North Texas Longhorns District Tournament
2019 — TX/US
Chris Agee Paradigm
Heather Berg Paradigm
John Biebighauser Paradigm
Brian Bloss Paradigm
I have been involved with speech and debate for 17 years both as a competitor in high school and college and as a coach and a judge.
My background is that I was a policy debater as well as an extemper and orator in college. I competed in the Dallas area. I also competed in Lincoln-Douglas (single person policy) and Parliamentary debate for Western Kentucky University.
As far as my paradigm goes, my preference is for substance and focus of arguments to be about weighing impacts. Don't make the assumption that I am going to do the work for you just because you throw out jargon. I need warrants because it is about your explanation of the evidence.
The following will help you know how best to get my ballot depending on the event I am judging you.
Speed is fine as long as you are clear. I am fine with kritiks provided you have an alternative. I think if you run T that in order for you to win it on the neg that you need to demonstrate in round abuse. Tell me what ground you have lost. I am not a fan of performance debate. The ballot is not a discursive tool for your movement, its function is to help provide you feedback on your style of argument and presentation skills. It also serves as a tool to show that I have fulfilled my judging obligation.
If you are going to run a K please don't make the alternative just to reject. There needs to be a textual advocacy for your alternative and alternative solvency.
I think you can certainly run plans in LD provided that you do the value criterion work. Please don't make the assumption that jumping up declaring "util good" suddenly means that you have done the work if you face an opponent that runs a more traditional value criterion set up.
I am a firm believer in making sure that you actually provide impacts and explain why your arguments matter. Throwing out claims is not a way to win my ballot. I do not consider new arguments made in final focus. I want you to make sure to explain clearly what is going on not because I don't get it, but because it should be that the best argument wins which requires you to explain it not for me to do extra work on your behalf.
I am fine with talking fast so long as you are clear. I will say clear once and afterward I'll either stop flowing and / or drop your speaker points a bit because you failed to adapt.
Abby Boerger Paradigm
PATRICIA CATO-YOUNG Paradigm
Have an argument you can defend. Not just with empirical evidence, but with your listening skills. Throwing every argument up against the wall and hoping something sticks will not work or get me to vote for you. However, clear, concise voters that outweigh your opponent's, will.
Finally, be respectful to each other. This is a learning experience for all involved. Knowledge with grace is much more impressive than power.
Stef Cambra Paradigm
I’m first and foremost an interp coach. Treat me like a lay judge who happens to know the rules (and yes- I know the rules). No spreading, clash is fine. If you really want to pick up my ballot, be professional- yes I like it when people stand for cross examination and are polite and supportive to their opponents before and after the round. I like it when I feel the teams are focused and paying attention not only to their opponents speeches but also to their team member's speeches. And the other way to pick up my ballot is to focus on cross examination. I find that a strong, quality CX can illustrate your ability to communicate, prove your points, illustrate your knowledge and understanding of the debate and show your best engaged debate skills. Anyone can read a prepared card. Show me you know what to do with it.
Please do not ask me what my qualifications are to judge.
I was a high school competitor all four years - competing in all Interp events (DI, HI, OO, prose, poetry, Duo, Duet) and Congressional Debate. I competed on the Texas and National Circuits. Here's the big thing to know - you should never change your style, material, or story to try to get my 1. I will always respect the stories you choose to tell, the performance you're developing, and your courage to be you and share messages important to you. I don't need trigger warnings, I don't need you to cater to me because that's not what speech is about. Just be you. My ballots may sound tough, but it comes out of a desire to help you improve. I've provided insight into what I'm looking for but none of it should force you to change your content.
For Interp Events, I'm looking for honest storytelling (talk to me like a person) and tech that helps enhance your story and not detract from it. I'm looking for clear, well-developed characters. I'm looking for an excellent intro that provides meaning and importance for your piece. I'm looking for excellent execution of pacing and incorporation of levels. Draw me into your story and leave me with something to take away. In addition, for all binder events, I'm a stickler for binder etiquette.
For Public Speaking Events (OO and INFO), I'm looking for topics that you are personally invested in. I'm looking for an engaging AGD, a clear vehicle, well-defined points supported with a balance of ethos, pathos, and logos. Share your heart story and be honest with it. Most importantly, these are two events where you can really be yourself. Be your best self, sure. But don't feel like you have to put on a whole song and dance to get my one. I'm looking for an inspirational, conversational tone. INFO - I'm looking for creative visuals that are well-executed and add value to your speech without being a distraction.
For Extemp, I'm looking for a clear understanding of the question and a definitive answer with supporting analysis (cite those sources guys). Two points or three points are fine, depending on the question and your approach to answering the question. I just want your speech to have a clear sense of structure and organization. I'm also looking for strong presentation skills. Have vocal variety, adopt a conversational tone, know how to present in a way that is approachable for all audience types and not just those well-versed in current events and extemp. Don't be afraid to crack a joke, but don't rely purely on humor. Fluency breaks, circular speech (rehashing points and repeating yourself), and poor time management could affect your rank in round.
Coy Covington Paradigm
Forrest Denbow Paradigm
Brandon Fisher Paradigm
I will rarely ever vote for a lazy debater. If you want to win a debate, you have to play the role of a debater. Here's how I break that down:
1. Debate has time limits for a reason. Your goal is to practice the art of knowing and preparing arguments within a specific timeframe. If you have 4-8 minutes of prep time, you don't need 3 extra minutes to flash evidence. Flashing is prep time.
2. Cross examination is not a time to ask random questions while you sit down and prep for your next speech. Every part of the debate counts. I give low speaker points to a debater who sits during cross ex (other than grand cross in PF).
3. Debate is a presentational activity. In my opinion, speed reading cards is not debating. Cards don't beat cards, you have to explain the links and warrants. Also, I literally hate spreading. I have ADHD and zone out very quickly if you aren't slowing down and explaining things. I hope you have a shorter case to read.
4. I will almost never vote for theory. If you signed up for LD debate, you agreed to the rules of LD debate. I don't consider making up your own rules as strategy.
5. While I understand and accept progressive LD and Policy, you'll have a better ballot if you run traditional because I understand it and have done it a lot more. I come from Colorado where traditional is all you ever see. That being said, I strongly believe you should stick to what you're good at. I'd much rather see a good Progressive debate than a slightly ok traditional debate. Stick to your strengths.
Josh Hamilton Paradigm
Aarti Kapoor Paradigm
Whitney Kelley Paradigm
Todd Kessler Paradigm
School Affiliation: Coach at The Episcopal School of Dallas
Coaching & Judging Experience: I have been coaching teams and judging tournaments since 2006. This includes LD, PF, Congress, CX and IEs at different schools in Virginia and Texas. I have had debaters qualify for NCFL and NSDA on multiple occasions which are both considered traditional tournaments.
Speed: Although I am personally not a fan of it, please make sure your spreading is clear and coherent. If I can't understand you, I probably will not flow it. If you see me stop flowing for an extended period of time then it would be in your best interest to slow down. I also prefer if you go slow on your taglines, analytics and any theory arguments.
Types of Arguments: Although I prefer framework heavy debates, a lot of clash in the round, and good crystallization and overviews in your final rebuttal, I will still vote on topicality, counterplans, some theory arguments at times and kritiks if they are explained well by the debater. I am not a fan of non-topical Affs as I tend to favor whole resolution ACs. Make sure when you run T, that you are linking your violation to your standards/voting issues and that when you run a CP, you explain your net benefits and how it's competitive.
Theory Argument: Please do not waste your time running any disclosure theory or new affs bad arguments. Not only will I not vote on these types of arguments, but if you waste enough time making arguments that are not related to the resolution in anyway, your speaker points will suffer. If your opponent runs new arguments in his or her rebuttals, then you can run theory.
Kritiks: Run at your own risk because I'm not really a fan of complicated philosophical arguments that have nothing to do with the actual resolution that should be debated upon. I'm not saying you can't win if you run them, but I might look at you funny and simply not flow the argument depending on the complexity of the K.
Speaks: Clarity over speed is prefered. If your spreading is incomprehensible, this will reflect on your speaker points. Any acts of rudeness or displays of an unprofessional demeanor towards your opponent will also be taken into account. If you go against an inexperienced debater or a traditional style opponent, it would be in your best interest to accommodate their format and invest some time clashing with or turning their value, criterion and contentions. Also, please do not ask me if I disclose speaker points. It's not going to happen. In addition, please do not use profanity at all during the round. It will impact your speaks and could also impact my decision so don't do it.
Tricks: Please don't.
Overview: Debate the resolution, clash with your opponent's arguments, provide framework, slow down during tags and analytics, don't run disclosure theory/new affs bad.
Email Chain: If and only if both debaters are sharing files, please include my email as well: email@example.com
Jordyn Kuehn Paradigm
*If you make any morally reprehensible claims in the round, I reserve the right to drop you. If you are spreading hateful rhetoric, you should be removed from the tournament.*
I've been coaching speech, debate, and interp for seven years and I'm currently the head speech and debate coach at Southlake Carroll in North Texas.
Public Forum: Speed is fine, but don't spread. If you're unclear in PF because of speed, I probably won't tell you because you shouldn't reach that point in PF. Don't be overly aggressive, rude, or shout. Lack of clarity or respect will lead to a serious drop in your speaks.
You should provide me with a clear weighing mechanism and justification for using it. If I have to do this work for you, you don't get to complain about my decisions. Remember that public forum is meant to be understood by anyone off the street so don't expect me to be impressed by sloppy attempts at policy tactics.
Second speaking teams don't have to defend their case in rebuttal, though it doesn't hurt to. Just because something was said in cross doesn't mean that I'm going to flow it, though I will be paying attention to it. Please don't waste cross. This is my biggest pet peeve. Give clear voters in the final focus and do your best to go straight down the flow. If you jump around the flow and I miss something, that's on you.
Maleda Kunkle Paradigm
Kattie Leito Paradigm
School Affiliation: Plano West Senior High School - Plano, TX (2013-Present)
Competitive Experience: Policy Debate (at a small school in Texas) and very limited Policy Debate at the New School University
Judging Experience: I have been judging at local and national tournaments for ten years. I mostly judge PF, Extemp, and Interp. On rare occasions, I will judge Policy or LD.
I don’t have any overly specific preferences. Just tell me how to evaluate the round. A framework with proper extensions of arguments make it really easy for me to vote. If nobody provides me with those things, I will use a basic cost/benefit framework.
Speed of Delivery – I am comfortable with speed (as typically used in Public Forum). If I can’t understand you, I will tell you during your speech.
Flowing/note-taking – I will flow the round. If you are speaking faster than I can write, you run the risk of me missing something on my flow.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me before the round!
Rhonda Martin Paradigm
Jonathan McNamee Paradigm
Eric Melin Paradigm
Debate Coach @ Coppell 9th Grade Center and Coppell High School (2018- )
Mean Green Comet Debate Institute -Director of LD (2019 - )
Previously coached teams: Grapevine and Colleyville (2017-2018), Law Magnet (2015-2017), Hockaday (2009-2014), Southlake Carroll (2006-2009), Colleyville and Grapevine (2005-2006).
I debated for Grapevine High School, graduating in 1997. I judged debate for a few years after that before taking some time off for grad school. In have been a classroom teacher and debate coach since 2007. I was an LDer in high school but competed in policy at some tournaments junior and senior year. I also debated for UT Austin for one year. While most of my time coaching has been spent focusing on LD, I began coaching policy debate regularly in 2015 when I worked at Law Magnet. I coached the policy kids at Grapevine last year and now (2018-2019)coach policy at Coppell and Coppell 9.
I think debate operates in a unique place in the high school experience, where it serves as a crucible for the development of advocacy skills and critical engagement that is not replicated anywhere else. I love this activity and want each successive generation to be able to enjoy it. As such, be good to one another! Take care of our space and leave it better than the way you found it. Come back and give back if debate has given you a space to develop yourself.
1. Please forward a well-developed ballot story.
2. Tell me what you want me to vote on.
3. Compare evidence - this doesn’t happen enough and it’s usually what close debates depend on to resolve.
4. K aff’s - I default to believing that K aff's should still be affirmative arguments. I think switch-side debate is good and develops a portable skill that other activities do not. K aff's should forward counter-interpretations as needed. I am willing vote on framework. That being said I am unimpressed with teams that run framework but never go for T in other debates.
5. Counterplans - when they are case specific they are great less specific is obviously less good. I am not thrilled by the 50 states cp or consult cp’s generally. PiCs are fine. The aff should have to defend their plan.
6. I prefer line-by-line debate more than long overviews. Too many rebuttals I’ve seen recently spend a ton of time explaining arguments in over views that should just be done on the flow. Numbering arguments and following the order of your opponents is preferable or at least be explicit when re-grouping the flow.
7. I cannot flow a string of unending analytics with no time to type even if its in perfect outline form in your speech doc. This means slow down on theory arguments, 2ac blocks of text that you have read a lot of times but I am hearing for the first time, etc. I will not vote on what I don't catch.
8. I will be following along with the evidence read in the debate on my computer. I will not be on Facebook or otherwise doing things that would take my attention away from the debate. I wish more judges would commit to paying attention to every debate.
Email chains are good. Include me firstname.lastname@example.org
LD specific (also see notes above)
Theory is over-used in LD. You will always have links of omission to generate violations. I have a high threshold for frivolous theory.
RVI's can be justified but not on topicality. That said ditching substance and going for 4 minutes of RVI in the 1ar is not the A-strat in most rounds in front of me.
You must email/flash/give a copy your cases (and evidence in later speeches) to your opponents prior to the beginning of your speech.
You may not read paraphrased evidence and expect me to evaluate it.
I will listen to disclosure arguments and theory arguments about bad evidentiary practices.
Devon Miller Paradigm
Clarissa Moreno Paradigm
Kevin Murdock Paradigm
Aldean Pearson II Paradigm
Sam Pietsch Paradigm
Andre Revilla Paradigm
Maryn Richardson Paradigm
Blake Seaman Paradigm
Jason South Paradigm
Matthew Stewart Paradigm
HS Competitor at James Bowie High School in Arlington (LD, Congress - Both UIL focused), 2005-2007
Degree in Communication Studies from UNT, 2013 (Did college policy at a tournament, shame really, but gotta pay the bills ya know?)
Byron Nelson High School (2018-Present)
Royse City High School (2013-2018)
(If you're gonna size me up on my qualifications before we start, we're not gonna have a good time. Why would you want to try and infer to me that I'm not qualified before we get started? That ain't it.)
Email chains are alright with me. My email for that would be email@example.com
The round really comes down to what you make of it. I prefer you debating at your best rather than trying to do something you think I will like best, but of course I'll specify some of my perspectives
There needs to be some genuine abuse in round for me to buy into a topicality argument. Frivolous T for the sake of having some time skew is not good. I'm gonna err truth over tech in that regard. In response to T counter interps are a good idea always, and I don't often vote on RVIs unless it's really ignored by the Neg.
Same as topicality. I think there can be some valid theory arguments in terms of things like PICs, multiple worlds, policy oriented, etc. but you need to make me understand why that has ruined the debate round. Debate should be educational, fair, and actually fun. People who ruin that by trying to game argument structure should probably need to answer why their approach doesn't ruin debate. I'm more inclined to accept an RVI on theory, but it's gotta be compelling.
I'm all for disclosure but I have a hard time voting people down for not doing so. Obviously if they have their own stipulations for disclosure and have run disclosure before and fail to do so, go for it. But i'd love for it to focus more on why disclosure is such an important part of the community, not just a "gotcha" type of argument.
If you don't have a framework, that's fine, but if your opponent provides framework, that's gonna become my standard for weighing impacts. Framework can be underappreciated a lot of the time. If you want to hit me with some dense framing, that's okay, but make sure you effectively use it to garner your offense. That's kinda the point.
Go for it for sure. I genuinely enjoy those from a structured perspective and there's no reason why they can't be used in LD. Kritiks are good too! LD is supposed to focus on that kind of literature anyways. As with most Kritiks, be good with your analysis. It all gets pretty heady when you go all in on it and you'll want to be sure you're keeping me with you every step of the way. I'm not too inclined to enjoy "Reject aff, interrogate [blank]" alts because those are literally the bare minimum for an alt and I think those are easily perm-able. If we gotta burn the government down and start over, then I mean, that's what we gotta do.
Whatever you AND your opponent are okay with! Speed shouldn't be a barrier to debate. If you can win spreading, you should be able to win without it as well. That being said, I am completely open with whatever your preferred speed is, of course slow up for Taglines/Cites, give me a filler word ("and," "next," etc.) to let me know when you're moving to the next piece on the flow and be sure to give me some pen time on Theory/Topicality shells. I will not shout "clear" at you, you'll probably see it on my face anyways.
All for it. Be sure you have some solid framing for why your performance is important and be ready to handle any Topicality/Theory that your opponent will run in response.
Don't be a butt. Debate should be an educational and enjoyable activity. CX is not an exercise in how rude you can be, don't be afraid to answer questions, you should have faith in your case and be willing to handle anything coming your way. Don't try too hard to dodge questions, I don't need you constantly asking for things rephrased or finding ways to feign confusion. Don't try to impact turn things like racism/sexism/nuke war, etc. That's just silly to try and explain to me how these terrible things are in fact good for us, bad strategy. Don't be afraid to be you in a round, debate is much more enjoyable to judge when you get your personality into it, you don't have to be a card spewing robot to win. If you don't agree with my decision after a round, you're entitled to that, but trying to argue with me about it will not get the ballot changed in your favor and depending on your post-round conduct it will further impact your speaker points. Don't be sketch about your evidence, don't abuse flash time, just be a decent human and enjoy yourself.
Your prep ends when you tell me to cease prep. That means you need to have your files ready to send over when you end prep. If you "forget" or you just can't get it together, I'm starting prep again. Rounds take too long often because people are really slow about flashing. That's not okay.
Fine with me, but that should be established before we start so your opponent has equal opportunity to use it.
Gonna start at 27. I'm not gonna worry too much about what you're doing through the 1AC or 1NC unless you're cutting cards mid speech already. There's zero reason for that to be happening, so that won't fair too well. Most of my speaker point allocation is going to be based on your strategic decisions in the round and how well you engage with your opponent. There will be some adjustments based on your round conduct, and for sure if you've developed distracting physical ticks while spreading (stamping your feet, clapping, really really distracting hand movements) that will impact you as well because I'm gonna be super distracted by how silly you look. I'm only human.
Role of The Ballot:
Totally up to your interpretation. I'm gonna default to using my ballot as a means to "gatekeep." If I vote up certain arguments or strategies, that will inherently encourage you to keep using them, that's just a natural part of the process and I acknowledge it. In addition, my role as an educator will always take priority over that of a judge, so doing and saying awful things will probably cause you to lose my ballot. I try to consider myself a tab judge, but without any kind of explanation of how I'm voting, I'm gonna default to Policy Maker.
You can sit or stand when you're speaking. It doesn't bother me. Standing is probably better for your clarity and breathing tho.
Evidence comparison is awesome and doesn't happen enough. You wrote a case, use it to defend arguments against you
I tend to be super facial expressive in round while I'm processing what you're saying. So if you say something that confused me, I'll probably look at you weird. If you're really killing an argument or you said what I really wanted you to say, I'm probably gonna nod my head and be excited for you. Non-verbal communication is just as important in reading your judge as is making sure they understand your speech. Maybe people don't like the non-verbal aspect, but I mean, if I'm down with what you're saying, you'll see it, so pay attention to your judge.
If by some chance, you're debating a novice, and you know it, I know it, and the novice knows it, be gentle. There's no need to spread a first timer out of the room and scare them away from the activity forever. Know when you're winning. If you fold a kid in round for no reason other than to massage your debate ego, I'm gonna dock some speaker points (see "Don't be a butt" in the round conduct section)
Don't assume I've read all the same topic literature as you, it's never good to assume that.
Offense is great, Defense doesn't really give me a reason to vote for you.
Oh! I almost forgot. Good lord, road maps. They are not a secret bonus speech you get before you start. Just tell me the order to put my paper in and go.
A drop doesn't automatically mean you've won the argument. Do some extension and analysis of why that drop matters and smash your opponent with it, otherwise they're still in the game
The phrase "Cold Conceded" makes me want to puke
I'll ask for cards if I have a genuine question about what the card means and if I find it important to the round. If you're doing legit evidence comparison, this might happen. That being said, don't worry about asking me if I want to see them.
I'm not flowing CX, but I will be listening. It is binding. If you goof in CX because you don't know your case or advocacy, you need to be accountable for that.
Remember to advocate your story in the round. You're selling me on what's happening. Don't forget that!
I think most of my LD philosophy can be applied here since the difference between the two events is growing ever smaller. But do ask questions if you have them!
At the end of the day, I want the round to be what you're making of it. I don't intend to interfere and I want to see you doing the work for me, not the other way around.
Also, have fun! Make connections! Enjoy the fact that you're participating in an activity that almost literally no one understands outside of the community. It's pretty rad.
PF Philosophy [Included for 2k18 TOC]
I'm okay with whatever speed you're comfortable with in round. As with my philosophy with other debate formats, I would like for you to give me pen time for taglines/cites, and standards if you're doing a Theory/Topicality shell of any sort. I'd also prefer you give me an "AND" or "NEXT" between cards to give me some help separating on the flow.
I will NOT shout clear at you, but I'm pretty nonverbal so if I'm not with you, you'll see it.
I feel like the summary speech is still something that needs a traditional line-by-line approach, but it's the beginning of your team's strategic choice to collapse down to a couple of arguments you really want to dunk on in the final focus. I won't be annoyed if you do a straight down the flow response, but I think you'll better serve yourself by focusing on your offense and answering back critical arguments
Should be a collapse down here to just a couple of arguments and why you've won them and why that gives you the ballot. You'll need to do the warrant analysis and justification to close off those arguments as clear wins at this point and then impact it out to getting my ballot
Extensions in speeches
You can do those pretty much the whole time, that would be great. Just like any other debate format, if you're going to continue to use an argument, you should extend the warrant. Don't just tell me to extend something on the flow, give me implications, hold my hand, ya know? If you're trying to pull a card back that you forgot about three speeches ago, that's a bit dicey, but if it generally wasn't responded to, I'll allow it.
Policy arguments in PF
Wild. If you can make it work, go for it. I'm not inherently against those things and assuming they're fully-formed arguments with warranted implications, I can definitely vote on it.
I'm not super against some things that could be construed as prompting, but definitely don't get to the point where I can't tell who is giving what speech because you're overdoing it. If you're looking at me to explain an argument for your partner, I'm definitely not going to flow that. Acknowledge who is supposed to be giving the speech.
Second speaking team should definitely answer their opponent's case and if time allows, go down the flow and respond to arguments against their own case the first speaking team has made in their rebuttal speech. I don't think it is required, but it's advantageous in terms of giving the first team more to cover in the summary.
I'd prefer you sit for grand cross, four people standing and staring at me and getting yelly at each other just kinda makes me uncomfortable. You can sit or stand if you want during the individual crossfires though. Arguments in crossfire aren't going to be flowed by me unless they are brought up as arguments in the later speeches. You can use those answers to set up your arguments though and that's definitely binding
Just be chill. Debate the way that is most comfortable for you...hopefully that isn't a really yelly and rude style because I'd prefer you not. Respect each other, do your thing, and we'll all have a good time!
[Entry current as of the 10/25/18]
Jaya Tharimala Paradigm
Eric Tuzin Paradigm
Pennie Walters Paradigm
Neal White Paradigm
I'm a full-time teacher and debate coach in the North Texas circuit. I have experience coaching and competing in OO, Info, EXT, PF, LD, and Congress. I've been involved in Speech and Debate, as either a competitor or a coach, for 11 years.
Always, ALWAYS feel like you can ask me for constructive criticism outside of rounds. Unless your attitude is outright hostile, I want you, as a student, to get better.
I'm open to hearing progressive style arguments, such as CPs, Plans, kritiks, etc., but also believe strongly that PF cases and arguments should be presented in a style that is understandable to an "average" listener. Practically, this means that any "progressive" arguments needs to be read slowly (not spread) and should refrain from using debate-specific terminology.
Speaking quickly is okay but please do spread. Again - see my belief about how PF should be an event that a layperson can feel comfortable watching. The second speaking team can defend their case in rebuttal but by no means needs to. Teams that do the best in front of me tend to spend lots of time in summary and final focus picking a few quality arguments they want to go for and explaining why those arguments outweigh other issues in the round. If too much of the last two speeches are line-by-line I'll get confused and not know where to vote for you.
The question I get asked most often at tournaments when judging LD is "are you okay with speed?" The answer is yes, but you'll probably find that I understand your case/arguments better if you slow down during any analytics (interpretation, plan text, standards, under view spikes, etc.) that you expect me to write down. If your opponent doesn't understand spreading, don't spread.
Another question I get asked a lot is "are you okay with policy-style arguments?" Again, the answer is yes, with some qualifications. I generally try to avoid voting on theory, so running it in front of me is a poor choice unless you believe that the abuse committed against you is genuinely egregious. Don't run skep in front of me; you won't convince me to vote for you by saying there's no such thing as morality. ACs and NCs that don't engage with the resolution directly (e.g., a performance aff that is non-resolutional, a K NC that is, again, non-resolutional, etc.) also will not earn my ballot.
I think our modern convention of emailing your entire case to your opponent before you read it is unfortunate. Debate is an oral communication activity, right? Not an essay-writing contest? For this reason, I have no interest in being included in your email chain, and will reward debaters that don't engage in this practice with higher speaks.
I generally include the PO in my ranking of a round, although not as highly as the best speakers in a round. Expect a rank in the 3-6 range unless you screw up often, are an exceptionally good PO, or are POing a round full of very bad speakers. This obviously does not apply to tournaments that task me with merely selecting the best PO in a given session and not ranking them against everyone else in the room.
A few other particulars:
-It's a good idea to break down the what exactly a piece of legislation says and does as the first negative and first affirmative speaker. Never assume that the judge has read the item you're discussing (unless it was literally read to them before debate started).
-Refuting at least one specific person in your speech is mandatory if you're the fifth speaker on an item or later.
-From the second you step foot into a Congressional Debate chamber, my expectation is that you are IN CHARACTER as a member of the United States House of Representatives or Senate. Breaking character (even during recess, or AGDs) and acting like a high schooler will disappoint me.
-I care about how good your best speech was much more than how many speeches you gave.
-I am rarely impressed with three (or, God forbid, four) main point Congress speeches. Unless you're in a round that has four minute speech times, this is a bad idea.