University of Houston Cougar Classic
2019 — Houston, TX/US
Mohamed Abdelhady Khalil Paradigm
Katy Taylor 2012-2016
University of Houston 2020’
Conflicts: Katy Taylor
Last Updated: 8/2/2018
Tldr; You do you. I won't vote on anything I can't explain to the other team, meaning all arguments should be constructed out of a claim, warrant, and impact. I think that sets a reasonable standard for debaters to meet.
Yes email chain: momoak(dot)818(at)gmail(dot)com
General: Debate is a game, but that doesn't mean that the activity can't have some external value to it. That being said, I believe in disclosing all prior ideological biases I have before judging, and I’ll attempt to do so in this wiki. Ideological bias is inevitable in debate, however I’ll attempt to remain as neutral as possible when judging.
Generally, Tech >>> Truth.
What do you like to hear? – I’m open to any argument as long as it's not morally repugnant (racism good). My favorite debates to judge are ones with specificity. Specific well-thought out strategies will reflect in your perception and your speaker points. Let me be clear, I do no discourage reading “generic strategies”, when well executed those can be just as effective.
Don't let any preconceived notions of what arguments you think I like base your strategy in a debate. Doing whatever you're good at will result in the best outcome when I'm judging.
Topicality – T debates are about competing visions on the topic, and the 2nr + 2ar should compare which topic is better. This is best done through some weighing mechanism introduced by either side. Teams should implicate their version of the topic through some sort of case list. Standards should be more than vacuous terms like “limits”, “fairness”, and “predictability”. Absent a reason why those things are good and impact comparison for why they o/w whatever the other side is saying, it becomes hard to evaluate T debates.
Framework – Framework is a question of competing visions of debate. Affs should have some relationship to the topic, but that doesn't require they have plan. I'm relatively neutral in most framework debates, when deciding them 2 questions filter my decision: 1) What offense/impact calc has either side won? and 2) Does either team have an i/l to the other sides offense? Which ever team strikes the best balance of both usually wins the debate.
Terminal impacts are needed to win, just saying “destroys fairness” is vacuous and doesn’t explain why fairness is important. I am partial to fairness and argument testing impacts on the negative and pedagogy/inaccessibility arguments on the affirmative. Topical versions of the aff are great, I would appreciate if the block explicitly stated what the TVA is, instead of asserting there is one. I'm most receptive to state engagement arguments when they're explained as a heuristic individuals can use, and also appreciate it when state engagement arguments are contextualized to the topic/aff.
Critiques – Critique debate done well can be very enjoyable to judge, however the opposite is also true. K debates become frustrating to judge when I'm left with a bunch of different arguments but little interaction between them.
Neg things: I think there are several key components every winning K 2nr should have: 1) links that turn the case 2) An external impact 3) A well explained alternative/framework argument that resolves the links. I believe the framework debate is generally underutilized by the negative, usually those debates end up somewhere in the middle resulting in Aff getting to weigh its implementation. Persuasive link analysis should be contextualized to the method/plan of the aff and supported by quotes from 1AC evidence/references to moments in cx. There's a growing tendency of negative team's reading external impacts, but not explaining the internal links to those things. I think this can best be avoided by explaining the impact to the K in the context of your link arguments, that's the best way to guarantee argument clarity. I am familiar with a majority of critiques read. If you're reading something a bit obscure some explanation of the terminology used somewhere in the debate will be appreciated.
Aff things: Utilize the specificity of the 1AC to create distinctions between the aff and the neg's link scenarios. Offense >> Defense, I would much rather you impact turn the methodology/theoretical focus of the alternative than primarily tip toe around with weak defensive arguments. Permutations strategies are best executed when there's a clearly impacted net benefit that distinguishes it from the world of the alternative.
K Affs – I believe K affs should have some form of method that is clearly defined in the 1ac. The 2ac, 1ar, and 2ar should crystalize the method provided by the aff, then contextualize how it resolves your offense. This will help in comparing the method/offense of the aff vs the strategy of the negative. I believe teams should have some tie to the topic, but can be persuaded otherwise.
Negative teams should capitalize on holes in aff explanation, I am fully willing to vote negative on presumption if the negative has proven an insufficiency/contradiction within the aff.
Disadvantages – Read them, go for them, make sure they turn the case. The more specific the disadvantage the better. Impact and evidence comparison is great and you should do it. Specific link analysis is also appreciated. I enjoy when affirmative's find holes in the DA's scenarios and exploit them. 2ac's should have a good combination of offense and defense, otherwise it becomes easy for the negative to exploit deficiencies in 2ac coverage.
Counterplans – The more specific the better, well researched counter plans from affirmative evidence show the effort put into them, and will be rewarded with good speaker points if debated well. CP’s should probably have a solvency advocate, but won’t be counted as theoretically illegitimate unless debated out. Slow down on the CP text/planks. PIC’s are cool, but can be bad sometimes, again a debate to be had.
Case – A woefully under debated portion of rounds. An unmitigated risk of case makes try or die/outweighs claims extremely persuasive. Impact turns are also cool, and can be very nuanced.
Theory - Generally lean neg on condo, excluding something preposterous like 4-5+ conditional advocacies. I can be persuaded to vote affirmative in less extreme cases, when the aff is clearly out-teching the negative of nuanced abuse claims that have been impacted. Other theory issues I'm totally in the middle on, and can be persuaded by either side.
Speaker Point scale:
<27 - You did something super offensive or your speeches were incomprehensible.
27-28 - Your argument explanation was lacking, and you need to improve on a technical level (speech organization, line by line, etc.).
28.1-28.5 - Average speaks, can improve clarity and argument application.
28.6-28.9 - Good, can improve word efficiency, minor speech/clarity issues, and argument contextualization.
29-29.9 - Great, efficient + well contextualized speeches, You were very enjoyable to judge
Rikki Bleiweiss Paradigm
Former debater at the University of Texas at Austin, former debater at The Kinkaid School
updated - april 2019
- I'm revising this to be less about how I feel about arguments and preferences and more about the general trend of the decisions that I make and how I make them. So what's below is about the general trend – not absolutes on how I evaluate arguments. It's how I typically think, and not universally applicable to every round – so if there's an argument the round that tells me to evaluate otherwise, I will.
Some things to know:
- Be good to each other
- Please don't read into my facial expressions too much. Something you said may be reminding me of something else which made me remember this other thing, etc. I'm not trying to cue you or give you secret clues – I don't want to control/influence/intervene/otherwise make the debate about me and not you.
- Controlling big picture questions of the debate is almost always more important than tech minutia. In other words, dropped arguments are true arguments, but not always important arguments. Identify which issues matter the most and invest your time there. Tech can certainly influence key issues, but rarely replaces them.
- Arguments don't "count" unless they have a claim, warrant, and impact. I typically don't call for evidence to decipher an argument that was under-explained, either. If you're asserting something without any warrant/explanation/impact, there's a good chance it won't matter a great deal to my RFD.
- I find myself usually filtering rounds by starting at the impact level and working backwards. What's the greatest harm, followed by who has the best chance at stopping it. I've noticed I use this frame /regardless of argument type/ - so take this into account even with T, Theory, and Framework debates.
Theory - I think about theory debates much the same way I think about disads: there must be a clear link, internal link, and impact. Impacts should be weighed (does education outweigh advocacy skills or vice versa?) and internal links should be challenged. A pet peeve of mine is when debaters claim that minor theory arguments are a reason to reject the team - if you want to win this is true, you need to articulate a reason why the impact to your theory argument rises to that level.
-Framework/clash of civs debates – The questions I typically ask myself are: What's the worst thing that can happen to debate (/in debates)? Whose interpretation best prevents this? Prior questions like this – aka taking a stance on what is debate for – guide how I identify whose interpretation is best for debate.
In the interest of transparency: if you read a framework violation that relies solely on procedural fairness as the impact or collapses to only this impact, my track record leans not in your favor. To make this argument successful in front of me, you need to win the impact level – win why fairness matters most. Absent debating it out, relying on "because procedural fairness" full stop doesn't feel super different than "T is jurisdictional" full stop. For every version of framework: don't cede the impact debate. Tell me what debate should give us or what debate should be for us and why, and then why your interpretation promotes that.
Topicality, same vein, should also be about why your interpretation is best for debate and best for the topic. Impact out and weigh the standards of your interpretation against the counter-interpretation.
Counterplans - I appreciate creativity and I also appreciate really good theory debaters. Take the time to make the difference between the aff and the counter-plan clear and feel meaningful, and make sure your theory blocks don't feel like a wall of text thrown at me.
-Disad/case debates - I know I've ranted a lot about impacts mattering, but I also think I have a slightly above average tendency to be willing to say 0% risk. Try or Die framing / 1% risk is not compelling to me if a team has won defense to your impact - you only win in that scenario in front of me if you're the only one trying to extend an impact at all.
Also - I don't "weigh" case per se in framework debates, but I /do/ think the arguments pulled from the 1AC to answer framework are still relevant. I assume "don't weigh the plan" is a different argument than ignore the speech. If you win that my evaluation should shift to who's model of debate is best, and not a yes/no on the advocacy from the 1AC, the 1AC speech still had arguments that the 2A has applied to framework and that I'm assuming you'll answer or say why your stuff outweighs.
Kritiks - All my prior discussion matters here – what is the bad thing and how do you stop it. Or, not do it/ subvert it/ etc. I care about the thesis level here, a lot. Winning a sweeping K claim can control a lot of the round for me and color how I read every argument, and often make tech nuances fall into place depending on the debate. Losing the thesis level will complicate whether or not I think you can extrapolate that thesis into specific links/impacts. When I consider impacts, I'll also usually think about the "level" they happen on – are they about things happening in the round, who we learn to be, big picture political concerns, etc. So know that debating out which of these types of impact matters most is a big component of how I decide ... whose impact.... matter most... That's usually how I interpret the relevancy of framework debates, too. I don't find myself voting on "they shouldn't get Ks"-type arguments often, and I regularly feel too much time is invested here for no reward. The better time investment here for me is on why your framework arguments make your "level" of debate the important one. If you didn't just skip to the K section, you'll recognize this is basically my same spiel on arguments needing impacts relevant to the round.
One more K affs note – I'm not sitting on some secret arbitrary interpretation or bright line of what affs I think are kosher. The sections above on how I resolve debates also impact how I interpret your aff. I'm always looking for what is the worst thing and how do you solve it. I need clarity on that story.
Ask me questions.
You put in a lot of time and energy and care for this activity – I want to respect that.
Yao Yao Chen Paradigm
I have been coaching debate at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin, TX since 2005, where my focus is almost exclusively on policy debate. I was a three-year policy debater at Plano Senior High School in Plano, TX, and debated policy for one year at the University of Texas at Austin. I judge an average of 80-100 debates per season.
If there’s an email chain, please add me: yaosquared at gmail dot com
If you’re using a flash drive, prep stops when you pull the flash drive out of your computer. If you’re using an email chain, I won’t count attaching and emailing as prep time. Please do not steal prep.
If you have little time before the debate, here’s all you need to know: do what you do best. I try to be as unbiased as possible and I will defer to your analysis. I would rather listen to a politics+CP debate than a kritik debate, but I would also rather listen to you debating your strongest argument than you adapting to my preferences. As long as you are clear, go as fast as you want.
I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. I strive to judge in the most open-minded, fair, and diligent way I can, and I aim to be as thorough and transparent as possible in my decisions. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve judging that matches the effort you put into this activity. Anything short of that is anti-educational and a disappointment.
- I’m not a professional debate coach or even a teacher. I work as a finance analyst in the IT sector and I volunteer as a debate coach on evenings and weekends. I don’t teach at debate camp and my topic knowledge comes primarily from judging debates. My finance background means that, when left to my own devices, I err towards precision, logic, data, and concrete examples. However, I can be convinced otherwise in any particular debate, especially when it’s not challenged by the other team.
- Tech over truth in most instances. I will stick to my flow and minimize intervention as much as possible. I firmly believe that debates should be left to the debaters. I rarely make facial expressions because I don’t want my personal reactions to affect how a debate plays out. I will maintain a flow, even if you ask me not to. However, tech over truth has its limits. An argument must have sufficient explanation for it to matter to me, even if it’s dropped. You need a warrant and impact, not just a claim.
- Evidence comparison is under-utilized and is very important to me in close debates. I often call for evidence, but I’m much more likely to call for a card if it’s extended by author or cite.
- I’m now over a decade removed from my own debate career and I don’t judge or coach at the college level, which means I’m usually a year or two behind the latest argument trends that are first broken in college and eventually trickle down to high school. If you’re reading something that’s close to the cutting edge of debate arguments, you’ll need to explain it clearly. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear new arguments. On the contrary, a big reason why I continue coaching debate is because I enjoy listening to and learning about new arguments that challenge my existing ways of thinking.
- Please mark your own cards. No one is marking them for you.
- If I feel that you are deliberately evading answering a question or have straight up lied, and the question is important to the outcome of the debate, I will stop the timer and ask you to answer the question. Example: if you read condo bad, the neg asks in CX whether you read condo bad, and you say no, I’ll ask if you want me to cross-out condo on my flow.
- Don't over-adapt to me in these debates. If you are most comfortable going for procedural fairness, do that. If you like going for advocacy skills, you do you. Like any other debate, framework debates hinge on impact calculus and comparison.
- If a topical version of the aff is presented, I default to viewing this as a counterplan to the aff’s interp. Please line up your offense and defense accordingly.
- When I vote neg, it’s usually because the aff team missed the boat on topical version, has made insufficient inroads into the neg’s limits disad, and/or is winning some exclusion disad but is not doing comparative impact calculus against the neg’s offense. The neg win rate goes up if the 2NR can turn or access the aff's primary impact (e.g. clash and argument testing is vital to ethical subject formation).
- When I vote aff, it’s usually because the 2NR is disorganized and goes for too many different impacts, there’s no topical version or other way to access the aff’s offense, and/or concedes an exclusion disad that is then impacted out by the 2AR. Without a credible counter-interpretation that the aff meets and that establishes some sufficient limits on the scope of debates, I lean negative.
- Over the years, “tech over truth” has led me to vote neg on some untruthful T violations. If you’re neg and you’ve done a lot of research and are ready to throw down on a very technical and carded T debate, I’m a good judge for you.
- I'm a stickler for the quality of a definition, especially if it's from a source that's contextual to the topic, has some intent to define, is exclusive and not just inclusive, etc.
- Reasonability is a debate about the aff’s counter-interpretation, not their aff. The size of the link to the limits disad usually determines how sympathetic I am towards this argument, i.e. if the link is small, then I’m more likely to conclude the aff’s C/I is reasonable even without other aff offense.
- The kritik teams I've judged that have earned the highest speaker points give highly organized and structured speeches, are disciplined in line-by-line debating, and emphasize key moments in their speeches.
- Just like most judges, the more case-specific your link and the more comprehensive your alternative explanation, the more I’ll be persuaded by your kritik.
- I greatly prefer the 2NC structure where you have a short (or no) overview and do as much of your explanation on the line-by-line as possible. If your overview is 6 minutes, you make blippy cross-applications on the line-by-line, and then you drop the last three 2AC cards, I’m going to give the 1AR a lot of leeway on extending those concessions, even if they were somewhat implicitly answered in your overview.
- Framework debates on kritiks rarely factor into my decisions. Frequently, I conclude that there’s not a decisive win for either side here, or that it’s irrelevant because the neg is already allowing the aff to weigh their impacts. Usually, I find myself somewhere in the middle: the neg always has the right to read kritiks, but the aff should have the right to access their advantages. Kritiks that moot the entire 1AC are a tough sell.
- I’m not a good judge for “role of the ballot” arguments, as I usually find these to be self-serving for the team making them. I’m also not a good judge for “competing methods means the aff doesn’t have a right to a perm”. I think the aff always has a right to a perm, but the question is whether the perm is legitimate and desirable, which is a substantive issue to be debated out, not a gatekeeping issue for me to enforce.
- I’m an OK judge for K “tricks”. A conceded root cause explanation, value to life impact, or “alt solves the aff” claim is effective if it’s sufficiently explained. The floating PIK needs to be clearly made in the 2NC for me to evaluate it. If your K strategy hinges on hiding a floating PIK and suddenly busting it out in the 2NR, I’m not a good judge for you.
- Just like most judges, I prefer case-specific over generic counterplans, but we can’t always get what we want.
- I lean neg on PICs. I lean aff on international fiat, 50 state fiat, condition, and consult. These preferences can change based on evidence or lack thereof. For example, if the neg has a state counterplan solvency advocate in the context of the aff, I’m less sympathetic to theory.
- I will not judge kick the CP unless explicitly told to do so by the 2NR, and it would not take much for the 2AR to persuade me to ignore the 2NR’s instructions on that issue.
- Presumption flips if the 2NR goes for a CP.
- I’m a sucker for specific and comparative impact calculus. For example, most nuclear war impacts are probably not global nuclear war but some kind of regional scenario. I want to know why your specific regional scenario is faster and/or more probable. Reasonable impact calculus is much more persuasive to me than grandiose impact claims.
- I believe that in most cases, the link is more important for determining the direction of risk than uniqueness. The exceptions are when the uniqueness can be definitively determined rather than probabilistic.
- Zero risk is possible but difficult to prove by the aff. However, a miniscule neg risk of the disad is probably background noise.
- I actually enjoy listening to a good theory debate, but these seem to be exceedingly rare. I think I can be persuaded that many theoretical objections require punishing the team and not simply rejecting the argument, but substantial work needs to be done on why setting a precedent on that particular issue is important. You're unlikely to win that a single intrinsic permutation is a round-winning voter, even if the other team drops it, unless you are investing significant time in explaining why it should be an independent voting issue.
- I think that I lean affirmative compared to the rest of the judging community on the legitimacy of counterplans. In my mind, a counterplan that is wholly plan-inclusive (consultation, condition, delay, etc.) is theoretically questionable. The legitimacy of agent counterplans, whether domestic or international, is also contestable. I think the negative has the right to read multiple planks to a counterplan, but reading each plank conditionally is theoretically suspect.
Jason Courville Paradigm
Speaking Style (Speed, Quantity) - I like fast debate. Speed is fine as long as you are clear and loud. I will be vocal if you are not. A large quantity of quality arguments is great. Supplementing a large number of quality arguments with efficient grouping and cross-application is even better.
Theory - Theory arguments should be well impacted/warranted. I treat blippy/non-warranted/3 second theory arguments as non-arguments. My threshold for voting on a punishment voter ("reject the team") is higher than a "reject the argument, not the team" impacted argument. I'm open to a wide variety of argument types as long as you can justify them as theoretically valuable.
Topicality - My topicality threshold is established by the combination of answers.
Good aff defense + no aff offense + solid defense of reasonability = higher threshold/harder to win for the neg.
Good aff defense + no aff offense + neg wins competing interps = low threshold/easy to win for the neg.
Counterplans - counterplan types (from more acceptable to more illegit): advantage CPs, textually/functionally competitive PICs, agent CPs, textually but not functionally competitive PICs (ex. most word pics), plan contingent counterplans (consult, quid pro quo, delay)
Disadvantages - Impact calculus is important. Especially comparison of different impact filters (ex. probability outweighs magnitude) and contextual warrants based on the specific scenarios in question. Not just advantage vs disadvantage but also weighing different sub-components of the debate is helpful (uniqueness vs direction of the link, our link turn outweighs their link, etc).
Kritiks - My default framework is to assess whether the aff has affirmed the desirability of a topical plan. If you want to set up an alternative framework, I'm open to it as long as you win it on the line-by-line. I most often vote aff vs a kritik on a combination of case leverage + perm. It is wise to spend time specifically describing the world of the permutation in a way that resolves possible negative offense while identifying/impacting the perm's net benefit.
I most often vote neg for a kritik when the neg has done three things:
1. effectively neutralized the aff's ability to weigh their case,
2. there is clear offense against the perm, and
3. the neg has done a great job of doing specific link/alternative work as well as contextualizing the impact debate to the aff they are debating against.
Performance/Projects - I’ve voted both for and against no plan affs. When I’ve voted against no plan affs on framework, the neg team won that theory outweighed education impacts and the neg neutralized the offense for the aff’s interpretation.
Things that can be a big deal/great tiebreaker for resolving high clash/card war areas of the flow:
- subpointing your warrants/tiebreaking arguments when you are extending,
- weighing qualifications (if you make it an explicit issue),
- comparing warrants/data/methodology,
- establishing criteria I should use to evaluate evidence quality,
- weighing the relative value of different criteria/arguments for evidence quality (ex. recency vs preponderance/quantity of evidence)
If you do none of the above and your opponent does not either, I will be reading lots of evidence and the losing team is going to think that my decision involved a high level of intervention. They will be correct.
Nicholas Daily Paradigm
Recent UH Graduate pursuing law school.
I defer wholly to the Tabula Rasa paradigm. I have no qualms about voting on any form of argument (including T's, theory, K's, or even inherency), so long as...
1-You win the argument and,
2-You give me a proper contextualization of how winning this argument wins you the round.
E.g., "Inherency is a voter b/c of stock issues" won't get you my ballot.
On a personal note, I think that many of the major issues with debate is that many teams try to conform to well-worn blocks and articulations of different voters, particularly with stock issues or T/theory. I'd much prefer an interesting voter or standard than a very discursive and unexplained "education or fairness claim." Get creative with your standards and answers.
I don't evaluate whether or not an action made by aff or neg is abusive or not unless the other team brings it up. I don't believe it's my job as a judge to pre-decide what should or should not occur in a debate, I see each debate as an independent construction unto itself. Therefore if you make an abuse claim, structure it and impact it. The only exception is if the 2AR reads new arguments, (because the neg can't stand up and call aff out). If this happens, I won't evaluate any of the new arguments, I will dock speaks, but it won't be an automatic loss on it's own. If this team wins on the substance of the non-new arguments then they win the debate round.
Don't extend arguments as a singular entity ("extend the D/A"). The only exceptions would be dropped inherency, if all solvency is dropped one author/date (single reason you solve) is all I would need. On Adv's I expect analysis on the impact claim even if it is dropped. If you don't extend a piece of evidence until two speeches later (was read in 1nc, not extended in 2nc/1nr but brought up again in 2nr)
First, I've always been more comfortable evaluating straight policy arguments because a good half of my debate experience excluded kritiks. This said, I am familiar with the most common K's (cap, neo-lib, security, colonialism, nietzsche, biopower, gendered/discourse, ableism etc.). The more obscure the K, the more work that you should do explaining it because I am certainly not as familiar as you will be with the literature. (Give me a good overview in the 2NC).
Second, I was a T/theory hack in high school so I will pull the trigger on T/theory. My expectations are listed below,
1-If you go for fairness you either have to have an AMAZING potential abuse shell, or a good source of in-round abuse. A major issue for teams going for T is that they don't set up the abuse story in the 1NC. If you're going for ASPEC, read politics/agent solvency takeouts. T and theory are arguments that should be part of the strategic whole of the negative argumentation, not another floating source of offense.
2-Slow down on T-standards, full speed on T and I'll miss a few.
3-If you go for T I want it to be 1 off in the 2NR, same goes for theory. You should only reference your other arguments in order to generate abuse stories for a fairness voter or to contextualize the lost education. Going for T and another argument undercuts the legitimacy of your T argument and usually results in under-coverage of standards/voters. Irregardless, I will evaluate all arguments you extend (if you do T + other voters in the 2NR), I don't believe it's a good strategic decision though.
I always evaluate the round in terms of offense/defense (unless a conceded framing issue says otherwise), so extending impacts into the final rebuttals is crucial to winning my ballot. If you're going fully on a stock issue, please frame this within this paradigm.
On a final note, I have never judged a performance debate or even seen one. Again, this does not make me unwilling to vote on it, but explaining it in terms of voters may be an uphill battle. So if you are going to perform, please contextualize it.
Speaks, usually between 26.5-30.
25 if you're offensive.
If anything here is unclear ask me before the round. I don't want there to be any ambiguity in my paradigm and if you don't understand some part of this paradigm, I'll do a rewrite here on the wiki as well.
Bobby De La Rosa Paradigm
Teams are at liberty to debate in the styles they have been coached to perform as long as they are capable of defending their positions. Speed is fine, as long as it’s clear. I will listen to and evaluate both traditional and progressive arguments in the framework the debaters define. I prefer arguments to be specific and warranted, and for each team to provide effective comparative analysis giving me reasons to vote in the final rebuttals. I typically am familiar with most arguments on the topic, but refrain from technical high speed responses and focus more on clearer more substantive explanations of your positions. Policy debates are easier for me to follow, but feel free to read kritkal strategies, just flesh it out a little more for me.
I’ve been involved with the debate community since 1997. Most of my time has been debating and coaching in the South Texas border region. My interests are politics disads, gender, identity, cap, bio power, critical race Ks. I’m cool with T and counter plans. Theory needs to be slow and explained I won’t pull the trigger just cause to have a block.
Philip DiPiazza Paradigm
Updated - Fall 2017
Number of years judging: 9
Like every judge I look for smart, well-reasoned arguments. I’ll admit a certain proclivity for critical argumentation, but it certainly isn’t an exclusive preference (I think there’s something valuable to be said about “policy as performance”). Most of what I have to say can be applied to whatever approach debaters choose to take in the round. Do what you’re good at, and I will do my best to render a careful, well thought-out decision.
I think spin control is extremely important in debate rounds and compelling explanations will certainly be rewarded. And while quantity and quality are also not exclusive I would definitely prefer less cards and more story in any given debate as the round progresses. I also like seeing the major issues in the debate compartmentalized and key arguments flagged.
As for the standard array of arguments, there's nothing I can really say that you shouldn't already know. I like strong internal link stories and nuanced impact comparisons. I really don't care for "risk of link means you vote Aff/Neg" arguments on sketchy positions; if I don't get it I'm not voting for it. My standard for competition is that it’s the Negative’s job to prove why rejecting the Aff is necessary which means more than just presenting an alternative or methodology that solves better – I think this is the best way to preserve clash in these kinds of debates. Please be sure to explain your position and its relation to the other arguments in the round.
I think the topic is important and I appreciate teams that find new and creative approaches to the resolution, but that doesn’t mean you have to read a plan text or defend the USFG. Framework is debatable, but I prefer substantive arguments that respond to the level of criticism underwriting the 1AC. This means I would be more persuaded if you can demonstrate why the focus on an external government actor is preferable to an approach that emphasizes personal agency or identity as the subject for debate.
Two other things that are worth noting: 1) I flow on paper…probably doesn’t mean anything, but it might mean something to you. 2) I think there is a difference between intensity and jackassery. Please be mindful of this.
Derick Fan Paradigm
Revision Date: 09/13/2017
Affiliation: University of Houston
It's been awhile since I've been involved in the activity, but there are some things that I still maintain:
Topicality: It's a prior question, especially for the early season. I normally view topicality through a framework of competing interpretations. Negatives who want to go for topicality should have be able to tell (1) under their interpretation what affirmatives actually are topical and (2) what arguments the negative couldn't read.
Disadvantages: What's not to like? Do the evidence comparison for me. Tell me why a disad outweighs/turns case and vice versa, or else I might impose my own worldview. Relevant sidebar: Saying "our evidence postdates" isn't enough. Make it contextual, and tell me how a sequence of events interact with one another.
Counterplans: There should probably be a solvency advocate and a well articulated net benefit.
Critiques: I used to be comfortable with critiques, but arguably far less now because I've been removed from the activity. If you want to win, your critique should be able to articulate why the critique turns case, and an alternative that resolves the links.
Framework/Topicality: I don't particularly care for these debates. That being said, I understand why they happen. Affirmatives should probably read a topical plan in front of me just to avoid these questions.
Conditionality is also probably good, unless there are 4 (arbitrary number) different positions.
CHANCE GRAHAM Paradigm
Experience: I was a CX debater in High School mainly, also competed in IEs and various other speech competitions. I also competed in College at East Texas Baptist University. I have been judging for over 10 years now and continue to expand my experience by judging events I have never done before.
I am a traditional judge when it comes to debate whether its LD , PF, or CX or any other form. Policy I vote on Stock issues and love a good CP and DAs. LD is all about the Value Criterion it is the weighing mechanism for the round and that is how I mainly determine the winner.
I do flow my rounds best to my ability; clarity is key for me when flowing, so spreading does not impress me.
Be respectful, give strong and clear speeches and more importantly have fun. I enjoy judging and giving feedback to help competitors become better speakers.
Tyler Gamble Paradigm
I will vote on anything and everything. I don't prefer any argument. I can't flow. I have extreme ADHD and APD. If you aren't interesting in-round, I will miss arguments. My only preference in regards to questions like sitting vs. standing is to not cause bodily harm or any other trauma onto your opponent or any other entities in the debate space.
If you spread, I may miss arguments.
If you go at slightly faster than conversational pace, you will be locked into 29.7 to 30
If you end speeches early and don't use all your prep, you will get higher speaker points
If you keep me entertained, higher speaker points
MOST IMPORTANT PART HERE
I don't subscribe to typical flowing practices. I evaluate the round more wholistically based on the feel of the argumentation and am not bound to the piece of paper one would call the flow. If you don't like this, strike me.
Only refer to me as Lomax. Referring in any other way willl result in a .5 speaker point deduction per offense.
Jordan Gayle Paradigm
Hey. My name is Jordan. I competed in policy at Union High School in Tulsa, OK. I also competed in parliamentary style debate in college at Morehouse College in Atlanta. In high school, I read a lot of small impact policy affs, a few kritikal affs, and mostly t/k/case strats. I've judged a good number of rounds throughout undergrad and this current 18-19 debate season. I'd say that my paradigm is probably policymaker. I'm open to hearing well impacted topicality arguments and kritiks on the neg, in addition to DA's, CP's, and theory arguments. I also don't mind kritikal affs, as long as they make a good argument for why they are germane to the topic, but I do have some reservations about affs that incorporate personal narratives in their strategy. I think that debates should be educational, and I think that debaters have the right to discuss what the rules of the debate should be. I'm good with speed, as long as you clearly enunciate your tags.
In addition to all of this, I think that debaters should be respectful to one another, and I'm always open to discuss my decision and the round, if time permits.
My pronouns are he/him/his.
Cross-x.com has hidden gems.
Colton Gilbert Paradigm
I competed in policy for three years in high school at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School; I did an additional year at the University of Kentucky. I am now on the coaching staff at Little Rock Central High School. I have a bachelor's and a master's in Communication Studies and a master's in Secondary Education. I said that not to sound pompous but so that you will understand that my lack of exposure to an argument will not preclude me from evaluating it; I know how to analyze argumentation. I have represented Arkansas at the Debate Topic Selection for the past few years (I authored the Middle East paper in 2018 and the Criminal Justice paper in 2019) and that has altered how I view both the topic process and debates, in a good way. I think this makes me a more informed, balanced judge.
Include me on all email chains, please firstname.lastname@example.org
I find that many teams are rude and obnoxious in round and don’t see the need to treat their opponents with dignity. I find this mode of thinking offensive and disrespectful to the activity as a whole
I consider myself an open slate person but that doesn’t mean that you can pull the most obscure argument from your backfiles and run it in front of me. Debate is an intellectual game. Because of this I find it offensive when debaters run arguments just to be running them, do not run your arguments if you don’t think they can win you the round!
I don’t mind speed and consider myself an exceptional flower. That being said, I think that it helps us judges when debaters slow down on important things like plan/CP texts, perms, theory arguments, and anything else that will require me to get what you said verbatim.
Saying anything remotely racist, ableist, transphobic, etc will get you an auto loss in front of me. If that means you need to strike me then do us both a favor and strike me.
My previous paradigm had a thorough explanation of how I evaluate most arguments. For the sake of prefs and pre round prep I have decided to amend it. When I debated I was mostly a T/CP/DA debater. That being said, I am open to just about any form of argumentation you want to make. If it is a high theory argument don’t take for granted that I understand most of the terminology your author’s use.
I will prioritize my ballot around what the 2NR/2AR highlights as the key issues in the debate. I try to start with the last two speeches and work my way back through the debate evaluating the arguments that the debaters are making. I don’t have to personally agree with an argument to vote for it.
I see framework as slightly different from T so I evaluate it differently as well. Too often debaters read a lot of blocks and don’t do enough engaging in these kinds of debates. The “Role of the Ballot” needs to be explicit and there needs to be a discussion of how your ROB is accessible by both teams. If you want to skirt the issue of accessibility then you need to articulate why the impact(s) of the aff outweigh whatever arguments the neg is going for.
These debates, for me, generally come down to an issue of fairness. K affs should be able to articulate what the role of the negative is under their model. If the aff is in the direction of the topic, I tend to give them some leeway in responding to a lot of the neg claims. Central to convincing me to vote for a non-resolutionally based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. The aff should spend time on impact turning framework while simultaneously using their aff to short circuit some of the impact claims advanced by the neg.
Don’t manipulate what you are best at to fit into my paradigm of viewing debate. Do what you do best and I will do what I do best in evaluating the debate.
Robert Gomez Paradigm
3 years of HS debate experience in CX.
Philosophy major in undergrad.
Spreading is fine. Please remember that I don't have the document in front of me as a reference during your speech; for this reason, sign posting is greatly appreciated and may have an affect on how I judge the round.
With regards to argumentation, I am pretty flexible. BUT theory isn't something I often vote on unless it's done extremely well. I like more developed theory that isn't less than 15 seconds worth of your speech time.
I like to see turns done on both sides and I want you to tell me how to weigh the round (impact cal/framework). I don't like deciding solely on my own terms so I would appreciate it a lot if this was done.
Ethan Goode Paradigm
Background info/General info
I debated for Barbers Hill high school from 2013-2017. I'm currently an Economics major at the University of Houston who judges in my free time.
If you want to include me in the email chain, my email is: email@example.com
If you are using a flash drive I'm not going to be super strict on my enforcement of prep, but if I feel as though you are stealing prep, I will warn you first and then penalize you if it continues. Please don't steal prep.
My overall judging philosophy is to remain as unbiased as possible. I will evaluate all arguments as I am instructed to on the flow, unless they are clearly bigoted(slurring, hate speech, white nationalism, etc.). I prefer for debaters to go for arguments they are most comfortable with presenting. The 2nr won't hurt my feelings whether it's PTX, or T, or a kritik. This goes equally for affirmative strategies. Present your best arguments, and I will always try my best to evaluate them on the flow with respect to the debate (impact framing, framework, rob, etc.).
I default to tech over truth. That being said, I still require a strong reason to vote in favor of a given argument. A weak or under developed argument is likely to not hold a lot of weight on the flow even if it is dropped.
Sometimes I will call for evidence if it was largely contested in the debate round or debaters argue that it is key to making my decision. I will analyze this evidence through whichever lens it is presented to me in the round, unless I'm not given a framing mechanism. I won't call for evidence in circumstances in which debaters have clearly represented the chunks of evidence which are relevant to my decision. For example, quoting a specific author and comparing this to an opponents author would be a circumstance in which I wouldn't feel the need to read the entire piece of evidence (unless otherwise instructed).
I don't come into any given debate with my mind made up about which affirmatives are topical, and I particularly don't care until I am instructed otherwise.
If you are a team which likes to go for T in the 2nr, the best way to win my ballot is to provide a clearly impacted out standards debate and a relevant definition. Even if I feel your definition to be incorrect, I will still be inclined to "believe" it on the flow if the author is relevant to the topic and provides a clear intention to define whichever word is being violated. I didn't go for T very often when I debated, but I was frequently stuck on the other side of T violations. If you provide clear comparative analysis on the standards and definition flow, you can very easily steal my ballot.
If you are a team being threatened by a neg going for T in the 2nr, clearly contest the standards and definition flow. If you are obviously non-topical, I want to know how engaging the aff provides unique benefits that topical version can not provide. Reasonability is also a fair argument, but it is very difficult to evaluate when I don't understand what it means to be reasonable within the boundaries of a topic. If you want to go for reasonability I need to you to tell me how to be reasonable, which is likely linked to the limits arguments being developed by the neg.
Overall, think in terms of impact calculus. Show me how the aff either harms, or doesn't harm the debate space/community.
I evaluate framework in a similar way to the above statement. I will flow any argument you throw at me on this flow, just make sure it is clearly impacted out. Framework is an argument I find extremely important in determining rounds.
While case-specific counter plans are more interesting for me to listen to, I don't evaluate them more favorable than generic counter plans. Just contextualize your generic solvency evidence if you choose that route.
Don't assume I kick the CP (or anything for that matter) from the flow unless you instruct me to. My flow will look exactly how you tell me for it to look.
If you are running a PIC, be prepared for a theory debate and the perm debate. I don't default a certain way, but I think both of those arguments are important barriers for you to overcome if you want to win my ballot.
If I didn't cover anything feel free to ask me before the round! I don't have much to say, because I feel like CP's shouldn't really be controversial.
The most important flow for me when evaluating a DA is the link debate and then the impact calculus. Don't be afraid to run generic (or even non-topic specific) disadvantages; however, your success with those arguments is entirely dependent on your ability to contextualize the link for me. After the link is clear, provide me with a tool for comparing your impacts to the affirmative's impacts. I'm not picky about how impact calculus is done, but it is almost a requirement to win. If neither team provides some comparative impact analysis, I'll just default to magnitude.
If you are a team that wants to go for a K in the 2nr here is a list of factors I will incorporate into my decision and some general tips for winning my ballot:
- Please contextualize the link debate. Link contextualization, in my opinion, is the skill which differentiates bad k debates from good k debates. I will flow in favor of an affirmative "no link" argument if you do not put effort into fleshing out the link debate. That being said, I don't just stop flowing if I can't see the link; I need the affirmative to make those arguments before I will take them into consideration.
- I think role of the ballot arguments and a general meta-framing debate is the easiest way to both win or lose my ballot. I am giving you, the debater, the ability to control the lens through which I evaluate all arguments. Arguments like the ROB are tools for you to powerfully influence the way I write my RFD. I am very receptive to these arguments.
- Cross-apply the k flow to case arguments being made. I have seen this done in a multitude of ways. If you aren't finding a way to do this, throw me some k tricks (like root cause or a priori arguments). I am very receptive to these arguments, and when performed with cleverness will earn extra speaker points.
- Clearly show me the world of the alternative. I've judged and been a part of a lot of cap k debates, but I still want you to explain to me what orthodox Marxism looks like if I write the ballot in your favor. I've seen teams kick the alternative and adapt the k to serve as a large case turn. Theoretically, I'm fine with that, but be ready for some level of theory debate from the affirmative.
If you run ASPEC/OSPEC I will likely cry. If you make vote in favor of ASPEC/OSPEC I will likely quite judging, pack my bags, move to California, start a surf punk band, go to rehab to recover from a harrowing addiction to peta bread, only to finally open a small shack that sells overpriced beads to disillusioned rich folk and tourists. I like the way I live. Please don't read ASPEC/OSPEC. If you decide to read [Insert letter here]-SPEC, don't make me vote on it, unless you have a strong desire to ruin my life.
I evaluate everything else on face.
If you really want to make me smile run a theory shell on spreading, or a kritik on spreading. I won't evaluate it more favorably than other positions, but I think it provides a legitimate criticism of common discourse in rounds.
Shop keeping/more general info
Give me a 7/10 for your personally fastest speed. In years past I could keep up with the fastest speakers, but now that I have been outside of the community for a couple of years I'm a little rusty. Don't be scared to go fast though, I will say slow or clear if I'm having any issues. My goal is to flow your arguments in the most accurate way possible, so I will intervene if necessary.
I'm not harsh on speaker points, but I understand how important they are for tie-breakers and prestigious speaker wards. You will not likely earn a 30 from me, however as long as you avoid belligerence, the least you will receive is a 27. I tend to be generous with speaker points, and they will not be based in your argumentation, but purely your presentation. This is an extremely vague paragraph, if you have any questions just email me or ask me before round.
At the end of the day, I want the debate space to be as open as possible for you to run the arguments you find most appropriate and powerful. My recommendations are to run whatever your comfortable with, and show me your depth of understanding. I will provide my fairest evaluation of the round, and will attempt to be as thorough as possible in my RFD.
Nathan Jagot Paradigm
I debated for four years at Caddo Magnet HS (graduated in 2018) in Shreveport, LA. I'm a sophomore at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA (Political Science major) and assistant coach for Caddo Magnet High School/Caddo Middle Magnet. I was coached by Neill Normand, Kasi & Jonathan McCartney, Sam Gustavson, Ian Dill, Darius White, Calen Martin, Cole Allen, Ethan Courtman, Jake Crusan, and other Caddo/LA-area alumni.
For the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prep ends when the speech doc is saved/flashed, unless "sending" or "naming" the doc is taking an unusually long time.
No clipping, stealing prep, or being rude to your opponents or anyone else in the room. Debate should be fun and respectful without any additional stress.
I judge/coach a few Louisiana tournaments and try to do my part in making their overall quality better, both in terms of debate quality and community quality. If you're debating in Louisiana and I'm judging you, there's a section below you should read before the round.
Frame your arguments:
If you can tell me what the central points of the debate are in the final rebuttals, make effective arguments and prove why you're winning, you will most likely win the debate. I think line by line is good, but that you also need to keep in mind the big picture/nexus question for the debate. Being wax poetic is especially good (but not necessary), but tell me what's most important and why, and explain it. "Even if" statements are also really useful in this situation, and be sure to use competing claims and why making the decision for you should be easy even if you're not winning the other/most important parts of the debate.
Embedded clash is a thing, don't ignore it. For argument extensions, make sure you have a claim, warrant, and an impact. Make sure you use this to your advantage and point out interactions between different arguments, be smart in pointing out double turns, etc.
Clarity > speed:
I'd rather hear a very engaging 4-5 off debate that has a variety of winning 2NRs against a certain aff, rather than a team who reads 8-10 off just to scare the other team. Slow down on blocks and analytics, because they're going to be the point in the debate where I really start paying attention to the arguments at hand and seeing how they function (also the point in the debate where you should explain them as such). Being efficient and prepared rather than fast and blippy until the 2NR is better than not.
Line by line is important:
This is very important and I think some debaters sadly forget about. Answer arguments in the order in which they appear - if "they say (x), but (x)" statements are helpful in this instance.
CX should be treated as another speech. Don't waste your time, i.e., don't use it to clean up/fill in your flow. Write down your questions beforehand and have a strategy, and it will help you. Please don't talk over anyone while this is happening. Some judges flow CX, I tend to stray away of that, but I may star an argument a team mentions something multiple times or if an argument seemed to be critical for any particular side during CX. If an important argument is an effective turning point for the debate in CX, point it out in later speeches, it can only help you.
I'll listen to it, but I'm finding myself frustrated with a lot of these types of affirmatives. The 1AC should ground itself with a foundational disagreement with resolutional action - meaning a solid, specific topic link - and go from there about debating it. Not doing so will likely result to me just voting negative on T. Debates where the affirmative identifies a problem with resolutional action and uses that as offense against framework/T-USfg are much more interesting than stale debates.
***I think for topics where the resolution mandates the USfg reduces something negative it does (like restrict immigration or reduce arms sales), reading an aff with a plan is much more legitimate than not reading a plan.
***If you're reading this before round and are unsure about what your strategy with your K aff would be with me judging you based on everything above, I'd suggest reading an aff with a plan.
I think this is the best strategy against planless affs. Though it's legitimate that the aff not using the USfg as an agent is unfair, you need to explain why in terms of why it's bad for normative debate practices and why it's bad that you can't engage with the aff as well as you could with one that had a specific policy proposal. Fairness is an impact in itself, but that should be explained in terms of what unfairness is, how the affirmative makes it worse, and then funnel into discussion of other "greatest hits" impacts on the flow. Make sure your TVA is logical and at accesses the affirmative's offense, and the aff answers need to be logical and established in order for me to not vote on it. Well-thought out aff impact turns to T/Framework are convincing to me, if executed effectively. Framework should also be debated in the context of every aff - I think that makes in large part much easier for the negative to produce an effective in-round abuse story and why it may be [x] type of aff, but they couldn't prepare against its specific activism-based strategy.
You NEED to engage case. Smart analytics on case are just as good as impact turns/no solvency arguments. Make sure to utilize it, it's there for a reason. Interact with it, don't forget it. I would rather you sacrifice another 1-2 off and concentrate time on case (you'll be glad you did, the debate might go better for you and a 2NR on just case can be devastating).
I enjoy T debates, but don't get bogged down in the non-important parts of debate. Say why your vision of the topic is better and couch that in the language of your impacts. Caselists are super effective for me in this instance.
If your CP text is long, please slow down. Specific PICs are good, I like them. Consult and conditions counterplans are fine as long as you defend them as you're supposed to practically and theoretically.
Obviously talk about how you access/solve the affirmative and you should have a clear net-benefit. I think counterplans are highly underutilized, and always think that no affirmative is totally perfect to where it can't lose to a certain counterplan.
One small thing about advantage counterplans - please utilize them if they're better than the other generic counterplan you've read in the 1NC. I'd rather you spend time prepping that out or having done so before hand, because a counterplan that's tailored to a certain affirmative that uses 1AC evidence to implicate said affirmative is both research/strategically savvy and shows you're at least trying to refute the affirmative creatively - which will help your ethos/speaker points.
Like them, I think they're underutilized. The DA should have specific links to what the aff is talking about, or at least a claim that what the aff is fiating will cause what you say it will because it's that large of a policy. Your block work on the DA should be thorough explanation, as well as lots of cards that prove your argument(s). Specific links/analysis to the aff are highly appreciated.
For new/small/interesting politics DAs (Farm Bill was a good example of this, and so was Shutdown): I think a good politics debate is fun and interesting, but the link and uniqueness cards should be on par and you should have a variety of links (and link cards) in the block. Lots of cards + lots of analysis = extra good. For these DA's, it's generally more difficult to garner specific offense against specific affs, but you should frame your cards + link analysis with that in mind, because the aff can go for "no specific link to the aff in the 2NR is a voting issue" + whatever else they say, and I'd probably be persuaded by that.
I read kritiks when I debated - being from a relatively small school, I understand their strategic value. There's always stuff I find myself being unfamiliar with, so if you think there may be a risk that I don't know what you mean, don't be too buzzwordy and explain what your argument means.
But if you do want to include a K, here's some important things I value:
Link Contextualization - You absolutely need to win a link to the affirmative. Generic links rarely grab my attention, unless the aff just mishandles it completely. A K 1NC that has mechanism and content links to the aff (links to the aff's process, either K-based or state-based, depending on the type of aff) is better than a K 1NC that has the link arguments "state + scenario analysis bad," without mentioning the aff's advantages. A smart 2NR will go all-in on 1 or 2 solid links with clear impacts.
Links should be able to turn case without winning the alternative (even though you should still win your alt), and should each have an impact-level claim that are distinct from the other links and that can independently win you the debate. But, you need to win the alternative to win the debate, tell my why it resolves your links specific to the aff and any other link you may read - this is where the links that fit the aff best come in. I'd rather hear the 2NR go for 2 solid links rather than 3-4 not-so-good links.
Being aff and debating K's:
You should explain aff framework and the permutation in a clear, logical sense that doesn't link back to their offense. Winning that you get to weigh your aff because it's fair, predictable, and generates better debates because [x, y, z reasons] is generally something I agree with, but you have to have a defense of that in every speech and not let me forget that your aff is a thing, too.
I'll consider theory only if it is severely mishandled/conceded by the other team. I think having it as your A-game strategy isn't as strategic, but don't be discouraged and think you can't go for it in front of me, just remember there are certain times and places for those debates.
Conditionality is bad if an absurd number of advocacies are in the 1NC (more than 3 is definitely questionable), but make sure to contextualize your theory blocks to the debate at hand and tell me why what they did in round is bad and incentivizes worse debates for everyone else. Tell me more of a story about what they did, why they should lose, and what your model of debate looks like under a certain interpretation (that isn't just repeating your interpretation you read in the 2AC/2NC).
These should be used to write my ballot --- as cheesy as it sounds to say it, a final rebuttal that can tell me what happened, who's winning which arguments with multiple reasons on individual arguments, and can clearly explain what voting aff/neg does is much more convincing than a debate where it comes down to who messed up more. Easy ways to do this are to do the "final review of the debate" at the top of the 2NR/2AR and then get into the substance/nuance of individual arguments you're winning on the flow.
If Debating In Louisiana:
You don't need to shake my hand.
Underviews = :(. I don't need you to tell me again the things you just said.
Yes speed is fine, just make sure you're clear.
You don't have to ask for prep time.
Don't call me judge. Also, this will sound terrible, but hear me out - please don't waste speech time to thank me for judging you/"being an educational figure in this round that you'll learn "SO MUCH" from. I judge debates based off of who made better arguments and that just takes time away from that and is something that's an unwritten implication I feel like. It may be fine for other judges, but I love the activity and I'm in state judging you because I think Louisiana debate can always be improved and it's important to give back where you started - focus more on arguments during speech times, and you can always say "thanks for judging" after the RFD or as you're packing up.
If I judge you for LD (I do this in state sometimes because of small brackets) -
Make your points clear, why they're moral/ethical, and how your guidelines are distinct from whoever you're debating.
Argument interaction and answering arguments as they appear down the flow is a good skill here --- debating based off of the flow is much better. Focusing more on arguments rather than saying "they didn't answer this, this, and this...and that means they're doing..." rather than just answering arguments that ARE on the flow is much worse than just having a debate off of the flow. Focus more on "they say..., I say..." formatting of answering arguments to make those types of things clearer.
Final rebuttals should write my ballot for me and explain the debate in 2-3 ways that clearly show how & why you win.
You don't have to loudly announce prep time and all that, you should be timing your own prep and as long as you and the person debating you knows how much time you have left, it's not that big of an issue.
Clear affirmation of something and clear negation of something is always important. Granted I'm not totally proficient in LD because I did policy, you should make clear affirmation and negation clear. Explain your things, and debate them well! (also, I don't know what an "off-time" road map is but just tell me where you'll be focusing your speech and say that you'll signpost when you get to certain arguments - way more time efficient and clear).
Good luck and have fun!
Joshua Jennings Paradigm
Summary - Run anything you want, go for what you're good at, try new things if you want, Don't be rude.
About me - I debated at Crosby highschool and middle school for a collective 6 years and I debated policy at University of Houston for 3 years. I used to help as an assistant coach for The Kinkaid School for about 2 years.
I am fine with almost any argument, so if you want to run it I'll listen, unless it's things like racism or patriarchy good. You don’t need to over adapt to me, I am pretty chill.
Speed - Go for it. I will not say clear if you're unclear, unless its egregious and if you're unclear I probably can't flow you well.
Try not to be rude.
Cx: (LD is below this)
On topicality and theory, I default reasonability if there is no discussion of this in the debate because it's much less of a risk for the neg. Explain why your interpretation is better than the other and make sure to make the violation clear.
On kritiks, You HAVE TO explain the alternative, in debate people get away with not doing that too much, which is annoying as a judge. I like when the link is contextualized to the aff (give specific analysis about how the aff makes the system of oppression worse or prevents it from changing).
On Counterplans, I love good counterplans, as long as your story on the world of the cp is clear and you're winning a net benefit that you solve, you should be fine.
On Disads, have a logical story as to why the aff links and how that causes the impact.
Non-traditional Affs - I will evaluate any affirmative even if it's non-policy, just make sure if you're untopical, you have a reason to be untopical.
Framework – I am not afraid to vote on this, I think there are benefits to policy debate and disadvantages to kritik aff debates (the reverse is true as well for me).
I’ve judged a lot of LD debates. I am a CX debater normally so do what you want with that info.
I will evaluate almost any argument, I tend to think of the debate round on the bigger picture focus (mainly because the 1ar I feel is rough and it allows better debates for LD), although I have no real predispotions for or against it.
Framework: I'm fine with policy, whole resolutional or k debates, I'm also willing to vote those are bad. Just debate it out.
Theory: I will evaluate most theory, but it has to make sense and I tend to have a higher threshold on what I think is abusive. I will not vote on RVIs.
CP: I think CPs make the most sense vs plans and I can be convinced they’re illegit if you’re a whole rez team (all up to debate).
K: You HAVE TO explain the alternative, in debate people get away with not doing that, too much, which is annoying as a judge. Also it doesn't produce good advocacy skills. I like when the link is contextualized to the aff (give specific analysis about how the aff makes the system of oppression worse or prevents it from changing).
Clark Johnson Paradigm
A couple of thoughts before I address specific arguments
not a good idea to read disclosure theory in front of me unless some real shenanigans happened before the round that you can prove, I will vote on it, but it will not be an enjoyable round for me.
I tend to find myself defaulting to a policymaker more often than not, but mostly due to a lack of framing of the round, start weighing impacts and explaining to me how I should be looking at the round as early as you can.
I would like to be on the email chain, I usually only bring my iPad with me so flashing will just mean I'll be calling for evidence which just slows down the decision email@example.com
T debates (and theory debates) are already very blippy, and don't give much pen time, if you want me to evaluate it to the best of my ability slow down to 80% or so.
I like it when teams use T strategically in other areas of the debate.
DA: good spin > sepcific ev > generic ev. If the 2nr is da/case, spending a significant amount of time on the aff is probably necessary
CP: These are fine, I will only engage judge kick if you explicitly tell me to
K’s: Not as familiar with the more abstract K lit (i.e. dng etc). 2nr (and 2nc to some extent) explanation of what the alt world would look like, how the alt solves the links to the aff, and how the alt solves the impacts are important to me, I find myself to be much more persuaded by neg teams that can do this well.
K affs v fw: I think your aff should in some way be related to the topic, my threshold for framework/T arguments will go down if you can't defend how you are directionally related, that's not to say though that you have to be, just that it will make it easier for you to win those debates.
K affs v k's: this is by far the debate that I have the least experience with, something that's really important to me in these debates is clarity of how the alt/aff functions and how it interacts with the links to your opponents argument, I tend to find myself being persuaded by detailed alt analysis
if you’ve noticed a common theme here, it’s that I think the alt debate is important
Theory: Default neg and reject the argument, you should give me reasons to do otherwise, don't expect me to be willing to vote on it if you don't slow down and explain your objection, most debaters spread blippy blocks that make it difficult to flow and evaluate, if the 2nr or 2ar want to go for theory in some form or fashion you're going to have to do a modicum of work, saying they concede severance perms bad for 10 seconds at the top of your 2nr even if true is not enough to get me to vote on it. make sure to explain it in its proper form.
Counterplans bad is probably not a reason to vote aff
I don’t judge this event as often so I may lack a more nuanced understanding of how things function in LD compared to policy, but with that being said I’m open to however you want to do it, be it traditional or progressive. Most of my thoughts about args in cx will color my analysis of the arguments you make in LD. The only thing I’ve come to realize about progressive LD so far that I don’t like, or maybe just lack sufficient understanding of, are skep and nibs.
I dont consider the time it takes for your opponents to provide you their evidence as prep time, and I don't think you need to take cx time for it either.
other than that I don't have strong opinions when it comes to what arguments you want to read as long as you justify them, in terms of extensions I don't think that saying something in grand is enough for me to heavily weigh it at the end of the debate if you dont extend it through your last speech.
I will probably call for evidence.
Anthony Joseph Paradigm
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org / for questions
- put me on the chain
- be ready to give the 1ac if im late, no excuses
- im starting to want to count prep till you are ready to speak, too many people stealing prep.
Jason Kaculi Paradigm
Katy Taylor 2014-2018
University of Texas 22’
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
TLDR: You do you. I’m open to any argument/style if it's not morally repugnant (i.e. racism good). Anything I vote on will be something I can explain to the other team, so claims need to be warranted and have an impact explained in the debate. I think specific and well thought out strategies make judging more enjoyable and can go a long way.
General: I think debate is a game but there are ways to use the game to produce external value in it. There is inevitably going to be some form of ideological bias with judging, but I’ll attempt to make any of mine as clear as possible below and will evaluate debates in the most neutral way possible. I generally lean tech over truth.
Framework/T-USFG: It comes down to a competing universal model of debate. Both teams should have a defense of the model provided by their interpretation. I think Affs should have some relationship to the topic (not necessarily with a plan text) and if there is none I expect a well-warranted defense of not doing that. I think 2 major questions generally filter how I decide framework debates – 1) What offense has each team won in the debate? 2) How does that offense interact/Are there arguments like a TVA or SSD that allow inroads into other offense? There needs to be well explained impacts by both teams for me to consider the argument (i.e. explain what “destroying fairness” does to debate or what “creates exclusion” looks like in context of the negative’s interpretation in the activity).
Topicality: It comes down to a competing vision of the topic. Both teams need to defend this model of the topic with well extrapolated standards and some type of case list. Mentioning the words “limits”, “fairness”, and “predictability” in a vacuum will not get you anywhere. Impact comparison and substantive clash over models of the topic via definitions and standards make T debates much easier for me to evaluate.
Critiques: K debates can be executed well and be very enjoyable to judge but also executed poorly and have the opposite effect. One big issue with debating the K is when teams provide vacuous link/impact framing arguments that make the debate very frustrating to judge. Some key components every winning K 2nr should have - 1) well extrapolated links that turn the case 2) An external impact 3) A well explained alternative/framework argument that resolves the links. I believe the framework debate is generally underutilized by the negative, usually those debates end up with the affirmative getting to weigh the Aff. If you read external impacts, you must explain the internal link to that impact. I’m familiar with most critical literature to a certain extent, some arguments more than others. With that said explanation within your speeches and CX will be appreciated, especially if it is obscure. The affirmative should have a combination of offensive and defensive arguments. I would much rather see impact turning of the methodological/theoretical focus of the K or alternative than bank on a purely defensive strategy. Permutations are a good way to subsume offense and are best utilized with clear net benefits that are exclusive to the Aff.
K Affs: They need to have a clear and preferably nuanced method that can solve the impacts of the Aff. I think the major pitfall of K Affs is having generic or vague methods that open the doors to a lot of persuasive presumption arguments. There needs to be a defense of why debate is a key space to read the Aff. The 1AR and 2AR should have both components on some level or else I’m left guessing as to how the Aff and potentially some of your offense functions against the negative’s position. As explained in the Critiques section, do not assume I’m completely versed in the literature you are defending.
Disadvantages: The more specific the better. A robust explanation of the link to the Aff and impact calculus supplemented with embedded turns case analysis makes these debates very enjoyable to judge. The Affirmative should try to find holes in the DA, whether that’s through internal links not lining up or through their evidence. I think a combination of offensive and defensive arguments is smart and will make it harder for the negative to hedge their offense.
Counterplans: They need to have a clear plan text and an external net benefit. There needs to be clear competition with the Aff or else the permutation becomes an easy way for me to vote. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better. The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement. The 1AR + 2AR needs to have some offense against the counterplan because a purely defensive strategy makes it very hard to beat the counterplan. I enjoy an advantage counterplan/impact turn strategy when it’s applicable.
Theory: It’s fine. I’ll generally lean Neg on condo unless its egregious. Make sure there’s enough time spent in the 1AR if theory is the 2AR strategy.
- I think case debating is under-utilized and would enjoy a nice impact turn debate
- Flashing/Emailing isn’t prep unless it takes an egregious amount of time
- If you still have questions, ask them before the round
Jesse Keleman Paradigm
I would like to be on the email chain if there is one. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I debated at UT and debated for 4 years at Grapevine in highschool. I'm currently studying law at the University of Houston. I'm fine with any argument. I really like well-researched PICs.
Try to be clear on what arguments you are winning and why you are winning the round because of it. What this means is that when you make an argument, make sure you explain the larger implications it has on the debate. This doesn't mean make everything a voting issue, but rather that your arguments should all fit together in a neat and understandable way. If I have to do a lot of this analysis myself, you might not like how I end up evaluating your arguments.
An author name is not an extension, and I think debaters tend to breeze over conceded arguments without impacting them out in the way I talked about above. If you think an argument is conceded or mishandled, it still needs to be explained in the final speeches.
I'm not too familiar with a lot of the kritikal literature bases besides Virilio, so keep that in mind when explaining your arguments. I still love hearing kritiks, just be sure to make your arguments as clear as possible.
I haven't heard a lot of debates on this topic, so try and keep that in mind if you were planning on throwing around a lot of acronyms at a fast pace. Making your arguments clearer can only be good for your speaker points.
I like hearing specific disads, generic ones are fine too if you can contextualize the link to your argument to the affirmative. Same thing with kritiks.
I'll be glad to answer any more specific questions you have before the round.
I prefer specific disads, but of course that's not always possible. I find that disad links can be pretty awful, and think that it can be a great place for an aff to gain some ground against the disad. However, I think that disads with strong and well-explained links can be extremely convincing. Politics disads can either be underwhelming if extremely generic, or very solid arguments if your link story is a bit more nuanced then "some people in congress hate the plan, so congress will suddenly decide they hate immigration reform.".
I did mainly kritikal debate in college, but in highschool I was more policy oriented, so don't be afraid to lean more policy infront of me. I actually find 8-off debates to be pretty interesting sometimes; I think that they force interesting strategic decisions and require a certain skill to both answer and execute well.
I am not a fan of conditions counterplans, or any other counterplan that causes a very small change in the process the aff goes through (consult counterplans also fall under this category). I tend to think that they form boring and repetitive debates. I will still vote on them if you are winning the argument, but I find the theoretical objections to them to be pretty convincing. I am a huge fan of specific pics. Any well-researched and well debated pic will likely give your speaker points a boost. I am not a fan of generic pics, or some of the old-fashioned word pics, such as the "the" pic. I think advantage counterplans can be extremely strategic, especially when paired with a strong disad.
Kritiks are great, but I am not very familiar with a lot of the more complex kritikal literature. This means you have to make your explanation of the argument clear to me, or I'll have a hard time voting on it. I have no problem with affirmatives that don't defend government action as long as they are relevant to the topic or have a convincing reason not to be, but at the same time I have no problem voting for framework if the negative gives me convincing reasons why debates about government action are more useful than what the affirmative performance is trying to do. I would prefer negatives use well thought-out counter-advocacies over framework as those debates tend to be more interesting, but I do believe that framework has its place in debate.
I generally prefer that your link arguments prove that the aff makes the world a worse place in some way, rather than only prove that they are complicit in certain structures. I think that really talented kritikal debaters are proficient at framing their link arguments in offensive ways that show how an aff replicates problems in the world, rather than just claiming that the aff doesn't acknowledge a problem. The exception to this is if you can win substantial framing arguments that mean I should ignore the aff entirely.
I'd generally prefer a DA or K, but I think that topicality debates can be interesting in their own way. I think that high school debaters tend to expand the topic a little bit too far, and get away with affs that might not necessarily be topical. Running topicality against a clearly topical aff will most likely not get you anywhere, and should probably be replaced with more viable arguments.
I decided to make a separate section for this, since I've been judging it a bit more and have more thoughts about it now. I think that sometimes teams forget that when i vote on framework, I'm voting on an interpretation of how debate should be, rather than voting on whether a team broke some "rule" of debate or not. Your argument could of course be that I should vote them down because they broke a rule, but I find this less convincing than arguments about what debate ought to be. I think that ways of mitigating the other team's offense is vital in these debates. For the neg, those would be SS args, TVA args, or any other argument about how your interpretation doesn't exclude their education. For the aff, this usually takes the form of criticisms of the neg's ideas of education.
A lot of the framework debates I've judged seem to focus on the aff alone, rather than the entire interpretation. I think that this is a mistake, and I would like to see teams tying their arguments back to their interpretations rather than just ignoring the interpretation after extending it and proceeding to talk about how unfair the specific aff is. I find a lot of aff interpretations to be very vague, take advantage of this when you make your predictability and limits arguments.
As a final note on framework, I think that novel and strategic aff interpretations could get you further than just "teams have to talk about the topic".
I find that there are certain arguments in debate that seem polarizing, as far as if they are beneficial arguments that should be used in debate or not. For these arguments that do seem to spur disagreement, I think that theory can be a fantastic argument against them, and would enjoy seeing an in-depth theory debate about them. On the other hand, theory arguments arguing that you shouldn't speed read, that counterplans are bad for debate, or that kritiks belong in LD, I do not find convincing. You're not likely to win on these arguments unless the other team severely mishandles them, so you might as well actually engage in their arguments instead of trying to just ignore them. A questionable argument that has been well-researched and has specific evidence is much more likely to look legitimate to me than a generic counterplan that just pushes the aff back a year and claims a politics net benefit. I think that clash is one of the most important parts of debate, and that if an argument disagrees with the actual content of the 1AC in a substantial matter, it should be permitted in debate. If an argument tries to avoid clash in unhealthy ways (mostly in ways that don't promote topic-specific research), then I am more likely to decide that these arguments are illegitimate.
I think that more than two conditional arguments is pushing it, but I do not think there is much merit to saying that the negative cannot get even 1 conditional argument. If there's one conditional argument your time is probably better spent on debating the substance of the debate. I also think that you should make your argument as nuanced as possible, for example instead of saying just conditionality is bad, say that multiple contradictory conditional worlds is bad.
Speaker Points - I haven't judged enough rounds to have a well though-out system of giving speaker points, but in general better arguments will get better speaker points, and more persuasive speakers will get better speaker points. I also enjoy hearing novel arguments, especially in areas of debate where you often hear the same arguments over and over again, such as theory debates.
I rarely judge this event. Assume I know nothing about the topic, but I am probably somewhat familiar with the critical literature base you're drawing from. I have a hard time voting aff in LD debates because of the huge time discrepancy that makes it seem as if there are a lot of dropped arguments. To get around this, I suggest grouping arguments often as the affirmative, and making it clear how your impacts outweigh any risk of what the negative is talking about, bringing up at least a few specific examples in the process.
Michael Kurian Paradigm
Hello! My name is Michael Kurian and I did Natcircuit LD for 2 years at Dulles High School in Houston, TX.
I had 5 bids and qualled to the TOC as a junior and senior. I also did a bit of policy as a senior and qualled to NSDA in CX.
Yes, email chain me friends:
Tricks: 4-Strike (Sorry, I just have no clue how that shit works I debated in Texas lol)
Do whatever you want, some things tho
1. I will say clear and slow if you're incoherent
2. I dislike theory when frivolous (you know what "frivolous" means) but will vote on it. I like it when strategic, but LOVE it when legit especially if you use creative interps or good combo shells. My favorite theory shell is a meme, but it's O-Spec :)
3. Lets say you read a dump of some kind and you don't flash the arguments to the room. If your opponent asks you to flash them during CX or prep, you will do so. Otherwise, I will eviscerate your speaks.
4. You're allowed to be a dick proportionally to the amount of fuckery going on in the debate
ex. If the aff has 3 NIBS, you can be a little mad. If the 1NC is racism good, you can be furious etc.
5. I dislike partial disclosure shells ie. "Must disclose Plan Text of new aff, must open source, etc."; Disclosure is simple - if you've read it, disclose it. All of it. If you haven't broken it yet, you don't owe your opponent jack shit. You can give them the ROB text or the plan text if you're feeling benevolent.
I will NOT vote on
1) Brackets theory
2) Font size theory
3) Arguments without warrants
4) Arguments that are explicitly homophobic, racist, or otherwise bigoted.
5) Open-source disclosure theory / Disclosure theory of any kind against previously unbroken affs
6) Arguments that link to your opponents identity - ex. "White ppl should lose"
This is the form of debate that I did the most in high school. I am not a huge fan of the recent uprising of identity politics Ks but i will obviously vote on them; I will probably understand your insane postmodern nonsense as long as you understand it enough to explain the application back to me.
1) Link work - really important.
2) Alternative explanation - I have a somewhat low threshold; I'll assume it solves case and the K's links unless that is contested by the Affirmative
3) WEIGH with the ROLE of the BALLOT - tell me why your pedagogy is important, why it belongs in debate, and how we can use it to derive the best form of praxis. If you aren't doing these things, you will probably lose to a more intuitive RoB.
Things I don't like but will still vote on:
1) Kritikal presumption arguments
2) Links of Ommission
3) Lazy, overused link arguments
4) edgy jargon that stays edgy jargon (explain ur shit at SOME point at least)
Love it, think its cool and underused.
Explain the syllogism - I will probably understand it if you do (hopefully).
Do lots of weighing and explain why your framework resolves meta-ethical problems -- Infinite regress, Constitutivism, Actor spec. etc. If not, tell me why it should be preferred over another framework. I don't like particularism (or rather I like it as an ethical theory, but think it is weird when used in debate); my favorite frameworks to hear are Pragmatism and Virtue Ethics.
I prob went for a DA 2 times in my entire career lol. Just do weighing and warrant comparison. It's a relatively intuitive debate style and if it doesn't seem so, I'm not one to say, but you might be doing it wrong.
Weigh. Make good arguments or make really creative bad arguments. Failure to do either will make me sad.
On the Theory vs K debate:
1. If the AC references the topic heavily, defends implementation, and/or in some other way grants you your topic ground, don't whine and call me a K-hack when I err aff against whatever shitty shell you read. If they're doing everything within reason to grant you your prep, and I still hear 9+ mins of crying in the 1NC and 2N about how you have LITERALLY ZERO GROUND™️, I'm going to be much more likely to vote the other way. That being said, if you genuinely feel like the aff is out of the range of the topic or is straight up non-T, go for T, or T - Framework, and go as hard as you want.
2. Reading disclosure against K affs is a good strat.
3. This shit is so fucking boring literally everyone hates this debate, so make it interesting. Have good TVAs, and do actual analysis; policy-good dumps are dry af.
4. The "small schools can't access Ks" argument is objectively false and one of the dumbest args to ever become popular - don't make it in front of me unless you have a spectacular warrant.
5. SPECIAL NOTE ON TVAs - I have a very high threshhold for TVAs because I think 99% of the time, the position that the neg argues is a TVA is actually very different from the aff. In other words, I usually have a hard time understanding why a TVA is actually a TVA instead of a topical aff that somewhat resembles the actual 1AC. If you're reading the K aff, just make arguments for why the TVA misses out on a benefit that the aff proper possesses, and if you're negating and going for the TVA make arguments for why the TVA subsumes the aff or has other benefits which outweigh.
Try your fuckin best lmao good luck this is a coin toss. I'll probably just evaluate it the same way I would a fuckshit-heavy theory or framework debate.
Things I'll boost your speaks for:
Naruto Reference in speech: +.1
Dressing like you don't give a shit: +.1
Cool Affirmatives: +.3
Solid Collapsing: +.5
Creative arguments: +.2
30: straight fire
29.1-29.9: ur still fire but like not "The Life of Pablo" fire
28.6 - 29: You good
26.1-27: big oof
25.1-26: go to church dude lol
25: fuck you
Eric Lanning Paradigm
University of Houston
Thesis: “There are many Lannings”
I am *not* a blank slate – I’ll try to identify the issues, arguments and controversies that I feel strongly about and update this list throughout the season to reflect how and why I voted.
Be Direct – I can’t really flow, I don’t really ‘call for’ evidence and if I can’t remember an argument after the debate without scouring my flow and your evidence – I’m very unlikely to vote on it or for you.
I think that ‘truth vs tech’ is a false dichotomy. You should generally make good arguments and specifically answer bad ones.
I’m very expressive – try to pay attention to me! If you’re nuerodivergent or just don’t feel comfortable interpreting my body language or facial expressions – just let me know. I’m more than willing to work with you and/or provide direct physical cues (thumbs up, thumbs down) or verbal cues (Yes Lady Gaga, Not a winner). Dallas Perkins was my ordinal one for most of my debate career, both because I love him and because I liked getting feedback before the RFD.
I think ‘judge adaptation’ should work in *both* directions. Help me help you. If you want me to evaluate the debate (differently) that you think I usually would, make it an argument in the debate. I’m more committed to the idea of accessible debate and accessible judging than any specific preference in my judge philosophy.
List of predispositions (last updated before UMKC 2015)
1) Framework (Clash Debates) I’m generally more persuaded by claims about the necessity of ‘engaging institutions’ and ‘incremental reforms’ than ‘you broke the rules/norms’. I don’t mind judging these debates and I’ve found my voting record is less ideological than my posts on Facebook. That said, I think innovation and engagement are important and tend to reward debaters who take risks with strategies other than framework.
2) Competing Methods (New Debate) I think these debates are about what you did, not what could have happened. That bias doesn’t translate into “no” or “yes” perms, but I think that question is really important for resolving these debates. What does competition mean? Why does my ballot matter? The more time you spend answering those questions the more likely you are to win my ballot. I think “x” outweighs “y” is a horrible way to frame and evaluate these debates – I’m much more persuaded by arguments about how your method resolves their offense and their method doesn’t resolve your offense.
3) ‘Try or Die’ and ‘Risk of a Link’ (Old Debate) I’m not very persuaded by either. I vote on presumption a lot more than other folks. If you don’t solve or don’t have a link – I’m unlikely to calculate the “risk” in your favor. I vote on zero solvency. I vote on zero link. I really like “case” debates. I think the best impact comparisons are not a list of *every* metric, but picking one or two and explaining why they matter more than others.
4) Theory – I default to ‘reject the argument not the team’, except for arguments about conditionality and contradictions. In the abstract, I think the negative strategy should be consistent and that multiple conditional advocacies lower the quality of debates. These debates are often frustrating to judge because people shout buzzwords back and forth faster than I can flow them – explanation >>> vocabulary.
5) Counterplans – if at any point during the debate you describe your counterplan as “resulting in the entire affirmative” – I’m very unlikely to think it’s legitimate or competitive. Note – the AFF should make these arguments!!! Functional + Textual competition is better than either alone. PICS, Agent CPs, Advantage CPs >>> Process CPs, Condition CPs, Consultation CPs.
6) Topicality – While I’m more in the “discussion of the topic” than “topical discussion” camp, I think more debaters should separate “framework” from “topicality”. I’m torn between a desire to preserve affirmative flexibility and predictable, sustainable and meaningful negative ground. I definitely think we should debate about legalization, but I’m skeptical of ideological interpretations that claim there is “only one way” to do that. Not sure how helpful this is, but it’s worth saying that I tend to vote affirmative more than negative in debates about the boundaries of the topic.
Ryan Love Paradigm
yes email chain- email@example.com
I judged a lot of rounds over this years policy topic at UTNIF over the summer, since then I haven't judged. This probably means I'm not familiar with what has been accepted by the community as topical. So on T be persuasive, this will serve you well. Most important to me is how you frame the round. If structural violence outweighs make it clear. If ontology is a pre-requisite to topical discussion make it clear, and so on. I do not want to adjudicate a round where both sides "pass each other like two ships in the night." Weigh your arguments, compare evidence, indict ideas and arguments your opponents put fourth.
I am most comfortable judging kritikal debate, however I judged plenty of policy rounds on this topic. As a debater I have debated the kritik explicitly. I say this not to make anyone think I am biased, but because I think one deserves to know that the finer techne of policy throwdowns is not my strong suit. That being said I enjoy policy rounds and would love to watch some.
I am a firm believer that my role as a judge is to be impartial and adjudicate fairly. I do not harbor ideological biases. I will flow what you say and weigh it in comparison with what your opponent says. Be polite, be friendly, don't waste anyone's time. Speaking honestly, these things are far more likely to influence my mood than whatever arguments you read.
Last but not least, have fun! Debate is a great place to express yourself and talk about really interesting and pertinent things, enjoy your time in it because it is quite fleeting!
Mason Marriott-Voss Paradigm
Yes I want to be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
All other things (questions, comments, speech doc requests) should go to masonnmv[at]gmail[dot]com
- Tell me how to vote and why, hold my hand as much as possible and you will be rewarded
- Your evidence quality matters a lot to me, but I won't read evidence unless I need to. Use that to your advantage, compelling and in depth evidence comparison goes a loooong way.
- If/when I call for cards I will ask for "whatever you think is important" That is NOT an invitation to send me everything you read, nor is it a promise to read everything you send me. Instead it's an opportunity to do what you should have done in the speech and tell me which cards you think I should read (that does include opponent evidence if you so choose).
- Truth over tech, you should have a warrant to prove why your truth claim is true
- Take risks and have fun. When you're engaged and having fun it makes my job more enjoyable and a happy me = better speaks
- Always happy to answer specific questions you have before the debate. The question "do you have any specific paradigms judge" (or anything along those lines) will be answered with "do whatever you want"
Framework - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:
- State good isn't offense for a framework argument, and state bad isn't offense against it - unlikely you will tell me otherwise
- Your interp isn't just a model that dictates the way debates go down, but also a research model that dictates the way we prepare for debates - you should have reasons why both in and out of round their interp is bad and yours is good
- If the aff says arms sales are bad I do not understand why winning arms sales are good is not a reason to vote neg. On the aff that should help you answer fairness/ground, on the neg that should give you another 2NR option if you so choose.
- I am more than willing to vote for intervention/heg/cap/arms sales are good. Often times I think the aff is too flippant about answering the impact turns that get read on case and the negative fails to capitalize on that.
- Increasingly I am becoming less and less of a fan of arguments that say "framework is policing/the prison/any other actually bad thing" In fact, I think that it is very dangerous to equivocate the violence that happens in a prison to the "violence" that happens when teams read framework.
- Answering the aff is not a microaggression. Neither is reading generic evidence. Debaters make bad/non-responsive arguments all the time, that's not a reason to vote them down, just a reason you don't have to spend as much time answering the argument.
Until I judge more rounds on this topic I won't have as many topic specific things to say. Please consult the previous seasons paradigm for any additional information
Yes I want to be on the email chain: email@example.com
- Tell me how to vote and why, not only will this help your chances of winning, it will also help your speaks
- I will read your evidence after the debate, not during, so the more you do the ev comparison for me during the debate the more likely I am to believe you - that being said, your evidence quality matters a lot to me, and I will read the evidence that I think is relevant while making my decision, so make sure to tell me which evidence matters
- Take risks. It makes my job a lot more fun and often pays off big. Your speaks will be rewarded for it.
- Truth over tech, and you should have a warrant to prove why your truth claim is true
- I increasingly keep judge clash debates, I have judged maybe two high level disad/cp debates since the Greenhill tournament, that means two things
- First, in clash debates I find myself leaning aff on the internal link level but neg on the impact level, I think the 2NR impact explanation sounds pretty but the internal link is dramatically under explained, and the 2AR can often be very compelling on a "you don't solve your own impact" level. The topical versions that teams are reading (mostly the generic open borders stuff) is also only really ever compelling to me in a world where the aff goes for "our discussion good" which is increasingly not the way the aff is answering framework. If your aff defends restrictions are bad and provides a mechanism for resolving (whatever that means) that then I am a fan. If your aff is just "debate is bad, fairness and clash are bad" then I am not a fan
- IF you do have me in a policy v policy debate, make sure you explain which part of the debate matters and why, and do a little bit more handle holding me through the debate in the 2NR and 2AR than you would in front of your regular policy judges as I will need to shake the rust off
Policy things - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:
- Uniqueness controls the direction of the link, you will be hard pressed to persuade me otherwise
- Undecided on indefinite parole good/bad - probably lean neg on this question but haven't seen it really debated out enough yet
- The topic is LPR - way more thoughts on this later, but unlikely you convince me your non-LPR aff is T
- If your CP has a solvency advocate (each plank, together) I think it's almost impossible to lose to any theory argument
- Presumption flips aff if the CP is a larger change from the status quo than the aff is (fully explained in the CPs section at the bottom)
- The 1AR is a constructive, you should probably read some cards
Clash of civ things - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:
- Fairness is an internal link, but negative engagement and clash are very compelling impacts
- State good isn't offense for a FW argument, and state bad isn't offense against it - unlikely you will tell me otherwise
- If the aff says and defends that restrictions on immigration are bad I find it harder to win a limits impact but a little easier to win a topical version
- Your interp isn't just a model that dictates the way debates go down, but also a research model that dictates the way we prepare for debates - you should have reasons why both in and out of round their interp is bad and yours is good
- Ericson is descriptive of debate 15 years ago, not prescriptive of what debate should be. I think this makes it a little difficult to win a predictability internal link, you still can just make sure you do slightly more work than you normally would here for me
- Negative engagement/clash is an impact but probably doesn't solve the affs education offense because the neg wants to be able to go for the temporary CP and base, instead it is good as a critical thinking model
K v K things - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:
- I don't judge a lot of these debates, but when these debates are good, I highly enjoy them. The more specific you get with your links/alt explanation/link turns/alt offense the happier I will be
- The aff gets a perm - "this is a method debate" is not a real world thing to do, only way I really change my mind here is if the aff drops this argument
- You are not responsible for other things your author wrote that you haven't read, but you are responsible for other things/theories that the parts you have read rely on for their theorization (your psychoanalysis aff probably has to defend the Lack even if you don't make any of your arguments about it)
- Examples are the key to winning the link v link turn debate for me
- Just because you read a Zizek card doesn't mean you can just make any argument you want - your theory should be consistent and you should tie your arguments back to your evidence, I will read your evidence after the debate while making my decision
Feel free to email me with any questions - masonnmv[at]gmail[dot]com - yes this is different from the email above, please use each for its intended purpose.
After that quick and dirty, here is my rant about the topic as I've seen it so far. Increasingly on this topic I find myself becoming more and more frustrated with the trajectory of affirmatives who have decided to read a plan. Two large complaints that I have:
- Your aff should be LPR
- You should specify which restrictions you reduce
Let me unpack those two things
First, LPR. I feel very strongly that the aff has to be for the purpose of LPR and only for the purpose of LPR. I know that generally the community is moving in this direction but I feel like it’s worthwhile for me to talk about this because I find myself more ideological about this than others I’ve talked to. I think that “legal immigration” most clearly means “admission to the United States for the purpose of long term permanent residence” and anything that isn’t that is fairly clearly negative ground. There are two versions of the refugee/asylum/T/U visas affs that are mainly being read now.
The first type just makes it easier to get those visas. This is the “determine that environmentally-displaced persons constitute ‘refugees’” aff’s. Or the “remove the requirement to cooperate with law enforcement” aff. These affs, for me, and almost impossibly defensible. Those people that enter under those new expanded rules are not permanent residents, nor are they guaranteed to be permanent residents. The most popular counter-interp for these affs, “legal immigration is path to lpr” to me is poor at best. It begs the question of what a “path” is, which I have yet to find a good definition of. For example, H1-B’s might be considered a path to LPR because the majority of people here on H1-Bs apply for transfer of status and become LPR. Without a good definition of what a “path to LPR” means I have no idea how that interp can set a limit on the topic that excludes non-immigrant and temporary visas. With these affs they all have the similar we meet/reasonability story that happens in the 2AR which goes something like “but our visas end up with LPR and aren’t temporary because they eventually become permanent so please don’t vote neg” But this we meet argument is not even close to compelling. In my mind this is the negatives argument, and at best for you is just the same as saying “we are effectually topical so don’t vote neg” The plan doesn’t immediately give people LPR, and I don’t think that our model of debate is defensible.
The second type of that aff changes those visas and makes them LPR. These are the “for the purpose of long term permanent residence” affs. These are think are more defensible than the type above, and end up raising a lot of interesting T questions, but I would prefer it if they weren’t topical. The problem that I have with these affs is that they just make any non-topical group topical. I have no idea why the plan can fiat that they give refugees immediate LPR and why they would not be able to fiat that H1-Bs are LPR (I keep using H1-Bs because I feel like everyone agrees that those are by definition not topical). The problem that I run into when thinking about these types of affs though is that I don’t think that there is a good interp that clearly limits these types of affs out. I think that there are two ways you can try and limit out these affs. The first, is a definition of restrictions that would say that making a new LPR isn’t reducing a restriction. But I think that a compelling answer to that is probably that the restriction that exists on getting LPR is the 1 year requirement which the plan would eliminate. I think that this could go either way, but that’s the point of debate. The second way you can limit this out is to say that a reduction has to be pre-existing. The aff increases the cap from 0 to 200 LPR refugee visas, which is technically a reduction of a cap but it doesn’t increase a currently existing cap. That coupled with a literature argument about there not being any lit to contest reducing restrictions that don’t officially exist to me feels weak but doable. In general this is the debate the aff wants to have in front of me, because despite the fact I don’t want these affs to be topical I don’t know how to safely limit them out without just arbitrarily deciding that they shouldn’t be topical.
Second, specification. This one really gets me going but comes up in debates less. The topic is not immigration good/bad. The topic is restrictions good/bad. The number of affs with plan texts that resemble “Plan: The USfg should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration for artificial intelligence professionals.” is sad but not surprising. Look I get it, you don’t want to debate PICs. But come on, you have to actually defend something. The best debates on this topic are not “should we let in AI professionals to the US?’ but instead centered around how we should do that. And unless you want every debate to be indefinite parole vs LPR then it would benefit everyone if you just specified. If you read a plan, and a solvency advocate that goes with it, that defends a specific restriction(s) then I am very comfortable inflating your speaks AND telling the neg that their generic CP/links don’t assume the specific mechanism of the aff. If you do not do that (read a real plan that is), I am very comfortable voting neg on a circumvention argument. Let’s be real, you are reading your plan like that because you think it has strategic value, and truthfully, it does. And with that in mind I think that there has to be some incentive for the aff to foster clash and read a real plan text so if you are aff in front of me and you don’t read a real plan, make sure you spend more time than you want to answering vagueness arguments/case circumvention arguments. I am also more comfortable with cheating CPs against affs with vague plans, and dramatically less comfortable with cheating CPs against affs that specify.
I understand that the two above statements might make you slightly uncomfortable but I feel like I should put that out there just so that everyone is on the same page.
I am a first year out. I debated for four years at the Liberal Arts and Science academy and currently attend the University of Texas in Austin. I have always been a 2A so that does actively shape the way that I think about/approach debate.
Short and sweet – Yes put me on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org. I lean more truth over tech in the sense that I will not vote on something that can't explain to the other team at the end of the debate, but that doesn’t mean you can just drop things and hope I ignore them. Do what you do best. Seriously. I would rather judge a good debate on something I am less familiar with than a bad debate any day. The more you can write my ballot in the 2NR/2AR, and tell me what I am voting on and why, the more likely you are to win but also the more likely I am to give you better speaks. Make my job easy and you will be rewarded. I will be somewhat/very expressive during the debate, and I will flow cross ex
Any specific questions feel free to email me: masonnmv [at] gmail [dot] com - yes I realize that this is a different email from the one above, please use each email for its intended purpose.
Now what you are probably here for:
K affs and Framework – I read mostly traditional affs throughout my career but I did read a variety of different K affs with moderate levels of success. I would like to think that I will do my very best to evaluate the debate in front of me but there are a couple of thoughts that I have about framework debates in general that will always be a part of my decision calculus no matter how hard I try and be objective.
First, my senior year my partner and I went for framework against every single K aff that we debated except for one, against which we went for the global/local K. I think that K affs tend to not meet their own interp more often than you would think, and get away with it, and in the instances in which they do meet their interp, it is often very easy to win a limits disad. I also think that a lot of the offense that K teams like to go for is often only a question of “our education is unique” which I feel is often resolved by switch side and maybe the topical version. Limits and clash are the negative standards that I find the most persuasive, and I most commonly went for clash as an impact that has intrinsic value. I am least persuaded by the topic education standards people like to go for, but I encourage you to do what you are the best at and if that’s topic education then go for it. I tend to think about switch side debate more than other people do when evaluating framework debates. I lean neg in general on framework that's for sure.
That being said, there is nothing intrinsic to me about debate that requires that you read a plan, nor do I think that not reading a plan means that no productive debate can occur. I think predictability is definitely a question of the lens through which you view the resolution (eg: on the China topic, even “policy” teams knew that people were going to read a Pan aff. Doing research in a particular area helps to guide what you and others are able to predict will be read during the year), which means that K on K debates can be highly productive/clash can occur. I think that the neg often gets away with way too much offense in terms of things like the limits disad etc as the aff often forgets to test the internal links of their impacts and instead just goes for the impact turn. To use the limits disad as an example, I think that the negs interp is not nearly as limiting as they often get to spin it as, and the world of the aff is often not as bad as the neg says it is. Don’t get me wrong, impact turning things is fantastic, but sometimes smart effective defense can be just as useful.
Other thoughts on framework debates
- One carded, smart, topical, topical version of the aff goes A LOT farther than 4 short generic ones. Specificity matters a lot in these topical version debates. Both the aff and the neg can exploit this to great effect
- If your aff has a solvency advocate that links your theory to the topic in the same way you claim to, you are in a MUCH better place. It cuts back against a lot of their offense and makes it substantially harder for them to win anything that isn’t limits
- I tend to think that both interps have some educational value, if you are winning reasons why the education that your interp provides is comparatively better than the education that their interp provides you are 75% of the way to winning these debates
- I think that debate is a game, but that doesn't mean that it can't have other intrinsic value, eg it can definitely be a home, or a place of individual expression, or even an academic space or educational training ground. I get this framing from my years playing soccer, which while being a game, also provides a lot of good to a lot of people. What that really means for y'all is that I am probably not the best judge for "it's a game cause some wins so vote neg because fairness"
- The more specific that each sides offense gets, the better. There is often a lot of offense happening on both sides of these debates so the more you are able to get ahead on the specifics of how your offense interacts with their offense the better.
I think it is very hard to win state good is a net benefit to framework, especially if you’re coupling it with a switch side debate argument.
Now the more specific things
Kritiks vs Plans –
- Buzzwords do NOT equal explanation. Just because I might be familiar with your author/argument doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t explain it.
- Specificity matters. Feel free to read your generic link cards but be prepared to explain them in the specific context of the aff. On the aff, read your generic K answer cards if you have to/want to but again, be prepared to explain them in the specific context of the aff
- I am better for the negative than most for frameworks that do not let the aff leverage its advantages – I generally think that the aff just assumes that obviously they get the aff and don’t spend enough time here. Yes you can go for framework as the alt/without the alt/whatever you want to call it. Especially if you have a link specific to the aff/something the aff did and not just a link to the squo this can be a very effective strategy.
- Link turns and “the aff is a good idea”/”our reps are true” are sufficient offense to vote aff, but mostly only when coupled with a perm, and you have to explain to me why the aforementioned statement is true. You don’t always have to have external offense against the alt but it would greatly increase your chances of winning. If they kick the alt you can sometimes still get the perm, but you have to do the work to tell me why you should
- On the aff, you should defend the aff and you shouldn’t forget about the aff. Often people get caught up in going for “psychoanalysis bad” instead of actually just answering the links and defending the aff. You should still have specific K offense but seriously, if the K is competitive, then the aff is offense in and of itself. Unless you don’t get to weigh it. See above
Kritiks vs No Plans –
- Just because this is a “method debate” does not mean the aff does not get a permutation. I definitely think that it is actually most real world to combine different methods and see how they interact. Just because we are in debate doesn’t mean that that same standard should apply. Now you can win specific reasons why in the context of your theory the perm still fails, but the aff probably gets the perm.
- See K vs plans stuff as well – specificity matters a ton. Especially in the link vs link turn debate. The aff will almost always have some chance at a link turn, so whoever is ahead on the spin and explanation game will probably win that part of the debate. Historical/contextual examples are super useful and super underutilized. Don’t just assume your truth claim is true, say words and explain why.
- I have different thoughts about risk than most people do. Start at 0% risk and build up, NOT at 100% and work down. I think that it is the negatives burden to prove that their internal links are true and not necessarily the affs burden to disprove them. That being said, if the aff only reads a non-unique in the 2AC I think that the negative is going to have a very easy time proving that the rest of their disad is true. What this means is that I am a sucker for a 2AC that maybe reads one or two cards but mainly makes smart and true analytic arguments to answer the disad at each level. Especially if your disad is bad (if you have to ask then yes, yes it is), then I think that the 2AC probably doesn’t need to even read a card and can instead get away with talking about the disad in its entirety for about 45 seconds or less. This is the best example of where I am more truth over tech
- Yes disads can go away in cross ex if it is done correctly, but you still have to make those same arguments in your next speech. A well-executed cross ex on a disad in my opinion is more concerned about what the 1NC evidence says than what the 1N has to say about it.
- The 1AR is basically a constructive. Let’s be real, I got through A LOT of my high school career going for cards that were in the 1AR. As long as you have a similar analytic argument in the 2AC, you can often justify the card. I don’t think that it’s the 2A’s burden to start answering a disad before it becomes a real disad (see above about analytics being awesome). This does NOT mean you can just drop it. But I often don’t think that you need to read cards.
- I really enjoy a good impact turn debate. My senior year this was my bread and butter, and this is where I am more tech over truth. I think that sometimes the CP just solves the aff and so impact turning the net benefit is often an effective and useful answer to CPs. So on the negative just be prepared to defend your impact(s). This goes both ways, if you are ready to impact turn the aff then go for it. These debate are awesome and often involve a lot of strangely qualified evidence and if you do this well I can’t say that your speaker points wouldn’t see a small not-so-subconscious boost.
- On that note I should add: You will receive minimum speaker points and lose if you read racism good, sexism good, and a variety of other arguments where your moral compass should understand that thing is un-impact turn-able. If you have to ask, you shouldn’t go for it
- I have thoughts about presumption that I think are different from others when it comes to counterplans. Presumption flips affirmative when the counterplan is more change from the status quo than the aff
- For example: Plan: USfg should feed Africa and go to the moon, CP: USfg should feed Africa, Presumption stays negative.
- Example two: Plan: USfg should invest in renewables, CP: USfg should sign the Law of the Sea, iron fertilize the ocean, build CCS, and instate a carbon tax, Presumption flips aff.
- Obviously there are instances where this is not a perfect standard which is why I think it is up to the debaters to explain which way presumption flips and why. This doesn’t come up a ton but when it does it matters.
- On CP theory in general – I am a 2A. Always have been. That being said, I think that you are much better off going for perm do the counterplan/the counterplan isn’t competitive, instead of trying to go for “delay CPs are a voting issue”. I have a hard time believing that I should reject the team because they read a [insert process] counterplan, but I can be persuaded if you have to go for it.
- Also while I am on theory: I have a lot of thoughts about conditionality, but I try my best to judge the debate that happened in front of me. I try to view and evaluate the condo debate the same way someone would evaluate a T debate: which interp have the debaters proved to me is best for a model of debate. I do subconsciously lean aff on this question, but if it's a new aff, do whatever you want.
- 2NC CPs/amendments to CP texts: they justify new 1AR arguments (perms, offense, solvency deficits, links to the net benefit, etc), they are very rarely a reason to reject the team, I could be persuaded that it’s a reason to reject the argument
- The solvency deficit just has to outweigh the risk of the net benefit. Both sides should be doing this comparative work for me please.
Case debate –
- Please do it. I view this the same way that I view disads, it’s the affs burden to prove that their internal links are true and not the negs burden to disprove them. So just like with disads, a smart 1NC on case can be devastating and the less generic your case work is the 1NC the higher the threshold will be for 2AC answers. Basically just read the stuff about disads but switch the aff and the neg
- I am not a fan of the fast, blippy, 2AC case answers, nor am I a fan of your 45 second long block of text that you are going to spread through and call an overview. The 2AC should actually answer case args and the block and 2NR will be given a lot of leeway if you don’t. “Yes war – their evidence doesn’t assume miscalc” is not an answer.
- T is and always will be a question of competing models of debate. That might sound to you like "competing interps" but there is a distinction. Competing interps for me is much more a question of how I should evaluate offense in a topicality debate. Reasonability just means that your interpretation is reasonable (not that the aff is reasonable)/your interp is sufficient to resolve a risk of their offense, competing interps just means that it should only be a question of offense/defense. But in both worlds I am still evaluating different, comparable models of debate.
- I am less concerned about your ability to read your five sub-points ground and fairness block and more concerned with your ability to outline what the world of the other teams interp looks like. Why is it bad for debate (both aff and neg ground) etc.
- That being said, I went for T a lot in high school. T QPQ and framework were our two most common 2nrs. So do what you have to do. And yes, T is a topic generic.
- Topicality is about the model of debate that you endorse, so have a defense of that. Case lists, and why the affs on that list are bad or good, are a must.
- For reference from the China topic – on a scale of Yes T-QPQ We Meet/Counter Interp double bind to No T-QPQ We Meet/Counter Interp double bind I’m a firm “no”.
To close I would like to quote Ezra Serrins, my high school debate partner, "I appreciate it when debaters take arguments seriously but you shouldn't take yourself too seriously"
Aly Mithani Paradigm
Debate History: St. Mark's '10/Trinity University '14
Currently the head policy debate coach at Hendrickson HS
I treat each debate round as an academic exercise in decision making. I leave many questions of framework and impact calculus to the teams debating, however if not otherwise explicitly stated I will default to a policy making framework and utilitarianism, respectively.
I typically evaluate this from a competing interpretations standpoint and an offense/defense framework but can be persuaded otherwise. When making these kinds of arguments, negative teams typically forget that their interpretation is of how the debate space should operate and thus must defend it as so. Negative teams MUST explain why their interpretation is better for the overall debate space in order to get my ballot. In round abuse arguments are compelling, however, they are nearly impossible to prove and I have a high threshold for voting on them.
I am a fairly firm believer that debate is a game and that structural fairness is an impact. However, this also means that fairness should be utilized as a lens or impact filter for all the other impacts in the framework debate.
Many of my thoughts in the above section apply to my thoughts on counterplan theory. I feel that 2 conditional advocacies is the most that the negative should run, much to the chagrin of most folks (new affs are an exception). That being said, I won't default certain ways in theory debates. I will be considerably more compelled to deem that a counterplan solves an affirmative if it is a specific CP than if it is your typical agent CP. Specific PICs that have functional impacts on plan implementation are so much better than your generic process counterplan. So, so, so much better.
Many kritik teams tend to focus more on tricks than substance. The most important portion of this debate for me is the link debate and I expect a clear explanation of why the specific affirmative links. It is the negative's task to explain why the permutation cannot possibly solve back/overcome the links. I will default affirmative in many of these debates. I feel that the best kritik debaters are the ones who are willing to adapt their strategy and link debate to the specific affirmative that they are debating.
Links of omission are functionally spotting the aff a uniqueness overwhelms the link argument to the net benefit to a very vacuous alternative. Please have link specificity.
I didn't think I had thoughts on this until recently. There are very good disads and very bad disads. If you are aff against a very bad disad, don't be afraid to point this out! I feel like I am more likely than most to say there is zero risk of a disadvantage when the uniqueness very clearly overwhelms the link or there is zero link specificity.
-Yes email chain: email@example.com. Every time a varsity debater forgets to hit "reply all" on an email chain, a kitten cries and you will lose 0.5 speaker points.
-Do not clip cards! If there is an ethics challenge, I will stop the debate and have the accused debater re-read their speech with either their speech document on my computer or standing over their shoulder. That being said, ethics challenges are serious, if you are making one, then you are willing to lose the debate if you are wrong. Strategic ethics challenges will result in horrific speaker points from me.
-I will call you out if you are blatantly stealing prep and it will hurt your speaker points.
-For paperless teams, I do not run prep time for saving/flashing the speech unless this time starts to become excessive or it becomes evident that prep is being stolen.
-It drives me crazy when debaters are disrespectful to each other. There is no reason why competitiveness needs to turn into aggression. Treat the debate space like a classroom.
-Another pet peeve: debaters who do not seem to legitimately enjoy what they are doing. Debaters who go through the motions are usually the ones that end up with the lowest speaker points from me. Even if you are not keeping up with the technical aspects of the debate, if you remain engaged and committed throughout the debate, I will definitely feel more comfortable with giving you higher speaker points.
Read a topical plan--------------x-----------------------------say anything
Usually some risk--------------------------------x----------Zero Risk
Conditionality Good----------------------x--------------------Conditionality Bad
States CP Good-------x------------------------------------States CP Bad
Process CPs--------------x-------------------------------Ew Process CPs
Competing off immediacy/certainty--------------------x------------------------No
CP linking less matters-------------------x-----------------------links are yes/no
Read every card--------------------x-----------------------Read no cards
Judge Kick------------x-------------------------------Stuck with the CP
Reject the Team---------------------------x----------------Reject the Arg
CPs need cards-----------------------------------x-------Smart CPs can be cardless
Fiat solves circumvention---------------x---------------------------Trump's President
K links about the plan-----------x--------------------------------K links about a broad worldview
Javier Navarrete Paradigm
I debated for Columbus (FL) in LD from 2013-2017, qualifying for the TOC my senior year. I'm a policy debater now at the University of Houston.
I'll vote on anything, however, I find it difficult to judge complicated theory debates.
I would like to be on email chains. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Anthony Nguyen Paradigm
Westwood HS 14-18
University of Texas at Austin 18-22
Put me on the email chain: nguyenanthony33(at)gmail(dot)com
I believe that debate is a game with pedagogical value but as with all my other ideological beliefs that I will be disclosing below, I can be convinced otherwise. I spent most of my time debating primarily critical arguments, but I am open to listening to all types of debate. Do whatever you are the most comfortable with and I’ll be happy as long as your arguments aren’t morally repugnant.
I default to competing interpretations unless otherwise specified. The only real standard on T is limits and I therefore will filter much of 2AC offense as well as 2NC explanations of the violation through that lens. When going for this argument it would help to treat T very much like a disad and having clear articulations of the distinctions you make between the definitions you have read and framing argument to tell me how to evaluate them.
I am comfortable. Good K debates are won with specific link explanations and alternative stories. I will be highly persuaded if the aff team spends a good amount of time on the permutation and has some good link defense and a link turn instead of a slew of link cards you read in the block that neither answers nor clashes with the method/solvency mechanism of the aff. Good technical impact turn debates are also fun. Make good choices and I will reward them.
K Affs are fine but I would prefer they are somehow tied to the topic. If your 2AC is not specific, I will be grumpy and you will be more likely to lose the debate. For the negative, I would prefer you to cater the impacts that you go for depending on the affirmative as there are certain situations where fairness is a more persuasive impact than education/portable skills/etc. and there are certain situations where the reverse is true. TVAs and/or Switch-side are necessary components of mitigating aff offense.
I will claim no expertise in this area of debate. However, as long as you have solid explanations of your arguments, I should be able to follow them. I find myself reading more evidence in these debates than K debates in order to process the arguments being made.
This portion of debates is heavily underutilized. I am not afraid to vote on presumption if the aff team spends doesn't sufficiently handle nuanced case arguments. That said, I do believe that the negative should spend time to explain the impact of these arguments instead of just asserting that the aff team didn't handle them well.
Kevin Nguyen Paradigm
Put me on the email chain: email@example.com
Speed: You spit fire except in 2 cases, long ass overviews and tag lines (esp.long ones like the ones you see in some K's), please enunciate for me to get everything in those cases. Tend to give high speaks averaging mid- 29's, unless you suck at spreading and layering your args.
Tech v Truth: I hardcore default to tech, I can follow the follow really well and will see for dropped claims. If you drop an arg, it is counted as truth. If you forget a part of a off (like the link/impact card to a disad in the 1NC) I probably won't extend it across the flow. This especially applies when your opponent does a line x line, and you just respond with reading defense cards. You MUST articulate on how that stuff gives you access to whatever you're arguing. Also, good line by lines especially in the rebuttals are sexy too.
Theory: It's an excellent tool and I respect its utility, but I find that nowadays theory debates in the abstract are overly boring. Usually default to competing interps. I weigh theory synonymous to disads: link, internal link, and impact. Impacts should be weighed (does education outweigh advocacy skills or vice versa?) and internal links should be challenged. A pet peeve of mine is when debaters claim that minor theory arguments are a reason to reject the team - if you want to win this is true, you need to articulate a reason why the impact to your theory argument rises to that level in our one world habit.
Topicality: I’m not really a big fan of T's that are used as a time-suck. I end up wasting my flow paper. Hug a tree, but I won't down you if you do it anyways. That aside, legitimate topicality debates are cool -- if you expect me to vote on T, make sure you take the time to impact out your standards. I expect both sides to be taking the time to do real comparative work on the level of interpretations and standards and not just read some generic T-shell.
Disads: also cool but are not evaluated purely on impacts but on the strength of the internal links that gives you access to your impacts. Try or Die framing / 1% risk is not compelling to me if a team has won defense/turn to your impact. The more specific the link, the better. Just because your uniqueness evidence is 2 weeks newer than the affirmatives doesn’t make it better - you need to explain what has changed in the political system in the past 2 weeks that make it so only your evidence has correctly characterized the status quo. Meaning, I’m highly value the internal link debate not just for DA's, but for all args.
Counterplans: all are good to me; consult, states, PIC's, etc. Their theoretical legitimacy is always up for debate. Don't be afraid to go for theory to answer them, don't be afraid to run a cheating CP if you know you can win theory.
Kritiks: debated mainly K in my 2nrs, so I enjoy these. Don't assume I know your literature base so I don't give a comparative advantage. Engage with the aff as much as possible. Show off your topic knowledge. Respond to line by line arguments rather than using an enormous overview. Doesn't mean you can't do both, and have a CLEAR link. Otherwise, go for the link of omission.
Perms in K vs. K debate can get really vague in terms of making sure what the perm actually looks like in action, it has a decent threshold for my ballot, unless warranted a clear methodology/mechanism. Clear and active alts are high for me. So explicitly contextualize how the perm can solve for both advocacies, if there are any advocacies. I can and have voted on presumption, but I think that should be on the bottom of the offensive flow. I see that a lot of debaters say just the risk will always be there, but that makes it hard for me to not use judge intervention.
K/Plan-less affs: I usually prefer when they're about the topic and they defend a method, but who cares what I think. Just properly explain to me why they aren't needed though as again, so I don't give a comparative advantage. If the aff is unique, don't be afraid to read it.
Framework v K's: Usually default to competing interps. Since K/plan-less affs are more common, I do think FW is a viable strat, whether it's due to a limits DA, lack to education, etc. Having a Switch-side is more persuasive than the generic decision-making/portable skills (unless you can argue it). Also, I think fairness is not an impact, rather an IL to education unless there is an intrinsic abuse. You get more leeway on the substance of education loss. Also, I rather not vote on potential abuse, so find a form of abuse, but if you win it, go for it. Whether the rez is a yes/no depends on the flow. I much rather see a cross-application and line by line rather than both teams spit a bunch of disads under the FW flow.
TVA kind of has a high threshold for me since I find it difficult to incorporate all of the aff's language into the rez. However, as long it solves some of the aff's offense rather than the entire advocacy, I'll buy it. BUT you still have to win this.
Role of the Ballot: Love these arguments, and I do think these args are heavily underutilized in terms of how the ROB/ROB serves as a praxis for discursive shift/change within the debate. However, these arguments need to have an actual reason for being the role of the ballot, asserting the phrase alone isn't enough. Whether it's me being a critical educator or liberator, you have to explain why your side of the argument needs the ballot.
Miscellaneous: Evidence is NOT a substitute for arguments. Citing evidence in the final rebuttals doesn't replace the need for you to extend a warrant. "Extend (author and date)" and proceeds to reread tag is not a proper extension. If you can't explain the argument, I won't call for the card after the round in order to decipher it. Again, I much rather see an internal link analysis and a fire line by line and how that gives you access to the ballot and then go onto impact calculus. Another thing is that I do think CX is binding, and I will flow it. Besides that, go ham, run whatever, Jesus CP, Irony, nerf Irelia.
Claudia Ribera Paradigm
Katy Taylor 2017
Hello, I’m a junior at Texas and coach CX and LD. I was coached by Elijah Smith (Emporia SW) in high school and he taught me everything I know about debate. This means I've had my fair share of reading and/or coaching teams reading very policy arguments to very critical arguments. I debated nationally in high school and have coached kids in both events to deep elims of tournaments, round robins, and accumulate bids to the TOC.
2019-2020 Conflicts: Alief Kerr EG (CX), Katy Taylor AP (LD), Guyer CM (LD), and Ann/Queen (CX).
Previous Conflicts: Katy Taylor HS, Cy-Fair TW, and Woodlands MR
Overall, I think it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and having a clear impact framing because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is place for you to do you. Just like everyone, I have my own predispositions (see further explanation below). However, I make my decisions on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about content/style of argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. Have fun and best of luck!
PLEASE put me on the email chain -- if you ask what my email is, I'll assume you didn't read this and be sort of disappointed. firstname.lastname@example.org
Theory: I will default to “competing interps” and “No RVIs” unless told otherwise. I will not make any presumptions on the voter level of the debate. This includes the voter (fairness/education/etc.) and the implication (drop debater/argument). Failure to present arguments in favor of a voter and its implication is to present an unwarranted argument. I will not evaluate the argument, and I will default to truth testing if the debate is a policy oriented debate. This also means you should be extending your voter and its implication properly and in every speech. Blippy theory arguments are dumb if not extended well so I won't vote on it. Just slow down on interps on shells. Weigh standards!
Frivolous theory/tricks: I don't typically judge these debates and I really don't like this style in LD debate. A prioris, skep triggers, and other arguments similar to these should be left back in 2012.
- Voting Neg on Presumption
- No RVI
Kritiks: I went for kritiks almost every 2NR the second half of my senior year. I’m the most familiar with antiblackness, necropolitics, set col, and quare/queer theory kritiks. I am cool with most kritiks but if it's high theory i.e. post-modernism, I am not the most well versed. This means, if you are reading this specific type of literature base, your argument must have contextualized links to the aff. This means not blazing through the intricate details of your arguments. You really don't want me to not know what you're talking about because that means I will lower your speaker points without hesitation. Read specific links not just state bad links. EXPLAIN THE JARGON. Give examples on the link level (super important) and have impact framing because it is incredibly important for you to do that in order to get my ballot. Please include some type of framing so I know what you are talking about. This can be in value/standard, ROB/ROJ, or any other framing you can think of. This also means your impacts have to link into a framework. I don't mind PIKs, but make it clear ballot in the 2NR. Read impact defense against the 1AC in the 1NC or make indicts to the affirmative substance/framing level claims, otherwise the aff debater will just go for case outweighs every single time.
Performance Debate: I'm always down to listen/watch. You must have a methodology and defend an advocacy. Explain how your performance (aff or neg) does something whether that be within debate or this round etc.
Topicality: Same rules apply with theory except I don't vote for RVI's on T because that doesn't make sense. DON'T FORGET TO WEIGH AGAINST THE CI/STANDARDS. You must have offense under T to win so do that. I also think this is a legitimate strategy against non-topical affs and can be a means of pointing out the flaws of their affirmative. You must have specific TVA(s) against K affs and have clear justifications as to why your model of debate is good/better.
Framework: I read a lot of policy positions in high school so I'm comfortable with util debate of course. I am not very good at evaluating dense fw, so If you choose to read a dense framework just give me a decent overview of the FW and how offense operates under it i.e. what do I evaluate, how it affirms or negates, how it/if it precludes your opponents argument and offense. I don't typically see a lot of these types of debates when I judge, so pref accordingly if you only like reading phil positions.
Policy args (LARP): Go for it. I usually read a plan aff if I didn't read a K/critical aff. Counterplans are cool and you must have net benefits on it. Be ready to have the textual/functional competition debate. I don't care for condo bad/good debate unless multiple offs that are conditional. PICs are cool. Disads are always a good strat as well and even better if it is impacted as a net benefit to the cp. Make sure to generate offense and you must have impact calculus.
General: Clarity is important and debaters forget to slow down on long blocks of analytics (especially for T/theory) and pls try to follow the line by line as best you can.
Case: Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part to every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.
Policy Affs: if you have a traditional policy aff just slow down on the plan text pls and have some sort of impact calc in the 2AR. I think these are fine.
CP/DA: Go for it. Don't forget to ask the status and PICs are fine. Test the competition of the cp(s) and make impact turns/defense. Explain why the perm(s) won't solve.
K Affs: I'm all for it. There are couple things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your fw of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear is buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote neg on presumption.
Theory: Go for it I guess. I'm more persuaded more by competing interps than reasonability.
Kritiks: I like them. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable, but sort of high threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism. You should have specific links to affirmatives because without it you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact. The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explain the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation for if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually wining an impact framing claim. Please include some type of framing so I know what you are talking about. This can be a ROB/ROJ or any other framing you can think of. This also means your impacts have to link into a framework. I don't mind PIKs.
Framework: I think K affs vs T debates are interesting. I like fw debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more to competing interps than reasonability and believe that the neg should make sure to fully flesh out the link and internal link to your impact and actually make offensive arguments against fairness/education voters. TVA are my go to so if they concede it, I expect the neg to blow it up. If the neg has an advocate for it, I will be happy. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff team are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. Aff teams this means: 1) You need a counter interp or counter model of debate and what debate looks like under this model, and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. 2) The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. 3) Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.
Miscellaneous for both CX/LD:
- I don’t count flashing as prep time unless you're taking too long.
- Always be ready even if I am not present in the round yet.
- Tech > truth. the more you're proficient in the debate, the better your speaks will be.
- Respect your opponent's pronouns.
- Everything must be together in one speech doc before you stop prep to flash.
- Time yourselves.
- Flex prep is cool if your opponent is cool with it.
- Higher speaks will be rewarded with strategic cross-ex.
Here is a list of some people (in addition to Elijah) who are some of my favorite judges and/or have influenced the way I view debate:
Dr. Shanara Reid-Brinkley
Don't be rude and don't make arguments that are bigoted, racist, homophobic, etc. because I will dock your speaks.
email me email@example.com if you have any questions or fb message me
Miguel Sanchez Paradigm
I debated policy debate for 3 years at Heights High School in Houston. I have been judging for the past 3 years at Texas Forensic Association tournaments. I am a third-year philosophy major and I respond well to kritiks because I have read a great deal of the literature. Because it is my third year out of debating competitively, I am not great on speed. However, that does not mean I discourage debaters from spreading at the speed they are comfortable with. I generally ask debaters to slow down and be clear with taglines and authors. When I judge a round, I look for which team weighs arguments the best. The round goes to the team whose analysis of the arguments demonstrate precise reasons why the team should win. I try my best to evaluate the round based on my flow. I tend not to exclude arguments out of the debate and give debaters full agency of the round.
I default to tech>truth. However, when arguments talk about factors outside of the round, then truth becomes incredibly important to me. For example, arguments that talk about issues in the debate space as a whole rather than the one round.
My personal view of the affirmative is simply that it should push for a positive change in the status quo. I am fine with stock option plans and I am fine with kritikal affirmatives.
Counterplans and Disadvantages:
I will evaluate any type of counterplan and disadvantages although I have a harder time evaluating Politics DAs.
Theory, Topicality, and Kritiks
I have a low threshold for topicality arguments. If an affirmative team can make a convincing reasonability argument in the 2AC, I would most likely buy it. This threshold is generally the case for most other theory arguments as well. However, I will evaluate offense on the theory. For example, if the theory shell turns some part of the case, then it demands attention from the debaters.
Kritiks may be the only argument I have a partiality for. They are my favorite type of argument. Although this may lead some debaters to want to run them to gain favor, I am also acutely aware when a kritik is ran poorly. I will evaluate any type of kritik. When evaluating a kritik, I look to see if there is alt solvency. Generally, kritiks tend to have strong links but weak alternatives. I have no problem with in-round solvency, but the debater needs to make that explicitly clear. They also need to be able to articulate why the in-round solvency is key. When running performative kritiks, debaters need to remember their criteria so they have access to their framework. Otherwise, the kritik is harmed without some access to the role of the ballot or other frameworks.
For any other specific questions please feel free to ask me before the round.
Benjamin Schnuck Paradigm
I debated in high school for four years and competed at UIL State, among other high level/international tournaments. Additionally, I earned over 700 NSDA points during my time as a competitor. With that said, I know debate and am prepared for any type of debate you throw at me. As a judge I am what most people would call a gamemaker, I believe debate is a game and I'm prepared for whatever you give me. However, there are some exceptions:
1) FOLLOW THE TOURNAMENT RULES, I don't care if my preferences contradict the tournament rules, ALWAYS FOLLOW THE TOURNAMENT RULES FIRST AND THEN FOLLOW MY PARADIGMS.
2) Absolutely no racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia/xenophobia. If you raise any argument of these themes, you will get as little speaker points as I can give you as well as make you lose the round. However, I will not accept baseless accusations that your opponent is racist, etc. I have a similar definition about my perception as Justice Potter Stewart said in Jacobellis v. Ohio, "I shall not attempt to define... and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it." Although his subject matter was different than what I'm talking about, the sentiment is similar when defining what is and what isn't offensive.
3) Insults, Teasing, and being aggressive are a no go. We're here to learn and have fun, don't be rude.
Like I said, I will judge anything. I've run things like wipeout, timecube, shrek K, jesus cp, etc. Just contextualize it, if I want to hear some funny case I can just read it, don't run it just because you know I'll listen. I want a good debate and I want you to bring the best you have. I love speed and you can go full speed with me, just stay clear. I believe debate is free-form art, do with that form as you like.
As for specific notes about args:
- I like advocacy/non-plan cases but I need it contextualized for the real world. Show me what the world of the advocacy looks like, saying the case is a good idea isn't good enough.
- Method vs Method debates are fun, one of my most important values in judging that sort of round is root cause.
Additional notes to make me like you:
-I love wild kritiks and kritik affirmatives (but you must explain it well enough, i.e. don't throw some crazy kritik plan out there without contextualizing it with impacts, etc)
-New in the 2 is fine, I'm not going to buy any abuse arguments unless they sandbag like 5 new args in the 2
-If you make good puns I'll give you more speaks
-I love speed but if you go supersonic get me a copy of your speech
-I'm a sucker for quality analytics, beyond just blocks that you've written down. Show me that you know what's happening in round.
-disclosure theory always sucks
Eric Schwerdtfeger Paradigm
Coach at Westside High School
Email (please include me on the email chain): firstname.lastname@example.org
Being friendly with everyone in the round goes a long way with me, and I appreciate transparent disclosure practice. Other than that, do your thing and I'll do my best to evaluate it as objectively as possible. Being specific is never a bad thing. Speed is fine, but I flow the entire round on paper so slowing down for tags and being clear is to your advantage. Above all, have fun and enjoy the process. My general thoughts are outlined below. If you have specific questions, don't hesitate to ask via email (I do my best to respond quickly) or before the round.
The scenarios articulated in disads should be plausible with lots of warrants. Uniqueness evidence should be recent, and links should be specific. I'd rather hear the net-benefit to the counter-plan articulated as an analytic comparison between the warrants for solvency that are presented in round than as a prewritten block.Topicality is fine, but those debates usually end up a wash. I will vote on framework in K v Policy rounds if you win it. TVAs are a must. I'm okay with fairness as a voter for procedural arguments but I don't find it very compelling in and of itself. Debate is an educational activity, so all arguments about fairness should be contextualized as such.
Ks are good on either side of the debate. On the neg I'll evaluate them if they're embedded as a part of a policy strategy, but I'd prefer to listen to them as a one off strategy. Long overviews at the top of the 2NC aren't all they're cracked up to be. Just start with major framing issues like ontology claims and your theory of power, then line by line the links to the disads on FW, the perm, the case, etc. I've coached students reading a variety of literature bases, but you shouldn't assume that I'm familiar with the jargon you're using. Simplify, explain, and give examples. This helps you in two ways: First, I might actually be ignorant of the lit base. If so, I want to learn; teach me. Second, it shows me that you understand what the lit says and aren't just hiding behind blocks written by someone who isn't you.
Additional Comments for LD
I enjoy a wide range of styles in LD. Traditional debate is good, policy debate is good, kritikal debate is good. Procedural stuff is much more prevalent in LD and has a flavor different from the types of procedural debates that happen in policy debate. That's a long way of saying I'm not super theory savvy so if that's your thing feel free to go for it, but it's to your benefit to slow it down and dumb it down.
Regardless of style or strategy, tell me what arguments you're winning, why you're winning them, and what they mean for the round.
Pedro Segura Paradigm
Background: Debated 4 years at Hendrickson HS, 4 years at Texas, current law student at the University of Houston. First year out as of the 2018 cali swings.
Yes pls on the email chain (note: I won't follow the speech doc but will check evidence after the debate is over if I need to): email@example.com
Generally: I tend to flow straight down on a computer for convenience but work backwards at the end of the debate to identify important nexus issues and line up clashing arguments. I tend to initially focus on these larger meta issues before the more granular details, although all of this is more out of habit than adherence to any strict argument-parsing protocol -- my RFD process is also flexible. I appreciate argument packaging and instruction on the frame/procedure with which I should evaluate your arguments and the debate generally.
Framework debates: I don't think I am particularly biased against any particular genre of argument or style of debate. Direct, creative, and/or critical engagements with the resolution are all great, as long as they forward clearly articulated advocacies and (as a very flexible personal preference) have some relationship to the resolution.
Framework deployed with just the fairness impact has historically been a tough sell when fairness is presented as a vaguely intrinsic good. For both sides of the debate, I'd appreciate some assessment of the ultimate good of the activity with which I can frame my decision and make comparisons. Truth testing arguments in the vein of "presume arguments are not true until we've been able to test them" have never been persuasive to me - the better version of this argument involves testing political tactics/strategies.
Affs should have counterinterpretations of some sort; playing defense is still as important as the impact turns. Topical versions of the aff matter.
Generally In k debates:
I love when historical/real world examples are used to explain and supplement link arguments and demonstrate alternatives.
"No perms bc method debate" isn't persuasive to me; by the same token permutations should be well explained in terms of what they include and what role each advocacy's contribution plays.
Jai Sehgal Paradigm
I will listen to anything and vote on the flow. Not great with phil, tricks, or pomo kritiks.
Tommy Snider Paradigm
Director of Debate at Casady School
Debate is a unique activity that allows for a plethora of arguments, styles, and worldviews (that would traditionally separated by academic discipline or specialization) to clash against one another. Simply put, I love debate for its diversity. I've noticed I have a weird reputation in different parts of the country. National tournaments outside of Texas people assume I'm a K hack because I debated for the University of Oklahoma in college. Yet in Oklahoma and Texas people consider me a framework hack. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
Put me on the e-mail chain: snidert [at] casady [dot] org
General - I’ve been influence by some of the best K coaches in the country and a common theme among them, which has been ingrained in my brain, has been:
“You are a debater, not a philosopher.”
This should be your guiding principle when reading and answering a kritik in front of me. Debaters seem to rely more on jargon than actually doing the work of explaining and applying their argument. Unnecessarily complex kritiks won't get good speaker points (90% of the time you could have just read the cap k).
No overviews on a separate sheet of paper.
Neg - Kritiks, typically, come from literature bases that have robust explanatory power for the way the world/power/violence works, which I don't see many debaters take advantage of. Instead of using this theory as a way to control large parts of the debate, debaters start and stop at "X is the root cause."
I'm not persuaded much by self-serving counter interpretations on framework. There needs to be a very compelling reason to not let the affirmative weigh the plan. That said, most of the reasons why I shouldn't evaluate the plan are typically offense against it. For example while I don't find the FW interpretation "Debate should be about epistemological assumptions" very convincing, I will definitely vote on "the affirmative's plan relies on a flawed epistemology, which results in serial policy failure."
Stop reading Antonio 95.
Affs - The easiest way to beat a kritik is to defend your aff. Don't force yourself to play the neg's game if you don't know what you're talking about.
Condo seems to be getting a bit excessive, but no one goes for condo anymore so I'm sort of stuck with it.
See “tech vs truth” and “On Evidence.” If your Adv/DA isn't logically consistent then I probably won't vote for it. You should interrogate evidence quality and author qualifications (applies to advantages too).
Evidence quality and consistency is really important to me. Teams should point out when evidence is really bad (looking at you politics DA).
Tech vs Truth
I think of this as more of a continuum as opposed to a binary. I lean more towards truth than tech. For example, I have a higher threshold for arguments like “climate change not real” than “plan doesn’t solve climate change.” I traditionally evaluate the debate in offense/defense paradigm. There is a such thing as a 0% risk.
I enter every debate with the assumption that the resolution is going to play a role in the round. What role it plays, however, is up for debate. I really enjoy “clash of civilizations” debates. I don’t have a preference between skills or fairness standards.
Common reasons I vote aff on FW:
The Neg goes for too many “standards”/"DAs"/whatever-youre-calling-them in the 2NR.
The Neg doesn’t even try to engage the aff’s 2AC to FW.
Stop reading Antonio 95. Yes the second time was intentional.
Common reasons I vote neg on FW:
The Aff doesn’t have an offensive reasons why the TVA is bad.
The Aff doesn’t even try to engage the neg’s standards on FW.
I only flow what I hear, I won't use the doc to correct my flow. If I don't catch an argument/tag because you're too unclear then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Guaranteed 30 if you’re paper debate team #PaperDebate
My facial reactions will probably tell you how I feel about your arg.
I won't flow the overview on a separate sheet of paper. Bad.
You should wear pants and a shirt while you debate.
Mohammad Ullah Paradigm
Three main things I evaluate
1) Framework and pre-fiat arguments
2) Evidence Comparison: give me reasons to prefer your evidence especially to set the record straight about something.
3) Impact Calculus
Topicality is something I will vote on
Kritiks must have an alt. it must be clear through Cross X and Speech what the world of the alt looks like.
Eugene Ungar Paradigm
I graduated from Clear Lake HS in 2018 and I’m a freshman at UH majoring in design. In high school I participated in debate for three years, and I have experience in LD, PF, and CX. I qualled for NSDA nats and TFA state in CX, and I’ve been judging at locals regularly. As of writing this I’m comfortable with the 2018-19 Policy topic, for other events I will inform you if I’m not.
I strongly believe debate is- before anything else- a learning activity, and it should be treated as such. To better accommodate this space for you and your competitors, I do not tolerate any of the following:
· Bad sportsmanship before, during, or after the round (I will find your coach if I need to)
o You will get one warning, after that speaks will drop to the minimum
· Racism, Sexism, etc.
Per league rules, I prefer to be flashed in if the competitors are flashing, but I really don’t mind how fast you go if you remain clear, if not, then you won’t be on my flow. Quality over quantity is a good rule to follow when choosing what to read, too many args/cards on the flow is annoying, so please don’t throw fifteen of the same card at me unless it is necessary to the debate.
Non-topical affs are refreshing, and in most cases will contribute to the education of both sides, so just go for it, and make sure you have substantial defense. On the neg side, I have voted on T before, so if you think you can win it, run it. In general though, I default to reasonability over competing interps. Please don’t muddle up the T debate, too often both sides just repeat their interps, if you don’t have new ones, gloss over it quickly and tell me why YOU think you’re winning the T debate and I’ll be more likely to believe you.
I will vote on theory and encourage you to bring it out because it makes the rounds exciting. I prefer you have a clear interpretation of the limits you want to set, and an abundantly clear link to your opponent. I like to keep your options open, so I’d say I’m more a tech judge, you should be prepared for any argument your opponent brings up, however you plan on attacking it.
CP’s are great, but if you’re running one with only slight differences from the aff plan such as actor cp’s, delay cp’s, you must clearly show me you’re unique from aff harms. Fuzzy cp’s don’t win, it must be clean.
On the aff side, perming can and will win you the round, and more often than not it’s easily possible.
Above all else, K’s must be unique and have a solid link, and be clear about the alt world. I don’t vote on them often only because they aren’t run often, but if you’re up to the task go for it.
Critical affs are enjoyable to watch, and the aff has to be clear on the topic’s violation, and the method of getting to the aff’s ideal world. Both you and I know that K aff’s often don’t work pragmatically, so I’d like to see the neg go after that, as well as argue the framing for the K.
I think every round needs a framework to even run properly, and I’d prefer both teams have it. Generally, they’re going to be basically the same (util/justice), but when they aren’t I like to see them clash, I will vote on impact framing args, winning these args will most likely win you the round.
The two most important things for DA’s are uniqueness and impact, and that’s pretty much it. Run your args if you have them, but again don’t flood me, two or three really good DA’s is better than four or five mediocre ones.
Just don’t forget on-case arguments exist too, not extending case impx in the rebuttals will effectively keep your harms off my flow.
General tips to help you win:
· Slow down on tags/defs
· When doing open cross, don’t hog questions from your teammate
· Look at me occasionally, if I’m not flowing you should slow down
· Be polite during cross, and don’t scream at each other
If possible I prefer to give an RFD immediately after the round, and I like to stay and answer questions the competitors have.
Elijah Valerio Paradigm
HOWDY!! so yall are in a hurry or doing early scouting...Early scouting...good on ya...in a hurry...great shame...ANYWAYS, I'll just keep it simple and let y'all know how I feel about each argument one by one and how I give speaks, and oh and if y'all are really really in a hurry I'm fine with speed just keep it clear and let that shit rip as fast as y'all want, but if y'all are doing a bad job at spreading I'm gonna say clear two times after that it's not my fault if I don't flow. Debate is still a communication activity and I know thats lame, but thems the breaks. I'm a tab judge (or so I like to think) , but we all have our biases and I did a lot of K's during my debate career. I try to do my best to not let that affect my opinions or how I judge rounds but alas, I am only human.
Tech over truth
Be clear before being fast
Open CX and Flex prep is cool as long as everyone is cool with it.
I flow on my computer unless it is dead
I will vote on anything
Please use Speech Drop
flashing and email chain is fine just put me on the email chain or toss me the flash (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Prep is over when the flash drive leaves the computer
Keep y'all's own prep
Please disclose unless y'all don't know what that is and have never seen the wiki... this is for both aff and neg.
Y'all get to break new once after that y'all gotta disclose this is for both aff and neg
TOPICALITY- I defer competing interpretations at the beginning of the topic, and If its the end of the topic I defer to reasonability...Yes i can be swayed in the debate just make the argument and I'll vote on it. I'm not a big fan of annoying T like T Subs, but all arguments are arguments as I said I'll vote on anything. This also applies to theory arguments so just make it happen and I'm ready to go. The only judge intervention I have on T is based on forum of the debate. If y'all in CX T is never a reverse voting issue, but if it's LD I understand the time skew and will vote on an RVI on both theory and T but can be convinced otherwise for any particular round.
DISADS- I love a good disad and am willing to vote on any da no matter how crazy the scenario is. Yes I will vote on dedev or wipeout so it doesn't matter what y'all run in front of me, but just make sure y'all extend and explain y'all's links, internal link chain, do impact work, and the debate will be y'all's. Sorry Aff teams I don't feel sorry if y'all don't have the ability to answer ridiculous arguments thats on y'all not me. Not every card in the DA needs a carded answer. I watch the news and can use logic so...figure it out. This is not to say that y'all can answer things by saying "well thats just not true" y'all do need to to do analysis and have a claim, warrant, and impact. However the more wonky the card the more likely I am to discard if y'all have just a true argument.
COUNTERPLANS AND PICS- I mean listen I wrote some shady counterplans and legit counterplans in my day, and I'll never question pulling the trigger on one, but I got some rules before I'm shooting my win gun. Y'ALL'S COUNTERPLAN OR PIC NEEDS A NET BENEFIT THAT IS NOT THE NEG SOLVES BETTER...THATS LAZY AND Y'ALL ARE BETTER THAN THAT...Seriously though it's important because I need the cp and the plan or advocacy or non statement or whatever type of aff y'all running a cp on to be mutually exclusive. If they aren't that a big problem. Any variation of pic or cp is fine with me. Furthermore, I'm willing to vote on the theory of like pics or counterplans bad or whatever just run the theory in a legitimate manner and it's all good.
Kritiks- I love me a good ole K and it don't matter if it's run as a standard K, on the aff , on the neg, in a poem, in a personal narrative with no cards, but that being said I hold a very high standard on the K. Please know what y'all are talking about. Don't forget the link. Don't forget the impact. Don't forget to do proper extensions. Don't forget to do proper framing. Don't forget to answer all the offense. Remember I didn't read all the lit and won't assume things for y'all, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY DON'T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!!! Framework is an acceptable answer to the K but I prefer that isn't the only answer have some actual link turns and no Link arguments, and the same is true if they run a K aff. Framework is cool, but it would be nice if y'all have actual turns, a counter K, or some cede the political da or whatever. All around just some offense that isn't based on Framework or T ya feel. I like a spicy debate please don't put me to me to sleep we all gotta do this for at least an hour and a half and K vs framework or T only is kinda boring to me. I'm okay with floating piks, but they need to be hinted at in the 2nc/1nr. I will also vote on floating piks bad just like all theory make sure y'all do a good job running it.
Performance- I don't have an large amount of experience with them besides the ones that I hit highschool or saw in rounds I watched online when I was super invested in the activity. I just want y'all to be clear with how the performance functions in regard to my roles as a judge/teacher. I believe the debate space belongs to the debaters so I have no issue with them being run, but I like to know what I'm voting for and how that impacts the debate space or real world in both a fiat and pre fiat sense.
K AFFs- I ran mostly K affs in my career so I'm okay with them in the debate space, but it's better if they are related to the topic in some capacity. They don't have to be it's just preferred. I'm not gonna vote for y'all just because y'all have one, and I'm not gonna vote against y'all because y'all don't have one just do whatever y'all think is best and don't get lost in the jargon and lit. I haven't read every K lit book and won't so I need a good explanation on what the advocacy does or what the aff does if there is no advocacy.
Framework (policy)- Framework is always a good argument weather its framework in how I evaluate things or framework in terms of USFG Plan based debate good versus a K aff. How I vote ends up depending on how I see the round breaking down. If the debate becomes a question of fairness versus education then the person reading framework T usfg is probably in the driver seat. If the debate is whats the best forum to create change the person reading the K is most likely ahead. It's all about make me highlight the most important part of the debate for y'all's argument. I'm honestly split pretty close 50/50 on this question so just convince me y'all are right for an hour and a half and Y'all can win. I do understand that it's easier said than done, but someone is doing it so why not y'all.
Framework LD- Tbh I'm probably not the guy for classical framework but will do my best to evaluate it just make sure y'all explain it very clearly and have a good debate that I explain back to y'all if y'all want to win, and if I can't I'm probably just voting on whatever i think the offense is.
CASE- Uhhhh it's case have some offense have some defense don't forget about it otherwise I gotta grant the aff total solvency or whatever even if they do bad extending. I mean it would also be cool if y'all like put the case stuff in order based on the contentions, but I'm not too picky so its connivence not mandatory...For the aff, I want y'all to actually extend the aff and answer the case offense and defense. I know I sound ridiculous for saying that, but like it would be nice if a soul would ever do it just once. I really like the case debate and it can be a huge part of the debate or a useless part just depends on what y'all make of it.
Speaks and speaking-
Speaks are given out 25 to thirty if y'all get lower than that y'all did something awful as a human like impact turning racism or sexism or said something awful in round that just offensive. I will call y'all out on it after round too just to let Y'all know. I am okay with speed obviously I'm not debating anymore so slow down on tags and dates.
25- Y'all did bad and the speaking was bad (rare)
25.5- Y'all did bad from a strategic stand point and the speaking was bad but it wasn't the worst or maybe there was some highlight in the round. (rare)
26- Y'all did bad from a strategic stand point and speaking was subpar but there was a few highlights (rare)
26.5- Y'all did bad from a strategic standpoint and the speaking was mostly par with some errors but some good probably happened (less rare)
27- Y'all did subpar from a strategic stand point and the speaking was okay to less than okay with with a decent amount of good (less rare)
27.5- Y'all did slightly subpar from a strategic standpoint but mostly on par and the speaking was largely on par with some goods (less rare)
28- Y'all were at par with the strat and had some highlights and the speaking was par with some highlights think of this a true medium (likely)
28.5- slightly above average strat with on par or mildly above average speaking. I liked the debating y'all did, but it was more slightly above average than it was good or great. (likely)
29- Y'all had a good strat with some great things thrown in, and y'all had good speaking with some great emotion. Y'all honestly did really good and were just on the threshold of being great! If I'm giving y'all a 29 I think y'all belong in out rounds and I most likely upped y'all unless it was supper close and good debate! (less rare)
29.5- Good strat with a lot of great things and the speaking was also good with a lot of mostly great things happening here. Y'all did amazing and It's almost a guarantee I upped y'all if I gave y'all this! (rare)
30- Why are y'all even questioning anything right here? Y'all did great strat wise and the speaking was fire it had passion, clarity, and i flowed with ease. Y'all were like music, and had memes and analysis that sounded like the secret cord David played that pleased the lord. Y'all are a deity and I upped y'all no question. I will ask y'all to speak so I can sleep at night thank y'all for being in my presence... (SUPER RARE)
HAVE FUN AND HAVE A GREAT DEBATE IT'S Y'ALLS ROUND MAKE THE MOST OF IT. FEEL FREE TO ASK ME ANY QUESTIONS Y'ALL MAY STILL HAVE MY EMAIL IS email@example.com
Cameron Vaziri Paradigm
Debate Coach - Hebron High School 2015 - Present
Sure, I'll be on the email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm extremely tired of framework v. K debates. I get why it happens but please...
If the teams aren't an actual clash of civilizations then please just let me have a K v. K round.
I don't mind what arguments are made in a round, there is almost no argument that I can see myself just not voting for. I will evaluate the arguments as they are ran, which means that explanation and analysis are more important than number. I have experience with policy, critical, theoretical, and stupid debate arguments and, as such, am willing to hear any of these. To win a round, all I think that can/needs to be done is for the team to explain their arguments, do the impact work, and be strategic (both in how their arguments interact and where the team's focus should be). A team that does this will have told me what to vote on and why (this should be the top of your 2NR/2AR).
A few notes:
1. Don't assume I know what your acronym means.
2. I'm fine with speed, I'll tell you if you are going too fast or are unclear.
3. Understanding your arguments is the key to a good debater. Don't run arguments you don't know. Misapplying an author annoys me. There is room for interpreting and using an author but there's a limit past which your evidence is no longer relevant.
4. Quality matters. Quantity is almost entirely irrelevant to good debate.
5. I don't care about the "community consensus." Your argument is acceptable and winnable based off of how effectively you utilize it.
6. Kritik probably should be spelled Critique except on flows where writing "K" is easier.
I am probably more willing to vote on topicality than most judges are now.
The best topicality debates and the ones I'm likely to vote on are those that have a depth of theoretical understanding. Nuances such as textual versus functional violations and how those specifically link to standards or the relationships between the various standards (limits key to ground or predictability outweighs) are key to a good topicality/theory debates that can devastate opponents.
I don't take "reasonability" to mean reasonably topical. I don't know what it means to be "reasonably" topical when there is a violation. "Reasonability" is a response to "Competing Interpretations," namely it is a framework for evaluating topicality and differing readings of the resolution. Thus, "Reasonability" is supposed to legitimize your reading of the resolution or your "Counter-Interpretation." Was the counter-interpretation a reasonable reading of the resolution? Does the counter-interpretation provide a reasonable expectation of debatability? If so, then under a "Reasonability" framework you will win your topicality violation. Only in this way does "Reasonability" solve the arguments against "Competing Interpretations" such as "Race to the Bottom" arguments.
If you wish to critique topicality, go ahead. However, explanation as to why this comes before the violation is required, do not assume it is a given. Also, a critique of topicality is a critique, as a result, it is not simply another analytical response that is used to counter a time-suck. If you want to critique topicality, then critique topicality. I will evaluate critiques of topicality as I would a critique, thus look below.
I evaluate theory similar to topicality. Having an interpretation of what is legitimate and justifying it via standards is better than just a 10 second spew of random claims to biases. I understand the utility of theory arguments as time-sucks, however, 10 seconds is probably not enough to leave that option open for later in the debate. Either way, I will initially evaluate theory arguments as a reason to reject arguments unless told to otherwise and provided a reason. Every theory argument can be made into offense except Aff/Neg Bias claims, doing so will show you take the argument seriously.
I evaluate disadvantages under an offense-defense framework. I interpret this to mean that defensive arguments primarily serve to effect the impact calculus rather than directly take-out the Disad. For example, no link claims can mitigate the probability of the 1AC triggering the DA's impacts meaning the case outweighs the DA.
I tend to err towards a risk of the DA rather than 100% defense takeouts so make sure you make impact calculus comparisons if you only have defense in the last speech that account for the mitigating defense arguments. However, "Fiat Solves the Link" and "Process" (i.e. congress links to a courts Aff) defense are obviously 100% takeouts.
I like debates involving very specific PICS and/or very unusual mechanisms. I don't think that a solvency deficit means that the counterplan is nullified, just that the 1AC's advantages are now risks of a DA to the CP so it would come down to impact calculus (see above). Permutations require more response than simply theory. If theory seems like your best/only way out on a permutation then don't make it a small argument (see above).
Critiques or Kritiks:
This is probably what I am most adept to judge because of my academic work. I prefer and am more experienced with "high theory" arguments than identity ones. I expect critique debates to focus on elucidation rather than the number of cards or arguments ran. Your understanding of the argument is essential to a critical debate. As such, I think critique debates that use less cards and focus more on elucidating the position are superior. I think that most critique literature is rich enough that any critique can find good enough evidence to merit not reading much more, if any, after the initial presentation and still be able to draw offense against the other team's responses. In short, card dumping on a critique is the opposite of efficient, smart, and strategic. Put another way, if you can explain a specific link story that ties back to the logic of your generic link evidence then you have a specific link.
I understand critiques as Foucault describes them, "a critique is not a matter of saying that things are not right as they are. It is a matter of pointing out on what kinds of assumptions, what kinds of familiar, unchallenged, unconsidered modes of thought the practices we accept rest.... Criticism is a matter of flushing out that thought and trying to change it: to show that things are not as self-evident as one believes, to see that what is accepted as self-evident will no longer be accepted as such." However, that is not to say critiques attempting to do something else are illegitimate. This is just how I will understand your argument until told differently.
You do not win a critique because of your sweet jargon. Know what you're talking about.
I'm not inherently against a project team. However, I am against teams that make the argument that their opponents are inherently racist/sexist/ableist/heteronormative, etc. the moment they walk into the room.
This is what I judge most it seems and I'm just bored of it now. I evaluate the theory parts of framework as I would a topicality or theory argument meaning that you should read what I wrote above. Some notes:
TVA's should at least be viable as strategies to access the education claims that would come from having the topical debate. (I need to believe that there may be some form of solvency mechanism.)
Fairness as a voter is something I may view differently than most K-oriented judges. I think of fairness as a sort of morality claim, you harmed my ability to participate because your crazy K stuff is unpredictable or whatever and that's exclusionary. That can be weighed against the morality claims about good education, ethical subject formation, debate bad, or whatever. However, it most often doesn't single-handedly outweigh as the K team probably has a bunch of impact cards for their education claims.
This may date me a bit but I do think there are jurisdictional arguments that can be made to combat this. This may be a bit more of how policy teams tend to think of fairness now anyway but I tend to consider them separate as this is more of a Role of the Judge/Ballot argument. I don't think it's inherently problematic to say that I, as a judge, have to ensure that a debate is legitimate or viable before I fulfill whatever Role of the Judge the K team says I must fulfill (after all I can vote on alt theory that many K teams don't even critique). However, your framework arguments need to connect to this procedural voting mechanism (i.e. ground arguments apply but advocacy skills probably aren't a procedural issue). K teams need to critique the idea of a procedure or a gatekeeper that comes before ethics.
I say all this because when teams get on the fairness debate, I am sometimes forced into making assumptions about the relationship between these arguments because teams don't explain their internal link connections well. For example, when you are talking about debatability, I'm probably thinking jurisdiction claims. Or when you're talking about advocacy skills I'm thinking of fairness as an internal link to education. If you don't want me to make these assumptions then fill-in-the-blanks for me and explain which arguments are internal links and which are impacts and why.
Please make sure that you clearly explain your interpretation or counter-interpretation and repeat it throughout the debate when necessary. I think that too often teams assume the judge is clear on the nuances that their interpretations provide and how they avoid some bit of offense or something and I'm sitting in the back wondering how you expect me to type out 10-15 words verbatim without paraphrasing when you have already moved onto another analytic.
Any questions, feel free to ask or email the address above.
Jacob Williams Paradigm
I debated in High School for three years and this is my second year debating in college for the University of Houston. I’d like to be on the email chain: email@example.com
I haven’t judged many debates on the immigration topic since the beginning of the year.
I’ll listen to any argument but the team that wins will most likely be the one best explaining how to frame the round and weigh impacts. I’ll probably default to policymaker if neither team frames the round.
If there are any specific questions feel free to email or ask before the round
ricardo nunez Paradigm
I usually default to policymaker especially if its not clear how I should be viewing the round. Suggest ways to look at the round and weighing impacts asap.
I would like to be on the email chain firstname.lastname@example.org
T debates (and theory debates): there is already a lot of technicalities, so just go slow and be clear on T
DA: good spin > sepcific ev > generic ev. If the 2nr is da/case, spending a significant amount of time on the aff is probably necessary
CP: These are fine, I will only engage judge kick if you explicitly tell me to
K’s: Not too well versed in the esoteric, abstract kritik literature (i.e. dng). Be clear on how the alt solves the links to the aff, clarity, big picture analysis - do that and you should be in good shape.
K affs v k's: I tend to center my attention around the alt debate so if you can be clear on that front, its easier for me to grant a generous interpretation of your argument.
Theory: Default neg and reject the argument, you should give me reasons to do otherwise, don't expect me to be willing to vote on it if you don't slow down and explain your objection, most debaters spread blippy blocks that make it difficult to flow and evaluate, if the 2nr or 2ar want to go for theory in some form or fashion you're going to have to do a modicum of work, saying they concede severance perms bad for 10 seconds at the top of your 2nr even if true is not enough to get me to vote on it.
The aff should not rely on "CP's bad" and expect a ballot
I don't have too much experience with this type of debate so I naturally filter my analysis of arguments through my understanding of cx. If you want to take a more traditional or progressive approach, that's up to you.