Plano West Wolf Classic
2018 — Plano, TX, TX/US
Alex Baez Paradigm
Updated for Grapevine 2019 :
Add me to the Email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Years of Policy at the Law Magnet - in my 4th Year at UTD.
I've judged a decent amount of rounds a year since I've been out of high school, mostly Dallas Circuit and TFA Tournaments, also TOC Tournaments in Dallas.
Being persuasive and telling a story matters, that means your arguments s`hould connect and create a ballot story for me at the end of the round. Being persuasive includes a lot of things, spreading is an art, and if I can't understand you I will clear you/flow what I can.
Clash of Civ Debates: I have been in these debates a lot, I've judged these debates a lot, my voting record is probably 50/50 if I had to put a number to it. It really doesn't matter to me what the aff is, get ready for the framework debate, I guess.
Tech over Truth Usually... Mostly...
Ks: Explain them, don't assume I know what you're talking about, I don't sit around and read random K lit, just not a huge part of my life anymore.
RFDs - I try and keep them educational, I want to be able to teach you something after the round and help everyone improve, not just tell y'all who won. I know, it's annoying to some of y'all.
I just started judging LD rounds recently but I enjoy them a lot, the framework debate is my favorite but still some kids fail to explain this well.
Not as familiar with Kant, DNG, Tricks. But you do you, I'll flow your stuff and attempt to piece things together as the round goes.
All the Extra stuff
I Debated for the Law Magnet from 2012-2016, didn’t debate as much my senior year.
I now Debate for UTD.
I have been coached by some smart-ass people that has shaped the way I view debate as an activity including Kris Wright, Dustin Darby, Hunter McCullough, Scott Herndon, Phil Samuels, Matt Munday, Jacob Loehr and Anthony Ogbuli. If my Judge Philosophy leaves any questions, just contact me and I’ll be more than happy to answer any concerns.
How I View Debate:
I think debate is a pedagogical space that allows for there to be deliberate discussion of what is going on in the world. I think debate is a game simply because there is a winner and a loser and you answer what the other team has stated to win the debate, it’s an educational game that allows contestation to push us to become better researchers, public speakers and self-affirming people. I think there are structural problems with debate like coaching staffs and resources, but that doesn’t mean I vote for you because you’re from a smaller school. Smaller School Arguments are usually not persuasive to me.
How I evaluate debates:
Offense/Defense Paradigm – gotta have offense, or give me a reason to vote on presumption and what presumption means in the debate and why it flips in your favor.
Framing Issues – make these clear in the 2nr and 2ar, give me a lens in which I should evaluate the debate that is reasonable and warranted – if not I will default to a logical policymaker that wants to save as many lives as possible regardless of race, sex, gender, etc., keeping people alive for them to decide their personal ethics is the way I frame a debate unless told otherwise.
Impact Calc – If there is no impact Calc you will probably tell from my decision how annoyed I am and frustrating the decision was, if the debate was close, if you blew the team out the water I probably won’t be as annoyed but your speaker points will surely show your lack of debate skills in terms of impact Calc. Impact calculus is important for your judge’s decision making process, it’s literally you telling me what impacts are relevant and why your impacts outweigh… please do impact calculus, if you don’t do any impact calculus I will not stand any post rounding, simple as that.
If Death good or high theory is your thing, I wont say I’m not the judge for you, but it’s already an uphill battle, less for high theory Ks if you can explain it, it’s just that I am not well read in the literature and I wouldn’t want to put you in the situation to where you expect me to understand what you’re talking about throughout the whole debate, ya feel?
I read K affs throughout high school debating for the Law Magnet, they’re my favorite 1AC’s and 2AR’s to watch writ large but can also be painful to watch. You should probably defend something? Like I don’t care if it’s an affirmation of self through the rez, if it’s a negation of the rez, a plan, an advocacy statement, give the neg something to work with because if not I am a lot more inclined to find Topicality arguments about stasis points, clash and contestation more persuasive.
If your 1AC has music, that’s fine, but make sure your music isn’t on during your opponents’ speeches, unless it’s in conjunction with your argument, in that case please keep it down to where I can at least hear the other team, I will only ask once, after that I will give the other team more leverage than they probably deserve on “dropped” arguments, it’s your fault I couldn’t hear.
If your music or spits or poems lose their purpose after the 1AC then rethink about your aff, rethink about your strategy, Music and poems and all that sound nice, but if they have no use throughout the debate I don’t understand why they were necessary?
60% of my 2nrs were probably the K, fair to say I like the K.
Specific Links are Dis ads to perm do both, any other perm requires a much more thorough explanation of how the links are Dis ads to the perm and not Dis ads to the aff.
Link explanation is essential in order for me to understand what specifically about the aff was problematic, the more explanation and the more specific the better.
Alts must resolve the Links and impacts, alts that don’t resolve any of the aff means the aff gets to leverage their aff against the K assuming they have won that they should be able to leverage their affirmative, which I find logically persuasive considering it would be strategically impossible to be aff in a world where the neg wins that the aff can’t leverage their impacts, the aff is forced to go for the perm every debate in that world and I don’t think that is great model of debate.
Ontology, Epistemology, Genealogy, Etc., Explain why this comes first, explain why this counts as a framing issue, warrant this out and if you don’t win this framing then I will default to a policymaker that wants to save everyone in this world if possible, do the work I will not do it for you.
Floating PIKS are Cheating unless you’re neg, if you’re neg more power to you, I love that shit, if you’re aff… point it out and make it a theoretical objection.
Ks : High theory like Baudrillard, Nietzsche, DNG, etc. Put someone else through that misery please, if I am the chosen one for these debates then cool, just understand I am not deep in your lit and will require far more explanation from your part.
TOPICALITY! T is a lost form and people don’t go for it as often as they should, If an aff is not topical and you have given me an interp, with a violation and offensive reasons to prefer your interp, then you need to hold the 2AC to a high threshold considering it is a gateway issue, the aff on T has to prove they are topical, if you have a reason they don’t meet your interp and give me an offensive reason to prefer your interp, go for that shit in front of me, because more than likely the 2a is reading shitty blocks and daring you to go for it, do It, extra speaks for having T in the 2NR and winning the debate. I will reward good T debates.
T vs K affs : Fairness against identity teams makes no sense and is borderline fucked up, there’s other things to say, Saying the aff’s incorporation of personal identity is not fair is not persuasive, innovate please. Read it though, I go for T vs non-topical affs all the time, Topical Version of the Aff is key in these debates sometimes, you might still win without a TVA, but TVA’s help when you’re neg.
The other 35% ish of my 2nrs were a CP and DA. I love a good adv cp and impact turn debate. I love Process Counterplans even though they’re cheating, steal that aff!
State’s, XO, Court’s - yes and no, probably solves all the aff, not creative, but gets the job done.
Multi Plank Cp – Cheating If you can kick all and any of the planks, probably solves all the aff and avoids the Solvency deficits though so use the cheating to your advantage.
2NC CPs – eh, okay, if the aff is new, then okay I see you, if the aff is not new, GO FOR THEORY IF YOU ARE AFF!
Politics is the Dis Ad I have the most experience going for because it was probably the net benefit I went for in most 2NRs.
Politics is silly though, the Dis ad never makes any sense but what are you gonna do, the 2AR needs to point out the Dis ad story is probably not tied together. If you are neg, and the aff doesn’t make a link turn, this should be a framing issue if you are going for Ptix as a Net benefit to an aff.
Dis ads probably turn the case – explain this, have cards if you can, this is persuasive and sometimes can win you the debate absent an external impact.
Perf Con, and Condo are reasons to reject the team.
Other theoretical objections can be reasons to reject the team if I am persuaded.
All the spots I have said “cheating” in this paradigm are reasons the aff should make a theoretical objection.
If there’s three conditional advocacies or more in the 1nc, condo should probably be in the 1AR.
If you’re going for Theory, 100% of the 2AR.
If you are unclear I will say clear once and then speaks plummet after that.
The 2ar should wax poetically, k aff or not, 2ars should have some kind of flow to them that are easy to follow.
Re-reading ev back to your opponents and explaining how it flows your way will help your speaks a lot.
T in 2nr also gets you good speaks if you win, Theory in the 2Ar gets you good speaks.
Kelly Cody Paradigm
I would like to be included in email chains. Email: email@example.com
A little bit about me
I did policy debate at Colleyville Heritage High School (2010-2014) and just graduated this past summer with my M.S. in Biotechnology. I have worked various debate camps over the years such as Mean Green Debate/DUDA and was as an assistant coach for Jesuit College Prep during the 2018-2019 school year. Currently I am an assistant coach for Greenhill.
On to debate stuff
Framing arguments in the context of the entire debate/connecting across flows is very important. Otherwise, I have to intervene and make assumptions, which puts you in a risky position.
Kritiks: Links need to be contextualized to the aff. If you win a link, you do not automatically win the debate. You also need to articulate the terminal impact to that link and how those impacts interact with the impacts of the affirmative. Performance/no rez affs are okay with me.
Framework: Framework is a debate to be had. Please use warrants when you defend your vision of debate- i.e. if you claim your world of debate is more inclusive, how?
Topicality: You need to articulate your violation and terminal impact quite clearly. I find it more persuasive when fairness is used as a terminal link into education/portable skills as opposed to the terminal impact itself. I default to competing interpretations unless you identify a reason otherwise (ex: the education their interpretation accesses is net bad, etc.). Examples of topical versions of the aff and examples of the types of absurd affs their interpretation would justify are useful when explaining these things.
Disadvantages: Agenda politics debates are my favorite, but I haven’t seen a good scenario in a while. Impact comparison will get you far in debate. You can win a zero risk of the aff (if you prove zero solvency of the aff I will also vote neg on presumption, but you better be pretty confident in this). I do not think there is always a risk of a disad if you win a link.
Counterplans: Your counterplan needs to be competitive with the affirmative (whether you establish this with textual competitiveness, etc. I do not care). I like PICs that are well researched.
Theory: While I do think that theory is important, I will not vote on a dropped theory argument that is very blippy just because it is dropped. The argument needs to be well impacted and articulated enough throughout prior speeches for it to be an option. I don’t like “new affs bad” or “no wiki bad” arguments, but any other theory argument is okay with me.
You should be nice to one another.
Spreading is fine, but you should be clear.
Open-CX is fine. However, the individuals who are supposed to be participating in the CX should be the ones primarily contributing to it.
Flowing is a big thing for me. I think by not doing it (or not doing it well), you actively sabotage your chances of winning the debate.
Stealing prep is cheating and annoying. I don’t like to have to constantly remind you to stop prepping when everyone is just waiting for a speech doc to be sent out.
If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask.
Evan Gilbert Paradigm
Please add me to your email chain,
Currently debate at UTD, have always done policy debate.
I am more of a critical debater but I've done straight up policy for several years so im comfortable with any style of argument.
Given that i don't feel any particular way about any type of argument. I think the only way you can cheat is by speaking more than your alotted time, clipping cards, getting outside help during the debate, not followimg tournament rules, etc. I could potentially vote on any theory argument or just argument im general provided that you have proven that it is a good thing/true.
Being disrespectful is a good way to lose yourself some speaker points, you can be firm and assertive without being disrespectful, its prolly not a good idea to respond to disrespect with disrespect.
In most cases, I will be flowing you, not your speech docs. I prefer to look at them after your speech rather than during it. You won't go so fast that I won't be able to keep up but keep in mind that the faster you go the more generic my flows will be. This'll prolly hurt you more in rebuttals than it will in constructives. Again, this isn't me saying go slow.
Always explain the premises of your argument, I will never fill in gaps for you wether i am familiar with your lit or not, and if there are gaps in explanation then its prolly am argument that I can't evaluate.
I don't make facial expressions during debates, it may look like im mad but most likely im not, im listening, dont worry.
Feel free to ask me any specific questions.
Beomhak Lee Paradigm
Updated October 2018
If you have any concerns/questions/asking for email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigration topic - I have very little/no exposure to the topic. To interpret what that means for you, that means I will not understand any of your arguments if they are filled with jargons and nuances that you think I “shoud” know. I’m a fair judge. I just gotta understand your arguments somehow.
Affiliation - Dallas Jesuit - debated for three years (started Sophomore year). I got to travel across the country to compete at various levels of tournaments - including local, regional, and national. Now I judge/coach for Jesuit as I'm in college now. During first two years I was 1N/2A, then I switched to 1A/2N my senior year. I am more of a 2N then 2A if that makes any sense/helps.
- Flow please
- Clarity is king. Speed is fine but I like Clarity > Speed.
- Line by line is the best (this also means I flow and I care about what is being said in debate).
- Depth outweighs breadth. One well-warranted argument beats numerous poorly explained/constructed arguments. This applies to the cards too. Poorly and disjointedly highlighted cards are bad. Call them out on it.
- No I don't take prep for emailing/flashing unless it's excessive.
- Stop being a jerk. There is a fine line between being passionate/competitive vs. being a total jerk. Respect each other.
- I am totally fine with any style of arguments as long as you can persuade me that I have to lean your way. You do you. I do me.
Topicality was one of my favorite arguments to go for in high school especially senior year. I try to view the topicality as a question of how this year's debate resolution should look like. I default to competing interpretations unless convinced otherwise. The job of the Negative seems simple - convince me why allowing the affirmative into the topic is bad. Is it because tons of other affirmatives would be allowed into the topic? Is it because they are gaining specific advantage ground while you are losing your DA links? BE SPECIFIC - meaningless phrases like "they explode limits and don't give us ground" is NOT going to get my ballot. Aff should do the opposite of - why their view of the resolution (i.e. the counter-interpretation) wouldn't do whatever Neg says you do.
Also - know that I will not be as familiar to the topic as you are (hopefully you know the topic more than me) as I'm in college and not debating in the topic. Do not assume that I know every single acronym you will say/nuances in the literature. I have relatively light exposure to the topic - keep that in mind.
CP/DAs are my favorite. I went for them a lot my senior year. Like a lot. Especially when the CP/DA combo is specific to the affirmative, that's when I get really excited to judge. I think solvency advocate for the counterplan should be a thing most of the time - if you don't it's not really a theoretical reason why you lose but rather a solvency question. Impact calculus is really really really really important on the DAs (especially if you are only going for the DA without the CP with only the case defense; by the way case defense is often under-utilized - it is your friend use them please). Specific link analysis with good evidence + smart analytics will be awarded with speaker points.
I will listen to what you have to say about it. I've only ran Ks like Cap K, Security K, Pan K, Gender IR, Settler Colonialism,etc. - so not high theory "non-sense." This means that if you suddenly start to talk in disjointed vocabularies, I will probably understand given what I had to debate, but can potentially be confused sometimes. I generally think that Aff should get to weigh the action of the plan unless convinced otherwise. Link and internal link analysis are super underutilized in these debates. For links, I've seen them be super generic (especially the people who only read "blocks") - Links should be SPECIFIC to the aff. I do not mean your evidence has to mention whatever the aff is - at least point to me specific parts of the aff that you think your K is criticizing and HOW that leads to your impacts. So many people assume that "if I win a link then judge is obviously gonna think it causes impact." Well, I don't. Explain to me specifically why a specific link to the aff uniquely causes the impacts. Also it is probably important that your alternative solves the aff's harms - I guess make an attempt at least. One more thing, I hate long (most of them are meaningless, unless you have a reason go ahead) overviews. Line by line please.
Chill for a second and SLOW DOWN
Don't run New Affs bad in front of me - I'm not gonna vote on it.
Conditionality is usually good - unless multiple conditional contradictory world is a thing (not so good)
Other theory arguments (generally) probably is a reason to reject the argument not the team UNLESS I'm convinced otherwise (which I haven't been yet). If they drop theory, then the story is quite different.
I really love this activity. There probably is a reason why I keep in touch with debate and the community even though I decided not to debate in college. If I happen to judge you, know that I will judge debates as fairly as I can Please respect each other and have fun!!
Also, for more nitty gritty judging philosophies on style of arguments, look into these judges’ philosophies: Tracy McFarland, Ryan Gorman, and Dan Lingel. They introduced/influenced me a lot (like debate + life) that we almost have similar "view of debate" if that makes sense. If three judges contradict in their judging philosophy, it would be on my therapy list.
Dan Lingel Paradigm
Dan Lingel Jesuit College Prep—Dallas
Updated for 2019-2020 topic
26 years of high school coaching
I will easily judge at 20+ tournaments this year
****read here first*****
I still really love to judge and I enjoy judging quick clear confident comparative passionate advocates that use qualified and structured argument and evidence to prove their arguments. I expect you to respect the game and the people that are playing it in every moment we are interacting.
***I believe that framing/labeling arguments and paper flowing is crucial to success in debate and maybe life so I will start your speaker points absurdly high and work my way up if you acknowledge and represent these elements: label your arguments (even use numbers and structure) and can demonstrate that you flowed the entire debate and that you used your flow to give your speeches and in particular demonstrate that you used your flow to actually clash with the other teams arguments directly.
Some things that influence my decision making process
1. Debate is first and foremost a persuasive activity that asks both teams to advocate something. Defend an advocacy/method and defend it with evidence and compare your advocacy/method to the advocacy of the other team. I understand that there are many ways to advocate and support your advocacy so be sure that you can defend your choices. I do prefer that the topic is an access point for your advocacy.
2. The negative should always have the option of defending the status quo (in other words, I assume the existence of some conditionality) unless argued otherwise.
3. The net benefits to a counterplan must be a reason to reject the affirmative advocacy (plan, both the plan and counterplan together, and/or the perm) not just be an advantage to the counterplan.
4. I enjoy a good link narrative since it is a critical component of all arguments in the arsenal—everything starts with the link. Call me old fashion but I think the negative should mention the specifics of the affirmative plan in their link narratives. A good link narrative is a combination of evidence, analytical arguments, and narrative.
5. Be sure to assess the uniqueness of offensive arguments using the arguments in the debate and the status quo. This is an area that is often left for judge intervention and I will.
6. I am not the biggest fan of topicality debates unless the interpretation is grounded by clear evidence and provides a version of the topic that will produce the best debates—those interpretations definitely exist this year. Generally speaking, I can be persuaded by potential for abuse arguments on topicality as they relate to other standards because I think in round abuse can be manufactured by a strategic negative team.
7. I believe that the links to the plan, the impact narratives, the interaction between the alternative and the affirmative harm, and/or the role of the ballot should be discussed more in most kritik debates. The more case and topic specific your kritik the more I enjoy the debate.
8. There has been a proliferation of theory arguments and decision rules, which has diluted the value of each. The impact to theory is rarely debating beyond trite phrases and catch words. My default is to reject the argument not the team on theory issues unless it is argued otherwise.
9. I know that some of you may not prefer me because I still use a realistic speaker point scale. I think that is a poor choice especially because it is easy to get me to give very high points. Here is the method to my madness on this so do not be deterred just adapt. I award speaker points based on the following: strategic and argumentative decision-making, the challenge presented by the context of the debate, technical proficiency, persuasive personal and argumentative style, your use of the cross examination periods, and the overall enjoyment level of your speeches and the debate. If you devalue the nature of the game or its players or choose not to engage in either asking or answering questions, your speaker points will be impacted. If you turn me into a mere information processor then your points will be impacted. If you choose artificially created efficiency claims instead of making complete and persuasive arguments that relate to an actual victory path then your points will be impacted.
10. I believe in the value of debate as the greatest pedagogical tool on the planet. Reaching the highest levels of debate requires mastery of arguments from many disciplines including communication, argumentation, politics, philosophy, economics, and sociology to name a just a few. The organizational, research, persuasion and critical thinking skills are sought by every would-be admission counselor and employer. Throw in the competitive part and you have one wicked game. I have spent over twenty five years playing it at every level and from every angle and I try to make myself a better player everyday and through every interaction I have. I think that you can learn from everyone in the activity how to play the debate game better. The world needs debate and advocates/policymakers more now than at any other point in history. I believe that the debates that we have now can and will influence real people and institutions now and in the future—empirically it has happened. I believe that this passion influences how I coach and judge debates.
Note about paperless debating--I prefer an email chain with me included whenever possible. I feel that each team should have accurate and equal access to the evidence that is read in the debate. I have noticed several things that worry me in paperless debates. People have stopped flowing and paying attention to the flow and line-by-line which is really impacting my decision making; people are exchanging more evidence than is actually being read without concern for the other team, people are underhighlighting their evidence and "making cards" out of large amounts of text, and the amount of preptime taken exchanging the information is becoming excessive. For me, prep time is running until the flash drive is given to the other team and then it stops and becomes judge time. I reserve the right to request a copy of all things exchanged as verification. If three cards or less are being read in the speech then I prefer that the exchange in evidence occur after the speech. I don't understand why people exchange paperless speeches that do not contain evidence.
Hunter McCullough Paradigm
For me, the idea that the judge should remain impartial is very important. I've had long discussions about the general acceptability/desirability of specific debate arguments and practices (as has everybody, I'm sure), but I've found that those rarely influence my decisions. I've probably voted for teams without plans in framework debates more often than I've voted neg, and I've voted for the worst arguments I can imagine, even in close debates, if I thought framing arguments were won. While nobody can claim to be completely unbiased, I try very hard to let good debating speak for itself. That being said, I do have some general predispositions, which are listed below.
T-Theory - I tend to err aff on T and neg on most theory arguments. By that, I mean that I think that the neg should win a good standard on T in order to win that the aff should lose, and I also believe that theory is usually a reason to reject the argument and not the team.
- Conditional advocacies are good, but making contradictory truth claims is different. However, I generally think these claims are less damaging to the aff than the "they made us debate against ourselves" claim would make it seem. The best 2ACs will find ways of exploiting bad 1NC strategy, which will undoubtedly yield better speaker points than a theory debate, even if the aff wins.
- I kind of feel like "reasonability" and "competing interpretations" have become meaningless terms that, while everybody knows how they conceptualize it, there are wildly different understandings. In my mind, the negative should have to prove that the affirmative interpretation is bad, not simply that the negative has a superior interpretation. I also don't think that's a very high standard for the negative to be held to, as many interpretations (especially on this space topic) will be hot fiery garbage.
- My view of debates outside of/critical of the resolution is also complicated. While my philosophy has always been very pro-plan reading in the past, I've found that aff teams are often better at explaining their impact turns than the neg is at winning an impact that makes sense. That being said, I think that it's hard for the aff to win these debates if the neg can either win that there is a topical version of the affirmative that minimizes the risk of the aff's impact turns, or a compelling reason why the aff is better read as a kritik on the negative. Obviously there are arguments that are solved by neither, and those are likely the best 2AC impact turns to read in front of me.
CPs - I'm certainly a better judge for CP/DA debates than K v K debates. I particularly like strategic PICs and good 1NC strategies with a lot of options. I'd be willing to vote on consult/conditions, but I find permutation arguments about immediacy/plan-plus persuasive.
- I think the neg gets away with terrible CP solvency all the time. Affs should do a better job establishing what counts as a solvency card, or at least a solvency warrant. This is more difficult, however, when your aff's solvency evidence is really bad. - Absent a debate about what I should do, I will kick a counterplan for the neg and evaluate the aff v. the squo if the CP is bad/not competitive
- I don't think the 2NC needs to explain why severence/intrinsicness are bad, just win a link. They're bad.
- I don't think perms are ever a reason to reject the aff.
- I don't think illegitimate CPs are a reason to vote aff.
Disads - Run them. Win them. There's not a whole lot to say.
- I'd probably vote on some sort of "fiat solves" argument on politics, but only if it was explained well.
- Teams that invest time in good, comparative impact calculus will be rewarded with more speaker points, and likely, will win the debate. "Disad/Case outweighs" isn't a warrant. Talk about your impacts, but also make sure you talk about your opponents impacts. "Economic collapse is real bad" isn't as persuasive as "economic collapse is faster and controls uniqueness for the aff's heg advantage".
Ks - My general line has always been that "I get the K but am not well read in every literature". I've started to realize that that statement is A) true for just about everybody and B) entirely useless. It turns out that I've read, coached, and voted for Ks too often for me to say that. What I will say, however, is that I certainly focus my research and personal reading more on the policy side, but will generally make it pretty obvious if I have no idea what you're saying.
- Make sure you're doing link analysis to the plan. I find "their ev is about the status quo" arguments pretty persuasive with a permutation.
- Don't think that just because your impacts "occur on a different level" means you don't need to do impact calculus. A good way to get traction here is case defense. Most advantages are pretty silly and false, point that out with specific arguments about their internal links. It will always make the 2NR easier if you win that the aff is lying/wrong.
- I think the alt is the weakest part of the K, so make sure to answer solvency arguments and perms very well.
- If you're aff, and read a policy aff, don't mistake this as a sign that I'm just going to vote for you because I read mostly policy arguments. If you lose on the K, I'll vote neg. Remember, I already said I think your advantage is a lie. Prove me wrong.
Case - Don't ignore it. Conceding an advantage on the neg is no different than conceding a disad on the aff. You should go to case in the 1NC, even if you just play defense. It will make the rest of the debate so much easier.
- If you plan to extend a K in the 2NR and use that to answer the case, be sure you're winning either a compelling epistemology argument or some sort of different ethical calculus. General indicts will lose to specific explanations of the aff absent either good 2NR analysis or extensions of case defense.
- 2As... I've become increasingly annoyed with 2ACs that pay lip service to the case without responding to specific arguments or extending evidence/warrants. Just reexplaining the advantage and moving on isn't sufficient to answer multiple levels of neg argumentation.
Other notes -
- Really generic backfile arguments (Ashtar, wipeout, etc) won't lose you the round, but don't expect great speaks. I just think those arguments are really terrible, (I can't describe how much I hate wipeout debates) and bad for debate.
- Impact turn debates are awesome, but can get very messy. If you make the debate impossible to flow, I will not like you. Don't just read cards in the block, make comparisons about evidence quality and uniqueness claims. Impact turn debates are almost always won by the team that controls uniqueness and framing arguments, and that's a debate that should start in the 2AC.
Paperless debate - I don't think you need to take prep time to flash your speech to your opponent, but it's also pretty obvious when you're stealing prep, so don't do it. If you want to use viewing computers, that's fine, but only having one is unacceptable. The neg needs to be able to split up your evidence for the block. It's especially bad if you want to view their speeches on your viewing computer too. Seriously, people need access to your evidence.
Clipping - I've decided enough debates on clipping in the last couple of years that I think it's worth putting a notice in my philosophy. If a tournament has reliable internet, I will insist on an email chain and will want to be on that email chain. I will, at times, follow along with the speech document and, as a result, am likely to catch clipping if it occurs. I'm a pretty non-confrontational person, so I'm unlikely to say anything about a missed short word at some point, but if I am confident that clipping has occurred, I will absolutely stop the debate and decide on it. I'll always give debaters the benefit of the doubt, and provide an opportunity to say where a card was marked, but I'm pretty confident of my ability to distinguish forgetting to say "mark the card" and clipping. I know that there is some difference of opinion on who's responsibility it is to bring about a clipping challenge, but I strongly feel that, if I know for certain that debaters are not reading all of their evidence, I have not only the ability but an obligation to call it out.
Finally, here is a short list of general biases.
- - The status quo should always be an option in the 2NR (Which doesn't necessarily mean that the neg get's infinite flex. If they read 3 contradictory positions, I can be persuaded that it was bad despite my predisposition towards conditionality. It does mean that I will, absent arguments against it, judge kick a counterplan and evaluate the case v the squo if the aff wins the cp is bad/not competitive)
- - Warming is real and science is good (same argument, really)
- - The aff gets to defend the implementation of the plan as offense against the K, and the neg gets to read the K
- - Timeframe and probability are more important than magnitude (because everything causes extinction anyways)
- - Predictable limits are key to both fairness and education
- - Consult counterplans aren't competitive. Conditions is arguable.
- - Rider DA links are not intrinsic
- - Utilitarianism is a good way to evaluate impacts
- - The aff should defend a topical plan
- - Death and extinction are bad
If you have questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com
Tracy McFarland Paradigm
Jesuit College Prep
Updated for GDI workshop tournament - I do not think T -substantial makes sense versus the death penalty - it's, you know...death...seems substantial to me. Substantial also modifies criminal justice reform - not the enact biz - no reason why sheer numbers is the way to measure CJR particularly when CJR like MM would impact some unknown future number of defendants, for example.
Please use firstname.lastname@example.org for speech docs. I do want to be in the email chain.
However, I don't check that email a lot while not at tournaments - so if you need to reach me not at a tournament, feel free to email me at email@example.com
Jesuit is not open source - and if you think our cards are good, you should enjoy the experience of reading the good research. While I know that there are many people who disagree with me, I think that reading other people's cards disincentivizes hard work and cultivates unethical academic practices. And, for the record, there's no small school arg here - in fact large schools benefit more from this model (where you read other people's cards without recutting them) because they have more access to more open source docs in debates. I will disregard Jesuit evidence read by another team whether that's an argument made or not. Doesn't mean I will auto-vote against you but not going to vote on cards we cut that you use.
I DO NOT mean that you can't take cites and recut the evidence - in fact getting cites from someone and recutting the evidence is good. BUT, if for example School A debate School B in round 4, then School A uses ev read by B against another B team, that's unethical. TEAM'S SPEECH DOCUMENTS ARE NOT OPEN EVIDENCE FILES. Know the difference. If there is a Jesuit cite you can't access because of a lack of access to resources, please email me and I will provide a full text of the article or book - I pinky swear.
This topic seems T-complicated. Substantially may not be your best bet - especially if it's an arbitrary % that doesn't have a baseline comparison. Topicality is about competing interpretations for me, unless you tell me otherwise. Negatives should explain what allowing the affirmative in the topic would allow— ie what other affirmatives would be allowed and what specific ground or arguments you have lost out on. Affirmatives should, in addition to making counter-interpretations, explain why those counter-interpretations are good for the topic.
Case lists are underutilized in these debates – both about what they exclude and realistically justify on both sides of the topic. Topical version of the aff is an important but not a must have – especially if you are partially trying to say that they are SOOOO bad I shouldn’t want them to be a part of the topic.
Counter plans are good -- but I think that Affs underutilize solvency advocate based arguments. If you are going to have a CP with a ton of different elements, neg should be able to support that with solvency evidence that supports the whole CP not just the elments. If you are neg, you should still do these mutliplank cps if you like but the aff can win a solvency deficit if you don’t have someone to advocate all of it together. Asserting a not accurate way the government works to make a claim about neg CP also should be contested by the aff - and so should dates of the evidence being used to justify the CP. Specific counterplans that reflect you did some work in research the aff = good for the neg. Process counterplans less good b/c they usually show that you didn’t do the research on the aff. Also, I don't know why climate offsets is a CP - it's more like a plan, opposite of the plan debate????
Also enjoy a good disad debate—used to include politics. But alas, Trump has ruined many things for me - including this. I am more persuaded by the args that center on congressional internal links - that are not dependent on pretending like Trump is consistent with pol cap theory in poli sci. 2020 is a thing - but I find myself not really thinking that the link + internal make sense. I do think it is possible to win zero risk of the politics DA. I do think that affs should make a bigger deal about how that zero risk of the DA means that any risk of a solvency deficit on the CP means should vote Aff. But alas, you probably won't, then I will have to default to my engrained any risk of the DA if the CP solves mostly wins a debate. I also am very persuaded the base DA gives into racist logic - and probably should be a reason to vote aff. But alas, you probably won't make that argument with warrants.
For other DAs, much like my previous discussion of topicality and the kritik, explain the link specific to the affirmative – you can and should have multiple link args in the block that help build your story about why the aff triggers the DA. Assess how the impact of the DA relates to the case impact. Overviews should be specific to the aff not a reiteration of magnitude probability and time frame - as this results in awkward comparisons especially on this topic. Offense is a good thing but defensive versus a disad may be enough to win. In other words, any risk of a DA does not mean you win on the Negative (unless perhaps it’s a CP net benefit)—there is room for Affirmatives to make uniqueness, no link, and impact arguments that erode the DA so significantly the Negative doesn’t win much a risk versus the Aff. Good case debates with solvency or impact turns make for appealing and compelling debates. Negatives can win on case turns alone if the impacts are developed in the block.
Contrary to what some of you might think, I really do enjoy a good kritik debate. The difficulty I have with kritiks really lies with Negatives who do not, again, believe that specificity is our friend. I am not of the “if link, then lose” camp: the Negative should, through evidence and link narratives, explain how more ‘generic’ evidence and the K applies to the Aff. For example, explain why the aff’s use of the state is bad; don’t just assert they are the state therefore they must be bad. The other place to be sure to spend some time is explaining the role of the ballot and/or the role of the alternative. Addressing how the alternative solves or address in a better way the harms of the aff (ie by getting to the root of the harms, etc) is a good thing. Affirmatives in some debates I have watched this year concede too much of the link—utilize the strategic nature of your aff versus the kritik link to argue both turns and no link arguments. This will arguably force Negatives to explain how your aff links beyond the fact you use the state. Likewise on this topic it helps Affs with the perm debate. I think that topic specific K much better than your hodgepodge throw some authors together ks. Also not a huge fan of death is inevitable so we should give up now or alternatives that incorporate “suicide” as an alternative. Both sides when initiating framework arguments need to think through what they are getting out of the framework arguments – don’t just blindly go for it if you could get by with simply meeting and conceding their framework, thereby doing their thing better than they do it.
Performance/non-instrumental use of the rez
While I am compelled by arguments about the need to redress exclusion in the debate community, Negatives should challenge, and the Aff should defend, the importance of the ballot in redressing those exclusions. If the neg can explain why the same education and same exploration of privilege can occur without the ballot, I am very persuaded by those arguments. However, in these debates I have judged, I have almost always voted for the team advocating non-instrumental use of the topic because this often goes unchallenged. I think that if you are aff and running an advocacy statement, you should have some reason why that is better than a plan on the ready -- assuming the neg challenges this. Even if the reason is that the plan ties you to the state and that is a problem, you need to be able to explain why you cant accomplish your business with a plan. In these debates it seems that negatives often forget that even if they are only going for framework, they will still need to have a reason why the aff ROB or method is bad. Otherwise, the aff will make some arguments (as they should) that their method is offense against traditional understandings of debate/T/framework. I do think that the performance should be tied to the resolution when you are aff.
Theory – Aff/Neg
If there is a legit reason why what the other team has done has eroded your ability to win by creating a not reciprocal or not level playing field, then initiate the arguments. I understand the strategic value creating a time trade off might get you. However, you should think about whether or not you have some compelling args before going for the arg all out or in the 2nr/2ar. Multiple contradictory framework type args are an underutilized arg when there are k alts and cps in the debate---especially if any or all are conditional. Be concrete about what they are doing and what the justify in order to make “impact” arguments.
New aff theory - I don't have anything else in my philosophy like this (that just say no to an argument) but "new aff disclosure theory" arguments are silly to me. Aff Innovation = good, and incentivizing innovation by giving a strategic leg up to affs by getting to break a new aff = good. I've got more warrants if you want to chat about it - I know some of you feel very strongly about this - but it doesn't make sense to me. You should not probably spend the time to read your shell even if its supershort. Affs should say "competitive innovation = good". And that'd probably be enough.
Certainly, new affs mean that the neg get to make a bunch of args - and that I probably am more sympathetic on issues like no solv advocate, multiple cp, condo, etc - but yeah, no, new affs = good not bad.
Stylistic Issues (Speed, Quantity)
Clarity is important and so are warranted arguments and cards – say what you would like but be clear about it. If you have many argument but you have highlighted down the evidence to 3-5 words, you have also not made a warranted argument. Also, “extinction” is not a tag. Some highlighting practices have become so egregious that I think you're actually highlighting a different argument than the author is actually making.
Speaker Point Scale
Decent debate = 28 + ; more than decent gets more points. You can gain more points by having proper line by line, clash, good evidence with warrants, good impact comparison. You can lose points by not doing those aforementioned things AND if you are snarky, condescending, etc.
Productive cross-examinations add to speaker points and help to set up arguments---needlessly answering or asking your partners cx questions subtract from speaker points. Did I mention flowing is a good thing?
The line by line is important as is the evidence you read, explain and reference by name in the debate. Line by line is the only way to clash and avoid “two ships passing in the night” debates. Line by line isn't answer the previous speech in order - it's about grounding the debate in the 2ac on off case, 1nc on case.
I do tend to read evidence on important issues – so the quality of your evidence does matter as does how much you actually read of it. I am persuaded by teams that call out other teams based on their evidence quality, author quals, lack of highlighting (meaning they read little of the evidence). You should flow – you can’t do anything else I’ve outlined without flowing – and like, actually flow, not copy the speech doc..
Rory McKenzie Paradigm
Current coach/DOF at Lindale High School.
For email chains: mckenziera @ lisdeagles.net
CX - This is where I have spent the majority of my time judging. While I am comfortable judging any type of round, my preference is a more traditional round. Debate rounds that are more progressive (kritikal affs, performance, etc...) are totally fine, but you'll do best to slow down and go for depth over breadth here. I think that judges are best when they adapt to the round in front of them. Writing the ballot for me in the last few speeches can be helpful.
LD - Despite judging policy debate most, I was raised in a traditional value and criterion centric area. Still, I think that policy debates in LD are valuable. See my notes above about progressive argumentation. They're fine, but you'll probably need to do a few things to make it more digestible for me. Again, though, you do you. Writing the ballot for me in the last few speeches can be helpful.
PF - I judge only a few PF rounds a year. I'm not up-to-date on the trends that may be occurring. I naturally struggle with the time restraints in PF. I generally feel like teams often go for breadth instead of depth, which I think makes debate blippy and requires more judge intervention. I'd rather not hear 20 "cards" in a four minute speech. Framework is the most reliable way to construct a ballot. Writing the ballot for me in the last few speeches can be helpful.
Congress - Speeches should have structure, refutation, research, and style. Jerky Parliamentary Procedure devalues your position in the round.
Speech - Structure and content are valued equally. I appreciate, next, things that make you stand out in a positive way.
Interp - Should have a purpose/function. There's a social implication behind a lot of what we perform. I value great introductions and real characters.
Nick Pereda Paradigm
Yes I want to be on the email chain. firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Affiliations: Grapevine High school 13-17, Trinity University 17-21
-Sending/flashing isn't prep unless it's egregious
-Don't steal prep
-An argument is claim and warrant minimum, tagline extensions make me sad.
-BE NICE TO EACH OTHER. There's a fine line between between being funny or intense and being unnecessarily mean or rude. I will not tolerate the latter. I also will not tolerate racism, sexism, etc.
-I work very hard to make the best decision possible because that's what I would want from someone judging me. Please make my job easier and isolate/resolve important questions in the debate as cleanly as possible. If you do not identify which questions I need to answer to make my decision and why I should resolve them in your favor, I will be left to my own devices to do so. Sloppy debate= worse speaks (obviously).
The short version of my philosophy is that I like flex debating and have probably either read or encountered an argument at least similar to what you're about to read, so you do you and I will try to judge you with as little argumentative biases as possible. That being said, I am a human and I do have preferences, but these are not rules.
I think the aff should read a plan text and defend it. At worst, I think the aff should have a strong resolutional basis. Probably related to that, I'm likely not the greatest judge for super K-oriented strategies. This is not to say I do not enjoy these debates or won't vote for them, but rather that you will have to do more work explaining the theory and its relationship to the aff than average.
I feel much more qualified in "policy" debate. Also, please do not be afraid to bust out some risky strats, I'd rather judge a nuclear malthus debate than a poorly executed CP+Ptix debate (this DOES NOT mean you can or should do ANYTHING offensive, I hope I made that clear above).
I'm good with it but don't sacrifice clarity for speed. Don't speed through theory arguments, give me pen time. I typically won't be reading the speech doc during your speech so if you're unclear to the point where it’s impossible to understand you then I’ll be sad :(
Tech vs. Truth:
Tech> Truth. Being on the side of truth is obviously a good thing and I'm hesitant to consider arguments that are absurdly false, but if you can't answer an argument that's really really bad then you should lose anyways.
Evidence vs. Spin:
I place a high premium on research and reward teams for both reading good cards and understanding them on a level that allows in depth extrapolation. That being said, cards are just support for larger arguments, meaning that I will default to your explanation of an argument or card and won't read evidence unless there is controversy as to its quality, or I feel like I need to for the decision. Quality>quantity
Specific argument preferences:
Love it for the most part, but poorly executed T debates are the least enjoyable type of debate to judge. Limits and ground aren't impacts, they're internal links to things like education, fairness, research models, etc. I default to competing interpretations but reasonability is a theoretically winnable argument.
RVI's are bad arguments.
T comes before theory.
Case lists are good.
Actually engage with the other teams arguments, most T debates I've judged at this point have felt like ships passing in the night and forced me to resolve a lot of stuff on my own which should never be what you want.
Cool. Aff specific DAs are cooler. There is such thing as zero risk and I think the link usually controls the direction of uniqueness. Do a lot of turns case analysis that's actually contextualized to the internal links of the 1AC. Not much else to say.
Go for them. Smart advantage counterplans and PICs are fantastic. I'll vote for anything if you win it solves the aff and is theoretically legit.
You should have a solvency advocate (either a card or a clearly isolated portion of evidence that advocates for the full text of the CP). Ideally it should be one card that advocates for all planks, as opposed to a permutation of random texts that advocate policies completely divorced from each other.
Word PICs should be based on a word in the plantext, anything other than that is sketchy.
I will not kick the counterplan for you unless told in the 2NR that I should do so if you don't win it.
I don't think these are extremely different from CP+DA debates insofar as you should try to win that the alt solves most of case and the impacts outweigh what it doesn't.
I will vote on pretty much anything given sufficient explanation and warranted analysis, but I also have a high threshold for the link portion of the debate.
Root causes are not links.
Fiat not being real is neither a link nor a revelation.
Links of ommission are the worst arguments in debate and links of commission are the same thing.
less links explained more is better than more links explained less.
If I don't feel like I can explain your K to someone else by the end of the round then I will not feel comfortable voting for you.
I have never enjoyed judging a high theory debate and I really doubt you'll change that.
Also framing has never mattered in any K debate I have ever judged, and rarely ever mattered outside of very high levels of debate. To win FW you have to win the thesis of the k or the aff is true, and if you do that you've usually already won. I think it's mostly a relic of older debate and almost never worth a lot of time that could be spent making more useful arguments.
*Note on going for the K vs K affs: I don’t think this is the best strategy but I also don’t think that non topical affs get permutations. I’m not the best judge for these debates so do extra work explaining all of the important theoretical assumptions and I will be happier.
Ks that advocate for death or suicide are not only bad arguments in the context of debate, but also morally objectionable.
"Non-traditional" and performance affs:
I am not the best judge for this. I prefer debates focused around a plan, and in nearly all of the clash debates I have judged at this point I have voted for FW. I think framework is a persuasive argument so if you do read this style of aff, you should have an extremely cohesive and contextual strategy. In K vs K debates, I likely lean aff, but I have not judged enough of these debates to determine this.
If you haven't struck me yet, there are a few other thoughts I have about these affs. The aff should at a minimum be related to the topic. You should also have some clear advocacy statement, and radical 2AC shifts make me sad so if you plan on reading a k-aff, read it as transparently as possible.
FW vs. K Affs:
Go for it, it's the most strategic 2NR available. I have gotten close to voting aff in these debates on multiple occasions however, so I reject the notion that it's automatic when I'm judging.
I'm more likely to vote on procedural fairness than I think the community at large is. Structural fairness disparities are inevitable but procedural fairness disparities aren't.
FW is not violent or policing and saying so is insulting to people that have dealt with those issues.
This section may seem a little short but that's because I think I've explained my opinion on FW sufficiently for prefs or pre-round decisions. If not, email me.
Do it more. A good negative strategy should include a robust case debate. I love nuanced straight turn debates and will reward very well thought out strategies and research. There is also such thing as 0 risk of the aff.
I also love impact turn debates (judging ddev debates is ideal to me if that means anything to you)- I will also rewards blocks that punish shitty 2AC add-ons.
Don't break a new aff for the sake of breaking a new aff.
Usually a reason to reject the argument not the team. 3 conditional advocacies are probably ok but more is definitely pushing it. Consult, delay, and add a condition counter-plans are sketchy. Each conditional plank is its own world. I have been both a 2A and 2N, so I don't have any strong protectionist feelings for either team. If you spread through this faster than I can flow I won't do work for you or feel bad if you think I missed an important argument.
They're entirely subjective, and this scale is mostly something for me to look at and think about at the end of the debate when giving points. That being said, I do understand that context (tournament size, quality, etc.) should influence my scale. That means that I will likely give you better speaks at a local than your average national tournament. Speaker points are a holistic reflection of how I think you did. My rough scale is as follows:
0-26.9: You did something offensive or clipped
27-27.4: Poor performance
27.5-28: Made very risky mistakes
28.1-28.4: Average- I don't think you should break if you end up on the bubble
28.5-28.8: Above average- I think you should break if you end up on the bubble
28.9-29.5: Excellent- I think you should get a speaker award and be in elim rounds
29.6-29.9: You should be the top speaker and make a deep elim run
30: Perfect in every aspect of the debate, I won't say it is impossible because that's annoying, but I would have to be thoroughly impressed
The community average in high school seems to roughly be a 28.3/28.4 from what I can tell, so I will try to hover around there.
Alec Ramsey Paradigm
School: Baylor University 2016-2020
High School: Lindale High School
The optimist boldly claims, "this is the best possible world." The pessimist retorts, "that is precisely the problem."
How I think about debate:
Debate is first and foremost an educational activity. It is also a competition. The relationship between 'education' and 'competition' is constantly evolving and adapting, and there will never be a singular correct way to debate. My role is to adjudicate the round before me, and I'll do my best to evaluate the content of the debate without letting my personal beliefs about debate filter into my decision-making calculus. That being said, no judge is ever completely unbiased. Below are my thoughts about the specific content that is commonly found within debate.
Policy Affirmative v. Policy Negative:
These are the debates I am least familiar with. I read traditional policy arguments in high school, but never at an elite level. If I am in the back of one of these debates, prioritize offense. I like impact turn debates, since they are the most similar to critical debates in my mind. While judging these debates, I need framing parameters established preferably in the 2AC/negative block, but most certainly in the 2NR/2AR. Neutralize your opponent's offense (in whichever way you prefer: impact defense, turns case offense, counter-plans, etc.) and write the ballot for me in terms of what clear impact I am evaluating first. I am not a fan of debates with large amounts of off-case positions.
Policy Affirmative v. Critical Negative:
I'm extremely comfortable evaluating these debates since I have been in so many.
For the affirmative: Have a robust framework argument in the 2AC onwards. In most of these debates I feel like framework is a 20 second pre-written block and not a prioritized point of contestation. Framework is the easiest way for me to neutralize critical offense. Most links, especially on this topic, are not specific to affirmative. Point that out. Alternatives are weak and easy points for affirmative offense. Capitalize on this.
For the negative: Again, prioritize framework. You can win the debate on framework alone here, don't waste your opportunity. I feel for you that specific case links on this topic are difficult to find cards for, that's fine because you do not need a card to make your link argument specific to the plan. Alternatives do not need to 'solve' in a traditional sense. I evaluate debate as a research activity, thus contextualizing your alternative to the framework arguments and what that means in terms of how we produce research in the activity is important for me. Something else to note is that I like to think that I'm pretty well-read on any/every theory people generally advance within debate. That being said, the scholarship I have engaged with the most/know the most about are various flavors of 'high theory' (Baudrillard, Deleuze, Derrida, Bataille, etc.), structural criticisms (especially afropessimism) and Marxism. That means I have a high threshold for these arguments.
Critical Affirmative v. Policy Negative:
This is also a debate I'm very used to.
For the affirmative: Have a counter-model. You do not need carded interpretations, just a competing model for how debate should operate. I prefer that affirmatives have some tie to the resolution. Both teams will make arguments about the types of debate that occur under their model, you should explain what these debates look like, and more importantly, why they are better than the negative's interpretation of debate.
For the negative: I am most persuaded by offense centered on argument refinement and skills, since they are specific to the education produced by debate. Fairness is a difficult impact to win for me, I am much more inclined to believe that it is an internal link, not an impact by itself. Creative topical versions are always a great place to take out some of the affirmative's impact turns to your model. I am not persuaded that critical argumentation should not have a place in debate, it serves far too important of a role for the overall community. Keeping that in mind, explain how your model accounts for critical debates. I also believe that you MUST answer the case page to win the debate, because I am not convinced in most instances that T should come before the case. Read topic disadvantages, ask in cx if the affirmative will defend the links. Go for presumption.
Critical Affirmative v. Critical Negative:
These debates are some of the most important debates in the activity. That being said, they can sometimes get very messy. For both sides, I'd like the specific point of disagreement to be forwarded early in these debates. These debates tend to boil down to a question of which theory of power I should prefer, and that's the easiest way for me to evaluate offense in these rounds.
For the affirmative: Provide an explanation of how either A) the affirmative's theory resolves the questions of the negative's, B) why the two theories are not incommensurable (i.e. a permutation argument), or C) why the negative's theory is violent/incorrect/inadequate/etc.
For the negative: You must have link arguments to the affirmative. I am rarely persuaded an affirmative should not get the permutation (it is a test of competition). Creative solvency and link arguments are appreciated, indicts of the affirmative's theory and specific author indicts are appreciated. Utilize your theory of power as offense. I think these debates are easier for the negative when there is a framework argument about what the role of the debate is, and how I should evaluate both sides theory of power. Go for presumption.
Obviously do not use exclusive or violent rhetoric. Debate is an educational activity and I would wholeheartedly prefer that education be ethical. Depth > breadth. The relationship between tech and truth is tenuous for me. A dropped argument is not necessarily true or particularly important until it is flagged and explained in-depth as such. Be confident. If your speech is just 90 cards, do not expect good speaks. I value card-cutting ability and good evidence, but I'd much rather hear in-depth explanations of a few cards over a million cards, these debates are hardly educational in my mind. The only theory arguments I can really see myself caring about to vote on are conditionality and floating pik's bad.
All of the above being said, I will do my best to evaluate the debate however you would like, and try not to insert my own thoughts about how I personally view debate. Do your best, be confident.
Gabriel Sanchez Paradigm
Law Magnet High School 2012-2016
The University of Texas at Dallas 2016-now
Don't assume I know all the nuances of your arguments. Needless to say, you should probably explain your argument anyways. I evaluate all arguments.
Case: You should read it. Lots of it. It's good, makes for good debates and is generally underutilized. Impact turns are fun.
Topicality: I enjoy good T debates. Unfortunately, T debates are normally really messy, so the team to really put the debate into perspective and be very clear on how the two worlds interact first generally wins.
DAs: DAs are also a core debate argument. Specific DAs are always a plus. I default to an offense/defense paradigm but I think an aff can win on defense alone if they making arguments about why having to have offense is bad.
Counterplans: Well thought out specific counterplan are one of the strongest debate tools that you can use. I will vote on almost any cp if you can win that it is theoretically legitimate and that it has a net benefit.
Kritiks/ K AFFs: Over the past couple years I have opened up towards the K a lot. I have a pretty good grasp of a lot of the popular Kritiks, but that isn't an excuse for a lack of explanation when reading your argument. I have no problem with teams running untopical affs as long as they can win that it’s good to do so.
Theory: I have no problem voting on theory if it is well warranted. I honestly believe affirmative teams let the negative get away with a ton of stuff, and shouldn't be afraid to not only run theory but to go for it and go for it hard.
Rafael Sanchez Paradigm
Law Magnet High School 2012-2016
The University of Texas at Dallas 2016-now
Case: You should read it. Lots of it. It's good, makes for good debates and is generally underutilized. Impact turns are best when they are debated correctly.
Topicality: I enjoy T debates. If you're looking for a judge willing to pull the trigger on T, I'm probably a good judge for you.
DAs: DAs are also a core debate argument. Specific DAs are always a plus, but obviously that's not always possible. I tend default to an offense/defense paradigm.
Counterplans: Well thought out specific counterplan are one of the strongest debate tools that you can use. I will vote on almost any cp if you can win that it is theoretically legitimate and that it has a net benefit.
Kritiks/ K AFFs: I have a pretty good grasp of a lot of the popular Kritiks, but that isn't an excuse for a lack of explanation when reading your argument. I have no problem with teams running untopical affs as long as they can win that it’s good to do so.
Theory: I have no problem voting on theory if it is well warranted. I honestly believe affirmative teams let the negative get away with a ton of stuff, and shouldn't be afraid to not only run theory but to go for it and go for it hard.
Benjamin Schnuck Paradigm
I debated in high school for four years and competed at UIL State, among other high level/international tournaments. Additionally, I earned over 700 NSDA points during my time as a competitor. With that said, I know debate and am prepared for any type of debate you throw at me. As a judge I am what most people would call a gamemaker, I believe debate is a game and I'm prepared for whatever you give me. However, there are some exceptions:
1) FOLLOW THE TOURNAMENT RULES, I don't care if my preferences contradict the tournament rules, ALWAYS FOLLOW THE TOURNAMENT RULES FIRST AND THEN FOLLOW MY PARADIGMS.
2) Absolutely no racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia/xenophobia. If you raise any argument of these themes, you will get as little speaker points as I can give you as well as make you lose the round. However, I will not accept baseless accusations that your opponent is racist, etc. I have a similar definition about my perception as Justice Potter Stewart said in Jacobellis v. Ohio, "I shall not attempt to define... and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it." Although his subject matter was different than what I'm talking about, the sentiment is similar when defining what is and what isn't offensive.
3) Insults, Teasing, and being aggressive are a no go. We're here to learn and have fun, don't be rude.
Like I said, I will judge anything. Just contextualize it, if I want to hear some funny case I can just read it, don't run it just because you know I'll listen. I want a good debate and I want you to bring the best you have. I love speed and you can go full speed with me, just stay clear. I believe debate is free-form art, do with that form as you like.
As for specific notes about args:
- I like advocacy/non-plan cases but I need it contextualized for the real world. Show me what the world of the advocacy looks like, saying the case is a good idea isn't good enough.
- Method vs Method debates are fun, one of my most important values in judging that sort of round is root cause.
Additional notes to make me like you:
-I love wild kritiks and kritik affirmatives (but you must explain it well enough, i.e. don't throw some crazy kritik plan out there without contextualizing it with impacts, etc)
-New in the 2 is fine, I'm not going to buy any abuse arguments unless they sandbag like 5 new args in the 2
-If you make good puns I'll give you more speaks
-I love speed but if you go supersonic get me a copy of your speech
-I'm a sucker for quality analytics, beyond just blocks that you've written down. Show me that you know what's happening in round.
-disclosure theory always sucks
Aaron Timmons Paradigm
Director of Debate – Greenhill School
Updated – April 2019
Please put me on the email chain – email@example.com
New for the TOC 2019 – I am the Director of the Global Debate Symposium and for this summer I have hired Spencer Paul and Vishan Chaudhary from Harvard Westlake, and Ishan Bhatt from St. Andrews of the list of competitors that will be in the 2019 TOC competing in Lincoln Douglas.
Lincoln - Douglas Philosophy
I have coached debate, and been a classroom teacher, for a long time. I feel that when done well, with agreed upon “rules of engagement”, there is not a better activity to provide a training ground for young people. That said, at some point, most of the adults have left the building as it relates to national circuit Lincoln Douglas debate. I find many of the things that are now commonplace, are antithetical to the things that I love about debate. In fact, many of these practices are not educational, but also make the activity unsustainable in any meaningful way to sell to administrators, parents, new coaches, or even a new generation of debaters.
I have taken some time to reflect on how I judge debates, and have revised my paradigm. It would behoove you to read it if I have the potential to judge you. If you do not like what you read, strike me.
Debate rounds, and subsequently debate tournaments, are extensions of the classroom. While we all learn from each other, my role is parallel to that of an instructor. I will evaluate your performance. At this stage in my career, I have no interest in being the “most preferred” judge in the pool. In fact, what I see is that many in the Lincoln Douglas community (as opposed to policy debate); make preferences more based on personal relationships, than the relative experience/paradigmatic perspective of the critic. I see my role as to set a fair, but stringent, set of expectations for the students I am judging. At times, this means advancing expectations that I feel are best for the students and, at times, the broader community as well. At this point, I am also not shy to share those thoughts and expectations. I see myself as a critic of argument if I had to pigeonhole myself with a paradigmatic label. Unlike many claim to be, I am not a blank slate. If I see behaviors or practices that create a bad, unfair, or hostile environment for the extension of the classroom that is the debate round, I will intervene. I WILL do my best to be an objective evaluator of your argument but the idea that my social location is not a relevant consideration of how I view/decode arguments is just not true (nor do I personally think it is true for anyone).
Below please find a few thoughts as to how I evaluate debates.
1. Speed is not a problem. In most of the Lincoln Douglas I judge, clarity IS a problem. I judge high level policy debates quite a bit and while they are quiet fast, I don’t see clarity as much of an issue with the top teams. Please understand that unstructured paragraphs that are slurred together does not allow the pen time necessary to write things down in the detail you think it might. I reserve the right to yell “clearer” once or twice. Style and substance are fundamentally inseparable.
2. I feel theory is debated far too much in Lincoln – Douglas, and is debated poorly. I am strongly opposed to that practice. My preference is NOT to hear a bad theory debate. I believe the negative does get some “flex”, that said it can’t be unlimited. The idea of reading a “counter shell” against a theory argument is one of the silliest practices I see in contemporary debate. Before the proliferation of theory in Lincoln Douglas I thought RVI’s were silly. They have a place in contemporary LD. I DO NOT think jettisoning the case and going all in on the RVI should be the A strategy in the 1ar. While I like competing interpretations, in the end, I feel even that view is filtered through my perspective of reason/what is reasonable/the best lens for debate. Some intervention is inevitable as we judge.
3. Evidence is important. In my opinion debates/comparisons about the qualifications of authors on competing issues (particularly empirical ones), in addition to a comparison of competing warrants in the evidence, is important. Do you this and not only will your points improve, I am likely to prefer your argument if the comparison is done well. All students should have full cites for materials.
4. I am not a “blank state”. I also feel my role as a judge is to serve a duel function of rendering a decision, in addition to serving a role as educator as well.
5. Words matter. Arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic etc will not be tolerated.
6. I am not a fan of random; multiple sentence fragments that claim to “spike” out of all of the other teams arguments. At its foundation, debate should be about argument ENGAGEMENT, not evasion.
7. Answer questions in cross-examination. Cross-ex is binding. I do listen carefully to cross – ex.
8. Although I know you have figured it out, Lincoln Douglas does not have a 2AC in the same way that policy does. 1AR’s that advance lots of offense on many negative positions will be rewarded with high points.
9. Debating with a laptop is a choice, if you are reading from a computer I have three expectations that are nonnegotiable:
A) You must jump the documents read to the opposition in a timely manner (before your speech or at worse IMMEDIATELY after your speech) to allow them to prepare or set up an email chain.
B) If your opponent does not have a laptop you need to have a viewing computer OR surrender your computer to them to allow them to prepare. The oppositions need to prep outweighs your need to prep/preflow in that moment in time.
C) My expectation is that the documents that are shared are done in a format that is the same as read by the debater that initially read the material. In other words, I will not tolerate some of the shenanigan’s that seem to exist, including but not limited to, using a non standard word processing program, all caps, no formatting etc.
10. Many debaters have been instructed, or watched others run, “metaethics” with some success. My experience is that many debaters have a very superficial grasp of what this even means. Make sure to explain, and compare your position against the position of your opponent. A good rule of thumb is to assume you don’t win every argument and frame things in an even /if perspective.
11. I do not like skepticism as an argument. It would be in your best interest to not run it in front of me. While perhaps interesting in a philosophy class in college, training young advocates to feel that “morality doesn’t exist” etc. is educationally irresponsible.
12. I do not disclose speaker points. That seems silly to me.
13. Dropped arguments and the “auto-win” seems silly to me. Just because a debater drops a card doesn’t mean you win the debate. Weighing and embedded clash are a necessary component of debate. Good debaters extend their arguments. GREAT debaters do that in addition to explaining the nexus point of clash between their arguments and that of the opposition and WHY I should prefer their argument.
14. I feel it takes more than a sentence (or in many of the rounds I judge a sentence fragment), to make an argument. If the argument was not clear originally, I will allow the opponent to make new arguments.
15. Choose. No matter the speech or the argument.
Please ask me specific questions if you have one before the debate.
Zach Watts Paradigm
Zachary Watts (call me Zach, please)
Affiliation: University of Texas at Austin
History: Debated at Jesuit Dallas for 3 years in high school, currently in my first year debating at UT Austin
Speaker Position: 2A/1N in high school, 2N/1A in college
If you need a shorter version because this is right before a debate -
1. be nice to your opponents - debate isn't an activity to make people feel bad.
2. Make sure you're clear - I'm okay with speed, but if I can't understand you I can't flow you.
3. You should feel free to run the arguments that you're used to running and the debate will probably flow better if you do that as opposed to trying to fit my preferences - make sure you're condensing down to the key questions of the debate in the final rebuttals providing impact framing so I can evaluate which impacts I should view first.
Have fun and good luck!
I will try my best to evaluate the debate based upon what I flow, although I am human and have some tendencies/leanings (discussed further below). I will flow the debate to the best of my ability - go as fast as you like, but if I can't understand what you're saying, I can't flow you (if this is the case, I will say clear - if you hear this either slow down or enunciate more (or both)). I will read a piece of evidence at the end of a debate if it is particularly important to my decision and heavily contested or you ask me to read it after the round, but I think that the debate should come down to your analysis of the evidence in your speeches and comparative arguments as to why I should prefer your evidence/argument. I don't count flashing as prep - however, if you are obviously prepping after you called to stop, I will start prep and notify you that I'm doing so. If you are cheating (i.e. clipping cards) you will lose the round and get minimal speaker points; if you accuse somebody of cheating and there is not proof that they did so, the same will happen to you (and, in that case, not the team accused of cheating) - debate is supposed to be a fun, educational activity - don't ruin it for other people by trying to gain an unfair competitive advantage.
As stated above, I'm fine with you speaking quickly, just don't sacrifice clarity for speed. Please engage in line-by-line and clash with the other team's arguments (this means doing some comparative analysis between your argument and that of your opponent, not just playing the "they say, we say" game). If you could stick to the 1NC order on case and the 2AC order of arguments on off-case, that is very much appreciated (although I know that style of debate is kind of outdated - I'll flow either way, it just keeps it organized). Using CX strategically (i.e. setting up your arguments, fleshing out some of their args to contextualize comparative analysis, pointing out flaws in their evidence, etc, and actually implementing them in your speech (it's okay to take prep to make sure some of the good things from CX make it into your speech)) will definitely earn you points. I will start at 28.3 and add or deduct points from there. Doing the things I said above will earn you more points (more points for executing them well) and not doing them or being rude to the other team will lose you points (the second part applies even if you spoke and debated well - be nice, having ethos doesn't mean you have to be snarky).
I think that topicality tends to be a bit overused as a time-suck for the 2AC, but don't let that deter you from running it - just an observation. If you're going to run T, you need to clearly articulate what your vision for the topic is, why the aff does not fit in that interpretation, and why the aff not fitting under that interpretation is bad and a reason that your interpretation is good. A lot of this comes down to the standards debate, but really explain why allowing the aff's scholarship being read in the round is bad for debate - why does the aff being outside of your interpretation make debate unfair for the negative team and why is that bad and/or why does the aff's form of scholarship trade off with topic-specific education and why should that come before the aff's form of education? On the aff, you should push back on these questions - you should have a we meet and a counter-interpretation (or at least a counter-interpretation and a reason why their interp. is bad for the topic), and you should also have a reasonability argument - if I think that the aff fits within a fair interpretation of the topic and doesn't cause the "topic explosion" internal link that the neg is saying you do, I'm very likely to lean aff in that debate (please don't go for only reasonability in the 2AR - at that point, if you don't even have a we meet, it's very difficult for me to determine how you are reasonably topical). Please also be framing the impacts in terms of what the aff justifies (for the neg) or in terms of what it does in the round (for the aff, especially if you're pretty close to the topic) and explain why I should look at the T debate in a specific light (i.e. "in-round abuse" vs. "it's what they justify"). Especially in the rebuttals, please slow down a little bit on T (you don't have to go conversational speed, but please don't sound like you're going as fast as you would reading a piece of evidence) - it's a very technical debate to have and I might not get every warrant if I can't write down the words that you're saying as quickly as you're saying them, which may be frustrating to you if I didn't get something important. There's not a lot of pen time (i.e. times when I can catch up with flowing such as when cards are being read), so slowing down a bit on T would probably be beneficial for you.
I think that counterplans are extremely useful and strategic for the negative and are often blown off by the aff. Counterplans should be competitive (textually as well as functionally - aff, if you point out that a CP is not functionally competitive, I am pretty likely to lean aff and dismiss the CP - be careful with this, though, as process CPs often have an internal net benefit; you should engage that CP on a theoretical level as well. Use CX to determine what the CP actually does before making the arguments about CP competitiveness), and I view many process CPs as really sketchy and usually not theoretically justifiable. I am more likely to view these CPs a legitimate, however, if you have a solvency advocate specific to the aff or can use the aff's solvency evidence to justify the CP (especially if you have a reason why whatever process you do the aff through can't just be tacked onto the aff via a perm). Perms should not sever or be intrinsic, but this may be justified if the neg is running a theoretically objectionable CP (i.e. one that doesn't test whether or not the aff is a good idea - which should be the way I decide the debate at the end of the day).
Neg, run specific links, diversify your impacts across DAs and make sure that the 1NC shell isn't just a case turn. Both sides need to do some impact calculus and tell me why your impacts turn the other team's or just outweigh them. Aff, especially in debates with multiple DAs, make sure your strategy is consistent - don't double-turn yourself across flows.
Politics DAs - I'm not a fan of the politics DA - I'm not saying you can't run it, but I'm more likely to reward smart aff analytics indicting the thesis of your links and internal links in a world of Trump even if you read a lot of evidence that makes some not so great warrants. That said, if the aff doesn't make these arguments, I will evaluate it like any other DA. If they do, it's probably going to be an uphill battle for you if this is your A-strat for the debate.
I don't think that Ks should be excluded from debate, and I think that questioning the philosophical and theoretical basis of the arguments that are run is a good educational exercise that can be enjoyable to watch when it is done well. That said, I think that you should still have to read a specific link to the aff, an impact with a clear internal link to the link argument, and an alternative to solve that. While I think that Ks that impact out the implications of the aff's rhetoric in-round might lower the threshold for alt solvency beyond a rejection of the plan, anything (like the cap K) claiming larger and broader impacts will have to do more work to prove that the alternative is capable of solving that and explaining a reason why the permutation cannot function. I do not think that the aff shouldn't get to weigh their impacts, but you should clearly define what the role of the ballot is (what issue should I prioritize when looking at the K flow at the end of the debate) and why that is good/the counter-interpretation is bad. This does not mean you should say the ROB is to do whatever the K is; it's an argument about how I should filter the impacts (i.e. should I take a utilitarian impact calculus and vote on whichever side should save more lives, or should I evaluate the debate through a lens of epistemological grounding to determine access to impacts - please don't say something like the ROB should be to be the team who best deconstructs capitalism or something along those lines because it doesn't really help me filter the impacts in any meaningful way and will probably be answered with arguments such as capitalism is good). Make sure to include turns case analysis in the block in addition to the impact in your 1NC (and remember to extend it in the 2NR!). Affs, you should have a reason that your scholarship should be prioritized, and take advantage of the fact that the weakest part of a K is usually the alt - if you can win reasons why the alt can't solve case or the K, it makes it easier for you to outweigh the K using case. Also, if the link is not specific, you should point that out and use your advantages (if possible) to prove a no link argument or a reason why the perm can solve. I'm not very hip to the death good-style arguments, nothing is real-style arguments, or communication bad-style arguments (why are you reading this in an activity about communication??!! I find the argument about accelerating communication to its destruction to be particularly unpersuasive and just a justification for perm do both), but I'll evaluate them - I just think it's an uphill battle for the neg. My K literacy is also less along the lines of post-modern Ks (which is probably obvious from above), so it'll probably take a bit more explanation on those for me to vote on them.
K aff v. K debates:
In these debates, it is very important for the negative to distinguish themselves from the aff. I know that sounds obvious, but truly, you need to be very specific about the link - what in specific about the aff are you criticizing (the way they construct the world/explain how violence operates, their solvency mechanism, etc.) and why does that matter - this is particularly true when there's not a whole lot of difference between the aff's and neg's impacts. This can be helped by distinguishing the alternative from the aff in order to resolve whatever link you make. For the aff, use the theoretical grounding that's probably already in your 1AC in order to engage the link debate (it's probably going to be a question of proving that your understanding is correct and good) and (if applicable) make perms. Neg, if you're going to make the argument that the aff shouldn't get perms in a method debate, do a bit of explanation about why (I'm not asking for like a minute on perms bad - maybe a 5 second explanation about testing the affirmative's method is good in debate or about why the two methods are mutually exclusive should be good enough).
I'm open to listening to non-traditional affs (I currently run one), but they should have some relation to the topic - i.e. are you in the direction of the topic, are you redefining the topic, do you completely reject the topic, and a justification for why that is good in a debate round where one side is assigned aff, one is assigned neg, and I have to make a decision at the end of the round. If you don't, I think it allows the negative to get a bit ahead on the framework debate using topical versions of the aff (probably one of the most useful arguments for the negative) or reasons why switch-side debate solves your impacts (also a great argument for a negative team going for framework). It also might implicate case solvency to not have an advocacy - if you choose not to read one, you should have a pretty good defense of why the 1AC speech act is good, why debate is the activity through which your aff should be done, and maybe why including an advocacy would be bad (this isn't always requisite as sometimes it's obvious - if the neg makes a counter-advocacy of a method to solve and says your lack of a method is bad, you're probably in trouble though). Even if you are reading an advocacy, the second part of that is pretty important - you should make sure to explain why debate is key to your advocacy and why you should do it on the aff. You also need to have a clearly defined role of the ballot for how I should filter impacts in the round. On FW, please explain why I should prioritize your form of debate or scholarship over a traditional aff. Negatives that can exploit this will often be ahead on framework. Similar to T, FW should have an interp, violation, standards, and an impact (or impacts) - these should include reasons why your interpretation turns the aff's ability to solve their case. I don't think that framework is necessarily violent or analogous to violence (i.e. the policing argument - I'm not sure why this is true specifically in the context of FW and not any other negative argument that says the aff is a bad idea; I get that it's indicting the form of debate, but the impact still seems to be the same; that seems to be more of a negative argument for why the implication of you reading said aff in the debate necessitates violence from the negative within the competitive structure of debate).
Theory requires a significant time investment for me to vote on it. I think that most theory arguments (i.e. one of the many reasons a process CP is theoretically objectionable) are reasons to reject an argument not the team; of course, conditionality is a reason to reject the team (if you win the theory debate). Theory arguments should have a clear interpretation, violation, and impact when initiated; the answer should have a counter-interpretation and reasons why that's a better vision of debate. I think that smart counter-interpretations can get out of a lot of theory offense because most theory impacts are based on worst-case scenarios. I think that there is definitely a scale for theory (i.e. I'm much more likely to vote on multiple conditional contradictory worlds than just condo; similarly, I'm far more willing to vote on aff condo bad than no solvency advocate - my scale is typically determined by competitive equity (I think education is important too, but I feel that it is often linked to competitive equity and/or should be at T or FW question - I'm not really sure why another team not doing as good of a job on research is a reason their argument is theoretically objectionable unless they have mischaracterized evidence - this is probably just a reason I should prefer your evidence and you're better off going for the substantive part of the debate). Like on topicality, slow down on theory. If this is your victory path, it should be the entirety of your final rebuttal (2AR) - you're going to win or lose on this, and none of the rest of the debate matters when theory is a question of whether the debate should be happening in the first place.
Toby Whisenhunt Paradigm
Fundamentally I see debate as a game. I think it is a valuable and potentially trans-formative game that can have real world implications, but a game none the less that requires me to choose a winner. Under that umbrella here are some specifics.
1. Comparative analysis is critical for me. You are responsible for it. I will refrain from reading every piece of evidence and reconstructing the round, but I will read relevant cards and expect the highlighting to construct actual sentences. Your words and spin matters, but this does not make your evidence immune to criticism.
2. The affirmative needs to engage the resolution.
3. Theory debates need to be clear. Might require you to down shift some on those flows. Any new, exciting theory args might need to be explained a bit for me. Impact your theory args.
4. I am not well versed in your lit. Just assume I am not a "____________" scholar. You don't need to treat me like a dullard, but you need to be prepared to explain your arg minus jargon. See comparative analysis requirement above.
Not answering questions in CX is not a sound strategy. I will give leeway to teams facing non responsive debaters.
Debaters should mention their opponents arguments in their speeches. Contextualize your arguments to your opponent. I am not persuaded by those reading a final rebuttal document the "answers everything" while not mentioning the aff / neg.
Civility and professionalism are expected and will be reciprocated.
Walter Willis Paradigm
I am Dyspolity@gmail on email chains.
Who I am:
Policy debater in the 1970's and 80's. I left debate for 15 years then became a coach in 1995. I was a spread debater, but speed then was not what speed is today. I am not the fast judge you want if you like speed. Because you will email me your constructive speeches, I will follow along fine, but in the speeches that win or lose the round I may not be following if you are circuit fast. If that makes me a dinosaur, so be it.
I have coached most of my career in Houston at public schools and currently I coach at Guyer in Denton. I have had strong TOC debaters in LD, but recently any LDers that I have coached were getting their best help from private coaching. Only recently have I had Policy debate good enough to be relevant at TOC tournaments.
I rarely give 30's. High points come from clear speaking, cogent strategic choices, professional attitudes and eloquent rhetoric.
Line by line debates. I want to see the clash of ideas.
Policy arguments that are sufficiently developed. A disadvantage is not one card. Counterplans, too, must be fully developed. Case specific counterplans are vastly preferable to broad generics. PIC's are fine.
Framework debates that actually clash. I like K debates, but I am more likely to vote on a K that is based on philosophy that is more substantive and less ephemeral. NOTE: I have recently concluded that running a K with me in the back of the room is likely to be a mistake. I like the ideas in critical arguments, but I believe I evaluate policy arguments more cleanly.
Poor extensions. Adept extensions will include references to evidence, warrants and impacts.
Overclaiming. Did I need to actually include that?
Theory Arguments, including T. I get that sometimes it is necessary, but flowing the standards and other analytical elements of the debate, particularly in rebuttals, is miserable. To be clear, I do vote on both theory and T, but the standards debate will lose me if you are running through it.
Circuit level speed.
I am fine with conditional elements of a negative advocacy. I believe that policy making in the real world is going to evaluate multiple options and may even question assumptions at the same time. But I prefer that the positions be presented cogently.
Rudeness and arrogance.
One More Concern:
There are terms of art in debate that seem to change rather frequently. My observation is that many of these terms become shorthand for more thoroughly explained arguments, or theoretical positions. You should not assume that I understand the particularly specialized language of this specific iteration of debate.
I default negative unless convinced otherwise. Also, I fail to see why the concept of presumption lacks relevance any more.
Because of the time skew, I try to give the affirmative a lot of leeway. For example, I default aff unless convinced otherwise.
I have a very high threshold to overcome my skepticism on ROTB and ROTJ and Pre-Fiat arguments. I should also include K affs that do not affirm the resolution and most RVI's in that set of ideas that I am skeptical about on face.
I won't drop a team for paraphrasing, yet, but I think it is one of the most odious practices on the landscape of modern debate. Both teams are responsible for extending arguments through the debate and I certainly do not give any consideration for arguments in the final focus speeches that were not properly extended in the middle of the debate.
1) This is not an interactive activity. I will not signal you when I am ready. If I am in the back of your Congress session, I am ready. 2) At the best levels of this event, everyone speaks well. Content rules my rankings. I am particularly fond of strong sourcing.
Elan Wilson Paradigm
"The optimist boldly claims, 'this is the best possible world' the pessimist retorts, 'that is exactly the problem.'"
About me: I am currently a junior debating at Baylor. My recent accomplishments include breaking to double-octos of the 2018-2019 NDT along with a number of recent deep runs at national majors including Harvard and GSU. In highschool (Hendrickson), I made it to octafinals of the 2016 TOC, placed 10th at the 2016 NSDA tournament, received 1st speaker at the 2017 TFA state tournament, and won some national circuit majors here and there.
"Specialties": Anything and everything afropessimism, Baudrillard (non-war/will to transparency/info = dissuasive), Set Col, Deleuzian racial studies (Alexander Weheliye, Massumi, etc), Humanism studies, traditional marx and semiocap/"new wave" Marx, Academy critiques (Moten & *sigh* anarchist news), critiques of liberalism. This is (1) not a comprehensive list and (2) does not mean that I am non-receptive to any literature that falls outside of these categories. I am open to exploring new theoretical terrains.
The "Gist": I am a man of simplicity. With that being said, here is a synopsis of my outlook on debate as an activity.
Debates you DO want me in: "Clash of Civilizations" debates (FW vs. Kritikal Affirmative), K v. K debates, Policy Aff v. K.
Debates you DO NOT want me in: debates involving a robust 8-off strategy against an aff with 5 different extinction scenarios. I was a policy debater for approximately 20% of my 8 year debate career so let's just say these debates are "not on my frequency" per say. Put me in the back of these debates at your own risk.
Will you actually vote for a policy aff or framework?: absolutely. Just because my primary exposure has been to critical literature does not mean that I will auto-vote against you if you defend a plan or argue that a team should subscribe to the resolution's parameters. In all honesty, because of this exposure, I have a lower threshold for pulling the trigger on framework than I would for a kritikal affirmative because I personally hold a higher standard for what counts as a good K aff and what sufficient answers to framework are (for example, args like "reasonability", "your interpretation plus our aff", or "but the state is unethical" are juvenile and would probably end up pushing me towards framework instead of away from it).
What are your views on the meaning of debate: debate is a book comprised of empty pages. In other words, what debate means is completely an open question. It can be a site for spotlighting and rejecting racialized investments. It can be a training apparatus that teaches us the technical skills we need to alter institutions for the better. It can be a game. It can be a microcosm of violent superstructures. The onus is on you to tell me what you think debate is and why I should prefer that reading of the activity over others.
For Ks vs. Policy Affs: some things it will be really difficult to get my ballot without include impact calculus, thoroughly developed link stories (i.e. pulling lines from 1AC evidence and making new link articulations from 2AC evidence and discourse), a strong, responsive framework push, and robust alternative explanations (i.e. how does the alternative solve the links? How does it solve the aff? If it accomplishes neither of these things, why?). If you think I will just simply vote on buzzwords or pieces of evidence because they have "gz" or "ERW" tacked on in the cites, you are mistaken. Overviews = time traps, just jump right into the framework and link debate.
For Policy Affs vs. Ks: I am really entertained by teams who buckle-down and clown K teams who think they are smarter than they actually are. Here are a couple of things that will make me lean towards a policy aff: using the K teams buzzwords against them, explaining how your impact scenarios magnify theirs, painting a picture of a world without the aff compared to the world of the alternative, teasing out unique double-turns and slippages that complicate the kritik as a whole, and taking advantage of uniqueness. Don't just say "the 2NR concede our x evidence from our 30 card 2AC", sit down and explain to me why that piece of evidence devastates their entire position. Don't just say "no link" and sit down. Thats cowardice. Explain why your impacts outweigh the risk of a link, or, even better, impact turn it (within reason). Explain to me why the neg doesn't know shit and why the aff is good, even if its imperfect.
For Ks vs. K Affs: for the love of all that is holy have a presumption press. You can win some abstract theory of power. That's fine, but 90% of the time kritikal affs don't do anything. Emphasize this and explain why it should frame my ballot. In front of me, the smartest/most well-read teams will lose if they do not frame and filter the debate through one or a few major overarching questions. The less well read teams will win if they do frame and filter effectively. Since these debate's tend to float off into the stratosphere of philosophical jargon, I will reward whoever brings the debate back down to earth by organizing and compartmentalizing it.
For Framework vs. K Affs: I am down for any and every flavor of framework (the classic procedural fairness press, the iterative testing/clash as an internal link to political advocacy style, etc.). My only recommendation is that I don't recommend for going for framework "potluck" style, i.e. as a little mix of everything. Pick one style that you think is relevant to the debate at hand, pick one impact, and go for it. I won't auto-vote against you on silly assertions like "fairness isn't an impact, its an internal link". Anything can be an impact if you frame it as such.
For K Affs vs. Framework: I personally prefer a nuanced counter-model that provides a new template for agonism to occur outside of the resolution's parameters. However, if you choose to say "fuck it, we don't need a robust counter-model, we are just going to impact turn their shit so hard there is no way you can vote against us", I will also be persuaded by that too (I would probably award higher speaks because this strategy is more difficult to execute). Here are some questions you should have good answers to: why does your impact turn or outweigh their net benefits? What model of subjectivity does their model promote? What new understanding of subjectivity does your countermodel introduce? Why is the ballot more than a decision on who did the better debating? What is the purpose of debate writ large? Does you counter-model have defense to their net-benefits? If so, how? Do the authors the neg read in the 1NC prove your offense? If so, in what way (pull quotes)? Are there moments in cx that prove your offense? If so, how? Also, make sure to BE RESPONSIVE. The most annoying thing to watch is a 2AC get up and read pre-typed fairness blocks when the 1NC went for a clash/education net benefit.
If the neg concedes the case, punish them for it as if they just conceded three extinction scenarios. Why does that concession matter? How should it change the way I approach the 2NR and the resolution itself?
Speaking: clarity > speed. Word economy is crucial. Don't read a paragraph if it can be a sentence. Don't forget periods are a thing. Not against using big words, you just have to explain them so you should consider the following question (should I invest time in explaining "the code" or should I skip the buzzword entirely and make links to the Aff). Examples are killer and will be applauded.
P.S.: points will be awarded for wholesome Naruto, super smash bros, or Dragonball references. Debate is way too dry and could use a dash of comedy here and there.
ian miller Paradigm
I debated at Grapevine and now OU.
Tech over truth
I try to judge with little argumentative bias. I am a fairly flexible and read all types of arguments. I'd prefer that you do what you are good at instead of trying to adapt too much.
Evidence needs to be highlighted enough to form a cohesive argument. If someone points out that an opponent just read 12 words in a card I will have a much lower threshold for a refutation of it. Evidence written by debaters for debaters is given much less weight.
Respect matters - if you are debating people who may be a lot worse than you are make an effort to be nice.
I'm good with this - limits and ground aren't impacts - only internal links to education, fairness, research, ect.
RVIs are bad
Caselists are good.
T is a question of what the topic should look like which means that in round abuse matters much less than potential abuse and is also a reason why T arguably comes before theory. I think "setting a precedent" specifically is not a good argument nor is it an impact
plan flaws and other procedurals are fun but aren't a super reliable 2nr option
They're good. Specific DAs are better and I will reward good research. Turns case should be contextualized as specifically as possible.
Including risk analysis framing when going for a DA is super helpful in rebuttals. 1% risk of extinction is kinda silly risk analysis but you'll have to explain why in the debate.
Read a complete shell in the 1nc - that means include uniqueness.
They're good. Smart advantage CPs and PICs are my favorite. Process/consult/delay CPs I like much less - unless it has a specific enough solvency advocate. I will vote for anything though - just make sure to explain why it solves the aff and is theoretically legitimate. Solvency advocates help a lot in making something theoretically legitimate.
Framework is pretty important
I have a somewhat high threshold for link explanation - please make it about the aff and make it substantive part of the 2nr. Super generic Ks about the "state" or "fiat" aren't very persuasive to me.
Specific links are especially important when facing a soft-left aff that is in the direction of the alternative
i've found that a part of the k that really matters is its theory of power/how the world works. if the aff wins that those assumptions don't make sense then they will probably win. same for the negative, winning that the world works in a particular way makes me more likely to vote for you
If you are going to include a performance explain why it matters
if you advocate for suicide or death literally being good you'll probably catch an L
K affs are fine but please have a clear position you take on the resolution and a reason why the ballot is key. Shifting out of different negative positions makes me sympathetic to FW arguments.
A lot of judges think that TVAs are necessary every FW debate - I disagree. Having persuasive arguments that frame the ballot in relation to the impacts you are going for is sufficient.
I really value creative forms of engagement with K affs. Pull out those CPs and DAs. You should not be afraid to go for some variant of heg good, cap good, or liberalism good in front of me in conjunction with some case defense. If you have a strategy that contests a core thesis of the affirmative, go for it.
K affs will almost always get a permutation - if you think it is unfair why not just go for fw?
Internal link defense, even if not supported by evidence, is often more persuasive than the generic impact defense that every team reads.
I am a fan of impact turns.
Some affs get away with bad solvency arguments - don't let them do this.
In order to make it a reason to reject the team explain why it impacts your ability to debate different flows. Otherwise it is probably just a reason to reject the argument. I don't really have a ton of biases here. Make sure you do things like answer their specific counter interp/standards instead of just reading the same generic block.
My average is a 28.5. If you get below a 27 you did something offensive. If you get a 30 you are one of the best speakers I have ever seen.