Samford Debate Institute
2018 — AL/US
Sarah Emerson Paradigm
Sarah Emerson (firstname.lastname@example.org- yes I want to be on the email chain)
I am a second-year debater at Samford University. However, I debated Policy for three years in high school. The four topics I've debated are Domestic Surveillance, Relations with China, Primary and Secondary Education, and Executive Authority. Additionally, I worked at a debate camp over this past summer on the Immigration Topic, so I have some knowledge for the resolution. That does not mean I will understand your case. Please don’t assume that I know what your niche immigration policy is because I probably don’t.
My thoughts on various things:
Signpost, do line-by-line, and use smart analytics. Those things make you look more intelligent and on top of things. (Read as more speaker points)
Traditional v. Critical: Traditional. I have run and hit a few K's, but I probably won't understand what your K is saying if it's not one of the common ones. (Settler Colonialism, Anti-Blackness, Feminism, Cap, Security, etc.) If you are going to run a K, hold my hand through the ballot, it's in your best interest.
Tech v. Truth: I lean really far toward tech. If you want to run the weirdest argument out there, go for it. If they drop it and you point it out, it's almost always going to be a true argument for me. The downside is that if your opponent points out that your argument is weird and I think it is, I'll give them a little more wiggle room answering it.
Evidence v. Analysis: Everyone likes a good card, but I love it when debaters are able to use their heads to get rid of illogical arguments in a round with simple logic. That's not to say that you shouldn't read a bunch of cards in front of me-- you should --but I would like to hear a good mix of cards and analytics throughout the debate. And, it'll boost speaker points!
Speed: Go as fast as you want. If you're unclear, I'll say clear. If you become unclear again I'll say it one more time then I will just look at you with a confused face.
Kicking Arguments: Unless it’s a theory arg, you should be formally kicking out of things. I will kick a cp for the negative automatically if they respond to “status of the cp” in cx with “status quo is always an option” unless the aff tells me not to. Otherwise, I won’t kick anything unless explicitly told to by the negative.
My thoughts are various types of arguments:
T: I really don't like when someone runs a T-shell that clearly doesn't counter the aff. Make sure that there is at least an argument that they don't meet your interpretation and that your interp isn't absurd. I have a high threshold for voting negative on T, but it has happened before. If you are going to go for T in front of me, here are a couple of things you need:
- An interpretation of a word or phrase in the resolution - Yes, it must be the exact word or phrase in the resolution. Don't define reduce if the resolution says restrict for example.
- A clear reason or a card that states that the aff plan does not fall under that interp. If you are going to make T the 2NR, this should take more than just restating what previous speeches said.
- Standards (especially if there is a counter interp) - If you don't tell me why to prefer your interp, I probably will give aff more wiggle room on being T. Standards should develop throughout the round to have an impact. Why should I care about limiting the resolution?
-Preferably a Topical Version of the AFF that is introduced in the block. The TVA needs to sufficiently solve the aff and be topical.
Theory More Broadly: Your shell needs to be clear (a little slower that your regular spreading) or I won't be able to catch it all. Like T, you need an interp and standards in order for me to vote your way. Condo is reject the team or reject the arg, and everything else is just reject the arg. Debate is a game and theory arguments tell the judge when someone has broken a rule.
Condo: I don't have a particular limit of conditional options that is a hard threshold for voting aff. If the neg wants to run 2 options, great! If they want to run 5, great! I will evaluate condo based on how each side in a specific debate handles it rather than injecting my opinions prematurely. Just remember, the more condo you have, the more persuasive the reject the team arg becomes and the more wiggle room I will give the aff when answering other sheets. If you force the 2AC to answer a ton of conditional counterplans then kick them or most of them in the block because the 2AC undercovered your DA, I'm probably going to let the 1AR have new answers/more leeway on the DA.
K: Your K must have some form of solvency mechanism. What that looks like is up to you. I don't find the argument that winning the alt solvency or framework means no perm particularly persuasive. Please please please don't just read card after card and not do any line-by-line clash or extrapolation. I need to know that you understand what you are saying, and I need to understand your argument. If I need to read the K cards to understand your argument, I'm probably giving aff the benefit of the doubt.
CP: I love a good counterplan as most traditional policy debaters do. This means a counterplan text that is textually and functionally competitive with the plan, a credible solvency advocate, and a net benefit. The rest is up to the debaters. I’m good with any kind of cp as long as the negative is ready to defend it theoretically or kick out of it.
DA: Not much to say here. They’re cool, almost everyone runs them because they’re cool. Uniqueness determines the direction of the link.
Impacts: Do impact calculus, and turns/solves case arguments at least in the 2NR/2AR, please. If the debate comes down to impact calculus and neither team has done any, I can’t tell you how I personally would evaluate the impacts. I would probably read some cards, figure out whose impact was more disputed, get really frustrated, and not want to give anyone good speaks… so just do the calculus.
Impact Turns: I'm down for impact turns such as Democracy, Proliferation, Economy, etc. Those debates can get messy, however. Do your best to keep your argument clean to help me evaluate the round, and you’ll get a speaker point boost. If you impact turn anything like discrimination, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. you’re going to lose and get 0 speaker points.
Last Updated: 5/16/19
Aly Fiebrantz Paradigm
Current Director of Speech and Debate at NSU University School in Davie, FL.
Former Director of Forensics and Full time policy debate coach at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, FL (7 years).
General: First judging philosophies are silly. Read whatever arguments you would like to read that you think are best appropriate for that round. I will not wholesale discount or credit arguments at face value. I think people should be nice to each other. I believe in tech over truth within reason, a shitty argument is a shitty argument regardless if it's conceded but, if an argument is dropped it's probably true and my threshold for extension/impact calc is much lower. I will also add .5 to your speaker points (guidelines below) if you engage in GOOD LBL Debate that include numbers in the 2AC. I miss organization. I prefer to have the least amount of judge intervention this means saying things like "extend" are necessary for me. Most importantly I believe the debate round isn't about me it's about the debaters. You do you and you'll be fine (mostly).
Pet Peeves that may result in lower speaker points
1) Longer than 20 second overviews on ANYTHING ever.
2) Claiming you'll go LBL and then failing miserably
3) Responding to a CX question with "we don't take a stance on that"
4) Being generally rude/mean to others. Making people feel unsafe, forcing disclosure of identities etc.
5) I'll do X debate here. This is inefficient but more importantly it normally means you're answering arguments that are in fact not on that place on the flow.
Framework Debates: I don't think you need to defend a plan or the state but I do think you need to defend your interpretation of debate if pressed. Fairness/Predictability are probably good impacts but I can be persuaded otherwise. I think "fair for whom?" Is also an appropriate question when asked in a persuasive manner. I find when I do end up voting on FW it's entirely frustrating if all of the arguments from one side are in a long narrative overview and the other is extending specific arguments on a flow. I am not inclined to take arguments from one piece of a flow and apply them elsewhere without being told.
Planless Debates: I think these debates can be awesome and really enjoyable to watch, however I think you need to defend your interpretation of debate. If that means you don't have to talk about the resolution then tell me why. If that means you don't have to have a plan text that's fine just explain/defend yourself. I sometimes find Framework arguments responsive, and reasons to reject the affirmative it quite honestly just depends on the debate round.
Topicality: I think a lot of the affirmatives on this year's topic are not topical. I'll default to competing interpretations if not told otherwise. I find arguments that Fairness/predictability are good and pretty persuasive. Topicality is never a reverse voting issue, but some K's of T might be persuasive. I think if you go for T in the 2NR you need to extend your Interp, Violation & Impacts clearly.
K's: IF you read high theory stuff (Baudrillard mainly) I might not be the judge for you and/or you need further explanation. Psychoanalysis is bunk science is a believable arg for me. And Presumption is never a winning strategy. Something like Hostage taking really shouldn't be read in front of me, I find myself thinking "who cares" I think rejection is enough of an alternative almost all of the time. Reading FW against K's I don't really ever think is a round winning argument. I'm most likely going to default that the aff gets !!s and the K gets to exist.
CPs/DAs: I don't see these debates very often, but few things. I don't think counter-plans need to be textually competitive. I think if you don't have offense on the disad I'm not likely to vote aff, I don't think terminal defense is almost ever a thing. And I am not willing to judge kick arguments. I AM NOT AN ECONOMIST do not assume I understand anything about the economy at all. It's for everyone's benefit I promise.
Speaker points ... I've done a lot of thinking about this and have decided that my speaker points did not reflect the current inflation and probably unfairly punish teams from breaking when speaker points matter. I will try to follow to the following guidelines:
medicore (you probably aren't breaking): 28.3-28.8,
I'm almost impressed. Perhaps you'll break": 28.8-29.3
I'm impressed, you even were organized and did LBL: 29.4-29.7
Best speech I've ever seen. 29.8-30
E-mail me if you have any questions and include me on email chains please :) email@example.com
PUBLIC FORUM TOC PHILOSOPHY 2019
1) I primarily judge policy so most of my reasoning etc will default to policy norms instead of PF norms.
2) BE NICE!!! This includes using offensive/racist/sexist/rhetoric. If this is done you will receive 20 speaker points.
3) I think the 2nd rebuttal needs to answer the speech that has preceded it, and extend theirs.
4) I judge/evaluate arguments as they are presented on the flow. Arguments should be answered in the order they are presented.
5) You should flash speeches or use email chains. Prep is continuously running once speeches end.
6) Terminalize your impacts. There are 3 ways and only 3 ways to evaluate impacts: magnitude, timeframe and probability. Nothing else. Use those. Anything else (like scope) will result in a loss of speaker points.
7) You must read dates. I highly recommend you do not paraphrase evidence. I will evaluate paraphrased evidence as analytics not as real evidence.
8) Disclosure is your friend. You must disclose before the debate to myself/and the other team. Doing so will result in higher speaks. If someone discloses and either a) you do not and they read disclosure theory OR b) you LIE about what you've disclosed, I consider this a TKO. This means if disclosure theory is read in the round then it is basically over. Not disclosing or lying is indefensible.
9) You can only extend things in a subsequent speech if it was in the previous speech. This means defense in summaries, impacts in all speeches, evidence extended etc.
10) Defense does not win debate rounds, you need to extend/evaluate/weigh OFFENSE. A failure to do so will result in a mental coin flip on my part because it's impossible to evaluate competing/unwarranted defensive claims.
Ryan Galloway Paradigm
Director of Debate
Coached for 24 years
Note: I agree with pretty much everything Adrienne Brovero says in her paradigm.
Top-Level Stuff you probably want to know:
While I still believe affirmatives should have to be topical, my actual voting record for T or Framework in these situations actually isn't that high. I find that non-traditional teams frequently out-execute their opponents on important elements of the line by line. I expect the negative to know the answers to the primary affirmative arguments and execute accordingly. I do prefer T to Framework, and feel that the affirmative should provide the negative with plausible lines of response to the affirmative.
You can win on the NEG without a topical version of the AFF. A lot of ideas aren't topical--but that doesn't mean the AFF somehow automatically wins. Also, if your AFF isn't on the wiki I'm more persuaded that the NEG shouldn't have to be prepared to debate it. You should disclose your scholarship.
Other Kritik related news:
I'm a decent judge for teams with specific philosophical indictments of the affirmative they are debating. If you have specific links to the AFF and a well-grounded alternative, you'll be in good shape. If you have a generic cap K with a "they used the state" link, you're probably in trouble. I expect your links to be specific to the topic area that you are debating. I expect your impacts to be pragmatic indictments of the world-view in which the AFF operates.
In my heart of hearts I'm a liberal pragmatist that thinks we need to adopt real-world solutions to make the world a better place. I don't think the perfect should be the enemy of the good, and I think that solutions that are too radical won't be accepted by society and thus are poor choices for social movements. That said, if the NEG can prove that the world is irredeemable in the system in which the AFF operates, I'm willing to roll the dice and look for an alternative.
Topic Specific News:
This is one of the broadest topics in recent memory. In general, I am a believer in reasonability on topicality, but with a topic that spans five unrelated areas, unified only by the generic Trump presidential powers good disad, I am more willing to listen to topicality on this topic than usual. If you are skirting the bounds of the resolution in one of the five areas, you could be in trouble in front of me. I think the mainstream aff's are very strong, so I am less tolerant than usual about the need for aff flexibility.
I don't know how to confront the plethora of T violations that I characterize as "this topic is incorrect." This includes T arguments that treaties aren't the executive power of the president, deference to executive agencies isn't the executive power of the president, etc. My law school days taught me that one should always assume that a statute has meaning and to defer to the framers of the statute/resolution. However, on a topic where we are supposed to be gaining legal education on these issues, I'm somewhat compelled by the idea that if it is impossible to affirm the topic as written, pretending the topic means something it doesn't undermines legal education. What to do? The teams need to resolve this issue. I'm fundamentally torn from my general premises about statutory interpretation and the flaws in the topic.
Requiring Congressional authorization for a first strike is not the same thing as an NFU policy. That should be obvious, but apparently many AFF's (of all things) are confused about this distinction. You're also in trouble if the NEG can re-cut your AFF articles and take-out your whole AFF.
I think Topicality is an important issue that should be debated. That said, I don't like contrived interpretations that make heart of the topic affirmatives not topical. I'm more of a believer in contextual evidence than most judges. If you have an affirmative at the heart of the literature, with contextual evidence to support your interpretation, you'll be fine. That said, if your affirmative skirts the outer limits of the resolution, I have no difficulty voting on T even in important debates. Ground is not the be all end all of topicality. Education and relevance to our everyday lives are viable standards. The fact that you've run a non-topical AFF all year is an interesting FYI.
Disads and risk:
I tend to be more link-oriented than many of my colleagues. I'm willing to no link a disad down to zero. That said, having judged on many panels, I would give you the following advice:
1) You need to sell thumpers to me: You need to win what the implication of your thumper is. A fight is not the same as a big fight unless you prove so. Link differentials matter to me. I'm not sold that a small non-unique takes out the entire link to the disad when the link is much larger than the status quo thumper.
2) I'm very persuaded by disad turns the case. A credible link to a disad + disad turns the case combined with minimal defense vs. the internal link to the advantage is usually a winner for me. Usually NEG's are thin on their rationale for disad turns case, so answer it.
3) Don't just go for impact defense. Going for "economic decline not that bad" is usually a loser. Challenging internal links to advantages is incredibly important. Many advantages are contrived and can be taken out with analytic arguments against the evidence.
4) Be careful how you frame the debate. If you say "uniqueness controls the direction of the link" I will take you at your word. If you say "link direction controls uniqueness" I will take you at your word. Framing issues are very critical to me, I flow them and listen carefully and do not impose a pre-prepared belief on how I should evaluate risk. Matt Sessions, who debated for me, says the best way to win Galloway's ballot is to take whatever they say is the most important thing in the debate and turn it. He is not wrong.
1) I don't think most process counterplans compete. It's not a slam dunk, but you're in trouble if you only mess with the process of the plan. I can also be sold that they're just bad, even if you come up with a method of competition. Artificial competition is a thing, even without a perm.
2) I tend to think there is a residual link to the perm. When I sit out, I frequently sit out on this issue.
3) Advantage counterplans are powerful weapons. Use them.
4) A dropped internal net benefit to the counterplan is like dropping a disad. The fact that you weren't paying attention in the 2ac doesn't mean the 1ar gets to recover.
5) Conditionality. I'm less worried about the number of counterplans than how they function in the debate. I can be sold that contradictory positions make it difficult to be AFF, I can be sold that you only get one conditional counterplan, etc. That said, one conditional counterplan and a conditional K seems pretty reasonable to me, and two conditional counterplans without a K seems pretty reasonable to me. I'd rather decide the debate on substance than theory.
1) It hurts me that anyone would clip. I believe the community relies fundamentally on a sense of trust. I trust you. When you take advantage of that trust, part of what binds the community together begins to fray. Don't cheat. Mark your cards. Be beyond reproach in what you do. Better to lose a debate honestly than win because you got away with one.
2) Civility. I strongly believe we are having a civil discussion. There is no point in yelling, screaming, ad hominem attacks, etc. Reasoned disagreement sometimes results in hurt feelings, but I feel these are best resolved through calm discussion. What many people consider humorous I consider to be rude and hurtful to the other person. Self-depricating humor is the best kind. I love our community and respect people even with whom I disagree.
3) Speaker points. I think speaker points are important. I think speaker points are designed to illustrate a measure of individual performance in a given debate. I want you to feel you earned whatever points I gave you based on your performance, and not a sense of ideological fidelity to a cause. As a coach, I use speaker points as a metric to determine the individual progress my debaters are making. Artificial inflation or deflation of such points hinders the goal of determining said progress.
4) I have grown more sensitive to norms in our community that marginalize female debaters.
5) I wish you would number your arguments.
6) I wish you would label your arguments: No Link, Turn, No impact, etc.
7) Most people would be better off going 80% of full speed.
8) I am now officially old.
9) If I'm on a panel with you and you aren't flowing because you are checking email, checking Facebook, cutting cards, etc, I will do my best to publicly out you. We owe an obligation to our students to give it our all in every debate.
Any other questions? Feel free to fire away at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Logan Gramzinski Paradigm
I debated for Samford University and am currently a graduate assistant coach at the University of Georgia.
The quick checklist:
1) I consider myself a “policy judge” who privileges the importance of the link over the impact
2) I love good theory debates and am willing and ready to vote against what most call “negative flexibility”
3) Debate is a game (truth is important, but tech first) and my ballot will only determine who wins the debate, not which political stance or movement I am aligned with.
My “biases” are not harsh rules for debate. You are certainly best off doing what you usually do in front of me – I will work hard to understand your arguments, flow, and evaluate the round with as little intervention as possible.
T: Reasonability. In order to prove the aff/neg is being unreasonable – talk about what the world of debate would look like if I endorse their interpretation. Caselists and in depth impact calculus will go a long way here.
Theory: I am more than ready to curtail the community norm of unlimited negative flexibility. I do not think a team has to win the debate has become “impossible” in order to win an abuse claim. Topic education is paramount.
CPs: I love counterplans that test the intrinsicness of the plan to the advantages of the aff. PICs are great. Word PICs are not. I am more than ready to reject the following CPs : consult, agent Cps, international fiat, process CPs, CPs that compete off the certainty or immediacy of the plan.
Ks: What can I say? Grad school changes a person. After years of judging, coaching, and familiarizing myself with critical arguments, I feel like I am in place to better adjudicate these debates. Still, specific links to the aff are crucial. Generic criticisms, like generic policy strategies, are boring to watch and will get you bad speaker points (and a loss).
Performance: While my experience is in policy debates, I am more than willing to listen and evaluate arguments here just as I do in those policy debates. I generally think the role of the ballot is decide who won or lost a debate (did the best debating, made the best arguments), so asking me to use my ballot to send a signal or align with a particular movement will need a strong defense.
DAs: I will vote on zero risk of the link – you don’t need offense to beat the DA to zero. Talk about how your impact interacts with the opponent’s.
Speaker Points: I will reward debaters for specific strategies, (good) jokes, and not stealing prep.
Speaker point scale:
27-27.5: Did some good things, but needs a lot of improvement. Typically includes a lot of technical drops. Will not clear at a national tournament, will probably go 2-6 or worse if you debate like this every round.
27:5-28: Answered all the important arguments, but didn't do evidence comparison, sufficient impact calculus, or give me a clear way to vote for you. Will likely go 3-5.
28-28.5: Did a lot of things right, but didn't wow me. 4-4 debating.
28.5-29:Excelled in the cross-ex, has a positive ethos throughout the round, did evidence comparison, impact calculus, and made smart arguments and connections. You should be 5-3 or better.
29-29.5: Outstanding debating all around. You belong in the elims. No missing on points for you!
29.5-30: Rare. Reserved for the best speeches i've seen all year.
Misc: Be aggressive. Have fun. Learn something.
Paperless: I’m lenient. Don’t take advantage of it.
Donnie Grasse Paradigm
i deleted lots of old stuff because it was too long, email is below if you want clarification about anything. make your best arguments, compare them with your opponent's arguments, have fun. i debated at homewood - floosmoor and kentucky, so i'm mostly familiar with disad and case versus a big aff or tricky counterplans.
1. email chain please: email@example.com
2. data matters - arguments are not just claims, there needs to be evidence (not necessarily cards) that supports the idea. examples are generally a good start, and they are best when they are applied in context of the debate.
3. i flow cross-x and make most of my decisions based on what was said in the debate. i don't follow along with the speech docs because i think it distracts me from what you are saying in place of what the cards are about. if you want me to look at particular cards, or if you think there is a disconnect between what your opponent is arguing and what their highlighted evidence says, make me aware of that in the speeches/cross-x. i reward good evidence, but first and foremost i want to reward good communication of facts in evidence into a comparative argument.
Allison Harper Paradigm
Associate Director of Debate at Emory University and Assistant Coach at North Broward Preparatory School. Previously Samford, George Mason University
Cosmetic rather than structural change- yes please put me on the chain for efficiency and scouting purposes. Allison.firstname.lastname@example.org. I am still unlikely to follow along with the doc or read cards I don't think are necessary to make a decision but spelling my first name is annoying and this was buried near the bottom. I know you didn't read my philosophy if you ask if I want to be on the chain.
I think I am a relatively middle of the road judge on most issues. I would rather hear you debate whatever sort of strategy you do well than have you conform to my argumentative preferences. I might have more fun listening to a case/da debate, but if you best strat or skillset is something else, go for it. I might not like an argument, but I will and have voted for arguments I hate if it wins the debate. I do have a pretty strong preference for technical, line by line style debate.
I am open to listening to kritiks by either side, but I am more familiar with policy arguments, so some additional explanation would be helpful, especially on the impact and alternative level. High theory K stuff is the area where I am least well read. I generally think it is better for debate if the aff has a topical plan that is implemented, but I am open to hearing both sides. To be successful at framework debates in front of me, it is helpful to do more than articulate that your movement/project/affirmation is good, but also provide reasons why it is good to be included in debate in the format you choose. I tend to find T version of the aff a pretty persuasive argument when it is able to solve a significant portion of aff offense.
I don’t have solid preferences on most counterplan theory issues, other than that I am not crazy about consultation or conditions cps generally. Most other cp issues are questions of degree not kind (1 conditional cp and a k doesn’t seem so bad, more than that is questionable, 42 is too many, etc) and all up for debate. The above comment about doing what you do well applies here. If theory is your thing and you do it well, ok. If cp cheating with both hands is your style and you can get away with it, swell.
I have no objection to voting on “untrue” arguments, like some of the more out there impact turns. To win on dropped arguments, you still need to do enough work that I could make a coherent decision based on your explanation of the argument. Dropped = true, but you need a claim, warrant, and impact. Such arguments also need to be identifiable in order for dropped = true to apply.
It’s rarely the case that a team wins every argument in the debate, so including relevant and responsive impact assessment is super important. I’d much rather debaters resolve questions like who has presumption in the case of counterplans or what happens to counterplans that might be rendered irrelevant by 2ar choices than leaving those questions to me.
I try my best to avoid reading evidence after a debate and think debaters should take this into account. I tend to only call for evidence if a) there is a debate about what a card says and/or b) it is impossible to resolve an issue without reading the evidence myself. I prefer to let the debaters debate the quality of evidence rather than calling for a bunch of evidence and applying my own interpretations after the fact. I think that is a form of intervening. I also think it is important that you draw out the warrants in your evidence rather than relying on me to piece things together at the end of the debate. As a result, you would be better served explaining, applying, and comparing fewer really important arguments than blipping through a bunch of tag line/author name extensions. I can certainly flow you and I will be paying attention to your speeches, but if the debate comes down to a comparison between arguments articulated in these manners, I tend to reward explanation and analysis. Also, the phrase "insert re-highlighting" is meaningless to someone who isn't reading the docs in real time. Telling me what you think the evidence says is a better use of your time
I like smart, organized debates. I pay a ton of attention and think I flow very well. I tend to be frustrated by debaters who jump around or lack structure. If your debate is headed this direction (through your own doing or that of the other team), often the team that cleans things up usually benefits. This also applies to non-traditional debating styles. If you don’t want to flow, that’s ok, but it is not an excuse to lack any discernible organization. Even if you are doing the embedded clash thing, your arguments shouldn't seem like a pre-scripted set of responses with little to no attempt to engage the specific arguments made by the other team or put them in some sort of order that makes it easier for me to flow and determine if indeed arguments were made, extended dropped, etc.
Please be nice to each other. While debate is a competitive activity, it is not an excuse to be a jerkface. If you are "stealing prep" I am likely to be very cross with you and dock your speaker points. If you are taking unreasonably long amounts of time to jump/email your docs or acquire someone else's docs, I am also not going to be super happy with you. I realize this can sound cranky, but I have been subjected to too many rounds where this has been happening recently.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Thoughts on Pf and LD:
Since I occasionally judge these, I thought I should add a section. I have either coached or competed in both events. I still have a strong preference for flow-centric debate in both activities.
-You may speak as quickly or slowly as you would like. Don't make yourself debate faster than you are able to do well just because I can keep up
-You can run whatever arguments you are able to justify (see policy debate section if you have more specific questions)
-Too many debates in these events spend far too much time debating framing questions that are essentially irrelevant to judge decisions. Those frames mean little if you cant win a link. If you and your opponent are trying to access the same impact, this is a sign that you should be debating link strength not impact strength.
-Provide means of comparing arguments. It is not helpful if you have a study and your opponent has a study that says the opposite and that is the end of the argument. It is not helpful if everyone's authors are "hacks." With complicated topics, try to understand how your authors arrived at their conclusions and use that to your advantage.
-Stop stealing prep. Seriously. Stop. It is not cute. Asking to see a source is not an opportunity for your partners to keep prepping. If a speech timer or a prep timer isn't going, you should not be writing on your flows or doing anything else that looks like prepping. I see this in a disturbing number of PF rounds. Stop
-Give a useful road map or none at all. Do not add a bunch of commentary. A road map should tell a judge what order to put pieces of flow paper into and nothing more. Save your arguments for your speech time.
Brandon James Paradigm
Fayette County HS '16 (GA)
Vanderbilt University '20 (TN)
Yes, put me on the email chain: email@example.com
Basics: Debates must have a winner and a loser, all speakers must participate, and the round should end within the confines set by the tournament directors. Yes you can read framework. Yes you can read a k aff. All of the standard policy arguments are fine. Lastly, I have done very little work on this topic, please keep that in mind.
Framework: Feel free to go for this. With that said, there are a couple things that will make me roll my eyes:
1. Teams reading TVAs that are neither topical, nor versions of the aff.
2. Teams that say “the only ground we get would be (insert form of oppression) good” or similar nonsensical statements against k affs
K Affs: I’m better for teams that have a praxis or advocate for some type of action rather than teams that just give a description of the status quo. I’m better for teams that are extremely clear about their advocacy and relationship to the topic coming out of the 1AC. Being vacuous and opaque during CX is probably going to make me more open to voting on framework rather than the aff. The fact that your opponents have no idea what your aff does isn’t much of an advantage if I have no idea either.
K Negs: Go for it. I’m probably more easily convinced by rhetoric links and fiat links than most judges, but specific links are still preferable. Do not assume that I am already familiar with your kritik or will be able to grasp it with limited explanation.
CX: Is binding…
T: Sure why not?
CPs: I’m good for your basic CPs. The more out-there stuff you start doing, the more amenable I am to theory args.
Theory: Usually a reason to reject the arg not the team, but I can be persuaded otherwise. Go slowly.
PUBLIC FORUM PARADIGM:
1. I understand that teams have begun to "push the envelope" in PF in various ways. While I have no issue with teams trying out new things, keep in mind that PF, LD, and CX are all structured differently. Not everything that works in one event will work well in another.
2. Good debate requires good research. Any evidence that you cite/reference should be readily available for the other team (or the judge) to look at.
3. You should be clearly extending an entire story. Saying "extend our entire first contention" is not a valid request). Say what specifically I am extending and why.
4. Less is more -- clearly explaining one argument is always better than going for a lot of arguments that have not been well warranted. If you think you're going for too many arguments, you are.
Nick Lepp Paradigm
I debated at Broad Run High School for four years and five years at James Madison University. I am currently a graduate assistant/assistant coach at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and an assistant coach at Cypress Bay High School. This is my 11th year involved in policy debate.
I use he/him pronouns.
Last updated: 4/2/2019
Please put me on the email chain. NJL1994@gmail.com.
I really do like and appreciate all forms of debate. Policy v policy, clash, K v K—it really doesn’t matter much to me. As a debater, I primarily was a policy debater, although I did read non-topical affs for a few years in high school and did go for the K against K affs several times. The teams I currently coach at the high school level are almost entirely K debaters while the teams I coach at the college level are primarily policy and clash debaters. So I’m really ultimately mostly fine with whatever it is that you want to say.
Top Level/things I think about in every debate I judge:
I think about debate in terms of risk (does the risk of the advantage being true outweigh the risk of the disad being true?). There’s a piece of me that’s still offense/defense, but I find myself more willing to vote on presumption now than I used to. Sometimes people are just saying really ridiculous things and those things do not evolve to the level of arguments.
I don't think you need to win offense on every flow to win the debate. For example, a 2AR that goes for a uniqueness take out and a small quantity of impact defense on a DA and wins the case sounds like a fairly persuasive 2AR to me.
I like nuance and for you to sound smart. If you sound like you've done research and you know what's going on, I'm likely to give you super good points. Having nuances and explaining your distinctions is the easiest way to get my ballot.
When I'm deciding debates, I tend to try to reconstruct/rewrite what I think the argument is at the side of my flow. It helps me conceptualize what I'm voting on better.
I really feel like judge direction is a lost art. If you win the argument that you're advancing, why should it matter? What does this mean for the debate? What does it mean for your arguments or the other team's arguments? This is the number one easiest way to win my (and really anyone's) ballot in a debate. Direct your judges to think a certain way, because if you don't, your judges are likely to go rogue and decide things that make sense to them but do not to you. So impact your arguments and tell your judge what to do with them. I think it's way more valuable to do that than include one more tiny argument.
How I decide debates:
The first question I will resolve is who solves what?-- does the aff solve its impacts, and (assuming it's in the 2NR) does the negative's competitive advocacy solve its own impacts and/or the aff? In framework debates, this means the first questions I resolve are "does the aff solve itself?" and "does the TVA solve the aff sufficiently?"
The second question I will resolve is whose impact is bigger? I actually think this is the most important question in the debate. You should do impact calculus. Tell me why I should care about your impact more than the other team's impact.
I will then default to the issues that the debaters have told me are important. Because I have started with solvency & impact calculus questions, these things are always filtered along those lines.
Other misc things:
1. A dropped argument is a true argument. If an argument is dropped, I have a lower threshold for good impact calculus/extension of the argument. To a certain extent, I will vote on cheapshots although that is becoming less true as I get more grumpy. The bar for cheapshots is becomes much higher for me lately.
2. I am very flowcentric. This is probably the only place that I'll intervene. Do not ask me to not flow, because I probably won't listen to you. Please do line-by-line. If you don't, I'll be frustrated and less likely to buy new extrapolations of arguments. Your speaker points will definitely drop if you don't do line-by-line. I'm not a huge fan of overviews at all (you can thank Lindsey Shook for beating that out of me). I am unlikely to yell clear at you if I cannot understand you.
3. Debate Decorum: I expect some degree of civility and politeness between you and your opponent. I know that things get heated in debates, and that it's sometimes easy to forget that it's just a debate (I was certainly guilty of this more than a few times as a competitor) but I think it's important to remember that this is an academic activity and ultimately a community where we try to have a clash of a variety of diverse ideas. If you forget this fact, it's likely to show in your speaker points. If things get particularly egregious (shouting racial slurs at your opponent, physically harming or intimidating your opponents, etc etc) (which I don't ever anticipate happening, but I want to put this here so I reserve the right to do this if need be) I will intervene and you will lose. That being said, show me that you care. Show me that you know things, that you've done research on this topic, that you want to win, and that debate matters to you. I love this activity and if you also love it I want to know that.
"The existence of speech time limits, the assumption that you will not interrupt an opponent's speech intentionally, and the fact that I (and not you) will be signing a ballot that decides a winner and loser is non-negotiable." (taken verbatim from Shree Awsare). You'll lose if you think otherwise.
I am incredibly uncomfortable adjudicating things that did not occur in the debate I am watching... Please do not ask me to judge based on something that didn’t happen in the round. I am likely to ignore you.
4. I'll laugh at jokes made in the debate, and while I don't flow cross-x, I do my best to pay attention to it because I think it's a really important moment for making the opponent's arguments lack credibility. That being said, don't be an asshole. I will award an extra tenth of a point for a Pokemon joke, but only if it's sufficiently terrible or good.
5. Judge kicking makes sense to me but I frequently forget about it, so if you want me to judge kick something you should tell me so in the 2NC/2NR.
6. Teams should get to insert rehighlightings of the other team's cards, but obviously should have to read cards if they're new/haven't been introduced into the debate yet. Two offshoots of this-- 1. You should insert rehighlightings of other team's cards if they suck 2. You should read cards that don't suck.
7. Please highlight your ev so it reads as complete sentences. This does not mean that I need you to highlight complete sentences-- but if you are brick highlighting, I want to be able to read highlighted portions of your ev as complete sentences/I want it to flow in my mind. IE don't skip the letter "a" or the words "in" or "the". Just a random pet peeve of mine.
8. If you mispronounce the word "hegemony", the ceiling for your points is 27. It's my third biggest pet peeve.
9. Card Reading: I find myself reading cards primarily in debates that are close or are super technical. I have begun reading more cards in policy throwdowns as well (put a card doc together for me if I'm judging you in this style of debate please). You should really try to control the spin of the important ev in the debate (also obvi).
Alternatively, if I think the debate was bad or nobody was putting things together or explaining what they're saying, I'll just read the cards to try to find out what's going on. This is bad for you-- (almost) every time debaters have been unhappy with my decision, it's because I've had to turn to reading the cards and they've disagreed with how I've interpreted evidence.
10. I think the phenomenon whereby debaters parrot their partner is interesting. I usually just flow whatever the person telling the other debater to say says (so if the 2A interrupts the 1A to say something, I'll just flow the 2A speaking). This is obviously only true within reason-- you don't get to give a 3rd speech in the debate, and if this happens a lot I'll nuke you/your partner's speaks and arbitrarily decide to stop flowing, but I'm not super concerned about someone parroting one argument in a speech.
13. New 2AR args are bad for debate and I try to consciously hold the line against them as much as I can (I as a 2N feel as if I've gotten a few decisions where a judge voted aff on an arg that basically didn't exist until the 2AR and it's the most frustrating feeling). You can expect me to try to trace lines between args being in earlier speeches & later speeches. However, if I think the argument they're making is the true argument or a logical extrapolation of something said in the 1AR, I'm more likely to buy it. 2As-- this means if you're gonna do some 2A magic and cheat, you should trick me into thinking that you're not cheating.
Disads: They're my fav. I'm trying to start becoming more critical of the logic of their story and the ability for teams to explain them completely. This doesn't mean I won't vote for you if you don't give every single warrant for why your DA is true, but I'll likely reward you with higher speaker points if I'm really confident that I can parrot the story back to the aff team if I vote against them on it. I prefer DAs that make sense, but that doesn’t mean I’m bad for the “go for the dumb DA that’s undercovered” strat if that’s your thing (dropped args are true args remember).
Theory, CPs, and K Alternatives: I put these pieces together because a lot of my thoughts on these three args blend together.
I generally enjoy CPs & alternatives that are specific and well-thought out. The more specific to the aff you are, the better.
Competition is determined off the plantext, not off cross-x. PICs & PIKs are only competitive if they PIC/PIK out of something in the plantext. I do not believe that you get to PIC/PIK out of a justification or non-plantext based word. The only way I will ever be convinced otherwise is if the aff allows you to do so.
I think it’s incredibly difficult to get my ballot on condo. Not impossible, but I just truly believe that the neg should get to test the aff from multiple angles. Condo is only ever a yes/no question (the whole “they should get one less CP than they are reading” thing makes no sense to me).
I’m much more persuaded by theory on particular CPs/alternatives (states theory, vague alts bad, etc). I went for theory relatively frequently as a debater (certainly more often than most debaters) so I do think my ballot can be won here. I think that the existence of literature should almost completely drive these debates. CPs that use aff evidence as solvency are almost always legitimate.
My predisposition is to reject the arg not the team, but I can definitely be persuaded to reject the team on non-condo theory args.
Theory can be a reason you get to make a cheating perm.
Counterplans/alternatives that use aff evidence as solvency advocates are awesome.
The arg that I should vote for the CP/alternative as long as the neg wins that it links comparatively less than the aff does to the net benefit makes sense to me, but I honestly might just accidentally forget about it if you don't make this arg. Same thing goes for me kicking the CP for you in the 2NR if I think you're losing it.
Case debate: "Where have all my heroes gone?"-- Justin Green
I love love love case debate. It needs to be well developed and no one really seems to want to do that. You should make logical extrapolations that take out the internal link chains and make me question how the advantage makes sense. The block should read more cards but feel free to make logical case take outs without cards. I don't think you should have to go for impact defense to beat advantages-- uniqueness and internal link take outs are almost always the easier place to attack advantages. I tend to prefer a well-developed take out to the death by a thousand cuts strategy, but I understand the utility & value of it.
Affs-- 2NR that don't do well-developed case debate are generally overwhelmed by your "try or die"/"case outweighs"/"1% chance of solvency" args.
Topicality: It's only ever a voter and not a reverse voter. I oftentimes feel like teams get away with bloody murder with some policy affs that teams should just go for T against. The more affs fail to pass the "what the hell is this?" test, the more I feel like voting on T against it. In other words, this is totally a legitimate strategy in front of me & I am much better for it than most judges.
I try my hardest to rely only on the flow that I have in front of me when deciding these debates (I try to ignore the previous knowledge I have about the topic or my predispositions regarding this debate). Even so, if you're reading a silly T interp then I'll think it's silly and be less willing to vote on it. This mostly just means that if you want T to be your thing, go for it, but make sure it's not a silly and/or contrived interp.
That being said, I'll vote aff on terminal defense. This oftentimes seems to be that the aff wins a we meet arg. I'm more persuaded by terminal defense in topicality debates the more generic the neg impact argument is.
Kritiks: This is probably my longest section because I seem to judge primarily clash debates.
I like Ks that care about people and things. I'm fundamentally optimistic about the world and want to believe that things can and are getting better. I certainly believe that things are still terrible for millions and millions of beings, but it's hard to convince me that every single thing in the world is so absolutely screwed that we should do nothing. It's not impossible, but if I vote for you on this arg, I will feel terrible in the core of my being.
I also like Ks that interact with the affirmative. If you can copy paste your 6 minute 2NC overview (by the way, 6 minute 2NC overviews are a great way to get terrible speaker points in front of me because I really don't like overviews and really like line by line) and read it against any policy aff on the topic, don't pref me. In other words, I want your links to primarily be about the result of the aff as opposed to just the reading of the aff. Thus, for example, fiat bad links are generally pretty easily beaten in front of me, but reasons why x policy should not occur are much more persuasive in my mind. It's literally just like in a policy debate-- if you were to read a link card on politics to the topic, you're much less likely to win the link than if you were to read a link to the action of the aff. Don't just explain your theory of how power works, explain how the aff is bad according to your theory of power.
I just finished my undergraduate degree in communication studies with a double minor in philosophy and french, and I'm now a grad student in comm studies (focusing on critical rhetoric), so I have some read some K literature. I am decently familiar with lit regarding feminism, Butler, queer theory, and basic kritiks like capitalism and security. I tend to research & write about various veins of queer theory (although find myself falling primarily in the queer optimism/utopianism camp). This is a double-edged sword for you-- I do understand your theory better than I did when I was a debater, but I also am still unwilling to fill in those blanks for you if you are lacking them (ex-- just saying the words "yes antiblackness ontological, natal alienation proves" is very easily beaten).
I used to have a huge bolded section here about white high theory. I still think I am not the greatest of all judges for this vein of argumentation, but my time in graduate school has made me much more appreciative of it than I used to be. I still do not want to hear anything like “death good,” “meaning doesn’t mean anything,” or “language is meaningless.” If you do decide to read some variety of high theory in front of me, remember these two things: I am fundamentally optimistic & care about the world, and I like when you have an impact/not just presumption. If your arg violates either of those two propositions, you’re not going to enjoy my RFD.
I consistently find myself almost entirely ignoring the framework debate when judging a plan-based aff versus a K. This is because I fundamentally believe that I should weigh the aff & that the neg should get access to a K. I’m thus likely to subconsciously reinterpret your args as just “weigh the aff against the K.” For example-- if you say something like "the aff has to prove that their presentation of the 1AC is ethical", I think the way they do that is by me weighing the implications of the 1AC versus the implications of your criticism. Thus, when evaluating the debate through this framework, I'm likely to evaluate the merits of the 1AC versus the K (in other words, if you prove that the implementation of the 1AC is unethical then I vote for you, if you don't prove that it's unethical than I vote aff). Teams really should spend less time on framework in front of me and more time winning the substance of their arguments. This also means that hardline “you don’t get a K” and “don’t weigh the aff against the K” style interps are completely unpersuasive to me. This also means that the role of the ballot is only ever to vote for whoever did the better debating. I will not deviate from this role of the ballot, so, again, don't waste your time even saying the words "the role of the ballot is x" in front of me.
Speaking of things that you shouldn’t waste your time saying, “perms are a negative argument” and “method v method debate means no perms” are both not arguments. I will not write these words on my flow and you will not change my mind.
Ultimately remember this: I evaluate K debates just like I evaluate policy debates—explain your args well and put the debate together and I’m happy to vote on it. Technical line by line still matters and dropped args are still true args. If you want to win the debate on some metaframing issue, flag it as such and apply it on the line by line. Just be a good debater and I’m on board.
2NRs on the K that include case debate (with some level of internal link/impact defense; not just your security K cards on case) are substantially more persuasive to me.
Framework debates: as much as I’m sure it pains some of you policy debaters, you should also read my section on Ks (right above this one) for a better understanding of how I think in these debates.
Framework is a strategy and it makes a lot of sense as a strategy. Just like every other strategy, you should try to tailor it to be as specific to the aff as you possibly can. For example, how does this particular aff make it impossible for you to debate? What does it mean for how debate looks writ-large? What's the valuable topic education we could have had from a topical discussion of this aff in particular? Same basic idea goes for when you’re answering generic aff args—the generic “state always bad” arg is pretty easily beaten by nuanced neg responses in front of me. The more specific you are, the more likely I am to vote for you on framework and the more likely I am to give you good speaks.
Stop reading big-ass overviews. They’re bad for debate. Your points will suffer. Do line by line. Be a good debater and stop being lazy. The amount of times I have written something like "do line by line" in this paradigm should really tell you something about how I think).
I do not find truth testing/"ignore the aff's args because they're not T" very persuasive. I think it's circular & requires judge intervention.
I do, however, think that fairness/limits/ground is an impact and that it is, oftentimes, the most important standard in a T debate.
T and/or framework is not genocide, nor is it ever rape, nor is it real literal violence against you or anyone else. I am unlikely to be persuaded by 2AR grandstanding ("omg I can't believe they'd ever say T against us") against 2NRs who go for T/framework. Just make arguments instead.
Topical version is incredibly important and, if done correctly, should be used to hedge against most of the offense against framework. Policy teams seem to want to just laundry list potential TVAs and then say "idk, maybe these things let them discuss their theory". I really believe that strategy is super easily beaten by a K team having some nuanced response. This obviously isn't true all the time, but if the point of the TVA is to prove that the aff could have been topical, it makes way more sense to me if the TVA is set up almost like a CP-- it should solve a majority or all of the aff. If you set it up like that and then add the sufficiency framing/"flaws are neg ground" style args I'm WAY more likely to buy what you have to say (this goes along with the whole "I like nuance and specificity and you to sound like you're debating the merits of the aff" motif that I've had throughout my paradigm).
I oftentimes wonder how non-topical affs solve themselves. The negative should exploit this because I do feel comfortable voting neg on presumption in clash & K v K debates. However, I won’t ever intervene to vote on presumption. That’s an argument that the debaters need to make.
Non-topical affs should have nuance & do line by line as well. Answer the neg’s args, frame the debate, and tell me why your aff in particular could not have been topical. The same basic idea applies here as it does everywhere else: the more generic you are, the more likely I am to vote against you.
Cross-ex: I am becoming increasingly bored and frustrated with watching how this tends to go down. Unless I am judging a novice debate, questions like "did you read X card" or "where did you mark Y card" are officially counting as parts of cross-x. I tend to start the timer for cross-ex pretty quickly after speeches end (obviously take a sec to get water if you need to) so pay attention to that. I'm really not much of a stickler about many things in debate, but given that people have started to take 2+ minutes to ask where cards were marked/which cards were read, I feel more justified counting that as cross-x time.
I pay attention & listen to CX but I do not flow it. Have a presence in CX & make an impact because I promise I am listening.
Speaker points-- I do my best to moderate these based on the tournament I'm at and what division I'm in. Apparently I'm already an old man who needs these kids to get off my lawn because I have to moderate my points up higher than I've had them in the past (seriously why the hell do teams need a 28.9 to clear nowadays).
29.7-- Top speaker
29-29.5-- You really impressed me and I expect you to be deep in the tournament
28.9-- I think you deserve to clear
28.3-- Not terrible but not super impressive
I will award the lowest possible points for people who violate the basic human dignities that people should be afforded while debating (IE non-black people don't say the N word).
I've also been known to give 20s to people who don't make arguments.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me before the debate begins, or send me an email at NJL1994@gmail.com. I also do seriously invite conversation about the debate after it occurs-- post-rounds are oftentimes the most valuable instantiation of feedback, the best way to get better at debate, and important for improving intellectually. I know that post-rounds sometimes get heated, and I think we all get defensive sometimes when we're being pressed on things we've said (or think we've said) so I will likely consciously try to take deep breaths and relax if I feel myself getting angry during these times. This also means that I may take a second to respond to your questions because I am thinking. I only post this here because I don't want anyone to feel like they're being attacked or anything for asking questions, and I apologize in advance if anything I say sounds like that.
Johnnie Stupek Paradigm
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School '15
University of Georgia '19
This is my 1st year coaching for Dartmouth
- Tech over truth, but with some moderation. Evidence quality matters to me a lot and I'll hold your positions with some degree of skepticism if I don't think the evidence fully substantiates a complete argument.
- Won't vote on arguments about things that occurred outside of the debate (coin flips, the pref sheet, previous debates, associations, etc.)
- Everything listed below is merely a predisposition. Feel free to debate how you want!
Yes, you can read these in front of me. Yes, I vote for topicality more often than I vote against it.
I'm significantly better for aff's that are closer to the resolution and craft their strategy around well-developed counter-interpretations that capture as much neg offense as possible. I think it's important for the affirmative to tell me what their model of debate looks like. What positions do negative teams introduce and what is the value of that discussion? 2AC's often contain a line about "rev v. rev debates," but what exactly that is and why it's good is often under-developed.
For the neg, I'm much more in the "procedural fairness is a good in and of itself" camp than not. In front of me, fairness-based impacts are probably more strategic than topic education arguments because those education-based arguments rarely have a reason why debate is key.
The neg wins T debates in front of me when they demonstrate that the aff's impact turns are not intrinsic to their model of debate. I don't think the burden of the topical version of the aff is to "solve" in the same way the aff does, rather I think the TVA merely needs to demonstrate that there is a debate to be had over the aff's literature base under the neg's model.
For non-topicality strategies, I've never been persuaded by the "no perms in a method debate" argument. I don't know why I should abandon the logic of rejoinder and opportunity cost just because the aff didn't read a plan.
Topicality v. Policy Affs:
I enjoy these debates a lot!
Intrinsic offense is important for both sides. For example, I'm unlikely to be persuaded that I should reject an topicality interpretation because the aff would have a hard time constructing solvency deficits to the states counterplan under said interpretation. That argument seems to be more a reason why the states counterplan is bad, than a reason why the interpretation is bad.
The neg wins when they construct a strong limits story with a specific caselist and terminal impact work. I'm way less persuaded by negative ground standards than I am by predictable limits standards.
I'm rarely persuaded by aff "education" standards because that argument is almost always resolved by reading the aff as a counterplan or some topical version of the aff. I think the best aff standard is aff innovation/flexibility. In front of me, I think the 2AR is better served substantiating why their counter-interpretation is good for debate, rather than the "c'mon judge" reasonability arguments that work for much of the judge pool.
Impact interactions and turns case arguments matter a whole lot less to me than the relative risk of the position as a whole.
Always been a fan of agenda politics, probably always will be.
If you're reading a framing aff, I'd prefer developed answers to the disad rather than pre-written blocks about how disads are complex.
Conditionality is good
I have a fairly strong presumption towards judge kick. It's always made sense to me that I should have the option of doing nothing if that's the best option.
Counterplans that compete off of immediacy/certainty are likely not competitive.
Kritiks On The Neg:
I vote neg when the neg wins some framework interpretation that mitigates aff offense OR the neg wins that the impacts to the kritik outweigh and/or turn the case (a disad).
I lean heavily aff on framework. I've yet to hear a neg framework standard that isn't either incredibly arbitrary or solved by weighing the impacts to the links vs. the plan.
In situations where I resolve the framework debate in favor of the aff, I'm a very good judge for the perm double-bind. Alternatives that fiat some sort of movement or mindset shift seem to vastly overwhelm the links and alternatives that do nothing seem to...do nothing.
Alt causes aren't links.
Moriah Windus Paradigm
[I like to be included in the email chain, my email: firstname.lastname@example.org]
I'm currently a policy debater at Samford University and started debating as a novice my first year in college (2016). I qualified to the NDT for the 2017-2018 debate year.
I haven't judged on the high school topic too much this year, so please don't assume that I know all of the technical topic-specific terms.
I'm very much a "you do you" type of judge and want the debate to be what the debaters want it to be about, that said I do have some preferences:
For the Neg:
As a former 2N, I love disads, but I'm going to be skeptical of your ability to win the disad if your uniqueness and link work isn't done well throughout the entire debate. Impact calc is your best friend, in the 2nr I want you to write my ballot for me and tell me why your link chain is much more probable than your opponents and why your impact turns the case debate.
I'm not particularly persuaded by Aff claims that the CP should be textually competitive, and err on the side of functionally competitive. If the CP has multiple planks I want a clear explanation of how each one functions (or how they function together) at some point in the debate, so many debaters don't synthesis their CP planks to work together which ultimately ends up hurting them in the debate. As far as 50 states goes, the Aff is 100 % right! 50 state fiat isn't the most real world model of education, however, as a 2N I can definitely be persuaded by the arg that it's important to test federal vs. state action---just make sure that these arguments are well drawn out if the debate comes down to 50 states fiat.
3. K debate
All too often the alt isn't clearly explained. While I would definitely vote on "we prove the aff is bad even without the alt," you'd really have to be winning case turns arguments which ultimately makes more work for you. It's best to work with an alt that you are familiar with and can clearly explain with well-articulated links to the case. I try to interfere with the debate as little as possible, so even if I understand the literature base you're working with, I'm not going to do the work for you if you don't fully explain your arguments or develop them.
It's really important that you win your interpretation though explaining why it is comparatively better than the Aff's CI. It's a good practice to include a list of topical versions of the affirmative that the aff could easily have adopted. Also, I want to see good impact work done in the 2NR (what ground you lost, how they over or under limit etc & why those things matter).
Win the TVA debate and I'm 89% convinced you'll win my ballot. If there is a TVA that solves all your offense and gives the Aff the ability to debate the things that they want to debate, that's an easy neg ballot. BUT you need to do the work for me and do impact work in the 2NR that explains what ground you lost (and it needs to be more than "I couldn't run my econ da").
6. Final Tips
A) Clarity over speed
B) When the debate is too big in the 2NR, the neg will always lose
C) If the Aff reads add-ons in the 2AC, impact turn them and make the debate fun :)
D) 1NRs should be offensive not defensive, it's a strategic time to read lots of cards because the aff usually focuses more on the 2NC.
For the Aff:
1. For Policy Affs
A) Be topical, or be really good at debating topicality--I'm going to err neg in a debate that you're not winning the topicality debate. Persuasive counter interpretations are a good thing to have in your toolbox and explaining why your interpretation is comparatively better (for debate, for this round etc.) is a must.
B) Impact calc---write my ballot in the 2AR
2. For K Affs
I think that it is helpful for K aff's to be germane to the resolution, it makes it harder for the neg to win aspects of the FW debate (if it is a K vs policy debate) and increases the nuance level of the debate.
A few final things
1. Pronouns are very important, please be respectful and ask the other team their preferred pronouns before the debate starts and adhere to those throughout the debate.
2. Microaggression and rudeness will result in your speaker points being docked, please keep the debate civil and respectful.