DM North Polar Bear Open
2018 — Des Moines, IA, IA/US
David Basler Paradigm
POLICY PARADIGM FOR DAVID BASLER (Updated for 2018-19 season)
POLICY DEBATE COACH AT WEST DES MOINES VALLEY (IOWA), ALSO JUDGING ON THE COLLEGE CIRCUIT FOR GONZAGA UNIVERSITY
A QUICK SUMMARY (if you are accessing this on your iPhone as the round is starting):
Speed is OK.
T, theory, Ks and K Affs OK
No prep time for flashing.
Be kind to your opponents, your partner and the judge.
I will not be on Facebook during c/x.
"Clearly, some philosophies aren't for all people. And that's my new philosophy!" - Sally Brown, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown, 2012
I BE ME. I have been a high school policy debate coach for the last eight years, mostly at West Des Moines Valley (2010-2015, 2016-2019) and also at Dowling Catholic (2015-16). I typically judge between 70-100 policy rounds a year. Last year was an unusual year for me in that I did not judge as many rounds and did not judge at all at Glenbrooks, Harvard, Blake, etc. Valley typically has a couple varsity teams who are looking for TOC bids and I have 100+ rounds of experience judging at bid tournaments. I stay familiar with the arguments run by top regional and national teams and with the content being put out by the top policy debate camps. Some good teams even pref me.
I was a successful CEDA debater in college, but I did have a wicked mullet so that could explain the success. As to the 2018-19 college topic and the question of judicial deference and the judicial branch generally, it is probably useful to know that I have been a practicing attorney for many years.
U BE U. What kind of arguments do I like? I enjoyed watching Michael Jordan the basketball player more than Michael Jordan the baseball player. I want to see you do what you do best. My preferences in regard to certain arguments should not matter. I try to come into each round with no position on what the voting issues should be, although I do still believe in negative presumption. I also believe you can still rock in America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB3kQZJ2aLw
F/WORK. When it comes to framework, I will listen to arguments in support of any position, but if neither team wins the framework debate I will default to the question on the ballot- "I believe the better debating was done by ..." I will reject framework in favor of a K aff when the affirmative team gives me the more persuasive reasons why having a plan text, defending the state, etc. is bad. I will vote against a K aff on framework when the negative team gives me the more persuasive reasons why not having a plan text, not defending the state, etc. is bad. I will vote for teams that do not have a plan text and I will also vote against them.
"Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one." - Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890
MAKE ME LAUGH, GET GOOD SPEAKS. I really enjoy creative arguments. I appreciate humor. I respect debaters who can speak both quickly and clearly. I used to love doing c/x and I still love hearing a good c/x. I like debaters with cool nicknames like "Q" or "DanBan." I also like the words "kitchenette" and "flume."
POLICY TEAMS. Heg good. Heg bad. The government reads your email, so they know how you really feel, but I am cool with whatever. Because I am kind of a political junkie I love a good politics disad but that doesn't mean your link chain can stink.
WHAT ABOUT THE K? Bring it. Some of my absolute favorite debates I have judged have been K debates. However, reading dense philosophical texts at 350 words per minute is not helpful to comprehension. You know what else is almost always not helpful to comprehension? Super long taglines that are impossible to flow and lengthy overviews. Do it on the line-by-line. I would say I have heard just about everything but I am most familiar with economic theory, identity arguments, and Ks of consumption, technology and consumerism. I am less familiar with psychoanalysis but will always vote for stuff I think is persuasive (which means you just need to make me understand it). I am not a teacher (I am a lawyer) so I am only "in the literature" as a debate coach whose teams often gravitate toward and read Ks and Affs with no plan text.
As I try not to intervene as a judge, I am not going to give you the benefit of everything I know about a particular philosopher, legal argument, theory argument or a particular policy option. You always need to explain your arguments.
PERFORMANCE/"PROJECT"/NON-TRADITIONAL TEAMS. Sure. It is your community. I like the idea that you get to write the rules. Dance, sing or drum like there is nobody watching. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItZyaOlrb7E
"I wanna go fast."- Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, 2006
SPEED. If you are clear, I will be able to flow you. However, though speaking quickly has become a community norm in policy debate, debate is still fundamentally about the quality of your oral advocacy and communication. I think it is my job as a judge to say who was winning when time expired. This means I will rarely call for cards unless there is a disagreement over what the card says or I don't know how else to decide the debate. As Big from Gonzaga says in his paradigm- "Making a decision after re-reading read evidence in a debate distances judges from the performance of the speech and increases the likelihood of interpretive hubris. I don’t think either of those things are desirable characteristics of a decision."
THEORY. I am often fine with multiple conditional arguments, 50 state fiat, etc. I am also frequently not fine with it. Win offense to win your theory argument. Recall that it is harder for me to flow 8 points of theory than two pieces of tagged evidence and please slow down.Strategic use of theory is smart because it almost always takes more time to answer the argument than it does to make it, however, this also means I am going to cut the other team some slack in making their answers and evidence of actual in-round abuse is the easiest way to get me to vote on theory.
PREP. I do not require a team to use prep time to flash their speech to the other team. Don't steal prep time while the other team is flashing you their arguments. Also, if you still need to re-order all of your papers when you get up to the podium, you are still prepping.
"Gretchen, I'm sorry I laughed at you that time you got diarrhea at Barnes & Nobles." - Karen Smith, Mean Girls, 2004
MEAN PEOPLE SUCK. Even though I believe the sarcastic slow-clap to be an underutilized method of cross-ex, I expect you to be respectful and courteous to your opponents, your partner and to the judge. I can assure you that the best advocates out in the real world (whether they are trial attorneys, lobbyists, politicians, activists, writers, Comedy Central talk show hosts, etc.) understand the difference between vigorous disagreement in a debate forum and mutual respect and even admiration outside of that forum. I believe in a debate round we should all strive to disagree agreeably, and as soon as the round is over the disagreement should end. This is especially true given the divisive nature of modern day political rhetoric and/or many people's strong feelings about Taylor Swift.
It should also go without saying (but if it wasn't an issue I wouldn't be saying it) but you should not be touching or throwing things at anyone in the debate room. Always be mindful of the diversity of life experiences that debaters bring with them into the debate space and this includes, but is not limited to, an increased sensitivity to violence or violent imagery.
TECH OR TRUTH? If something is totally counter-intuitive and empirically false, telling me that (you have to speak the words) is probably enough to defeat an argument. However, I also like it when people take counter-intuitive positions and explain why they are true, even if our first instinct is to reject them. But yeah...try not to drop shtuff.
WELL DONE, YOUNG PADAWAN. I have nothing but respect for people who choose to use their free time developing their critical thinking skills and engaging in an academic exercise like debate. It will serve you well in life, whatever you choose to do, and this is why I place such a high value on the activity. I promise you I will do my best to be fair, constructive, encouraging and engaged. Hopefully that is all you would want from a judge. That and, during the winter, copious amounts of facial hair.
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Chase McCool Paradigm
Liberty University '04-'08
Policy Debate Coach @ Theodore Roosevelt High School `14-`18
Policy Debate Coach @ Dowling Catholic High School since `18
NFA-Lincoln-Douglas Coach @ Simpson College since '17
contact me via email at cpmccool at gmail dot com
Hello debaters, coaches, or other judges interested in my judge philosophy. I feel that the debate round is a unique environment where almost any argument can be utilized so long as it is justifiable. I say "almost any" because some arguments are highly suspect like "racism good" or "torture good". What I mean by "justifiable" is that the argument made, to me, becomes more persuasive when coupled with good evidence. What follows are my preferences on theory, Topicality, CPs, Kritiks/Performance, and Style.
I do not consider my mind to be tabula-rasa (i.e., blank slate). To me, the most persuasive theory arguments contain a claim, some support, and an impact. Just saying "voting issue" does not make it so - I need to be convinced that voting for your interpretation is justifiable, which means that I can cogently explain to the opposing team why they were deficient and should lose the round.
See my comments on Theory. I like it when Neg can show that the Aff's interpretation is bad for debate. Like many other judges, I am annoyed by messy T debates. The side that clashes the most, organizes the T debate, and shows why their interpretation is better for debate will most likely win my ballot.
I am a huge fan of creative and competitive CPs. If Neg can give a couple of reasons why the CP solves better/faster than the Aff, I feel more comfortable finding that the net-benefit outweighs case. The perm is a test of competitiveness. I will not consider the perm a legitimate policy option unless there is some good evidence read to support it as such.
I think that Aff should have a written plan text, but does not necessarily have to advocate for the USFG. Aff, if you think that USFG is bad, be ready to defend the theory onslaught by the Neg. I prefer the policy making framework, but understand the value of the K and Performance debate. The key for me is justification. Make sure you clash with opposing and show why voting for you is net-beneficial for debate.
I do have some preferences regarding style that you should consider in order to obtain one or two extra speaker points from me: 1) Clarity outweighs speed - it's ok to spread your opponent, just make sure you pick the arguments you are winning and go for them in the rebuttals 2) I lean negative - I believe that Aff must thoroughly defend the plan. My standard is that it should be more probable than not that the plan is a good idea in order to vote Aff. 3) Civility and charm go further for me than pretension and hate. Being classy and focusing on the arguments and generally making everyone feel good during round are skills that are valuable and actually useful in the real world. 4) Have fun and enjoy this amazing sport! Energy can be communicated through your arguments and when it does, it makes me want to listen.
Lauren McCool Paradigm
Style: I am one of those judges who responds very negatively to rudeness, disrespect, and offensive language.
General: Please respect me by not using graphic descriptions of violence or abuse in your argumentation - if you have a question about this I’m willing to talk to you before round. I will not vote for what I feel are morally repugnant arguments like “racism good,” “torture good,” or “death good.” Do not take me or my ballot hostage. Do not argue for a double loss or a double win.
Speed: I’d prefer you go slowly. Fewer cards often means more skill in argumentation.
LD and PF
I approach LD and PF rounds through the lens of policy debate. So LD or PF specific jargon, abbreviations, and tricks likely will not resonate with me. I want clear impacts and impact analysis. I do not like paraphrasing and I don’t really understand why you think it’s so important that you have a “meta study.” I want clash. Lots of clash. I feel like at the end of a lot of rounds I've not be told hold to weigh the two teams' impacts. So lots of clash is only good with lots of impact weighing. In LD, I generally do not know or understand your kritiks. So take the time to explain to me how your kritk interacts with your opponent’s case.
I think policy debate is about whether or not the aff's plan should happen.
Kritiks : I think that Affs should have a written advocacy statement, but they do not necessarily have to advocate for the USFG. I prefer the policy making framework, but I am growing my appreciation for performance debate. Despite working for the NSDA, I think there are a lot of problems with debate as an activity/community. If you choose to kritik the institution of competitive debate, I appreciate arguments that are solutions-oriented.
Theory+ Topicality : I was a 2A so I have a residual aff bias when it comes to theory. For me to vote on T it must be proven that the aff’s interpretation is flawed and that abuse has happened in round. I have a hard time weighing different standards for theory and T - you need to do that work for me on the negative, if you don’t I will likely presume aff on T.
I have a theatre teaching degree, a master's in performance studies, and a master's degree in teaching English Language Learners. I use Twitter - @mrs_mccool and like to read cookbooks.
-- NSDA National Office - Education and Recognition Coordinator
-- Dowling Catholic High School - hired judge [and married to DCHS policy coach, Chase McCool]
-- Institute of Speech and Debate (ISD) - Summer Camp, Resident Life Director
-- Theodore Roosevelt High School, IA - Director of Forensics (2013-2017)
-- Myers Park High School - LD Coach (2008-2010)
-- Policy Debater, Liberty University (2005 - 2007, the end of the BOD era)
Adrian Mitchell Paradigm
I am a former public forum debater. When you make arguments, make sure you understand what they mean. Impacts are always benifical throughout the entire debate. But extend the argument not the card. If you believe you have won a point, you should be able to summarize why you have into a brief statement as opposed to not mentioning it. By the end of the final focus I should have a clear presentation of why your team won the round. If you use evidence in the round, please have that evidence ready to be shown in case it is called for by the opposing team or me.i will give a verbal RFD about what need to be worked on or give suggestions for possible help.
Please be respectful, speak well, and remember this activity is one for education and fun
K Naberhaus Paradigm
Loan Nguyen Paradigm
I am a teacher. My hope is that the experience is fun and rewarding for you, even if you don't win your round. :) Unrelated to debate but similar, I coach and mentor poets for the national poetry slam competition Brave New Voices; I do urban arts and leadership, and a lot of that overlaps beautifully into Speech...Though, I'm often called in to judge for PF. I've just wrapped up a year doing PF so I feel fairly comfortable with it, though coherency >>> speed for me, always.
I appreciate teams who provide roadmaps and explicitly give & follow framework, as that helps me determine my role as a judge. Tell me how I should evaluate you, what sould we be weighing?
Decorum (your behavior) is very important to me. Good people first, who happen to be good at debate, not the other way around. If you become aggressive or rude to the opposing team, regardless of your technical skills, I dock speaker points and am less likely to buy your performance. Be cordial, be civil, it takes the fun out of debate when you're mean. We're here to communicate and to learn. (That also means, hey, don't steam roll your opponents during cross, especially if you ask them a question - interjecting so they cannot even respond to your question defeats the purpose. If I have to intervene, you will know that I am not on board with the conduct. What I look for during cross is questioning, not for you to solely have extra statement time.)
I prefer coherency over speed. I feel very strongly against speed as a means of pushing more cards without actually delving in depth. Remember that you are speaking to me, please don't mumble or speak to the side; I can't follow your logic and what you're saying if I can't hear you, and I won't include that in my flow. In your summary and final focus, I want to know why your evidence should be preferred, why your impacts outweigh, etc.
I try very hard not to influence the debate with my expressions and body language, but I know I have a really expressive face -- often times, if I am not following you or I am skeptical of what you say it will show.
Speaker points for me range from 26 to 29.5 (my "wow!"), I usually don't give 30s unless you are above and beyond.