative strategies. Speed is fine, please be clear and don’t blaze through theory shells and pre-written analytics.
I also think that the goal for most students is to win a debate and that students look to exploit points of arbitrage to secure victory.
T: I believe that Affs have a prima facie burden to be topical. What it means to be T is up for debate. You can also reject the topic but be ready to defend it. I don’t have a strong preference for reasonability or competing interps. It seems inevitable that both are used in my decision. Def go for it if you have a good explanation. I treat standards as linear disads and actual abuse is more persuasive than potential abuse.
Role of Ballot is the first thing I evaluate on a k flow but I do need to believe that there is a reason for the ballot to have a role and that the specific role of the ballot is good.
Role of Judge =/= Role of Ballot. Role of Judge, ideally, helps me prioritize an issue or method that influences the way I interpret the arguments made in a round.
I view links as independent disads to the aff. Good teams will explain them as reasons to vote for the alt and/or the squo.
Use case arguments to strengthen your DA arguments. Strong link work will serve you well. Specific counterplans and texts are good.
1) I disclose and call for cards unless told otherwise
2) Tech vs Truth is stupid: Drops =/= wins and strong truth claims don’t always beat technical drops. Use situational awareness to determine how to approach technical aspects of debate
3. 3) Author Quals matter. Peer reviewed research, respected news sources, industry opinions (especially for Finance and Econ). Authors from relevant fields.
4) Science, Statistics and Data analysis are good.
5) I don’t have a revolution or reform good bias for K debates
6) I generally don’t find g-lang type arguments persuasive and I will not vote for them against ESL students.
7) I don't like arguments made in bad faith and you'll know it when you see it. I don't like sketchy disclosure practices (Either do a reasonable disclosure or don't disclose at all and be prepared to defend the consequences of your decision).
8) I don't take prep for flashing/Emailing. Not everyone has a $3k macbook.
Feel free to ask me any questions you have and good luck!
While I was in high school I qualified for the TOC three times, clearing in my junior year and reaching the finals in my senior year. Back then, I ran plenty of arguments that were out of the mainstream, including de-development and utopian counterplans and deontological framing, but kritiks and the framework debate did not exist in their current forms. I did not debate in college and I do not judge college debate. A few years ago I began coaching at Albuquerque Academy, so I have had some time to catch up to high school debate as it is now.
I do my best to judge the round that the debaters want to have. That means that I often vote for a team that runs arguments that I don't prefer, because that team does a good job of explaining and debating the argument and the other team does not. I will not vote against a team simply because they don't debate in the style I prefer.
Almost all the "rules" of debate are debatable -- that's the beauty of the activity. Only the rules about the format of the activity are absolute. That includes time constraints, side constraints, and each debater doing one constructive and one rebuttal, etc. But any assertions about whether conditionality or severance or intrinsicness arguments (for example) are legitimate or illegitimate can be justified or attacked based on in-round abuse and their effect on the activity in general. By default, I think one or two conditional advocacies are okay, that the aff can't sever, and that the aff can't solve all the disads via intrinsicness spikes, but in any given round I could be convinced otherwise.
What I really don't like is a quick analytical argument that becomes a ballot-controlling showstopper in the rebuttals. Reverse voters, floating PICs/PIKs, and arbitrary role-of-the-ballot assertions can be abusive when they come out late in the debate and are suddenly the most important issue in the round.
I'm a big fan of a good T debate. Parsing words is challenging and fun, and directly relevant to life in the real world. Again, the impact is debatable and I'm just as open to reasonability / high threshold arguments on T as I am to limits and extra-T arguments.
A strange thing happens with kritiks. While I am highly suspicious of most K's, and particularly so of alternatives, I end up voting for K-heavy neg strategies frequently. That's because even the simplest K's can be very complex in their effect on the round, and many affirmative teams aren't confident in their ability to interrogate and refute a K. For the neg, my advice is to slow down a bit on the link explanation and say it in your own words. I credit analysis over "evidence" especially on the link. For the aff, my advice is, don't let them get away with anything. Challenge every part of the argument. A forceful, analytical no-link argument can win over any number of cards if the neg can't explain its link sufficiently clearly. I don't consider alternatives to be a settled area of debate, so I like to hear them attacked and defended. I heard one judge explain to an affirmative team, "I don't know what the link to the K was but the 2N sure read a lot of cards on it so I vote neg." I will never be that judge.
Framework arguments can produce some of the most thought-provoking debates. Because this mostly comes up when aff offers a kritikal or non-policy advocacy, my views here are similar to my views on K's. On the other hand, I do credit published evidence from debate scholars when it comes to framework; I think those sources are well-qualified to offer insight into the activity. A policy-oriented framework feels like "home" to me, but the contributions of some non-traditional affirmatives have been immeasureable. Bottom line: I'd love to hear a good framework debate.
There's nothing better than a genuine case-specific disad. But how often does that happen? I really like creative disads with up-to-date evidence. I like nuclear war as an impact, not because nuclear war literally will ensue but because those are truly the stakes when nations deliberate about foreign policy. Impacts abound: even if nuke war is off the table, something as "minor" in the debate sense as a US recession is a big impact to me (and probably exacerbates most structural impacts too, so argue that). But as big as impacts can get, links can get infinitely small. There are so many variables in this world that I will disregard trivial risks, so "infinite impact means you vote neg even on a microscopic probability" will be refuted easily.
Absent a K/framework situation, a negative team that doesn't use a CP cripples itself. Agent of action is an important question that we should debate. Neg doesn't always need solvency evidence of its own to carve up a case if the plan doesn't match the 1AC solvency. Despite that, there are some categories of counterplans that I dislike: conditions, consultations, study, delay, sunset are some examples. If a counterplan includes international or multi-actor fiat, i would like to hear that debated.
I often call for the plan. I will only call for evidence if the round really comes down to it and/or one of the debaters encourages me to do so. On the other hand, if both teams agree to flash or email me the speech docs in real time, that is fine with me. As to highlighting, my view is, if the round comes down to the evidence, you only get credit for the words you read, but the remainder of the writing can hurt you if it goes the other way. I encourage you to dissect the evidence of the opposition. Don't just say "no warrant," tell me what the evidence actually says and how it falls short.
Coaching is a second occupation for me, as I am also a lawyer for the federal government. I generally remain open to arguments that are critical of the federal government (the surveillance topic was very challenging in this regard). That said, if you make an argument like "every federal action is inherently racist," I will probably take it personally even if I try not to.
Oh yeah, disclosure refers to your practices too. Please don't ask me to enforce social norms regarding disclosure because I do not consider that my job.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and congratulations on selecting such a rewarding activity.
CURRENT THINGS WITH JAYE:
I am currently working as an assistant coach to the Newark Science debate team. I am very much indebted to debate for the person that I am today. I find debate (and especially debate rounds) to be very much a part of life. This means that I would encourage everyone to understand that the things you say in a debate round have real implications even outside of the debate round. Fellow debaters and opponents in the past, present, and future are not just obstacles, but are other people whether that is outside or inside civil society. Debate does not allow the things you say to exist in a vacuum, so as a judge, coach, educator, and a petty black man I will not tolerate or evaluate the following ideas (LIKE EVER):
RACISM GOOD/ RACISM DOES NOT EXIST
SOCIAL DEATH GOOD
STOPPING WARMING WILL SOLVE RACISM
(These are the only things that come to mind at the moment, I know and will try and add more, but understand I put these first for a reason.)
BACKGROUND THINGS WITH JAYE:
I’m a proud member of the Eastside debate team senor class of 2014. I am the closest friend with Daniel Mendes (who all of sudden became a celebrity in HS debate) and Chaz Wyche (if you don’t know about him you shouldn’t worry about it to affect my judging.). From my time on the Eastside debate team (Eastside BR) I am a member of the few teams from Newark to ever get a TOC bid (Scranton 2013) in over a decade. All my time in policy debate has been devoted to traveling, and debating in national tournaments all over the country (Scranton, Yale, Georgetown, Emory, U-Penn, NAUDL, etc). During my travels I have had Elijah Smith (CEDA AND NDT 2012 CHAMPION), Chris Randall (CEDA AND NDT NATIONAL 2013 DEBATER, and also Elijah’s partner), and Willie Johnson (CEDA 2013 FINAL ROUND JUDGE) as my coaches and most influential to my success as a debater. I am luck enough to have even judged at the college level of policy debates at tournaments such as Vermont, and West point and look forward to judging the HS level.
DEBATE THINGS WITH JAYE:
GENERIC THING WITH JAYE:
I’ll try and be quick and painless for the people who are waiting to know how they should pref me. Now I have judged policy, critical, and performance, but I find performance to be the debates I’m truly most comfortable with. If you could not tell by the three coaches I have stated above, I am very familiar with performance rounds and by coincidence I am also a performance debater. I ran an Afro-pessimist critiques in all my national tournaments my senior year (exception Yale and Georgetown: I ran Decolonaility, there is a difference btw). At all the other the tournaments I have read at least 2 Wilderson cards in every speech I’ve given. There are other authors that I read that talk about anti-blackness, but the point is that if you are talking about black people I have probably read the books/articles they came from. Now policy is by no means something I can’t judge. No performance debaters I know have started out running performance arguments, the same is true for me that I had to learn policy debate in order to be the debater I am today so I’ll talk about the specifics of policy first.
POLICY THINGS WITH JAYE:
You should pick up on whether the negative will truly go for the argument, and let that choose how you will answer in the 2ac and 1ar. Reasonability is a really strong argument in front of me, but that does not excuse you for dropping any arguments that can be used to make topically important.
I do evaluate topically. If you are going for topically you need to go hard people. I will not vote for topically if you don’t hard for me in the block. I need in round abuse, topical versions of the Aff, and voters that are going to be impacted in the round in order for me to take topically as more than a time crew you thought of for the round. If you actually do go for topically in the 2nr (which I would be beyond shock and a little impressed if you do it well) to make me vote on topically you need to go for this argument for the whole five minutes. Topically is a prior question in the round it would only make sense to just go for topically in the 2nr. The way I see topically used now as a time screw for a very minimal infraction of the Affirmative that is probably resolved through reasonability.
The best thing you could do for me would to try and set up theory in cross x. A simple “What is the status of the off case position?” would help me to at least prepare for a theory debate. I also like theory on a separate flow so that needs to be in the order at the beginning of the speech. That helps me evaluate the separate offense and defense on that debate. Theory like topically needs to have same time spent on it in order for me to vote for this argument. Your tagline will not be enough for me.
It is of the utmost importance for you to set this argument up in cross x for me if you can. Theory should also be on a separate flow, and similar to what I said on the Aff. You need to spend time on his to have me vote on this.
For the Affirmative the framework is really helpful to how I should evaluate. I can guest that a utilitarian framework is the way to evaluate your impacts or you can tell that utilitarianism is the framework, and give some comparative analysis if the negative has their own framework. A role of the ballot and judge is something you also want in any 2ac because it makes sense.
I’m talking about the “Resolved means a USFG topical policy action”. This type of frame is the scorn of my life. You don’t know how many times I’ve heard this argument. I WILL CRINGE EVERY TIME I HEAR THIS ARGUEMNT. I will unfortunately listen to the argument, but no one will like this debate. I believe that you should probably just run the topical version of the plan against whatever Aff you didn’t care to engage with. You can still weight all the education and ground arguments, but we now have a better debate, and I’ll be a lot happier.
All Policy affirmatives NEED TO HAVE A CLEAR LINE BETWEEN THE INTERNAL LINK AND THE IMPACT OF EACH ADVANTAGE. I also need a clear line to the SOLVENCY AND HOW THAT WORKS FOR EACH ADVANTAGE. The Aff should tell a story and have a good flow to it. This means the Aff should not be you trying to read as many cards as you can in the 1ac. The 1ac should be slow on tags to contribute to the idea of telling a story. Even policy Affs can be creative. Don’t be afraid to something other than nuclear war/extinction and have some cool advantage with a framework behind how I should evaluate the advantage. The best example of this I can tell you is probably structural violence advantage that stops something like police brutally, but this will require work. I will be happy to see that effort in a debate round and be sure to recognize you in some way for that work. (Probably a speaker higher)
They are ok, but make sure think is a clear link to the Aff. You also need to tell me how to evaluate this impact in round. The answer is YES! I would like a specific impact calculus for the round that compares all the impacts in the round.
If the counter plan doesn’t make any sense after the permutation then I will probably not vote for the counter plan. It needs to complete. That means a net benefit and a reason why the Aff is a bad idea. I believe that even if the counter plan solves the Aff it does not mean game over. The negative still needs a reason why the Aff is a bad idea on top of the net benefit or I will just vote Aff on the permutation.
CRITICAL THINGS WITH JAYE:
This for the Affirmative that have a plan text, but have a very philosophical background:
I LOVE CRITQUES, BUT IF YOU DON”T KNOW THE LITERATURE I WILL NOT LIKE YOU. This simply means if you read a critique you should have picked a book and read. Not just the introduction, but have read the book. You can easily tell an experience K debater from someone who is just beginning. I find that people can earn high speaks here, but with all high speaks they come to those who have a working knowledge of the hell they are talking about. Know Your Stuff. Links need to be as clear as possible. The better the link story, the better the speaker points. The alternative needs to solve the Aff or resolve the essential question posed in the debate. Make sure I know what the world of the alternative looks like. If you say that you end the work I need to know what the process looks like because my ballot will final end the world and I’ll take great pride in that.
PREFORMANCE THINGS WITH JAYE:
As stated above I’m very comfortable with this argument. Be sure to have some clear connection to the topic. IF YOU RUN THIS ARGUMENT YOU ARE THE REASON WHY THE SUN SHINES (not really tho)
I do believe that the negative can also have performances. These are really trick to deploy in a round sometime, but when done correctly they are one the most powerful arguments in debate. I prefer these debates to happen when the Aff gives there performance, and he neg provides a counter performance/methodology. These argument hold a special place in my heart as this was the only I ran on the negative of my senior. There is nothing special you get from me by reading this argument but that shouldn’t hinder you from reading this argument in front on me anyway.
END OF THNGS WITH JAYE
Name: Jefferey Yan
Affiliation: Stuyvesant High School ’15
Binghamton University '19
I debated for 8 years, in HS for Stuyvesant and in college at Binghamton. I read a plan for a majority of my time in HS, and various K arguments on the neg. In college, I read an affirmative about Asian-Americans every year with a variety of flavors and a few about disability. On the neg, we primarily went for K arguments with themes of biopower, capitalism, and resiliency. My senior year, my partner and I got Binghamton's first first-round bid to the NDT ever. We also got to CEDA semis.
I have not been actively coaching at any level for the ongoing season, so I have little familiarity with the alliances/criminal justice topics outside of the few rounds I’ve judged so far. This also means I don’t really know the current “meta” of debate, so it would be very helpful for all of us if you took a little bit of extra time to explain acronyms/topic specific jargon when applicable.
TLDR: Line by line good. Little experience on topic, please explain. I can judge pretty much anything, just do what you do best.
I think line by line is an effective way to both record and evaluate clash that happens in debate. I like to judge debates that are heavily invested in line-by-line refutation because I think it requires the least amount of intervention and the largest amount of me pointing to what you said.
That being said, I think rebuttals require less line-by-line and more framing arguments. The biggest problem for me when evaluating debates is there is often little explanation of how I should treat the rest of debate if you win x argument. In other words, you need to impact your arguments not just on the line by line, but also in the broader context of the debate. The ability to do both in a round is primarily what modulates the speaking points I give.
Framework/T-USFG: I like to think of framework as an all-or-nothing strategy that can either be utilized effectively and persuasively, or poorly and as an excuse to avoid engagement. My ideal block on FW is where you spend time articulating specific abuse and why it implicates your ability to debate with examples. I think specificity is what makes the difference between framework as a strategy for engagement versus framework as a strategy for ignoring the aff. I think a lot of the delineation here is most apparent in the 2NR and whether or not the neg explicitly acknowledges/goes to the case page.
Generally speaking, I think ties to the topic are good. I think topical versions of the aff are something people need to be going for in the 2NR and are lowkey kind of broken given the time tradeoff vs amount of defense generated ratio. I am unpersuaded by fairness as an intrinsic good or impact in itself, and relying heavily on it in the 2nr is not a great spot to be in. For example, I am relatively easily persuaded by the argument that if a current form of the game produces bad outcomes, then whether it’s fair or not is ultimately a secondary to concern when compared to re-thinking the content of the game itself. I think arguments regarding the quality of clash are the most persuasive to me as they can implicate both fairness and education impact arguments fairly intuitively.
I default to competing interps, but I think that aff teams tend to read awful C/Is without realizing it, mostly because they fail to really think through what their counter-model of debate looks like. I think a strong counter-interp really sets aff FW strategies apart, because being able to access the neg’s offense does a lot for you in terms of explaining the specificity of your own impact turns.
T: Like I said, I have very little topic specific knowledge and am a bit out of the loop in regards to the meta. This means I’m probably more willing to vote on a stupid T argument than other judges. This could be good or bad for you.
DA: I like stories. DAs are opportunities to tell good stories. Not much else to say about this.
CP: I wish people slowed down when reading CP texts because it makes it so god damn hard to flow them. I think judge-kick is stupid. If the debate becomes theoretical, please adhere to some kind of line-by-line format.
K: I am most familiar with structural kritiks. Link specificity makes life good. I think framework is incredibly important for both sides to win to win the debate. I think the neg should defend an alternative most of the time. I think the neg should generally pick and choose one or two specific link arguments in the 2NR.
K but on the aff: These debates are largely framework debates, and the winner of that debate gets to decide what happens with the judge and the ballot. I think it’s important to make clear what the aff advocates early on, because often times these affs have too many moving parts, which gets you into trouble vs link debates/presumption arguments. I think ties to the topic are generally good. I usually really like judging these types of affs.