Groves Falcon Invitational
2018 — Beverly Hills, MI, MI/US
Jennifer Anton Paradigm
Wayne State Debate
Coaching for Seaholm High School
Email: Jenniferantonn@gmail.com Please include me on your email chains.
The short version -
Tech > truth. A dropped argument is assumed to be contingently true. "Tech" is obviously not completely divorced from "truth" but you have to actually make the true argument for it to matter. In general, if your argument has a claim, warrant, and implication then I am willing to vote for it, but there are some arguments that are pretty obviously morally repugnant and I am not going to entertain them. They might have a claim, warrant, and implication, but they have zero (maybe negative?) persuasive value and nothing is going to change that. I'm not going to create an exhaustive list, but any form of "oppression good" and many forms of "death good" fall into this category. The "immigrants have too many babies and destroy the US environment" DA falls into this category of argument that I will almost surely not vote for.
Non-traditional – Not my cup of tea and my recent decisions back that up. Debate is a game. It might be MORE than a game, but it is still a game. Claims to the contrary are unlikely to gain traction for me. Given that, I'm a good judge for T/framework. One might even say it makes the game work. The affirmative is better off counter-defining the words in the resolution and using their offense to prove that their vision for the topic is better, rather than impact turning T. I don't think the correct palliative for inequalities in the debate community is to take a break from debating the topic. When I deviate from this predisposition, the affirmative has usually proven that there is a lack of access to the game for X group. I think these arguments are good, but not that hard for the negative to answer.
1) I'm not very good for arguments, aff or neg, that involve saying that an argument is your "survival strategy". I don't want the pressure of being the referee for deciding how you should live your life.
2) The aff saying "USFG should" doesn't equate to roleplaying as the USFG
3) I am really not interested in playing (or watching you play) cards, a board game, etc. as an alternative to competitive speaking. Just being honest.
Kritiks – Ks that do not engage with the substance of the aff are rarely reasons to vote negative. I'm really not here for your generic batailledrillard business and to be honest I only have a cursory understanding of it. A lot of times these debates end and I am left thinking "so what?" and then I vote aff because the plan solves something and the alt doesn't. You probably think this doesn't apply to your very special kritik but I bet you it does.
Unless told specifically otherwise I assume that life is preferable to death. The onus is on you to prove that a world with no value to life/social death is worse than being biologically dead.
I am skeptical of the pedagogical value of frameworks/roles of the ballot/roles of the judge that don’t allow the affirmative to weigh the benefits of hypothetical enactment of the plan against the K.
Theory – theory arguments that aren't some variation of “conditionality bad” aren't reasons to reject the team. These arguments pretty much have to be dropped and clearly flagged as reasons to vote against the other team for me to consider voting on them. That being said, I don't understand why teams don't press harder against obviously abusive CPs/alternatives (uniform 50 state fiat, consult cps, utopian alts, floating piks). Theory might not be a reason to reject the team, but it's not a tough sell to win that these arguments shouldn't be allowed. I've flip-flopped on "judge kicking" - if the 2NR advocates a K or CP I will not default to comparing the plan to the status quo absent an argument telling me to. New affs bad is definitely not a reason to reject the team and is also not a justification for the neg to get unlimited conditionality (something I've been hearing people say).
Topicality/Procedurals – By default, I view topicality through the lens of competing interpretations, but I could certainly be persuaded to do something else. Specification arguments that are not based in the resolution or that don't have strong literature proving their relevance are rarely a reason to vote neg. It is very unlikely that I could be persuaded that theory outweighs topicality. Policy teams don’t get a pass on T just because K teams choose not to be topical. Plan texts should be somewhat well thought out. If the aff tries to play grammar magic and accidentally makes their plan text "not a thing" I'm not going to lose any sleep after voting on presumption/very low solvency.
Points (updated 10/13/17 because inflation is reaching Weimar Germany levels) - My average point scale is consistently 28.2-29.5. Points below 27.5 are reserved for "epic fails" in argumentation or extreme offensiveness (I'm talking racial slurs, not light trash talking/mocking - I love that) and points above 29.5 are reserved for absolutely awesome speeches. I cannot see myself going below 26.5 absent some extraordinary circumstances that I cannot imagine. All that being said, they are completely arbitrary and entirely contextual. Things that influence my points: 30% strategy, 60% execution, 10% style.
Cheating - I won't initiate clipping/ethics challenges, mostly because I don't usually follow along with speech docs. If you decide to initiate one, you have to stake the round on it. Unless the tournament publishes specific rules on what kind of points I should award in this situation, I will assign the lowest speaks possible to the loser of the ethics challenge and ask the tournament to assign points to the winner based on their average speaks.
I won't evaluate evidence that is "inserted" but not actually read as part of my decision.
Inspired by Brad (I'll add more as I think of them)
Doug Bandow --------------------x------------------------------------ Doug Husic
Koch Industries x-------------------------------------------------------- John Koch
horse-traders ------------------------------------------x-------------- horse-traitors
Cats -----------------------------Bats--------------------------- Insects
Monster Zero Ultra x-------------------------------------------------------- Brad
Don Athnos Paradigm
tl;dr Do what you want. Be nice.
Hi, my name is Don. I debated at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, although that was over a decade ago. I have also been involved with Mock Trial and Model United Nations in high school and college. My fondness for international relations and public policy has been almost constant since I began debating. My formal education has focused on the sciences, specifically chemistry and molecular biology. I’ve recently started coaching debate at Okemos High School.
Feel free to ask me any questions before the round. Also, please add me to the e-mail chain: dlathnos(at)gmail(dot)com
Decorum matters. Be polite. Show respect. Have fun.
Tabula rasa: You provide the structure for the debate. I want to see you do the things you are comfortable with and enjoy. I’m happy to see you center the debate around critical theory, policy-making, gamesmanship, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Competing frameworks are also welcome. I promise to do my best to mitigate my own preconceptions.
It would be wise to:
1.) Have a claim, warrant, and impact for all your arguments. If you are missing any of these elements it will be difficult/impossible to evaluate the argument and weigh it against others.
2.) Explain your positions/arguments. The entirety of human knowledge is pretty tricky for one person to have complete command over, much less me. This is especially true if your going to shorthand your argument into an author or abbreviation without establishing a baseline understanding. Plain language is preferred.
3.) Perform a comparative analysis of evidence, arguments, frameworks, etc. I prefer debates where it is clear that debaters are listening to the other team and capable of explaining the interaction of arguments in the round.
4.) Weigh the round in the 2NR/2AR. Tell me what the flow for the round looks like, which arguments are being won by who, and how should I prioritize arguments on my ballot.
Some other things:
1.) Road map your speeches. It’s an easy way to keep the round organized.
2.) Speed is fine, but clarity is important. Reading headers/contentions/tags/theory in a way that differentiates it from the rest of your cards goes a long way.
3.) “Can I run ____ ?” Yes, you can. The only exception is morally reprehensible argumentation (e.g. racism/sexism good).
4.) Do I have to tell you not to cheat?
Luke Bagdon Paradigm
conflicts: groves high school, wayne state university, monster high
always put me on the email chain! Literally always! if you ask i will assume you haven't read this! legit always put me on the email chain! email@example.com
I mostly did policy stuff. I continue to do policy stuff.
some general stuff:
a list of arguments I think are bad:
- trigger warnings bad
- policy debate is boring, so we should do k debate
- “no disads because we said so” on framing contentions
- disad not intrinsic.
Stuff about me as a judge:
I do not follow along in the speech doc. i try not to look at cards. be clear, be concise, be cool. debate is first and foremost a communicative activity. i will only read y'alls ev if there is serious contention, or you tell me to.
I hate when people “insert highlighting” instead of reading the highlighting. Just read the rehighlighted part.
You'd be surprised how willing I am to vote on disclosure theory. Disclosure is super good and no one is exempt from proper wiki disclosure
Misgendering is bad and a voting issue (at the very least I will give you exceptionally low speaks). due to my gender identity i am hyper aware of gender (im)balances in debate. stop being sexist/transphobic jerks, y'all. it's not that hard. additionally, don't be racist. don't be sexist. don't be ableist. don't be a bad person.
Assigning speaker points comes down to: are you memorable? are you funny? are you a bad person? Did you keep my flow neat? if you want to know what runs through my head post-round, think about rupaul after a lip sync challenge in rpdr. cool ways to increase points: quote vines, rpdr, west wing, or chris fleming.
I usually give in the 28.2-29.9 range, for reference.
I run a lot abusive counterplans (make of that what you will). I think people should do more work on counterplan theory on the aff side, because I could reject way more counterplans just on that.
My default thinking on counterplan solvency is suffiency framing.
Multi-plank counterplans are cool, conditional counterplans are cool, counterplans with conditional planks are much less cool.
T a la policy teams:
I love it! Give it to me!!
Similar to “T not framework/Framework not T” header (you can look to that for more information), I like in depth-definitions debate, clash on the flow, and good TVAs. Reasonability debates are also important.
T not framework/Framework not T: I group these because I think they’re too alike break apart.
Cool things: the definitions debate, in depth TVAs, actual clash on the flow, not making me play oppression Olympics. Make fairness an impact, fairness is an impact (I cannot decide who wins the game if the game is unfair)! I often vote on the state debate, definitions debate, and TVA debate.
Uncool things: making arguments that aren’t disads disads with weird names, not explaining how to compare arguments, ignoring the case flow completely.
Other notes people might find important: I think debate is a game. It can be more than a game, but it is first and foremost a game. My ballot decides who wins and who loses. It can do more than that, but it is first and foremost a decider of who wins and loses.
Old uniqueness is bad uniqueness. This is especially true for politics disads or ones predicated off of the economy.
I like politics disads a LOT and almost 100% of my partner’s 1nrs my junior year were politics. This can be a double-edge sword, though, so be careful. i got some high thresholds, yo
Case-specific links are very good for you!! Non-specific and ridiculously generic links are not very good for you!!
I know things. I do not know all the things. Acting like you know all the things and that makes you cool is not cool. K debates often get caught up in the fun buzzwords verses actual debating. Debates that come down often flow aff – be careful.
They can be cool. They can also be uncool. You can make me decide. Since most of these debates come down to T, please see the appropriate header above. If it comes down to cap, you have to explain to me why voting aff makes capitalism worse, verses just “it’s bad because it’s capitalist.”
If it comes down to something other than those two options…
Olivia Crissinger Paradigm
Hi all! I am the captain/co-coach of the Traverse City Central team and I am in my third year of varsity debate (fourth year debating). I have been to SDI, debated on the national circuit, and overall had a lot of experience in the activity. I also prefer to be called Olivia (not judge) and my pronouns are she/her.
Here's just a quick overview of how I will likely vote...
T- This is a hard sell. If I'm going to vote on T I need to be convinced. This means you need to have the argument developed and extended in all your speeches. I am not going to piece your args together for you Typically a T win entails lack of explanation on the aff side.
DA- I'll vote on DAs all day as long as you can win the link and the impact. Impact calc is monumentally important if you're going to win this, and you need to really explain the link chain.
CP- CPs are good. Again, make sure you explain everything.
K- I will only vote on a K if you actually understand the argument you are making. If you can't explain in CX, line by line, and analytics what your argument is, you don't understand it and you shouldn't run it. I won't do the work for you or vote on you just because you trip the other team up.
I will drop you if you are abusive or discriminatory toward others in any capacity. This will not change and there are no exceptions. Debate needs to be a safe environment for everyone and if you do something to make another people feel unsafe, that completely ruins the debate experience and I will not stand by and be complicit with that no matter how well you debate technically.
I hope this gives you all an idea of who I am as a judge! This is a wonderful activity and I hope you all have the best experience possible and ensure that others have the same. Good luck and have fun! (-:
Rachel Fine Paradigm
Jillian Gordner Paradigm
Logan Jancek Paradigm
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - put me on the email chain
Updated for MIFA state finals.
Experience: 2 years high school debate at Mona Shores High School, 2 years college debate at Wayne State University, 1 year coaching at Mona Shores High School, 2 years coaching at Detroit Country Day School.
I have a fair amount of experience debating both traditional policy and K frameworks.
I expect everyone to be timing themselves.
I'll give a short version: I'll listen to just about anything, minus overtly problematic arguments (racism good, sexism good, fascism good, etc.), which will at best lead to tanked speaker points, at worst an automatic loss.
Dropped arguments are usually true arguments, you must make the argument early enough in the debate for me to vote on it. That being said, I vote on arguments I understand. If I don't understand, that's on you, this is a speech activity.
The long version:
K affs - fine by me, be prepared for the framework debate, win the impact turns to framework and I'll probably vote for you. That being said, I still have to understand. These weird "every theorist ever" affs are kind of getting out of hand, but if you can explain it, run it.
T/Framework - Framework is also good, but you should do it right. You need to have impacts to framework that you can weigh against the aff. "Fairness" is not an impact I'm going to vote for. Explain the impact to fairness (research burden, ground loss, etc.).
DAs - fine, run them, explain them, win them.
Theory - the aff's last ditch effort. Run theory at your own risk. The only theory I find automatically compelling is conditionality bad (and that's if the neg runs like 4 condo positions). That said, if theory is dropped and is a reason to reject the team, that is super bad for the team that dropped it. Best case, I reject the argument, worst case I reject the team.
CPs - PICs get the aff some leeway on the perm and case debate, I wouldn't run them. See above for how I feel about conditional advocacies. I can be convinced of most counterplan theory.
Ks - Ks should usually engage something specific about the aff. Specific links are good. However, I don't think you necessarily need them. Ks should prove the aff is a bad idea and prove the alt can solve it. They should prove the perm doesn't work and that the impacts outweigh the aff. This means you have to win the framework debate too.
Speaker points - I guess I give low speaks? I'm sorry, speaker points are subjective and largely useless except for tie-breaking. Doing things like using problematic language, misgendering, stealing prep, being generally rude, etc. will at worst get you dropped (malicious use of problematic language or misgendering will get you dropped 100% of the time), and at worst will get you docked speaks.
Ruth Kay Paradigm
Ian Kimbrell Paradigm
I coached for Saint Ignatius High School for 10 years in the 90s. I coached for Case Western Reserve University from 1995-2006. I started coaching again in 2016.
The teams I coached were 75% policy and 25% Kritik debaters. I am fine with any type of argument, but I tend to enjoy fast, evidence intensive, traditional policy debates that collapse down well to a few clear reasons for me to prefer.
I do my best not to interject my opinions or perspectives into the decisions. I like being told how to sign the ballot and will try to pick either the 2NRs or 2ARs interpretation of the round. I like analysis of warrants. Clash between competing warrants is makes for the best debate.
Bravado is encouraged as long as it done within the confines of fun, friendliness and fairness.
DAs: Analysis of the evidence, comparison of evidence, and clear articulation of uniqueness, link, and impact are important to me.
TOPICALITY: I like topicality debates but rarely see them. I look to compare two competing interpretations. I probably have a lower threshold than most for having to justify it as a voting issue.
KRITIKs: They are fine. I treat them like any other argument. The more specific the link evidence and link story is to the affirmative, the more engaged I will be. Permutations need to be clearly explained. I am open to K is bad arguments.
COUNTER PLANS: Counter Plans are fine. Permutations need to be clearly explained.
I have a bias towards new/odd arguments. Especially creative DAs and Counterplans. If you are looking to test something out, I may be a good judge to try it on. I'll make sure I give you all the feedback you need.
Briana Lewis Paradigm
Michigan State '18
I am open to judging many different styles of debate but that does not mean I am willing to listen to foolishness. If you are reading an argument that is silly, please don’t.
Full disclosure: I am not in a place where I can hear arguments as to why death would be good. These won’t work for me emotionally or academically. Generally, arguments that talk about death/suicide make me uncomfortable at this time. But that doesn’t preclude me from evaluating impacts like war, nukes, or famine etc.
I’m a person who prefers promptness on the part of the debaters and will work to eliminate down time during the debates.
In my personal academic work I study literature at the intersection of race, gender, and economic systems. Thus, I am most comfortable on those terms but I can read and pick up things quickly. This is my first tournament on this topic. Please be mindful of that. I do not know the acronyms. I am not familiar with topic short hand.
If you are advocating for policy options or critical approaches to the topic, you better be able to defend why.
i have debated with a plan and not. Both are fine.
With me it’s always better to fully describe your arguments rather than to quickly rush past something. I’ll let you know if you’ve been talking about something too long.
I prefer to hear what you say rather than marvel at how “fast” you think you are. I can follow debates at any speed however clarity is key.
I’ll give you commentary at the end of the round like standard and you can always email me with questions later.
Jake Maxey Paradigm
I am fairly new judge and find myself generally apathetic towards many things, as such I have very few strong opinions about most topics usually covered in these pages.
I debated for 4 years at Dexter High School and currently debate at Wayne State University
At Dexter I read exclusively traditional policy affs and at Wayne both traditional policy aff and more left affs.
I may make faces during the round that may either mean that I am not a fan of what you are doing or I am tired and cursing myself for getting out of bed that morning. Regardless don't let that deter you from "doin' you."
Do whatever you want (there are exceptions dictated below), explain it well, tech over truth, and if both sides have similar qualities of evidence I default to spin.
As an important note to begin that while these opinions may influence how I perceive and think about the round, they are not the end of the discussion. I will do my best to evaluate the round as it happened based on my flow. Just do whatever it is that you want to do, your goal is to convince me that your line of argumentation is best and that as a result I should vote for you.
I tend to default to an Offense/Defense paradigm due to reasons of laziness, however I tend to think it is not a particularly useful way of thinking about things. A simplified version of what I think may be better is to consider risk. This involves a threshold where I think that sufficient defense can convince that something is just as likely not to happen as it is to happen. Slightly more bluntly, a reasonable to high risk of a non extinction event can outweigh a low to minuscule risk of extinction. This also means that with sufficient defense, a more nebulous ontological impact can outweigh even the aff's "seven extinctions."
Love big case debates - perhaps my favorite strategy while debating is the super specific case turn or the generic but classic impact turn - these debates show off your research, indepth topic/aff knowledge, and are super clash heavy. Pulling this off successfully is to me very impressive. For the aff - I expect y'all to understand the strategy of your aff - I am sure that you put together the 1ac the way you did for a reason, now use it throughout the rest of the debate. My single pet peeve on this front is when 2As just read a large block of text to extend their entire 1ac rather than taking the opportunity to point out strategic points like concessions or flow interactions/tricks - unless you are making good strategic arguments or nuances this overview extension is probably just on my flow as "extend 1ac." Other than that I assume that y'all will just be doing whatever it is you normally do so just do it well.
T v. USFG Plan Action -
I have not really judged many rounds where an attempt was made to turn T into a viable strategic option. In the instance that some attempt was made, it has been too surface level. Given that I haven't seen many of these debate really play out, I don't know exactly what I find compelling - I think that the impact portion of the T debate should be handled much like a disad. You have internal links to an impact based on an interpretation of a word/s of the resolution. This is basically always Fairness or Education in some form. K's of T are fine is handled along the lines of my other thoughts on Kritiks. In this instance though a way I am probably more persuaded by an explanation of how the Kritik of their interpretation affects their Fairness and Education claims.
Also here are one of the above exceptions to the "Do whatever you want" rule - NEVER attempt to make T a RVI (you smirk, you laugh, but enough have tried it in front of me that I feel the need to mention this), the aff has the burden to prove that they are topical is the neg brings it up - I am leaning toward the not even requiring negs to answer it - you will lose speaks, end of discussion.
T v. Not USFG Plan Action -
Similar story as above but I tend to err aff as most neg teams seem to be too whiny or simply lack sufficient defense to aff offense - I find that the most compelling args have to do with policy simulation (not roleplay) good and am potentially willing to buy a big fairness push if it moves beyond the usual tagline "but it is unpredictable and makes it impossible to be neg," this will also require that you answer any access arguments the aff may have. Agonism based Framework arguments are also becoming something that I tend to agree with, but I am still trying to organize my thoughts about this.
In the instance that the aff chooses to K the negs interp, I simply ask that you impact it in a way that makes sense for a procedural question of "whether this debate ought to have occurred." (Yes obvious, but again teams have read them and never explained why it actually answers the negs interp).
I have begun to enjoy these debates more now that I am out of high school - I still am not a perfect judge for these debates given that I am not super well read in the various literature - I do know some of it, but it would be better if you assume that I don't get it and then explain arguments rather than blast through with buzz words and other jargon. I tend to think that the neg is well suited by using specific parts of the aff speeches and evidence to help their link/impact story. Framework is very important for both sides, I am lazy, so with out it I find that I default to "well extinction is super bad and stuff." I also can be fairly easily convinced that the K doesn't need to prove that it solves all of the real world issues of X but that it is a better understanding of X and proves that the aff doesn't access said good stuff thus the aff should lose.
Super awesome - I think the Link and Internal Link are the most important and often under-utilized part of the debate (I have certainly been guilty of this myself). Not much else to say, I think.
Also pretty great - I tend to think that most CPs are fine, this however depends on the topic/aff. CPs like Word PICs and the "Do the aff minus 1 person/penny" are also usually stupid/probably illegitimate. Specific literature goes a long way toward proving CP legitimacy in my mind, at least in terms of Consult and Conditions CPs. In terms of other sorts of questionably legitimate CPs I don't really have many thoughts but in general the further away from aff/topic specific literature the more accepting of aff theory/perm legitimacy I become.
In terms of competition I don't have a ton of thoughts assuming for all other intents and purposes that the CP is legitimate. I think that it is burden of the neg to prove a meaningful opportunity cost to voting aff, which means y'all definitely have to win something more than just a nebulous "solves enough of the aff and I guess makes a sad child slight less sad."
I think one or two conditional options are acceptable, any more and I am more receptive to theory arguments. This is magnified if they contradict. Most theory arguments are reasons to reject the argument or a justification for some other potentially objectionable argument. However conditionality is always a reason to reject the team, the "reject the arg not the team" is nonsensical to me.
I really don't want to be at all responsible for timing anything - time yourselves, be honest, I will be upset if have to find a timer or use my phone's timer (it kind of sucks)
Ethics stuff - less serious, stealing prep, first time it is a warning then it comes out of your prep time (which the other team gets to time) and hurts your speaks - more serious, clipping and the like, I will not tape nor call you out on it. If the other team thinks you clipping they can challenge you on it, I will stop the round and ask for a recording and speech doc to determine the validity of the challenge. If I think that you are clipping (consistent, lines - not just you didn't say a word like "a") you will lose the round and recieve zero speaker points, and vis-versa if I think that you are not clipping.
Offensive actions or language or any other type of harassment will also not be policed by myself but the other team may ask to stop the round to address it. It can/should be remedied (in terms of the ballot) with an apology (also assuming it was not intentional/severity) - if the language continues then you may face consequences depending on severity of the action/language.
Be nice (or at least professional/courteous toward your partner and opponents), be smart, and have fun.
Bruce Najor Paradigm
Currently coaching at Michigan State University
Previously coached at Wayne State University (2010-2019)
BruceNajor@Gmail.com for email chains
Rules: (read: things you can't change through better debating):
-- Clipping is a loss. Once the round is stopped because of it, I’ll have to render a decision based on if it happened, not “did you mean it.”
-- I will enforce speech time, prep time, and speech order. This includes;
a) The requirement that each debater give one constructive and one rebuttal. You can prompt, but I won't write down stuff unless it is said by the appropriate speaker.
b) Answering CX questions. Some filibustering or vagueness is whatever, but refusing to answer can constitute a forfeit. Any combination of the debaters may ask/answer questions. After 3 minutes, mandatory CX ends and further questions don’t require answers, even if you’re using prep, unless the tournament invitation explicitly allows for “alt use time.”
How I Judge:
-- I am a critic. My role is to listen, write down, compare, and decide a winner based on the arguments.
-- When deciding between arguments that clash, I’m more persuaded by truth > tech by a considerable amount.
-- I compare evidence a bit more than some of my colleagues when making a decision.
-- I find myself weighing “the magnitude of the link vs solvency” more than I weigh “impact vs impact” regardless of argument genre (Theory, Framework, Disad, T, etc.).
Ks/ K affs:
-- I am significantly more persuaded that affs ought to be topical than not. I’m often persuaded that procedural fairness is the most important impact in a competitive setting. Affs can of course win counter-interpretations w/ net benefits.
-- I find that critiques grounded in the consequences of plans implementation with an overall disagreement on the worldview of the affirmative can be persuasive. However, two critique themes I have been decidedly aff on over the years; (1) When the negative critiques the affirmative for “insufficiently considering...” and (2) when the critique alternative is so inadequate at addressing the links that the argument becomes a linear disad.
-- I almost never vote affirmative when the 2AR responds to the disad with a big uniqueness push but is silent on the link.
-- You need a counter-interpretation on T otherwise you’re defending “no limit” (assuming you dont win a “we meet” argument).
-- There was a time I was the judge in the pool that carried the “try-or-die” flag the highest. I still might, but it’s a bit lower than it used to be.
-- Theory debates are probably where I lean more tech than truth. My heart is that there is a logical limit at 2 CPs, but the tech (and my voting record) has leaned negative in these debates.
-- I won’t kick the counterplan for you after the 2NR just because you said “SQ is always a logical option” in the CX. I require a complete argument, warrant necessary, in a rebuttal speech.
-- “New affs bad” / “you didnt disclose properly to us” / “Your wiki is incomplete” isn’t an argument I would vote on even if dropped in all speeches. Disclosure is a norm and I support it, but ultimately it’s not a right, and I’m not here to be the “disclosure police”.
-- My job is to vote for or against arguments, not for or against people. I can’t and I won’t judge a person in a 2 hour debate.
Shannon Nierman Paradigm
I debated for Wylie E. Groves High School for four years, now a rising Senior debating at Michigan State University.
Topicality: I’m not opposed to voting on T, but rereading T shells is insufficient. There needs to be substantial work on the interpretations debate from both teams, in addition to the standards and voters debate, i.e. education and fairness. As long as the aff is reasonably topical and it is proven so, T is probably not a voter. Also, if you are going for T in the 2NR, go for only T, and do so for all 5 minutes.
Counterplans: Any type of counterplan is fine; however, if it is abusive, do not leave it for me to decide this, make these arguments.
Disads: Any type of DA is fine. A generic link in the 1NC is okay, but I think that throughout the block the evidence should be link specific. When extending the DA in the block, an overview is a must. The first few words I should here on the DA flow is “DA outweighs and turns case for X and Y reasons.”
Kritiks: I will vote on the K, but I often find that in the K rounds people undercover the alternative debate. When getting to this part of the K, explain what the world of the alternative would look like, who does the alternative, if the aff can function in this world, etc. I am well versed in psychoanalytic literature i.e. Zizek and Lacan and I do know the basis of a plethora of other Ks. This being said, I should learn about the argumentation in the round through your explanation and extrapolation of the authors ideas; not use what I know about philosophy and philosophers or what like to read in my free time. Read specific links in the block and refrain from silly links of omission.
Theory: I am not opposed to voting on theory, but it would make my life a lot easier if it didn’t come down to this. This is not because I dislike the theory debate rather I just believe that it is hard to have an actual educational and clear theory debate from each side of the debate. Now, this said, if a theory argument is dropped, i.e. conditionality bad, by all means, go for it!
Performance: An interesting and unique type of debate that should still relate to the resolution. As long as there is substantive and legitimate argumentation through your rapping or dancing and whatever else you can come up with, I am willing to vote on it. Even if you are rapping, I would prefer to have a plan text to start.
*As technology is vital in our life, many of us have switched toward paperless debate. I do not use prep for flashing, because I have also debated both off of paper and paperlessly in debate and I understand that technology can sometimes be your opponent in the round, rather than the other team. I am being a nice and fair judge in doing this, so please do not abuse this by stealing prep, because I will most likely notice and take away that stolen prep.
FAQs: Speed – I’m okay with speed as long as you are clear!
Tag teaming - I’m okay with it as long as it’s not excessive.
Things not to do in rounds I’m judging: go for RVIs, go for everything in the 2NR, and be mean. Believe it or not, there is a distinction between being confident and having ethos vs. being rude and obnoxious when you don’t have the right to be.
Kathryn Polus Paradigm
Current coach for Traverse City Central High School.
Paradigm: I want you to frame the round and tell me where to vote and why. A well developed framework on which I can vote is key. I will not create your arguments for you, so explain them well. As a teacher, it is most important to me that you understand your arguments and learn from the process, so if you can create a framework that convinces me I should vote on it and is well argued I will vote on any argument.
Speed: I can handle speed, but please enunciate. Be sure to be clear on your tags and subpoints. Do not use speed as a tool to confuse. I would rather hear quality arguments and clash than spreading just for the sake of confusing your opponent.
Kritiks: I have no problem with K debate, but for me it must be combined with a quality impact analysis or alternative including a way for me to evaluate the round. Please do the work to explain to me the quality of your framework and why I need to vote in this way. Help me understand the world of the alt, specifically.
DA/CPs: These are great with me. Be thorough in your cards and links, and solid in your impact calc on the DA. Again, understanding of your own arguments are key for learning in the round. Please do not run blocks written by others which you do not understand.
Procedure: Be polite! This is an educational process and should be respected by all competitors. Regardless of your experience level in this community, we are all still learning.
I strongly prefer that you do your own CXs. Each team member should be able to articulate the arguments and should not rely on the other(again learning is the key). I will let you know if your tag-team gets out of hand.
Politeness and respect in the round is a TOP priority. I do not find any flashy behavior appropriate, and will take speaker points for rude interruptions during constructives or rebuttals, cursing or inappropriate language, racist/sexist/classist/xenophobic/homophobic comments to other people in-round, arrogant or insulting comments even if you believe you are winning the round.
-Road map before each speech. If I don’t know where you’re going my flow is already not in your favor.
-Having a card on something doesn't always beat good analytical arguments
-I will not assume dropped arguments are true if you haven’t done the work to extend it.
-Good analysis needs to make it all the way through to the final speeches.
-I need to be able to understand and find your arguments to vote on them, be organized!
I'm always working on learning as a judge and updating my paradigm.I think all types of debate are interesting and enjoyable as long as you do it well. Ask me questions, make good arguments, and help me understand why it is important to vote for you on any argument. Have fun.
Sathvik Rajagopalan Paradigm
I'm Vik, a varsity debater at Groves highschool.
now let's get to stuff Y'all care about
CPs- love them, but you need to specify a solvency advocate.
T- ill vote on it, but you need to sell it. I need you to explain the voters and why I should prefer your voters, interp, etc. frame how I should vote.
K- vote on it. but your k needs to have an alt, and your overview in your later speeches has to explain what it is, how they violate, why that's bad, and you the alt solves it. Just generic stuff. but if you want to run it, GO FOR IT!
DA- love them, ill vote on it. However, I hate when there is no overview at the top of the 2nc/1nr/2nr. so yeah.
theory- I know other judges don't like it ... but I will vote on it. But it needs to be substantial- has to be dropped or TERRIBLY answers.
K affs- they are cheating, don't run them
misc- if you extend something without warrants, I will give it wayyyyyyy less power than it could have.
- 0 or 25 is someone who: says something that is a borderline offensive statement, doesn't care or is on their phone or something, is just mean or bad.
- 26-27- needs serious work, relied too much on their partner
-28-29- pretty solid for their level, has some small errors and has potential.
30- best I have ever seen for a specific level
cheating- just don't plz. I don't want to mark you down but if your stealing prep(on purpose), clipping, or just speaking excessively past your speech time then it could end up with a 0 speaks and a loss
Although this may sound overwhelming, I like to say that I am a pretty reasonable judge.
to say the least, I'll vote on anything
Akash Rathod Paradigm
UC Berkeley '23
Okemos High School '19
My name is Akash Rathod and I am a freshman at UC Berkeley. I did four years of Policy Debate at Okemos High School (Okemos, MI). I qualified to the TOC with 3 bids reading mostly kritikal arguments on both the Aff and Neg (Settler Colonialism, Afropess, Psychoanalysis, Deleuze, Baudrillard). However, don’t let that influence your thoughts on me as a judge. I have found many “policy” debates much more interesting/enjoyable than many “k v k” debates. Go for whatever you think is the best strategy to win the debate and execute it to the best of your ability – I will be happy regardless of the specific content.
There is no argument I am not willing to listen to. Debate is a space to explore your intellectual interests and be creative, so you should take advantage of that. So, if you like going for the politics DA, go for it. However, you should refrain from arguments that directly attack a person’s identity (such as racism good, sexism good, etc.). I am perfectly ok with listening to extinction good.
Tech > truth – as long as an argument has some warrant attached to it, it is true until addressed by the other team. I will do my best to protect the 2NR.
Topic Knowledge – I have some familiarity with the topic, however, it will benefit you to explain complicated nuances and to spell out acronyms (only once).
I flow on my computer and like being able to line arguments up.
My email is akashrathod2019 (at) gmail (dot) com. I would like to be added to the email chain. You can also email me if you have any questions about my paradigm or want additional feedback about the round.
I will try to keep speaks in the range of 28 – 29.5.
Speaker points will be determined by your persuasiveness, clarity, and strategic mindset. Smart debaters will always outspeak debaters who are just really clear.
I won’t hack for your K – you must do the work of explaining your argument.
I don’t mind a long overview, but I would prefer it if all relevant parts could be moved to the line-by-line. I would prefer it if links were done somewhere on the line-by-line (I don’t care where just don’t put them in the overview). Also, labeling links with cool names is good.
Specificity is key – if you aren’t doing the work to show why the 1AC specifically is bad (by pulling lines from their evidence and contextualizing your 1NC cards to the action of the plan), I am likely going to buy the perm solves. You don’t need links to the plan, but you should try to contextualize your generic links to the 1AC as much as possible.
You don’t need an alt, but you should spend time framing what my ballot means in a world where there is no alt to resolve the K’s impacts.
“K tricks” are fine but be smart with them – don’t just throw stuff at the wall and see if something sticks.
FW is important – you should very clear offense here as well as defensive arguments. Having good framing cards in the 1NC (especially if you are going one-off) is important. I can be persuaded that I shouldn’t evaluate the plan.
Demonstrating robust knowledge of your theory, as opposed to constantly reading blocks off your computer, will likely boost your speaks.
FW should never be “Ks bad.” Winning the FW debate for the Aff requires having a clear reason why your model of debate is good (e.g. fairness, political deliberation, etc) and making sure you answer all the neg’s tricks (e.g. Antonio 95, fiat is illusory, etc.). Being technical here is very key and I can be convinced to weigh only the consequences of plan action.
Perms should be thoroughly explained by the 1AR.
I think a lot of the common “policy tricks” (pragmatism, extinction first, etc.) make a lot of intuitive sense, but you still need to do a good job establishing them.
Coming into the debate with a strong understanding of the neg’s position will help you immensely, so you should be reading their cards and making sure you use cross-x to really understand their argument. It will make it easier to find their weak spot.
K v K Debates
I can be convinced not to give the Aff a perm, but a lot of the neg’s arguments for why I shouldn’t are usually quite silly, but must be answered by the Aff.
Both teams need to have a robust number of historical examples.
Links and net-benefits to the perm should be clearly labeled.
While I read a K-Aff in high-school, I am very persuaded by a lot of the arguments by FW teams. You can definitely go for procedural fairness as an impact. I also like arguments about truth-testing/argumentative refinement and research. Explaining the importance of each these in the context of predictable limits can make a very easy neg ballot.
I am not very persuaded by impacts like dogmatism or state good. While I think there is some merit to the dogmatism impact, I haven’t heard a very strong argument about why that would outweigh any offense the Aff generally goes for. I think truth-testing functions as a much more persuasive defensive argument to mitigate a lot of the Aff offense. State good is more convincing to me as a K of the aff’s refusal of certain forms of political engagement.
TVAs don’t need to solve the Aff but should somehow align with the Aff’s criticism of the status quo. Having a card isn’t necessary but would be cool.
I am perfectly fine with a short 1NC shell with no cards other than definitions.
Impact turn stuff and you will probably be fine.
You don’t need a W/M.
You don’t even necessarily need a C/I – but it will make it harder for you to win unless you go for debate bad, which is perfectly fine.
Slow down when explaining your DAs – teams often breeze through several 1 or 2 sentences DAs that I can’t follow. Your 2AC analysis should have a clear warrant as to why the neg’s interpretation is bad, what the impact to that is, and how your interpretation solves. Examples here are key.
Defense is important, don’t forget it.
You should be very clear and upfront about why the TVA or reading it on the neg doesn’t solve.
Not much to say here. Impact calc is good and should be done sooner rather than later.
I don’t have many thoughts about CP theory – so do whatever you like. Words pics are probably not cool, but if you want to go for it.
You should probably have a solvency advocate. Using 1AC lines to justify a cp will boost your speaks.
I enjoy a really good T debate. Both teams should be doing a good job explaining what debate looks like under different interpretations of the topic.
I love a good impact turn debate. DeDev, Heg Good, Heg Bad, Warming Good, Extinction Good, etc. I love them all. Especially, against K-Affs or new Affs they can be very strategic and should be heavily utilized.
I will vote on new affs bad – given the neg can explain a coherent impact.
Don't clip. I will keep my eye out for it. If I catch it, I will warn you (unless it was egregious). If I catch you doing it again, I will give you 0 speaks and the loss. I will also allow the round to continue to the end.
If you believe the other team is clipping, start recording them and present the recording to me after the speech. I will listen and decide. You won't be penalized for calling out another team for clipping, as long as you do so in a manner that allows the round to continue smoothly.
If you are reading unhighlighted cards, I will expect you to read the whole thing, unless you clarify before your speech. If you don't, I will consider that as clipping.
Susheela Sreedhar Paradigm
· I debated at Okemos High School in Okemos, MI. I have helped with the Okemos debate program since graduating in 2014. I currently attend Michigan State University and I am not debating in college. I’m a Neuroscience major and a Philosophy and Cognitive Science double minor.
· I like T, but I want to see clash over definitions, voters and standards. Why is your definition better? Having a list of cases that would be topical and would not be based on your definition helps. Simply restating your standards and voters without clash isn’t good enough for me.
· I like being told what to vote for and how I should make my decision. I don’t want to be left to decide what matters in a round and what doesn’t, it’s also bad for you!
· Speaker points are based on cross x heavily and substance of your speeches. Please be polite, there’s no reason to be rude, and it’s unprofessional. Tag teaming in cross x is perfectly fine, I would prefer it not be excessive.
· Ks and CPs should be read slower, if you don’t want me to miss anything. I can handle spreading, but I can only write so fast, I consider myself in the middle regarding speed. There needs to be an alt to the k and that cannot be simply voting negative.
· If you’re asking if you can run _____, the answer usually yes. I’m reasonably familiar with the topic, but please explain your arguments.
· Feel free to ask me question before the round.
Ryan Timmis Paradigm
Stefanie Zin Paradigm
While I debated in high school for four years, and in college for two, it was a while ago. I have limited familiarity with most Kritiks and definitely not as fast a flow as I used to be. That said, you needn't act like you are giving an "after dinner speech". Related to speed, I also appreciate intelligibility. My motto is, "If I can't understand what you said, I can't flow it and if I can't flow it, I can't vote on it."
I am a bit of a traditionalist: I tend to have a stock issues approach to the AFF, I like clear and succinct tags on evidence. You can read the evidence as fast as you want (assuming you are intelligible). I appreciate it when the 2NR/2AR not only provide me with justification as to why they win, but contrasts their position to the other team and explain how they outweigh.
Tag team CX is okay, within reason. I award speaker points based on the quality/content of the speeches as well as CX performance. I want all of the debaters to be able to think on their feet and not rely solely on their partner to "carry them through the round". Please demonstrate your independent understanding and mastery of the material (this will be rewarded).
Finally, I have a deep and profound respect for civility in a debate round. Your goal should be to prevail based on the content and quality of your argumentation, not on your ability to subject your opponent to abject misery and totally debase them. (This type of behavior will NOT be rewarded).
Please consider the following elements with an "X" denoting my position with respect to the spectrum of characteristics.
No Tag Team CX----------------------------------------------Tag Team CX okay (within reason
I'll read no cards----------------------X----------------------I'll read all the cards
Lots of so-so cards -------------------------------------X-------- A few good, longer cards
Debate is about ideas--------------------X-------------------------Debate is about people
Debate is good/valuable -X-------------------------------------------- It's not
Conditionality bad-------------------------X--------------------Conditionality good
No process CPs ------------------------------X---------------Lit determines legitimacy
Politics DA not a thing --------------------------------X-------------(Good) Politics DA is a thing
Running Kritiks assuming I am infinitely familiar with them----------------------------X- Explain the K and the Alt
Clarity--X-------------------------------------------Unintelligibility (Trust me on this!)
I'm a robot-----------------------------------------X---Slow down on tags/cites/analytics/theory
Long overviews----------------------------------------X----Articulate positions, line by line
2NRs that collapse ---X------------------------------------------ 2NRs that go for everything
2ARs that assume I will AFF regardless------------------------------X--2ARs that tell my WHY to vote AFF.
I look forward to an enjoyable experience judging you and your team!
David Zin Paradigm
Debate Coach, Okemos High School
Quick version: If you want to run it, justify it and win it and I'll go for it. I tend to think the resolution is the focus (rather than the plan), but have yet to see a high school round where that was a point with which anybody took issue or advantage. I like succinct tags, but there should be an explanation/warrant or evidence after them. I do pine for the days when debaters would at least say something like "next" when moving from one argument to another. If you run a critical argument, explain it--don't assume I understand the nuances or jargon of your theory. Similarly, the few critical debaters who have delivered succinct tags on their evidence have been well-rewarded. Maybe I'm a dinosaur, but I can't flow your 55-70 word tag, and the parts I get might not be the parts you want. I think all four debaters are intelligent beings, so don't be rude to your opponent or your partner, and try not to make c-x a free-for-all, or an opportunity for you to mow over your partner. I like the final rebuttals to compare and evaluate, not just say "we beat on time-frame and magnitude"--give me some explanation, and don't assume you are winning everything on the flow. Anything else, just ask.
The longer version: I'm a dinosaur. I debated in college more than 30 years ago. I coached at Michigan State University for 5 years. I'm old enough I might have coached or debated your parents. I got back into debate because I wanted my children to learn debate.
That history is relevant because I am potentially neither as fast a flow as I used to be (rest assured, you needn't pretend the round is after-dinner speaking) and for years I did not kept pace with many of the argumentative developments that occurred. I know and understand a number of K's, but if you make the assumption I am intimately familiar with some aspect of Kato, Taoism, Heidegger, or whoever, you may not like the results you get. Half the time I still struggle to be conversant about what many of these arguments involve unless somebody prompts me (indigenous peoples and nuclear development, anthropocentrism, tech=evil, etc. is far more informative than simply saying Baudrillard or Zizek). Go for the idea/theme not the author.
Having discussed my inadequacies as a judge, here is my default position for judging rounds: Absent other argumentation, I view the focus of the round as the resolution. The resolution may implicitly shrink to the affirmative if that is the only representation discussed. If I sign the ballot affirmative, I am generally voting to implement the resolution, and if the affirmative is the only representation, then it is as embodied by the plan. However, I like the debaters to essentially have free rein--making me somewhat tabula rosa. So if you prefer a more resolution focus rather than plan focus, I'm there. I also like cases that have essential content and theory elements (stock issues), but if one is missing or bad, the negative needs to bring it up and win it to win. I do generally view my role as a policy maker, in that I am trying to evaluate the merits of a policy that will be applied to the real world--but that evaluation is being done in a format that has strong gamelike aspects and strong "cognitive laboratory" aspects. As such, I will accept counter-intuitive arguments (e.g. extinction is good), planless affs, etc. and vote on them--although you will have to justify/win such an approach if it is challenged and in many cases there is a bit of a natural bias against such arguments.
I say "absent other argumentation" because if you want me to use another process, I all ears. I'm pretty open-minded about arguments (even counter-intuitive ones), so if you want to run something, either theoretical or substantive, justify it, argue it, and if you win it, I'll vote for it.
The biggest problem I observed when I did judge college rounds, and at the high school level, is that debates about how I should evaluate the round are often incomplete and/or muddled, such as justifying the use of some deontological criteria on utilitarian grounds. While such consequentialism is certainly an option in evaluating deontological positions, I struggle to see how I'm not ultimately just deciding a round on some utilitarian risk-based decision calculus like I would ordinarily use. I've had this statement in my philosophy for years and no one seems to understand it: if I reject cap, or the state, or racism, or violations of human rights, or whatever because it leads to extinction/war/whatever, am I really being deontological--or just letting you access extinction via a perspective. That fine if that's why you want it, but I think it makes "reject every instance" quite difficult, since every instance probably has solvency issues and certainly creates some low internal link probabilities. If you do truly argue something deontologically, having some sort of hierarchy so I can see where the other team's impacts fit would be helpful--especially if they are arguing an deontological position as well. Applying your position might be helpful: think how you would reconcile the classic argument of "you can't have rights if you are dead, yet many have been willing to give their life for rights". Sorting out that statement does an awful lot for you in a deontology vs. utilitarianism round. Why is your argument the case for one or the other?
Given my hypothesis-testing tendencies, conditionality can be fine. However, as indicated above, by default I view the round as a policy-making choice. If you run three conditional counterplans, that's fine but I need to know what they are conditional upon or I don't know what policy I am voting for when I sign the ballot—or if I even need to evaluate them. I prefer, although almost never get it, that conditionality should be based on a substantive argument in the round, preferably a claim the other team made.
Theory and K's:
I can like both theory args, especially T, when the debate unfolds with real analysis, not a ton of 3-5 word tags that people rip through. Theory arguments (including T) can be very rewarding, and often are a place where the best debaters can show their skills. However, debaters often provide poorly developed arguments and the debate often lacks real analysis. I do not like theory arguments that eliminate ground for one side or the other, are patently abusive, or patently time sucks. I like theory arguments but want them treated well.
I'm not a fan of K's, but they definitely have a place in debate. I will vote on one (and have voted for them numerous times) if two things happen: 1) I understand it and 2) you win it. That's a relatively low threshold, but if you babble author names, jargon, or have tags longer than most plans, you make it much harder for me.
As for argument preferences, I'll vote on things that do not meet my criteria, although I dislike being put in the position of having to reconcile two incomprehensible positions. I'll vote on anything you can justify and win. If you want me in a specific paradigm, justify it and win that I should use it. I like a 2ar/2nr that ties up loose ends and evaluates--recognizing that they probably aren't winning everything on the flow.
I don't like to ask for cards after the round, or reviewing the evidence in pocketbox, etc. and will not ask for a card I couldn't understand because you were unintelligible. If there is a debate over what a card really says or signifies, or it seems to contain a nuance highlighted in the round that is worth checking, I may take a look at the evidence.
I traditionally rely on providing nonverbal feedback—if I'm not writing anything, or I'm looking at you with a confused expression, I'm probably not getting what you are saying for one reason or another.
Debate is still a communication activity, even if we rip along at several hundred words a minute. If I missed something in your speech, that is your fault--either because you did not emphasize it adequately in the round or you were unintelligible. If you are a gasper, you'll probably get better points if you slow down a bit. I tend to dislike prompting on content, but keeping your partner on pace is fine. I'd prefer you ask/answer your own c-x questions. I like numbering and organization, even though much has apparently died. At this point, even hearing "next" when going to the next tag would be a breath of fresh air (especially when it isn't being read off of a block). Similarly, I'll reward you if you have clear tags that would fit on a bumper sticker I could read without tailgating. Humor is a highly successful way to improve your speaker points. If you are organized, intelligible and funny, the much-sought-after 30 is something I have given. I haven't given many, but that reflects the debaters I've heard, not some unreasonable predisposition or threshold.
If you have questions about anything not on here, just ask.