6th Mukai College Classic
2018 — Ogden, UT/US
Ben Allen Paradigm
Debate is what you make it, so first and foremost ALWAYS DO YOU!!!!!
With that said most of my decisions are made off of what is said in the last 2 speeches, IMpact comparrison is really really important.
I view the debate in terms of offense and defense. Offense wins games, defense wins championships! ( except in debate)
I hate most theory args (unless its super creative), I hate high theory,by high theory I mean all those white dudes who were clearly high when they were writing their sh***, If you read that stuff make it as real world as possible! I hate debaters who just read into a computer screen and never look at the judge, stuff like that causes you to lose speaker points.
Speaker point Scale=27-30, if i give you below a 27 you did smthing really rea
Carlos Astacio Paradigm
I competed in LD at University High School in Newark New Jersey, I was nationally competitive for three years.. I also compete in policy debate for Rutgers University.
Presumption: I think it highly unfair for me to presume to any side when debaters have NO control over which side they are going to be debating. So I don't have any bias toward Aff or Neg.
Speed: I don't generally have an issue with speed, however I do have a problem with monotone speed, unclear speed. I will yell clear if I can't understand you, but it will only be maybe once or twice, if you don't become clear by then, my ability to properly evaluate the arguments may possibly become impaired. Also, your speaks probably won't be awesome if I have to keep yelling clear.
-I would like you to significantly slow down when reading tags/card names so I can have a properly structured flow, but while reading the card you are welcome to go at top CLEAR speed(a few caveats to be explained later)
-When making analytical arguments, please be clear, because it's difficult for me to follow analytics when they are weirdly phrased and also being spread.
-I don't like speed for the sake of being fast, I prefer when speed is used as a catalyst for an awesome case or a multilayered rebuttal with really nuanced responses on case.
Evidence: Despite what happened in the round, I may call for the cites for cards read in round, I'll specify which specific cites I would like to see. I do this for two reasons: to ensure that there was no miscutting of evidence, and because I believe in disclosure and am from the school of thought that everybody in the round should have access to all evidence read in the round. I don't appreciate a denial to share citations, if citations are not readily available, I may choose to disregard all evidence with missing citations(especially evidence which was contested in the debate).
Cross Examination: I don't know how much I can stress it...CROSS EX IS BINDING! I don't care if you present arguments for why it shouldn't be binding or why lying in CX is ok, or any arguments with the implication which allows dishonesty in CX, there is NO theory to be ran to change my mind. Nevertheless, I don't flow CX, so its up to the debaters to refresh my memory of any inconsistencies between speeches and CX answers. On the other hand, CX can be the BEST or the WORST part of a debate, depending on how it plays out. A funny yet not disrespectful CX will score big when I'm deciding on how to assign speaks, while a rude and boring CX will negatively influence how I assign speaks. Clarification questions during prep is fine, but I'm not cool with trying to tear down an argument during prep, if it was that important, it should have been in the formal CX, rather than during prep. Don't be afraid to refuse to answer a non-clarification question during your opponents prep time.
Critical/Weird Arguments: I love well explained critical positions. With the caveat that these critical arguments are logically explained and aren't insanely convoluted. I have no issue voting for the argument. But if I can't understand it, I won't vote on it. Also, I am a fan of interesting debate, so if you have a neat performance to run in front of me, I would love to hear it!
Theory: I don't presume to competing interpretations or reasonability. The justification for either one needs to be made in round. I don't like greedy theory debates, which means that I generally view theory as a reason to reject the argument rather than the debater. YES, this means you must provide reasons in or after the implications section of your shell, for why this specific violation is a reason for me to use my ballot against the other debater. I'm not persuaded by generic 12 point blocks for why fairness isn't a voter, I prefer nuanced argumentation for why fairness may not be a voter. RVIs have to be justified but I'm willing to vote on them if the situation presents itself, but its up to you to prove why you defensively beating theory is enough for me to vote for you.
Prestandard: I don't like having preconceived beliefs before judging a round, but this is just one of those things that I need to reinforce. I WILL NOT vote on multiple apriori blips, and winning a single apriori is an uphill battle, a serious commitment to advocacy is necessary(you devote a serious amount of time to the apriori position.)
Speaks: I average about a 27, I doubt I'll go lower than 25(unless you do something which merits lower than a 25) because I personally know how disappointing the 4-2/5-2 screw can be, nevertheless I am more than willing to go up or down, depending on the performance in that particular round. The reason I average around a 27 is not because I generally don't give nice speaks, its because the majority of tournaments, I'll judge only a few rounds that deserve more than a 28. It's not difficult at all to get good speaks from me. I reserve 30's for debaters who successfully execute the following: speak really well, good word economy, good coverage/time allocation, takes risks when it comes to strategy, weighs really well, provides AWESOME evidence comparison, and adapts well to the things happening in the round. I really enjoy seeing new strategies, or risky strategies, I.E. I am a fan of the straight refutation 1N, attempting something risky like this and pulling it off, gives you a higher chance of getting a 30. Another way to get high speaks is to be a smart debater as well as funny without being mean or making any kind of jokes at the expense of your opponent(this will lose you speaks)
Delivery: I need evidence comparison! It makes me really happy when debaters do great evidence comparison. Also, I would appreciate for you to give status updates as the rebuttals progress, as well as giving me implications for each extension. When extending arguments which rely on cards, in order for it to be a fully structured extension it must contain: The claim/tag of the card, author/card name, warrant from the card, and the implications of that extension (what does it do for you in the round).
Miscellaneous: You are more than welcome to sit or stand, I don't mind people reading from laptops or being paperless as long as it doesn't delay the round. Also, I don't care if you are formally dressed, jeans and a tshirt will get you the same speaks that a shirt and a tie will. :) I also believe its impossible for me to divorce my judging from my beliefs, but I'll do my best to attempt to fairly adjudicate the debate.
P.S. I don't like performative contradictions...(just felt like I should throw that out there)
Brendon Bankey Paradigm
Director of Debate at the University of Texas
firstname.lastname@example.org - please add me to your email chain
I judge debates based on execution. My decisions rarely come down to just 2NR v 2AR. They are strongly influenced by how ideas develop in CX, the block, and the 1AR.
The best rebuttals will isolate a unique impact and explain why their opponent's impact is either less important or impossible to resolve. The most persuasive rebuttals, to me, are those that explain how I should evaluate the debate given the available information. This is especially true in debates about debate where neither side agrees on a normative method for evaluation.
I can't stress how irritated I am by students that make sweeping claims about argument styles that they don't usually engage in. Debate is hard and everyone puts in an incredible amount of work. Oftentimes, people don't get credit for their effort. That stinks. That does not mean, however, that other folks' contributions are less valuable than yours because they approach the game differently.
I think there is an important role for philosophical arguments in debate, with caveats. Ks should disprove solvency. I think creatively interpreting the resolution is interesting. Affirmative teams that decide the resolution doesn't matter in advance of the debate and only impact turn their opponent's positions bore me. I would rather affs be deliberately extra-topical than anti-topical. Link arguments should be consistent with framework arguments. The terms used in speeches and tags should reflect the language of the literature base they are meant to represent. Not all Ks of humanism are the same. Not all Ks are Ks of humanism.
I think there is an important role for policy arguments in debate, with caveats. Vague plan writing does not equal strategic plan writing. Impact evidence is often outdated and/or includes multiple alt-causes. I perceive a degree of self-righteousness from debaters that have extensive experience going for T-USFG but have little experience going for T in other situations. I perceive a higher degree of self-righteousness from debaters who preach the merits of research when going for T-USFG while very obviously reading evidence they copy and pasted from other school's open-source documents.
What you should expect of me:
1) I will evaluate the debate and cast a provisional decision about which team did the better debating based on the content of the speeches and the cross-examinations.
2) I will flow your debate in an excel template and save a copy after the debate for scouting purposes.
How I think about debate:
I. The aff's burden is to prove that the 1AC is A) an example of the res and B) a positive departure from the squo. The neg should disprove the 1AC and can win by establishing that the aff is wrong about either A or B. The neg can also win by offering a counter-proposal that competes with and is net beneficial to the 1AC.
II. In order to accomplish A, the aff should be able to:
1) provide an interpretation of the resolution
2) explain how the 1AC meets their interpretation of the resolution
3) demonstrate that their vision of the resolution is superior to the neg’s
III. In the event that the aff argues they do not have to abide by the terms of the resolution, the aff should be able to:
1) provide sound reasoning for why the agreed upon point of stasis fails to address the agreed upon controversy area
2) explain the roles of the aff and the neg in their vision of debate
3) demonstrate that their vision of debate is superior to the neg’s
IV. The aff cannot win by simply flipping the burden of proof and indicting the neg’s interpretation of the resolution.* The aff must at all times defend a contestable proposition. If III (see above) occurs, the neg's burden is not to disprove the solvency and harms of the 1AC (B). Rather, all the neg should have to disprove is that abandoning A is necessary to solve/talk about B. If the neg can demonstrate that the original stasis point can accommodate the harms area then the aff has not proven that abandoning the res must occur.
*Exceptions to IV: language Ks, conditionality bad
Things I enjoy:
· When debaters express a nuanced knowledge of the resolution/controversy area
· Good jokes
· Bold choices
· Exposing specious arguments in C-X
· Solvency debates
· Links to the plan
· Supporting claims with high-quality research
· Final rebuttals that begin with a brief explanation of the key issues in the debate and why they have won given the arguments presented in earlier speeches
· When debaters prioritize answering the question, “What should debate look like?”
· Creative permutations—a perm says that there is a possible world in which both the 1AC and the counter-proposal can occur simultaneously, or that the counter-proposal is an example of how the aff’s proposition could be implemented—the aff should describe the permutation in both rebuttals and explicitly argue what elements of the neg’s strategy it mitigates/solves. Asserting the hypothetical validity of a perm and being intentionally vague until the 2AR does not an aff ballot make.
Things I don’t enjoy:
· When debaters compensate for dropping an argument by asserting that it is new
· When embedded clash becomes an excuse for not flowing
· When debaters make straw person characterizations of argument styles they do not personally engage in
· Trained incapacity
· “Death good”/ “death not real”
· Basic strats
· Recycled strats
· Recycled blocks
· K 1NC shells that I can find in my inbox from previous seasons
· “Procedural fairness”
· Teams that don’t take advantage if/when their opponent impact turns fairness
· Affs that don’t defend a substantial departure from the squo
· Affs that don’t specify the terms of the 1AC/backtrack on the terms of the 1AC for the purpose of permuting the neg’s counter-proposal
· Bad internal links
· C-X belligerence
· Hyperbolic impacts
· Counter-perms (honestly, it’s been 10 years and I still don’t get it)
· Asserting “perm do the counter-proposal” when it’s shamelessly severance
· When great CX moments don’t make it into the speeches
· Failing to capitalize on 2AC/block choices and settling for coin flip decisions
· “Point me to a line in the card where it says…” OR “I just ctrl F’ed that word in the document and it isn’t there”
Aron Berger Paradigm
Updated for October 2018.
Put me on the email chain - email@example.com
Note - I only check this email at debate tournaments, so if you are trying to contact me for some other reason, my response will be delayed.
I've started to question the utility of these paradigm things. In short, do whatever you want. Read whatever you want to read. All styles of debate can be done well or poorly. My decision in any particular debate does not reflect a judgement on those styles but instead on the aptitude with which they are deployed in the given debate. Content matters less than strategy, unless the content of your argument makes it a bad strategy. I tend to make decisions quickly. This should not indicate to you whether the debate was close or not. Just because I go for or have gone for certain arguments does not mean I will automatically understand your arguments or do work for you. Similarly, it doesn't mean I will automatically discount any particular argument. I like clash. I dislike attempts to avoid clash. Perm do the aff is not an argument.
One thing I have noticed about debate is the proliferation of "cut the card there." When you stop reading before what your evidence indicates what you will read, you or your partner must mark the card in the speech doc and have a copy of those marks ready for anyone who needs them. To quote Andy Montee,
"If you just yell out "Mark the card at bacon!" you have to physically mark the card on your computer. It is not the responsibility of the other team or myself to do so."
Not marking evidence, and relying "cut the card there" to indicate where you stopped reading, is a form of clipping cards, and I will treat it as such. Since this seems to be an acceptable thing in debate at the moment, at the first occurrence of "cut the card there" I will ask for the marks, and if I notice you going through the doc to mark your cards post-speech, I will warn you about basically everything above.
Background info on me: I'm a first year out of college debate. I debated at the college level for 4 years at the University of Southern California. Attended the NDT four times, making it to doubles twice and octas once. I debated at the high school level for 4 years at Notre Dame High School. Qualified to the TOC 3 times. I was both 2A and 2N during my debate career.
Debate is a rhetorical game where debaters use a set of (ostensibly) mutually agreed upon scripts to persuade a judge. Scripts are rhetorical conventions that have been constructed in order for the game to make sense to all involved - impact calculus, uniqueness, etc. are examples of these scripts, convenient ways of describing a world that make the complexity of that world reducible to a (hopefully) less than 2 hour conversation. Debaters who can control how these scripts operate within the debate, either by implicitly agreeing to them and winning their set of contentions, or through the use of competing framing arguments, generally seem to win more debates. For example, many debates occur in which the value of life is never questioned - that is a script implicitly accepted in those debates for the purpose of brevity. This is not to say that I want to judge a bunch of death good debates, though I won't say the opposite either. Regardless, controlling the framing of the debate will serve you well.
I seem to be judging a lot of framework/T-USFG debates. I think quite a few of the commonly held framework predispositions are arbitrary, so I'll just say this: yes, you can read your K aff in front of me. Yes, you can go for framework in front of me. I don't really care, just make it a good debate.
Here are some of my reflections about FW rounds that I have judged.
-I find myself voting affirmative when the negative fails to explain their impact beyond "limits are important for negative ground" or "we won't learn stuff about immigration" or "fairness is important because otherwise debate isn't fair."
-I find myself voting negative when the aff fails to provide a workable vision of what debate would/should look like. T/FW/whatever we call it is a question of models of debate. That the neg could have read a particular strategy against your particular aff is not a defense of your model. In other words, "potential abuse" is important. You need a defense of your model of debate.
-Almost all of the K affs that I saw on the education topic were basically little more than a criticism of education policy. I did not hear a persuasive response to "do it on the neg" in these contexts.
-Topical versions of the aff are not counter-plans. They don't have to be perfect. They should, however, be well researched (though not necessarily evidenced in the debate) and explained. I would prefer 1 good TVA over 5 asserted TVAs.
-Asserting that debate is a game is fair enough, but does not on its own provide a reason to discount any of the aff's impact turns. I do believe fairness is an impact. I don't think it is an impact that automatically trumps all other impacts. As with all other things, impact calculus on the parts of the debaters matters most.
I would prefer to adjudicate a debate in which the negative reads less than or equal to 4 well constructed offcase positions and invests a good deal of time in taking apart the aff instead of a debate in which throwaway offcase positions are used as a timeskew and the case is addressed sparsely and with only impact defense. A diverse 1NC that attacks advantages at every level is helpful regardless of your broader strategy. Most affs are terribly constructed and have awful chains of internal links. Most affs wont solve the things they say they solve. Point it out.
You do not need a card to make a smart case arguments. In fact, the desire for cards to make an argument can often work to limit the vectors of attack you have against the case. Example: you do not need a card to point out a missing internal link, or that the aff's internal link evidence is about X and their impact evidence is about Y.
CPs and DAs
Not much to say here. If you have them, read them. Specificity is your friend. "DA turns case" arguments are invaluable.
Teams have found it difficult to convince me that the reading of any particular counterplan makes being aff impossible and as such is a voting issue.
At the same time, I find myself increasingly annoyed at the "use fiat as a battering ram" approach to counter-plans. Indefinite parole that is immune from deportation or cancellation, has full work authorization, all the benefits of LPR, etc. is just not something that exists in the literature base and is a ridiculous interpretation of what scholars in the field are actually talking about. All that being said, it is up to the debaters to figure this stuff out in the round.
I have voted for conditionality bad only once, in a debate where the 2NR spent about 15 seconds on it.
"Judge kick" is an inevitable element of conditionality. If the status quo is always an option, then a 2NR that includes a counterplan is not always and forever bound to that counterplan. In other words, if the counerplan is described by the negative as conditional, then my default is to also consider the status quo, and not just the counterplan. I can be persuaded otherwise.
Sure, why not. I've read them, I've debated against them. Just be specific about what your alternative does. If it is a pic, say that it is and what your pic removes from the aff. If you are debating against a K, defend your aff. Generic K answers like the Boggs card are far less useful than justifying whatever assumption that the neg is critiquing.
Permutations are tricky. All too often, the aff just kinda extends "perm do both" and leaves it there. Explain what parts of the criticism you are permuting, how that interacts with the links, etc.
"No perms in a method debate" is a bad argument. You can wish away the form of "permutation," but you cannot do away with the logic of opportunity cost. If your K doesn't actually link, find a better argument.
As said above, "perm: do the aff" is not a thing.
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of severance permutations or intrinsic permutations. A permutation is legitimate only if it contains the entire aff plan and some to all of the negative counterplan/alternative. At the same time, many alternative texts are not representative of everything that an alternative would do - in my opinion, any evidence included by the negative as descriptive of the alternative is fair game for permutations. Example - many alt texts are written as "The alternative is to vote negative" - but the alt card says that "interrogating tropes of security" is important. A permutation that does the plan and interrogates tropes of security is not intrinsic.
If you have a theory of power, explain it and its implications for the aff. Meta arguments such as these have broad implications for both the link and the alternative.
Points are always arbitrary and I wont pretend that my personal scale is anything different. Average speakers get in the low to mid 28s. Good speakers get in the high 28s to low 29s. Mid to high 29s, good job. You wont get a 27 unless you consistently do something annoying, like telling your partner "faster!" over and over during their speech.
Other random thoughts.
--Puns translate directly to increased speaker points.
--Please don't call me judge.
--When reading evidence, I will only evaluate warrants that are highlighted.
--I hate word-salad cards.
--Arguments that are "new in the 2" - generally the bar for me is whether the opponent team could have expected this argument based on the content of the previous speech. This excludes new impact turns to a disad in the 2AR, but maintains the capacity for 2As to cross apply, say, an impact defense argument on the case in the 2NR (intervening actors check, for example) to a disad scenario. If an argument is made in the 2AC, conceded by the neg block, not mentioned in the 1AR (and thus not responded to by the 2NR), it would be 'new' for the 2AR to extend and elaborate on the argument. While this may seem arbitrary, and while dropped arguments are, in a provisional sense, true, it is the job of the debaters to jump on strategic mishaps, not me. However, if a completely new argument arises in the 2NR or 2AR, I am willing to strike it from my flow without a debater pointing out that it is, in fact new.
--Speed is good, clarity is better.
--Confidence in your arguments, your partner, and yourself is good, disrespecting your opponents is bad.
--Ethically repugnant arguments will not make me want to vote for you. At the same time, however, if you cannot defeat ostensibly "bad" arguments, then you are a bad advocate and you should lose.
--If a debate does not occur, I will either flip a coin or consult tab.
--Please, "settler colonialism", not "set col". similarly, "afro-pessimism" not "afro-pess" -- yeah, I'm grumpy.
--Just because I go for certain arguments does not mean I will either automatically understand your argument or supplement your lack of analysis with my understanding of the literature.
--Random buzzwords are not arguments. I don't care until you impact a statement.
--There can always be 0 risk of something.
--Ad homs about the other teams authors aren't arguments.
--A claim without a warrant is just that.
--Theory and T debates are not my favorite.
--No insults or general shenanigans.
--Binding and prior consultation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is probably pedagogically relevant.
Timothy Byram Paradigm
First off, do you. If my judging philosophy meant that you were put at a disadvantage for any particular style of debate, that would be indicative of a larger problem.
I am a Junior at Liberty University. I have done traditional policy, critical, and performative debate, though recent experience has drifted heavily toward the latter end of the spectrum. I am decently well-versed in most forms of critical literature. However, my level of familiarity with a topic should be largely irrelevant to the way you debate. I view debate generally as a format established for the clash of pedagogies. This clash can take place on the macro level or the micro, and applies to both policy and critical debate. The key is to explain which premises of your opponent’s arguments are in contestation and why. In other words, it can be as broad as a discussion on the merits or demerits of proximate state action, or as specific as the effectiveness of China deterrence to maintain US hegemony. This principle can be applied to virtually all arguments:
Ks: Isolate what the affirmative has done, explain how their particular methodology/epistemology perpetuates structural violence, and give me a clear explanation of how to avoid those harms. In debate-speak, spell out the link/s, draw a story between that link and a particular impact, and explain to me how your alternative avoids said link/impact story. The debaters who do this best are the ones who can relate the structural to the specific (ie, the aff’s use of x term/methodology/analysis leads to y structural impact writ large through z process). K affs function similarly: Tell me what systems of behavior or thought are perpetuated in the status quo, how this is done, why it is bad, and what you do about it.
FW: Framework can be run in many different ways, and should be contested in accordance to the specific argument run. For the team running it: Tell me the specific violation of the affirmative, and give me palpable reasons why the aff perpetuates a model that is harmful for debate/why your model is relatively better. Central to this argument is an explanation of why your version of debate is good, or at least better than that of the affirmative. Contestability is important, but it must ultimately be tied to the specific impacts of the model you are offering. For the team answering it: tell me in what ways you meet their interpretation, or in what ways that interpretation is bad. On both sides of the debate, blanket statements are insufficient. Tell me specific reasons why your opponents’ framing is bad. This involves an interplay of tech vs. truth that I will attempt to balance depending on the arguments made in the particular round.
DAs & CPs: My assessment of the risk of the DA happening as a result of the aff is dependent on the specific details offered as part of the negative strategy. Give me a clear line of reasoning between that link and the impact. Specificity is also important for Counter Plans, in that you must show me how the Counter Plan is competitive with the aff. Don’t assume I am familiar with the jargon.
T: I like T but I am not particularly well versed in the area. Be creative, slow down a bit, and give me well-reasoned applications to the aff.
Vida Chiri Paradigm
I’m currently a junior at Liberty University and debated in high school at University High School (Jersey Urban Debate League). This is approximately my 7th year in debate and as such I have engaged in both 'traditional' and now 'performance' style debate. Ultimately, I have come to conclusion that debate is a game but this game also has real life effects on the people who choose to participate in it. Therefore, BE NICE, HAVE FUN, and DO YOU!!!
I have found in my time debating that there are a few things that debaters are looking for when they read judging philosophies (including myself) so I’ll get straight to the point:
K's: I’m fine with them and have run them for quite some time in my career. However, this does not mean run a K in front of me for the fun of it - rather it means that I expect you to be able to explain your link story and the way the alternative functions. I find that most teams just make the assumption that the Aff doesn’t get a perm because "it’s a methodology debate". That’s not an argument, give me warrants as to why this is true if this is the argument you are going to for. K Aff's are fine often times debaters lose sight of the strategic benefits of the Aff, So a simple advice I can give is DONT FORGET YOUR AFF!!
DA's: In general I like strong impact analysis and good link story. Make logical argument and be able to weigh the impact story against the Aff.
CP’s: I am open all types of CP’s you just have to prove the competitiveness of said CP and make sure it has a net benefit.
FW: Again….Debate is a game but this game has real life implications on those who choose to engage in it. I think FW can be strategic against some Aff’s but don’t use it as a reason to not engage the Aff. Win your interpretation and weigh your impacts. Aff’s: don’t blow off FW answer it and engage it or tell me why you are not engaging in it.
Theory: Not a big fan of it, but make sure you slow down as to ensure I get all the arguments you are making. But do you!
Cross X: I think this is the best part of debate and LOVE it. Don’t waste those 3 min, they serve a great purpose. I am ALWAYS paying attention to CX and may even flow it.
*** Please remember that I am not as familiar with the high school topic so don’t assume I know all the jargon ***
Last but not least, watch me!(take hints from the visual cues that I am sending)
Ashley Denney Paradigm
Please include me on email chains - firstname.lastname@example.org
Be efficient about email chains. Get them set-up before the start time on the pairing. Multiple problems with email chains may lead to decreased speaker points.
Currently coaching at UTSA, previously at K-State.
Very minor note: I hate being called by my last name. "Ash" or "Ashley" is fine. You won't lose speaker points for it or anything, I'd just rather be referred to by my first name.
Frame the debate for me at the top of the 2nr/2ar. Tell me what to vote on and why that's more important than whatever the other team wants me to vote on. *Tell me how to weigh impacts. If no one tells me what to prioritize and someone has an oppression/violence in debate impact, I will generally default to weighing that argument first.*
Talk in paragraphs not blips. Give me pen (okay typing) time instead of speeding your way through large blocks of analysis. Slow down on tags. Very little frustrates me more than not being able to tell when you've gone from one card to another.
Stay organized. Giving arguments names is nice. You don't have to be perfect on the line by line, but telling me when you're moving from the link to the alt debate or the ___ "disad" (or whatever) is nice.
Slow down. I'd rather hear you make applications and talk about argument interaction than rattle through another three cards that say the same thing. I get that sometimes you need extra evidence and if there are different warrrants, it makes sense, but think carefully about those decisions. To take advantage of your analysis, I need to be able to flow it so you can't rattle off at the same speed you would a card.
Framework - I am becoming less and less persuaded by ground and fairness claims against critical affs. Framework is much more persuasive to me as a methodological/educational issue rather than a rules/theory issue.
Kritiks - this is what I'm most familiar with. Have clear links and impacts, tell me what the alt is and what I should be doing as a judge. I generally start with the link and impact debate and then work from there. I've noticed I care a little less about the alternative than other judges, by which I mean even if I'm not totally convinced about alt solvency, I might still think that the K outweighs the aff. I'm more familiar with identity-based literature than with "high theory" literature, not necessarily a big deal, but an fyi. It's not that I won't vote on high theory or that I haven't been exposed to it at all, it's just a general note to avoid relying on buzzwords (which really is a good idea in general).
Performance - Tell me how to evaluate your argument and why I should evaluate it that way.
Theory - slow down on your theory debates. This is hard to win in front of me, so you need to spend real time on theory to win it. Reject the argument not the team is often more persuasive. General proclivities: severance perms are bad (although probably not a reason to lose), conditionality is good within reason (although critical conditionality arguments are a differnet question), word pics are cool, but might be cheating. You probably won't win that Ks are cheating in front of me.
Case debates: love them. Sneaky case turns, impact defense, mini-Ks are all great.
Policy arguments - generally lean probability over magnitude. I don't have a lot of predilections here because I don't judge a lot of these debates, but I'm capable of following and willing to vote on policy arguments.
Tiffany Dillard-Knox Paradigm
(1) I don't flow linearly, instead I evaluate the debate wholistically.
(2) I like big picture argumentation. Think about the implications that has for speed and argument extensions. You should be very clear in your extension of argument analysis. It is your responsibility to clearly communicate the arguments you need to win the debate. Don't assume that the tech advantages you get from the flow apply the same for me. This does not mean that I am not smart enough to follow debates but it does mean that I will not have a linearly constructed document at the end of the debate that will inform how I evaluate the debate.
Izak Dunn Paradigm
I feel that a new tabbing website calls for a new judge philosophy. That, and my other one was about to start kindergarten, so...
Some things have changed, some things have stayed the same. Looking back on my old philosophy, I could tell that it was the scribbles of youth and over-exuberance. There were many foundations that I would have liked to shake with that little document, but it is a rare occurance that anything written changes anything acted. And such a poorly written little document at that!
Some things you should know about me: I'm a philosophy guy. I've done all of my formal academic training in philosophy and the history of philosophy, and debate plus a few classes on the side are all I have in communications studies training. I tend to think that fact-value and fact-theory distinctions are bogus in practice but conceptually useful. So, for example, against an "ontology comes first" argument, I would much rather hear a defense of your ontology rather than an argument about why ontological questioning should subside in the face of mass death. Despite all this, I am a believer in the incommensurability of theories (paradigms?), so make your comparisons relevant--I'm a big sucker for elegance on this front.
I'm not big on offense-defense, especially on debate theory arguments. Thus I'm not particularly happy when someone banks a debate on "any risk of a _____" impact calculi. I'll vote on we-meets, too. Even worse than this quirk in the way I evaluate the logos of your claims is the fact that I'll let the ethos and pathos of your speeches play into my decision. I will let myself be "persuaded" by arguments, and though this sounds unfair, I think it is better that I am up-front about it rather than in denial. As much as anyone tries to exclude them, these factors play a role in every decision.
I no longer default to flowing you in paragraphs in Word. I used to do this because I thought that it would help me see through the way that the line-by-line obfuscates larger narratives and commitments in the debate round. Not a lot of people do the line by line effectively anymore, and I feel that this obscures larger issues in a debate round in a more fundamental way (bad line by line outweighs dangers of line by line-centrism). So now I'm out to help you figure out how to make the line by line work for you.
I will time your prep until the flash drive is out of your computer.
I will not disclose my decision until you update your wiki.
Without getting into too many specifics, I think that this pretty much covers what might make me different from the majority image of a policy debate critic. I would much rather discuss concerns or questions you have about the way I'll evaluate debates with you in person, so please feel free to approach me or email me questions.
New Pet Peeve (10/14/2012)
2ac says various things about the alternative throughout their speech. In the block, you say "Now onto the Alternative debate" and just say a bunch of stuff about the alternative. "Embedding" clash is not an excuse to forego comparison between arguments, and not going to the line by line is not license to not talk about your opponent's arguments. If this is your style of debate, you'd better make sure you are EXTENDING arguments (i.e., comparing them, arguing for them, deploying and employing them) as opposed to REPEATING the constructive that happened before you spoke.
If you do this in front of me, I'm going to set a very high bar for your speaker points. If you do not actually embed clash, you will not receive more than 27 points from me.
Not all of you are ready to "do" embedded clash. In fact, you've got to be pretty good at making discriminations about the line by line before you can decide on what does and does not count as a responsible or responive argument--in a way, it's a prerequisite to doing competent embedded clash.
Point Inflation Adjustment (11/8/2013)
After reading a lot about speaker points this year, I realize that I am way behind the times regarding point inflation. When I was a debater, "competent and winning" was a fast way to get a 27.5, which wasn't bad (wasn't great, but wasn't bad either). If I were "competent and losing", I usually got a 27 or a 27.5. Speaker points describing incompetence lived around 27 and below.
My scale to date has pegged "competent and winning" at a 28. This, of course, is just a baseline--I've definitely given points higher than a 28 to all four debaters in a round. But, as long as you aren't vomiting on yourself during your speeches and are making good enough strategic decisions to win the debate, I'll give you a 28.
It seems like I need to bump my points about half a point overall considering 5-3 teams are averaging about a 28.5. I'm going to try and give "competent and winning" a 28.5 starting at Wake, if only to prevent teams from preffing me in all of my educational glory from being unfairly penalized by my miserly nature.
Point Inflation Update (11/12/2013)
Two edits: (1) For Wake, I'll use their speaker point scale. It already seems pretty close to my inflation adjustment. (2) After Wake, I'm going to try and give "competent and winning" a 28.3. Seems to capture what teams that are winning just over half of their debates are averaging in 2013. Also, I used to have to work hard for my 28.5's and am besieged on all sides by a burning and childish need to feel better than all of you.
Ignacio Evans Paradigm
I have been involved with debate for a min now. All debates are performances . I believe education should be what debates are about . I read the topic paper every year( or when it stop being Throw backs). Topical education is something i consider but can be impact turned. Topicality is a method of the objective game. I will vote on conversations of community norms like predictability good , switch side , or even static notions of politics. Framework is how we frame our work. Method debates I welcome. We are intellectuals so we should be responsible for such i.e you can be voted down if the debaters or their positions/in round performance are racist, sexist, classist, or ableist . If not voted down,I still reserve the discretion to give the debater(s) responsible a 3.5 in speaker points . Do what you do and do it well.
Juan Garcia-Lugo Paradigm
Yes, I want to be on the email chain. I don't follow along with speech documents, but I will usually read most of the cards (I'm curious!).
If an argument is complete, I will evaluate it. While my judging and coaching experience heavily leans towards the critical side of debate, I prefer you read something that you are passionate about and are prepared to debate. Tech and Truth both matter. A conceded argument is a true argument but the significance of that argument is still up for debate. There are many ways to do debate, and when two different styles are present, framing arguments are important for establishing argument priorities. I default to the framing arguments presented and won by the debaters. Otherwise, look below for some of the ways I think about arguments.
I understand most K theory through the use of examples, please provide and debate them. I find presumption strategies against K aff's unpersuasive if the affirmative can articulate and defend a form of action. I find them more persuasive against K aff's that are describing a theory of power. K's that don't defend an alternative are fine, but often necessitate strong framework arguments or decisively won offense against the affirmative.
I'm usually concerned with "what makes debate a valuable activity?". The idea of a fair game for its own sake is less persuasive to me than the idea of a fair game being necessary for producing valuable education. Quality evidence on framework goes a very long way for me. I don't like evidence that comes from debate textbooks and manuals, but will vote on them.
Have an interpretation and defend it. I prefer that interpretation not be arbitrary (we get 2 conditional arguments v 3 conditional arguments). When it comes to offense, less is more. Winning 2 big arguments for why process counterplans are good is better than your 8th argument about "best policy option". This is also the only part of debate I strongly stress slowing down on. The impact to most theory arguments is to reject the argument not the team (conditionality is exceptional).
LaToya Green Paradigm
If it matters to you, I used to make critical and performance based arguments. I have coached all types. I generally like all arguments, especially ones that come with claims, warrants, and are supported by evidence.
Do you (literally, WHATEVER you do). Be great. Say smart things. Give solid speeches and perform effectively in CX. Win and go as hard as it takes (but you dont have to be exessively rude or mean to do this part). Enjoy yourself. Give me examples and material applications to better understand your position. Hear me out when the decision is in. Dassit.
Add me to the email chain- email@example.com
My "high" speaker points typically cap out around 28.7/28.8 (in open debate). If you earn that, you have delivered a solid and confident constructive, asked and answered questions persuasively, and effectively narrowed the debate to the most compelling reasons you are winning the debate in the rebuttals. If you get higher than that, you did all of those things AND THEN SOME. What many coaches would call, "the intangibles".
Thank you, in advance, for allowing me to observe and participate in your debate.
Ben Hagwood Paradigm
I debated for five years at Liberty University. This will be my third year judging. Since trading places (debater to judge) my view of debate has matured and my perspective has become more open to views that I currently did not have. To begin I will say that I understand that debate is a game, with that being said I realize that some people use it as a place to protest, advocate and discuss their political, social, religious and individual ideas. I used my time as a debater to stretch the rules and practices of an activity that I viewed as net –beneficial to the growth of academics and potentially policy-makers. As a critic I enter a round with my predispositions just like everyone else but I don’t want to limit the discussion that can take place in any round.
The stuff you need to read: (do you pref me or not)
1. I think everything in debate is debate-able. I tend to enter the debate believing that I will vote for the team that persuades me that their argument is the superior to their opponents. I will say that I am not amused by offensive language or jokes (you should call people out on what they do though). So if someone does something that I think is offensive and you don’t call them out on it they could potentially still win the round if you don’t say something they will just also have a 0.
2. Not reading a plan text doesn’t necessarily equal a loss in my book. I think great discussions can emerge from different ideas or strategies. This however does not mean that there is no way I would vote against you. If you are reading an argument that magically seems to shift out of every link in the debate that’s probably bad (again that is up for debate, also I think there is a large difference between not having a link and only having bad links).
3. I absolutely love DA and case debates. I tend to believe that people don’t have good defenses of their case anymore because they just believe that no one argues inherency or solvency anymore, just CP’s and K’s. I think a formidable strategy is to completely deconstruct a case and go with a simple DA.
4. I think critical theory is interesting. I have to admit graduate school stretched the theory that I would generally read but it has introduced me to new arguments and helped me grow. But my base knowledge is still critical race theory. This is generally my area of interest but I am definitely interested and reading other forms of critical theory. I will admit Baudrillard is still collecting dust on my “electronic” bookshelf. I intend to start reading more of if soon but so far I have only dabbled in his theories.
5. I think that a well-placed theory violation can change the entire direction of a debate. I think that you can do whatever you want but you probably should be able to justify doing it. Being negative is not enough to be able to run four conditional positions that contradict each other. Those worlds are not hermeneutically sealed…sorry. Actually I am not sorry just don’t run bad strategies.
6. Performance debate is growing and here to stay. That is not to say that you are not making important points, it’s just that generally (and most people won’t admit this) judging a team that executes a good performance is tough because you generally want to watch and enjoy and then remember that you also have to evaluate. Needless to say I am a fan of performance, but only if you do it well. Bad performances…please don’t do it in front of me.
7. Clash of civilization – I haven’t actually judged many of these. I don’t know if I will or not in the future. I will say that if done well I think that framework can be a great strategy against a lot of teams. My particular opinion is that there is probably a better option to run against most teams (that don’t defend tradition notions of debate) but if that’s what you want to roll with then that’s what you should roll with.
8. CP’s do it.
9. Speaker Points: (ways to gain and lose them janks)
a. A tasteful bowtie will definitely increase your overall speaker points. (Max .5 increase)
b. A joke that is actually funny will also increase your speaker points. (Max .5 increase)
c. Bad jokes (Max 1.0 decrease)
d. Offensive language or actions (Max 30.0 decrease)
I am rather easy to talk to if you have any questions. Have fun and be smart when you think of your strategy. Do what you do and I shall tell you if I love it or not.
Jyleesa Hampton Paradigm
I am a Public Administration Phd student and Assistant Director of Speech and Debate at Presentation High School. I debated policy, ld and pfd in high school all four years and then at KU for 5 years, after which I began coaching collegiate policy debate. I've coached at the middle school, highschool and college level now total for 7 years. Though I debated the end of my career in a more critical fashion the majority of my own debate experience is with traditional policy argumentation. I'm familiar with a variety of critical literature and policy arguments.
I judge a fair amount of debates in college and high school and typically have worked at some camp/begun research on both topics in the summer so I'm familiar with core areas of the topic or topic(s). That said please don't assume I know your specific thing. Explain acronyms, nuance and important distinctions for your AFF and NEG arguments.
The flow matters. Tech and Truth matter. I obvi will read cards but your spin is way more important.
I think that affs should be topical. What "TOPICAL" means is determined by the debate. I think it's important for people to innovate and find new and creative ways to interpret the topic. I think that the topic is an important stasis that aff's should engage. I default to competing interpretations - meaning that you are better off reading some kind of counter interpretation (of terms, debate, whatever) than not.
I think Aff's should advocate doing something - like a plan or advocacy text is nice but not necessary - but I am of the mind that affirmative's should depart from the status quo.
Framework is fine. Please impact out your links though (I see a lot of debates where that doesn't happen and it's more difficult to weigh the offense both teams win in that world).
I will vote on theory. I think severance is prolly bad. I typically think conditionality is good for the negative. K's are not cheating (hope noone says that anymore). PICS are good but also maybe not all kinds of PICS so that could be a thing.
I think competition is good. Plan plus debate sucks. I default that comparing two things of which is better depends on an opportunity cost. I am open to teams forwarding an alternative model of competition.
Disads are dope. Link spin can often be more important than the link cards. But
you need a link. I feel like that's agreed upon but you know I'm gone say it anyway.
Just a Kansas girl who loves a good case debate. but seriously, offensive and defensive case args can go a long way with me and generally boosters other parts of the off case strategy.
When extending the K please apply the links to the aff. State links are basic but for some reason really poorly answered a lot of the time so I mean I get it. Links to the mechanism and advantages are spicier. I think that if you're reading a K with an alternative that it should be clear what that alternative does or does not do, solves or turns by the end of the block. I'm sympathetic to predictable 1ar cross applications in a world of a poorly explained alternatives. External offense is nice, please have some.
I acknowledge debate is a public event. I also acknowledge the concerns and material implications of some folks in some spaces as well. I will not be enforcing any recording standards or policing teams to debate "x" way. I want debaters at in all divisions, of all argument proclivities to debate to their best ability, forward their best strategy and answers and do what you do.
Card clipping and cheating is not okay so please don't do it.
Last remember racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, abelism are not good things either and I'm generally not persuaded they are even if you disagree.
Scott Harris Paradigm
Harris, Scott (University of Kansas)
Please add me to the email chain.
I am a critic of arguments and an educator not a policy maker. I view my role as deciding who did the better job of debating and won the arguments based on what was said in the debate. I have voted for and against just about every kind of argument imaginable. I will read evidence (including non highlighted portions).
I expect debaters to be comprehensible and I have no qualms about telling you if I can’t
understand you. I try my best to resolve a debate based on what the debaters have said in
their speeches. I try not to impose my own perspective on a debate although there is no such thing as a tabula rosa judge and some level of judge intervention is often inevitable to resolve arguments in a debate. Any argument, assumption, or theory is potentially in play. The purpose of my ballot is to say who I think won the debate not to express my personal opinion on an issue. You make arguments and I decide to the best of my ability who won the arguments based on what you said in the debate. I prefer to follow along with your speech docs to double check clarity, to make sure you are reading all of your ev, and to enhance my ability to understand your arguments.
My speaker points tend to reward smart creative arguments and strategies, smart choices in the debate, high quality evidence, the use of humor, the use of pathos, and making the debate an enjoyable experience. My points rarely go below 28 but you need to really impress me to get me into the 29-30 range. I am rarely impressed.
I have judged lots of debates on the topic and have done a fair amount of research related to the topic.
Absent arguments in the debate that convince me otherwise I have some default assumptions you should be aware of:
The aff should be topical and topicality is a voting issue.
The affirmative must win a comparative advantage or an offensive reason to vote affirmative.
Presumption is negative absent a warranted reason for it to shift.
The affirmative does not need a net benefit to a permutation. The negative must win that a counterplan or critique alternative alone is better than the plan or a combination of the plan and counterplan/alternative.
Permutations are a test of competition and not an advocacy.
Teams are culpable for the ethical implications of their advocacy.
Derek Hilligoss Paradigm
Boring stuff: Debated for too long at University of Central Oklahoma where we qualified to the NDT 4x, NDT octafinalist 2x, 1st round recipient, and other stuff. Currently a coach and grad student at Wake Forest. Go Deacs!
The stuff you actually care about:
TL;DR do what you do and do it well. Don't let my arg preferences sway you away from doing what you want.
The biggest thing for me is that I value good impact framing/calc. It seems simple enough but if you aren't framing why your impacts matter more then you are leaving it up for me or the other team to decide. You don't want that.
Framework: Go for whatever version of framework you like but I tend to think it should interact with the aff at some level. If you give the 2NC/2NR and make no reference to the aff you will find it harder to win my ballot. The easiest way to go about this is to go for a smart TVA and Education based impacts. I'm not anti-fairness impacts I just find them harder to win than other impacts. For both sides it is critical to explain your vision for debate. You'll find it hard to win "no planless affs ever" in front of me because I do think their are benefits to them so you should be able to win why this specific aff/model is bad.
Planless affs: The one note I wanna make outside of FW notes is that you have to be able to answer the "what do you do" question no matter how silly it may seem. If I don't know what the aff does after the 1AC/CX that's gonna put you in a rough spot. I don't think this means you have to do anything but you should have a good justification for why you don't have to.
Theory: Not my fav type of debates mostly because I was never good at them. That being said if you think you are gonna roll a team on a given theory argument go for it. The only thing of note is I think condo to a certain extent is good and counterplans should probably have solvency advocates.
Counterplans: Again have some sort of solvency advocate. Not all counterplans are created equal and there are certainly cheating Counterplans but it's up to the debaters to tell me why that matters.
Disads: The only thing I wanna note here is please dear god highlight your cards better. I don't wanna have to read 30 crappy cards to get the story of the disad and it makes it easier for the aff to win with a few solid cards.
Kritiks: Specific links go a long way. This doesn't mean it has to be exactly about the plan but your application will do better than a generic "law bad" card. Applying your theory to the aff's advantages in a way that takes out solvency will make your lives so much easier.
I tend to think mega-overviews are poorly done because teams assume they answer every arg in it. If that's your style please please don't just do a mega-overview and assume it answers everything. You'll find your points and wins go up when you apply your mega-overview to the line by line.
Case defense isn't a must but it does go a long way in helping your argument and making the aff do more work. For both sides either way you have to frame your impacts. So even if the neg doesn't have case defense they might be trying to frame out your impacts. This means doing better than reading a generic util card (jesus christ can we get rid of Issac?).
For the aff FW I'm less compelled by fairness impacts (like come on it's 2018 the neg gets to read a K) but I think a well developed FW argument about legal/pragmatic engagement will do more for you than fairness/limits impacts. You get to weigh the aff- just win why it matters in the face of the neg's K.
Examples on both sides will help me a lot. This is more true in some debates than others but if you have a control on historical examples of your theory (or in answering your opponents theory) you will win more in front of me.
My hearing is getting pretty bad so if I yell louder just bear with me. If you are unclear I'll yell clear twice before I stop flowing. I'm a very expressive person so it's more likely than not my face will tell you how I'm feeling. I try to keep a poker face while judging but I'm really bad at it.
If you clip you will lose even if the other team doesn't call you out. Unless argued otherwise I will more than likely be reading along with you so if I catch you I'll be more than happy to vote you down and give you zero speaks for it.
A good CX can go a long way. Use CX wisely because it could win or lose you the debate.
Plz stop using Kentucky BT as a joke in front of me to get speaker points. It's just annoying at this point.
If you have any questions before or after the round/tournament you are more than welcome to email me DerekHilligoss@gmail.com
Nadia Hussein Paradigm
I have debated for three years at Georgia State and did a mixture of debate in high school. Now I’m a graduate coach at Wake Forest
I want to be on the email chain; use firstname.lastname@example.org
Slow down when reading your tag and author, or I won't be able to catch it.
If GSU debate has taught me anything, it's to be extremely open minded to a variety of arguments. If you want to run death good, afropessimism, deterrence das, no period plan flaw, K affs, traditional affs, feminist killjoy etc, go for it. Just be sure to explain why you should win with this argument. ROB will be who debated the best unless I'm given another ROB with reason to perfer it. I'm against judge fill in but will vote down oppressive/offensive language/arguments especially if the other team points it out.
Do whatever you're best at, stay topical (or be ready to explain why topicality doesn't matter), be organized, and extend your case and why it outweighs throughout. I tend to err aff on framework if they have and defend a plan text, but you have to lock in if you decide to do that, otherwise I'll be persuaded to neg's abuse claims.
I love a good k with a clear link and impact. Your alts have to be clearly explained. I'll buy links of omission but the neg has to defend why the aff can't simply perm. Negs really have to take time in the block to explain why the aff can't perm and why it's net better to do the alt alone. Affs have to explain why they can perm and why the perm is net better than aff alone or why the alt can't solve the case. Don't drop theory args, or I will have to vote the other way.
I’m good with das but there has to be work done on how it links to the aff, or I will agree with the aff on no link args. If you have a solid Nonunique arg and extend it and I will vote on that. Solid impact calc will seal the deal for me, but if the aff successfully turns the DA or explains why the case outweighs the DA, I will vote on that as well. Long story short the more clash on the DA the better.
Love a creative CP, but it needs to solve/have a net benefit (DA or a K) along with stealing aff ground; otherwise I will agree with aff's perm and theory args. Aff needs to clearly explain why CP can't solve case, beat the net benefit, and articulate why the perm is best. Don't drop theory or you lose my ballot.
I will vote neg on a T arg if you convince me the violation is clear, the aff's counter interpretation is unreasonable, and the impact is big. I will vote aff if they convince me that their aff is reasonable, counter interpretation is better or equal to the negs, and a benefit to their definition, but aff can chuck topicality and still win if they articulate why being topical doesn't matter or is worse for debate. If the aff locks in and says they're T however, they cannot shift or it's an auto win for the neg.
I lean aff in most cases unless the neg provides me with a clear violation, story, and impact. 2acs have to clearly explain why the aff is fair and/or better. Tech is important when arguing FW but explanation is key when you arguing framework. Truth always better than tech.
cross ex is binding, answer the questions honestly, don't ask why the aff should win during 1ac cross ex or generic questions like that.
Jalisa Jackson Paradigm
2019-2020 update: I want debate to go back to being persuasive... I think that top level speed reading is not persuasive. One of the points of the "game" of debate is to be persuasive... to persuade the judge to vote for you. I am not persuaded by a swarm of gnats sound. I'm not saying you can't talk fast or even speed read - but if there's no inflection in your voice - if you drone on and on and on - if you haven't tried to persuade me but just talked at me - you will not get good speaks from me. You may win the debate because you are strategically ahead and better - but your speaks will suffer. I'm not saying conversational pace - I talk fast in general - I argue fast - I don't sound like a gnat.
I am a Black woman who is also disabled. I debated 4 years for KState mostly running different forms of Black feminism. I enjoy listening to the ways people interpret debates and deploy their arguments strategically. If you're not bored I won't be either.
*******If you are not Black (white and non black poc) do not read anti-blackness/Afrofuturism/pessimism/optimism arguments in front of me (aff/neg) if the other team calls you out at ALL you will lose the debate.... same for other PoC arguments that the authors say are for PoC. If it is not your position you don't get to use other peoples bodies to get a ballot. ***note to PoC your existence is not negated because you have a white partner - I won't vote on "the white person spoke/is here"
DA/CP: I will vote for them. I have a high threshold for internal links. You have to be able to explain how the aff gets to the DA impact. I'm unwilling to give you the benefit of doubt, prove it.
Kritiks: I’ll vote for it. In order for you to get the ballot, the K, like any other argument has to be well explained for me to vote for it. I also believe that in any good K debate their needs to be an obvious link to the case and the alternative of the K must be well explained. The biggest thing I was complimented on from judges was the "big picture" debate. Tell me the story of your K you will not get away with big holes in explanation.
Theory: I’ll vote for it. HOWEVER, I don’t like theory debates that are just blocks or are just spew downs. I like the line by line debate on theory and for the debaters to slow down. I WILL vote on dropped theory arguments- so you better answer them (even if the perm is a test you still need to answer severance). The biggest critique I got from judges was I miss the little details. I am an auditory learner I will be listening but if you speed through theory there is a good chance I won't catch it. Be Clear!
Topicality: I believe that topicality is about competing interpretations. However, I can be persuaded that topicality is not a voting issue and that normative reasons to vote do outweigh. But in order to win these issues there has to be considerable time spent on these arguments not just blips. I do not necessarily believe all affirmatives have to have a plan text, however, I do believe that you should be able to defend the lack thereof. Again, it is not what you do or do not say, it is what you justify. Affirmatives, if you don’t have a plan or don’t defend the consequences you should have reasons why you shouldn’t have to defend those issues.
1) Slow down. My ears are not calibrated to the rapid delivery of policy debaters.
2) Read less cards. I will not read cards at the end of the round unless "what it says" is questioned (as in your calling them a liar). I prefer to watch and evaluate based off of what you have clearly articulated in the debate. Debate is about more than empty words, gestures, and actions. It is not only what you say/do. It is also what you justify. That matters more to me than a bunch of random cards you read to fill time.
3) Don’t rely on being tricky or attempting to “out-tech” the other team. In doing so, you will likely out-tech me and your tricks will go unnoticed. I take notes, on every speech but I don’t flow in the conventional manner of lining up argument-for-argument in columns. There is obviously a minimum of technical skills one needs to compete in debate. If a team does not address an entire position or an important nuance emphasized by their opponents then it is unlikely that they will win.
Lauren Johnson Paradigm
I debated for Gonzaga University 2014-2018
I now am a Graduate Assistant for the University of Wyoming
Kritiks- I enjoy critical debates. Feel free to run them on both sides. I am well versed with feminist/queer and gender theory, although I am also familiar with other critical literature bases. The link debate is the most important part of a critique for me. Really good impact analysis does not matter if there is no link to the 1AC. I also think that performative links are valid arguments and can be used as reasons for why the permutation does not solve. I generally think the aff should get perms although can be persuaded otherwise in an instance where the aff is not about the resolution.
Role of the Ballot - I think the role of the ballot is to vote for who wins their arguments and does the better debating. If you have an argument otherwise, I will be more persuaded/default to a functionality/interpretation of how my vote works if both teams get a chance of receiving that vote. I do not find a "Role of the Ballot" claim that is to "vote for us" to be persuasive. I think its dishonest and transparently one sided to interpret the role of a ballot through one team's participation.
Aff framework versus the K- Your interpretation should probably say you should get to weigh your impacts vs. the K. I prefer debates about the substance of the arguments over debates that end up being exclusively about aff framework, if your framework argument ends up mooting the substance of both the aff and the K (aff solvency and alt solvency) then it becomes a messy debate that I will not enjoy adjudicating.
Performative/Non-Traditional Debates - I think the aff should be about something pertaining to the topic and recommend something be done that is different than the status quo (does NOT have to be a plan or involve the United States Federal Government). If the aff chooses to not do this, they'll have to win why the topical version of the aff can't solve for the performance/discussion that the aff began and win an impact turn to framework. In terms of impact analysis. You should be able to explain what reasonable neg ground exists versus your aff that is within the realm of topic-related research. That said, I'll still vote for an aff that is not about the topic if they win their impact turns to framework/accessibility questions. (Much of the reasoning/rhetoric in this section has been lifted from Erica Duff’s paradigm because I largely agree with how she articulated her views on this subject)
Framework versus Performative/Non-Traditional Affs- I think that the negative either has to win that there is a ‘topical’ version of the aff that can solve for the substance and performance/discussion of the affirmative, or that their interpretation of debate can allow for better access to the solvency mechanism/ address the impacts of the affirmative. I say ‘topical’ because I am generally unpersuaded that the aff must defend the “hypothetical enactment of the plan by the USFG”, I think that the negative has to prove that the affirmative either justifies an interpretation of the topic that makes it impossible to be prepared to debate this particular aff, or that the affirmative is not grounded in a methodology that changes something in the status quo or the lives/experiences of the debaters in the round. I think that the best deliberative model of debate is one in which the affirmative presents a strategy that can generate effective deliberation on a topic because it is something that is contestable and allows for a debate to occur regarding the desirability and effectiveness of two competing strategies/methods to address the affirmatives impacts/concerns.
Topicality- I have never been a particularly good T debater. So if the debate becomes a large T debate, please slow down so I can get the nuances and particularities of the arguments and debate. Limits and predictability are not impacts they are internal links. Discussing how limits and predictability affect debate/ research/ neg prep and what that means in terms of education etc. (This also goes for framework)
Theory- I will usually never vote for theory as a reason to reject the team unless it's a Conditionality debate. Generally, I think reasonable conditionality (example: 1 Kritik and 1 CP) is a good thing but conditionality bad arguments can be used strategically. I generally err neg on theory arguments that are not conditionality, but I am open to persuasion by either side of the debate.
Counterplans- I have less familiarity with the intricacies of counterplan theory than most people, so keep that in mind if you choose to make the CP your main strategy. I generally will vote on a counterplan if you win that you solve the aff, which means you don’t particularly need to win a big risk of your offense to win.
Disads- You need a good disad turns case argument or a case take out to be a round winning strategy. Most of the time I will filter my decision for case versus the disad debates through impact calculus.
David Kilpatrick Paradigm
I am a coach at the University of Texas-Austin and Westwood High School. Conflicts: Texas, Westwood, Polytechnic, St Vincent de Paul, Bakersfield High School
Email Chain: yes, email@example.com
2018-2019 Judging record: 84 total debates (excluding HS locals), AFF - 47 NEG - 37
Debate is an activity about persuasion and communication. If I can't understand what you are saying because you are unclear, haven't coherently explained it, or developed it into a full argument-claim, warrant, impact, it likely won't factor in my decision.
While there are some exceptions, most debaters I've judged the last few years are pretty unclear, so its likely I will miss some arguments. Final rebuttals offer you a space to retrace the part(s) of the debate you think are most relevant to the decision. This both makes it much more likely I will understand your argument and will likely improve your speaker points.
The winner will nearly always be the team able to identify the central question of the debate.
Virtually nothing you can possibly say or do will offend me, if you can't beat a terrible argument you probably deserve to lose.
Everyone seems to have intense clashphobia these days - this isn't about policy or k debate, its across the board and going for the least covered option seems to be everyone's mantra. I get why you think that's strategic, but typically it results in shallow rebuttals, frustrating decisions, 1-1-1 panels and lower points. Specific AFF/NEG research that demonstrate the third and fourth level testing everyone seems to think is important wil be rewarded with higher points. All in on "not our ___" will not.
I flow CX, unless its some random clarification question you forgot I will stop flowing CX after 3 minutes. The "I'm going to ask a million questions while my partner preps their 2NC" has gotten ridiculous.
Framework-I find myself voting negative a lot on procedural fairness a lot. K affs seem to have a lot of trouble deciding if they want to go for the middle ground or just impact turn--pick a strategy and stick to it 1AC-2AR and you're more likely to be in a good place. The block is almost always great on T, the 2NR almost always forgets to do terminal impact calculus. Testing arguments become much more persuasive to me when you give specific examples for how those would occur. What neg args would you be able to read against a potential TVA? Why is it good for the 2AC to research those positions, how would you researching answers to their answers be beneficial? A lot of this stuff just gets assumed and I think that a lot of repetitiveness from most framework 2NCs can be substituted for this kind of depth early in the debate. 2NRs sometimes seem to spend so much time on why they access AFF lit base/impacts that they don't end up extending a terminal impact or external offense at all. I think it's difficult to win a debate when you basically go for a CP w/o a net benefit.
I'm a lot better for framework that sounds closer to T with a limits and clash as the primary impacts then the soliloquy on the most superior model for debate. Clash as the most important internal link to education/fairness/skills/game etc. is usually more persuasive to me than other arguments on T.
-If your CP competes based on the certainty or immediacy of the plan, it doesn't take a ton on theory for me to reject the counter plan.
HS topic - I think the arms sales topic might be one where conditions CPs are more legit. The amount of specific and good solvency advocates for conditions CPs this year is staggering so I think it's reasonable to expect the AFF to prepare for it. This being said, I'll be pretty hostile towards conditions CPs with terrible solvency evidence given how much good stuff exists.
-I won't kick it for you unless you tell me to. I'm pretty easily sold that judge kick is bad.
-"perm do both" or "perm do cp" with no explanation isn't a complete argument. I get that given negative off-case prolif sometimes this feels inevitable, but I'm confident results will improve if you give warrants for any permutation that you think it's likely will find its way into the 2AR.
-affs usually lose these by forgetting about the case, negs usually lose these when they don't contextualize links to the 1ac. If you're reading a policy aff that clearly links, I'll be pretty confused if you don't go impact turns/case outweighs.
-link specificity is important - I don't think this is necessarily an evidence thing, but an explanation thing - lines from 1AC, examples, specific scenarios are all things that will go a long way
-they should be intrinsic to the plan, with enough time investment affs can potentially win that agenda politics disads are not a logical opportunity cost.
-uniqueness controls the direction of the link typically makes the most sense to me, but you can probably convince me otherwise
Brooke Kimbrough Paradigm
Christopher Kozak Paradigm
Experience: 4 years high school policy, 4 years college policy, 4 years coaching college and high school. Current director of debate at Rutgers-Newark.
My judging philosophy/preference is simple. Make arguments. That includes a claim, a warrant and why in a world of competing claims does your claim matter. I don't have a judging "paradigm" and to say that I am a tablarasa is as naive as it is stupid. I am going to split the difference and just explain to you what kinds of arguments I am familiar with.
I debated the K for most of college. I value K's that are nuanced, well explained, and clearly applied to a specific context. I like original thinking in debate and will try my best to adapt to any performance style that you wish present in the round. Just be aware to all teams when debating framework on these issues that I do not consider appeals to "objective rules" persuasive in the context of determining debate norms. Debate is a rare activity in which students are allowed to define the conditions of their own education. I take this aspect of debate very seriously. This does not mean I am hostel to "policy debate good" arguments, it just means that I am holding both teams to a high stander of explanation when evaluating framework arguments.
I was mostly a straight up debater in high school so I am also familiar with the other side of the fence. I love a good straight up policy round. I am a current events junkie and find that form of debate extremely valuable. I would just say that the only thing you need to worry about in front of me in a straight up round is that I have a hard time flowing quick blipy analysis (who doesn't?). Again, not really my style of debate, but honestly if you just make sure you pause for a breath or something between arguments I will get everything you need me to get on my flow.
It may sound like I have a lot of "biases" but I do honestly try to evaluate arguments exactly as debaters tell me to. These preferences mostly come into play only when debaters are not doing their jobs.
Avoid having to adapt to me at all and just tell me what you would like my preferences to be and we will be straight.
I welcome you to ask any specific questions you may have about my philosophy before the debate considering I don't have much of an idea about what to put in these things.
George Lee Paradigm
Do you. Do what you do and do it well. I've been apart of the debate community for 6 years and come to the conclusion that all debates are a series of competing dramatic performances that I could be perusauded on anyday, any performance. With that being said, if rap, poetry or storytelling is not your thing.. Dont do it just because your in front of me. I value clash and big picture focus, however #LineByLineMatters.
"Power is the ability to define phenomena, and make it act in a desired manner. " - Huey P. Newton
“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the f*ck on.” ― Tupac Shakur
Crystal Legionaires Paradigm
The time has come for my yearly overhaul of my paradigm
Weber State University- 5 1/2 years included attending the NDT and breaking at CEDA
Alta High School- 3 years
Judging and helping at West High- 5 years
Current Judging for Weber State
"I know in your heart of hearts you hate [policy arguments] but you also vote for that stuff all the time."
The more I judge, the more I find that the way that I debated and the way that I judge are fairly different. I love kritik debate and I find it to be some of the most educational debates and research that I have found personally with inserting and forefronting real life impacts and experiences into debate especially for me as a disabled transgender woman. I also find that "kritik" or "performance" or "nontraditional" teams or what have you are bad at answering policy arguments from framework to simple extinction outweighs. It's incredibly frustrating but despite my reluctance, leads me to voting a fair amount for policy arguments. Let me make this clear though, I'm not a great judge for your super technical line by line on a politics disad though I won't be opposed to voting on that for you if you win.
One of the main reasons I present this with a caveat is because I have a **sensory processing disorder.** If you want to spread through and get as many arguments out no matter what, I will be unable to keep up with you and I will tell you to slow down. It is in your best interest to do so. The more time I struggle to hear the less I'm hearing and writing down. Furthermore if you refuse to slow down, **I will stop writing down arguments and start removing speaker points.** I'll tell you to slow down 3 times and then I will stop flowing. Further speeches will have 1 warning before that happens. Trust me, you don't need that last argument more than you want me to understand the debate. 1 card I do understand is way better than 10 cards I don't. I almost never read cards unless necessary or if I'm looking for feedback so reliance on cards won't get you that far. If you want me to read a piece of evidence, it needs to be on an important part of the debate that can't be resolved otherwise and needs to be impacted out.
I'm a truth over tech judge one good/"true" argument can beat ten terrible cards. However, that doesn't mean you can't get me to vote on tech, you just have to impact it out more. You need to explain your shit. Cards and dropped arguments aren't inherently true and round ending. You have to tell me why all your shit matters for me to weigh it. I find teams are especially light on their impact level of the debate and on the solvency of their arguments so I would make sure to have emphasis there.
Postmodern, psychoanalysis and the like aren't my cup of tea. I often spend these debates trying to wrap my mind around the terminology rather than the argument in question which can be a detriment to the debaters in round, just how my mind processes new information. I won't straight tell you I won't vote on it but I also find these arguments struggle to have applicability that can be explained in the "real world."
I believe there can be zero risk of impacts. I don't believe in assigning .1% risk of impacts to extinction. Either way the impacts go you need to tell me why that is the case.
I also don't believe that you just saying so means that you solve 100% of the aff with your counterplan. You need to explain in depth why that is the case
I default that the ballot does have meaning and that debate isn't just a game. I can be persuaded otherwise but I feel you need to explain why the community and activism that happens in debate is more of a side effect instead of debate actually having meaning
I think nontopical affs are often really cool and bring extra insight into the topic. For framework teams, i can be persuaded that these teams are cheating if it's impacted out and the education is bad but there is often a lack of legalistic warrants or topic specific education warrants to these arguments which needs to be present. I generally think it is better for the aff to be resolutional eg if it's an immigration topic, talk something about immigration but I won't penalize you for not doing so.
If you run a nontopical aff, you need a disad to the topical version of the aff on framework. I can't stress this enough. Many of my decisions have been made because the TVA solves the aff meaning the offense goes away or the aff forget to extend offense or impact out that disad. This is THE point that I find myself voting on over and over again on framework/t
I do find the evidential debate on disads and counterplans especially to have unique education and debate benefits that don't exist elsewhere and look forward to how debaters utilize them
I think theory debates are really useless. Everyone runs condo and severance perms and it's more of a flow check. I have a high threshold for a theory argument and there better be a damn good reason why you are turning the debate into a theory debate. I also find debaters being exceptionally bad at impacting out theory and explaining the standards. For these reasons I don't see myself voting on theory in the near future. Exceptions to the rule are 50 State fiat, world government fiat and other ridiculous multiactor counterplans and possibly utopian fiat on absurd kritiks.
I think "performative" arguments are really important to the activity and bring pathos that the event often badly lacks. Because of this, I often find myself giving better speaker points to performative teams. I don't think it is cheating or undebateable for someone to bring in their or other experiences and I look forward to these debates. That being said, I can often be persuaded to vote on framework because performative teams often struggle with what to do with their performance once they have performed.
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 Georgia. This is my 12th year involved in policy debate.
I use he/him pronouns.
Last updated: 10/14/2019
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 have coached at the high school level have been either entirely K or entirely policy debaters, while the teams I coach at the college level have been primarily policy and clash debaters. So I’m really ultimately mostly fine with whatever it is that you want to say. That being said, there's no such thing as tabula rasa. Anyone who has told you otherwise lied to you. So here are my proclivities--
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 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.
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, everything else is 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 becoming 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. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
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. 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 (you should introduce the arg as reject the team in the 2AC if you want this to be an option).
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.
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. In other words, this is totally a legitimate strategy in front of me.
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 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-- overviews are actively bad for debate and you will not change my mind) 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 pretty easily beaten in front of me, but reasons why x policy should not occur are much more persuasive. It's 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 have a masters degree in communication studies, and I primarily study queer theory (generally falling in the queer optimism/utopianism camp), theories of biopower, and identity. Judith Butler and Michel Foucault are my favorite theorists. Grad school has taught me that theory is way more complex than I used to think it was. What this means for you: I have read some K literature, although I tend to read it academically rather than for debate nowadays. I am much better now for relatively complex theory arguments than I used to be. I'm still not good for things like "death good," "meaning doesn't mean anything," or "language is meaningless" because I don't think those are questions even worth asking (and thus, they are not worth answering-- cough cough hint hint for those of you debating against these args). I have not read a lot of literature about antiblackness academically, but I have read some of it from a debate standpoint. 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 almost not an argument in my mind). Please remember this: I am fundamentally optimistic about the world, and I am very difficult to get on 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. I fundamentally believe I should weigh the aff & the neg should get access to a K. I’m 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). I also start from the question "what does the action of the aff solve versus what does the action of the neg solve?" regardless of any framework arguments, so I don't even evaluate framework args first (which should also tell you how unpersuasive this style of argument is for me). 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 also might take slightly awkward pauses between words-- that's not because I don't think your question is important, I'm just trying to chose my words carefully so I can correctly convey my thoughts. 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.
Devane Murphy Paradigm
My name is Devane (Da-Von) Murphy and I'm a former debater for Rutgers-Newark. My conflicts are Newark Science, Pace Academy, University High School and Rutgers-Newark. I debated 4 years of policy in high school and for a some time in college, however, I've coached Lincoln-Douglas as well as Public Forum debaters so I should be good on all fronts. I ran all types of arguments in my career from Politics to Deleuze and back and my largest piece of advice to you with me in the back of the room is to run what you are comfortable with. Now to get to the specific kinds of debate arguments. Also, i stole this from Elijah's philosophy and agree with
"If you are a policy team, please take into account that most of the "K" judges started by learning the rules of policy debate and competing traditionally. I respect your right to decide what debate means to you, but debate also means something to me and every other judge. Thinking about the form of your argument as something I may not be receptive to is much different from me saying that I don't appreciate the hard work you have done to produce the content"
Also, don't assume because of my appearance that I'm going to like or dislike certain arguments. I jumped for joy SO HARD when someone ran midterms in front of me this season and have cried because of terrible structuralism debates.
So something has been up with my writing hand over the past few months going back to the summer and it has honestly affected how quickly I can flow. So if you're preffing me at least for the near future, please make sure that you aren't going blazing fast because i just won't be able to keep up sadly.
The current trend in debate of coaches and judges just flat out not listening/evaluating the ideas of competitors because it doesn't align with you ideologically is disheartening to say the least. So, I'm gonna be upfront about which arguments I don't want to hear and then everything else is on the table:
- Weird frivolous theory (i.e. can't read with two different highlights, spikes, etc)
- constitutivism/truth testing (for the LD folks)
***Emory LD Edit***
I'm a policy debater in training but I'm not completely oblivious to the different terms and strategies used in LD. That being said, I hate some of the things that are supposed to be "acceptable" in the activity. First, I HATE Theory debates, particularly "metatheory" debates (whatever that means). I will vote for it if I absolutely have to but I have VERY HIGH threshold. Second, if your thing is to do whatever a "skeptrigger" is or something along that vein, please STRIKE me. It'd be a waste of your time as I have nothing to offer you educationally. Please compare impacts and tell me why I should vote for you. Other than that, everything else here is applicable. Have fun and if you make me laugh, I'll probably boost your speaks.
DA's: I like these kinds of debates even though alot of folks don't utilize them anymore. My largest criticism is that if you are going to read a DA in front of me please give some form of impact calculus that helps me to evaluate which argument should be prioritized with my ballot. And i'm not just saying calculus to mean timeframe, probability and magnitude rather to ask for a comparison between the impacts offered in the round. (just a precursor but this is necessary for all arguments not just DA's)
CP's: I like CP's however for the abusive ones (and yes I'm referring to Consult, Condition, Multi-Plank, Sunset, etc.) I'm hella persuaded by theoretical objections. I'm not saying don't run these in front of me however if someone runs theory please don't just gloss over it because it will be a reason to reject the argument and if its in the 2NR the team.
K's: I like the K too however that does not mean that I am completely familiar with the lit that you are reading as arguments. The easiest way to persuade me is to have contextualized links to the aff as well as not blazing through the intricate details of your shit. Not to say I can't flow speed (college debate is kinda fast) I would rather not flow a bunch of high theory which would mean that I won't know what you're talking about. You really don't want me to not know what you're talking about. SERIOUSLY. I will lower your speaker points without hesitation
FW vs. K-Affs: Even though I'm usually debating on the K side of this, I will vote on either side. I go with the flow and if the negative is winning and impacting their decision-making impact over the impacts of the aff then I would vote negative. On the flip side, if the aff wins that the interpretation is a targeted method of skewing certain conversations and win offense to the conversation I would vote aff. This being said, I go by my flow. Also, i'm honestly not too persuaded by fairness as an impact, but the decisionmaking parts of the argument intrigue me.
K-Affs/Performance: I'm 100% with these. However, they have to be done the right way. I don't wanna hear poetry spread at me at high speeds nor do I want to hear convoluted high theory without much explanation. That being said, I love to watch these kinds of debates and have been a part of a bunch of them.
Theory: I'll vote on it if you're impacting your standards. If you're spreading blocks, probably won't vote for it.
Brittany Plange Paradigm
In high school I was a member of Moore High Schools speech and debate team. There I competed in LD, PFD, OO and Extemp. I crossed over to policy in 2014 when I started debating for the University of Oklahoma’s policy debate team. I honestly do not care what you do in front of me. Debate is a game, a performance, I am the audience and attempt to judge as fair as possible. Persuade me. I am a black woman living in America in the year 2018 with Donald Trump as our President. That is the basic lens through which I evaluate things through.
If you are not clear I will not flow you and will not default to the speech doc.
I like framing and I like being persuaded. It makes my job easy.
Have a link to the case and not the squo. Makes it easier to vote for you.
June Ramirez Paradigm
Rakeem Robinson Paradigm
I love a well-executed impact turn debate . If you can give me this your speaks will show my joy
Frame the ballot for me in the 2NR/2AR. Don't just extend a bunch of cards and highlight concessions, but be explicit about why a particular argument or collection of arguments wins you the debate.
Evidence quality may become important in close debates but is a secondary concern to persuasion within the debate. This is not to say that I won't read your evidence after the debate because i probably will, but I won't evaluate warrants that are in your cards or make judgments about evidence quality unless they were fleshed out adequately in the constructives/rebuttals.
- You should assume that I am not up on the literature you have read. You should not expect me to know every acronym or all the latest developments in your DA scenario, nor should you assume that I understand all of the jargon in your K. Err on the side of ,at least, briefly explaining a concept before jumping into the intricacies of your argument.
- Defense can win debates and I have no problem pulling the trigger on presumption. I can be compelled that there is 0% risk of solvency to an affirmative case, or that there is no internal link within a DA. "There's a 1% chance that we're good for the world" is not a sufficient justification unless you provide a reason for why the opposing team's defensive argument is false or simply mitigates your claim (rather than taking it out terminally).
- I have a tendency to be somewhat expressive. If I find something stupid happening within a debate, I will likely face-palm, and/or shake my head; if I didn't understand you, I will give you a quizzical look. You should look up occasionally and take hints from the visual cues that I am sending. I won't make verbal interjections within a debate unless you're being unclear in which case i will say clear twice
- There is a fine line between being assertive and being rude. Don't cross it. If you don't know the difference, just watch for how I react
Some specific concerns:
Topicality-- I default to competing interpretations . To make these debates even close to enjoyable for me this requires an explicit list of what specific cases your interpretation permits and why this is beneficial for the activity. As for "Kritiks of T": I tend not to view these as RVIs, but instead as counter-standards that privilege an alternate debate curriculum that is more important than traditional conceptions. Negatives that plan on defending T against these criticisms should not only maintain that the 1AC does not meet what they view as fair and educational debate, but also need to go into a more specific discussion that impacts why their vision of a fair and educational debate is good and why the negative's alternate curriculum is worse in comparison.
Theory-- pretty similar to T debates but the one difference is that I will default to "reject the argument, not the team" unless given a reason otherwise. I have been known to go for cheapshots, but these require fulfilling a high standard of execution (a fully warranted and impacted explanation of your cheapshot, and closing the doors on any cross-applications the aff can make from other flows). Stylistically speaking, slowing down in these debates will help me put more ink on your side of the flow--otherwise I may miss a part of your argument that you find important. Additionally, a well-thought out interpretation and 3 warranted arguments regarding why a particular practice in debate is bad is significantly stronger than a blippy, generic re-hashing of a 10-point block.
Straight-up Strategies-- My favorite strategies often involve more than one or more of the following: an advantage counterplan, topic specific DA(s), and a solid amount of time allocated to case turns/defense. I am obviously open to hear and evaluate more generic arguments like politics, dip cap, delay counterplans, and process counterplans if that is your thing, and you should obviously go for what you are winning.
K and Performance Strategies-- I enjoy philosophy and have spent a significant chunk of my free time reading/understanding K and performance arguments. My familiarity with this style of debating makes it a double-edged sword. I will be very impressed if you command significant knowledge about the theory at hand and are able to apply them to the case through examples from popular culture or empirical/historical situations. On the other hand, if you fail to explain basic theoretical ideas within the scope of the K or fail to engage particular points of contention presented by the affirmative, I will be thoroughly unimpressed. Similarly, when opposing a K or performance, I am much more interested in arguments (analytics and cards) that not only substantively engage the K but thoroughly defend why your theorization of politics and interaction with the social should be preferred, rather than a generic 50 point survey of claims that are made by positivist thinkers. This is not to say that generic "greatest hits" style arguments have no value, but they certainly need to be backed up with a defense of the conceptual framing of your 1AC (eg, if the negative wins that the kritik turns the case or a no v2l claim, I'm not sure what "predictions good" or "cede the political" does for the affirmative). In terms of a theory/framework debate, I am much less likely to be persuaded by generic "wrong forum" claims but will be more likely to be compelled by arguments pointing to abusive sections of the specific K that is being run (eg, the nature of the alt).
It's also important to defend your impacts thoroughly. My favorite straight up affirmatives to read when I debated had big hegemony advantages. My favorite K authors to read are Wilderson (Afro-Pessimism) and other forms of Black liberation startegies. As a result, I am unlikely be swayed or guilted into voting for you if the only argument you make is a moralizing reference to people suffering/dying. This is NOT to say that I won't vote for you if you choose a strategy that relies on these impacts. However if these impacts are challenged either through impact turns or comparisons, I will not hack for you; I require an adequate refutation of why their impact calculation or understanding of suffering/death is false/incomplete and reasons for why I should prefer your framing. In other words, if the opposing team says "hegemony good and outweighs your K" or alternatively, reads a "suffering/death good" style kritik and your only comeback is "you link to our arguments and people are oppressed" without much other refutation, you will lose. When your moral high ground is challenged, own up to it and refute their assumptions/explanations.
Nick Ryan Paradigm
Philosophy Updated 9-5-17
Nick Ryan – Liberty Debate – 10th year coaching/Judging
Please label your email chains “Tournament – Rd “#” – AFF Team vs Neg Team” – or something close to that effect. I hate “No subject,” “Test,” “AFF.” I would like to be included “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Too often Philosophy’s are long and give you a bunch of irrelevant information. I’m going to try to keep this short and sweet.
1. I spend most of my time working with our “Policy teams,” I have a limited amount of working with our “K/Non traditional” debaters, but the bulk of my academic research base is with the “traditional” “policy teams;” don’t expect me to know the nuances of your specific argument, debate it and explain it.
2. Despite this I vote for the K a fair amount of time, particularly when the argument is contextualized in the context of the AFF and when teams aren’t reliant on me to unpack the meaning of “big words.” Don’t rely on me to find your “embedded clash” for you.
3. “Perm Do Both” is not a real argument, neg teams let AFFs get away with it way too often and it shifts in the 1AR. Perms and Advocacy/CP texts should be written out.
4. If neither team clarifies in the debate, then I default to the status quo is always an option.
5. These are things that can and probably will influence your speaker points: clarity, explanations, disrespectfulness to the other team, or your partner, stealing prep time, your use of your speech time (including cx), etc.
6. Prep time includes everything from the time the timer beeps at the end of the lasts speech/CX until the doc is sent out.
7. I think Poems/Lyrics/Narratives that you are reading written by someone else is evidence and should be in the speech document.
ADA Novice Packet Tournaments:
1. It is hard to convince me that AFFs aren’t reasonably topical when there are only two affs that you didn’t get to choose.
2. Evidence you use should be from the packet. If you read cards that weren’t in the packet more than once it’s hard to believe it was a “honest mistake.”
If you have any questions about things that are not listed here please ask, I would rather you be sure about my feelings, then deterred from running something because you are afraid I did not like it.
Daniel Stout Paradigm
Debate at Kansas State from Treaties (2001) – Courts (2006), Coached at Kansas State on Middle East (2007) & Agriculture (2008), Coached at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for Weapons (2009) & Immigration (2010). I am now at Johnson County Community College.
I'd like to be on the e-mail chain- email@example.com (just copy and past that exact e-mail)
If I leave the room, please send the e-mail. It will signal I need to come back to the room. People should just not open the doc until I get back.
My litmus test for what I can vote for is solely based upon the ability to take what you said while debating and regurgitate it back to the other team as a reason why they lost.
I believe the most important part of debate is impacts. If left with no argumentation about impacts or how to evaluate them I will generally default to look for the biggest impact presented. I appreciate debate that engages in what the biggest impact means, and/or if probability and timeframe are more important. This does not simply mean “policy impacts”, it means any argument that has a link and impact. You could easily win that the language used in the round has an impact, and matters more than the impacts of plan passage. All framing questions concerning what comes first have impacts to them, and therefore need to be justified. The point is, whether you are running a Kritik, or are more policy based, there are impacts to the assumptions held, and the way you engage in politics (plan passage governmental politics, or personal politics). Those impacts need to be evaluated
I also prefer that teams explain their arguments so that a macro level of the argument is explained (Meaning a cohesive story about the uniqueness, link, or link and alternative are also necessary). This means piecing together arguments across flows and explaining how they interact with one another. My threshold for the possibility for me to vote on your argument is determined by whether or not I can explain why the other team lost.
Policy arguments are fine by me.
Quirks with Counterplans- I think consultation and conditions are more cheating, than not cheating, but up for debate. I think conditionality can get out of hand. When conditionality does get out of hand it should be capitalized by the affirmative as justification to do equally shady/cheating things and/or be a justification to vote against a team, again up for debate.
Kritiks- I enjoy Kritiks. Be aware of my threshold for being able to explain to the other team why they lost. This means it is always safer to assume I’ve never read your literature base and have no idea what you are talking about. The best way to ensure that I’m understanding your argument is to explain them with a situations that will exemplify your theory AND to apply those situations and theories to the affirmative.
Framework- I will evaluate framework in an offense defense paradigm. Solely impacting or impact turning framework will rarely win you the debate. You will need offense & defense to win framework debates in front of me. Its an issue that I believe should be debated out and the impact calculus on the framework debate should determine who I vote for. When aff I believe that framework is a non starter. Defending the assumptions of the affirmative is a much more persuasive argument. For the negative, a lot of the discussion will revovle around the topical version of the aff and/or why doing it on the neg is best and solves all the affirmatives offense. I don't generally feel as though framework should be THE option against critical teams.
Framework on the negative for me is also can have and act like a counter advocacy that the problems isolated by the affirmative can be helped by engaging the state. Topical version help prove how engaging the state can create better and meaningful changes in the world. There should also be historical and/or carded explanations as to why engaging the state can help with the problems of the 1ac.
One other caveat about framework. I do not believe that affirmatives must provide a counter interpretation. The affirmative has not forwarded a way to debate in the 1ac, therefore it is the burden of the negative to explain their version of debate and why it's good. This allows affs to just impact turn framework as presumption has flipped in this instance.
With that said, framework is the last pure debate. I very rarely see the better team not win. It's been too hashed out for many if any gotcha moments
Rylee Taylor Paradigm
University of Nevada, Las Vegas | West Career and Technical Academy
3rd year judging college debate
6th year judging high school debate
N/A rounds on the college topic judged so far
N/A rounds judged on the high school topic so far
Please include me on the email chain
*strongly prefer email over pocketbox(or speech drop)
I am willing to evaluate any arguments that you make, as long as you explain and execute it well. There is no need to change your arguments to something you think I like or will vote on, just give me the best debate you can, using your best arguments, and you will be fine. I try very hard to be a tabula rasa or "blank slate" judge and keep my personal opinions out of my decision as much as possible.
I will attempt to be as neutral as possible and evaluate the arguments presented in the debate independent of my own opinions. Keep in mind that debate is facilitated by fiat, the mutual agreement that we will discuss whether or not the plan should be done. Fiat is concerned with the merits of the affirmative plan. Playing this game is an ideal forum for us to educate ourselves, have fun, and train the opinion leaders and policy makers of the future.
Negative strategy – I believe in preserving maximum strategic and theoretical flexibility for negative teams. Contradicting arguments early on in the debate are fine as long as it is narrowed down in the negative block and the 2NR is consistent. Though too many contradicting arguments (3+) will make me more sympathetic to the affirmative. That does not mean I will not vote on conditionality or perf con if only 2 conditional or contradicting arguments are made, just that I am less sympathetic.
Affirmative strategy - A good 1AR should attempt to make the 2NR's job difficult by reading plenty of evidence, covering, and always using offense. For the 1AR and 2AR I think it is important to EXTEND WARRANTS inside your evidence. You should explain the importance/relevance/ implications of the evidence as well. Just saying “extend our Johnson ’12 card,” does not count as extending the evidence!
Aff- I am open to critical affirmatives that have a relationship to the topic. I have a difficult time voting on an affirmative without a relationship to the topic(as articulated in the round). I will not vote on T/FW just because it was read, it is the burden of the negative to prove to me why that affirmative is not topical or why it shouldn't be run in debate.
Negative critical arguments: I am open to vote on critical arguments, as long as they are well explained and has specific links to the aff. Your Kritik should have an alt and impact that is explained by the negative, I am highly unlikely to vote negative if you do not extend the alt. I am not familiar with all critical arguments, but I have had experience with a wide variety; capitalism, ableism, queerness, and anti-blackness are the arguments I am most familiar with. My last year as a debater I primarily read Warren on the negative, so I am most familiar with afro pessimism arguments when it comes to my understanding of anti-blackness. Good alt explanation can resolve any lack of knowledge I have. I am not a fan of post modernist critiques so it is a slightly higher threshold for explanation. The affirmative should always permutate critical arguments, and explain how the permutation functions.
CPs— I am fine with counterplans, but prefer they have some sort of solvency advocate as well as a net benefit. The text of the CP (and all perms) should be written out, and I hold them to as high a standard as I do the affirmative plan.
Disadvantages- Needs to be as specific as possible to the aff and the link story should make sense. Make sure to explain how the aff links to the disad and how it triggers the impact.
Topicality- All for it, I feel that it is a very strategic argument to be made in debate. Needs to be well articulated with both sides submitting competing interpretations. T arguments should be extremely structured and organized to make it easier for me to see why this is a voting issue.
Speaker Points- You should be clear and able to explain your arguments well. I enjoy jokes and clever analogies that are relevant to the round and arguments being made.
Few other things-
- Do not steal prep!!!! I do not take time for sending out the document, but when the team that took prep calls time, everyone else should pause until the speech is handed over and begins.
- Only one person should be speaking per speech, unless it is a performative necessity or an accessibility issue in which case that should be made clear during the debate.
- Flow! If you are not flowing I notice and it probably reflects in the quality of your speeches, in particular the line by line debate.
- Debate should be fun; it is a game so be nice and courteous to everyone involved.
If you would like something explained further, please feel free to ask me questions before the round or send me an email.
James Taylor Paradigm
Taylor, W. James “JT” Kansas State University, ADOD
# of years coaching/judging: 20+
Voting record: Aff: 12 Neg: 21
Most succinctly, I begin the round as a critic of argument. Depending on how the debaters posit my decision, I go from there...
-ENGAGE THE 1AC: I think teams should always engage the 1AC. Even if you are a one-off K team or you mostly take a more performative approach, there is no reason you can’t address the issues, logic, and general claims of the 1AC. Even if you don’t have evidence, you should still make smart arguments. Some of this could be approaches like contextualizing your one-off K to the specific claims made. Be smart and make logical arguments against the Aff. I think being educated on the issues of the topic is the true "education" we get out of "topic education". In the end, there should probably be a detailed engagement in the link debate.
-SPEECH DOCS: Debating speech docs instead of paying attention to speeches is unacceptable. So is the excessive inclusion of extra cards in a speech doc and/or not noting which cards you skip. I realize the value & utility of the docs but they should not be a substitute for flowing or paying attention to the other team. If you ask about things that would have been apparent if you had been flowing, you'll lose points. You debate the other team, not their speech docs! Otherwise, I would prefer to judge this debate via Skype from my house. Beyond this, just debating off of speech docs is disrespectful to your competitors and antithetical to productive communication. I will collect the docs and open them only as needed.
-EVIDENCE: I think a lot of teams read bad evidence. Debate the EVIDENCE! Studies? Quals? History/Empirics? I do not tend to read a ton of evidence unless contested or otherwise sparks my interest.
-TOPICALITY: I really like smart T debates with good contextual evidence. “Good” does not mean some random use from a totally unrelated case, unless you can prove that usage necessarily sets the standard. I am receptive to critiques of T/Framework, especially if external to the Aff, but there needs to be a clear argument for why it should stay if they kick out.
-FRAMEWORK: Although I think most framework arguments are a little silly—I vote on them often due to execution problems by the other team. I think the Aff. Should get to “weigh” the case as offense, unless it begs the question(s) of epistemology/methodology. In that case, the epistemology/methodology should be directly applied to the case debate. If it is a reps debate, then 1AC reps vs. Neg reps OR advantages vs. disads. But if Aff. should always get to weigh the case, then they should have to defend it…all of it. Neanderthal frameworks such as “absolutely nothing but a literal defense of USFG and only the utilitarian consequences matter” should be easy to beat. There are a lot of nuanced framework arguments that can be effective. Also, this type of strategy does nothing to engage the Aff. I think there can be real value in policy debate, but not necessarily through its imposition. What rarely gets discussed are the "portable skills" that are fostered through non-policy debates...
“KRITIKS”: Although I would say I am a fan of “the K”, I'm kind of a snob when it comes to these issues. Here are a few tips:
1. Engage the case. “Specific” links are a must—at least specific application of generic links with developed and warranted explanations.
2. Not really a fan of: Spanos, Baudrillard, Lacan, Bataille, Heidegger, D&G, Ayn Rand. If you're in a constant state of becoming then call me when your illusions are shattered. I'd say I'm pretty familiar with Foucault, Zizek (cap/film), Nuclear Ks, Giroux/Pedagogy, race/racism Ks, various & random gender & Environment Ks, etc.
3. Role of the Ballot – The vast majority of these claims are self-referential and add nothing to debate: “Whoever best does what we said.” Just like policy framework claims, these function with the same intent to exclude. However, some truly act not as a veiled framework but as truly instructional in terms of judging and the meaning of the ballot and the function of my decision. I do not think the ballot inherently means anything beyond a recording of data. Humans infuse meaning to things like the ballot and that should be a subject of debate and discussion. It just depends on how the debaters construct that value. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT I KNOW WHAT STANDARD OR MEANS OF EVALUATING YOUR ARGUMENTS!
4. Perm Sloppiness: I think a lot of block debates get sloppy/lazy on the perm. I think the Aff. should have to explain how the perm resolves the links. I also think the Neg. should have to explain why the perm does not resolve those links. Sometimes its just that the K links to the plan and the perm includes the plan...OK, so that's obvious. This largely becomes an issue in K debates.
5. Method Debates: You need to actually do your method, not just prove it WOULD/COULD be a good idea. Historical Materialism comes to mind...Very few teams actually advance that alternate version of history. Instead, teams usually just read links to how the Aff doesn't fit in their paradigm or somehow masks or trades-off with HM. The same dynamic happens in many other debates.
CASE, CPs, & DISADS: Although I strongly believe that policy debate has developed at the exclusion of other styles, arguments, and peoples, I see genuine value in policy debates. This value collapses in on itself with the strict imposition of policy debate. I love a deep case debate or a smart CP. I think the detailed research skills are the truely valuable part of policy debate, yet not exclusive to policy debate. If both teams want to have a policy throwdown, then let's roll! Above all, I do not think any one style should dominate debate, nor be excluded. I do a decent amount of policy research for HS and college on a regular basis, but get labelled a "K/performance judge" because I've coached and voted for a lot of K & "performance" teams. However, I am a fan of all styles of debate, including policy. Engage the 1AC!
Lee Thach Paradigm
personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
college debates: email@example.com
Debated for CSU Fullerton. 4-time NDT Qualifier. CEDA Octafinalist.
B.A. in Philosophy; working on M.A. in Communication.
Coach Policy Debate for CSU Fullerton & University High School
Coach Lincoln Douglas & Public Forum for CL Education
1. Clarity > Loudness > Speed.
2. Framing > Impact > Solvency. Framing is a prior question. Don’t let me interpret the debate, interpret the debate for me.
3. Truth IS Tech. Warranting, comparative analysis, and clash structure the debate.
4. Offense vs Defense: Defense supports offense, though it's possible to win on pure defense.
5. Try or Die vs Neg on Presumption: I vote on case turns & solvency takeouts. AFF needs sufficient offense and defense for me to vote on Try or Die.
THEORY: Inround abuse > potential abuse. Include a robust debate about whether fairness or education come first.
TOPICALITY: As far as I am concerned, there is no resolution until the negative teams reads Topicality. The negative must win that their interpretation resolves their voters, while also proving abuse. The affirmative either has to win a no link we meet, a counterinterp followed up with a we meet, or just straight offense against the negative interpretation. I am more likely to vote on inround abuse over potential abuse. If you go for inround abuse, list out the lost potential for neg ground and why that resolves the voters. If you go for potential abuse, explain what precedents they set.
FRAMEWORK: When the negative runs framework, specify how you orient Fairness & Education. If your FW is about education, then explain why the affirmative is unable to access their own pedagogy, and why your framework resolves their pedagogy better and/or presents a better alternative pedagogy. If your FW is about fairness, explain why the affirmative method is unable to solve their own impacts absent a fair debate, and why your framework precedes Aff impacts and/or is an external impact.
DISADVANTAGES: Start with impact calculation by either outweighing and/or turning the case. Uniqueness sets up the timeframe, links set up probability, and the impact sets up the magnitude.
COUNTERPLANS: Specify how the CP solves the case, a DA, an independent net benefit, or just plain theory. Any net benefit to the CP can constitute as offense against the Permutation.
CASE: Case debate works best when there is comparative analysis of the evidence and a thorough dissection of the aff evidence.
KRITIKS: Framing is key since a Kritik is basically a Linear Disad with an Alt. When creating links, specify whether they are links to the Aff form and/or content. Links to the form should argue why inround discourse matters more than fiat education, and how the alternative provides a competing pedagogy. Links to the content should argue how the alternative provides the necessary material solutions to resolving the neg and aff impacts. If you’re a nihilist and Neg on Presumption is your game, then like, sure.
PLANS WITH EXTINCTION IMPACTS: Many affirmatives underappreciate their extinction impacts. If you successfully win your internal link story for your impact, then prioritize solvency so that you can weigh your impacts against any external impacts. Against other extinction level impacts, make sure to either win your probability and timeframe, or win sufficient amount of defense against the negs extinction level offense. Against structural violence impacts, explain why proximate cause is preferable over root cause, why extinction comes before value to life, and defend the epistemological, pedagogical, and ethical foundations of your affirmative. i might be an "extinction good" hack.
PLANS WITH STRUCTURAL IMPACTS: If you are facing extinction level disadvantages, then it is key that you win your value to life framing, probability/timeframe, and no link & impact defense to help substantiate why you outweigh. If you are facing a kritik, this will likely turn into a method debate about the ethics of engaging with dominant institutions, and why your method best pedagogically and materially effectuates social change.
As a 2A that ran K Affs, the main focus of my research was answering T/FW, and cutting answers to Ks. I have run Intersectionality, Postmodernism, Decolonization, & Afropessimism. Having fallen down that rabbit hole, I have become generally versed in (policy debate's version of) philosophy.
K AFF WITH A PLAN TEXT: Make sure to explain why the rhetoric of the plan is necessary to solve the impacts of the aff. Either the plan is fiated, leading a consequence that is philosophically consistent with the advantage, or the plan is only rhetorical, leading to an effective use of inround discourse (such as satire). The key question is, why was saying “United States Federal Government,” necessary, because it is likely that most kritikal teams will hone their energy into getting state links.
K BEING AFFS: Everything is bad. These affs incorporate structural analysis to diagnosis how oppression manifests metaphysically, materially, ideologically, and/or discursively. This includes Marxism, Settler Colonialism, & Afropessimism affs. Frame how the aff impact is a root cause to the negative impacts, generate offense against the alternative, and show how the perm necessitates the aff as a prior question.
K BECOMING AFF: Truth is bad. These affs include Postmodernism, Intersectionality, & Black Optimism. Adapt to turning the negative links into offense for the aff. Short story being, if you're just here to say truth is bad, then you're relying on your opponent to make truth claims before you can start generating offense.
Samantha Thies Paradigm
I am a former coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I debated for four years as an undergrad at James Madison University. This is my second-year judging.
Yes I would like to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
A complete argument makes a claim that is supported by detailed warrants and has an impact. If you are not completing your argument, I will not be voting on it.
Generally, I’ll lean tech>truth. That being said, a conceded argument is only true when the entire argument – claim, warrant, impact – is extended. That doesn’t mean you have to invest lots of time there, but saying “it was dropped!” is not enough for me.
I’m rather offense/defense oriented, although I think I could be persuaded to vote on presumption with a lot of investment in that argument during the debate. I will stick to what I have on the flow, so you can win tech-y line-by-line with me, or you can win that over-arching arguments effect other parts of the debate. Whatever the case is, you’re gonna need at least one very good piece of offense to win my ballot.
Judge instructions are super important, especially in the final rebuttals. You should be telling me how the pieces of the debate fit together, and why that means you win. This includes impact calc and how I should evaluate impacts. Do this and you’ve won my ballot, and basically written my RFD for me.
Good analytic arguments can beat trash cards any day.
The more specific a permutation is on a CP or K, the better chance you have of winning it; explain the perm in the context of your plan or aff and give examples of how it could work. I’m a sucker for smart and well-thought-out perms, but that also means I have a pretty high standard of analysis required to vote on one.
If you really want me to read a specific piece of evidence, you should flag that to me in the debate. I think reading all the round's evidence after the debate and re-interpreting the args through warrants that were never actually made is a terrible form of judge intervention. I will rely on the debater’s own explanation of their evidence. It is the other team’s responsibility to point out mis-characterizations or contested points in their opponents’ evidence. If the comparison and analysis on opposing interpretations of a card is comparable on both sides, then I will read the evidence and make my decision from there.
It will likely benefit you to slow down in front of me; I have hearing damage and will very likely miss your 10 second analytic argument.
Specific Notes on Positions:
Topicality/Framework – I love T debates; I was in mostly T debates while I was an undergrad and defended it on both sides. Affs should have a relationship to the topic. What that relationship looks like is up for debate. Affs with plans are cool and should be able to defend why their plan is good and fits within the topic. More teams should read T against cheating policy/plan affs! Affs without plans are cool and should be able to defend why their approach to debate is good and fits within the topic.
Is fairness an impact? Is education an impact? What should I prioritize, and why? That’s all debatable, you tell me!
TVA’s are necessary if you want to win, and if there’s no TVA to the aff you should be explicit about why. I view TVA’s a lot like CP’s that solve the offense on T from the aff and has a net benefit (ie. the DA’s you have to their interp).
Impact comparison wins T debates! Uniqueness matters in T debate! To quote Lindsey Shook, “inevitability and uniqueness matter in debates about the impacts to topicality and I take those questions seriously and find they are often where decisions begin for me.”
I think the distinction made between framework and T is arbitrary, so your “framework” argument should still tell me what part of the resolution the aff violates. Stating that the aff doesn’t have a plan and should therefore lose is not an explanation of how they failed to fulfill the standard set by the resolution and will not be a winning argument in front of me.
T debates get so messy so quick, so kiss your overviews goodbye! Do your work on the line-by-line. If you can clean up my flow in a messy round you will get bonus speaker points for being fantastic!
DAs – I have not watched any policy debates on this topic. I like DA debates and am fine if you want to read one, but I probably have not have seen your DA before; keep that in mind when you're trying to explain it to me. Politics DAs annoy me but I can vote for them. I will just be sad about it.
CPs – I think this is where debaters should do more work in front of me. I won’t be familiar with your specific advantage CP or 100000 plank CP, so it’s really important to clearly explain the mechanism or I will be totally lost. Judge direction is critical here, tell me how I should view the CP, how it resolves the aff and net benefit, and how the pieces fit together in the entire debate.
CPs should be textually and functionally competitive and should have a solvency advocate.
Ks/Advocacies – I am probably familiar with most of the lit, but I will certainly not fill in gaps of explanation for you. A full explanation of your theory/method and how it resolves/solves/disproves/excludes weighing the aff is key to my ballot.
Stop reading 5-minute overviews! Stop reading overviews period! A lot of the stuff in an overview actually answers arguments on the line-by-line, so please make my flow happy and keep them together.
I’m not really of the “you link you lose” mentality; K debaters should explain how their alt resolves the link to the aff or give me a reason to evaluate the round otherwise. Also, Ks still have impacts – talk about them (especially the aff).
Specificity is pretty important to me with the K. Generic state bad K links are just as boring and unpersuasive as generic 2AC realism/consequences answers. Argument interaction and evidence comparison are underutilized by teams answering and going for the K.
Theory – I do not have strong ideological biases around common theory arguments, so these are winnable in front of me if it is actually impacted properly. I do think multi-plank CPs are rude, but I would still vote for one.
Throw out your trash blocks and have a conversation about what you think good, competitive and robust debates should look like and why. Be responsive to the other teams warrants – that means actually listening and not copy-pasting your block. Please slow down speeding through your pre-written answers!!
If theory is something you want me to vote on, you will have to make a significant time investment in it; I have a pretty high standard for debaters to beat “reject the arg not the team”. If you want to use theory/in-round abuse/other theoretical shit the other team did as a reason why you get to do something theoretically sketchy, you're probably a smart debater.
Speaker Points – I’m still developing a method for assigning speaker points. I will try to follow the outline below as closely as possible, but it will be my general guide based on what I think the community norms are.
26.9 or lower: Something bad happened!
27-27.5: Major structural mistakes were made in-round and/or debaters were generally rude/unpleasant.
27.6-28.6: Average to above average understanding of the arguments and round. Some minor mistakes were made and/or debaters had trouble putting the entire round together.
28.7-29.2: Speeches were great, few errors were made, and/or the debaters deserve to be in out-rounds.
29-29.2: This team should be in late out-rounds or win the tournament.
29.3-30: One of the best speeches I have ever seen.
Other things that influence speaks include: clarity, (good) use of humor or wit, knowledge and mastery of history or examples pertaining to ones argument, stealing prep, interrupting speeches, dominating ones partner during their speeches or crossex, and overall command of crossex, and taking 1000000 years to send an email or continue with a debate.
I will try to adjust speaks for the division I’m in - so I will not have the same standard for a 28.5 speech in varsity that I would for a 28.5 speech in novice.
Please email me with any other inquires not addressed above.
Austin Thoma Paradigm
Refer to arguments/cards by their ideas/tags, not exclusively the author names.
Add me to the chain: email@example.com
I've noticed that as a judge I tend to close my eyes while I'm thinking. Some debaters have assumed that I was sleeping during their speeches. I assure you that this is not the case.
Fifth year judging college debate. Director of Debate at Wyoming. Previously coached for Cornell. Judged and coached high school in the past.
I do not reject any argument on its face. Everything I say here is preliminary - these ideas can be changed by arguments in-round. However, in the interest of full disclosure, I do have predispositions that will influence my decisions - as we all do. I will try to highlight critical points here, but will clarify anything at tournaments or via email - contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not an exhaustive list, nor is it in any particular order.
It takes an awful lot for me to call for cards. If you aren't explaining it, it doesn't really matter. The arguments you make about the cards are more important than the evidence itself.
One good argument is better than lots of bad arguments. I have noticed that my theory threshold is not as low as it once was, but I believe that it is still lower than average. Theory debates are my favorite, but only if teams engage instead of just reading blocks.
My presumption is neg - aff should propose a change from the status quo.
Aff should be in the direction of the topic. This is a fairly ambiguous concept, but I feel like you'll know it when it happens. Does your aff want more executive control? If so, I probably won't be predisposed to vote for it, but I can be convinced otherwise.
Engaging "the system" (political, social, whatever power structure you want to talk about) is productive (perhaps with negative consequences).
Rhetoric choices matter - and come before evaluation of plan action.
Aff severence of 1AC rhetoric / assumptions is illegitimate.
Conditionality on neg is good for debate.
Condo does not let you no link rhetoric/reps arguments.
2NR condo is illegitimate.
Fiat is good for debate.
Performative argumentation is good for debate.
Fairness is of at least as much importance as education in the context of debate.
Narratives - personal or otherwise - need to be applied to broader, more generalized arguments to make sense in the context of the round.
"100% no link" is real and possible, but difficult.
Politics DAs are pretty silly.
Debate rounds are not particularly good forums for starting social change.
"Traditional policy" framework is a legitimate strategy better served with fewer arguments that are better developed than a multitude of arguments that are less developed. To get my ballot here, I suggest focusing on skills development.
Try to refer to arguments/cards by their ideas/tags, not exclusively the author names. I rarely write all of these down. This is obviously less true when attacking cites or comparing evidence, but it is certainly true in extensions. "Extend the Johnson evidence" doesn't do much for me.
Prep stops when you tell me it stops. Prep starts when speeches end. Don't prep during evidence flashing/emailing. I will punish it.
andy montee Paradigm
I flow everything straight down on paper.
I actually think framework is a good argument, but in the way that I think it pushes K args to defend some of the fundamental aspects of their arguments - reform, legal solutions, the state, progress, liberalism, traditional forms of politics, etc. I think these are the important aspects of framework. Procedural fairness is an impact and not one that I love, but it's a means to an end. You still have to win some kind of terminal impact to framework, otherwise we're just playing a technical game of checkers. Give me a reason to care.
Affs get perms. You need a link to your K anyway. That should make it so the perm is unable to solve the impacts of your criticism. But they still get to make the perm argument so that that aspect of the debate is tested. I get it, it's a method debate. But I super want you to have a link that says why their method sucks.
Example: direct revolutionary praxis vs strategic, opaque resistance. There are a ton of flavors of these methods, but at their roots they are competitive and produce good debates.
"Performance" - All debate is a performance. This categorical distinction is arbitrary and I don't like it. Of course you can read a story to support your argument. People do that.
Evidence – I'm going to read cards. I like them. I think cards should be good and well warranted, and I hate calling for cards only to find a good argument was backed up with some lackluster ev.
For some reason, I guess I have to include: I won't vote on "disclosure theory." Like, yeah it sucks that someone doesn't update their wiki or whatever, but I'm not going to tell a team they lose because of it.