Gig Harbor Invitational
2018 — Gig Harbor, WA/US
Brian Coyle Paradigm
Jacob Durrance Paradigm
Shane Easterling Paradigm
Nathan Edgar Paradigm
Jessica Finnsson Paradigm
Don Garnand Paradigm
I have been a coach since 1993. I have coached & judged Cross-X; L-D; and Public Forum. I have also worked with all of the individual events and Congress.
Here is the basic philosophy by which I judge the debate events:
For all debate events - you think about this information a lot, I don't. I'm an educator with over 25 years in schools. I like reasonable arguments and understanding your arguments and evidence.
C-X: I weigh the round based on the evidence given and explained. To simply read a card(s) with an author and expect that I know all about him/her, is not reasonable. You must explain why this is important and why this author has a superior analysis. Also, I won't intervene unless you give me no options. I flow - speed is not a problem. If I stop writing, you may want to slow down a little. Flashing is irritating, so keep it quick and clean. Technology problems are yours and I won't stop the round/prep/speech time if you are having tech problems.
L-D: I am old school. I look for a great value/criterion debate and a reason why your interpretation of the resolution and the evidence you provide is superior to your opponents.
P-F: I just want each team to explain why they have the superior position on the resolution. Be nice to each other, as I will deduct speaker points if you seem aggressive. There is no room for rudeness.
Congress: I like to see the debate advanced. I don't want a lot of evidence, just a few pieces explained well. Also, I am looking for civility. Be clear in your questions.
Steph Glascock Paradigm
Zackery Gostisha Paradigm
In high school, I did Congress for 4 years, and Extemp and Impromptu for 3 years. In college, I've competed in British Parliamentary debate. I mostly judge IEs but you might also see me in Congress. If you see me judging a different debate event, assume that I am an intelligent layperson. My preferred pronouns are He, Him, and His.
1. Be original. Seriously. I know every judge says "don't rehash," but that's because of how important it is. If you give the same points as someone else, you either need to tell me what your new contribution to those arguments are, or I can't rank you well. I am willing to count it as new if you give me a legitimately new take on that argument, or talk about why that argument is important, but if you don't do that, it's rehash. On that same note, I know it's important to have unique arguments, but please make sure your unique arguments are, well, right. If you make a point that no one else has thought of but it doesn't make any sense, I can't lend you much credence. Because of that, I'd encourage you to run your ideas for unique or interesting points by someone else (preferably a coach) before you make those points in round—what seems brilliantly unique because no one is talking about it sometimes turns out to be rather non-brilliant, and that's often why no one was talking about it.
2. Interact with other competitors. Also seriously. If you give a speech with 2 points that were both just refuted by the last speaker on the other side, I'm not going to be very inclined to believe your arguments. Tell me why they didn't successfully refute your points, and why your points matter. Also, if your points go against what someone else said, say so! Please name the person, quickly go over what they said, and tell me why you are proving them wrong. If two speakers have arguments that are mutually exclusive/refute each other, but neither one of them told me which one to believe and why, it's hard for me to choose who to rank better, which leads me to my next thing:
3. Weigh your points! Tell me why the point you just made is more important than any of the points other people made. Why should I rank you higher than others? Why are your arguments better? Tell me! Always think: "which points are the most important ones in the round;" if they were made by the other side, refute them, and if they were made by your side, either tell me why you have the best version of those points or why your points are even more important.
4. In Congress, you're debating bills and resolutions. I'm perfectly happy to listen to a moral debate about whether a bill is right or wrong, but I prefer arguments that directly talk about what the bill would do. Be careful though—sometimes a bill seems like it might do one thing but it actually does seomthing else. Because of the complexity of more legal arguments about how a bill would be implemented or what it means to government agencies, I highly recommend researching those points and running them by someone else too. That being said, I tend to prioritize a well-done argument based on the text of the bill over a well-done argument based on the general idea behind the bill, so if you can make a good bill-based argument, please do.
5. Speaking. Speaking isn't as important to me as content. That said, it will factor into my rankings if I think that content between multiple speakers is about the same (which often happens; it's called rehash). I also don't mind much if you read a lot, but make sure you look up regularly and don't just read off a paper, especially in open. If you read a prewritten speech it's also harder to interact with other people's points, so I think people tend to debate better when they use bullet points or only have some sentences written out.
So those are are what I use to rank people in Congress. A few other notes: 1) I'm ok if you're passionate or even angry, and both can excellent rhetorically, but don't be racist/sexist/classist/homophobic/transphobic or in any other way exclusive. There is no place for those attitudes in debate, or anywhere civilized. If you are, I will give you a very poor ranking and speaker points. 2) I don't care all that much about formal decorum, because the whole point of this is to make you better at speaking and debating, not mindless conformists. That being said, don't do anything rude or egregiously outside reasonable expectations of decorum. 3) I like humor. If you can make me laugh, you will rank better.
Rosie Huang Paradigm
John Janakiraman Paradigm
George Means Paradigm
Piper Ragland Paradigm
Paul Sealey Paradigm
Background: I competed for a couple years with no particular accolades. I judge Congress a lot. If you see me as a judge in a debate event other than Congress, consider me a smart lay judge with little to no understanding of conventions of your event.
Frankly, Congress is not as complicated as other debate events. You only get three minutes, and there aren't a ton of different ways to argue compared to other debate events. That said, this is how I will judge you in Congress:
-Content matters a lot to me. Lots of judges say they don't like rehash, but I really mean it. If you are the 5th speaker you should probably reference what other speakers are saying. If you are the 15th speaker, please don't pretend your points are new. Flow the round, weigh the values of both sides and argue why the values of your side are the most important of the round. If you have evidence that suggests that your side should win a value that the other side has tried to claim, explain why your side should get that claim over the other, rather than just stating that you do and expecting that to be undisputed. If your speech would work as an authorship and you are not the author, you're not debating. You're giving a 3-minute oratory. If you don't understand how to do that, go watch any PF round and you'll probably see a higher amount of debating than I see in Congress.
-How good of a speaker you are will matter. I probably value your speaking ability less than most Congress judges in Washington, but it still will play a factor in how high you score and rank. Even though we are (supposedly) debating legislation, you're doing it in the form of a persuasive speech, and so all speech conventions apply here.
-Ask good questions. It's by far the easiest way to recognize who is paying attention and understands what's going on in the room. Any question that will be really obviously answered with either a yes or no answer is probably not contributing much to the debate. Ask lots of why questions, especially when speakers should be answering them in their speeches and failed to do so.
-Don't just read off a piece of paper. At least try to make eye contact. I understand why novices do this. I don't understand why open competitors do. It doesn't really feel like you're paying attention if your "contribution" to the round is reading a prepared statement. If speaking from bullet points makes you stutter or lose your train of thought a lot, practice your speeches until it doesn't. I would rather you be a little less polished but be more adaptive and open to your chamber, as long as I can still understand what you're arguing.
-Don't try to be too smart. I see lots of debaters try to be smarter than everyone with their "unique" points that have minimal impacts and/or don't make any sense at all. There's plenty of room for imagination in Congress, especially considering how interesting flaws in legislation can be, but run your point by someone smarter than you before you give it in round.
-Don't be a jerk. I'm a pretty informal judge because that's who I am as a person. I think there's value in making your participation in this event reflect who you are and what you believe. But don't be so loose that you insult people, make racist/sexist/ableist/homophobic/transphobic/any kind of hateful or derogatory comments. I do believe there is room for debate to be fun and also to not be insulting. Don't attack people, attack arguments.
Meykia Smith Paradigm
Elizabeth Velder Paradigm
Tom Wiley Paradigm
I pretty much just follow my heart...
But... I`m sure both sides have some very compelling reasons for why I should decide in their favor. However, the most important factors are the WORDING of the resolution and the INTENTION of the resolution. The WORDING of the resolution is static and doesn`t leave much room for strategic interpretation. The INTENTION of the resolution can be freely explored by either side to their advantage. The only reasons that will be weighed for the decision will be those that are consistent with the WORDING of the resolution and it's INTENTION (... whatever that is.)
Tiffany Wilhelm Paradigm
I'm primarily a flow judge. I value argumentation and weighing those arguments during crystalization in rebuttals. While I generally do not have an issue with speed, don't go there if you can't do it with clarity. It may be the best argument you've given in your life, but if I don't get it on my flow, it doesn't matter. I'm generally regarded as pretty expressive so look up every once in a while. Finally, I want you to write the ballot for me in the final rebuttals; give clear voting issues and tell me why you win each point.